Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Final Classic

The Ladbrokes St Leger is the final classic of the flat season at Doncaster racecourse.

This year nine horses will contest the 1 mile, 6 furlongs contest which is sure going to test the stamina of every horse as the forecast over townmoor looks like being very wet and very damp come the 3:45 scheduled race time.




It is worth taking note that only three favourites the last ten years have gone on to win this race.

PAST WINNERS

2015: Simple Verse
2014: Kingston Hill
2013: Leading Light
2012: Encke
2011: Masked Marvel
2010: Arctic Cosmos
2009: Mastery
2008: Conduit
2007: Lucarno
2006: Sixties Icon

This year we have a hot favourite in 'IDAHO' from Ireland, but at 8/11 I will look further down the field for a bit of value (something has to finish 2nd and 3rd).

Idaho may well win, but he does not have proven form at this 1m 6f distance, and if I am right about the weather forecast the ground will turn soft, and he also does not have proven form on soft going.

Pedigree wise, he is not exactly a snug fit for very testing conditions.

Of the other horses in the big race only Harbour Law and Sword Fighter have proven form at the distance, but neither have ran on soft ground before which makes them a bit of an unknown factor.

Ventura Storm has won two races from three on soft ground, but never won at the distance.

The more rain that fails the more the puzzle will become harder to solve, and only the race winner gets to keep his head dry under the cap.




DONCASTER SELECTIONS: (with rain in mind)

2:00 - THUNDER SNOW
2:35 - HARRY HURRICANE
3:10 - BRETON ROCK
3:45 - HARBOUR LAW / SWORD FIGHTER / VENTURA STORM
4:20 - MATHS PRIZE / OCEANUS
4:55 - THIRD TIME LUCKY
5:25 - RENFREW STREET
6:00 - FELIX MENDELSSOHN

You can watch how it all unfolds, live on MORE4 from 1:45pm






Friday, June 3, 2016

The Epsom June Meeting ... That used to be in May.

In 1778, Lord Derby, invited a party of friends to his house, including General John Burgoyne, Richard Sheridan the playwright and Charles Fox, Burgoyne, suggested to Lord Derby, that since the four-day race programme consisted solely of heats of either two or four miles, that the following year, a single race over one and a half miles for three-year-old fillies, would add some spice to the meeting.

The race, named after Lord Derby’s country house in Woodmansterne, was first run on Friday, 14 May, 1779. Open to three-year-old fillies, (8st 4lb), at 50 guineas each and run over a mile and a half, there were 12 runners and appropriately, it was won by Lord Derby’s Bridget, the 5-2 favourite.

With now the inaugural races of the Oaks and Derby run, who could have predicted they would provide an uninterrupted line of winners, extending over more than two and a quarter centuries – the only two races in the world to do so.

THE OAKS – Epsom 3rd June

The official going at Epsom is now good to soft, soft in places (from soft, good to soft in places) following a dry and breezy day.

Investec Oaks Trends

1 15/15 ran within past 35 days
2 15/15 ran in a listed race or better last time out
3 15/15 had 1, 2 or 3 previous victories
4 14/15 had 1 or 2 starts in current season
5 13/15 finished in the top 3 on their racecourse debut
6 13/15 ran at a Grade 1 track last time out
7 13/15 were born before 30th April
8 12/15 were yet to finish outside of the top 6 so far in their career
9 12/15 finished in the top 2 last time out
10 12/15 had at least won at listed level or better OR had finished in the top 2 of a
Grade 1 race
11 12/15 had between 2 & 6 previous runs
12 12/15 made their debut at a Grade 1 track

ONLY ONE HORSE TICKS ALL TWELVE BOXES.




SKIFFLE (GODOLPHIN)

Skiffle was supplemented to the field for the mile-and-a-half Group One contest at a cost of £30,000 on Tuesday morning, and it's easy to see why after her impressive win in the listed Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood 2 weeks ago.

She has a bit to find on Timeform figures but she is progressive, and she's taken to upset the red-hot favourite Minding who is running in her third Classic in just over a month, and her stamina is not guaranteed over this trip.

Timeform Top Rated:
5. MINDING - 135
7. SKIFFLE - 122P
9. TURRET ROCKS - 122
4. HARLEQUEEN - 121
1. ARCHITECTURE - 119P
6. SEVENTH HEAVEN 119P
8. SOMEHOW - 117P
2. AUSTRALIAN QUEEN - 112
3. DIAMONDS POUR MOI - 109

Forecast Prices: Minding 10/11, Skiffle 6/1, Turret Rocks 7/1, Somehow 8/1, Architecture 8/1, Seventh Heaven 14/1, Harlequeen 20/1, Diamonds Pour Moi 25/1, Australian Queen 66/1





Friday, April 29, 2016

Welcome to the 'Classic' Weekend.

