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Tipster Competition

As we are writing this, we have but 2 weeks left of the Tipster Competition, and we are pleased to say that all of the tipsters have continued to send in their selections, even when at times, the results have not gone their way. So first off, a pat on the back to these guys. Well done.

There have been 4 “competitions” in total.  A monthly prize for each of the 3 months of trialling, October, November and December, and an overall prize for the best results over the full 3 month period.

October’s competition got off to a flying start with 5 of the 9 entered tipsters showing a profit, with the October competition having been won by James B. with profits of over 25 points and an ROI in excess of 50%,who is currently on track to win the overall competition, but it is close.

There are three strong contenders, James B, Mickey D and Steve V, and on their heels are Paul S and Anthony P.

We asked some of the guys to tell us a little about themselves in their own words using the following prompt questions:

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

2.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?

3.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?

4.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?

5.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? 

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

Here’s are a few of the replies we have received.

James B

My attraction with horse racing began at a very early age and I recall going to local race meetings at Goodwood, Salisbury, Fontwell and others with my parents. One of my earliest memories is going to the 1979 Epsom Derby and sitting on the roof of my dad's car to get a better view from our position on Epsom Downs and seeing in between the double decker buses, Willie Carson and Troy scoot clear of the field.

I was hooked, and horse racing has been my passion ever since, as it was a pastime my whole family enjoyed and in later years took us further afield to Longchamp for Arc Weekend, a few trips to the Breeders Cup (Lone Star Park, Churchill Downs & Monmouth) and Punchestown.

Being able to have a few days away in the UK and take in some racing is a perfect combination. I enjoy the buzz of going racing and the challenge of picking a winner or two and particularly with National Hunt I like following the career paths of our equine favourites. From a horse race betting point of view, I do like using statistical analysis, horseracebase is an excellent stats resource, not only for finding potential winners but is also useful in helping to swerve some potential bets/losers.

As regards tipping and being a successful tipster, I think keeping a record of your bets is so important. Over a period of time you can build a picture of what may work and what may not for you, for example specialising on the flat or national hunt, handicaps or non handicaps, and even time of the year, you may find October/November for example can be tricky periods with the traditional turf flat season drawing to a close and the national hunt calendar getting into full swing.

I think as a punter subscribing to a service, you look for consistency, logical analysis and probably not a barrage of odds on shots although the latter is obviously down to punter preference as an “odds on winner is better than a long priced loser!”

I would always say bet with a level head, and not on the spur of the moment, being disciplined is paramount.

I have learnt (like many I guess) not to chase losses, there is always tomorrow, and you don't need to have a bet on every race. Having worked for a high street bookmaker you understand the industry from both sides of the counter, your hardened day to day regular punters are the lifeblood for the high street bookie and a steady source of profit as you don't make money as a punter betting on every race. 

The undoubted highlight of my near on 50 years of racing came in 2019 when I was lucky enough to own a tiny share (1/3000th) in a Cheltenham Festival winner. Pentland Hills was my second venture into syndicate ownership and what a day he gave us winning the Triumph Hurdle, one that I will treasure forever as I never thought I would get close to having any connection with a Cheltenham Festival winner.

My betting highlight which has given me the most satisfaction came back in the 90's when as a family we would head to Longchamp for Arc weekend. At the time I was starting to up my stakes (betting within my means I would add) and I could not see Lochsong and Frankie Dettori getting beat in the Abbaye. It was the first time I'd placed a sizeable bet and by halfway she already had the race sewn up with her blistering pace, my mum's face was a picture when I told her how much I had on!

There have been plenty of hard luck stories too as with all tipsters/punters alike, I have learnt not to dwell on those as you can't change the past and it will only cloud your judgement and thoughts on your next bet/tip.

Having worked in a high street bookmaker for ten years (2003 to 2013), you could see the changes coming as regards gaming machines and losing the old traditional feel of racing, dogs, and a bit of football. It was not hard to see why the bookmaking industry was keen to have the “Las Vegas” style gaming machines and the profits they bring. I like the feel of the old traditional shops when I first started betting but I doubt they will ever feel like that again, I don't use the shops now as all my betting is done online.

I realise bookmakers come in for plenty of criticism but at the end of the day they are a business not a charity and having worked behind the counter it helps to understand why decisions are made as regards restrictions etc.

A day at the races with the family is my best form of relaxation, my better half for the last eight years also enjoys her racing which is great. Outside of racing, a night out at the cinema, weekly pub quiz, a bit of online poker and a trip or two to Vegas goes down a treat!

Happy Punting!

Steve V was our November winner with 23 points and an ROI of 50%

Steve V

I first got involved with horse racing as a young boy, watching my uncle train his horses on the beaches of Great Yarmouth, throughout the summer they would run from Newmarket with trainer Robert Armstrong and in the winter my uncle would look after them himself. It’s a sport that’s always fascinated me as have some of the characters I’ve met on track, and I suppose the highlight for myself is pitting my wits against the bookmaker and finding the value.

Tipster v Punter is a good question. I’ve been on both sides of the fence so answering this question is relatively easy to answer, as a tipster you need transparency and discipline, with easy to follow instructions for the punter to follow – transparency is pivotal in running a successful business therefore when sending selections to members I like to add my reasoning on why I’m backing a horse, losing runs occur it happens in this game it’s all about long term profit!

As a punter I’m looking for easy to follow instructions and not too many selections on a daily basis ‘if needing contact via email I expect acknowledgement, some services I’ve subscribed in the past have taken days to reply, sometimes no reply at all which is not good practice. I also don’t expect tipsters to send me short priced favs either which will lead me to the poor house 4/6 9/4 8/11 1/2 I can pick them myself. I want a service that does all the homework and will earn myself a second income with solid LSP profits over a period of time – That’s why we have starting banks, to cover losses.

My advice for any punter is a simple one. ‘learn from past mistakes’, I would suggest you keep a record of your betting, don’t expect to get rich by placing multi bets – or backing in every race, and I’ve learned by my own mistakes as a tipster and backer of horses that if you want to make a successful income from the sport, you need discipline.

My betting nightmare still haunts me today ‘Grey swallow costing me more than 300k for little £4 bet even made Channel 4 Racing with big John fighting my corner.

I wanted the horse for last leg of an Acca, but connections pulled the horse out a week before Epsom, instead the horse wins the Irish derby beating the Stoute Epsom derby winner 10l.

I would also suggest it was withdrawn on purpose as the bet was placed with Jack brown bookmakers, and the trainer Dermot Weld, being married to Jacqueline brown.

It’s a bet that will always haunt me and it’s the nearest I've ever been to a life changing amount for such a small bet with 3 winners winning 16/1 33/1 10/1 Screenshot below.

Racing’s governing body BHA need a total overhaul as do the fixture lists, too much racing is leaving punters with small fields, less racing means more competition let’s not forget before bookmakers became greedy with 24/7 racing from around the world we had 2/3 meetings a day and every race was competitive in field size.

In America they’ve changed how many mares can be covered in a season, something similar here would help too as there’s many cheap horses in training with syndicate racing managers earning them a good income for sourcing low grade horses.

Outside of racing I enjoy travel and watching West Ham play football, enjoy cooking various foods from around the world, due to lockdown and food shortages in the shops I started learning how to make my own Italian sausages. I’m missing my dogs as I am a big animal lover and prior to lockdown was in Thailand with my family – have house and family there in ubon Ratchathani, recalled back in June 2020.

Unfortunately travel restrictions have left me a dab hand on FaceTime & Line ID I’m hoping to return February 2022 after restrictions being lifted, when I have the time.

I enjoy flea markets and antique fares, am a collector of Art Deco style period all rather boring really.

Paul S kicked off with a flying start in the first week of December, but things have gone a little off the boil as we write this. There’s still time though for things to pick up again.

