The Racing Horse

Paul Moon of The Racing Horse, the man who regularly supplies our members with Racecourse Templates for Friday racing, has kindly allowed us to serialise his latest publication.

Over the next six months he will look at his personal experiences in betting on horse racing and talk about some of his opinions on betting mentality, gathering your source information, trainer form, jockeyship and more.


This eBook represents a personal journey in horse racing betting over a period of 56 years. Within that time many hard lessons have been learnt, so The Racing Horse takes this opportunity to share some of our genuine beliefs.

The eBook was something I always wanted to produce, primarily for guard rail purposes and especially regarding the emotional aspect of betting.

Over the years I found it helpful when referring back to my favoured parameters and proven winning principles, this act bolstered me in those uncertain and unkind moments that all bettors endure.

Initially, I had been reluctant to share my forthright views on the horse racing betting scene and its structure but writing for Betfair (5 years) changed things dramatically from a confidence point of view. Betfair asked me to be contrary in my pieces to invoke and promote discussion, and in this regard, I was deemed successful.

Previous to writing for Betfair, albeit many years ago, I worked as a manager at Ladbrokes and Heathorns, accruing vast and crucial experience with the public betting masses.

Since June 2011, I have successfully shared blogs, betting systems and pertinent information with several publications.

Now, as the author of The Racing Horse I enter my 13th year (an achievement in itself), where I have registered many personal triumphs and experiences. Some of those experiences have been euphoric, we offer just a couple of them!

For example, as a part-owner I experienced the absolute thrill of winning the Triumph Hurdle Grade 1 at the Cheltenham Festival and walking back into the winner's enclosure with fellow owners, jockey Nico de Boinville and trainer Nicky Henderson.

On the days leading up to the race I had backed our horse Pentland Hills at 28/1 down to 20/1. He went on to win another Grade 1 at Liverpool in the Doom Bar Anniversary Grade 1.

Winning at a Cheltenham Festival was marvellous and of course a lifelong dream, but not my greatest moment in racing, in fact not my second, third or fourth best time.

Meeting the great Willie Mullins in the Phar Lap Lounge at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne and spending some personal time with him was the most gratifying experience.

Drinking champagne with Willie, whilst he read and absorbed my piece “Draw Versus a Kind Trip – Melbourne Cup 2017” was both unreal and extraordinary. We then discussed the piece with special reference to his two runners and I remember every word spoken.

Paul Moon with Willie Mullins
With Willie Mullins in 2017. Feeling like royalty as a guest of Victoria Racing Club. The most fabulous experience!

He totally agreed with my rationale saying some of the things discussed would be part of the saddling instructions to Zac Purton and Stephen Baster.

He thanked me and called me very perceptive.

I did not need a bonus, but he advised me to back Max Dynamite at 28/1 each way – he finished 3rd. Trainer Hugo Palmer kindly took a few photos of us both as a lovely reminder!

My vast experience at the coal face of racing and betting have helped me differentiate between what is important and something I call clutter noise, and we talk about this later! Whilst readily accepting most of what's contained within the eBook is obvious (to the serious bettor), some things will not be so.

Like all professional bettors I experienced the ups and downs of betting. Over a very long period of time and, without realising it, my betting evolved into something more mechanical and mathematical. My strike-rate improved further when I followed logical predetermined criteria before placing a bet.

It improved again when I finally accepted that keeping honest betting records is an absolute prerequisite!

Finally, I brought under control everybody's arch nemesis – I managed to shackle the emotional and disciplinary aspect of betting. I use the word ‘shackle' because the emotional and disciplinary never goes away, it is always there lurking in the shadows! I then accepted the way one deals with the emotional aspect of betting, bridled with sound money-management, determines how successful one is at betting. 

Racing is all about opinions. The eBook contains obvious assertions and some not so, where we can expect many bettors to disagree, but the hope is to convey a certain pertinence in areas not generally recognised.

Failing that, I hope it makes for an interesting read.


Making a profit from betting on horses is a most difficult undertaking and makes particular demands of individuals.

Being mentality equipped with good information, attitude, determination, repeatable mathematical processes, and probabilities are still not enough, if you do not have the discipline, emotional skills and money management needed to underpin them. 

Those who want to profit from betting long-term, must first accept the concept of MENTALITY!

Whilst this is a cultivated and trained environment, hard to attain and out of reach to most bettors, it can be accessed – we know this, because we were once part of the 98% who lost at racehorse betting. Having a strong character with positive traits can help the access process, we especially refer to 10 traits, and in no particular order, ambition, creativity, flexibility, patience, honesty, integrity, conscientiousness, persistence resilience and discipline.

Finding winners is all very well, but the approach and mechanics to betting is more important! 

Developing this winning mentality is more important than developing actual sports betting knowledge, whilst developing the right mindset to combat adversities is key.

Betting to win should be without emotion and treated as a business. Fun, recreational, or random bets compromise the process!

Recreational bettors represent the krill/plankton of the sports betting food chain, and part of the 98% who lose from betting.

With the sheer volume of racing available today, a certain type of specialisation is required, nobody can be expected to master all categories. Furthermore, your approach to gambling and what your expectation levels are, need to be realistic and feasible. 

The way you think about it also needs to be realistic along with the practises you employ.

There are no short cuts, the approach must be assiduous.

Most bettors fail before they start, and this is before we look at those habitual areas of failure which are easy to identify. Mentally, most bettors will not accept the fact or ignore the importance of a set aside bank. This working capital is an amount of money that is not scared of being lost or has any emotional attachment. 

From there, they bet randomly and fall foul to the emotional issues that menace every bettor that has ever wagered.

Betting randomly, casually or on the hoof, will not allow the bettor to reach stage one, let alone be profitable!

The mental state of the bettor at the time of wagering is critical. Most bet when agitated or rushed, excited or sad, usually in a moment of impatience – that is always a mistake.

Betting is all about making the right unemotional decision when in a calm, well-rested and relaxed moment.

There is a second part to the mentality condition but we have decided to talk about that separately later.

Be aware, people who engage in excessive sports betting without the correct mentality and preparation are liable to suffer financial, psychological, and physical consequences from their inability to control or stop gambling. 

Paul MoonThe Racing Horse

I thank my wife Pam for her help, contribution, and encouragement. My thanks also to Jamie Pacheco, Matt Bisogno, Vernon Allen and Wendy Carter for their kind help and time…