Weekend Racing Reviews – July 4th

by Admin on July 6, 2015

Caulfield Review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Ted Rainford Plate (1100m)

1st Green Card – Linda Meech
2nd Magna Rossa – Katelyn Mallyon
3rd Jalan Jalan – Jackie Beriman

Spatsizi stumbled at the start and went back. Magna Rossa flew out from out wide and Northkape and Madonna Lily were handy.Dream On Monty pressed on three wide on the speed. Green Card was in that bunch with Shadowbrook Lass looking for a spot.Favourite Sister settled between horses and Jalan Jalan wasn’t far from her in midfield ahead of It’s Humphrey and Spatsizi improving. Green Card moved quickly outside the leading pair on the turn and hit the lead soon after with Magna Rossa trying to go with him. Northkape was beaten off. Madonna Lily went looking for a run behind them but the leading pair got away from her. Dream On Monty was holding Favourite Sister in a pocket by the 300m. Atlantic City and Jalan Jalan were getting through inside those. Green Card waved them goodbye inside the 200m and scored with a bit in hand. Smart win. Magna Rossa kept on for second and Jalan Jalan was hitting the line nicely into a place. Every chance Madonna Lily and a nice debut running on next from Le Capitaine who weaved through from the back. Spatsizi dropped out.

Follow: obviously the winner is smart but plenty to like about Le Capitaine.

Race 2: Thurgood Family Plate (1200m)

1st Pilly’s Wish – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Elle Excite – Craig Newitt
3rd Khutulun – Ben Melham

Plenty of speed from Miss Burlesque from a wide gate and she crossed Carashan Girl and Belaruski, a couple of lengths clear ofSinhala. First Print improved along the inside of her ahead of Flash Of Doubt and Pilly’s Wish who only jumped fairly but better than last start. Fine Approach was also only okay to begin was behind the favourite with Khutulun. The field started to really pack up before the turn and Sinhala moved alongside Carashan Girl and Miss Burlesque but getting into the clear right behind them Pilly’s Wish cruised up early in the straight. First Print couldn’t go with them and Fine Approach ran up behind Pilly’s Wish with Khutulun on her outside. Pilly’s Wish had enough in hand to hold on and win but there was a wall behind her chasing. Elle Excite flew from the back to snatch second and Khutulun stuck on well for third. Nothing between Fine Approach, Niminypiminy and Iggimacool closing off very nicely out widest first-up. Probably a length between the first seven or eight home.

Follow: such a blanket finish so none in particular. But, do note the nice first-up run from stayer Iggimacool.

Race 3: Henry Dwyer Racing (2000m)

1st Radical – Jake Bayliss
2nd Heavy – Michael Dee
3rd Winchester Club – Chris Parnham

Nobody looked overly eager to lead and eventually Betsy kicked through and was joined by Temps Voleur. Piran held her spot on the fence and Blackjack Bella sat up handy. A couple of lengths back Winchester Club raced in the clear. Gilchrist was just on his inside and Statue Of Warriors was next. Heavy and Skyfire followed those. Temps Voleur took over from Betsy on top of the hill and Blackjack Bella moved to second. Piran and Winchester Club enjoyed nice runs and State Of Warriors was asked to improve. They bunched up noticeably soon after and Radical whipped up quickly around them from third last to join the leaders on the turn. Winchester Club tried to go with him as they ran past Temps Voleur. Statue Of Warriors and Skyfire dropped off quickly after looming on the turn and Heavy was caught up behind a few struggling into the straight. Radical kept the run going and dashed away past the 200m. Winchester Club stayed on and Heavy started to wind up down the outside, Gilchrist got his second wind and was looking a place hope. Radical was all out in the closing stages but that early move prove a winning one. Heavy got very close and arguably should have won, while Winchester Club ran a much improved racing holding off Gilchrist.

Follow: Heavy has been up a while but he was unlucky.

Race 4: NJT Final (1200m)

1st Rich Jack – Darren Dauci
2nd Sir Mask – Jake Bayliss
3rd Lord Da Vinci – Craig Newitt

Rich Jack jumped best and was straight on the lead from Rose Of Texas up handy and Sir Mask drove through on the fence inside her.Tennessee Lad sat up fourth underneath Neverending Valley and Morant caught three wide. Another line of three including Spencer Street on the fence, Stereosonic over racing and Mick’s Hustler while Lord Da Vinci trailed them. By the 600m Rich Jack had opened a clear lead and he was doing it under his own steam. Sir Mask was starting to edge away from Rose Of Texas and those behind her were being pushed along but not improving. Rich Jack went to the centre of the track in the straight and was unchallenged, never threatened and went on to score easily. Sir Mask tried his hardest to chase him down but was no hope, out wider Neverending Valley ran on with Lord Da Vinci coming from the back and Mick’s Hustler getting through the centre around Spencer Street. You don’t let Darren Gauci dictate on a front runner and Rich Jack caned them. Sir Mask held on well for second and Lord Da Vinci just out-bobbed Mick’s Hustler. Winner had it far too easy.

Follow: none.

Race 5: 3YO open (1400m)

1st Volcanic Ash – Damien Oliver
2nd Herstory – Luke Nolen
3rd Actuariat – Steven Arnold

Raposo was out the back early, as has been usual, with Actuariat. Zahspeed showed his normal early pace to lead Mihany who was looking for something to give cover and Cataleya obliged. Propelled was in the box seat. Volcanic Ash looked to be pulling a bit aroundHerstory clear of He’s A Given. Zahspeed wasn’t overly pressured by Cataleya and he had her off the bit past the 600m, Propelled was niggled at too and Mihany peeled out to try and improve. Herstory was getting off the fence next with Volcanic Ash being ridden up to go with her. Zahspeed had a big lead into the straight but was feeling the pinch by the 200m and Herstory and Volcanic Ash were closing in out wide while Raposo made his run through the middle and ran right up the back of Zahspeed. That cost him any chance as Volcanic Ash hit the lead and edged clear late of Herstory. Hitting the line strongly for third Actuariat from the back and Raposo got going again for fourth but should have been a lot closer. He’s A Given ran a mixed race but made late ground. Mihany proved disappointing.