I am really looking forward to the better weather, better race conditions and all round better horses running over the summer months, for me the QIPCO 2000 Guineas is the start of it all on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, and it is of course the first Classic race of the season.



The 2000 Guineas is a Group 1 classic and it is run over a straight 1 mile course and is open to entire colts (geldings are ineligible) and fillies, although it is unusual for the fairer sex to participate, as they normally contest the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on the following day.


This fella, AIR FORCE BLUE (pictured below) is all the rage, and has been since the end of last season. And quiet rightly so, as not many 2YOs produce a speed figure of 111 on a group 1 track.




There is no such thing as a certainty in racing, but if the ground stays good this son of War Front is close enough.

If we look at the top 5 in the betting forecast we have Air Force Blue at 4/6, Stormy Antarctic at 9/1, Massaat at 12/1, Galileo Gold at 14/1 and Marcel at 14/1.

Now when you see there best speed rating as a 2YO you get this picture
Air Force Blue - 111
Massaat - 101
Galileo Gold - 83
Marcel - 91
Stormy Antarctic - 88

For a shock here you are looking for a real downpour of rain and Air Force Blue to run not just below is average but well below his average (his first time on a race course he recorded a 97 on the clock.

My conclusion has not taken me long. With a TIMEFORM rating of 124 an Official Rating of 124 and a best Racing Post Rating of 125, AIR FORCE BLUE is well up to winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and is a worthy favourite for the race, if the ran came he has to prove his stamina over the trip, but his 2YO CV is a very impressive one and he proved himself to be the best 2yo Colt in Europe last year, having won 4 of his 5 starts during his juvenile season, including 3 Group 1 contests. After winning a 6 furlong Maiden at the Curragh in May, he suffered his only defeat when second (beaten 2 lengths) to Buratino in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes over 6 furlongs at Royal Ascot. Thereafter he strung together 3 impressive victories in Group 1 races, namely the Phoenix Stakes (6 furlongs) and National Stakes (7 Furlongs) which are both run at the Curragh, before beating Massaat by 3 1/4 lengths in the 7 Furlong Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October. I hope he has trained on, I really do. my only niggle is his sire War Front who has not produced a classic 3YO, his off springs show plenty at aged two, and not much after that.

The best price I can find quoted right now is 4/6, very short price for a classic, I will just sit and watch and enjoy this one without a financial interest.



Moving on to the second Classic race of the season, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on Sunday, 1 May 2016 on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket, this is also run over a straight 1 mile course and is open 3 year old fillies only.

The market for the classic races don't usually get it wrong, and the current market looks to have been priced up on forecasted good to soft ground. At the top of the market we have Minding @ 6/4, Lumiere @ 4/1, Ballydoyle @ 13/2, Nathra @ 8/1 and Alice Springs @ 14/1.

Now my thought process has always been along the lines of if you want to predict what a horse will do in the future start by looking at what it has done in the past, and having said that as a 2YO Ballydoyle top speed figure recorded on a group 1 track reads 102, Minding reads 98. and the other three recorded 91.

It will be interesting to see who Ryan Moore chooses in the next 48 hours but for now 13/2 on Ballydoyle (pictured below) looks a great bet and I will have a financial interest in this one.





On the subject of the Classics, I would like to share a proven profitable racing system with you known as the 'Classic Favourite'

It's called Classic Favourite, because those two words tell you everything you really need to know about the system and how to operate it. There is no study and calculations the consider because you simply back the favourite in this seasons five Classic races, 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas, The Oaks, The Derby and St Leger with an increasing stake of 5,10,15,20 and 25 points, and stopping at a winner. If your "point" is (I am going to keep this really simply) £1, that would mean stakes of £5 on the favourite in the 2,000 Guineas. If the favourite lost, your bet would be £10 in the 1,000 Guineas, if that lost you would place £15 in the Oaks and so on, giving a maximum outlay of 75 points (£75) over the course of a year as a worst case scenario. (once you win you take the profit and start the cycle again in the next classic race with investing 5 points)

Admittedly with so few selections it is not going to make you rich quick, however a point can be anything that you are comfortable with, some people who have been in the game along time bet £50 as a point. It's your money and your call.

