On the show this week is Matt Cosgriff who has been in the betting industry all his life, involved in both on-course and corporate bookmaking as well as a stint as a Senior Trader across all three codes at Betfair. That’s a good background to discuss the pro’s and cons of various aspects of form analysis and staking as we continue this podcast series.

Punting Insights:

  • The types of races he tends to focus on
  • Matt’s thoughts on trainers and jockeys
  • The only time when he takes much notice of weights
  • How he uses sectionals including bonuses for slowly run races
  • Money management from a bookmaking and punting perspective.

Apologies for the audio quality on this episode. There is no transcription available this week.

Today’s Guest: Matt Cosgriff – Ladbrokes.

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Weekend Racing Reviews

by darryn on August 23, 2015

Moonee Valley review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Quest Moonee Valley Plate (1200m)

1st Strykum – Ben Melham

2nd Just One Moment – Dwayne Dunn

3rd Sebring Sally – Damien Oliver

Catch A Fire eased from the outside gate to settle last. Strykum held them out and Young Amazon made Just One Moment do a bit of work before she let her go. Effortless Miss held the box seat. Sistine Spirit was in the clear around Sebring Sally. Strykum had them bunched right up in the middle stages and travelled easily, putting Just One Moment under a bit of pressure. Runs came from the back from Grey Street and Catch A Fire was weaving through from the back. Strykum kicked around the turn and got away from Just One Moment and Sebring Sally got into the clear to run on. Catch A Fire was still working her way through and Grey Street’s run was coming to an end. Strykum was never in danger the way the race was run and she cruised in. Just One Moment just held second with Sebring Sally and Catch A Fire hitting the line together very close up.

Follow: Catch A Fire was up against it the way the race was run but caught the eye.

Race 2: Simpson Construction Handicap (1600m)

1st Strong Hand – Craig Williams

2nd Leveraction – Jess Payne

3rd Rainbow Storm – John Allen

Leveraction wanted the lead and found it over Magnatune and Strong Hand was up there too. Ustinov’s Fury was crowded a bit on the fence inside Rainbow Storm also over racing. Scherzoso made it up to three back on the rails after a fair start with Gerontius and So Does He caught three wide. Leveraction ran along midrace and opened about three lengths on Strong Hand getting past Magnatune. So Does He couldn’t get in and kept moving forward with Rainbow Storm just ahead of him, Schersozo was shuffled back to near last at the 600m. Strong Hand was being urged along to chase Leveraction nearing the turn and was seemingly not making an impact. So Does He made it to third but hard pressed around Rainbow Storm and Magnatune, also pressured. Schersozo was second last on the fence. Strong Hand levelled up with Leveraction at the 200m and they raced right away from Rainbow Storm holding down third. Strong Hand just did enough to worry Leveraction out of it to make it four straight. Rainbow Storm ran an improved race second-up while Gerontius and Magnatune were next. Schersozo got out way too late and his run should be forgiven.

Follow: stick with Schersozo.

Race 3: SAJ Fruit Supply Handicap (2040m)

1st Shenzhou Steeds – Ben Melham

2nd Temps Voleur – Jye McNeil

3rd Prizum – Craig Williams

Count Of Limonade fired up from wide out and pushed for the lead, Temps Voleur and Vizhaka help him honest and Shenzhou Steeds landed in fourth. Honourable Aussie and Prizum were the next pair and Try Four stuck three wide. Albonetti was sent straight back to last. Count Of Limonade opened right up and led by some eight lengths down the back. Temps Voleur and Vizhaka were left to cart the field up and Shenzhou Steeds waited on the fence. Try Four was gone at the 600m and Albonetti tried to get around him and make some ground but was hard at it. Count Of Limonade was a spent force near the turn but still led by a couple, Temps Voleur was closing but ran in a little and Shenzhou Steeds was slightly hampered. Vizhaka was gone and Prizum pushed him out of the way to get clear. Albonetti was widest. Temps Voleur hit the lead past the 200m but he was also looking for the post as Shenzhou Steeds, Prizum and Albonetti ran on. In a tight finish Temps Voleur just held on over Shenzhou Steeds, but the stewards reversed the placings following a protest. A bit controversial, there wasn’t much in it and the tiring leader was a contributor. Prizum did his thing running a place and Albonetti a shade disappointing given the strong pace but still a good effort.

Follow: one more try Albonetti.

Race 4: Dr Sheahan Plate (1200m)

1st Tawteen – Stephen Baster

2nd Pilly’s Wish – Damien Oliver

3rd Catch That Cat – Damian Lane

Tawteen broke okay and was taken on for the lead by Written Dash out wide but she held her out. Cobblestones was between them and Catch That Cat took a trail. Forgeress was caught wide and hard ridden a long way from home in the second half around Pilly’s Wish and Flash Of Doubt while Precious Gem trailed them. Tawteen was able to get control as Written Dash sat up to her outside. Catch That Cat was going well behind the leader while Forgeress was going backwards before the turn. Tawteen broke away on turning and opened up a few lengths on Catch That Cat under pressure, Precious Gem tried to sweep home out wide and Pilly’s Wish was getting through on the rails. Tawteen ran to the line untroubled and was too good for them. Pilly’s Wish arrived in time to cut Catch That Cat out of second and Precious Gem was excellent first-up right alongside. Forgeress got going again in the straight in a strange run and was only beaten a few lengths. They basically handed it to the winner who was the best horse in the race.

Follow: Precious Gem a promising fresh effort.

Race 5: Benchmark 90 Handicap (1200m)

1st Churchill Dancer – Michael Walker

2nd Sardaaj – Dwayne Dunn

3rd Solsay – Jake Bayliss

A heap of early pressure with Living On A Prayer wide out and Just For Starters trying to cross Solsay, Valiant Warrior and Churchill Dancer. A couple to Mighty Like three wide around Sardaaj and Stingray improving after a slow start. Just For Starters eventually made it to the fence over Valiant Warrior, while Living On A Prayer was left stranded. Churchill Dancer had the gun run and managed to slip up on the inside of Just For Starters near the turn to take over. Solsay followed him while Sardaaj became held up between Solsay and Living On A Prayer and behind a weakening Valiant Warrior. Mighty Like didn’t help her cause slipping up wider out. Churchill Dancer bounded clear around the turn and was home and hosed 200m out. Solsay and Just For Starters were staying on while Valiant Warrior and Mighty Like battled, Sardaaj didn’t get clear until 100m out and she flashed home into second place from Solsay and Just For Starters, the latter doing not a bad job considering and Stingray close up. Forgive Mighty Like and wait for him at 1400m. Churchill Dancer very impressive on the back of a nice first-up run and he goes even better at Flemington. Sardaaj should have finished a lot closer first-up.

Follow: Sardaaj looks very handy.

Race 6: McKenzie Stakes (1200m)

1st Well Sprung – Michael Walker

2nd Danuki – Mark Zahra

3rd Odyssey Moon – Damien Oliver

Boston Light was last out then improved to about midfield on the fence. Well Sprung and Danuki crossed to lead pretty easily from Vicious around Gold Busker, who got his head up and over raced behind the speed. Odyssey Moon found himself three wide without cover and no hope of getting in. El Greco was in that bunch around Boston Light. Well Sprung had them stacked up with Danuki still on his outside while Odyssey Moon strode up to third. All the chasers were put under pressure when Well Sprung upped the tempo nearing the turn. Danuki was sticking with him while Odyssey Moon also stayed on after his wide run. Gold Busker and Vicious couldn’t pick up and El Greco peeled out to try to run on. Behind them Boston Light had nowhere to go. Well Sprung held them all at bay and was strong on the line beating Danuki. Odyssey Moon just beat El Greco for third in a good effort and Boston Light had no luck another length or so away. Don’t write off Manhattan Blues on his first-up effort, he worked home nicely when the race was all over.

Follow: could be a good form race, Odyssey Moon, Boston Light and Manhattan Blues.

Race 7: Carlyon Stakes (1000m)

1st Le Bonsir – Damien Oliver

2nd Just Magical – Michael Walker

3rd Il Cavallo – Dwayne Dunn

Our Nkwazi bombed the start. Up front there was a line of three with Sweet Emily kicking up inside Il Cavallo and She’s Ellie three out. Tansy had the box seat with Just Magical and Gregers three deep with over. Eclair Choice wasn’t the best out but made it to midfield on the fence, Le Bonsir outside him. Sweet Emily broke away 400m out but was being pushed along, Il Cavallo still travelled okay while She’s Ellie dropped off. Just Magical worked into the clear on the turn while Tansy waited and Gregers pulled out to try and make ground. Eclair Choice was held up and Le Bonsir got a dream run through behind Just Magical who hit the lead inside the 200m. Le Bonsir sprinted quickly to join Just Magical in the closing stages and finished the race off a little too well. Il Cavallo scrambled into third from the fast finishing Klishina and the luckless Eclair Choice. Gregers seemed to have her chance behind them. Fast Cash was never in the call but did pick up a bit of late ground, probably burnt off at the 1000m fresh.

Follow: Eclair Choice can be forgiven.

Race 8: Sweeney Estate Agents (1500m)

1st The United States – Damian Lane

2nd Abbasso – Damien Oliver

3rd Letmedowngently – Christine Puls

Supreme Warrior had a flying start and had the early lead until Letmedowngently headed him at the first turn. Volontiers and Upbeat let them go. Kenjorwood couldn’t get up on the speed and wast stuck three deep around Abbasso and Almoonqith about midfield. Letmedowngently took control and Kenjorwood whipped up to sit second, giving cover to Supreme Warrior around Upbeat. Somehow Volontiers ended up three wide in that shuffling and Abbasso remained held up in the middle. Kenjorwood tried to serve it up to Letmedowngently coming to the turn but the leader had a kick. Almoonqith ran up behind the leader, Abbasso worked into the clear off Kenjorwood’s heels, Supreme Warrior was just starting to paddle and down the outside came The United States. Abbasso was being hailed the winner at the 50m as he joined Letmedowngently, Kenjorwood tried to rally but The United States swamped them in the last few strides for a stunning first-up win. Just behind them Almoonqith wasn’t a bad effort either. Every chance Abbasso and Letmedowngently was game again.

Follow: The United States showed promise last year before going amiss and looks to have come back better.

Race 9: ADAPT Australia Handicap (2500m)

1st Sir Mako – Craig Newitt

2nd Kareeming – Patrick Moloney

3rd Reigning – Damien Oliver

Miss Mossman worked to the front over Westsouthwest with Reigning not far off without cover. Sir Laszlo and Kareeming were the next pair, the latter getting into a nice spot off his wide gate. Back To Abeline and You Think So followed and At First Sight was around midfield. Reigning was taken to the front about half way home over Miss Mossman with Westsouthwest getting a nice run, as was Kareeming a couple away. Not a lot of change down to the 600m though they did start to bunch a little. Reigning had the better of Miss Mossman at that point, Kareeming peeled out three wide to chase and Westsouthwest waited. Sir Laszlo and You Think So were hard at it, At First Sight tried to run on wider out and next was Sir Mako stealing runs on the rail. Kareeming got to Reigning about 100m out with Westsouthwest one paced on the rail. Sir Make got around their heels to run on clear of Sir Laszlo and At First Sight. Sir Mako finished best, in a sharp improvement on his last run in a similar race, to blouse Kareeming and Reigning with Westsouthwest close up on the fence. At First Sight didn’t back up.

Follow: hard to follow the staying form in this class.

Specials from the meeting: Catch A Fire, Sardaaj, Odyssey Moon, The United States.