Follow: give Raposo another chance.

Race 6: Wilson Medic One Handicap (1400m)

1st Charmed Harmony – Katelyn Mallyon
2nd Tried And Tired – Steven Arnold
3rd Henwood – Glen Boss

Eximius beat them out and held the early lead before Charmed Harmony worked across with Tried And Tired to take over. Henwoodrecovered after a poor start to be fourth on the fence and Our Hand Of Faith caught wide eased looking for cover, but there was none to be found. Stratigraphy, Free Of Doubt and Tiny’s Legacy were the next bunch with the latter pulling. Charmed Harmony had them strung right out past the 800m as he strode along at a good gallop. Tried And Tired was being niggled at that far out and Henwood travelled okay a few weeks back. Eximius was under heavy pressure and Stratigraphy got up on his inside. About five horses off the fence Charmed Harmony still had a good lead at the 300m though Tried And Tired had closed the margin a little and Henwood was looming up too. They were well clear of the rest of the field who simply weren’t in the race. Charmed Harmony wasn’t touched with the whip until the 200m and he saw off the challengers and kicked away again late. Far too good. Tried And Tried and Henwood aren’t the bravest horses and they stuck on but never looked like catching the winner. Huge gap to Stratigraphy.

Follow: the winner was too strong and best to forget those back in the ruck were there.

Race 7: TAB Supports NJT Plate (1100m)

1st Our Harmony – Harry Coffey
2nd Amarela – Darren Gauci
3rd Chiavari – Dwayne Dunn

A heap of interest in the early lead and Pink Perfection just had it from Shakespearean Lass on the inside and Indulge and Stilettomaking a line of four. Tykiato eased out of that battle. Watching it all happen were Our Harmony and Lirabird a couple of lengths away and they improved inside Tykiato. Amarela saved ground on the inside on the turn and Chiavari was getting around Tykiato dropping out. Pink Perfection got the better of those around her at the top of the straight, Lirabird and Amarela made their runs inside her while out wider Our Harmony and Chiavari were winding up. Pink Perfection was a spent force at the 150m and Our Harmony and Chiavari claimed her with Our Harmony just doing that little bit better late to win. She’s in great form. Amarela kept coming and almost grabbed second but settled for third ahead of Lirabird and the fast-finishing Mossbeat who weaved through and hit the line. Pink Perfection easily held the rest at bay. The others from on the speed dropped right out.

Follow: Mossbeat can be hard to catch but an excellent return.

Race 8: Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m)

1st Miss Promiscuity – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Angels Beach – Luke Nolen / Wild Rain – Glen Boss

Lord Of The Sky bumped with Miss Promiscuity at the start and came off second best. Angels Beach jumped well and came across but Wild Rain kicked up on the inside to hold her out. Miss Promiscuity was handy and Minaj showed her usual speed to be up there. Lord Of The Sky recovered a bit but couldn’t get near the lead. In the bunch inside him were Sea Lord, Anatina and Heart Of A Lion.Riziz was on the outside of his SA counterpart. Wild Rain and Angels Beach went to the centre of the track on the turn with Miss Promiscuity stalking. They skipped away from Lord Of The Sky who was a spent force and Minaj on the inside. Heart Of A Lion made ground between horses but a fair way off the leaders. Miss Promiscuity hit the lead about 150m out and forged away from Angels Beach who was sticking on well and Wild Rain but they were no match. Heart Of The Lion did best of those chasing from the back and Klishinafinished on hard out wide late, as she often does. What to make of Lord Of The Sky? Once he was slowly out that was the end of him. Obviously he’s better than that but you wouldn’t be taking short odds again next time.

Follow: none.

Race 9: Spicer Thoroughbreds Handicap (2000m)

1st Lord Durante – Darren Gauci
2nd Secessio – Damien Thornton
3rd Bagman – Damien Oliver / Commanding Time – Katelyn Mallyon

Spirited battle for the lead with Commanding Time being held out by Use The Lot early on clear of Hioctdane and Self Sense. After being pushed along early Word Of Mouth settled in a good spot and Lord Durante was just on his inside. In a strung out fieldWestsouthwest was just off midfield. Commanding Time got his way in front in the middle stages and raced out four lengths clear of Use The Lot. Hioctdane sat on his outside and Self Sense had worked off the rails next. Lord Durante improved on the fence and at that point Word Of Mouth looked in a bit of trouble. Just past the 800m Westsouthwest started to improve around Word Of Mouth and he was immediately under pressure. Commanding Time still led on the turn but the field had packed up and he stayed towards the inside. Hioctdane went wider and Lord Durante took a saloon run through the centre to challenge. Self Sense couldn’t go on and Westsouthwest battled. Word Of Mouth was gone. A couple of them cutting the corner got into the race in the straight with Bagman and Secessio the main closers. Lord Durante took over and did enough to hold them off. A good go for second and Secessio, at huge odds, speared through to grab it over Bagman and Commanding Time, who couldn’t be split. Another nice run from Westsouthwest. Favourite Word Of Mouth was never a chance.

Follow: can’t wait for Westsouthwest to go jumping again but he’s also flying on the flat.

Specials from the meeting: Le Capitaine, Heavy, Mossbeat.


Rosehill Review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st Surfin’ Safari – Thomas Huet
2nd Vanbrugh – Blake Shinn
3rd Stalwart – Tim Clark

Ramla Bay was slow out from the inside in race one for the two-year-olds.Surfin’ Safari came out nicely from an outside gate but Let’s Make It Rain and Hail The Chief had more speed along the inside. With those two kicking up, it meant Surfin’ Safari was caught three wide. Achilles Two had a good run behind the pace on the fence, whilst Vanbrugh was another caught wide but had cover. Mid way up the straight, Let’s Make It Rain had the front but the two widest runners in transit were threatening danger and soon after Surfin’ Safari and Vanbrugh struck the front together. In the final part, Surfin’ Safari had a bit too much for Vanbrugh and got the money, but I would expect improvement from the second horse. Stalwart ran on nicely into third.

