Tag Archives: Catterick

John Gibby – Well Handicapped Horses

Today we have the first part of an interview with John Gibby the author of Well Handicapped Horses

We also have details of two of John’s well handicapped horses running today.

This interview was conducted by Steve Carter of the Betting School Insiders Club.


INTERVIEW WITH JON GIBBY

When did you first get interested in horse racing and betting?

Whilst living in Hong Kong between 1979/1980. My father and two elder brothers were regular visitors to the two racecourses (Sha Tin and Happy Valley) and I remember being impressed on the couple of occasions that they returned home and emptied some quite large amounts of money onto the dining-room table!

My first visit to a racetrack came a few years later when I was nineteen. That was when I came to believe that there was money to be made from betting on horses.

Although I lost what little money I had that day, by betting on horses that I liked the look of in the paddock, my brothers had been studying the form and they proceeded to go through the card.

The last winner (if memory serves me correctly) was a horse called Taskforce Victory which landed them a six horse accumulator and the Placepot and combined winnings of over £2000.

It was soon after that that I began to take a keen interest in the contents of the Sporting Life paper that they regularly bought and to start listening to what they had to say about form analysis!

Did your betting activities bring instant success or did it take a while to learn the ropes?

There was certainly no instant success. It took years before I began to show regular profits.

Both myself and my brothers spent years trying to develop those illusive winning systems but most of them were unceremoniously binned after the first inevitable losing run. I had a few decent successes with Lucky 15 bets which helped to recoup some of my losses but overall, although I didn’t keep records of every bet, I was certainly in deficit to the bookies.

The great majority of punters will spend years losing money whilst learning the trade and the great majority will continue to lose money because they can’t or don’t want to learn from their experience!

Were there any early influences that shaped your approach to successful betting?

Yes, without a doubt the biggest influence was Nick Mordin’s ground breaking book Betting for a Living.

Nick’s work was outstanding, primarily because it was such a huge step up on previous British racing literature. It was this book that showed me how to work out my own draw statistics and also introduced me to pace analysis. More importantly, it also helped me to discover that there were numerous excellent American books waiting to be read and works by authors such as Andy Beyer, Tom Ainslie, William Quirin and Tom Brohammer completely transformed my understanding of form.

How would you best sum up your own style of betting?

Periodic and selective. I don’t bet professionally and I am still in the same full-time occupation that I joined twenty-five years ago. For me, betting has been, and always will be, a hobby that I aim to make a few thousand pounds out of each year, whether that be by writing books or by betting. Because of my job (which involves shift work) I don’t have the time or the energy to commit to the necessary amount of form study over long periods of time.

I tend to give it maximum effort from April through to July, betting exclusively on the Flat and then I will have just an occasional dabble during the rest of the year.

I also bet selectively. I identify horses that I believe to be well-handicapped (and therefore probable future winners) and I keep a list of them to follow. Most of them are lightly raced three-year-olds which I look to back in the first half of the season (whilst they remain well-handicapped).

Most of my analysis is done when looking at the results pages published in the Weekender every Wednesday. I scour the results looking for horses that have run well despite being disadvantaged by the various biases that are present to varying degrees in each and every race. I am also looking out for horses that have clocked fast times. For a fuller explanation of the methodology, readers will have to buy my latest book!

What led you to writing your first book “Betting on Flat Handicaps?”

I used to subscribe to the weekly publication Raceform Update and I particularly enjoyed reading the letters and systems submitted by readers to the Sports Forum page. About sixteen years ago I began sending in my own letters.

They seemed to be well received in the main and because I was making good profits at the time from the methodology I was using I decided to take it a step further and write a book. I sent in a couple of chapters to Raceform with an explanation of what would be in the remainder of the book and to my surprise they said ‘yes’!

How was your own P&L affected by the disclosure of the methods described in the book?

It is difficult to know. The method I used then was built around my knowledge of draw bias, which for a good few years gave me a significant edge over the majority of other punters.

That began to diminish as more and more people became aware of the power of the draw and the odds about the well-drawn runners started to tumble. Perhaps my book contributed to that to some extent, but I think that Graham Wheldon’s books about the draw, which were published around that time, were more influential in changing people’s perceptions.