=========================

Randwick Review by Todd Burmester

Race 1
1st Shards – James McDonald
2nd Voilier – Blake Shinn
3rd Sebring Sun – Hugh Bowman
When they got going in the first Inner Circle was first out but Voilier was racing it on the inside for the early lead and the pace was good. Sebring Sun was sent out a short priced favourite and didn’t begin well and went back to last, giving up a good start. Eventually Inner Circle crossed and put up a good lead in front. Shards got a good run in third, just smoking its pipe. Around the turn Inner Circle still had a good lead, but as they topped the rise, Voilier was heading out after it. It hit the front inside the furlong, and then Voilier was next to challenge with Sebring Sun coming home hard from the back. In the last 50m I like the way Shards dug in and came away on the line. This looked like a win of a horse who will improve further. Realistically, the first four home all went fairly well here and it could be a good form race.
Follow: Good form race, the first four can win races, the winner will improve.
Race 2
1st Amicus – Hugh Bowman
2nd Echo Gal – Tim Clark
3rd Wine Tales – James McDonald
In the second, Two Blue was the first out, with Il Mio Destino going up to join it in the lead. Echo Gal took a nice sit in third spot. Mid race Il Mio Destino went clear in front and Echo Gal came off the fence around Two Blue. In the straight, Echo Gal was the first to put in a sprint for victory, as Amicus looked to wind up down the outside and Wine Tales was caught in the pinball machine in the middle looking for runs and having something to offer. In the run to the line, the class prevailed and Amicus wore down Echo gal. Wine Tales was out late and made ground, but it was all too late. Wine Tales was the “unlucky” story of the race, but such can be the case with horses that get back and run on.
Follow: Wine Tales unlucky, but be mindful of racing pattern.
Race 3
1st Fell Swoop – Blake Shinn
2nd Music Magnate – Brenton Avdulla
3rd Grand Condor – Serg Lisnyy
Lucky Meteor and Straturbo set up a decent pace in front here. Grand Condor initially showed pace and the eased into a trailing position. Whilst All that was going on, Blake Shinn would have been chuckling as he was able to put Fell Swoop straight in behind them getting a lovely run from the get go. In the straight this race was a case of Fell Swoop being an above average horse, and having been given an above average ride. He sprinted very well and the issue was fairly painless for anyone who took the shorts. The last 600m was easily the best of the day in 33.66, which you would expect, but getting down that low is still a very good effort. Music Magnate ran very well in second and is one to follow. The rest were just runs.
Follow: Fell Swoop a good horse, Music Magnate unlucky to run into it.
Race 4
1st Speak Fondly – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Kimberley Star – Tim Clark
3rd Lake Geneva – Tommy Berry
The Silver Shadow for the fillies was race four, and Kangarilla Joy began brilliantly and went to an early lead, but Speak Fondly was allowed to get into its stride and go forward on the fence to take it up as many would have expected. Lake Geneva and Fireworks got nice trails in third and fourth. Kimberley Star who brought good form into the race went back to last with Italy. Around the turn and up the rise they all were going ok, but none better than Speak Fondly who had not been let go. McEvoy started to give her a push just before the furlong pole and she found some more as Kimberley Star mounted a challenge down the outside. In the run to the line, Speak Fondly held Kimberley Star easily, but it was a decent effort from the second horse to run away from the rest of the field. The last 600m here was 34.04, which highlights the effort of the second horse, and shows that it was a well judged ride in front by McEvoy.
Follow: Kimberley Star
Race 5
1st Forget – Blake Shinn
2nd Bold Circle – Glen Boss
3rd Kurtley – Samantha Clenton
It was a bit of a patchy start in the fifth, but when they settled, Himalaya Dream took up the running from Marseille Roulette. El Sasso and Kurtley dropped into nice trailing positions in third and fourth. Around the turn and up the rise they were all over the place with El Sasso making its run along with Kurtley and Bring A Ring. Down the outside, Bold Circle and Forget were winding up, and soon after they looked the two to fight it out. They had a good tussle, with Forget getting the nod on the line. Spy Decoder finished off ok from well back. Sasenkile was first up in this event and put in a very pleasing effort to show that it will be on track when the distances increase.
Follow: Sasenkile is set for a good prep.  Bold Circle had betting support, where there’s smoke?
Race 6
1st Royal Descent – Hugh Bowman
2nd Pornichet – Blake Shinn
3rd Messene – Jay Ford
The big one of the day was The Warwick Stakes, with Kermadec going straight back to the rear. Zaratone did as it does and went to the front with Pornichet going up on its outside into second.Messene got a nice run in third as did Royal Descent in fourth. After going back early, Kermadec found itseld in a midfield spot on the fence, which was a pretty handy piece of riding. The lowlight of the race was Burbero breaking down on the point of the home turn, this took Complacent off the track also. Inside the 300m, Pornichet layed it down to Zaratone and Royal Descent was looming on the outside. In the run to the line, Royal Descent made use of the good run it had in the race, to break its winning drought. Pornichet will improve off the back of this, and Messene may be coming back into form. Plenty were talking up the effort of Kermadec, which was a good run, but I wouldn’t be getting overly carried away given Moriarty also worked home from the back and wasn’t that far behind it on the line.
Follow: Pornichet
Race 7
1st Decision Time – Christian Reith
2nd Boss Lane – Tim Clark
3rd Vashka – Tommy Berry
Countryman was out quickly in race seven, as was Boss Lane and Decision Time. Decision Time took it up when they sorted themselves out, with Vashka in second and Boss Lane in third on the outside. Countryman settled back behind them outside of Heart Testa. When they spun the bend they all looked to travel well, with nobody getting too anxious. Decision Time gave a kick early in the straight, but looked like it would be run over at the furlong as Heart Testa came off the fence, Vashka was extending as was Boss Lane. As it turned out, Decision Time kept bobbing in the run to the line and got the money. Vashka will improve for the run. Out of the placings, Aomen made up plenty of ground in the run to the line.
Follow: Vashka
Race 8
1st Loophole – Jim Cassidy
2nd Artibai – Brenton Avdulla
3rd Scottish Border – Kerrin McEvoy
The last event extended out to the 2000m and when they settled it was Tradtri in front. In the back straight Zayam went around them to be second on the outside with Chastened getting a good run on the fence in third. The pace looked genuine as the field strung out. Loophole had a nice run, one out and one back. Up the rise, Tradtri still had the front but Loophole ambled up pretty easily and “The Pumper” had a confident look around before he went for home. As that was going on, Artibai was in traffic looking for a run, and by the time he got out, the bird had flown. Cassidy rode hard on the winner in the final part and he was holding Artibai in the run to the line. Scottish Border and Dream Folk put in decent efforts in third and fourth respectively.
Follow: Artibai
Specials from the meeting: Shards, Kimberley Star

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Our Melbourne metro ratings analyst is this week’s guest on our For and Against podcast series, where we get the lowdown from professional punters on how they go about winning long-term.

Andrew explains how how he approaches form analysis:

  • Database vs. instinct and experience
  • On-speed vs. backmarkers
  • Big vs. small markets
  • Specialising vs. diversifying

And also how he then manages his betting strategy:

  • Level vs. proportionate staking
  • Standard bet size vs. confidence levels
  • Market intelligence vs market ignorance
  • Early vs late betting
  • Favourites vs long shots
  • Each way (or place only) vs straight out
  • Static vs dynamic banks
  • Profit on Turnover % vs Profit only

Today’s Guest:
Andrew Hannan

>> Click here to read the transcript

Dave Duffield: Nice to have you on the show once again and it’s another part of our series called “For and Against” just celebrating the differences but also the similarities amongst the professionals and how they go about it so I have a whole bunch of questions for you.

Andrew Hannan: Yep, Let’s fire away.

Dave Duffield: On the form side of things, you’ve got some people that are heavily relying on their database and you’ve got other people that are more videos and gut instinct. Which side of the fence would you be on?

Andrew Hannan: If I have to put myself on one side of the fence, I’d definitely be data driven but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all I’m about. The database factors in all variables that can be quantified. Some of them can be subjectively quantified as well, just along with the data. Yeah. We certainly factor in both but on either side of the table we just make sure we’re able to quantify it.

Dave Duffield: I think we mentioned this last time we were on but in terms of the database that you use and how there’s an output of the right prices, you might tinker with the inputs at times on an overall level, but the actual output race by race you don’t touch, do you?

Andrew Hannan: Yes. That’s correct. It can be dangerous when you’re subjectively tinkering with something that took a long time to construct. We tend to not do that at all.

Dave Duffield: Being data driven in a lot of ways, you mentioned that you try and quantify the subjective factors (if that’s not a contradiction, I’m not sure) but if you’re talking about track bias when you’re reviewing the media and things like that, how do you actually put that in numbers?

Andrew Hannan: Well, we have without trying to go too specific, we have certain rules that we like to follow. It’s probably more subjectively quantifying more with the videos so most people who do watch videos without really thinking about it do quantify it in a way because they do it framing their markets and with what process they like to take the certain horses, etc. but yeah with certain factors like videos and things like that we do have certain rules in what we do see in the video and it’s able to be quantified and therefore the database can read it and interpret it so that’s why we like to do it that way.

Dave Duffield: What about the coverage or the focus that you have? Are you one of those kind of grind away, bet every race every day or are you just focusing on a few?

Andrew Hannan: Well, the database covers all of Australia and Hong Kong so we do have the capability and we do frame markets for all of those races, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we bet in all of them. Basically, we bet mainly in the races that our markets are different to the public’s and it doesn’t really matter where they are, we’re happy to obtain overlays anyway we’re happy to do it so yeah.
When you have the luxury of having a database, you are able to, I guess, diversify your areas of races that you’re able to cover. But if you’re mainly a form person who goes with your gut feel and likes to get the knowledge of the horses and do it sort of more manually, then it is very difficult, particularly in Australia to cover all jurisdictions and that’s why you find most of them will just be in one state. We’re lucky enough that we’re able to cover all bases around the country.

Dave Duffield: What about speed maps? I know you place a lot of importance in them and you know where the horses are first up, up in distance, down and distance and all that type of thing. Where do you find value based on doing those speed maps?

Andrew Hannan: It’s a good question, David. I wouldn’t say the value’s completely gone, but you’ve got to be very careful of speed maps because the speed maps are so well, it’s a general tool for the everyday punter these days. They are put out days before the race is actually run so there’s plenty of people who are able to look at them and interpret them and then particularly jockeys and trainers because they’re continually talked about for days prior to the race you can see the opposite occur and that can really affect the probabilities of the race that you’ve produced.
You do have to be very careful. Of course, you need to know where the horses you’re backing were settling and again quantify the advantages or disadvantages to that but the value has certainly gone away in the last few years since they’ve come into the more general public.

Dave Duffield: A few years ago if you had a race where you were pretty certain there was going to be no speed it’s going to favor the on pacers or just off that speed, are you finding that nowadays because it’s so mainstream that all the trainers and jockeys see that and there can be a bit of a turnaround and then the pace might be right on?

Andrew Hannan: Well, yes that’s right. Sometimes it means that horses will be run out of their pattern, which means their chances are basically over there and then sometimes it can affect your predicted pace ratings and yeah, the way that you think the race will be won. That’s why you’ve got to be careful, I think the trainers these days are getting better and better at doing change of tactics notifications and that’s obviously very important and we like to get those and interpret them and tinker our markets if we have to. Yeah, as you said, certainly the value generally speaking has diminished significantly with the speed maps.

Dave Duffield: Speaking of trainers and jockeys, how do you incorporate those into your markets and are you more looking at their winning strike rates or is it profitability in terms of what the market expects as to what actually occurs?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, it’s certainly more profitability. We have trainer and jockey ratings and they have an objective input into them, which is basically the profitability or the strike rate etc, then we also have a subjective part of it, which is our interpretation of a jockey’s flair, strengths, initiative, etc. that’s all based on recency and continually updated.

Dave Duffield: What about barriers? How do you treat those and also does that vary dramatically from track to track?

Andrew Hannan: Probably not so much from track to track but race to race. We were talking about the speed maps, the speed maps are probably a lot more important than the actual barrier so having a wide barrier, inside barrier can be a disadvantage or an advantage but in a different race it could be the opposite so you’ve got to be very careful of just backing horses just because they’re in a certain barrier position. It’s dangerous to bet on a horse just because it’s got one positive variable. We’re probably more focused on the pace rating we have on the race and the speed map more than the barriers.

Dave Duffield: Are you a believer in weights?

Andrew Hannan: Yes. Well, handicapping is obviously an integral part of doing form analysis. Weight is a very general discussion. You can be talking about comparable weights or the weights the horses are carrying, A, B, B. It is a very general discussion, go on for a while, but it’s the last input into our database because each horse that we have produces a predictive rating and those predictive ratings then obviously make our market and the market is based upon the weight that each horse carries. Horse A has the same predictive rating than Horse B, but Horse A is carrying three kilos more, should have had the same rated price as B? No, so that’s why it’s our last input there.

Dave Duffield: What about trials and jump-outs? I know you look at those and also first uppers but how does a quant model in a lot of respects incorporate that into what you do?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, we certainly do look at them. As you said it is more tricky than obviously a race, because you’re not sure about the energy exertion that a horse is showing or the weight that it’s carrying or the gear, etc. so it can be a lot harder. We certainly do look at them and have comments on them and with the jump outs as well now in Melbourne, which is handy.
Yeah, we certainly do look at them but it’s not a major input if we’re honest because we find the markets are pretty switched on with interpreting those trials and jump outs and it’s generally reflected in the markets.

Dave Duffield: Sectional times. I know you use them and everyone uses them to some extent but how important are they to you?