I can tell you that over the last 10 years this system has made a profit in 9 of them, but overall it has made 47% profit and 88% Return on Investment. Your bank won't give you that.

Hope you have a 'Classic' Winning Weekend.



Saturday, April 9, 2016

Grand National, Aintree

Saturday, April 9th 2016 @ 5:15: Crabbie's Grand National, Aintree.



Woo Hoo It's Aintree Grand National Day.

I know many will be punting on the big race itself, but from a professional point of view it is not really a punters race. Of course some will get lucky, I think I did twice. This race has changed a lot in recent years (it had to) and I am not sure as to the value of looking much beyond the last 5 or 6 years on the trends or using a statistical analysis to try and find this years winner but we can try and narrow down the field of 40 runners into 4 or five contenders.

This years runners & riders:

1) 161-6221 MANY CLOUDS Age: 9 Weight 11-10
Oliver Sherwood | Leighton Aspell


2) 171-22P1 SILVINIACO CONTI Age: 10 Weight 11-8
Paul Nicholls | Noel Fehily


3) 30-8432P FIRST LIEUTENANT Age: 11 Weight 11-4
Mouse Morris (Ire) | David Mullins


4) 23783P-2 WONDERFUL CHARM Age: 8 Weight 11-3
Paul Nicholls | Sam Twiston-Davies


5) -1535PP7 BALLYNAGOUR Age: 10 Weight 11-2
David Pipe | Tom Scudamore


6) 15/P1P87 O'FAOLAINS BOY Age: 9 Weight 11-1
Rebecca Curtis | Brian Hughes


7) 321-3455 GILGAMBOA Age: 8 Weight 11-1
Enda Bolger (IRE) | Robbie Power


8) 797U4828 ON HIS OWN Age: 12 Weight 11-1
Willie Mullins (IRE) | Patrick Mullins


9) 751F-662 THE DRUIDS NEPHEW Age: 9 Weight 11-0
Neil Mulholland | Denis O'Regan


10) 0P/P3-15 TRIOLO D'ALENE Age: 9 Weight 11-0
Nicky Henderson | Jeremiah McGrath


11) 10P-2P40 ROCKY CREEK Age: 10 Weight 10-13
Paul Nicholls | Andrew Thornton


12) 21F4/157 SIR DES CHAMPS Age: 10 Weight 10-13
Willie Mullins (IRE) | Nina Carberry


13) 143-54P4 HOLYWELL Age: 9 Weight 10-12
Jonjo O'Neill | Richie McLernon


14) 61/15-3P SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR Age: 9 Weight 10-11
Jonjo O'Neill | Barry Geraghty


15) 119-0413 SOLL Age: 11 Weight 10-11
David Pipe | Conor O'Farrell


16) 145-3243 BUYWISE Age: 9 Weight 10-10
Evan Williams | Paul Moloney


17) 440-50P1 BOSTON BOB Age: 11 Weight 10-10
Willie Mullins (IRE) | Paul Townend


18) 4-411209 AACHEN Age: 12 Weight 10-10
Venetia Williams | Henry Brooke


19) 123/3-224 MORNING ASSEMBLY Age: 9 Weight 10-9
Pat Fahy (IRE) | Davy Russell


20) 60-24599 DOUBLE ROSS Age: 10 Weight 10-9
Nigel Twiston-Davies | Ryan Hatch


21) 312-3942 GOONYELLA Age: 9 Weight 10-8
Jim Dreaper (IRE) | Johnny Burke


22) 9/1P-623 UCELLO CONTI Age: 8 Weight 10-8
Gordon Elliott (IRE) | Daryl Jacob


23) F8-80312 UNIONISTE Age: 8 Weight 10-8
Paul Nicholls | Nick Scholfield


24) 3-P02615 LE REVE Age: 8 Weight 10-8
Lucy Wadham | Harry Skelton


25) 243-1U75 GALLANT OSCAR Age: 10 Weight 10-8
Tony Martin (IRE) | Mark Walsh


26) 211-1225 ONENIGHTINVIENNA Age: 7 Weight 10-8
Philip Hobbs | Tom O'Brien


27) 1U12-311 THE LAST SAMURI Age: 8 Weight 10-8
Kim Bailey | David Bass


28) 30/72-15 KRUZHLININ Age: 9 Weight 10-7
Philip Hobbs | Richard Johnson


29) -6S32254 RULE THE WORLD Age: 9 Weight 10-7
Mouse Morris (IRE) | Bryan Cooper


30) 2031-092 JUST A PAR Age: 9 Weight 10-6
Paul Nicholls | Sean Bowen


31) 4430/P-P0 KATENKO Age: 10 Weight 10-6
Venetia Williams | Will Kennedy


32) 3F2-85P6 VICS CANVAS Age: 13 Weight 10-6
Dermot Anthony McLaughlin (IRE) | Robbie Dunne