Follow: Vanbrugh

Race 2

1st Sir Mako – Tim Clark
2nd Beyond Thankful – Rory Hutchings
3rd Reigning – Brenton Avdulla

1900m for race two and Georgey Aeroplane who ran well start start was sent out favourite and began well. When they settled however it wasBeyond Thankful taking it up clearly from Keep Cool, with Lucky Lagoin third and Georgey Aeroplane finding a nice spot in fourth. They strung out up the back straight with Beyond Thankful setting a pretty good pace in front and leading by about three lengths. There was no change in the middle stages, and up to and around the turn, Beyond Thankful still had a good margin. It managed to maintain that lead up to the furlong pole, and at that point you cound see Sir Mako making good ground over towards the inside. At the 100m mark, it was evident Sir Mako was finishing best and he shot through to take the lead and beat Beyond Thankful.Reigning, who tried to get going before the turn, didn’t ping as well as it did the other day, but finished off well enough to get into third place and may be better at this distance range next time.

Follow: Reigning

Race 3

1st Soviet Courage – Glyn Schofield
2nd Der Meister – Thomas Huet
3rd Vysotsky – Danny Beasley

2400m was the distance of the third event, and Space from an outside gate was going up to have a look at Mr Steal as they reached the post the first time, but it was Mr Steal that kicked through to lead them up.Missvonn was in a nice spot in third with Alrouz caught out wide around it and pressing forward, eventually going to second, which gave Missvonn the one out and one back trail. Not a great deal happened throughout the middle stages until Missvonn got going three wide at about the 700m mark. As they were rounding the turn, Mr Steal was trying to get a break on them but wasn’t successful in doing that and when they got into the straight Space was there to challenge as was Soviet Courage on the inside after a nice run throughout. At the furlong Soviet Courage had a break with Der Meister looking a big chance of running it down. Those two fought it out and gapped the rest. Soviet Courage was strong to the line and got away by about three quarters of a length in the final 50m. Above five lengths back in third was Vysotsky who made up many lengths on Mr Steal to grab that spot.

Follow: None to follow

Race 4

1st Land Grant – Brenton Avdulla
2nd Elle Lou – Christian Reith
3rd Alegria – Hugh Bowman

Land Grant from out wide pinged the gates here and crossed to lead easily. Cisco Kid moved up to second outside of the leader and Avonacoworked around the outside three wide towards the front. Cisco Kid eased in third about three lengths back and then there was another break toDisgraceful and Elle Lou. Around the turn, Land Grant got rid of Cisco Kid but Elle Lou was quickly there to throw out a challenge and Disgraceful was trying to come down the outside. In the run to the line, Land Grant kept finding and held off the challenge of Elle Lou. In third was the very unlucky Alegria who at one point just about had to turn sideways to get into clear running. Thereafter it finished off better than anything in the race and should be followed.

Follow: Alegria

Race 5

1st Hard To Hold – Christian Reith
2nd Fiftyshadesofgrey – Jason Collett
3rd Miniature – Winona Costin

Private Secretary, Fiftyshadesofgrey and Sense And Reason who were all reasonable chances in betting went back towards the rear early on. There was a fair bit of competition at the top for the lead, with Hard To Hold coming across to take it up from Miniature with Footy Fan getting a nice run on the fence in third. Commanding Wit got the one out and one back trail. Into the straight and up to the furlong, Hard To Hold and Miniature were fighting it out with nothing else really getting to them. Hard To Hold shook off Miniature and was all set for victory inside the 100m mark. Fiftyshadesofgrey put in a booming finish as it did last time out, but today stood the leaders up too much start and was a gallant second. Miniature held on for third.

Follow: Hard To Hold

Race 6

1st Haussmann – Christian Reith
2nd Two Blue – Winona Costin
3rd See The World – Hugh Bowman

See The World was out slowly, and Rugged Cross went back there by design. A few of them were taking each other on at the top end, with Two Blue crossing to the front from Dances On Stars, with Haussmann back on the fence and Dothraki trapped three wide. Up around the turn, Two Blue still had the front, with Dothraki on the scene out three wide where he had been for the whole race. At the 250m mark, Two Blue narrowly had it, but Christian Reith was looking for a double and driving Haussmann through along the rail, whilst Blake Shinn was all out on Dothraki. It was a good battle to the line between Haussmann and Two Blue, with Haussman getting the nod. See The World put in a good finish for third but was a good margin from the first two. Dothraki could scrape a pass mark for this effort after being wide under a big weight, and Rugged Cross finished off ok.

Follow: None to follow

Race 7

1st Shiraz – Jason Collett
2nd Zaratone – Rachel Murray
3rd Casual Choice – Thomas Huet

Zaratone loves to lead and did so here. Howmuchdoyouloveme was caught three wide on the track with Straturbo inside of it and Decision Time on the fence. They were into the straight before you knew it and Zaratone was still over a length clear. He maintained that lead until about the furlong mark but Shiraz had moved into the clear and made up good ground and soon after went by to go on for a very impressive first up win. Zaratone held onto second with Casual Choice getting third ahead ofBreakfast In Bed. Brook Road was pretty average here today after a good win last time out, although it did end up further back than was probably desired here.

Follow: Shiraz

Race 8

1st Hollywood Bound – Blake Shinn
2nd Great Esteem – Hugh Bowman
3rd Marenostro – Tye Angland

1500m to finish off the day and Artibai took a backwards step when the gates opened and was back at the tail with Scratch Me Lucky. There was a bit of pace early on, and when they sorted themselves out it was Off The Rails leading out from Eisenhower. Great Esteem and Moral Victory had the gun runs behind the pace. Back in the field, Grande Punto was trapped very wide and the eventual winner, Hollywood Bound trailed it up. The favourite, Marenostro was cluttered up between horses as they turned for home. Into the straight, they were all over the place briefly before Hollywood Bound asserted its superiority and went clear. At the same time, Marenostro was in a pinball machine in the middle and got spat out the back. Hollywood Bound always had them covered in the final part of the race and went on to beat Great Esteem and Marenostro who it is fair to say didn’t have every chance, but probably would not have beaten the winner.

