October 26, 2020

A Q and A with Gary Bradley of Always Back Winners

Hi Gary, and many thanks for joining us this month, first off would you start by telling our readers a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a Lancashire lad who got into horses when attending the John Smiths Magnet Cup Day at York in 1979 as my first meet and part of a stag. Joyfully I won around £33.00 on the Placepot and I thought…. this is easy 😊

I then came across Stewart Simpsons book Always Back Winners and using rags such as Sporting Life Weekender and RaceForm Handicap Book, acquired large piles of old hard copy results full of yellow highlighter with the ones I was following.

Would you say that you have a “typical” working day, and how would you describe it?

As a kid I always had a paper round or milk round, so getting up early is easy for me.

I’m up around 5.45am and finalise my selection or selections around 8.00am to make sure the price hasn’t been battered overnight or gone an overnight non-runner. Then it’s off to my regular day job!!!

Evenings I tend to spend checking out the results and compiling my trackers. I love working handicaps out and what I believe trainers are thinking and routes they take to land a certain coup.

What do you think of the world of sports tipping in general and what do you think people are in search of when it comes to their hunt for a successful tipster?

I try not to look at others and focus on my own operation, the days go so quick. However, there are a lot of punters looking for the Holy Grail and am afraid it doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, I believe in honesty & consistency, and have had a good core of members dating back to around 2013 when I was posting selections for free.

People should look for a portfolio of services that suits there need. I’m not one for posting up long lists of short priced selections…Joe Public can do that for themselves.

I also try not to offer ‘hard luck’ stories as to why a selection hasn’t won. My members know my strike rate and price so accept losing runs are a consequence at the process we target. I try to maintain a 10-12.5% win rate and overall, 40-45% win/place record backing at odds north of 8/1.  Obviously, it means that out of 100 bets, 85 or so are losers and frustrating when a new member drops in on a losing run who thinks that you are the worst ever and couldn’t ‘tip a wheelbarrow’!

Do you regularly bet yourself? What style of approach do you take to your betting? What do you think of staking plans, loss retrieval systems etc.?

It’s very difficult to keep placing bets with bookmakers when you have a high rate of Each Way success. I have multiple accounts and the exchange to play with, but my better option is to syndicate out the selections to a restricted membership that doesn’t affect the prices. I do back level stakes but for the new punters who can have a go at the £1k to £10k using the flexible 1.25% of bank approach without getting their accounts limited find it enjoyable and profitable.

What attracted you to the world of horse racing and what do you enjoy most about the sport?

Early 80’s  I joined one of the original syndicates, Colin Tinkler’s Full Circle Thoroughbreds – it was revolutionary at the time and with a big interest in photography, Colin Snr got me access to numerous places I could only have ever dreamt of.

He was a larger than life character and soon taught a still wet behind the ears’ punter, that ‘gambling stables’ existed. The syndicate racked up a good few winners, albeit on face value it seemed Colin was punting at big prices when advising members that they had an average chance of winning.

What led you into the world of racing tipsters and what do you feel you can offer racing enthusiasts and punters that other tipsters can’t?

I had my fingers burnt a few times in the early days with purported insider Newmarket letter and telephone services and realised I was doing better without them.

I focussed on my strengths gleaned from these smaller Yorkshire yards and decided I was going to offer Class 3 to Class 6 information where no one else was really involved.

What traits do you think a good racing tipster should possess and what do you think the average punter is looking for from a tipping service?

I think I answered that above; Honesty & Consistency and a minimum of hard luck stories 😊

New and old punters alike can struggle to make a success of their betting. If you could give them just one piece of advice to improve their profitability what would it be?

Research the market and get a portfolio of half a dozen services that suit your betting style, I prefer quality over quantity and hopefully losing runs are kept to a minimum between them.

What would you consider to be a highlight of your racing experience to date? Do you have any personal racing / betting experiences which when reflecting back brings a smile, or for that matter any which bring a grimace; you can share with our readers?

When I was setting out, Pat Eddery & Brian Rouse were my favourites at that time – Rouse gave me a nice big winner in 1983 at Royal Ascot on 25/1 shot Sylvan Barbarosa that set me up for the day……..and a long night at the pomp and circumstances bash afterwards!

That year, I also had one of my biggest wins when dropping 6 out of 7 on the old ITV 7 – I had approximately £57k riding on the last leg and tragically it was on the 2/7f, EKBALCO a brilliant hurdler who fell fatally at the second last in the 1983 Fighting Fifth behind Gaye Brief.

Nevertheless, I received a substantial sum that much to my mother’s disapproval was presented outside my local branch of William Hill with accompanying photo in the local rag.

I mentioned Colin Snr above… I listened with intent to one of his jockey instructions to Philip Robinson in the ring at Haydock one Friday evening – needless to say the horse didn’t win but followed up at Nottingham 10 days or so later!

However, there were many friendships made through stable lasses and lads, many who are still in the background and always good to touch base with on any ‘tryers’.

What about the gambling industry, is there anything you like to see changed there? Many website forums are full of criticisms of the bookmakers and their treatment of their customers? Is this something you have an opinion on?

Do I have to? I was enjoying this until then. Obviously, I find it frustrating with their ‘caring’ attitude that seemingly only limits punters winnings and not their losings. Enough said 😊

What do you do to relax and unwind? What interests have you outside the world of horse racing?

I was a single figure golfer until a son came along later in life. He keeps me occupied most of the time and looking forward to when he starts swinging a stick and I can get him on the course.

A bit of real ale, some classic rock and a 10/1 winner satisfies me.

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Steve Carter

Steve Carter is the Associate Editor of On Course Profits magazine. He has relied on his betting skills and knowledge for his income for the past 15+ years. He specialises in horse racing and football betting & trading and knows what it takes to make a living from betting. He is always looking for new angles for himself and On Course Profits readers.

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