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Sunday, 17 June 2018

4.10 Ayr, Monday, June 18

In the Ayr Cancer Support James Bond Ball Handicap (4.10) at the South Ayrshire course on Monday, Saint Equiano has recorded his best form with some cut in the ground, so a drop of rain wouldn’t hurt. However, Keith Dalgleish’s 4-year-old ran well enough over course and distance, on the prevailing good to firm going, two weeks ago to suggest that his turn isn’t far away. On that occasion, he finished fourth of 11, beaten 1¾ lengths, behind Luiz Vaz De Torres, with Proud Archi just a short head further behind in fifth.

The latter, who’s just 1lb higher in the weights than when winning at Beverley and Thirsk last season, looks dangerous again but, with Graham Lee taking over from apprentice Rowan Scott, Saint Equiano can confirm the form on the same terms. The Equiano gelding is, in fact, 3lb lower in the weights than when winning a similar race at Carlisle last July and, after two runs this season, should be cherry-ripe to take advantage of a favourable handicap mark.

Keith Dalgleish doesn’t make life any easier for punters by also saddling War Department, who’s absolutely thrown in on his winning form at Newcastle last June, but has shown next to nothing since. The 5-year-old has won just once on turf, though – on his debut for William Haggas three years ago – and has beaten just six of 38 rivals on his last three starts in that sphere; it’s probably safe to say that Saint Equiano is the stable pick, on form and jockey bookings and, if not, I hope the Ayr stewards have a good long chat with the South Lanarkshire trainer.

Selection: Ayr 4.10 Saint Equiano to win

Friday, 25 May 2018

4.10 Curragh, Sunday, May 27

The highlight of Sunday’s action at the Curragh is, of course, the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (4.10), in which Aidan O’Brien saddles four, including the ante post market leader, Happily. The Master of Ballydoyle has already won the Curragh Classic seven times and must be feared, but one that could give us a run for our money is Who’s Steph, who’s available at 10/1 in the ante post price lists.

Ger Lyons’ Zoffany filly proved her effectiveness on top of the ground when keeping on well to win the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown two weeks ago, accounting for Algabragh and Chia Luna in the process, and could conceivably improve again for this stiffer test of stamina. She’s needs to, because she’s officially rated 9lb inferior to Happily and 11lb inferior to Clemmie but, having already won on good, yielding and heavy going, she should run her race whatever the weather in Dublin between now and Sunday afternoon and looks a shade overpriced.

Her performance at Leopardstown clearly impressed leading owner George Strawbridge, who stepped in to purchase her afterwards and paid €30,000 to supplement her for this race. She looks a sporting wager at the odds on offer.

Selection: Curragh 4.10 Who’s Steph to win (10/1 with Totesport)

Thursday, 24 May 2018

How to Bet on Horses: The Dos & Don'ts of Profitable Punting

By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this article , it’s probably safe to assume that you know how to bet on horses, in terms of physically placing a bet. If you don’t, your options essentially boil down to placing a bet in person, on the racecourse or in a licensed betting shop, or remotely, via the Internet or the telephone.
However, this article should really be titled ‘How to Bet Profitably on Horses’, because what we hope to do in the paragraphs that follow is to distill our ideas about successful betting, some of which we’ve discussed at length in other articles, into a succinct list of dos and don’ts.
Do proof your selections on paper only for at least a month, and preferably two or three, before you start backing or laying them with your own money. If you’re going to rely on a tipping service for your selections, make sure that you can obtain results for that service, independently proofed by a third party, for a similar period.
Do establish a betting bank or, in other words, set aside an adequate amount of money, exclusively for betting on horses, before you start placing bets. The purpose of doing so is that, if you do experience a sequence of adverse results, your standard of living isn’t affected in any way.
The amount of money you need to set aside will depend on your strike rate which, in turn, depends on the range of odds in which your selections lie.
Once you know your strike rate, you can calculate the longest losing run from the formula log (NB) /-(log(1 - SR)), where NB represents the number of bets you intend to place and SR represents your strike rate, expressed as a decimal fraction. So, if you have a (not unrealistic) strike rate of 25%, for every 1,000 bets you place, you can expect a longest losing run

= log(1000)/-log(1-0.25)
= log(1000)/-(log(0.75))
= 3/-(-0.125)
= 3/0.125
= 24

Of course, it’s always possible that you could encounter two such losing runs in succession, one at the end of your first thousand bets and another at start of your second thousand, so if you operate at one point level stakes, you need a betting bank of 48 points to protect you from such an eventuality.
Do keep a record of every bet you place, win or lose, in a business-like way. Doing so will not only instill discipline in you, so that you’re less likely to involve yourself in races that you know you shouldn’t, but also provide you with documentary evidence of your betting habits, which you can review periodically.
Don’t bet each-way. The standard place terms offered by bookmakers are below the true mathematical odds, unless you bet in handicaps with 16 or more runners. Even then, the mathematical advantage that you hold is negated by large, competitive fields, the vagaries of the draw, luck in running, etc. Not only that, but betting each-way requires you to halve your stake or double your outlay and often leads to indecisive selection.
Don’t chase your losses. Losing runs are a fact of life, even for successful punters, so come to accept them as an occupational hazard. Taking a long-term view, in conjunction with an adequate betting bank, should help you to deal with any short-term reverses without becoming emotionally involved.
Don’t believe advertisers who promise you massive-looking profits for the price of a monthly subscription, unless they can produce independently proofed results for a period of at least three months. The results should demonstrate that the advertised profits can be achieved by placing a realistic number of bets, to realistic stakes, at prices that are generally available. It’s possible to generate huge profits, on paper, by placing hundreds of theoretical bets at hundreds or thousands of pounds per point but, in reality, such “systems” are just plain nonsense.
We hope you enjoyed ‘How to Bet on Horses: The Dos & Don’ts of Profitable Punting’ and we will be back soon with another advanced betting guide. In the meantime, we would love to hear your thoughts on ‘How to Bet on Horses: The Dos & Don’ts of Profitable Punting’ in the comments section below.