Andrew Hannan: No, they’re very important, David. It’s obviously we produce time ratings and that’s part of it obviously has to do with sectional times and they’re also very important in our review of races and important with track bosses and lanes, etc. so yeah. Just like any other professional punter, it’s an important input into your analysis.

Dave Duffield: We’re almost out of the depths of winter, but how do you handle betting on wet tracks?

Andrew Hannan: Generally speaking, we do like them because the markets do go sort of a bit crazy and the fluctuations seem to be a lot more extreme than they do on the dry tracks. People sort of go into panic mode and the markets go into free fall so there can be good advantages to come from that. In saying that, you need to heavily respect market fluctuations more, particularly the drifters you’ll find if a horse is drifting significantly you can almost guarantee that it’s not going to run to its predicted performance.
Yeah, we do love betting on them. We like to think our markets a lot more accurate than the public’s in the winters, but yeah. You do have to be careful and tread wearily.

Dave Duffield: What about breeding? Whether it’s wet tracks or even firm tracks, does that ever come into your thinking?

Andrew Hannan: No, we don’t factor in breeding. I guess it’s something that’s pretty difficult to quantify so that’s something that we don’t factor in at all.

Dave Duffield: In terms of your focus, do you prefer softer markets like provincial and country where you might have a bigger edge but more than likely, less liquidity, or do you prefer playing against the big boys at the metro meetings?

Andrew Hannan: I guess for us there’s advantages to both. With the bigger meetings we find our ratings to be a lot more accurate, they predict the outcome of those races a little more accurately compared to the country meets. But in saying that the market’s a lot more efficient which means that it can be a lot more harder to find overlays. In the country we certainly do find more overlays than we’re … We actually find that we’re betting a little bit more in the country meetings, but it can be less predictable therefore the profit on turnover can be less compared to the Metropolitan meetings. Just like any racing fan, I enjoy watching the big races and the spring carnival and the autumn carnival and yeah, we find out our win rate, our return rate is a lot more higher in the Metro.

Dave Duffield: We’ll move on to betting, staking, money management. Have you ever been a level stakes punter?

Andrew Hannan: No, definitely not.

Dave Duffield: You might want to expand on why then.

Andrew Hannan: Well, it doesn’t really make sense, does it? I think you don’t really have to be a gifted mathematician to understand that putting the same amount on a horse that’s two dollars compared to ten dollars doesn’t make sense. I certainly have changed my staking plan over the years and very satisfied where it is at the moment. We have a certain equation which factors in the public market and alongside using Kelly’s criterion and we’re very satisfied with that and the clients are very happy with it, so happy to continue with that staking plan.

Dave Duffield: Yeah that was going to be my next question, for each person we’ve had on this series the question is does your staking vary according to your confidence level? You might just want to explain how that works for this spreadsheet you’ve developed in this staking plan.

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, well Kelly’s criterion and people want to look it up, it’s all about taking advantage of your advantage really. Your edge is the bigger your edge you get, the more you should be betting on it. That’s reflected in our Excel sheets so the larger the overlay you’ll see that the more we’ll be backing on it and that’s because we think our markets are a lot more accurate than the public’s and I think it’s universally acknowledged by professional gamblers and mathematicians as the best way to stake your money in wagering. Yeah, we’ve been doing that for three or so years now and really reaping the benefits.

Dave Duffield: In layman’s terms if you’ve assessed something and even money chance if the market’s $2.50 you’ll have a certain bet, but if the market’s $3.50 you’ll have a much bigger bet?

Andrew Hannan: Yes, that’s right.

Dave Duffield: What about marketing intelligence? Part of the calculations on what goes on in that betting sheet incorporates a percentage of the betting market and I know that varies depends on how much exposed form you’ve got to work with, but what role does marketing intelligence play in what you do?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, it’s an integral part. I think David Walsh said in his book he wrote a whole chapter on it about the importance of the wisdom of the public and how it’s better to be a sheep than a contarian. We like to factor in some of the public market, although not as much as most larger professional gamblers because we like to think our raw markets are quite accurate in themselves but you got to be pretty ignorant to not think that you’re not factoring absolutely everything into your markets and by taking a slice of the public market and connecting it to your own market, it does increase the confidence that you have when you go to put your bets on.

Dave Duffield: Bet timing. Some people want to chip away at what they consider the early overs whether that’s early in the week or early in the day. Then you’ve got others that bet late once some of that market intelligence is known. How do you approach it?

Andrew Hannan: Generally speaking, we like to bet late because particularly on the exchange, you do gather a lot of valuable information in that last five minutes or so, which you couldn’t have got beforehand and that’s because a lot of the smart money is in that last five minutes. Yeah, if you can bet quite late, you can sort of read the play in what the exchange is doing and gather some very valuable information and as I said, because we’re factoring in the public processes into our markets, it also makes that side of our markets a lot more efficient, which is beneficial.

Dave Duffield: Do you find that you’re generally backing horses that are hard in the market or long shots?

Andrew Hannan: It does vary. We do find our markets to be reasonably similar to the public’s, generally speaking. We obviously like to focus more on the top end of the market. We do find most of our betting is on that side but as I said, every race is different and very jurisdiction is different so I really wouldn’t want to generally say what side of the market that we’re on.

Dave Duffield: Do you ever bet each way or place only?

Andrew Hannan: Very rarely. The place market has to be taken as a different beast to the win market and not all horses should be divided evenly from their win rated price. A horse that’s had ten wins and three placings shouldn’t be the same place prices one that’s had ten wins and no placings. It’s a completely different algorithm to the win market. You need to really take it as a different market. If you’re betting horses for the win and horses for the place, it can affect your book a bit. Ninety-nine percent of the time we tend to just stick with the win pools.

Dave Duffield: When do you bet exotics and on those occasions that you do bet exotics, are you staking them a certain way or really just boxing them together?

Andrew Hannan: We do stake them a certain way. It’s from some other staking models that I’ve read in academic papers in the past. We tend to bet exotics really when we find there could be stronger overlays in the quinella and trifecta markets compared to the win markets. That’s quite rare but it does happen every now and then and yeah, that’s how we like to play it.

Dave Duffield: What about the futures or pre-post betting? Do you ever dabble in Cups betting round about now?

Andrew Hannan: Yes, we do. We do enjoy looking at the future’s markets of last year backing Fawkner at $35 in the Cox Plate to see it come 2nd was a bit brutal to see it come second….

Dave Duffield: There’s more to that story right – you backed it again on the day?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah it was an overlay on the day again so we had quite a bit on it and to Adelaide the deserving winner come down to the outside brought a tear to my eye but we’ve got to move on.

Dave Duffield: No laying back for you.

Andrew Hannan: That’s right. In a couple weeks or so, we do look at all the major races in the spring and enjoy doing some futures analysis and sending it to our clients and yeah, we’ll certainly be doing that again this spring, hopefully we can get the Cox Plate winner this year.

Dave Duffield: That’d be nice. In terms of bankroll management, we’ve had people on who basically never change their unit size and then there’s others that change it race by race and then some in the middle. What’s your approach?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, we change our bank after every race so it’s very dynamic. I guess Kelly’s criterion is based upon betting to a certain percentage of your bank. Our bank automatically updates after every race and it sort of just makes sense to do that. Some people like to if they have a win just keep their bank the same size but I particularly don’t recommend people who their bank goes down but they keep it at the size that it was beforehand and there’s no point doing that because it doesn’t make sense to bet a certain percentage of the bank that you actually don’t have.

Dave Duffield: So with that dynamic bank you can never go bust but at the same time if you were to lose half your bank you need to double just to get back where you were. Have you gone through a significant drawdown and been able to recover okay from it?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, we’ve been pretty lucky. I’m only still quite young so I haven’t had as much time in the betting game compared to others that we haven’t had a significant loss, but I guess that’s how the formula works so until we get to that point we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Dave Duffield: Hopefully you never do, but most people go through something like that. What about measuring your success? Obviously, it’s dollars in the bank, but profit on turnover is a common metric. Are you more focused on POT as a percentage or just your bottom line at the end of the day?

Andrew Hannan: Well, we certainly look at both. Profit on turnover is probably an important one for us. You’ll find due to (a) most professionals not being able to get on and (b) the market’s being more efficient than they’ve ever been that more professionals have to lower their POT and then increase their turnover. So turnover more money to try and gain the same amount of profit. We’re pretty lucky. We haven’t really got to that point yet but sort of I guess you’ve always got to brace for it. Yeah, certainly POT is the one which we look at more importantly but at the end of the day what pays the bills and the expenses is the money that’s in the bank, isn’t it?

Dave Duffield: For sure. All right. We’ll leave it there for now Andrew and I really appreciate you coming on the show again. There’s been plenty of success since we kicked off in February and long may that continue. Good luck for a really big spring.

Andrew Hannan: Great. Thanks, David.

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Weekend Racing Review – August 15th

by Admin on August 16, 2015

Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Anzac Handicap (2000m)

1st Our Voodoo Prince – James Winks
2nd At First Sight – Damian Lane
3rd Diametric – Damien Oliver

Gingerboy was first to the fence and held them out early then handed up to Ruscello pushing on from out wide. Caravan Rolls On was up handy and the greys Freshwater Storm and Danchai raced together. Diametric raced in the clear next though did appear to go a touch hard and not settle in the middle stages. Ruscello slowed them up and Gingerboy didn’t like it, getting fired up in the box seat. They’d bunched up by the 600m and Diametric was first to pull out wide and get moving. Caravan Rolls On outside the leader was the first under pressure as Ruscello tried to sprint again. Diametric closed in quickly on the turn and he was being followed by Our Voodoo Prince and At First Sight from the back. Gingerboy was held up behind the leader and didn’t get out until the 200m. At the same time he was a bit one paced from there. Diametric hit the front at that point but was immediately challenged by Our Voodoo Prince and At First Sight and the former just got the head out on the line to score. Every chance the runner-up and Diametric may have beaten himself in the run. Danchai ran on late for fourth ahead of Gingerboy.

Follow: none, though wouldn’t surprise if At First Sight won a race soon.

Race 2: Legacy Badge Appeal Handicap (1600m)

1st Onpicalo – Michael Dee
2nd Iggimacool – Craig Williams
3rd Kesampour – Regan Bayliss

Onpicalo jumped quickly and had no trouble crossing to lead. Sino Eagle moved around her stablemate Kesampour, up handy, and Lake Sententia. That quartet were a couple clear of the other four. Streets Away raced around Pelicano, Iggimacool followed them and Baron Archer was dragged back to last. Onpicalo was allowed to do his own thing in the lead, rolling a couple of lengths clear. Sino Eagle stayed in contact but Lake Sententia was first to get a bit urgent. Onpicalo shook off Sino Eagle early in the straight clear of Kesampour, Pelicano stayed to the fence to improve and Iggimacool worked her way to the outside, eventually, but had six lengths to make up past the 300m. Onpicalo was still three in front at the 100m and it was a big enough lead to see him hold off the fast finishing Iggimacool who ran him to half a length. They spaced the rest with Kesampour holding third from Pelicano, Baron Archer and Streets Away all close up. The way the race was run it was impossible for Iggimacool to win, especially with the winner getting a picnic in front.

Follow: stick with Iggimacool.

Race 3: RSL Ramleigh Springs Handicap (1600m)

1st Dig A Pony – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Shadow Of The Mist – Michael Dee
3rd Spirit Of Heaven – Damien Oliver

Spirit Of Heaven was snagged back to last off the outside gate while the horse drawn inside her, Stylish Miss, pushed forward to take up the running. Godspiel made Stylish Miss work a bit before handing up and Distant Dreams inside Takeover watched them go a couple of lengths away. Dig A Pony settled a bit closer around midfield on the fence. Stylish Miss took control of the rider, it seems, and charged well clear in the middle stages leaving Godspiel to do the chasing. By the 600m the lead had come back to a length or so and Takeover moved up outside Godspiel to loom. Behind them Dig A Pony had worked off the fence and into the clear coming to the turn as Takeover wobbled a bit. Spirit Of Heaven tried to get on Dig A Pony’s back and Magnus Slipper and Shadow Of The Mist swung the widest. Stylish Miss was gone at the 300m and Distant Dreams came off her heels but Dig A Pony went straight past both of them. Spirit Of Heaven followed her through but was no chance of running her down while Shadow Of Mist sailed down the outside. Dig A Pony had to dig in over the last bit but she held off Shadow Of The Mist for a deserved win. Spirit Of Heaven just held third over the late closing Domino Vitale.

Follow: there still might be a win in Spirit Of Heaven.