Paul S
I’m 62 years old and married to my long suffering wife Vera, we retired from running our family business a year ago and moved to live by the sea in Whitby.

I’ve enjoyed betting on horse racing for most of my life and indeed bet nearly every day of the year.

Over the years I have read, learnt, and enjoyed a mass of information about betting from the daily Racing Post, the old Sporting Life, and the much missed Sporting Chronicle, along with an array of books produced by racing people including jockeys, trainers, journalists, tipsters, and most interestingly professional gamblers.

I have always followed systems or themes when finding my selections trying many, many angles over the years whether that be in form stables, trainer jockey combinations, up in trip, down in trip, long distance travellers, only ride or runner at a meeting, staking systems etc etc, the list goes on and on.

From backing Grundy in the 1975 Derby (sneaked off to the bookies in the school lunch break) until about seven years ago, I believed I about broke even, but if I’m totally honest I probably made steady but relatively small losses but always within my means and I probably would have spent more if I had played golf as a regular hobby rather than following the GGs.

Anyway, the thrill of the win was always worth the affordable losses.

Like most small punters I’ve always liked multiple bets with the chance of that big win from a relatively small outlay, the majority of my bets are in Lucky 15s.


Well, I totally disagree, with the double the odds for one winner, 10% winning bonuses for all four winning, BOG, and the availability to cash out in full or part combined with a selection process where I can consistently achieve a strike rate exceeding 25% without betting odds on you can, and I do, win in the long term.

I have not had to add funds to a betting account in over seven years, I bet mainly with Bet365 as I find them the most competitive with early prices and they regularly offer free bets and rewards.

I do have bets referred to the underwriter on occasions because of the potential pay out if all were to be successful (usually takes about a minute) but I have never had a bet refused or stake reduced.

I always leave a relatively large balance in the account for a number of reasons.

1) I don’t have to explain to the taxman where that sum of money transferred to my current account has come from and have to convince him that it is gambling winnings and so not liable to tax.

2) interest rates are so low at present it’s hardly worth bothering with.

3) I have never had to prove affordability or provide personal financial details to my bookmaker (as now seems to be the norm) as my betting is funded from my in credit betting account and not from transfers of cash into the account.

They can clearly see I’m betting with their money (which they would like back) but that I don’t intend to give them.

I have a lot of selections every day depending on the number of meetings, probably averaging around four per meeting, so on a busy day what would seem to most people a ridiculous 20 plus horses to back.

I have devised my own selection process / system which only requires The Racing Post newspaper (Online version nowadays) and the racing post app on my phone or iPad.

I can make my selections in less than five minutes per meeting.

I don’t expect to win every day or even most days and am generally pleased if I break even on any given day.

I know and have proved over the last seven years that if I keep to the selection process those decent wins will keep popping up on a regular enough basis to show a decent overall profit on all my bets over time.

My minimum stake is a £1 lucky 15 with a £2.50 each way accumulator so £20. The EW accumulator increases my cash out options if the first two or three have won and can also provide a decent return if it’s a near miss day and all four in a bet are placed.

I have attached a copy of my best return this year, along with a few others to show it wasn’t a one off.

Probably with a thorough examination of my selections over a period of time (type of race, flat, jumps, courses, trainers etc) an even better strike rate could be achieved.

I hope you have found this interesting.

Tony B joined the competition for the November and December prizes and after a sticky November, he too had an excellent start to December recovering November’s losses and turning a healthy profit to boot. He’s in a bit of a sticky patch again now but has already demonstrated that he can turn things around.

Tony B

My first introduction to horse racing was writing my dad’s bets out for him and then taking them to the local Eric Coomes bookies in an envelope with cash in it for him. Either before school or at my first break!

My attraction is the many puzzles and angles to work through in trying to find a profit plus seeing these magnificent animals in action. I’m lucky to be involved in owning a few horses and to see them at home at the yard plus on the racecourse close up is something to behold and gives me a thrill every time.