33) 2157-0U6 BLACK THUNDER Age: 9 Weight 10-6
Paul Nicholls | Gavin Sheehan


34) 3PB-4935 BALLYCASEY Age: 9 Weight 10-6
Willie Mullins (IRE) | Katie Walsh


35) 101/6P-7 HADRIAN'S APPROACH Age: 9 Weight 10-6
Nicky Henderson | Nico de Boinville


36) 0-111U26 VIEUX LION ROUGE Age: 7 Weight 10-5
David Pipe | James Reveley


37) 30/45-15 PENDRA Age: 8 Weight 10-5
Charlie Longsdon | Aidan Coleman


38) 3312-671 SAINT ARE Age: 10 Weight 10-5
Tom George | Paddy Brennan


39) 1F7P8-46 HOME FARM Age: 9 Weight 10-4
Henry de Bromhead (IRE) | Andrew Lynch


40) 11-77F38 THE ROMFORD PELE Age: 9 Weight 10-4
Rebecca Curtis | Trevor Whelan

So the winner is in that above list somewhere, but where?




I like to start by looking at those runners who has been aimed at the race all season.

One way is to look for horses that have run over hurdles in the current year. The reason trainers run their Grand National hopes over hurdles is to protect their chase handicap mark. Horses have different handicap ratings for whether they are running over hurdles or chases. Should a horse run well in a chase early in the year then their handicap mark will be increased and this then makes their chances of winning the Grand National much much harder.

Its no surprise then that when you look back through the past winners of this race you find the 6 of the last 10 Grand National winners ran over hurdles in the season they won the Grand National, but I must point out last years winner did not.

Now that is one angle to consider, but it is not the only angle, you could look at some of the profiles of past winners and other horses who ran well, like I said before, it's not a punters race, it great for an office sweepstake and the lottery dreamers, it always amazes me that people who never bet on horse racing will choose to have a go in this race.

For me the two things any selection you make has to have proven ability on the distance of the race and the current going on the race course, if you ever hear a trainer being interviewed after there horse got beat you very really hear them say that there horse was not good enough, you almost always hear them say that there horse did not stay the trip (stamina) or there horse did not like the ground conditions.

So out of 40 runners mentioned I now have a short list of 39 ... no seriously.

ProBet_Racing Prediction: 1st The Last Samuri, 2nd Saint Are, 3rd Holywell, 4th Hadrians Approach, 5th Many Clouds, and for those betting with BetVictor who are paying out on 6th place ...... The Romford Pele.




Enjoy The Race






Monday, March 14, 2016

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2016



The countdown to this years Cheltenham Festival is almost over, four fantastic days from Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th March. (28 Races)

RACE SCHEDULE

TUESDAY 15 MARCH

13:30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
14:10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade 1)
14:50 Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
15:30 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)
16:10 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1)
16:50 National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders Novice Chase) (Listed Race)
17:30 Festival Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed Race)

WEDNESDAY 16 MARCH

13:30 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
14:10, RSA Chase (Grade 1)
14:50 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3)
15:30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
16:10 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
16:50 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
17:30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1)

THURSDAY 17 MARCH

13:30 JLT Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
14:10 Pertemps Network Final (Listed Handicap Hurdle)
14:50 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)
15:30 Ryanair World Hurdle (Grade 1)
16:10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3)
16:50 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateur Riders)
17:30 Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2)

FRIDAY 18 MARCH

13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)
14:10 Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
14:50 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
15:30 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)
16:10 St. James's Place Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
16:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
17:30 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3)



It's easy to get carried away with the razzmatazz of any sporting event, but one that has bookmakers falling over each other for your business has to a viewed with a fair amount of caution.

People who talk about bookie bashing make me laugh, the bookmakers this year are already well in front after it was announced that the star attraction FAUGHEEN was out of the festival with injury.

All those 40/1 five timers, Doubles, Trebles, Yankies, Lucky 15s and any other monster accumulator you can imagine on Faugheen with Douvan, Annie Powers, Min and Un De Sceaux that had all been backed with good money is now long gone and it's the punter who is now on the recovery mission.

So what is your Cheltenham strategy, because you will need one. If your attending the meeting in person remember enjoyment is the number one aim in the game and when the fun stops STOP.