Follow: Marenostro

Specials from the meeting: Alegria, Shiraz


Weekend Racing Reviews – June 27th

by Admin on June 29, 2015

Flemington Review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Murray Cox Handcap (1400m)

1st Bengal Cat – Craig Williams
2nd El Greco – Luke Nolen
3rd Irada – Craig Newitt

Him Name Jim broke the line first and settled in front of Ayers Rock and Alamonteel landed in a good spot. Triple Effort didn’t jump the best but improved to be behind that bunch with Bengal Cat and Oxbow on her outside. El Greco moved into a three wide trail and Brass In My Pocket had to ease a bit. Ayers Rock ran to the lead in the middle stages as Him Name Jim took the box seat. Alamonteel and Oxbow challenged Ayers Rock shortly after straightening and El Greco came off their backs to join in past the 400m. Bengal Cat was being held up behind that group and Him Name Jim also had trouble. El Greco hit the lead coming to the 200m and did look to have their measure but wasn’t getting away from them. Bengal Cat got into the clear soon after and started to charge at him with Irada making ground further out. Bengal Cat’s finish was a bit too strong for El Greco and she arrived in time to score. Irada wasn’t far away as well and they put a gap on the rest of the field. Handy run behind the placings from Ma Raison on debut getting home, Oxbow battled on and the other one making some ground was Automatic Choice, though well beaten.

Follow: Ma Raison’s debut was more than acceptable. (Click to continue reading…)

1 comment

End of Financial Year Special

by Admin on June 26, 2015

Nobody starts out as a successful punter right off the bat.

Nobody is capable of winning right from the start and making consistent long-term profits.

Instead what happens is that you go through an ‘apprenticeship’ during which you lose, but learn.

Those lessons are invariably both painful and expensive. A tiny percentage of punters make it to the other side to become break-even punters. An even smaller percentage actually win long-term, year in and year out.

But imagine if you could skip the steep learning curve and costly mistakes?

Whether you’re a young, green punter or a battle-weary veteran still struggling in the battle against the bookies, imagine if you could actually just plug into the work of a professional punter and make exactly the same bets they do.

Well that is exactly what we’re offering with our NSW and VIC ratings packages. And all for just a dollar or two per race.

You can use a proven punting approach that allows you to bet with an edge on the market.

Nathan Snow (NSW) and Andrew Hannan (VIC) will do everything in their powers to help you mimic their success and win. You will get rated prices, runner comments, speed map info and an interactive Q&A page each raceday.


There were two big highlights at yesterday’s Canterbury meeting.

  • r5 n3 Archean members were advised to take $10 at Bet365 (rated $5.50)
  • r7 n13 Tennesse Hussy members were advised to take $14 at Bet365 (rated $9.00)

If you want to be backing short-priced favourites all day then to be honest this is not the service for you. Nathan’s niche is finding value runners in the market and his ‘sweet spot’ is the $5 to $15 range.

And I’m sure you’re aware that the NSW minimum bet rules have been an absolute god-send for punters.


Andrew recommended betting into 4 races at Sale on Wednesday and found 3 winners. The highlight was Handsome Tycoon in Race 8:

‘Unlucky not to win last start. Last heavy track run produced an enormous rating when winning by 7.3L in Syd. Capable of significant improvement.’

Handsome Tycoon was a double overlay winner and it was a massive day for members, but certainly no fluke. Since launching in late February, the VIC service has won $12,678 at a Profit on Turnover of better than 10%.

Yesterday was a very good one for both NSW and VIC members and no doubt there will be plenty more of those soon.

So while there is no bad time to get on board, right now is the perfect time….

End of Financial Year special:

A NSW ratings membership is normally $399 per month, or $3999 per year.

A VIC membership is normally $299 per month, or $2999 per year.

But right now we are making a once-a-year offer where you can save $1000 off either ratings package.

So your choice is whether you want to:

(a) spend many hours on each of the next 365 days to own analyse all the form and try to come up with bets that will beat the market
(b) pay $10 to $15 per meeting to have all the work done for you to be able to bet with confidence and a winning edge in a team atmosphere.

And you still get our Exclusive Profit Guarantee which means you either win money with us or get your membership doubled.

Click here for Nathan Snow’s NSW ratings.
Click here for Andrew Hannan’s VIC ratings.

You are also welcome to call the office on 1300 500 057.

Good punting
David Duffield
Champion Picks

Professional. Profitable. Guaranteed


Channel 4 featured some great footage from Frankie Dettori’s perspective as he found cover in the run before producing Undrafted to beat our own Brazen Beau.


Weekend Racing reviews – June 20th

by Admin on June 22, 2015

Moonee Valley Review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Friends Of Epworth Handicap (1600m)

1st Every Faith – Dwayne Dunn
2nd First Bloom – Harry Coffey
3rd Hula Lua – Jake Bayliss

Coronation Shallan headed forward as usual but Prie Dieu wanted it more and ran to the lead. They were a couple clear of Takeoverand Hula Lua handy. Flying Hostess raced in open space. Every Faith settled three back on the fence. Prie Dieu seemed to be doing it well past the 600m as they crept up behind her. Coronation Shallan moved alongside and Takeover moved up three out. Behind them Every Faith had worked off the inside and put Flying Hostess under some pressure. Hula Lua also came off the bit when the sprint went on. Coronation Shallan took over on the turn and Takeover went with her. Every Faith took a split between them and challenged quickly.First Bloom had tracked into it well and launched down the outside late but Every Faith had enough in hand to win. Coronation Shallan boxed on fairly to hold off Hula Lua for third, the latter getting going again late. Flying Hostess disappointed.

Follow: nice run from Hula Lua first-up and she has upside. (Click to continue reading…)


Weekend Racing Reviews – June 13th

by Admin on June 15, 2015

Flemington Review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Eugene Gorman Handicap (1400m)1st El Greco – Luke Nolen
2nd Alamonteel – Mark Zahra
3rd Old Trieste – Noel Callow

There looked a bit of competition for the lead but perhaps no-one was that keen. Alamonteel worked across to lead Flying Geepee andRecalcitrata. El Greco landed in a good spot while Automatic Choice was stuck wide. Barachino improved along the fence next. Alamonteel wasn’t pressured after finding the lead and slipped a length clear early in the straight which allowed El Greco to get off his back as Flying Geepee dropped off. El Greco took over soon after and really extended in the last 100m to run out a very easy winner. Alamonteel held the rest at bay fairly comfortably while Old Trieste and Look At Me Now ran on from the back, with Old Trieste grabbing third. Close up were Recalcitrata and Makatiti, the latter never looking a chance. Winner far too good.

Follow: none, outside the obvious. (Click to continue reading…)


Tony ‘The Badger’ Hargraves makes his living as a horse racing and sports trader on Betfair. He’s on the podcast to give you some pointers on how to read the market so that you can get the best available odds more often than not.

Punting Insights:

  • The best market indicators to help you decide when to place your bets
  • How he helped a professional punter manipulate the market
  • Why anyone using the standard Betfair interface is at a big disadvantage
  • The reasons why the Betfair market is a far better guide than a bookmaker

Today’s Guest:

Tony Hargraves

Betfair App directory

Bettrader Evolution from Racing Traders

Bet Angel from Gruss Software

Get the Transcript:

>> Click here to read the transcript

Dave Duffield: Welcome back to the show, Tony. It’s been a couple years now since we had you on.

Tony Hargraves: Yeah, thanks Dave. Good to be back. Still over in the UK doing my thing over here on the sports and racing.

Dave Duffield: One of the reasons I wanted to get you on today was basically we always get the common question is when they should be taking odds and it’s not an easy task to have that experience in how to read the markets, so I wanted to cover that with you today. The Betfair market’s very closely monitored by both bookies and punters locally. We wanted to get some indications from you on how to read that market and help guys out on when to bet.

Tony Hargraves: Sure. I think that the best way I can help your listeners out is just to explain pretty clearly what it is that I do. I look at Betfair, I look at the bookmakers and I use trading software, which I find is the key component which is the difference. Some of your people might not have heard of trading software, but it’s all available and connected to the API. There’s several options that you’ve got out there, but what they do that Betfair doesn’t do is you have a ladder view. What you can do is rather than just look at your normal Betfair webpage where you’ve got three prices either side and you don’t really get any information on the page, with trading software you can convert that to a ladder view so you can pretty well see every price from $1 to $1,000.
Say you’ve got a horse that’s trading at $3, what you can do when you look at the ladder view is it clearly shows you where the top and bottom of that horse has traded since the market opened. Say I’m looking at a horse, the top of the range might be $3.70, and the bottom of the range might be at $3.00. I can go and look at that and I can see straight away the horse is trading at $3.10 so I know instantly well that’s the lowest that it’s been all day, so it’s at the bottom of the market. I probably don’t want to back that horse at the moment because I’m getting the worst value, it’s the lowest price it’s been all day.
Now one of two things is going to happen. That horse will either continue to come down in price, which in that case it means people are backing it, but you’re still probably better off not betting at that point because you’re taking the worst value. As you know, I’m sure you’ve told your members, betting is all about getting the value. I would find that I’d watch that and if the price rose up to $3.60 or $3.70 I would then back the horse at that price because it’s at the top of where it’s traded all day. It’s unlikely to go any higher and I’m assured of getting the best value.

Dave Duffield: For the Australian market, it’s obviously a lot less liquid than the UK, does that make it more difficult to read or can the volatility work in your favour?

Tony Hargraves: The volatility is a lot greater than the UK markets and it can work for you as much as it can work against you. Obviously if you get on at the right time and the volatility goes with you, you’ll make good money; but if it goes against you it’s bad.
That’s also where this software helps me greatly. I can clearly see that horse that’s trading $3.70 and a bottom range of $3.00, I can clearly see where I want to get in and out. I know that if I back that horse now at $3.00 I’m probably going to lose the trade. If I’m trading; there’s a difference to trading and betting.
Just looking at betting for a minute, if I’m just going to back that horse to win, I’ve got to accept right now that I’m taking the worst value. I can clearly see on the software the horse hasn’t traded lower than $3.00 all day, so I’m taking the bottom price that’s been available, whereas if I was able to back it at $3.70 I’m taking the top price that’s been available. If I can take the top price that’s available long-term I’m going to make money, but the bookmakers will follow this. If Betfair’s got the horse at $3.00 you can be assured that the bookies will have it at $2.90. You’ve just got to know that if you then go and take that price you are taking the lowest it’s been.
The Australian markets are a lot more volatile, so that could go back up to $3.70 in a couple of minutes, it also could come down to $2.50 pretty fast. That won’t happen on the UK markets because there is a lot more money there.

Dave Duffield: So assuming people have some kind of software and I know you strongly encourage that otherwise they’ve got their hands tied behind their back in a way, you’re looking at the ladder and what else comes into your reasoning in a predictive sense for which way the market’s going to go? Some people talk about weight of money indicators and moving averages and things like that; what do you pay attention to and what do you ignore?

Tony Hargraves: When I’m looking at the ladder I can have up to six horses open at a time, so I can see simultaneously what six horses are doing. Say you’ve got a favourite at $3.00 and your second favourite is at $6.00. The software’s got what we call matchsticks so every time a bid is matched there’s a matchstick. You get these clear visual indicators that the price is going up or down and you get to see these patterns. If I see that the second favourite is starting to get down, $5.90, $5.80, down to $5.50, because the market has to always be around 100%, or be 101% on Betfair, the favourite has to go back up.
If I see a move on a second favourite and I’ve missed it, I’m thinking well I can’t back that now because it’s at the bottom, the favourite has to go back up. I tend to watch these other horses and play them off each other. If two of them are driving down, say the first and third favourite are being backed down, the second favourite has to go up. As soon as I see that move for them going down, I will lay the second favourite and it will go up. What the guys that you’ve got that are just betting and want to get the best price, once they see that and they think well this first and third favourite are getting hammered, if I wait a few seconds I will get a much better price on this second favourite which is the one I want. He’s trading at $6.60 now, but I can see from that move clearly in a minute or two he’ll be trading at $8.00, so I’ll just put my bet in there and take that.
That’s the other thing about the software is I can go and put a bet in at $8.00 or $9.00 and just wait for the price to come up, whereas when you’re just looking at the grid it’s a lot harder to do that. You’ve got this one-click betting, you’re getting in faster, you’re getting out faster, and it just really puts your betting onto turbocharge. I highly recommend that they get some sort of software to look at this.

