With the racing in the UK currently suspended I thought it would be a good time to go through my contacts and see how the pro and semi-pro punting fraternity are spending their ‘time off’. Here’s what they had to say.
Steve ‘Rucker’ Noyce
I was looking forward to the next week or so, all home meetings, Cottenham point to point Saturday, Hereford, Lingfield, Plumpton, Fontwell, aaaagh! Anyway, we will worry about getting the money when UK racing resumes. As the owner of a farm/smallholding livestock comes and goes and on Sunday four weaners (piglets) are coming to be fattened up for the freezer, along with 35 chickens and 18 sheep that are already residing, there’s always summit to do. With regard to earning a crust whilst the racing is off I will hold fire ‘till racing resumes, may have a miniscule football bet at the weekend. I’m getting fed up spending 4hrs on point to point cards and them biting the dust though.
Happy punting all.
It is unchartered territory for me – at the time of Foot and Mouth I’m not even sure I had a Betfair account, and I certainly wasn’t punting full time. The uncertainty is a concern – if this is all over by next Wednesday then it will (for the likes of me at least) be no different to a cold snap, the trouble is at this stage if things take a sinister turn it’s impossible to say how long it might last. I’ll be playing the Irish racing over the next few days, but in terms of the amount of racing that offers, the delay on the pictures and my level of expertise it is in no way a substitute. Hopefully the picture will be clearer on Monday and there will be some better news for everybody’s sake, including causes a lot more worthy than mine – until then I’ll go with a few small darts at Naas and a dozen Hail Marys…..
I’m just catching up on work, right up to date with UK and Hong Kong form work and playing golf, nothing too exciting.
The actual truth is I’m taking some time off down to our holiday home In Anglesey so other than doing a few Irish tips for the oddschecker site I’m taking as much time out as possible with my 18 month old son. It’s also my birthday tomorrow so it’s a good way of spending the weekend without my head stuck in a computer.
#BettingPeople COMING SOON
Kristian ‘Smiler’ Dawson
Rain stops play, but hopefully not pay.
Every year the gambling God’s seemingly bowl us horse racing punters a equine googly, that skittles our economic ambitions. The news that we are going to lose at least five days racing have left many of us feeling like teenagers who have had their PlayStation’s locked in a cupboard for a week. The bookmakers will no doubt kick back and watch the money pour in on the virtual racing, but us punters who like the real stuff, what are we to do in such an elongated period of down time ?
Well if ever there was a time to take stock and reflect on one’s own betting modus operandi, now is definitely the time. Most of us who are betting on a regular basis, know all too well, that trying to find free time in this business, is like trying to find a Pro-Brexit article in The Guardian newspaper. However, now, for once, we have some time. So let’s use it wisely and come back with a vengeance.
One thing I would urge my fellow horse racing punters to do is to delve into the wealth of information available on the internet. There are numerous stats sites, ratings sites, successful tipping sites etc, etc, that are all offering some very useful angles that us punters should be adding to our armoury.
Personally, I will be taking a close look at numerous websites and systems that are available. Also I am going to go over my own records, or rather pay someone to do it, and try to identify places where I am both weak and strong. That’s long overdue for me and the findings will be interesting.
I’m fairly lucky in the sense that I have managed to diversify my betting from just the one sport and now I also bet on boxing. (don’t ever try and specialise in betting on any more than two sports. It’s suicide, on a par with giving Ronnie Biggs custody of your family silverware, or taking driving lessons from Prince Phillip.) So, this Friday I will be pouring over rounds of fistic fury trying to identify “ricks” our generous friends the bookmakers may have made in the pricing.
Boxing works for me because it’s a fairly easy sport to follow and is not all consuming, with the really big fights only taking place on the weekend. Usually there is some value to be had if you work hard enough to get it. Perhaps because bookmakers are not taking bundles of money on the sport we can rejoice in the fact that their pricing maybe vulnerable.
One tiny silver lining for Friday is that Dundalk goes ahead in Ireland. The gambles there on the show seem to be mart and the really big moves seem to be well worth following in.