Race 4: Beveridge Williams Plate (1100m)

1st Vezalay – Damien Oliver
2nd More Radiant – Michael Dee
3rd I’m A Flying Star – Stephen Baster

Roll The Ignition sprung out from a wide gate and tried to cross them but Vezalay gathered pace to take it up. Melting Moment settled behind them splitting Klishina and Our Harmony on the fence. More Radiant had cover in the three wide line around I’m A Flying Star and Peninsula Dane. Vezalay travelled pretty well in the lead and those immediate chasers were being tapped up to go with her. Roll The Ignition couldn’t match her while Klishina made a dash to run to second at the 200m and More Radiant came off her back. But Vezalay had a bit in hand and she had a length to spare at the line over More Radiant, who chased well fresh, and I’m A Flying Star warmed up late to grab a weakening Klishina. Of the others Soosa Rama made a bit of late ground but was outsprinted. Vezalay is a very promising type who can graduate to a bit better company this spring.

Follow: stick with Vezalay.

Race 5: Vain Stakes (1100m)

1st Gold Symphony – Glen Boss
2nd Top Me Up – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Star Planet – Craig Williams

Ragazzo Del Corsa flew out and crossed them quickly. Top Me Up let him go and sat up outside with Equinova on the fence. Braccenby and Gold Symphony were handy, the latter three deep, and Stoker pulled hard wide on the course in a bunched field. Demonstrate was in that bunch too. Ragazzo Del Corsa had slowed them right down and that saw a few runs come early with a line of four past the 600m in front. Top Me Up, Gold Symphony and Stoker all strode up to pressure the leader. Equinova waited behind them with Braccenby and Demonstrate with Star Planet four wide but with cover. Top Me Up and Gold Symphony hit the lead about 200m out as Ragazzo Del Corsa weakened. Stoker stuck on gamely while Star Planet switched off his back and hit the line strongly late. Gold Symphony was a bit stronger in the last bit and was too good. Top Me Up stuck on and Star Planet grabbed third over the luckless Stoker and Demonstrate getting through. Braccenby was also close up. Don’t be surprised if he cleans up a provincial maiden next start. Messy race, slowly run and the winner sat three wide throughout.

Follow: Stoker’s run was promising.

Race 6: Quezette Stakes (1100m)

1st Petits Filous – Damien Oliver
2nd Jalan Jalan – Chad Schofield
3rd Miss Gunpowder – Dwayne Dunn

Thurlow was taken back to last from a wide gate and Don’t Doubt Marley was back there with her. Petits Filous bounced in front of Miss Gunpowder who eventually eased to allow Take Pride to give her some cover. Misty Waters held her place on the fence. Giulietta was being pushed along in the middle stages and Our Vidia raced outside her. Jalan Jalan was back in that bunch. Petits Filous rolled along and edged away rounding the turn with Take Pride trying to stay with her. Misty Waters couldn’t sprint with them from behind the leader and Miss Gunpowder pulled out and loomed as a threat by the 200m. Decent gap to the rest of the field though Jalan Jalan and Don’t Doubt Marley were warming up. Petits Filous staved off the challenge of Miss Gunpowder, who was nailed in the last stride by Jalan Jalan flashing home late. Don’t Doubt Marley wasn’t far away and Take Pride held off the rest of the field. Winner had all the favours but is very smart.

Follow: Jalan Jalan has a good race win in her.

Race 7: PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m)

1st Mourinho – Vlad Duric
2nd The Cleaner – Noel Callow
3rd Dibayani – Damian Lane

The Cleaner broke with them and headed to the lead. Excess Knowledge followed him over and Mourinho sat up in the box seat. Dibayani found himself three wide in the early stages but did get in. Smokin’ Joey was a few lengths back between No Tricks and Taiyoo. As usual The Cleaner was waiting for nobody and he had them moving as far as 800m out. Excess Knowledge was just being niggled to keep in touch while Mourinho travelled smoothly. Smokin’ Joey started a move from the 600m getting around Dibayani and was widest on the turn. The Cleaner went for home on the turn and Mourinho came off his back, pushing Excess Knowledge out of the way. Dibayani was still there but Smokin’ Joey started to drop off. Petrology made a dash down the outside but it was short lived. The Cleaner and Mourinho settled down to fight it out over the last 100m and Mourinho narrowly denied the gutsy Tasmanian. Dibayani was solid in third while Big Memory charged late into fourth place in an eye-catching return. Excess Knowledge seemed to have his chance and maybe was outsprinted. Jury’s out on him. Even return from Taiyoo. Mourinho just seems to keep getting better and remember he goes best at Moonee Valley.

Follow: none in particular but wouldn’t be sacking anything going forward either.

Race 8: Regal Roller Stakes (1200m)

1st Setinum – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Platinum Rocker – Craig Williams
3rd Yesterday’s Songs – Damien Oliver

Sea Lord showed plenty of speed to head them early but had company as Griante went forward with Stingray, Pago Rock, Barbed on the fence and Inspector wide out. Platinum Rocker jumped well but eased though still caught four wide around Mister Milton, Pressing and Fast ‘N’ Rocking. Yesterday’s Songs had a couple behind him on settling. Griante poured the pressure on Sea Lord 600m out, putting Stingray and Barbed under riding, Inspector tried to come on three wide and Platinum Rocker four out. Setinum came off her back at the top of the straight while Fast ‘N’ Rocking stayed to the fence. Yesterday’s Songs was behind Setinum at the 200m and being held up with Late Charge on his outside. Griante was all out at the 100m and Setinum swept up with Platinum Rocker. Yesterday’s Songs was still being crowded for room by Late Charge. Setinum did enough to win in a solid first-up effort over Platinum Rocker, game again, and a luckless Yesterday’s Songs who grabbed third on the line over Late Charge. Fast ‘N’ Rocking got through late and the one hitting the line out wide was Stratum Star, just warming up when it was all over. Pressing was going backwards midrace but picked up again in the closing stages. Looks a strong race going forward.

Follow: Yesterday’s Songs, Stratum Star.

Race 9: Australian Defence Force Handicap (1800m)

1st Tilla Bell Rings – Chris Parnham
2nd Pacific Heights – Michael Dee
3rd Clemo – Glen Boss

Epsom Hill bombed the start and Raposo wasn’t flash out either as usual. Lannister rolled forward to lead and Pacific Heights came across to sit outside. Stellarized and Aliyana let them go and the latter was caught three deep around Steakandbearnaise and Diaghan. Lannister had them stacked up past the 600m and Pacific Heights was being niggled to stay with him. Runs started to come further out as Aliyana and Diaghan peeled, Tilla Bella Rings chimed in with Raposo the widest on the turn. Behind that wall Clemo was being held up for a run and had to check. Pacific Heights responded and hit the lead 300m out but Tilla Bell Rings and Raposo were coming. Lannister battled with Diaghan and Clemo had got to the outside and was winding up when it was all over. Raposo couldn’t match Tilla Bell Rings who got to Pacific Heights in the closing stages and went on to score. Clemo got up for third over Raposo and Diaghan stuck on fairly behind them.

Follow: there’d be a win in Pacific Heights in the same grade.

Specials from the meeting: Stoker, Yesterday’s Songs, Stratum Star.

—————————————-

Our full Sydney review should return next week but here are some runners to keep an eye on from Rosehill:

Race 1 – Peeping looked in trouble but knuckled down like a good horse to win, will improve off this and win a better race.

Race 2 – Mr One Eleven had a bit of trouble getting clear and will hold its form off the back of this good and slightly unlucky run.

Race 3 – Although second last, Junoob worked home ok to say he will be competitive later in his campaign.

Race 4 – Nil

Race 5 – Make excuses for anything else you like, Japonisme gave them a start and a beating and is a very good horse who will win better races.

Race 6 – Onerous was wide all the way and didn’t give up all the way to the line. Will win a race soon.

Race 7 – Start Wondering was holding the second horse on the line and can only improve off this and will win again.

Race 8 – Havana Cooler had some betting support, didn’t find the clearest passage in the straight and screamed home at the end and should be followed.

Specials: Peeping, Japonisme, Havana Cooler

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Choose your bookie, then choose your bonus

by David on August 14, 2015

Ladbrokes – 100% deposit match up to $500.

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Crownbet – deposit $200, start betting with $600

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Those bookie bonuses are a great kick-start but it gets even better…

Sign up for a new Ladbrokes or CrownBet account and you can choose one of the following:

(1) $137 Free Tips Bonus – get four weekends of our best bets Australia-wide.

or

(2) $169 Free NSW Ratings Bonus – you can get four Saturday’s of Nathan Snow’s NSW metro and provincial ratings bets

A bonus on top of a bonus is great value but the offer is available for this week only.

To claim your free tips or ratings membership simply sign up for a new CrownBet or Ladbrokes account, make a deposit and then and email your username to darryn@championpicks.com.au

There are a number of ways to get in contact if you have any questions.

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Flemington review – August 8th

by darryn on August 10, 2015

Flemington Review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Dunkley & Lee Handicap (1400m)

1st Most Wanted – Damien Oliver
2nd Jacksay – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Bon Aurum – Mark Zahra

Jacksay wasn’t the best out and was out the back early with Dream On Monty. Bon Aurum and Red Alto shared the lead with Starsi outside them. Colonel Custer was in the leading bunch and Downhearted was just off them. Most Wanted drove up on the inside of him and Gredington and Al Shameel around midfield. They didn’t look to be going very hard and Bon Aurum loped along in front. Red Alto and Colonel Custer made a line of three on the bend. Most Wanted revved up behind them waiting for a gap while Downhearted and Starsi poised outside him. Red Alto tried hard to level up with Bon Aurum but the leader had his measure. Most Wanted took a big gap on the inside to challenge and Downhearted couldn’t do any better. Most Wanted sprinted to the lead inside the 200m and broke away. Bon Aurum and Red Alto were beaten but Jacksay had got to the outside and was starting to close in late. Courtesy of the rails run and doing everything right, Most Wanted posted a solid debut win. Excellent effort from Jacksay while Bon Aurum and Red Alto had their chance. The latter might be a better horse next prep. Nothing else made an impact.
Follow: Jacksay measured up to Melbourne in good style.

Race 2: Polgar & Vance Handicap (1400m)

1st Charmed Harmony – Tom Sadler
2nd Extra Zero – Dylan Dunn
3rd Happy As Hell – Dean Holland

Desert Jeuney blew the start badly and was tailed off. Charmed Harmony landed in front as widely expected and ran along at his leisure. Dylan’s Promise was left in second place with Ihtsahymn on his outside. Happy As Hell raced inside Extra Zero but were a long way off the lead. Charmed Harmony was completely uncontested as he rolled along three or four lengths clear. By the 600m Desert Jeuney had tacked onto the field. Charmed Harmony had them off the bit at the top of the straight and Ihtsahymn was the first to try and pull some ground, Dylan’s Promise was one paced while Happy As Hell got up on the fence. Extra Zero started to run on down the outside. Shaken up for about 100m before being allowed to cruise home, Charmed Harmony was never going to be beaten. Nice first-up run from Extra Zero who isn’t known for firing fresh. Have to be disappointed with Ihtsahymn, despite racing without cover he didn’t find much and forgive Desert Jeuney, though he’s getting costly if you’re following him.
Follow: none.

Race 3: Yates & Dann Handicap (1400m)

1st Niminypiminy – Damian Lane
2nd Letmedowngently – Christine Puls
3rd Herstory – Dwayne Dunn

Herstory broke the line first but Letmedowngently kicked up underneath her to hold the lead. At The Weekend was left out three wide and Barely A Scent wider as Smokin’ Al and Leia held their ground on the inside. Letmedowngently wasn’t wasting any time and she ran a couple clear before the turn with Herstory just happy to follow. Leia and Smokin’ Al had improved to be just behind them with Leia staying on the inside. Niminypiminy worked up behind Herstory. Leia may have momentarily hit the front on the inside but Letmedowngently wasn’t done with and Herstory hadn’t been called upon. Niminypiminy eased across Herstory’s heels at the 300m and got into the clear to run on. Herstory couldn’t get past Letmedowngently at the business end but Niminypiminy had them both covered pretty easily and broke away for a soft win after a run of placings and near placings. No excuses for the placegetters while Northern Saint made some late ground to run fourth without every looking a threat.
Follow: watch for Northern Saint to improve if she can draw well next time.