Dave Duffield: Yeah, we’ll link out to various software options in the show notes. I use Racing Traders software and I recommend it highly so we’ll link out to a few different options. What about in a race or scenario where let’s say the favourite’s $3.00 and the second favourite’s $5.00, but there’s been a lot more money matched on that second favourite. What does that say to you?

Tony Hargraves: That tells me that somebody is really quite obviously happily backing that horse. I would suggest it’s going to keep coming down. When you see this sustained betting and a horse just keeps coming down, what you’ve also got is the ability to just have a look at the graph to see what the horse has done since the market has opened, which is great. I can just click on the horse, a graph opens up and I can see if that’s been steadily coming down. It seems to really move in the last few minutes, particularly the last three minutes of the race; you’ll get a good indication of if a horse is going to be backed and if you see a lot more money…
I’ve not often see more money on a second favourite than a first, it seems to go the most money is on the favourite. That’s just purely on Betfair because the traders, they’ll go trade the favourite because that’s where the most money is. If I do see a lot of money for a second favourite, I will tend to be looking to lay the favourite at the lower end of its scale, presuming that it’s going to go up, and most of the time it will.

Dave Duffield: What about in-play racing? Obviously in-play sports we’ve still got our hands tied behind our back here in Australia which is frustrating for any punter, but do you do anything in-play horse racing either UK or Australia?

Tony Hargraves: I pretty well trade every horse race in-play now. I’ve called on my experience since I started going to the racetrack at 18 years of age. I’ve got the ability now to be able to read racing. It’s great, it’s not that hard. Once you can read racing it’s quite easy to be able to determine when a horse is beaten. I must be honest though, Dave, Australian racing is far and away better than the UK, far more competitive. You get a lot closer finishes and the racing is generally better. The horses seem to be fitter too, and when I watch Australian racing I just can’t tend to pick too many beaten horses in-play. They all just look so good and they all come to the line together. It’s just … it’s too difficult.
Whereas in the UK it’s quite easy for me, especially over the longer races because they’ve got hundreds of jumps races over here each week. Over three or four miles it’s easy for me to see when a horse is beaten, and if you can do that quicker than the next guy then it’s easy enough to lay it and watch the price just rise up a few seconds later.

Dave Duffield: It sounds like for in-play racing your focus is laying not backing?

Tony Hargraves: Yeah. I like to lay them because then you’ve got the rest of the field on side. If you start to back on in-play you’ve got the rest of the field against you. I also, what I like listening to in Australia is, and I do this a lot for the Australian markets, is I’ll listen pre-race to the commentators on the TV because even if they don’t know anything, they still move the market. If they mention a market mover the sheep will follow them, they will just go and back that horse. As soon as a horse gets mentioned positively on the TV, if you’re quick enough, I’m talking one or two seconds, as soon as you hear it, back the horse.
It tends to just come down a couple of points or couple of ticks on Betfair, so it might be $6.00, it might come into $5.80 just on what the guy’s said. It doesn’t mean anything. The ones I really like, Dave, and you used to hear Ken Callander say it a lot was, “I’m not sure if this horse will win, but he’ll be leading at the 200 metre point.” That’s all I need to hear as a trader; I will back that horse pre-race and then you don’t even need to trade it in-play. You can put the bet in before the race starts. Say you back it at $3.00, you can go and then put a lay bet in at $1.80 and keep it in place with the click of a button and then if Ken was right and that horse is leading at the 200, the horse will have traded at $1.80 or below and you’ve locked in your profit.
You can hedge that across all the horses with the software with one click of a button to win no matter which horse wins, which is how I make my living. That’s what I like to do in Australia is listen to what they’re saying and if I can determine which horse will lead into the turn or will be leading at the 200, then that’s very, very easy to make money doing that.

Dave Duffield: So that’s in-play racing but just back to pre-race betting for a moment, what about the way that the bookmakers often blindly follow the Betfair market? I know you’ve heard of people where if they’re laying something on Betfair the bookmakers just follow basically blindly and there’s some of the, I suppose you’d call it market manipulation, can go on.

Tony Hargraves: I’ve done it Dave, for a professional trader out in Australia. I was out there in 2011 for a few months and I spent some time with someone showing them exactly how to do this and it was just incredible to watch on a daily basis. He would tell me which horse he wanted to back with the bookmakers, so it was my job to make that horse drift on Betfair just by putting sustained money into lay it. Say the horse was trading quite happily there at $6.00, he’d say to me, “Can you get it up to $10.00?” I would just start laying it and then put more money in front of that. The other people would follow, they’d put money in front of me, and then I’d go in front of them, and we’d rise this horse up to $10.00.
At that point he’d be on the phone to the bookmaker, the bookmaker’s now driven it up $9.00, so he’s at 8/1, and then he’ll smash it, bang. He’ll take a big bet with the bookmaker and then he’ll say, “Right, bin it.” Then I would have to back it back down to where it was with sustained money on the other side, I’d just keep backing it, backing it, backing it, get it all the way back down to $6.00 and then he’d quite happily sit there and lay it. He’s effectively just hammered the bookie at $9.00 and we’ve laid it back at Betfair to $6.00. Yeah, that was what we call “arbing” or trading. He can’t lose either way now, he’s basically bought something for $6.00 and sold it for $9.00.

Dave Duffield: How well did that work?

Tony Hargraves: It worked very well. Nearly every race we picked they would just follow blindly. We could pick any horse out and just start laying it and pushing it up. We’re backing it on the way back down, so all the lay bets I did on the way up were effectively cancelled out by back bets coming back down. We ended up with a neutral position on Betfair, a decent bet on a bookie at $9.00 when the real price should’ve been $6.00, and then just before the race we put in a nice lay bet at $6.00, people have seen it getting hammered from $10.00 down to $6.00 so they go, “Oh look, they’re backing this now,” and they all take our money at $6.00 and that was that.
The result of the race then was inconsequential. It didn’t matter which horse, you could pick any horse in any race virtually and the bookies would just follow. If we had it at $8.00 they’d go up to $7.00, if we had it at $12.00 they’d go up to $10.00 or $11.00. Yeah, it’s funny. I’m not sure how they handled the Betfair crash the other day when there was no Betfair for a day or two, I don’t know what the bookies would’ve done. They probably would’ve struggled.

Dave Duffield: They definitely struggled. It’s hard to feel sorry for the bookies because if they’re just going to blindly follow the Betfair market then that’s open to, you can call it manipulation or movement, well they’ve only got themselves to blame.

Tony Hargraves: Dave it’s a bit like being in a casino. If you go and see someone bet $50 on black and you just follow them in, that’s exactly what the bookmakers are doing, so they deserve no sympathy. Jeez, the day I’d feel sorry for bookmakers is the day I get out of the game. It seems now that they’ve just taken the easy route and, “Oh, well we’ll just follow Betfair and we’ll just do what they do.” The real thing is, and the value here for your members to know is Betfair’s the true market because it’s hundreds of people just like you and I that are putting their opinion against each other, whereas the bookie is just one opinion. Someone at that corporate is making a decision, he’s the trader for that race. That’s one person’s opinion, and if he puts a horse up at $5.00, that’s it. You can either back it or you don’t.
With Betfair, if the $5.00 is ridiculous, someone will very quickly offer to lay the horse at $5.10, or $5.20, or $5.50. The market is far, far more accurate than any bookmaker’s price. Yeah, that’s where you get your guide. That brings us back to the question you first asked, how do they find the best value? If you just go and look at the top and bottom price that the horse has been bet on Betfair and that’s going to be your range. It will usually be around, on your average favourite it will probably be from $3.70 down to about $2.70. You won’t get a much wider range than that.

Dave Duffield: One other question just to finish up then, on Dynamic Odds there’s a few different options for Betfair columns. One of them is the Betfair weighted average price. What’s a better indicator for, I suppose the price movement that’s to come? Is it the weighted average price, the total volume that’s been matched so far, or the last matched price do you think?

Tony Hargraves: I think the last matched price because what we’ve got on the software is what you call weighted money indicators, but they used to be the be all and end all of guiding where a price went. If there was 80% money to lay the horse, people assumed it would drift. That’s now gone by the wayside because of the ladder thing, you can bet money now at $1.01, money can be everywhere on the ladder and distorting that weight of money indicator. I’ve not heard of what you just mentioned, the weighted average price. Can you just explain that to me, how they use that, the Dynamic Odds?

Dave Duffield: Sure. Yeah, so basically if there’s been a small amount matched at $4.00 but then a massive amount matched at $4.50, well the weighted average price will be…

Tony Hargraves: Four twenty-five.

Dave Duffield: $4.40 something.

Tony Hargraves: Oh, okay. Oh-

Dave Duffield: Not the average price, but it takes into account the volume matched at that price.

Tony Hargraves: Okay. Well that would be really handy, that’s something that Betfair doesn’t have and I’m a bit ashamed that I hadn’t heard of it. I’m more of a trader rather than a bettor, so the result of the race doesn’t affect me. I just go in and look at the top and bottom ranges and I try to lay a horse at the bottom of the range or back a horse at the top of the range then I’ll try and get out one or two ticks above and I’ll do that repeat, repeat, repeat. Yeah, if I was just betting, then I would say, I would take that … That could be really handy.
I would take that weighted average price of $4.40 and I would look to back it at that price or above on Betfair. I think that if you did that long-term, if you can beat that weighted average price on Betfair then you’re going to make money. I’d have no doubt about it. That’s a great indicator. I’d be looking at Dynamic Odds, seeing that yeah, weighted average price $4.40, I’ll look at the horse on Betfair. If I can get $4.50 or $4.60 then you’re going to win long-term, which is what this is all about.

Dave Duffield: Good stuff. All right, we’ll leave it there for today, Badger, Tony; but I’ll make sure it’s not another couple years before we get you back on the show.

Tony Hargraves: Yeah, no. It would be good to talk to you, Dave, now you know where I am. Thanks very much for having me and I’ll talk to you soon.

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Weekend Racing reviews – June 6th

by Admin on June 8, 2015

Moonee Review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Pendragon @ Think Big Stud (1200m)

1st Safariann – Damien Oliver
2nd Alucinari – Jamie Mott
3rd Bengal Cat – Patrick Moloney

Alucinari beat them out and came across with Dangerous Breeding though Princess Arrow pushed up between them. Safarianndropped into a good spot ahead of Trinity River around Bengal Cat. Zenon and Ayda came out three and four wide a fair way out to improve. Alucinari headed Dangerous Breeding well before the turn with Princess Arrow and Ayda putting pressure on further out. Safariann waited behind them and was being revved up for when the run came. Trinity River and Bengal Cat also looked for runs but were under pressure. Alucinari went for home at the 200m with Princess Arrow struggling to stay with her and Safariann winding up to her inside. Just as Alucinari looked home, Safariann made a late dive and tipped her out. Bengal Cat stayed on the fence and got through to run third and Ayda stuck on pretty well on debut. Trinity River came again late to be close up.

Follow: handy debut from Ayda. (Click to continue reading…)


GWS v Brisbane betting preview

by Admin on June 5, 2015

Spotless Stadium: 1:10pm AEST Sunday 7 June

We are back again for an AFL write-up, this time looking at Sunday’s match-up between GWS and Brisbane. In our last write-up we were on St Kilda +16.5 and h2h v Western Bulldogs, and we were treated to one of the comebacks of the year as the Saints overcame an 8 goal half time deficit to steal victory by 7 points.

GWS have outperformed many people’s expectations so far this season, and have entrenched themselves in the top 8 sitting at 6-3 nearing the half way mark of the season. They have the benefit of an easy draw and we fully expect them to play finals football this year barring a bad run of injuries. As illustrated by the graph below, GWS have been able to field a consistently strong team this year, which is severely contrasting to their opposition in Brisbane who have had a horrific run with injuries.

