A Q and A with Russell of Russell Blair Racing

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

Hi my names Russell, I’m 39 and me & my partner Stephanie have recently become parents to a little gorgeous baby girl called Billie, we also have a very clever and bouncy cockapoo called Dupree.
 
Would you say that you have a “typical” working day, and how would you describe it?

At the minute, I’m a new full time Dad and spend the majority of the day doing house duties and looking after baby Billie, and then when having the time at the now sporadic times of the day, I’ll be in front of the PC looking through race cards.

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?

There’s certainly a lot of crooks and even just as many bad punters, don’t just believe a tipsters word on their results, check proofing sites, profit & loss etc. and even when following a tipster don’t jump in straight away. Keep your own P&L on the tipster you’re following and give them at least 3-6 months before deciding to follow or dismiss.
 
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.?

I do regularly bet myself, which is all done on the exchanges these days with a betting bank I haven’t touched for years, I only bet on horses and use a strict staking plan. Personally I’m against loss retrieval systems as I’ve tried them a few times and find them very stressful; I’m much more comfortable with a boring strict staking plan.
 
What attracted you to the world of horse racing and what do you enjoy most about the sport?

I got into the world of horse racing the wrong way round like most people I imagine, it was all purely down to betting nature of the sport, my Dad’s keen gambling mate took me to the bookies I think around 2006 for the first time and he taught me how to read a race to the best of his knowledge

Taking what he taught me in that short space of time, I chose a horse named Aston which I may of been swayed a little on being named close to my football club Aston Villa, but after betting the horse each way, he went on to place and I doubled my small betting stake, from that minute, I was simply hooked.

Since then after many years of learning more about the sport and stable visits etc. I’ve fell in love with fantastic beasts themselves and realise there’s so much more to the sport than the betting side that most punters unfortunately will never know or realise because of the way the industry is mainly publicised.
 
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 started off on Twitter following horse racing tipsters for a year or two before realising I was far better following my own selections than the biggest and best self proclaimed tipsters there was on that platform.

After entering many competitions & winning many I gained more confidence to share my selections and gained quick popularity, after being proofed by many sites that I turned out some great ROI’s and having all my betting bookmakers closed down or limited I realised it was time to take my service to another level.
 
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?

Transparency is a key trait along with consistency, finding a tipster that is consistent is very tough as this game is hard to read at all times and horses will often not give their all on a certain day to make it even harder to judge and make it unpredictable.

Backing shorter price favourites is obviously less risky and is more favourable by the casual punter but over time you will see less ROI betting at the head of the market than you will finding value bets. Which is why I focus solely on outsiders and  big prices, it is less consistent and will see long uncomfortable losing runs which isn’t for everyone, but the good winning runs will definitely make up for the bad runs and will see a bigger ROI over the long term.
 
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?

Simply DISCIPLINE, very few have it to start with and it is very hard to learn if you haven’t got it, it took me a long time to learn. Let the bad runs be bad runs and don’t chase your losses, be ready with a sensible betting bank and wait for the good runs.

If you’re following a good tipster or you follow your own selections that you know have proven to turn out profitable over the long term, be patient and bet accordingly.
 
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?

So many of both I remember, but the earliest memory that brought a smile to my face when I started to appreciate racing for more than the betting side of things was watching Kauto Star beat Denman in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, also watching him win the King George for a record 5th time.

Flat racing is more of a passion of mine though and a more recent happy memory was watching Golden Horn win the Arc from a very tough draw under Frankie Dettori, one of the best jockey performances I’ve seen.

As far as betting goes, I’ve had a nice couple of accas and trixies when I used to do them winning just under £4K both times. One that makes me grimace was under a year ago, tipping 4 winners on a busy Saturday afternoon at odds of 33/1, 33/1, 12/1 & 11/1 that accumulated to over £180k for a £1, gutted I never had a pound on that in hindsight, even had a neck 2nd on same day at 22/1 that would accumulated a ridiculous £4million/1.
 
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?

For sure, there needs to be better laws in place against bookmakers, gamble awareness that bookies promote is laughable, you can bet as much as you like if you’re losing, but start to make a profit from them and they’ll restrict or close your account down, which is the opposite of what they promote.

I understand they have to make a profit and watching many accounts getting closed down, was admittedly at first something to brag about, but there was one account I had from the age of around 20 with one of the biggest bookies that I would use just for football betting, I wouldn’t bet loads early doors but consistently lost what I could afford to lose, just muggy accumulators as you do, anything I won I would just bet away and lose it on something else, done this for years, even started betting on horses in latter years and again if I won, I wouldn’t withdraw, just throw it on something else etc. till I lost, anyway done this for years and lost thousands all together.

I then started to learn discipline and actually started to make a profit and would withdraw the odd £100-£200 here and there, about 6 months of this and they restricted my account to 50 pence a bet, they didn’t even give me a chance to get back my money I lost to them over the years, which is infuriating that they can do this to people, I understand they have to make a profit, but there has to be rough with the smooth, they can’t just have losing punters on their books.
 
What do you do to relax and unwind? What interests have you outside the world of horse racing?

I’m an Aston Villa fan which to be honest doesn’t help me relax too much, other than that, I love a good film or series especially ones that make you think or aren’t too predictable, also love music, concerts, festival etc.

You can find out more about Russell Blair Racing and try his tipping service for free here.