More generally, I would say that it is a truism that winning methods normally have a limited lifetime because inevitably other people will catch on to them and they eventually become over bet as a consequence.

The game keeps slowly changing and you have to keep adapting your methods in an attempt to stay one step ahead of other punters. There is of course no guarantee that you can keep successfully doing that and that is why I have always been reluctant to risk packing up the day job in favour of full-time punting.

In your opinion where does the average every day punter go wrong given that the statistics generally quote that 98% make a loss?

They bet in too many races and on the wrong type of horse. Most people would improve their chance of success if they became a lot more selective and put more money on fewer bets. Another truism in my view is that you cannot construct good bets every time you open the Racing Post, but instead you have to wait for them to come along.

I am reminded of this most years during Royal Ascot week and the Cheltenham Festival. I meet up with one of my brothers and we treat the weeks as a bit of fun and try to find the winner of every race. More often than not we fail dismally!

In part two tomorrow John talks about his current methods for finding winners.

There are two of John’s well handicapped horses running today…


Today’s Selections courtesy of Well Handicapped Horses

4.00pm Nottingham – Future Security

Related to five winners and cost 160,000gns as a yearling. He was a relatively late foal (April 8) and will make a better 3yo once he matures and based on his 2yo form he gave the impression that he might make into Listed class.

This season he won a class 4 3yo handicap at Bath in early August and finished down the field next time out in the very hot class 2 Melrose Stakes at York. Last time out having been close up he weakened out of it on his first run on firm going and has been dropped a couple of pounds in the handicap. The forecast going today is good to soft and he drops back to a trip more in line with his two wins to date which were over 9f and 10f. Has proven form in the conditions and the ease in class may be able to bring out a return to form for this lightly raced colt should he take his chance.

13/2 Bet365 – win bet

8.30pm Kempton – Eraada

Related to no less than 12 winners including the 118 rated Almutawake so she has a lot to live up to. Being by Medician she is probably going to be suited by a sound surface. She won on her final start as a 2yo in a maiden at Catterick over 7f and did well from a poor draw. Hopefully she will get better with age and a rating of 73 looks manageable.

So far this season two runs have not shown much and she now runs off a mark of 69. Interestingly she is upped in trip to 11f for the first time having not into either of her starts over 7f and 8f as a 3yo and the trainer certainly knows the time of day when it comes to trip. This is her easiest assignment and given she stays then may have a lively chance.

14/1 Bet365 – each way bet

Donald McCain Junior

Do you know who has sent out the most National Hunt runners since January 1st 2013.

Donald McCain Junior.

Thats surprised me, my guess would have been David Pipe or Paul Nicholls, but they come in fourth and fifth behind Donald, Jonjo and Willie Mullins.

So today I'm going to look at some Donald McCain stats, I don't know if they will lead us anywhere, but we'll see.

The headline numbers for all National Hunt runs since January 1st 2013 are a loss of 30% on monies invested with a 16% strike rate.

Donald McCain All Runs Table

 

If we break that down by race type we can see that there isn't much difference in the ROI's although hurdles are the least profitable at SP. National Hunt Flat have the highest strike rate.

Donald McCain Racetype Table

 

For now I'm going to look more closely at the Hurdle races because there is more volume their to work with and the strike rate is better then the Chases.

Breaking down the hurdle runs by track it seems that Donald will go anywhere for his runs with almost every course featuring in the last two years.

This table shows just the ones where he's had more than 10 runs.

Donald McCain Hurdles by Course TableOnly Newcastle, Kelso and  Musselburgh have a positive ROI, with Newcastle and Kelso very positive.

When I look at Jockeys I see that Tony McCoy has a positive ROI again, despite the fact that so many mug punters bet everything he rides he still manages to outrun his odds, you'll remember it was the same with Nicky Henderson.

McCain Hurdles by Jockey

Noel Fehily also has a very good strike rate, but from not many rides.

Ok let's skip ahead a bit and see if we can put something together that is profitable for us to benchmark future McCain runners that we are considering betting.

What I've done is to select all tracks where the strike rate was over 20%, I've then discounted the off season months and only looked at October to March.

And I've excluded Heavy going.