This week Brisbane welcome back Pearce Hanley to their line-up, who has been sidelined since pre-season with a hip injury. His return was soured however when several Lions including captain Tom Rockliff sustained injuries last week in their loss to St Kilda. Overall, this is the second weakest team Brisbane has fielded so far this season (marginally ahead of the round 3 outfit that was soundly beaten at home by Richmond). Contrastingly, GWS are right around their season average strength, and they line up for their third game at Spotless Stadium after beating Hawthorn and an injury depleted Adelaide in their previous home outings.

GWS v Bris PR

As you can guess, these personnel changes have a strong impact on our pricing of the game, as the player ratings side of things is one part of a two component pricing model we use. The following should provide some colour on how the game is priced once final teams are announced:

  • Initially, we run our statistical team based model, which crunches team based data from a selection of past matches (mainly from 2014 and the first 9 rounds of 2015) to come up with a team based line projection. Our team based model’s projection for this game was GWS by 50 points.
  • Next, we run the player based component of the model. We take the weighted average aggregate player rating of each team, based on the weightings we gave to each of their historic games that were inputs into the model. We then look at the relative strength of each team for the coming weekend compared to their weighted average strength input into the model, and make a mathematical line adjustment based on any differences.

GWS player rating adjustment: As highlighted by the graph above, the Giants team is right on their average strength for the year, and therefore their weighting is roughly equal to the weighted average of their previous games’ player ratings input into the model. Therefore there was no adjustment for GWS.

Brisbane player rating adjustment: As highlighted by the graph above, the Brisbane team is almost their weakest to date in 2015, and therefore the weighted average of their previous games’ player ratings input into the model are higher than their aggregate player rating heading into this weekend. Therefore they attract a negative adjustment, moving our line further towards the Giants.

Final Line = (Team based model projection) + (Home team adjustment) – (Away team adjustment) = GWS -59

The markets opened -39.5 about GWS, however we are obviously not the only ones pricing them as heavy favourites as the line has steadily climbed throughout the week. Our subscribers got -44.5 tipped to them overnight, and so they already have strong closing line value as the market has now settled around the -46.5 mark with some books as high as -48.5. This is a big minus, so there is a risk that GWS will take the foot off late as they did against Adelaide. Given Brisbane’s lack of key tall defenders and forwards however, we think they will struggle to score against the Giant’s back line, and that the Giants elite forward line will have a day out.

Prediction: GWS by 59 points

Bet: GWS -46.5 @ $1.934 (Pinnacle as at 11pm Thursday)

Rated price = $1.58, expected ROI = 22.4%

Get a big edge with 6-10 strong AFL bets each week:
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Easy to use: selections are on widely available line, total, margin and h2h bets.
Plenty of action: expect between 6 to 10 bets on most weekends of the AFL season.
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Value for money: great value considering the profitability and volume of selections.
Two professional punters: make the same bets as two people who make their living off their AFL betting model.


Belmont Stakes Preview

by Admin on June 5, 2015

By Anthony Kelzenberg 

What’s At Stake on Saturday, June 6th (US time)

To those punters that may not be aware, over the last 150 years the three championship dirt races for American-based Thoroughbreds, the Kentucky Derby (2000m), the Preakness Stakes (1900m), and the Belmont Stakes (2400m), are linked into an overarching title known as the “Triple Crown,” the most prestigious series of races in American racing. Many excellent horses have won at least two of the three races but only Citation (in 1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978) have completed the Triple Crown over the last 67 years. As a reference, most people have Citation and Secretariat in the top few horses ever to run in the United States, and Seattle Slew and Affirmed are generally included in the top ten American horses of all time.

AMERICAN PHAROAH (AP) won 2015’s Kentucky Derby and Belmont, and is the 3/5 favorite to complete his sweep of the Triple Crown. Can he do it? From my limited vantage point of following horse racing over the last 29 years, I am not overly optimistic. But I think he has a chance. Her is the result of Wednesday’s barrier draw (from SBNation.com):

Belmont Stakes post draw and official morning line odds:

Post Horse Morning Line odds
1 Mubtaahij 10/1
2 Tale of Verve 15/1
3 Madefromlucky 12/1
4 Frammento 30/1
5 American Pharoah 3/5
6 Frosted 5/1
7 Keen Ice 20/1
8 Materiality 6/1


Race strategy: The only horses in the field with a sharp early foot are #5 American Pharoah and #8 Materiality. I expect Materiality to be able to keep up with AP for 1600m and then start to tire. Materiality’s year-older “half-sister” (different sire, same dam), a nice miler named My Miss Sophia, was unable to carry her speed in staying races much beyond 1600m, and its logical the same will be the case for Materiality. I do not think there is a rational expectation that Materiality can put away AP and then hold off all of the swoopers. This opinion is significantly different from many punters, who expect Materiality to win. I would recommend leaving Materiality out of the win position on most if not all of your wagers at what I expect will be 5/1 or lower at post time.

Who’s Left? I expect #3 Madefromlucky will track Materiality (they have the same trainer), and will pounce at around the 600m. He doesn’t have the quality of some in here but he is a tough little colt and will be ridden by Javier Castellano, America’s top money jockey. One plus in this horse’s chances is he did win the “Peter Pan Stakes” well, and over the last few years that race has often figured in the Belmont Stakes outcome (including the top two finishers in the 2014 Belmont).   The others in this race are all plodders and they need AP, Materiality and Madefromlukcy to all falter, which could happen because the race is 2400m and really none of these contestants are bred to be top stayers. #6 Frosted is a plodder’s plodder but has the best staying bloodlines in the field, figures to get a piece. #1 Mubtaahij was my second pick in the Kentucky Derby, but it appeared his jockey was given poor instructions and was way too far back after the first 800m of the Derby were run. To correct that kind of error here trainer Mike De Kock has reached out to Irad Ortiz Jr., whom many consider to be the next great jockey to ride in New York and a rider with ice in his veins.

My Selections for the 2015 Belmont Stakes

1st – Madefromlucky
2nd – American Pharoah
3rd – Frosted
4th – Mubtaahij