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Tipsters that charge for their service
Tipsters that charge for their service – I am one of them
and I want to break the mould by David Renham
I would estimate that the majority of readers of this article have at one time or another either subscribed to a tipster, or rang one of those premium rate tipping lines. Many years ago I did – indeed I did both. My experiences overall were poor. The premium rate tipping lines tended to pick short priced horses and it took them forever to give out the selections. Hence the cost of the phone calls soon mounted up, and I soon realized that this was not the way to make money – it was simply a way of losing money. In terms of actual tipping services, I subscribed to two tipsters who sent their selections by post – it was long before the days of the internet and e mail services! One of these tipsters started really well giving me a 28/1 double on the first day and from there I was hooked. I subscribed for the whole of the summer, but it was not long before I realized that this winning double was a fluke. By the end of the year all profits I had made on that first day had disappeared ……….. does this all sound familiar? At the time of course I had no idea that a few years later I would running my own tipping service!
I never had any real intentions of running a racing service, but after I wrote my second racing book in 2001, I was approached by someone who ran their own racing website and he asked me whether I wanted to go down the tipster route. Having not really thought about it before I perhaps did not think carefully enough about my answer which was an emphatic “yes”. I was so excited to be asked, that I just went headlong into it without really thinking about it.
So within a month or so Drawn2win was born with the idea being to produce a daily e mail based on sprint races that were likely to affected by draw bias. We decided on a month’s trial and we had about 400 people who subscribed to it. The start coincided with Royal Ascot and in general the trial went well, but the last week of the trial was moderate and by the end of the trial only 4 had signed up. Guess how good I felt! Fortunately this rose to 25 by the end of the next week as people started to realize that the freebie was over. As it was, I was charging less than 20 quid a month, so not a fortune by any means.
The remainder of 2001 went well with one day that will stick in the memory – the 18th October. I put up 5 horses to note that day (5 in one day was incredibly rare; indeed 5 in one week was more normal!!). I had 3 winners – two of which were huge prices – Just Nick won at 33/1 and Polar Haze won at 20/1. The other winning bet was Izzet Muzzy at 7/2. I remember getting an e mail from an excited member who had placed a 50p lucky 31 on the five selections and from a £15.50 outlay he received back £2117. I was very pleased for him and hoped other members had made some decent money on those selections – they should have done as even betting 5 win singles they would have made a profit of 54.5pts!
2002 was a good year – we were over 100 points in profit for the year within 10 months with winners up to 16/1 and things continued to go fairly well in 2003. 2004 started incredibly with a 116/1 winning each way double in January. Membership hit the 400 mark and everything was going ‘swimmingly’. However, the honeymoon period, albeit a long honeymoon period was coming to an end. For the next three years the service failed to perform anywhere near as well – short head winners were becoming short head losers. We’ve all been there; we’ll all be there again in the future no doubt.
I am sure that some people, probably most in fact, who run a racing service do not really care too much about results. As long as they have a decent enough membership base they are fine. Of course, it is difficult to sustain members when you have poor runs, and you see many tipsters finishing one service, changing their own name to some other fictitious name and starting up another. However, from my point of view I found that I ‘lived’ the tipping results for not just me, but for everyone on the service. I have never known pressure like it – of course when the bets were winning regularly, it was no problem, but long losing runs were nigh on unbearable. My other problem with drawn2win was that I had set a precedent early on by writing detailed messages – this became harder and harder to do on a daily basis and by the beginning of 2007 I was washed out – drawn2win ceased.
Overall though it had been a fairly successful service and indeed some members remained with me for the full 5½ years. That for me was extremely positive.
After the last message I felt a great burden lift from my shoulders and at the time I thought I would not run another daily tipping service …….. For a year I ran a racing trends service to coincide with my new interest borne out of working on the Racing & Football Outlook. The idea was that there would be less pressure as I would only concentrate on big meetings and hence there would be plenty of days and weeks when I did not have to worry about tipping for lots of people. In addition members got plenty of trends and stats for free. Unfortunately, I felt there were not enough decent bets over a year and I was back to thinking about starting up a daily service again. However, this time it was going to be different – first of all I would continue with the big meeting trends; and I would back this up with regular bets from sprint races. The main difference for me however was from the outset I stated that the daily messages would not be as detailed as the old drawn2win ones, especially on days when I was not putting up any account bets. This meant less pressure and less time constraints – it also meant I could regularly get the weekly messages out the night before; Saturday and Sunday messages would be sent in the morning. The other thing I stated was that I would only put up the strongest value bets – hence there may be several days between bets, while other days may see two or three.
