If ever the working life and fortunes of a punter and tipster could be captured in the space of twelve hours, for me at least, that is what happened last week.
Royal Ascot began badly for me (and most other punters) as bookies like Geoff Banks (photographed above) won the first day of the high quality meeting. My full review of the week of racing and betting will follow later.
But I did tip 2 nicely priced winners from 6 races on Tuesday, the opening day of Royal Ascot.
Not least the winner of that race the experts and many of us punters suspected would be fought out by just two horses. The King’s Stand Stakes was generally thought to be between Lady Aurelia and Battaash. But, as is so often the case, I wanted to offer my subscribers an each way option. An alternative to the obvious. So it was that I tipped and backed Blue Point, each way, at odds of 9/1.
Here is what I wrote to members old and new:- “Blue Point is a two time winner of Group 3 races over this very course and distance, we know the Godolphin colt likes Ascot and he has won on any type of ground. Blue Point is priced at 9/1 to cause an upset. In 12 outings in total, Blue Point has finished out of the first four just the once… In 2017 he beat subsequent Group 1 winner, Harry Angel… Blue Point may be that proverbial ‘each way bet to nothing’ that punters often talk about.”
The second winner for me and members on Tuesday was Lagostovegas, selected for members of VG Tips when priced at 11/1. The Willie Mullins trained mare won the Class 2 Ascot Stakes Handicap at a slightly shorter SP price of 10/1. I was pleased about that one as I have been following the fortunes of Lagostovegas for several months.
So ‘only’ two winners from six races on the first day of Royal Ascot, which prompted an e-mail from someone who had been a member of VG Tips for only three weeks. A timespan which included Masar, my 20/1 winning NAP tip for the Derby at Epsom.
I shall simply call him M. Amongst other things, he said the following:- “I was recommended this site by a friend so set up my subscription. Now I know nothing in life is guaranteed especially with racing… Now I enjoy a flutter (when the fun stops, stop) but am also a novice so thought I would not only take the tips but look for what you look for, to learn.
Just 12 hours later I got this from Paul, who signed up for one year on the final day of 2017:-
“Just a wee message to say thanks for the service you provide. I have been really enjoying it. Trying to change from a lifetime of mug punting won’t be easy but I am definitely on the right track by subscribing to yourself. So a big thank you again. Yours sincerely, Paul.”
Now M received from me a sincere, lengthy, detailed and very frank reply that took me around 45 minutes to draft. I am not about to post the full text of my reply here, but I did provide him with plenty of detail, history of me and the service I offer, context and remind him that the initial opinion of anyone joining VG Tips will inevitably be coloured by when they signed up.
Here’s an example of what I said in my reply to M:- “The impression any joining member will have of the service I have offered for twenty years will be guided by when they joined. Let us agree, for example, that had you been with me for several years you would by now know that I end each and every calendar year ahead of the bookie. For you would likely have done the same. You might even have been one of those members sending me messages from beaches overseas where you have taken a family of four on holiday because you backed (albeit with much bigger stakes than I) 40/1, 33/1, 16/1 and 12/1 winners at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. Or perhaps you would have been that member who e-mailed to thank me for tips that saw them be able to pay off a car loan 18 months ahead of time, or helping them furnish their new home.
“Let’s pretend you had been with me since only 2016. You would have now had the pleasure of seeming clever among your friends because you had backed, on my say so, the 2016 Grand National with my 50/1 tip, Rule the World. Imagine how happy you would have been had you, only 12 months later, again won the Grand National (of 40 runners, let’s not forget) by backing my ante-post tip, One For Arthur, at odds of 40/1, a full two months prior to the race.
“Then, in April of this year, you would have been amazed at yourself for backing the Grand National winner for the third year running when backing my 12/1 tip, Tiger Roll. And that would have come just a month after you had received 10 winning tips from me for the ever competitive, and hard to win at, Cheltenham Festival of 2018.
“And what about the Derby at Epsom this year, which took place during the time you have been a member. Did you not back Masar, my NAP to win the big race at odds of 20/1? Members of VG Tips who appreciate that profitable punting is a marathon and not a sprint were on Masar. I was deluged with grateful e-mails from them.
“WOW! What a big hat I must have. A grand sized tifter indeed.”
Now I must be fair to M. He got back to me to say this: “Hi Vernon. Wow! Thank you for the most concise response I think I have ever had, considering my email language isn’t the best and didn’t expect an answer at all, I am overwhelmed. Please don’t treat my previous e-mail as contentious. I was nearly pointing out, due to my lack of knowledge in this field and through recommendation, I subscribed to your site and will continue to do so for the time being. I do not expect to be made rich by this… So again thank you for taking the time to respond and hope the fortunes improve.”
Replying to M was important but it did get in the way of studying form for the following day at Royal Ascot. For VG Tips is not some multi person operation where lots of people called Jemima or Tristan swan around saying “OK, ya.”
It’s me. Little old me. Studying form, watching back past races, looking for clues for my own football and racing bets. I stand or fall by my own judgements. Some days you get it all right and people think you can walk on water (I cannot). Other days you make the wrong choice of two horses you fancy and appear to be someone who “throws name in a hat.” Not true.
At VG Tips I offer a service that is NOT ONLY about betting tips as this short video outlines. I aim to offer advice to those who are where I was decades ago.
You never stop learning when it comes to trying to beat the bookie each year. I want to guide others on the path to profitable punting each and ever year, including via this recent video tutorial course.
That’s why VG Tips exists.
My advice to those who cannot take the heat in the punting kitchen is the same as it always has been. Nobody put it better than a man I found myself working with in TV back in the late 1980’s. A man who would bet more on horses during the course of a year than I earned as an annual salary even at the height of my television producing powers.
He could afford to, of course, and people should only bet with sums they can afford to lose. Because we all lose some days, as did this man.