Always remember that there are many many easier races to win money on throughout the year, and a 7/1 winner at Sedgefield, Southwell or Wolverhampton pays out exactly the same amount of money as a 7/1 winner at the Cheltenham Festival.

So if your getting involved in any of the festival races you need a strategy because it is the ultimate test and very challenging to come away from the entire festival out in front.




Punters have many ways of finding winners, the form book is a great starting place and for those in the know the phone book is another, some people follow tipsters, trainers, jockeys, and some swear the horse has to have proven form over both course and distance for the race they are entered in, I could give you race stats and profiles that would give you a headache reading them. I have used a lot of them in the races that I have had a personal bet in (More about those later) however if your looking for a simple strategy that will give you an interest in the majority of the races over the four days you need to look beyond the horses, beyond the trainers and beyond the jockeys and you need to focus on the people that bank roll this whole business.

I am of course talking about the owners, Now there are several sorts of owners, Billionaires, Millionaires, Wealthy Families, Syndicates, Racing Clubs to name a few. Lets start with the big players in the game. Ricci Rich has 39 entries in this years festival, Giggerstown House Stud has 51 entries but topping them all is J P McManus who has 75 horses entered. Those three owners have just a little over 20% of the total horses running at this festival, you could pick anyone of those three and just follow there horses that they own, they will have winners every single day, that I can promise you.

But that is a lot of horses and a great deal of money to outlay, and to be perfectly honest I think it would be a toss of a coin weather you came out with an overall profit at the end.

I have been looking more at the quality of the horses owned rather than the quantity, and I am by no means saying that those owners don't have quality horses, in fact they have a quantity of quality horses, but how do you find those few winning ones that are not odds on.

I looked a little deeper into what other owners had entered this year and came up with a select list of owners that pin point the festival with a more lets say sniper approach rather that shotgun approach.




Just going back to the big players for a moment, Ricci Rich has had 54 runners here in the past of which 8 have won (15%), or put it another way 46 of the lost, Giggerstown House Stud has has had 9 winners from 92 runners (10%), again this could also be interpreted as 83 of those entered got beat, and finally J P McManus has had 34 winners out of a staggering 251 runners (14%). Again that can also be seen as 217 losers.

In fact only Giggerstown stud are showing a level stake profit, and I can tell you that profit won't even buy you your lunch. (Well not at Cheltenham)

So are there any owners out there with 100% record, well yes there is, but 1 win from just 1 run does not tell you very much, it may well be this horse they have running for them is not the same horse they they won with last time they were here, and maybe they just got lucky that day in a two horse race, you have to dig around a little in the form book to see the true chance on those ones, there are several that fit that profile in the very first race.

one win from only one race is a bit like a boxer having just one fight, winning it then retiring undefeated, sounds impressive.

And I guess you could say pretty much the same about those with 1 win from 2 runs, 50% strike rate.

For me there are three stand outs that look to be worth following.

Owner C B Brookes has a 67% strike rake with 2 wins from 3 runners, his only horse entered at the festival is called THE GOVANESS and runs in the 4:10 race on the first day of the festival.

Then with a 57% strike rate we have Drew, George and Johnson family who have there horse KINGS PALACE entered in 3 races and I feel the 2:50 race on Wednesday (CORAL CUP) looks like it is the horses intended target.

And finally step forward Dr.R Lambe, now he also has a 50% strike rate, but the closer look tells you he has had 5 winners from 10 of his runners. Look out for his horses SILVER CONCORD in the very first race of the festival were the jockey booking of Davy Russell catches the eye, the owner also has a horse called SPRING HEELED in the 2:50 race on the same day.

REMEMBER the strike rates of the owners and not the strike rate of those horses mentioned, but the point is the owner clearly knows where he wants his horse or horses to run and where.

I would be interested in following the progress of those horses mentioned and also not forgetting those big owners at the festival. Ricci Rich has the bookmakers running scared with his stable star DOUVAN who runs in the 2nd race on day one, Giggerstown House Stud have NO MORE HEROES leading there charge on Wednesday and J P McManus best chance looks to be with YANWORTH who also runs on Wednesday.

So that's a total of seven horses to play and the best bit is that I don't intend to use any of my own money playing them, and that's because I just got £200 free.

Now, how would you like a free £200 pounds to play with. Well remember at the start of this post I mentioned bookmakers were falling over each other for your business, well let me tell you there are some crazy offers out there right now but this has to be the best offer I have seen in a while from on line bookmaker BET365.




Basically they are offering to match whatever you deposit into your new account to the value of £200.

