Tipsters: what is your method?

Everyone who has posted tips here has shown how much they know the punting game, and have nothing to defend. But I’ve been considering lately restricting my betting to staying chases, where I seem to have had most success. I’m still undecided, but would love to hear if any of you do specialise in one aspect of racing, and if so, what is it and what results has it brought you compared with when you used to punt generally?

If you do not currently specialise, do you think you might benefit from doing so?

Answers in the comments section below, please.



  1. When Vincent had only 60 to 70 Racehorses I backed the 2nd string to good effect in my teens e.w. as I knew the value was not the mount sat upon by Eddery or Ashmussen. There was no way Jockeys like that knew if the first string was superior to the 2nd string because they never experienced serious trials at home on the Gallops.
    I have no further advice.
    I back Horses in the expectation that I will be down 10% on a 12 month period.
    As I deposit between 50 and 100 euros per annum to my online account this must mean I am betting 500 to 1000 per annum with a 50 to 100 euros loss.
    That’s the price of a Theatre Ticket and I know what provides most entertainment.
    I back loyally. So I could reduce my annual deficit to 5% if I didn’t back Ballydoyle blindly but a winner from that Stable without my stake riding on it makes me shudder apart from those sired by their increasing dodgy Stallion lines.
    I prefer to lose the 10%.


    1. It was a long trailer i think its called a 40 foot that i crashed into as it reversed acrosd road into a bungalow.
      I think you mentioned you had similar crash..
      Recovering now thanks for AIRBAGS and SEATBELT.. b gud


      1. I also had a crash on the Tipp Town to Cashel road about 30 years ago coming from Limerick. A disaster of a road that needs maximum concentration.
        Luckily only got Whiplash but the car was a write off. My Father drove down from Leitrim to lend me his car and get a Bus journey involving 2 changes back. I can’t say I would do that for anyone.
        As I knew the other Driver was on my side of the road I refused to move my car until the cops arrived as I was afraid he would weasel in his acknowledgement of guilt.
        The Guards found a still warm half eaten bag of chips on the front seat and his goose was cooked when it came to be me needing to use up my no claims bonus.
        I was young then and it was water off a duck’s back to me but I don’t think I would adjust so well to any RTA incidents these days.


        1. Yep going to dances in ballroom and loung bars in ford escort days before seat belts killed lots.
          Shannon limerick ennis so many accidents back in the day.
          I dread farmers and tractors..b gud


  2. I regularly review my tips , now nearing 7,000 to try to specialise. I was very scattergun early on with some amazing years mixed with some awful ones. Since specialising that rollercoaster has settled down. I quickly realised that staying handicaps on the flat was by far the best area for me & for the last 7 years that has been my focus. Overall ROI over 14 years is around 10% but for staying handicaps it’s around 24%. I hadn’t realised for a long time how poor I was in group races but now avoid virtually all those now

    Over the jumps it was harder to pin down as I focussed on the big festivals. I did a big review last month & realised handicap chases either over the minimum or those 3 miles plus are the obvious pluses & quite randomly novice hurdles. Again, a bit of backfiring but those 3 areas over obstacles nudges a ROI from single figures to 22%

    As you indicate , specialising is critical to long term consistent profits


  3. Discipline is a given, that’s the biggest loss maker, lack of it.
    After that markets, where the money does and doesn’t go is enlightening.
    Going , form horse and yard, course preferences, ratings, whether the handbrake is on or off, too many imponderables to list to aid the old enemy get our money in there satchels.
    Luck, never forget lady luck, as backers of Shan Blue , Remastered, My Drogo will remind you, if you haven’t got some inside knowledge profit making is almost impossible, bet for fun, break even your very good.


  4. I wouldn’t say I specialise in one particular aspect, I do have certain races I stay away from though. As with most people around here, I have certain variables that I look for (and place in order of preference). Information is key for me and also how races have been run historically. A couple of years ago I went through all the Cheltenham festival races and looked for reoccurring patterns of all the winners/places and produced a massive word document (80 odd pages) of stats which I use for each race and have had great success with. I would do this method for other historical meets, but due to the amount of effort it took to do, it’s finding the time to do it. To answer your question Joe, narrowing down your criteria is always the way to go in betting, so specialising in one event would be a positive I no doubt.


  5. Interesting point Joe.
    As Much as the Naps comp has been fun it has been difficult to really put full focus and energy on. I have realized how difficult it is to tip everyday and how much it can take the joy out of racing at times.
    For me having time to watch races is the key. Also rewatch some several times. Look at how the horse jumps and how the pace of the race unfolds. Also sometimes look at subsequent winners/form. Speed figures.
    I like to look at trainers form and also jockeys riding with confidence.

    I may also have a punt if I get information from someone within racing who I trust. Sometimes this links to gauging wether a horse is Off in the first place.

    I have watched a few interviews with pro punters who specialize in certain race types and they say it is Key to their success. Whether that be middle distance flat runners/3yos/ 2 mile hurdlers/ chasers. The list could go on.
    I think there is a lot of logic to this – you will get to know the horses in that group very well and their opposition. You will get to know at what times they may be at peak and how they want a race to unfold.

    It will also limit your betting to more specific races and mean you have less opportunity to gamble.

    During The flat season I now rarely bet on sprint races. Almost all my bets on the flat are higher graded and over a mile or more staying trips.
    The jumps I have looked at specializing but so far really only bet with confidence on races that are graded or better quality handicaps.
    I go for decent EW bets on slightly bigger prices. I’m also not scared to fire a Multiple on. I’ve been fortunate to land some large multiples in the past for small stakes. I would always have backed the same horses as singles though.

