Racecards and Radars

In recent years I’ve preferred to use betfair exchange over bookmakers where possible, mainly because I can automate my betting activity using my own bespoke code. You can get some very big prices on outsiders but there are a lot of times where taking the best price from the bookies makes more sense by the time you’ve accounted for commission and best odds guaranteed. It can difficult getting more than £10 matched on the exchange early in the morning and amounts higher than this will see bots ‘spotting’ potential value and jump in front of you.

So, to improve my returns I’ve increased my activity with the bookies once again and knowing how good some of our horse racing tipsters are, I thought I’d better seek some advice. The last thing I wanted is getting restricted or banned from any of the big, useful bookmakers. Pinpoint has provided some really interesting information about his value seeking methods and I thought he’d be a good person to ask. I also wanted to pick his brains about going through the racecards as this can be a very time-consuming process. He very kindly responded in detail and I thought that the information he gave might be interesting/useful to others too and with his permission have posted below.

Attacking the racecards

Going through the racecards takes time and is ordered in priority, the higher the class of race, the more likely both form and speed will be maintained as well as the size of the field for more chance of a good pace (again speed figures work better with pace in the race).

So, on a weekend with a lot of racing (like super Saturday), I start with the big heritage handicaps (usually class 2 with plenty of runners) and work through the rest of the handicaps regarding runners and class, concentrating on the main meetings. Given a choice I’d like just to have class 2 to 4, on good though to firm going, over 7F to 10F, with 12 or more runners, however it’s not a perfect world and you get what your given.

As a tipster volume is as important as yield, and there is always the problem of having the volume of bets against the quality of the bets. I start at looking at the LTO speed figures (both adjusted and raw) first to see if any are high enough (in the class their running) to warrant being filtered further otherwise I swiftly move on to the next handicap.

With the “Progression” methodology it takes a little more research, but hopefully I’ll have a few from my tracker notebook which I’ll go for with little study as long as the conditions are right I just do them regardless of the frame of the race, which cuts the time down.

Now and then I’ll stray out of hcaps looking for a few bets on a poor day if the quality’s there but only rarely.

I struggle at times when I have 4 or 5 filtered selections in a big handicap , and often put the wrong ones up, (after Aflaack become a non runner on Saturday a had two others who meet the criteria “Mordin” and “Euchen Glen” I put up the former and the latter won at 20/1, I’m still beating myself up about it).

Going under the radar

To try to prevent further account restrictions, I have to spread my bets. I’m betting at £40 (£20EW) and have 10 bookie’s a/c’s (all on oddschecker for ease of use), and if the price is the same with a couple I’ll spread it about in £10 chunks or even £5 where possible. Sometimes it’s not possible if there is one standout price and I’ll put up the whole lot on one bookie, as happened with “Royal Rebel” last week. It returned £665 and that’s when the bookies get annoyed. Another like that too soon and you’re in danger of a/c closure or restrictions.

Last month I took out £600 but again spread in £50 to £100 lots and over a 3 to 5 day period, and not just with one bookie (you have to play it down). I took a £260 withdrawal from one bookie last month (Betbright) who promptly closed me down immediately, so beware.

I have been closed down or restricted (as little as 32p with one), by Corals, Betway, Betbright, Betfair Sportsbook, Unibet, 10bet and the old Stan James.

It must be said that the main bookie’s Ladbrokes, Betvictor, William Hill, Paddy Power, Skybet and most of all Bet365 are all solid, especially the latter who are the best and happy for me to carry £3,000 balances in my a/c without a problem.

When your spreading your bets, those £10 free bets they offer come in handy and I have saved over £300 pound in staking over the past year. I also believe that the odds boost and EW enhanced and the 365 EW extra are to the punters advantage and should be taken, especially with bigger prices (good value).