So if you open a new account and say you deposit £25 into it you will find your betting back has £50 in it, or say you open your new online account and deposit £40 into it you will find your opening balance will be £80.

And like I said they will match your initial deposit up to £200 giving you an opening balance of £400.

Of course there is the small print (Term & Conditions apply) which in a nut shell means you can't put £200 in your account tonight and withdraw £400 tomorrow and go down the pub with it, they are not going to let you do that.

Well, less than 24 hours until the start of the first race. Enjoy the Cheltenham Festival. And remember have a strategy and stick to it.

For all the latest news, tips and expert analysis




Steve Drake @ProBet_Racing

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Ghost of February 29th Past, February 29th Present and February 29th Future.

Well those 29th of February's are very few and far between and I was looking back on where I was and what I was doing 4 years ago, then looking at where I am today and where and what I want to be in 4 years from now.

This is something I have done in my workshops, it's known as the 'Dickins Pattern' and is loosely based on the famous Charles Dickens story 'Scrooge' who gets a visits from the ghosts of Christmas the past, present and future.

I got down to some serious thinking in the week between Christmas and New Year and i remember watching and laughing at the Blackadder version of Scrooge that got me thinking about the Dickens Pattern again and I decided to do it on myself.




Four years ago we were all living in a very nice Spanish type villa in Dubai, I was teaching Jeet Kune Do classes to just over 200 students six out of seven days of the week, and had just done the Dubai Marathon and passed my World Boxing Council (WBC) Referees diploma, and was very much looking forward to heading out the the U.S to team up with Damian Ross at Pete Barry for a few days in New Jersey.

As a family this time four years ago we were very settled in the 25c warm winter sun.

Fast forward 4 years and I find myself in The Netherlands, I have not done any teaching or even serious training myself since April last year, as for my interest in combat sports I diden't even watch the UFC Bisping V Silva fight at the weekend. I have just come back from talking the dog on the beach were 2c is as good as it got and 6c is as good as it is going to get today.

But it's not doom and gloom, far from it. Like i said I got down to some serious thinking between Christmas and New Year and despite of were I now live, or my age, and my shoulder injury i still wake up excited about the day ahead.

If I am honest I am probably more excited now to jump out of bed then ever before.




One of the things I did over the festive week was take a sheet of A4 paper and write down everything I had ever done that earned me money, within about 20 minutes I had almost filled the page and about an hour later remembered something else, then in the evening I added a couple of other things I forgot about earlier, and remember getting out of bed about 10 minutes after I got in because I remembered something else.

That bit of A4 paper had everything on it from cleaning windows, delivering newspapers and caddying for golfers as a kid right through to having a part in a commercial for Mercedes, being a guest presenter on TV, and a whole lot in between. (I declined the Santa Claus offer in Abu Dhabi)

However ... The next day I woke up and took a different coloured pen and circled a ring around all those jobs I really enjoyed doing and then took a highlighter pen and coloured in all the ones I had circled if I could answer 'YES' to the question could I do that here right now.

Out of a page and a half of jobs or work that I had earned money from in the past only a few had got a red circle around it and only one circle was highlighted. In that circle was the words ... BETTING ON HORSE RACING.

Now I am going to be honest out side of betting on horses in June and July my profit and strike rate were not much to get excited about, but if I was going to be successful at this in those other ten months I was going to have to get both well disciplined and serious.

I looked at what it was that made betting profitable in the hight of summer and not so much in the other months, the obvious thing was the weather with horses racing on perfect ground, but I started looking for other connections and that search took me back to reading a very interesting book that I had read years before called 'The Ultimate Wheil of Fortune by Che Van Der Wheil. The very first page took me into listing speed figures and I realized that I had been doing something with speed figures gained from horses running in the spring and summer months and not making the allowance on the figures for changing ground, reading much deeper into this I decided to rectify those old summer habits and make a fresh start. (I started that very day even though New Year was only a few days away when I guess most people make a fresh start)




I then dug out the rest of the Van Der Wheil books and started reading them all over again while looking at the days race cards and started searching for selections that were proven in the going, proven in the class and proven at today's race distance and nothing else to start with, this started to narrow the number of races I was looking at and highlighted only a couple of horses in those races left. but the real light came on when I decided to look beyond the horses ability. I had one of those OMG moments.

These books had been sitting around in the storage loft since 2001 and I was very close to dumping them when we moved, so far in the very short time I have put what I have found into small stakes betting and have had 20 winners, 6 losers and one none runner in the last two months. That has beat anything I have ever achieved in June or July over the many years I have been betting.