I decided to keep the name of Racing Trends (www.racingtrends.co.uk) - the reason being that I used trends and stats all the time with my bets whether they were draw trends, horse trends, race trends, etc. Hence it seemed sensible to keep the name and the website.
The service started as the 2008 flat season began and this is how it is has gone so far:
March – my first bet was in a low grade handicap on the all weather at Southwell on 26th March. I am not of the school that ignores low class races – I believe there are good bets at any level. The problem is finding them! My selection was Owed in the class 6 handicap over 7f. I had been tempted with Elusive Warrior at a big price, but being the first bet for the service I decided on the ‘safer’ option of the two. You can guess what happened – Owed ran well enough to finish 3rd at 4/1, while Elusive Warrior won at the tasty odds of 16/1. In the past I would have been gutted, but I felt I had given good analysis and the vibes for the new service were good.
The next bet though was a bit of a killer. On 29th March there was a Listed race at Kempton. The horse I was interested in was Illustrious Blue and he looked overpriced at around 12/1 – his record on good ground or firmer / all weather over 1m to 1m2f was excellent – 5 wins from 13 with no placing worse than 5th. He was proven at Listed level and it was a confident selection. I decided to go each way as 12/1 in a dead eight field looked the right thing to do. Coming round the final bend, Illustrious Blue was stone cold last – this is what the Racing Post said: “He had a hopeless task off the home bend, having been forced wide but again scythed through his rivals to only just fail.” Another couple of strides and he would have won and the service would have been off to a flyer. I was annoyed with the jockey as I felt he simply had given the horse too much to do. Yes, Illustrious Blue needs to be held up, but not that far back. Lady luck was not smiling on me and I wondered whether this was a fore tend of things to come.
April – with the Grand National meeting starting at the beginning of April I looked for some decent bets at the meeting. I could only find two however, and there was more frustration for me and the membership. Whiteoak was my first selection – ran well but could only finish second at 4/1; Bewley’s
By April 6th the service had had 6 bets and 5 had been placed (6 if you allow Bewley’s
On April 16th we had the first 5f handicap at Beverley – a course with a well known draw bias, but still a playable one IMO. Two horses that had high draws interested me at their respective forecast prices – Luscivious and Come Out Fighting. They were forecast at 11/1 and 14/1 respectively. This is what I wrote about each horse:
Come Out Fighting (drawn 10) – 6f is usual trip but has enough pace to cope with stiff 5. Been off the boil since with at Lingfield 4 starts back, but that was a decent effort in a stronger race (OR average 91 compared with 85 for this race). Shows he acts on soft when decent 3rd at
Luscivious (drawn 12) – fairly encouraging comeback at Southwell last month in a slightly stronger race (average OR for that race was 88). Won on soft as a 2yo and although he lost his way a bit last year he looks dangerously well handicapped. One concern would be he can be slowly away, but hopefully new jockey Catlin will get him out well and make the most of his good draw.
I decided to back them both to win – first the good news ….. Luscivious won and Come Out Fighting came 3rd. Hence my analysis had been virtually spot on. However, here was the bad news. Luscivious was backed all day and ended up a desperate 4/1 SP; Come Out Fighting was 14/1 as expected. A WINNER, but again I felt the gods were against me looking at the final SP.
So was this the turning point or a false dawn? Well opportunities were few and far between for the remainder of the month and I only staked 2 points in the next 14 days. An annoying each way 5th at 11/1 when there 4 places was frustrating, but I knew May would at least give me more meetings to play with and hopefully some good opportunities.
May – the first two weeks of May seemed a carbon copy of the start of the season. Three horses traded under 2.0 (Evens) in running and all lost, while Tartatartufata a 15/2 shot traded in running at 2.24 (roughly 5/4). I looked at my profits / loss position – I was 12 points down on advised stakes; 18 points down if quoting to 1pt level stakes. GOD!!! I needed some winners and some winners fast.
The turning point came on the 17th May and the horse in question was Baby Strange. To my mind he should have won already this season but was still a generous looking price – was around 8/1 to 9/1 in the morning. I made him nearer a 5/1 chance in a class 2 handicap that looked moderate to say the least. Baby Strange traded 20/1 in the final furlong as trailblazer Holbeck Ghyll looked like making all. However, as the line approached Baby Strange grabbed him late to score in the dying strides. This was the reverse outcome of Illustrious Blue earlier in the season – a last gasp win at 9/1 rather than not quite getting there. Ok, I was still in deficit but felt maybe this was the change of luck I needed.