Which gives me a 29.4 % ROI at iSP and a 29% strike rate from 150 runs.

Donald McCain Micro System

 

The courses I included are

Ayr, Bangor, Cartmel, Catterick, Kelso, Musselburgh, Newcastle, Sedgefield & Worcester.

We can improve the ROI by only including Jason Maguire rides but then we will be below 100 bets since January 1st 2013.

Today's Selection

Carlisle 4:00 Court Dismissed – win bet – 5/4 Bet 365

Free Bets

Here's a nifty free bets offer that will give you plenty of interest throughout the upcoming Premier League season.

Paddy Power have an offer in the Premier League Top Goal Scorer market, whereby you get a free bet every time your selection scores a goal.

You have to stake £20 and you get a free £2 bet every time your selection scores a Premier League goal.

So your selection only has to score 10 goals all season for you to get your money back in free bets!

Last seasons top score was of course Luis ‘Gnasher' Suarez with a tally of 31.

So if this offer had been available last year then Suarez bettors would have bagged £62 worth of free bets.

So, how to play this?

You could lay the bet off at Betfair and just collect your free bets, but that would tie up at least £100 all season which is probably not ideal for most of us.

So I recommend that you play it straight. Bet on who you think will be top scorer, have an interest all season and collect your free bets.

To that end you might want to look to Chelsea or Man City who are the pre season favourites for the Premier League at 15/8 and 12/5.

However as we've said last seasons top scorer was Luis Suarez, I don't know what price Liverpool were pre season, but they certainly weren't favourites!

I'll leave the selection up to you because you've got to live with it all season and a bet like that needs to be made on a player and a team that you would like to see do well.

To get the offer go to http://paddypower.com and you'll see it at the top centre of the screen.

As always terms and conditions apply.

Today's Selection

Catterick 3.15 Special Fighter – win bet – 7/4 Bet Victor

Basic Betting Math

Grey Horse BotToday we have our second guest column from Malcolm Pett of Greyhorse Bot fame.

—–

Apart from automation I love statistics.

Personally I don’t understand how anyone can even start to follow a system or tips unless they have some basic statistical information.

At the very least you need two pieces of information.

Strike Rate (SR) and Average winning odds (AWO).

Those are the two main ingredients of any system and if they don’t balance these, then there is no profit.

If you have a low SR you need higher AWO.

Or if you have a high AWO then you can get away with a lower SR.

Basic Betting Maths

Here is how to work it out quickly…

Let’s say you know you have a strike rate of 25%

100-25 = 75
75 / 25 = 3.00

Basically the 25 winners have to cover the 75 losers.
And so those 25 runners need average winning odds of 3.00 just to break even.

You are going to need something higher than 3 to really make a profit.

Let’s say your AWO were 7.00

100 / 7 = 14.28
So your strike rate needs to be better than 14.28% before you make a profit.

The two above examples do not take into consideration any cost, like Betfair’s commission.

Your strike rate can also point you in the direction of your longest losing run, which in turn, can help you decide on the size of stake compared to your bank that you should use.

A 13% strike rate points to a possible losing run of 48 or more selections in a row…

Are you ready for that?

Many systems fail just because the AWO goes down. This happens when too many people start following a system especially when it is based around outsiders.

If you are following a system you need to keep an eye on both the above figures.

There will be variations especially during spells without winners or really good winning runs, but overall you should see very small changes.

Take a note of the current SR and AWO the moment you start following any selections which will give you a point of reference for the future.

If you are a real nerd like me then you can even go back over the results and test these two figures at different points in time.

I did this with one service and found that over the last 6 months both figures had been dropping slowly, pointing to a place not too far in the future where there would probably be no profit at all.

At the Grey Horse Bot site we do a lot of “open” system testing and all our selections come with a full set of day by day results.

But we don’t stop there we also have a month by month round up and the full statistics including Return on investment and a graph thrown in for good measure.

My belief is that many people start using systems/tips without even considering the numbers.

Profit looks good on paper but the really important thing is…

… “How does the system make that profit?”

Thank you for reading I really do appreciate it.

Malcolm

You can find out more about Grey Horse Bot here.

Todays Selection
4.00 Catterick – 1pt win Go Far @ 5/1

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