To me, honesty is the main thing a good tipping service requires no fabricated results and claims, and to always be on hand to answer any questions your clients may have. Plus, obviously a profit….

To be successful at punting you need to specialise on either certain races, angles or even just flat, all weather or National hunt racing. Also, you need plenty of time which I know is very difficult for many people. I spend 4-6 hours a day to find my bets for the day plus I watch every race too, so that takes a good 10 hours of my day. Luckily for me I’m in a position to do this.

My personal racing highlight is to of part owned a horse that ran at the Cheltenham Festival and not without a chance too. But sadly, was nearly brought down at the second flight and race over, but still an amazing day.

Punting highlight was winning the old ITV 7 back in 1981 which still brings back good memories, but the main one is returning a profit on my betting each year for the past five years

My view on bookmakers is not a nice one and so many grumbles and concerns for the future, it just feels everything is in their favour and punters just have to suffer.

Going to see my horses on course or at the stables is a nice way to unwind but away from that spending time with my daughter is an absolute joy. Listening to music, reading, and entering quiz nights plus when I find time playing golf. I used to run marathons, but my body has given up on that now!

Tom B’s selections in the main are for the bigger races run over the weekend and festivals. Results have struggled to prosper currently but again anything can happen between now and the end of the year.

Tom B

1) Remembering my grandad watching Grandstand, sat in his armchair putting telephone bets on with the local independent village bookie.

Wandering into the betting shop to get out of the cold and rain and enjoying the atmosphere and being fascinated by my surroundings.

What I enjoy most is the ability to create my own economy.

I can enjoy a cold wet winter afternoon at home with the family and not be bored.

It’s a good distraction from the world’s problems.

It’s a family friendly sport.

Entertainment Value.

2) A full results history is a must.

The ability to answer questions, if asked why a certain runner has been selected.

The average punter wants to win most of the time.

The tipster needs to remain as level headed during a losing run as well as a winning run. I find large winning hauls to be consolidation periods.

Also try and keep things as simple as possible.

3) If it’s just a bad run you have to ride it. If you’ve lost confidence in your methods then stop, take a break, take a week, a month, however long and re-evaluate. I’m sure many of us have had to do this at least once.

4) My highlights are entertainment value and family fun whether I win or lose. I enjoy cheering winners over the line, and I grimace when they get pipped at the post, I grimaced twice last Saturday at approximately 3.05 and 3.20. It was a fun day but not a winning day. 

5) My complaints with the gambling industry are the same as everyone else’s. Some of the restrictions are ridiculous. I was restricted on 1 of my accounts and it was only £46 in the black.

I’d also like to see the bookies offering BOG days before. The only reason I use Betfair is, so I catch the drifts, the only bets I place on race days are my replacements. I’ve just chosen my selections for Friday afternoon at Cheltenham, I have to place them on Betfair because it’s a Wednesday. If they drift and win, I don’t lose the price.

6) I have 2 young children aged 1 and 4 so sitting in a quiet room on my own studying the stats and trends for a 25 runner handicap is quite relaxing.

I watched my first football match on TV on Sunday evening since the euros on because my local team Chesterfield were on TV in the first time in years. I enjoyed watching them beat Salford 2-0 even having a small wager on a win at 5/2. We’ve now drawn Chelsea in the 3rd round of the FA Cup so I’m hoping that’ll be on TV although I won’t be as tempted to bet on us this time unless I see any potential in the first goal scorer market, but I very rarely bet on anything other than racing.

Apart from that I do the usual things, try to keep active, keep up with current affairs, play dominoes with my daughter, watch old kids TV shows on YouTube with my son and do a bit of reading if I get a spare 5 minutes.

As at the close of play on Sunday 12th December the table looked like this:

Daniel P has joined the December competition and will be interesting to see how his results pan out.

Our intention is to offer a further Tipster Competition in early Spring in time for the Turf Flat Season, so if you think you may be interested in entering, drop us an email.

All selections from the competition are posted in the members area for Platinum members ahead of racing so they can follow their favourite contenders.

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