Four more bets came and went but then we had 2 winners from 2 at the end of the month – Barney Mc Grew won at 13/2 and Viking Spirit 5/2. Barney Mc Grew was 10/1 early so I hoped that members had been able to nick a few extra points over SP by getting on early.
June – I had only 2 bets in the first 9 days and both horses – The Bear and Mr Wolf came second (at 4/1 and 7/1 respectively). Mr Wolf was really frustrating as he led for all bar the line. The bets had seen plenty of near things this year and only one had gone in my favour. The next two bets were 22/1 and 14/1 and although both ran they both finished out of the frame.
3.05 Ascot – the King Stand Stakes has seen more fancied runners win the last four years but previous to that from 1999 to 2003 we saw winners at 25/1, 20/1 and 16/1 (twice). My aim is to always seek out value as past drawn2win members will know – I like a dig at big prices and I hope I have found some value in this race. Equiano has run two seriously good times in his last two starts and he pushed Group 1 winner Marchant D’Or all the way last time out. He definitely has the speed for 5f, especially with a strong pace virtually guaranteed. He is a 22/1 chance early with Corals – Marchant D’Or is 9/1 for the Golden Jubilee on Saturday. To me those prices don’t make sense. If Equiano was from a more fashionable foreign stable then he would be shorter. Now with a 1/5th of the odds an each way bet is not ideal but at 22/1 I think it should be snapped up. His sire Acclamation was 2nd in this race in 2003 so that also bodes well. Dandy Man also looks overpriced to me and deserves go to close.
Equiano led early on the favoured stands’ side and just kept galloping. A 22/1 winner and although not particularly religious I muttered a small thank you to the heavens. The funny thing was I lost my TV reception as the race started and I missed the race. It was only when I switched to the Racing Post fast results a few moments later that I saw the result! To make the day complete Toy Top won at 5/1 to land a second winner on the same day.
The ups and downs of a racing service! Around 5 weeks earlier I was really struggling in terms of the betting bank – I felt I was along the right lines, but finding winners had proved difficult. Now, I was suddenly in the middle of an excellent run with some decent priced winners …. bizarre isn’t it? I felt the pressure that had building slip away and from the numerous thank you e mails, I felt the members were happy too. For me that is very important.
The next four bets saw 3 losers and one 11/1 each way place bet landed, and then came one of my favourite races of the year – the Gosforth Cup at Newcastle. With a big field and easy ground I felt that a low draw may prove advantageous. I felt sure the field would split into two groups and despite high draws having had the advantage so far this season, there had not been a race on this ground with this number of runners. With the pundits predicting a high draw bias, the value lay with the low draws and I was on Buachaill Dona. He had ideal conditions for the first time this season and if I was right then he had a massive chance at good odds. There did not seem a massive difference between both sides but Buachaill Dona won well at 12/1.
Another winner followed with Raccoon at 7/4 the following Monday and looking at the figures there had been some change around. Taking a 1pt level stakes approach the totals had switched from -18 points to +28 points in the space of the last 20 bets.
So why the sudden change in fortunes? Simply put I believe a decent percentage of it is down to luck. My methods have remained the same, but instead of a few near misses, there had been a few vital winners. I think the type of bets I go for are always going to mean a roller coaster of a ride – I like bigger priced horses and I play mainly in handicaps. Hence, there will be losing runs, but hopefully some decent priced winners as well. The other belief I have is that you should make more money these days from bigger priced horses as the edge on Betfair / early prices is more pronounced. Taking Betfair SP as a guide sees a 28pt level stakes profit at SP move up to a 49pt profit. 21 pts is quite a difference! It is beyond me why some punters still bet at SP.
Now, the question is what will happen for the rest of the season and for seasons to come. I am afraid I cannot answer that, but I will be trying … believe me I will be trying! I want to show people that some tipsters are genuine and I really hope I am different to the normal run of the mill tipster. For the record the cost of the service is less than a pound a day at £29.99 a month. There are monthly or yearly options.
In addition to the main service, you also get daily ratings which can pinpoint some good additional bets; and also members still get free trends / stats packages for big races and meetings. The website as stated earlier is www.racingtrends.co.uk
If however you don't want to think too much and just want to follow what someone more expert than you advises, then take a quick look at the link below for some of the profitable tipping threads here at PunterProfits.com ==> Horse Racing Tips
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