Race 4: Aldridge & Norton Handicap (1700m)

1st Shenzhou Steeds – Ben Melham
2nd By The Grace – Chris Parnham
3rd Onpicalo – Dwayne Dunn

Yenhaab bounced in front early and Onpicalo was quickly up on the speed too. Abbasso found himself caught three wide after only jumping fairly and kept striding forward around Tax Evader and Shenzhou Steeds clear of By The Grace in open spaces. Abbasso kept the run going to take the lead but had done quite a bit of work to get there as Yenhaab and Onpicalo kept him busy. They opened up a few lengths on Tax Evader by the 800m before backing off a little. Abbasso seemed to have Onpicalo under a fair bit of pressure on the turn and kicked away but at the same time was starting to be felt for and by the 200m was a spent force. Onpicalo first first to pick him up while Shenzhou Steeds was hitting the line along the inside and By The Grace out wide, Tax Evader couldn’t make any impact. In a driving finish, Shenzhou Steeds just held on from By The Grace while Onpicalo was just tipped out between them. Albonetti was finishing very hard from well back into fourth but a fair way off the first trio. Abbasso had to be ridden upside down and best to forget that run.
Follow: none, not a strong race.

Race 5: Beckmann & Young Handicap (2000m)

1st Refulgent – Brad Rawiller
2nd Prizum – Tom Sadler
3rd Black Tomahawk – Jake Bayliss

Heavy was on the back foot at the start and passed a couple early. Lightenuff showed his usual pace to find the front and Gingerboy followed him across clear of Commanding Time and Black Tomahawk. Falago settled midfield one off which kept Prizum three wide. Refulgent was on their inside. There wasn’t a lot of change down to the 800m as they raced in pairs behind Lightenuff a length clear of and Gingerboy. Black Tomahawk was first to ease out and Falago pulled off his back in plenty of time. Refulgent ran up behind them and worked into the clear in between, Heavy was behind him and Prizum the widest into the straight. Gingerboy took over and went for home at the 400m with Black Tomahawk in pursuit, Refulgent and Falago closing in and Prizum also winding up. Refulgent was let down at the 200m and started to edge away from a wall chasing him to make it two straight. Prizum arrived in time to grab second and Black Tomahawk again rallied after hitting a flat spot. Every chance Falago and Gingerboy and they were a mile in front of the rest.
Follow: none, these are all well exposed.

Race 6: Kelly & Viney Handicap (1400m)

1st Del Prado – Tom Sadler
2nd Cross Of Gold – Dylan Dunn
3rd Bon Rocket – Craig Newitt

Grand Sai Wan was ridden hard to find the lead and Free Of Doubt went with him. So Does He eased into third with Cyclone Andy out wider. Liberty Island settled on the fence ahead of Spanish Love. This Is The Show took off around them and put some spice into the race, running to the front and opening up the field. That run was short lived as he was headed early in the straight by Grand Sai Wan kicking back on the fence while Cyclone Andy and Free Of Doubt came on down the outside. They were all sitting shots. Liberty Island got through nearer the inside to challenge Free Of Doubt who had hit the front with Cross Of Gold looming and further out Bon Rocket and Del Prado were finishing hard. Del Prado got to Cross Of Gold at the 100m and started to forge away. Bon Rocket safely held third ahead of So Does He who was a little unlucky in the early part of the straight but didn’t give it up. That quartet broke away with Spanish Love making some late ground alongside Lord Da Vinci, running on as he always does. Liberty Island dropped right out after seemingly having every chance.
Follow: there’s improvement in Spanish Love who was first-up.

Race 7: Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m)

1st Shiraz – Damien Oliver
2nd Play Master – Craig Newitt
3rd Le Bonsir – Dwayne Dunn

Decircles bounced in front on the inside section with Pago Rock up handy and Shiraz tucking in behind them for a trail. Further out Le Bonsir wasn’t far away and the widest was Trust In A Gust. Play Master and Lonrockstar had cover in midfield. Decircles started to drift towards the centre of the track and that presented Shiraz with a run through and they made a line of four with Pago Rock and Le Bonsir. Play Master waited in behind them while Trust In A Gust looked in trouble as Lonrockstar got past him. Decircles dropped off as Shiraz hit the front with Le Bonsir going with him. Play Master got the run through near the clock tower and looked to be finishing the race off the better. Play Master definitely had his head in front getting close to the line but Shiraz kept fighting and stuck his nose out at the right time to scramble in. Play Master is in career best form while Le Bonsir and Pago Rock seemed to have their chance. Decent gap to the rest of the field headed by Lonrockstar. Trust In A Gust wasn’t pushed in the last 50m and while he will obviously be fitter that was the worst performance of his 19 starts to date.
Follow: stick with Shiraz and Play Master.

Race 8: O’Mara & Jolley Handicap (1000m)

1st Sunday Escape – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Churchill Dancer – Michael Walker
3rd Tansy – Damian Lane

Earthly Tiger was one of the best away from the inside gate and was joined by Antarctic Missile gathering speed. Corsica Lad went with her and further out Churchill Dancer and Sunday Escape past the middle of the track. A line behind the front runners included Klishina, Wonderbolt, Just For Starters, Tansy and Beleeup. Antarctic Missile ran to the lead at the 400m but soon after was being put under pressure as Churchill Dancer and Sunday Escape began to close. Corsica Lad was one paced and Wonderbolt passed him but also under duress.Tansy started to run on while Klishina couldn’t go with them closer to the inside. Sunday Escape took over about 200m out and was holding them safely this time, ridden a little more conservatively, and was too good for Churchill Dancer and Tansy ran into third. Wonderbolt was close up and Corsica Lad came again, perhaps the straight wasn’t to his liking, while Sir Berus charged home late as he often does.
Follow: nice first-up run from Churchill Dancer.

Race 9: Sanderson & Hansen Handicap (2000m)

1st Manageress – Michael Dee
2nd Boogielicious – Damien Oliver
3rd Musica Royale – Chris Parnham

Miss Mossman broke best from the inside and held them out to lead Artistic Lass coming over ahead of Melaleuca. Iteration was straight into a nice spot and Boogielicious was also handy. Manageress followed Iteration while First Bloom was stuck three wide around Hula Lua before getting across eventually. Very little change down to the home turn as Miss Mossman ran them along evenly. Artistic Lass and Melaleuca made a line of three as runs started to come, Boogielicious out wider, Manageress ran up behind the leaders and Iteration was the first horse beaten. Miss Mossman had a bit of a kick but by the 300m was starting to weaken and Manageress burst through the centre to challenge. Artistic Lass was boxing on and Boogielicious ran to second but Manageress speared away in the closing stages for a dominant win. Boogielicious just held on for second over the fast finishing Musica Royal who came from last and the others just battled. Iteration was very disappointing after having the run of the race.
Follow: Musica Royale ran a much improved race.

Specials from the meeting: Jacksay, Northern Saint, Churchill Dancer.

2 comments

Today is the the second in our For and Against podcast series where we get the lowdown from professional punters on how they go about winning long-term.

Nathan Snow is on the show to discuss aspects of the form such as:

  • Database vs. instinct and experience
  • On-speed vs. backmarkers
  • Big vs. small markets
  • Specialising vs. diversifying

Nathan also gives his thoughts on:

  • Level vs. proportionate staking
  • Standard bet size vs. confidence levels
  • Market intelligence vs market ignorance
  • Early vs late betting
  • Favourites vs long shots
  • Each way (or place only) vs straight out.
  • Static vs dynamic banks
  • Profit on Turnover % vs Profit only

Today’s Guest:
Nathan Snow

>> Click here to read the transcript

Dave: Good to have you back on Nathan. Last week we had Ben Krahe kick off the For and Against series and today I wanted to get you on a run through similar questions starting with doing the form. Would you describe yourself as a data guy or someone who relies more on videos and years of industry experience?

Nathan: It’s more the videos and experience, but I am incorporating a bit more data here and there into what I do. Racing’s really undergone an information revolution the last sort of five, ten years and its expanding what you can find out and what’s available for punters. You’d be mad not to look at different pieces but the core of what I’ve done hasn’t changed. I just like to add little bits here and there to try and improve what I do.

Dave: How do you add little bits? Like you mentioned the data revolution, you want to stay true to what’s succeeded long-term but at the same time you’re constantly looking to improve. How do you incorporate that without I suppose throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

Nathan: It’s more about doing what you do and keeping notes on various things that you may have used to influence your prices and cross-checking them after and seeing what adds up after a few months and what doesn’t and what’s worth adding little bits here and there to, and what’s worth not discarding. It sort of works a bit like that.

Dave: Some of the data guys like to operate on lots of races every day, every week. What’s your approach, in terms of the races that you want to focus on?

Nathan: That’s why I’m more in the other sort of school. I just focus on one area and getting to know the horses and trainers and jockeys and the patterns of the tracks as much as possible. I find that helps me be in the other school of thought. It really is old school and new school, I guess. I prefer getting to know the horses and doing my form that way.

Dave: Do you still find an edge in speed maps and if so, how do you treat backmarkers versus on-speed horses?

Nathan: It’s really all dependent on the map and how much pace you see and how much pace is going to be generated in the race, and which horses are going to land in the right spot. Sometimes, the backmarker, even though they’re speed’s going to be on if they’re drawn awkwardly, they’re going to have to go right back, whereas if they’re drawn two or three, they can lob mid-field doing the same amount of work and that could be a big difference.

Dave: What about trainers and jockeys. I think it’s fair to say that you’ve got strong opinions on those but how do you factor that into your prices?

Nathan: Yeah, it all becomes about price premiums with trainers and jockeys. You penalise and you add and you penalise and you come up with a price. If the market is compensated as much as you feel it needs to then it’s still worth a bet. We managed to back a Kathy O’Hara winner yesterday even though you penalize a rider and the market penalizes a turn and the price is still there. They still ride winners the lesser jockeys; it’s just a matter of making sure you’re getting the right value to back them.

Dave: Obviously jockeys chop and change in terms from one start to the next but what about trainers?

Nathan: Well, trainers definitely have pattern about how they like their horses to improve in a preparation but that can change also from a trainer with good horses but they’re not so good horses. Certain trainers will have their not so good horses wound up and ready to go but they’ll treat their good horses in cotton wool and they’ll have them ready to go 3rd and 4th up. It’s a bit of a pattern thing and you’re getting to know each horse and each trainer and how they operate and watching barrier trails is a big part of that as well.

Dave: Speaking of barrier trials, it’s a hard thing for the data guys to incorporate but just explain how it becomes part of your analysis.

Nathan: It’s a big edge really, because in terms of data, it’s very hard to put a number on what a trialler does and it’s really something that you improve over watching time with your eye and getting to know different styles of trainers as I was saying. It becomes a big edge when building base of what a horse is capable of. It takes you less time than what it does a data man to produce an accurate reading of what a horse is capable of. It’s just all about that really.

Dave: Has the market assessment or incorporating of trials changed over the last few years? Obviously, there’s been more publicity and more data and more vision, does that mean that you have to change your approach?

Nathan: What you find is in terms of good triallers and good first uppers, the market’s adjusting earlier in terms of they’re going up shorter or people are backing them earlier in the week but by the time it comes to the 15, 10-minute mark of betting and all the big boys are playing by then, it really equalized a bit. The value is still there around that time in the market I think.

Dave: Barriers, a lot of people growing up are looking into inside barriers and then that tends to change as your knowledge of racing increases. How do you incorporate barriers in analysis process?

Nathan: Well, it all depends on the track. Given a fair track inside barriers are always an advantage. In all saying it’s … the back marker, if you’ve drawn gate 12, well, you’ve got to go right back to last. If you’ve drawn gate three, you can sometime lob mid-field defense. People say, “Oh, you want wide barriers.” If you’ve got an inside barrier and a good rider to go with it, it’s a big advantage.

Dave: Okay, weight tends to attract a fair bit of debate on both sides. Some people put a lot of importance in it and others tend to ignore it and think it’s basically factored into the market, there’s no value there. What are your thoughts?

Nathan: Yeah, I’m more with the second school where I think it’s largely factored into the markets. You’ve got to take it into account here and there for big weight swings and weight rises and weight drops but in terms of the incremental stuff, it’s not a huge deal, no.

Dave: Speaking of incremental stuff, sectionals over the last few years, Vince Accardi been a huge proponent and a lot of people have really adopted them. What part do they play in the work that you do?

Nathan: Well, they play a growing part. The thing about the sectional data and the prevalence of it being around is everyone’s getting pretty similar data. It’s all about how the data is interpreted and what you’re looking to find out of the data. I look for different things in the way a race is run than the probably most people do. In terms of my videos, I’m really conscious of what’s happening in the first 200m as much or more so than what’s happening in the last 200m.
Similarly, with the sectionals, there’s a key point of the race that I tend to focus on that others aren’t focused on as much. They are looking at opening and closing and there’s a middle sectional there that I tend to find really important that how a race is finished.

Dave: Okay, what about wet it tracks? Focusing on NSW you have plenty of experience with them, what’s your betting pattern or approach when the tracks are say Heavy eight, nine, ten?