If all of the above fails to whet the appetite, then console yourselves in the knowledge that our airwaves are a “Tommo TV” free zone for at least five days. Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining! Smiler.
Tying up loose ends with account holders and sourcing new accounts, having a day of going through Cheltenham ante-post as if racing will be back to normal in two weeks – that way if it does all go NSW 2007 or whenever it was, then I’ve only wasted a day at worst. Also taking the time to speak to some lads much smarter than myself in terms of data collection and modelling and trying to find moves in the sports world. Most importantly having a full 48 hours without encountering betting and recharging the batteries before normality resumes. It’s amazing what a couple of days can do for freshness of the mind.
Disappointing that racing is not taking place – this is usually the time of year I think about going back out after a brief sabbatical through the winter, still onwards and upwards, it’s got to be loads of work on the greyhounds particularly tracks that race a fair bit each week, liquidity on the most used sites are usually good and a few of the bookmakers may price up early. Hard work but worth the effort, it could make a positive out of a negative.
Not much impact for me as I specialise in football and don’t really take any notice of racing outside of big meetings these days. The only priority for me is that they fix this mess without it impacting on Cheltenham. Losing Cheltenham would be very unhelpful for my turnover.
2.30am Thursday: Our new-born baby woke to feed and I made the mistake of looking at my phone. A message telling me about the equine influenza cases. I immediately contacted a pro-punter friend of mine who had driven up to Doncaster after Wolverhampton’s evening meeting. He was already in the car on the way back to Wales.
Sensible me would have turned over and gone to sleep. The other me, the one who lives and breathes racing and overthinks everything, decided to stay awake for three hours worrying and imaging a long period without racing. Goodbye freelance journalism and broadcasting gigs, goodbye any chance of backing a winner. This is it, this is the end, I’ll have to get a proper job.
Being away from the news on the way to Leeds for my William Hill radio shift didn’t help my mindset but by mid-afternoon I was more positive. I was already feeling guilty about leaving the family this coming weekend – the plan was Wolverhampton on Saturday night (the bias has been extraordinary of late and I fancied my chances of making a few quid) and Southwell on Sunday (paddock inspection was kind to me at the last meeting and I didn’t want to miss out) – but now I can spend time with them and give my wife a deserved break.
It’s worrying for all involved in the industry, but I have confidence in the BHA after they way they’ve handled things so far and there will always be a next race, whether it’s tomorrow, next week or next month.
I’ll be focusing on international racing a bit more along with a few greyhound bets. Other than that, it’s beyond my control and I’ll be sitting tight. Besides, if its going to happen at any time of the year, I’d rather it was the beginning of February!
I’m off this weekend playing the Sky Poker tour event in Manchester so now instead of staying up all night playing cards and then waking up a few hours later to rush round the betting shops of this wonderful city I can now sit in bed on Saturday morning betting on thirty football matches, the golf, the 6-nations and the odd race from Naas. It’s like a winter holiday.
Well I won’t be studying for Cheltenham, I don’t even know when it’s on apart from it’s sometime in March! I’m going to start tidying the garden ready for spring. This afternoon I’m off to London for a meal with my wife, two of our sons and their partners. Next week I’m going to open some new accounts, that’s a bit time consuming. To be honest with you I’m pleased to have a break and spend some more time with my lovely family. I have bet one at Dundalk tonight though….
First of all my thoughts go to those in the industry, as racing is their only source of work and whom will be greatly affected by this. For me, I will spend my time delving deep into half finished research and projects. I always have a lot of notes that are in the ‘must do’ pile but never get done; so this is a great time to work on all that. But also, there is plenty of group racing about to come up in Australia. I’ve been active on Australian racing since 2006, so will turn a bit more attention to that as some of the bigger tracks come back into the mix in February.
Obviously it means I won’t be as busy as usual and the intended Saturday, Sunday and Monday going racing won’t be happening which all allows time to do other things away from racing. Racing is still going on in France so I’ll be betting on that, although this tends to be the quietest month of the year for me with that. I consider myself a racing analyst rather than a pro-punter though.
#BettingPeople COMING SOON
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring