Ian Har­ri­son talks us through his pre-race bet­ting rou­tine on get­ting the best odds – and why trial and er­ror has its mer­its

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

In­ter­view with the best-sell­ing rac­ing nov­el­ist

We know that the book­ies fid­dle the prices. Oddschecker is one source for prices, mak­ing sure you are on with the high­est price bookie but they play around with those blue and pink mark­ers. Blue means the price is com­ing in and pink means it’s drift­ing. I have been keep­ing a close watch on horses that I fancy and at 8am I note the cur­rent best prices and fre­quently it will be blue, which is a good sign.

Say I am look­ing at 5/2.At 9.15 I go back to have another look and lo and be­hold the price is now shown in lovely pink at 2/1.This will put many peo­ple off so you do need to keep a close eye on what they are do­ing with the prices. If you click on the horse’s name you will see the com­plete price record go­ing back to the evening be­fore.You do need to do your home­work.

I usu­ally only give one bet a day with three or four bets a week. One bet a day helps you to stay in con­trol be­cause you can only lose one point and as I am run­ning a ten-point bank it is very im­por­tant that you rarely put more than 10% of your bank at risk. A ten-point bank makes you very very dis­ci­plined with your eye con­stantly on the bot­tom line.

On 14th July, I struck gold with two bets on the day and they both won. PARFAIT won the Sil­ver Bun­bury Cup at 5/2 and then ROLY POLY won the Fal­mouth Stakes at 9/4 giv­ing me a 10/1 dou­ble.Usu­ally if I give two bets I only ex­pect one of them to win still giv­ing a profit. Aim­ing for a 50% strike rate is just be­ing re­al­is­tic and if you can keep that up you are do­ing well.

Those who are ob­ser­vant will no­tice that Roly Poly is shown at 9/4 when the SP was 6/4. That is be­cause I al­ways ad­vise tak­ing an early price about a horse when you ex­pect the price to come in.

You are bet­ter off look­ing for the price on Bet­fair. You get a bet­ter idea by look­ing at the graph and if this is show­ing a down­ward slope then that is more re­al­is­tic than look­ing at the book­ies’ prices.

Bet­fair cus­tomers are pun­ters and they have no axe to grind.The graph sym­bol is to the left of the horse’s num­ber.You don’t need to sign in to get the graph but you do to find out what per­cent­age money is on your se­lec­tion. Any­thing over 50% is a good in­di­ca­tor.

From 15th June to 14th July, I was strug­gling so I stopped bet­ting al­to­gether and ran a trial pe­riod of two weeks when I did a lot of tidy­ing up with­out the usual pres­sure. Which would you pre­fer, a tip­ster who just barges on or one who will stop and re­con­sider his meth­ods?

My clients got all the trial bets de­spite pleas from some who didn’t want them but it would be no use telling them af­ter the event that yes­ter­day I had a 50/1 win­ner. The fact has to be proven, so they were all given out.The re­sult was quite amaz­ing. 10

bets, 8 won/pl, 15 points and I had stopped bet­ting.Ouch.Some of my clients were on and very pleased they were too. Ian Har­ri­son has man­aged Gold­crest since 1985. His book­let ‘Ad­vice to Back­ers’ is avail­able free by e-mail.


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