Nathan: Well, I really like them. I think it suits my style of going more to the longer priced end of the market. The wet tracks aren’t more variance. It’s more work and it’s more rewarding. I think you can find an edge there on the data programs because there are different types of wet tracks and it’s hard to encapsulate in a number a Rosehill heavy versus a Canterbury slow or a Wyong heavy. I think as a hands-on guy, you get a better feel for that kind of thing.
I just think that wet tracks provide an advantage. People mentally don’t like betting on them. I feel big on them and I just get confident on them and I enjoy them.

Dave: What about breeding? Under what circumstances are you looking at the breeding of the horse?

Nathan: Only on their first or second go on a real wet track am I bothering to look at breeding. In terms of first starts, I don’t care what they went through at the farmyard; I don’t care what they buy. As long as their trial’s good, that’s all that matters to me. I make an opinion based on what I’ve seen at the trials rather anything about their breeding but the breeding matters in terms of handling the wet track.

Dave: So that’s the form side of things. I want to talk about betting and money managing now. What is your approach in terms of the markets that you’re looking at? You’re doing NSW Metro, which is one of the toughest around but then also provincials, less liquidity and hopefully less market efficiency. What’s been your process over the years? Have you always focused on the bigger markets or have you tried to nail some of the smaller ones as well? What’s been your approach?

Nathan: No, I just bet where I feel confident and I know the horses and the form whether it be metro, provincial or the occasional country meeting down south, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I think over the years I’ve got a better edge at the provincials but naturally, you can only bet a proportion of what you can at the metros at top odds so in terms of overall figure that’s worth about the same to me but a profit on turnover is probably better at the provincials.

Dave: Have you ever looked seriously at form outside New South Wales?

Nathan: No, just here in EI. I had a muck with the form in Perth and then before the kids came along I had a murk around with the form at Hong Kong for a few months and enjoyed during both of them. Yeah, I think the principles can apply but I just don’t have the time to focus on any more than one state.

Dave: Fair enough. Got a bit twitchy during EI at the time, did you?

Nathan: Very. Wasn’t a good time.

Dave: Okay, there’s a staking … level staking is not the way to go particularly with your rate and prices but try and just expand on how you stake the horses that you like.

Nathan: Basically, in my staking I have a bet level of one to ten, one being the smallest bet and ten level being the highest bet. That’s a stake amount that depends on my bankroll at the time. That amount translates into units for everyone to basically copy and while I work out how many units I’m going to have and transfer it to people that way. Yeah, it’s based on a one to ten system bet strength and the one to ten is based on the size of the overlay and the combination of feel thing as well.

Dave: Is that the way you’ve done it for many years?

Nathan: Yeah, pretty much. It’s always been to make your biggest overlay your biggest collect and your marginal overlays just to sort of chop out sort of thing.

Dave: Okay, you mentioned that it’s a percentage of your bank at the time. Is it daily or weekly that you actually recalculate your betting back?

Nathan: Yeah, I re-calculate it weekly.

Dave: What’s the reasoning behind that?

Nathan: I just … probably just laziness I guess more than anything but …

Dave: During a downswing you adjust your bank accordingly and same on the way up?

Nathan: Oh, yeah, for sure, every Monday done an adjustment that way. It’s in terms of the overall swing per week. It’s not a huge difference adjusting each day to each week if that makes sense so I don’t really bother.

Dave: Yup, what about market intelligence? Like I said, somewhere like New South Wales metro, you’re up against the big boys. You like to, and like most people, you will rate a race before looking at any available odds but then once you’ve done your ratings and you’ve seen what prices are around particularly on horses where you might have a lot information, do you ever incorporate market intelligence into your own prices?

Nathan: Yeah, that’s the key about my level of confidence and knowledge of the horse, that’s how much rating I give to the market intelligence. Say a horse first up from New Zealand that I haven’t seen, or first up in Melbourne that I haven’t seen, I’ll definitely give the market more rating there or there are certain stables whose horses first up, the market tells you a story late about what they’re going to do. You’ve got to respect that sort of thing.
If you’ve got a field over a mile horses that are all Sydney-based, that you’ve seen every side and they are all right then you’re giving very little market intelligence credit. It just depends on the type of horses you’re talking about.

Dave: And in the circumstance where the price is quite different on an exposed horse if you’ve rated something $2.50 and you can see its $5 does that prompt you to do further form analysis to make sure that you’re confident at the $2.50?

Nathan: Yeah, it depends on why and why it’s viable. Someone once told when I first stepped on the racetrack, if you don’t know who the mug in the deal is, it’s you. If you don’t know why the horse is $5 then you’re the mug. If you can say, “Well, this is $5 because this has been hidden, this horse is too short and that horse is too short and that’s why this is value,” then all ridgey didge but you’ve seen market $2.50, thinks it’s probably going to be $2.20 and not a bit then you look up and see $5 then you go, “Oh, what am I missing here?”

Dave: What about the timing of your bets? Thanks to our mate Pete, come 9 o’clock, there’s a whole heap of bets that go out for our guys but what do you look at when working out when to actually place your bets in terms of between nine and ten in the morning as opposed to waiting until it’s close to the jump?

Nathan: Yeah, it tricky, sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong. I like to think we shoot about 70, 75 percent at the overs and that’s pretty good. It’s a feel thing I guess. It’s sort of getting another market place and what type of horses will be backed and you’re just getting a feel that way of what you think will be backed. I think we’ve got a pretty solid success rate with the early bets of getting the overs. Yeah, it’s just really a feel thing.
It’s hard because you are betting 130 percent and the prices of most riders are going to be better later so you’ve got to be fairly confident that there are reasons there why were they’re wrong.

Dave: Yeah, and there are times where you can take advantage of certain bookmarker products as well like the SP guarantee.

Nathan: Well, exactly like if the price is there with Bet365 and three other joints, you jump straight to Bet 365 there because it’s got that guarantee there.

Dave: Do you do any pay post betting?

Nathan: You mean before 9am?

Dave: No, sorry like say for the Melbourne Cup a long way out or anything like that?

Nathan: Oh, occasionally. I did a little poke around a Preferment for the Derby last year after it had run at Canterbury over 1,550. There’s little times here and there where I’ll have a little spec bet. I’m still waiting to see Washington Heights do something from the Golden Rose last year. It’s long gone but yeah, occasionally, I’ll see a horse trial and say, “Well, that seems for a good prep. I wonder where that’s heading,” and have a guess sort of thing but not really.

Dave: There’s a chance you might soon be warning yourself off all NRL futures betting?

Nathan: No, it looks like those are rumours are false so I panicked for nothing. I’m OK.

Dave: What about each way betting? I know that you do it and you do take advantage of it often at the bigger price points, but what’s your thought process in deciding whether or not you want to go each way on a horse?

Nathan: Well, you basically treat the place market as a separate market. I’m looking at horses that are sort of 15 to 20/1 that I have marked much shorter. There are certain types of horses that are likely to run a place and certain horses that are less likely to run a place given the map and the type of horse they are. It’s more a feel thing and because the place prices are a bit different and skewed depending on the shape of the market, so you just have to assess that on a case-by-case basis.

Dave: All right and on the win betting, a lot of people that I speak to aren’t necessarily backing favourites but they do tend to focus on the pointy end of the market. You’re away from that. Your sweet spot in a lot of cases is say $5 to $15. How has that come about and why has it stayed that way?

Nathan: It came about because there was a lack of balls for want of a better term. I just didn’t like the idea of outlaying so much on short things and having to be right so often. Like if you’re backing even money chances you’re going to need to be right more than half the time. I found it was tough to make an edge at that end of the market. I just found at that end of the market it was some sort of $6 market. You’re competing against every smarty in the world that focus their attention on that end and really narrow down that market. I find it not as much edgy in that market as the longer price where the thought of out of sight, out of mind if that makes sense.
It just sort of became where I landed. It just suited me and it was successful and yeah, stick to what get’s you going and away I went. It wasn’t by design or anything, it just happened.

Dave: Winning percentage is important in terms you want to get paid but is that something that you’re focused on in a big way, the actual winning percentage in terms of the horse or race strike rate?

Nathan: No, it’s just when you’re doing it for a living, it just all becomes about the final figure at the end of the week, profit and loss. You take note of the strike rate and the POT on the way but you know overall it’s all irrelevant to what comes into the bank account at the end of the week.

Dave: Yeah, that’s what I was going to ask because I mean proper on turnover is a pretty common tool for assessment but profit is what pays the bills. You just mentioned that …

Nathan: Oh, look for services like this and judging people and whatever, a POT is important and it’s what recreational punters are looking for. They want to win as much as possible. It’s obviously an important figure but in terms of my care for my personal punting, it’s never been a huge factor.

Dave: Yup, we’ll leave it there for now. That’s another good example that people go about it in different ways and even amongst the professionals that you mix with, I bet you they offer it quite differently than how you do it.

Nathan: That’s what I’ve learnt in this game. There’s so many ways to skin a cat. I know seven or eight professional punters and not one of them do it the same. It’s all different ways and there’s all different ways to win. You’ve just got to find what fits you and what wins, it’s that simple.

Dave: Excellent. All right, thanks for coming on the show again Nathan, good luck for the rest of the year.

Nathan: Thanks Dave.

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Weekend Racing Review – August 1st

by darryn on August 3, 2015

Moonee Valley review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: United Refrigeration (1000m)

1st Petits Filous – Damien Oliver
2nd Stream Ahead – Patrick Keane
3rd Grisbi’s Run – Chris Parnham

Haybah was first out but The Big Dance gathered speed inside and took it up. Petits Filous jumped fairly and Deja Blue also drove up on the fence leaving Petits Filous in a perfect trail midfield. The Big Dance was kept a bit busy by Haybah but coming to the turn both were showing signs of distress and Petits Filous eased around them to stride into it. Deja Blue waited and Stream Ahead tried to get onto the back of Petits Filous from last. Petits Filous had them covered at the 200m and she opened up with Stream Ahead chasing as The Big Dance weakened, Deja Blue couldn’t do any better while Grisbi’s Run made some late ground into a place but was never a threat. Easy work for Petits Filous and while she had the run of the race she won in second gear. Probably not a strong race though the winner looks progressive. On face value, while both first-up, The Big Dance and Haybah were disappointing and will need to improve sharply to go anywhere in the spring.
Follow: merit in the run of Stream Ahead who didn’t give up the chase.

Race 2: 1Print Handicap (1000m)

1st Demonstrate – Craig Newitt
2nd Star Planet – Katelyn Mallyon
3rd Destiny’s Reward – Darren Gauci

Top Me Up sprung out from the inside alley to lead but was joined by Attack The Line quite quickly and Star Planet stuck his head between them for a while before easing. Bantam also eased and he over raced when being restrained with Demonstrate improving on the fence and Equinova outside. Top Me Up held them out and had Attack The Line under a bit of pressure coming to the turn. Demonstrate continued to make ground behind them and Star Planet pulled out to run on. Top Me Up skipped away soon after and allowed Demonstrate to come off his back to challenge. Attack The Line dropped off and Star Planet went with Demonstrate to claim the leader inside the 200m. Running on from the back Destiny’s Reward started to make inroads. In a close finish Demonstrate just held off Star Planet while Destiny’s Reward hit the line nicely. Top Me Up just weakened the last bit. Demonstrate had been thereabouts in solid Saturday company and the drop in distance probably suited. They ran almost a second slower time than the fillies in the previous race. Top Me Up had his chance and Attack The Line was thrown in the deep end on debut and wasn’t up to it.
Follow: none.

Race 3: Melbourne Signage Concepts (1000m)

1st Our Nkwazi – Ben Melham
2nd Hard Romp – Katelyn Mallyon
3rd Il Cavallo – Chad Schofield

Pistolier was first out but didn’t want the lead and handed right up. Sweet Emily had to work to cross Il Cavallo and Hard Romp, who held the fence, and a gap opened up back to Sea Lord getting past Pistolier. No sooner did Sweet Emily get to the fence did Il Cavallo whip up sit outside and keep the pressure on, giving Hard Romp a nice trail. Sea Lord put under pressure, as was Pistolier, before the turn and Our Nkwazi started to run on, also under hard riding. Il Cavallo cruised up to Sweet Emily on the turn and looked to be going strongly but soon after started to falter. Hard Romp pulled out to run on and Our Nkwazi was really hitting his top down the outside. Il Cavallo had nothing left at the 50m but he did box on until Hard Romp and then Our Nkwazi picked him up close to the line with Our Nkwazi getting the bob in. Behind them flashing home from last was Mr Make Believe. These sprinters are fairly well exposed and all bar Sweet Emily were race fit. She did it too hard in the early stages. Wait until she gets back to mares grade, the others take it in turns.
Follow: none.

