Good morning all,
Really pleased to see Panic Room win yesterday, he's a horse I think a lot of and my hopes he might be very good were only enhanced yesterday. He'll always want some cut to be seen at his very best, I think, but he's coming along nicely and I'll be following him closely.
Anyway, a throwaway line from Southwell the other day reminded me of a character I knew, and it's worth doing a little piece on what most people term “value”.
Back in the days when I could still wear my school tie and go in the bookies, which I often did, I'd meet plenty of characters in there, all of whom invariably gave you the benefit of their wisdom. Some of it actually sank in – thankyou Jack – but some of it I could never get my head around.
Frankie would come in most days after he'd knocked off from his job on the bins, sit in the corner by the coffee machine and invariably punt the favourites. He was a jovial character and took winning and losing with the same good grace. I liked him. But one thing he'd often chirrup, especially when one he liked had drifted and won, was “I fancied that, but the big price put me off.” This was a headscratcher. Wasn't the idea of this to win as much as you could? If the price is bigger, you just win more, yes? Okay, as a slightly naive 15yo that would later discover the methodologies of some trainers and the fact they might not be trying their hardest all the time, that might have some truth to it, but the basic principle seemed alien to me.
I heard the phrase again at Southwell on Wednesday when someone who backs jollies a lot told me the same after Double Court's win. “Drifted to a price that was too big, ” he moaned. “Put me off and I never backed it.” I just shook my head.
To this end, I've never let a price put me off. That's not to say I simply back outsiders – I'll back at odds-on if I think it's the wrong price – but it does mean doing your own prices. I think that's a big part of it. I often price a meeting up (for myself) if I'm doing the write-ups for the Life. If you can price a race up and have faith in your own figures (not always easy, sometimes I'm miles out, and you question yourself) then you'll back winners at prices that are “too big.” In this day and age, with betting exchanges to the fore, there's money to be made pre-race by backing and laying them too. I get the fact a late Betfair drift often spells trouble, but you can't worry about that too much when you're pricing up the day before. Why not have a try yourself, if you're not already doing it? You'll find it worthwhile, and you might surprise yourself how good a compiler you are…
On to today and one from the Eyecatchers list at Newcastle. The horse in question is Skerryvore in the 2.05, a horse I liked a lot on debut at Nottingham and was going in the right direction until a poor effort at Doncaster last time out. However, 12f on soft ground might have proved a bit too much for him, and 10f on Tapeta should be much more suitable. He gets the allowances as a 3yo here and looks a backable price. Worth another try.
Good luck with all your bets today,