So I have recently set up a new betting bank using the very generous offer from BET365 who promised to match 100% of my deposit, with that now in place I am going make an attempt to continue the profitable strike rate and make some sort of small income from it (Notice I said small income and not a small fortune) from the acorn grows the oak tree.

Fast forward February 2020. Well at the very least I will have four years of solid data, but I will also have a hobby that i hope to make the equivalent income of a part time job for a man of my age in the comfort of my own home, somewhere near Newmarket and working the hours that fit in with me and my families needs.

Can I do it?

Going back to that original bit of A4 paper I noticed something else that I had not noticed before at the time. And that was that the things that were circled because I liked doing them all started off with me watching someone else doing that very same thing and me saying to myself ... "I COULD DO THAT"

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dubai World Cup Carnival


So looking forward to the start of the racing carnival. Thursday night racing is what I really miss about not being in Dubai.

There racing season is a very short season, but what it lacks in quantity races it more than makes up for with quality horses running, I used to live for Thursday nights at Nad Al Sheba, we never missed a Thursday night ever. When everything moved to Meydan I felt the sparkle of the night all got lost in the bling of the venue, but the great horses were still there for everyone to enjoy. During my time in Dubai it was great to see horses like Roses in May, Curlin and Gloria de Campeao, along with some not quite famous ones, it was so nice to see Rumpold still plodding his way around there and yes I forgave him for not winning the 2000 guineas back in his day.

So what can we look forward too this season! The usual suspects will all be there, and when I say usual suspects I am including everything from the Godolphin dominance right through to the thousands that turn up on World Cup night who wouldn't know which end of a horse to offer a polo mint.

Lets look at the racing itself, who do you follow? Well because it is such a short season there is not a lot of depth in the stats. Trainer Brendan Powell has a very profitable 40% strike rate and runs two horses in this meeting tomorrow, the next best is Jeremy Gask who has a profitable strike rate of 27%, sadly his horse Medicean Man has scoped badly this morning and is now a non runner. finally that brings us on to Saeed Bin Suroor (Godolphin) who has a profitable 19% strike rate and has entered 6 horses at the meeting tomorrow.

If your looking for a jockey who has proven profitable to follow you could look at Jamie Spencer, he has 4 very nice looking rides at the meeting.

Selections:

Af Mathmoon
My Catch
Green Door
Faulkner
Hasanour
One Man Band
Dark Emerald


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's Been Emotional ....

Well if I'm honest I will be glad to see the back of 2015, not that it's been a disaster or anything but it was hard to sling a double six on pretty much anything I tried to get off the ground this year.

Wealth wise: despite some good ideas nothing materialised except the trip out to Bahrain.

Health wise: the shoulder injury came back.

The highlight of the year was spending some time with my son Tom in Sweden, he took part in the Gothia Youth World Cup in the summer.

It was great to catch up with my old friend Richard Bailey in the spring, had not seen him for over ten years, it was nice to see one of my sisters in the autumn, it had been a while since I had seen her.

Looking forward tomorrow is Christmas Eve, my eldest daughter is back from London and I am really looking forward to the next three days of festive celebrations. Then roll on 2016.

My New Years resolution is to stop putting things in the wrong place, you know things like my keys in the fridge, the dogs lead up a tree and my faith in other people.

Yep I am up for a change in the new year ... But that's another week or so away.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays everyone.








Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A man's got to know his limitations.

I have to say that there is not much on television these days to get excited about but I really did enjoy the BBC 2 series 'Ultimate Hell Week'

Basically they took a group of would be recruits (29 in total from all walks of life) and put them through a grueling training program with several instructors from elite special forces units, it was always going to be tough from day one, and some of the challenges were just to brutal that six candidates had dropped out by nightfall.

Now in my youth I was always up for the doing a challenge, strong man competitions, charity runs, Arm Wrestling. I even took part in a charity bed push from Mansfield Town Center to Newstead Abbey and back, and always watched programs like 'Superstars and Gladiators that were very popular.

Brain Jacks achieved more national fame for winning the Superstars then he did for being the first person from Britain to ever win an Olympic medal in Judo.



The spit and sawdust Suprstars was replaced by the lights, camera, action Gladiators that ran for eight seasons and names like The Wolf, Saracen, Jet, and Lightning became household names and celebrities.


Yeah, I used to watch all those programs and say "I could do all that" I have never been one to turn down a challenge although I think the last one I did was swim around the Burg Al Arab in Dubai.

But lets get back to this Ultimate Hell Week, because I thought Ninja Warrior had raised the bar until I watched this, this stuff was a whole new ball game that consisted of hooded interrogation, sleep deprivation then digging a three ton vehicle out of a mud pit and push it 200m up a hill, then being woken in the middle of the night and put through a punishing night of stress positions only to be then dropped in the middle of the Welsh country side and chased by a hunter force.

One by one the instructors broke the recruits down to a final three for selection before they announced the winner, and I am in full agreement with there choice.

32 year old Dr Clare Miller, Yep a female who has my 100% respect. She delivered in a process that saw male male competitors drop out because they could not take the pace, and was determined to prove that women are not the weaker sex.



She was tough and could analyse problems in high stress situations, which is something that the Special Forces do.

Everything she did was executed with precision.



While I was watching this program something changed for me, probably during the episode with the Israeli’s elite counter terror unit or if not that one definitely the Russian special forces episode. And that was that I said to myself yeah, maybe in my youth I could have competed in Superstars and Gladiators, but on the best day ever got out of bed I could not do what she did.

Taking a quote from the 1973 film Magnum Force which was the well known the sequel to Dirty Harry in which Clint Eastwood as San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan says ...

A man's got to know his limitations.















R E S P E C T







Wednesday, September 9, 2015

'I have finished.'

So, long story cut short the old shoulder injury shows up with his pal pain, they give me grief and so I decide well, maybe it would be a good idea to take a day off from my 'Knuckle Duster' training routine.

So I did, but the very next day they show up again, so I decide to take a week off, first day back 'Ouch, Ouch and double Ouch.

Hey, you know what, I will take a month off, It was great, I chilled out, went over to Gothenburg in Sweden, got sun burnt, came home started training and back came the shoulder pain.

Should I take a year off.... No Way, I guess what ever it is I have wrong with my shoulder nothing short of surgery is going to sort it out, I have had more than my fair share of physiotherapy with several physiotherapists over the last few years and now I simply have to find something else I can do as an exercise that does not give me grief.

So, I dug out my old Nike trainers and my hoody (hooded sweatshirt) and set off to get a few miles in. I diden't get far. Can having a little over a month off from training set you back that much?

I needed a plan. I needed to something to get me motivated, In my head I still think I am half the age I really am.

I found my old hand held Boxing timer and decided to set it for twelve three minutes rounds with a 30 seconds rest in between. Now if I was boxing this would go ding ding and I would spar for three minutes and at the bell would sit and rest for 30 seconds until the ding ding rang again and up I would get.




However, I'm not Boxing, I am using the timer to get me back into running, the reason I am sharing it with others is to tell and show you how anyone can get started, you don't need a Boxing timer, most of today's smart phones have a function like a stop watch in them.

Let me share with you my get back into running plan.

With my timer set at three minutes I would set off toward the dunes ... WALKING FOR THREE MINUTES ... YES WALKING. When the bell rang after three minutes walking I would then run the 30 seconds in between the round time until the bell went again, then I would walk for three minutes (This is also known as active rest)

I would repeat this process of three minutes walking and 30 seconds running for twelve rounds (twelve cycles) Now unlike my first run back this was easy, to easy. But I decided this was what I was going to do every day for the next five days, Monday to Friday, if day one was easy I can tell you that every other day got easier.

I was out and about, getting fresh air, getting some blood flowing around the body and I came back home feeling great and more importantly feeling like I could do more.

That's the trick. People start off trying to do to much and just end up giving in to soon. Habits don't change over night. You mindset and you body have to do it together.

So lets fast forward this a little from the one I made earlier to just now.

My week 1 started off with three minutes walking, 30 seconds running for a total of twelve cycles.

Week 2: Three minutes walking, one minutes running for a total of twelve cycles.
Week 3: Two minutes walking, 30 seconds running for a total of twelve cycles.
Week 4: Two minutes walking, one minute running for a total of twelve cycles.
Week 5: One minute walking, Two minutes running for a total of twelve cycles.
Week 6: One minute walking, three minutes running for a total of twelve cycles.
Week 7: 30 seconds walking, Two minutes running for a total of twelve cycles.
Week 8: 30 second walking, Three minutes running for a total of twelve cycles.




I can honestly say that at every stage I felt that I could do more.

Now I am looking forward to running 5K next week at this event.

www.vredesloop.com

And it doesn't matter whether I come in first, in the middle, or plumb last. I can say, 'I have finished.'

And I speak from past experience when I tell you there is a lot of satisfaction in that.