Tag Archives: losses

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

Recovery staking a TABOO subject?

Today we have our regular Wednesday wisdom from Malcolm Pett, we also have selections for both the Headgear and Tongue Tie systems. Here's Malcolm…

Recovery staking for me has always been a taboo subject.

I have tried it in the past and lost a lot of money doing so.

When you mention recovery staking most people think about putting all your losses on the next bet and that’s the one to be AVOIDED at all costs.

Obviously a conversation about any form of staking needs a disclaimer…

Don’t do it unless you are fully aware of the cost!!!

Also there isn’t a staking system ever thought up that will allow you to make money from a system that doesn’t consistently make profit.

But I use one I actually call “Help recovery”.

It doesn’t usually recover all your losses but it seems to help.

I call it “1234..etc” staking and it works simply by…

“Increasing your stake by your ORGINAL stake every time you lose”

There are a few of things to clarify here…

It’s not doubling your stake (although bet 2 makes it look that way).

It won’t work with systems that don’t have a high strike rate.

The further you go into the sequence the less likely you are to recover your losses.

You need a stop loss setting.

Here is how it works.

1 is your original stake.

If you lose you go to 2 which is your original stake multiplied by 2.

If you lose again you go to 3 which is your original stake multiplied by 3.

And so on.

If you lose on 7 then you would have lost 28 points of your bank.

And you will need a 4/1 winner just to break even.

Which will be unlikely when used with a high strike system that this idea works best with.

So why use a staking system that won’t recover your losses?

With high strike systems you tend to get a mixture of very low prices and odds on prices.

You don’t tend to have long losing runs and so when this system does kick in it can often be for only 1 or 2 selections and the odd higher priced winner just seems to help boost up the profits.

I find with some systems this can be an extra 10 or more points a month.

A couple of tests we have been doing over at the Grey Horse Bot website have results sheets showing how this works.

Click here for an example.


Again please be warned that staking isn’t for everyone and you need to be aware of the risks.

I tend to use 7 as my maximum with this system and realise that if I hit that…

…then it is a month’s (or more) profit down the drain.

Also when using staking select a stake lower than you normal would.

1% or less of your bank.

Thanks
Malcolm

http://greyhorsebot.com

System Selections

With both of these systems I'm still paper trading, but I wanted to post the selections so you can follow along with the live test.

Tongue Tie System

14:55 Chepstow – Nervous Nineties – 150/1 Coral

First Time Headgear

14:35:00 Down Royal – Reality Dose – 16/1 Bet Victor

Today's Selection

14:20:00 Chepstow Champagne Express – win bet – 3/1 Bet 365

Tongue Tie Research

You'll remember that last week I mentioned the Geegeez article that talked about the use of tongue ties and how a horse needs a few runs with a tongue tie before they will let them self go.

The theory being that the horse still thinks that it's tongue will get in the way and is worried it won't be able to breathe and so doesnt give all.

But after a few runs with a tongue tie it starts to realise that it doenst have tongue problems anymore.

So I've been doing some research.

First off some facts. All horses wearing a tongue tie for the first time in 2013 & 2014 produces the following big losses.

Runs = 3959
Wins = 319
Strike Rate = 8.06%
Loss at iSP = -1335.24
ROI = – 33.73%

So it seems that wearing a tongue tie for the first time is a negative factor and the losing ROI is such that maybe it has the makings of a lay system.

Then it occurred to me that the reason that the horse doesnt perform well first time out with the tie is because it is still worried about a previous experience with breathing and doesn't realise it will be ok with the tie.

But surely there are some trainers that use the tie at home and get the horse used to it and trusting it before they ever go racing with the tie on and that maybe there are trainers that win first time-out with a tongue tie.

So I had a search for trainers who are profitable with first time tongue tie wearers.

And I found some.

For example Rebecca Curtis had 22 starts over the two year period that ran with a tongue tie for the first time.

Seven of those won for a 32% strike rate and they made an industry SP profit of 5.86 which is a 27% ROI.

Charlie Longsdon had 32 starts and 8 wins and an industry SP profit of 20.3. Which is a strike rate of 25% and an ROI of 63%.

I've selected the best performers from 2013/14 and checked their 2015 performance and a good profit has been made so I'm going to run this as a system live for a while and see if we have something worth following long term.

Today's Selection

2.30 Wolverhampton Kalimantan – win bet – 11/8 Bet 365, Paddy Power

Stop at a Winner Systems

Today Malcolm from http://greyhorsebot.com is back with details of a test he is running on a stop at a winner system…

Stop at a winner.

Have you ever tried a stop at a winner system?

You know where you have a number of selections for the day but stop as soon as you get the first win?

The people against SAW argue…

…”If the selections you are using are profitable then why stop?”

Although I agree some of my experiments are showing that they can actually be just as profitable or more so over time.

It can also mean you don’t have to put up with so many losers.

There is no doubt that SAW won’t work for every system and they are more suited to high strike rate systems where you have a 40% or above strike rate.

This normally means you are on quite fancied and sometimes low priced runners.

Looking through the race cards and looking at just the 1st and 2nd favourites is a good place to start and can easily give you 3 or more selections to use each day if you carefully consider which ones to use.

The other thing you need to consider is stop loss.

I have found that on days where things are not going to plan it’s pointless to just keep going.

In fact it is better to get yourself out after 3 or 4 losses than it is to keep hoping for a win and then having to make up a lot of lost points.

Also by limiting your maximum loss does allow you to consider different staking options.

If you are interested I have set up and experiment over at the Grey Horse Bot web site.

The selections are chosen using 3 criteria.

– They must be highest ranked by price early in the morning (around 6am)
– Their in-house rating should be 100 or more (you can choose this figure)
– Their price must be the same or lower when we get the mid morning prices (11am to 11.30am)

I am calling it an “interactive” test because you can experiment with the rating number.

You can see the results using all the selections and SAW.

You can even get the daily selections so that you can follow along and see how it actually works.

Click Here to have a look


Thanks
Malcolm
Grey Horse Bot.

Today's Selection

3.20 Southwell Red Stripes – win bet – 7/4 Paddy Power, Bet 365

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