    I just don’t seem to be able to bet the short prices with conviction. So I stay away from these personally unless it’s a small stake accumulator.
    Overall I am still finding my way in the betting world and my ways of research and betting are evolving over time. I can see further specializing being a part of this over the next few years.


  6. I think that’s too broad a brush, Joe, unless there’s a big disparity between the time you can devote to analysing races in the jumps season as opposed to the flat. As I recall you got on to a fair tipping streak a few months back so that would be a pity so that must have included some flat winners. I find the transition period between the two the hardest and when the most discipline is called for but there’s always going to be a fine line between betting and gambling, where we might define betting as the attempt to monetise one’s sporting knowledge and gambling as a reliance on luck more than knowledge.


  7. Lots of excellent contributions already with many salient points. A few years back I helped a pro punter, sort of becoming semi pro myself and it really helped me get my act together. I’ve been a gambler all my life and aware of it since being a kid when my grandad was a bit of a bookies runner and the bets were given on a bit of scrap paper to the present day in my sixties when the wealth of information at anyones disposal is staggering compared to those old days. Its also there for the bookies too. They analyse what people bet on. When getting, or trying to, get some money down, which with my chunk on would often between us would be 800+ and include more than one bookie, it was often hard to get on and not every firm allows access to the traders after on-line your bet has been rejected or the odds cut. You try and get on as soon as the market is formed. The big ones seem to take it in turns as to who goes up first so you need an array of accounts. I do wonder about collusion among bookies, or perhaps they are quick to react to each others wriggling. Best odds from the day before has just about gone, masked by an array of extra places or some other promo. Where BOG exists, it is often like Hills post 10am on the day when the market is mature. The nature of the piece is that the bookies don’t like losing money (understandably) and have their own defence mechanisms. I opened an account with Coral and they said they were looking forward to our future relationship, perhaps invites to meetings, promo functions etc then 4 or 5 bets later they refused any further bets. Associated business Ladbrokes told me ‘no’ when I tried to have a bet with them. Paddy Power acted in a similar fashion and that included Betfair Sportsbook. 365 were fairly quick off the mark too. Sky could sometimes take a bet but also knock you back with a restriction and no access to a trader when you rang up – you’d be trying to negotiate with them through a 3rd party. Hills were always the most amenable to me from that point of view. What its taught me is that when I fancy a horse and the wheelbarrow comes out, I’ll try and spread the bet across several bookies even though this affects margins. Don’t mention the exchanges because they are really slow to form markets.
    So what to bet on? A lot of the money goes down on unraced or novices. Yes you can work it out whether flat or national hunt eg on the flat Archie Watson/Holly Doyle combination was electric for a while as was the Vampire Slayer earlier this season. In NH I’ll cite Harry’s knowledge of horses coming from ptp. As others have said, you develop your strengths. My worst betting is when I’m passing watching to pass the time of day and bet small amounts ‘for fun’ in the hope of getting something for the tracker – another essential.
    Good luck all!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The only other time I didn’t lose to the Bookies was when I was with Betfair for 5 years.
    I didn’t need to deposit in that time because I think of ways a hyped Horse can lose (which is not necessarily the favourite).
    It works well in Football as well for someone with my character.
    I am just better at spotting losers than actual winners.
    It really annoyed them that I wasn’t depositing and they sent me messages treating me as ‘winning’ even though I couldn’t have made more than 50 quid in any of those years.
    Betfair closed my account after 5 years when the account was hacked and they did not want me to rejoin with a new username or password (at least the man on the phone was honest).
    I would say overall I won 10 quid over 5 years but their computer said I was simply not their sort.
    I don’t have an exchange account now even though it plays to my strengths.


  9. I don’t specialise, but I do steer away from 2 year old races generally until later in the season, and I find the beginning and end of the jumps/flat quite tricky – at that time, I often reduce bets and rely a bit more on some tipsters to suggest which novice might make an impact. If I have time, it’s always more satisfying to go through the form myself, before looking at what others have written.
    I’m sure focusing on particular types of races would be beneficial, but for me, it’s basically a hobby and betting on terrestrial TV races adds to the enjoyment of watching them. Having said that, in the last five years, I’ve had more time to study the form and be a bit more selective (although I bet on a majority of races on ITV, I don’t bet all). I’ve made no deposit in my betting account for the last five years, showing a small profit, having fairly consistently lost small amounts in the previous 25 years or so. It’s mainly hitting the odd decent priced double every few months that boosts the balance.
    I look to rate how a horse is likely to run in a particular race based on a variety of aspects that I think all here are familiar with; distance, ground, course, trainer form etc. Dilton suggested ‘Mordin on Time’ to me a while back, and while I don’t put in the effort to get reliable speed figures for myself, one thing he talks about, that it is popular in the US, are the sheets showing a horse’s cycles (I don’t have the right name to hand) – where they analyse a sort of ‘bounce factor’ e.g. the horse runs well twice, has a dip, then runs well for two races again, or may be consistently up and down. I don’t do it very scientifically, but I do look for patterns in their form and pay more attention to how they perform at certain times of the season – this may have helped my profits in the last couple of years or so. But I’ve not analysed it.
    One race that I used to feel was profitable for me was the Grand National – looking at trends from the previous 10-20 years, I could significantly narrow the field and find some decent prices that would be placed (and the odd winner), but for about the last 5 years, it has been a graveyard for me!! No doubt it’s a different race now.
    One final point that has occurred to me while thinking about this (a good topic Joe), is that I’ve found some good prices in quite a lot of races, where there’s a horse that I fancy a lot (often in the top 3 or so of the betting), but when you dig around, you can find another one in the race that I rate within 1 or 2 lbs of it that is two or three times the price – that’s the one who represents ‘value’ to me.


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