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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

400 Points a Year System

Today we have our regular Wednesday column from Malcolm Pett (http://greyhorsebot.com)

We do a lot of “open” testing at the Grey Horse Bot web site sometimes just to see how a particular idea will work out (high strike rate favourites) and sometimes to test a new system idea that looks like it could work.

Although it’s nice to see a profit from the testing sometimes the goal is just to see if a system is performing as expected.

As you know not every system will make a profit every month so a trial period may not be profitable but if the system performs as it has in the past then that is a good sign.

We started testing “Elision” back at the end of August.

This was planned as a 3 month test just to see if the ratings system we were using to help find the selections did actually continue to work as expected.

Elision is a Handicap Hurdle system and although the ratings picked the selections we added in a few other filters to help whittle down the field…

…Although because of the ratings we can still end up with more than one selection in a race.

The test has been quite revealing which you can see if you study the results page.

We have recently started to increase the amount of statistical information we supply on our results and have now added…

Longest Losing run
Predicted Longest losing Run.
Highest Bank draw down.

These along with the month by month and day by day results and the visual graph give you a good understanding of how the system is performing.

Another thing we give our customers from time to time is a report about the test which includes information about how we feel the system had performed and there is also one of these available on the results page.

I am not sure if Elision will appeal to everyone. But the fact that it made over 500 points last year and has still managed over 400 points this year should tempt you to at least have a look.

You can get all this information here.


http://greyhorsebot.com/elision

Thank you as always for reading I really do appreciate it.

Malcolm
The Grey Horse Bot.

Today's Selection

Kempton 6.50 Jelly Fish – eachway bet – 8/1 Sporting Bet

Double or Nothing Trading

I've written about Double or Nothing in play trading, or Dobbing,before, but that was over 18 months ago so many readers won't have seen the original article.

The reason I've returned to Dobbing today is that I've just read an interesting article in Betting Insiders that gave a secret but free source of selections for your trades.

So to recap here is the explanation of Dobbing that we shared previously, written by Dave Renham…

Dobbing is a term I came across a few years back – I am not sure where it originates from, but essentially a ‘DOB’ means ‘double or bust’. Essentially if we win, we double our original stake, if we lose we ‘bust’ or lose our stake. I am concentrating on the idea of dobbing by utilizing the in running betting markets. It may be easier to explain by giving you an example:

Let us imagine you back a horse pre race at 8.0 for £10; in order to create a potential DOB you try and lay at half the odds for double the stake – so a lay at 4.0 for £20.

If the horse hits 4.0 or lower in running, your lay bet will be matched and regardless of the result you will win £10 (less commission).

Here is the simple maths behind the two potential winning outcomes – if the horse goes onto win the race you get £70 returned from the ‘back’ part of the bet; you lose £60 on the ‘lay’ part of the bet giving you that £10 profit; if the horse does not go onto win, you lose your £10 stake from the ‘back’ bet, but gain £20 from the lay stake – again giving you a £10 profit. Of course if the lay part of the bet is not matched you will lose your £10.

Dobbing is well worth looking into and if you want to do it yourself basically you want to look for horses that you think will run prominently.

The easier profits probably come from bigger priced selections that you think will be up with the pace and on the National Hunt will jump well.

But you can also bet shorter ones that you think will win or go close.

For example if your fancy is 3/1 before the off then it needs to drop below even money for you to get your profit.

If you follow a tipster and you want to find out if it would be profitable to use their selections as Dobbing selections then you can research this by checking the Betfair results page and comparing the Betfair Starting Price with the In Play Low price.

Each time that the In Play Low is half what the Betfair SP is then that would have been a profitable trade.

If you are available during the day consider this as a way of making profit.

If you're a Betting Insiders member check out page 43 of the February 2014 report.

Bot

As you might expect we had a lot of readers interested in the free bot trial and we have emailed the 10 people that were chosen at random. At the moment only 6 of those have replied, if we don't here back from the other 4 today then we will mail another 4 to take their place.

If you weren't lucky this time we will keep you in mind for future freebies.

Today's Selection

6.40 Kempton My Manekineko – eachway bet – 14/1 Paddy Power

Software Updates

It seems there were problems with the delivery of the free Puntology Ratings software yesterday.

As I understand it, too much demand caused the email service to invoke a security restriction.

The result being that if you weren't one of the 1st thousand to sign up then the mail with the download link wash't delivered until later in the afternoon.

Hopefully if you signed up you now have the software ready to rate todays races.

If you didn't sign up it is still available here – Free Horse Racing Software

The mention of software yesterday triggered some questions about Mystery Horse Bot and the Daily Punt Lays bot.

So I'll quickly update on those two today.

The Mystery Horse Bot is having a strong month, after a very poor December, and is now 40 points to the good so far in January.

I've just checked the results page (http://mysteryhorsebot.com/results/) and that is up to date to the 14th January, profit has jumped since then.

The Daily Punt Lays is also having a good month and is £103.36 in profit to £10 liabilities per selection, which is the minimum stake for Betfair SP lays.

I have been told by the boss that the price of the Daily Punt Lays bot will have to go up next month for new users. But at the moment there is still a 7 day trial and then a subscription fee of £19.99 per month – Click Here

Today's Selection

1.00 Lingfield Dark Lane – each way bet – 9/1 Bet 365

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