Race 4: Mitchelton Wines Handicap (1600m)

1st First Bloom – Harry Coffey
2nd Spirit Of Heaven – Damien Oliver
3rd Dig A Pony – Linda Meech

Shadow Of The Mist was ridden out of the gates to find the lead and got there with Takeover sitting up handy. Spirit Of Heaven broke well but was caught wide around Domino Vitale and To Be Honest. Dig A Pony was also trapped and eased to last. Then the speed dropped right off as Shadow Of The Mist and Takeover took control. Spirit Of Heaven was forced to stride up three wide and the field packed up by the 800m as Takeover went to the lead. Wide out Hula Lua tried to get into the race and First Bloom pushed up in that bunch as well. Shadow Of The Mist tried to come back at Takeover on the turn with Spirit Of Heaven chiming in. Behind her First Bloom was creeping forward and around them Dig A Pony started her long run from last. Spirit Of Heaven hit the lead at the 100m but First Bloom had the drop on her and drove past for a narrow win. Dig A Pony really launched in the last bit but ran out of ground. Takeover wilted late and Domino Vitale was close up without ever threatening. Another race with plenty of well exposed form. No luck for Spirit Of Heaven sitting wide on the speed and being a sitting shot while the tempo played against Dig A Pony. The winner is an honest mare but she’s unlikely to string a few together.
Follow: Dig A Pony and Spirit Of Heaven look ready to win but may be running out of races.

Race 5: National Jockey Celebration Day (2040m)

1st Bagman – Damien Oliver
2nd Lord Durante – Darren Gauci
3rd Diametric – Craig Newitt

A bit of pressure early for the lead but Honourable Aussie held them out over Hioctdane, Venture On and Distant Dreams, the latter pair taking sits. Lord Durante lobbed into a nice trail next and Ruary Mac followed him. Bagman was back in the second half on the fence. Honourable Aussie seemed to run them along a bit in front but the tempo obviously didn’t suit Lord Durante because he took off up the back straight and that fired Hioctdane up as well and he moved closer to the leader. Bagman kept improving along the fence and was just behind Venture On as that move was being made. Honourable Aussie settled the ship a bit but it was on again at the 600m with Lord Durante striding up three wide around Hioctdane to put the pressure on. Venture On was waiting and pulled out near the turn to run on. Bagman was being stoked up getting inside Distant Dreams and off the fence, a spot taken by Diametric who looked to travel well. Hioctdane went for home at the 200m and got a break but it was reeled in quickly as Lord Durante kept coming and Bagman unwound with his sprint to pick them up down the outside. Diametric made his run between the leader and Lord Durante getting into third. Venture On behind them had his chance. At First Sight finished the race off well when it was all over. Bagman proved too good yet again putting two wins together under the 60kg. It doesn’t seem to bother him. A solidly run race suited him but the stablemate Diametric might be the one going forward after another solid effort.
Follow: Diametric looks to have taken to Melbourne and is ready to win.

Race 6: Ranvet Handicap (2000m)

1st Valiant Warrior – Anthony Darmanin
2nd Mighty Like – Tom Sadler
3rd Tawteen – Stephen Baster

Tawteen showed her usual early speed and made it across to the fence cheaply. Mighty Like bounced well and moved forward while Valiant Warrior trailed in the box seat. Nearest To Pin and Snippetee Bee were just off the leading bunch. They opened a decent lead on the rest of the field. Tawteen was able to have reasonable control in front though Mighty Like kept her honest. Valiant Warrior just sat there behind them while Nearest To Pin was the first to get anxious. Mighty Like served it up to Tawteen coming to and rounding the turn and they kicked a couple clear, opening up room for Valiant Warrior to ease out and start his bid. Nearest To Pin and Snippetee Bee couldn’t do any better while Supreme Warrior was best of the chasers. With the cold sit on the leaders, Valiant Warrior cruised past them and raced away for a soft win. Mighty Like and Tawteen boxed on but brought each other undone while Supreme Warrior and Flash Of Doubt were close up. Very much an on-pace dominated race and with the run he had Valiant Warrior was entitled to win as easily as he did. Both placegetters will have some upside and are capable of winning races.
Follow: Mighty Like looks in for a good preparation.

Race 7: Jeep Handicap (1600m)

1st Lake Sententia – Chris Parnham
2nd Raposo – Chad Schofield
3rd Streets Away – Brad Rawiller

Raposo was a bit slow away as has become his norm. Leveraction worked across to lead at the first turn and Digitalism moved into second. The stayer Ruscello was up handy in the box seat and Vizhaka was in the clear. Count Of Limonade and Lake Sententia kept Sino Eagle on a three wide run. Leveraction ran them along in front and Sino Eagle kept edging forward out wide around Ruscello and Digitalism in the middle stages. Vizhaka became held up and Lake Sententia got onto the back of Sino Eagle for a cart home. Raposo got to the outside of her to start to work into it and left Streets Away in behind them. Sino Eagle seemed to cruise into it on the turn as Digitalism struggled and she hit the lead from Leveraction, also battling. Right on her hammer were Lake Sententia and Raposo looming large. Soon after turning Raposo looked set to go straight past them but just as he did Lake Sententia kicked in and fought hard, finishing off the race best to win. Streets Away ran on nicely a couple of lengths back getting past a game Sino Eagle. While Raposo missed the start, again, it is hard to make any excuse for him as he chimed in to win and was outgunned by the previously out of form Lake Sententia. Although dropping in class the winner really turned it around, leaving us all to scratch our heads and wonder what to make of it.
Follow: Streets Away backed up his good first-up run with another nice effort.

Race 8: Sweeney Estate Agents (1200m)

1st Jetello – Chad Schofield
2nd Sir Mask – Jake Bayliss
3rd Handsome Tycoon – Glen Boss

Jetello was first out but headed by Charles In Charge and Bishops Castle on his inside. Tiger’s Cub and Handsome Tycoon were in the leading pack with Le Remas and they kept Jetello wide early on and there was a wall behind them. Bishops Castle held the lead over Charles In Charge and out of that wall of horses came Sir Mask to put himself in the picture around Tiger’s Cub. Le Remas was giving ground on the inside of Handsome Tycoon and Jetello got some cover when Sir Mask improved. Charles In Charge dispensed on Bishops Castle before the turn and Sir Mask went with him. Tiger’s Cub still followed while Jetello worked to keep clear running as Monkstone swept around them. Sir Mask ran to the lead at the 200m and Jetello in turn went with him to challenge. Monkstone’s run ended and Handsome Tycoon got up on the inside. Jetello finished off the race better for a solid win over Sir Mask and Handsome Tycoon ran his usual honest race. A line up behind the placegetters with Lockroy getting home and Charles In Charge and Tiger’s Cub boxing on. This was the $50,000 midweek class race and there doesn’t look to be much to this one. Jetello was a winner at Swan Hill at his previous start but ran up to his good second at the Valley in May.
Follow: none.

Race 9: Benchmark 96 Handicap (2500m)

1st Crafty Cruiser – Ben Melham
2nd Westsouthwest – Dean Yendall
3rd Kareeming – Damian Lane

A line of four battling for the early lead until Doctor Care and Zazparella crossed Danchai and Kareeming eased out of the contest. Westsouthwest was left three wide and pressed on. Reigning and Crafty Cruiser found themselves in perfect trails while the jumper Thubiaan settled well in midfield. Westsouthwest went to the front out of the straight the first time. From there the race was rather uneventful until about the 600m or so where the field seemed to split into two divisions. Zazparella was the first under pressure as Westsouthwest stepped it up. Kareeming and Crafty Cruiser came out to make their runs and Reigning got to the outside in plenty of time. Westsouthwest was a bit wayward on the turn, bumping heavily with Zazparella who then dropped off. Crafty Cruiser and Kareeming chased him and Reigning was still looking a bit dangerous further out. Crafty Cruiser just kept coming and ate them up late in the piece to beat a gallant Westsouthwest while Kareeming had his chance. Reigning kept closing in but also had his chance. A gap to Cooldini and Sir Mako who were never in the race with Zazparella. Your standard Saturday staying event and the consistent Crafty Cruiser took his turn to bob up again. There were a few big flops, the likes of Sir Mako, Danchai and Cooldini and expect the latter to show up in a maiden hurdle before the jumping season ends
Follow: Westsouthwest is ready to win a jumps race

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Today is the first of our For and Against series where will get successful punters on the Betting 360 podcast to detail exactly how they go about winning long-term. You will soon see that while there are many common traits amongst the professionals, no two punters operate the same way.

In fact many come at it from very different angles yet each of them are successful in their own right.

Punting Insights:

In this series we will discuss aspects of the form such as:

  • Database vs. instinct and experience
  • On-speed vs. backmarkers
  • Big vs. small markets
  • Specialising vs. diversifying

We will also get their take on a number of different betting, staking and money management methods including:

  • Level vs. proportionate staking
  • Standard bet size vs. confidence levels
  • Market intelligence vs market ignorance
  • Early vs late betting
  • Favourites vs long shots
  • Each way (or place only) vs straight out.
  • Static vs dynamic banks
  • Profit on Turnover % vs Profit only

Today’s Guest:
Ben Krahe

>> Click here to read the transcript

David Duffield: Hi Ben I wanted to get you on as the first part of a series with most of the guys in our team. That’s because there’s some similarities in the way people operate, and then there’s also some pretty key differences.
I wanted to run through a few different things, and just find out your take on how you approach it, and whether that’s changed over the years from the bookmaking that you did right through to punting.

Ben Krahe: Sure, let’s go.

David Duffield: The first one was in terms of the staking. I’ve always said I’ve never come across anyone that level stakes and has been really successful, but in recent times I have. There is one guy who is heavily data driven and is happy to level stake and ride out the peaks and troughs there. You’re like most though, you’re from the other side of things, where you’ve always bet proportionately.

Ben Krahe: Yeah, that’s right. I believe the reason we bet is because we have an edge. When we price things, we give certain percentage to those horses. The reason we price things is because we want to find value. If we find more value in a horse, for me, it makes sense that we bet more according to that value. So I always bet according to what I’ve priced a horse. If I get even money, and I’m betting to five units, then obviously we’ll bet to collect five units on that horse, irrespective of whether it’s paying $2.50 or if it’s actually paying $10. The more value we get, the better return for what we’ve come up with.
That’s the reason I don’t bet level stakes. I just believe that the reason we are betting is because we’ve got an edge and some value, so let’s really exploit that value.

David Duffield: One thing that has changed from earlier this year, though, was you went from outlaying the same amount per race, or having the same unit value assigned, to having different confidence levels. How did that come about, and how has it gone?

Ben Krahe: I did a bit of research. What I’ve basically done is, in effect an A, B, and C race, or a one race, or a half unit race, or maybe even just a one and a quarter or one and a half times unit race.
At one stage there I wouldn’t price every race, I might leave a couple of races out if I just wasn’t confident. But the service that I’m giving the people is that they want to have a bet. Most guys want to have a bet in most races. I’ve priced every race. If I’m not too confident on the race, but I’ve still priced it, and I believe that I’ve got those prices right, we might only assign that a half unit staking race.
There might be other reasons for that. There might be a change of trainer, or a whole heap of first data that we haven’t seen any vision of the trials. There might be various reasons why we’re still interested in having a bit of a bet, but we mightn’t be as confident in the race.
On the other side, sometimes I get up there, and I am just super confident that I’ve got that race right. Rather than just plug away at the same stake for every race, I might say, “Okay, guys, we’re going to bet one and a quarter times this time, or even one and a half to an extreme, if I’m really confident about a race.”
I did a bit of research. I think we’ve been doing it now for about three months. I believe that we’re probably somewhere in the vicinity of 5-10 units better per month, at least. That could be the difference between winning and losing. I think everyone took a little bit of time to get used to it.
Yeah, there are times when one of these 0.5 races, in other words, we’re only betting half as much as normal, they might come up with a great result. What I do tell the guys is that that could have been a race where I just avoided altogether. Most of the time, those 0.5 races are the ones which I wouldn’t have bothered pricing, but we’re still getting results out of them.

David Duffield: Five to ten units, as you mentioned, especially over the course of the year that can be a massive difference.

Ben Krahe: Even if it was five units, that’s 60 units over a year. Even if you’re a $10 punter, that’s $600 over a year. You can’t tell me how many $10 punters wouldn’t prefer to be $600 better off at the end of the year.

David Duffield: What about how you manage your money? There’s 100 units set aside, for some people that initial amount is forever their unit size, other people reassess every race, every day. What’s your approach?

Ben Krahe: Managing money, isn’t that what the wives do for us?
No, look, my bank value stays the same at all times. Say your bank’s $10,000 to start with, if we’re winning a couple of thousand dollars, my bank doesn’t become $12,000 and then we bet 5% of that.
There’s no right or wrong reason about it other than that’s the amount that I’m comfortable betting. If I’m a $100 punter, and we’re betting three units a race, I don’t really want to be betting more than $300 outlay per race. If your bank gets up … Last year we won 560 units, or something ridiculous. I don’t know what our bank would have been if we had have kept upping it by a certain percentage. We might have been betting seven or eight units a race in equivalent at one stage.
Then if you have a bad time, all of a sudden, if you’re betting $700-$800, outlaying that much per race, and you have a bad run, that’s when the demons start to kick in, and you start to chase, and all this sort of stuff, when you’re not comfortable losing the amount that you are.
The bottom line for me is that I’m happy to keep betting to a $10,000 bank, and then whatever percentage of that you want to bet, to keep betting that time.
Like I said, I’m not comfortable betting huge amounts. I’m not a huge gambler, in terms of money amounts. What I stand to lose is the three or four units. Whatever the unit size is that I bet, that’s what I’m comfortable losing.

David Duffield: What about bet timing? Because different people approach it in different ways. Some people want to chip away at some of the early fixed odds that are around. It’s probably less available to you, in that you’re waiting for the bookies to go up. How do you time your bets?

Ben Krahe: We’ve done a couple of webinars on this, for the trots guys and for other people that bet in greyhounds and less liquid markets, it’s a real art to get right. Nobody gets it right all the time, it’s just a matter of how right you can get it.
There’s certain things to do. If you can still bet at Bet365, and you’ve got our service, I’m more than happy that if you just take all the overs early on that we’ll still end up in front, because they’re the guys that go up first. I’m not saying that they’ve got wrong odds or anything like that, but you can actually get on, and you’re going to be taking overs.
Other than that, if you have to wait for the TAB and Tatts, and those type of guys to go up, it’s just a practice thing. We’ve gone into detail on this on webinars. If anyone wants to see one of those webinars, I’m sure we can send it to them, Dave. We’ve probably got it on link there somewhere.
There’s a lot of different indicators about when to bet. Things that have gone off early at other bookmakers. Early tote prices, Betfair indicators, and all of this kind of stuff.

David Duffield: What about the price bracket that you’re normally betting into? Is there a particular area that you’re focused on? I know you’re more than happy to back the shorter priced ones if they’re value, and to really pot the long shots if they’re no chance. What’s your typical approach?

Ben Krahe: Yeah, there isn’t. Like you said, I’m happy to take value where it’s value. I don’t want to be diving into a $1.30 pop too often, but if I’ve marketed it for $1.04 or a $1.05, the percentage difference there is huge, so you’re probably going to have to do it.
When you get into that lower odds-on scale of things, that’s up to you where you want to draw the line, or how much value you’re actually getting.
The trots is unlike any other sport. There are more short price horses going around than in any other code. It’s nothing for $1.10 pop to be going around. People will say, “There’s no value in that $1.10 pop,” but let me tell you, most of the time, the $1.10 pop is a $1.10 pop for a reason. The trots is one area where a lot of short is going around, and there are reasons for that.
On the other side of the scale, 30-40:1 pops going around really should have a zero added to those odds. That’s what we try to expose in our markets.
In getting back to what you’re saying, there is no set level, whether I don’t go under $1.40. If something’s $1.30 and I’ve marked it $1.04 to 100%, you would be crazy not to take it, because it’s still value.

David Duffield: In terms of the liquidity battle, I suppose you’d say, we’ve got some guys amongst us that say that the Sports Predictor boys that are almost the biggest market in the world in the US sports. Then you’ve got New Zealand, and harness, and greyhounds, where part of the battle is just getting the bet on. How have you approached that? Because I know that you have also focused geographically on New South Wales primarily.

Ben Krahe: As far as getting on, I can only bet at the two TABs and SportsBet, and obviously Betfair, and a couple of the other boutique bookies let us on for a little bit. You’ve just got to do your best.
We’ve cut back our results to only show results at the TAB and Tatts and SportsBet. We’ve had a good year so far. I think we’re winning nearly 90 units in New South Wales and 70 in Victoria. We’ve had a huge couple of months. That’s only using those couple of bookmakers. If you can get on Bet365 and better prices at Betfair and other bookmakers, your results are going to be a lot better than that.
You’ve just got to do your best. When the TAB and Tatts come up, you’ve got to judge what the market is going. It only takes practice. The more you watch the market every race, the more you’ll get the hang of it. Like I said, we’ve done some webinars on that.
As far as where we bet, yeah, I do New South Wales and Victoria. In New South Wales, I only concentrate on a certain area. That’s in the city and that Hunter western district, north west, as in into Tamworth. Basically, there’s a bunch of horses that just go around in the city, or they just run around at Newcastle and Tamworth. That way, it’s a bit like betting into a Hong Kong market, or a WA market, where there’s just the same horses going around against each other, and the form lines aren’t too great. That’s where we’ve come up with the best results with that type of thing.
We’ve been doing Victoria now for a year, and the results are still good there. They’re not as good as New South Wales, but they’re still very good. I think we won 16 units last night, so it’s a good result there.
It’s just more of a matter of getting the form lines together there. We do just focus on the two states. I don’t watch Queensland trots, I don’t watch WA trots, I couldn’t tell you what horses are going around in there, because I just want to focus on what I’m doing.

David Duffield: What about place betting and each way betting? What are your thoughts on those?

Ben Krahe: I’m not a big each way bettor, for no particular reason. We do quite a bit of place betting with Champion Picks here. We’re winning quite well at it. People that say there’s no value in place betting, well the trots, there’s a huge amount of value. I look for runners that are going to be on the pace, on the pegs, ones that are going to be trailing hot favourites that might be 20 or 30/1 in the win market.
They might only be $2.50 or $3 a place, and that doesn’t sound like good value, but when you take the favorite out of it, all of a sudden, that becomes really good value. These horses are getting good runs in the trots. That’s a huge thing, getting cushy runs on the rails, or getting runs through behind good horses and that type of thing.
A lot of times people say to me, “This thing’s $3 a place, it’s huge odds the place.” I might have only marked it $4 or $5 a win. But if it’s drawn barrier 10 at Menangle, that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to take those what seem to be inflated place odds. I’m just happy to be on it on the win, because it will probably either win, or just not run a place, if that makes sense.
The ones that I look for in the place are the ones that are going to get good runs, either behind a favourite, or behind something that’s going to lead. I know it’s going to be on the pegs, and I know it’s going to be up near the lead.

David Duffield: Does market intelligence play any role in how in how you price them up?
For example for our VIC boys, once they’ve determined an overlay, part of the actual staking strategy, when you input the price into the sheet, there is a small component that is the market. You come from the other side of things, which is you don’t care, you go up well before the market’s up so you might want to explain that.

Ben Krahe: Again, trots is different to gallops. Every bookmaker that’s doing gallops probably has three or four guys that are actually doing the form on gallops. Therefore, there might be in Australia, throughout the bookmakers, there might be 30 guys doing form on gallops. The market is probably going to be closer to what it should be when it comes up, if that makes sense.
With the trots, we’ve got Bet365 go up early and SportsBet go up early, so a couple of guys are doing form there, but to be honest, I’ve worked at Bet365, they probably take 5-10 minutes to put a market up, and then let the so-called markers come in and fix the market up, for want of a better word. Then the TAB will go up. There’s one guy doing the prices at the TAB, and then everyone just goes and cut and pastes and follows them, to within one roll of them.
Basically, the market ‘intelligence’, for want of a better word, is all about what one person does at the TAB. Whether they get it right or wrong.
For mine, I’m not saying that I’m smarter than that guy at the TAB or not, but there’s only one person forming an opinion throughout Australia on this market. We’re only really competing against one person, whereas we might be competing against 10-20 people in the gallops. That’s why I disregard all the market intelligence, for want of a better word.

David Duffield: Yeah, I think there’s that saying the wisdom of crowds, or wisdom of large crowds, whereas for harness like you said it’s almost a one man band. It’s a different story.

Ben Krahe: It is. It’s amazing. Bet365 and SportsBet, they might be $10 about one horse. If the TAB goes up $3.50 all of sudden both those guys will be back under $4 straight away. They mightn’t have even laid 10 bucks for the two hours they were up beforehand. Is there any market intelligence? That says no to me.

David Duffield: What about data versus gut instinct and experience? I know which side of the fence you’re on here, but you might just want to explain how your time in the industry influences how you price up a race.

Ben Krahe: There’s two ways to go in pricing, as you said. There’s very data driven, and there’s gut instinct. I’ve got a mate that’s totally data driven, and he does very well at the game. For me, I can’t get a feel of the race that way. I have literally no data. Everything I’ve got is in my head.
I’ve got a pretty good memory for where a horse ran last time, and what happened in the market, and that type of thing. For me, I just get a feel of a race. That’s something you can’t teach. It’s not right and it’s not wrong. It’s just something you can’t teach. It might be the way you might get the feel of a footy game, or anything like that.
I’ve priced a couple of races on a webinar, which people can ask for if they want to get a copy of that. I think last time we priced a race on the webinar, Dave, we shortened something from 10/1 to about 2/1 in the space of about an hour. That horse did nothing. Would you believe, it’s won about five times since?

David Duffield: I would believe that, yeah.

Ben Krahe: We were one week out there.
I do a lot of form, but I don’t do any data stuff per se yet. I do have a lot of gut instinct about what a horse can and can’t do.

David Duffield: All right. Just to finish then, what about profit on turnover, as a percentage, or just profit as the bottom line? Which is your preferred metric?

Ben Krahe: A lot of people do the profit on turnover, or percent on turnover. For me, it’s more about just how much … If you’re winning 2%, it doesn’t sound like much, people go, “You can get more in a bank,” but you might turn over half a million dollars a year. You haven’t got half a million dollars to put into the bank to get your 2%.
For mine, the percent on turnover is not a huge thing. It’s just a matter of whether you’re making money, and how much you’re making, and whether that’s actually helping you out in your life. If you’re making consistently 20 units a month, and you’re a $10 punter, well I’m sure that $200 a month is much better off than you were ever doing when you were sitting in the TAB betting on every race.
It’s not really about percent on turnover for mine. As long as you’re consistently making some decent profit on what you are actually investing.

David Duffield: Excellent. All right. We’ll leave it there for now. Thanks for being our first, Ben. The whole point of this was just to run through the cases for and against, and just to explain how there’s no one right way of doing things. You mix amongst professional punters, and as you just mentioned before with your harness racing mate, he’s data driven and I believe he rates just three horses to 80%. There’s just so many different ways of going about it.

Ben Krahe: There’s no right or wrong way. What I’ve learned is I’ve worked for four or five very smart bookmakers who are all very well considered in the game. I’ve also learned off a few different pro punters as well. You’ve just got to take a little bit of what you can from everyone and do what is best for you. There’s no right or wrong way. What I do is not 100% right. What someone else does is not 100% right. You’ve just got to grab what’s right for you, and what works for you, and make sure that that’s what happens.

David Duffield: Definitely. All right I appreciate your time, Ben. All the best for the rest of the year, and also for surviving the Darwin Carnival.

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Weekend Racing Reviews – July 25th

by Admin on July 27, 2015

Caulfield Review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Noel Elizabeth Barter (1000m)

1st Just For Starters – Craig Newitt
2nd Corsica Lad – Damien Oliver
3rd Sunday Escape – Craig Williams

Copernicus, a noted on-pacer, blew the start and settled a clear last. Glowstick flew out from a wide gate and tried to cross but Sunday Escape and Cobblestones kicked up to hold it out. Just For Starters railed up behind them into the box seat with Corsica Lad handy to them. Sunday Escape seemed to travel okay to the turn with Cobblestones on his outside, Glowstick dropped off and Corsica Lad peeled out to run on. Further out Jersey Whistler tried to chime in as well. Sunday Escape kicked a couple clear near the 200m and allowed Just For Starters to come off his back. He was starting to paddle by the 100m and just as it looked like Corsica Lad was about to sweep past, Just For Starters knuckled down and finished his race off just a little better. Sunday Escape managed to hold on for third ahead of Jersey Whistler and not far from them was a nice return by Audino running on. Sunday Escape seemed to have his chance and isn’t quite able to finish off when he leads.

Follow: Corsica Lad will be fitter and keep an eye on Audino. (Click to continue reading…)

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