The Success of Speed Stars


Mat Smith of Speed Stars joins Winning Edge Investments to provide his successful betting strategies to members. He joins us to discuss his background in racing and punting.

 

 

Brad Thompson: Today on the Winning Edge Podcast, we're joined by Mat Smith, from the Speed Stars service. How are you, Mat?

Mat Smith: I'm really good, Brad. How are you?

Brad Thompson: Good thanks, mate. You've had a purple patch in recent weeks. It must be a good feeling.

Mat Smith: Yes, it was actually a really good feeling the last couple of weeks. The results have been a little bit up and down through variance, but things swung back in our favor over the last couple of weeks. It has been really, really good.

Brad Thompson: 7 winners from the last 8 bets at an average price of $5.50.

Mat Smith: It would be fantastic if I could do that every week, but it was really good. I was really quite impressed.

Brad Thompson: Tell us a bit about your background in analyzing horse racing data.

Mat Smith: Brad, I've always been interested in racing, but it was mostly recreational fun. I was actually pretty poor at it when I first started because I generally had no idea what I was doing. I decided that I wanted to try and take it a little bit more seriously, a little bit over 10 years ago. At that point, I started with the traditional weight and form type analysis as most people do, because, at the time, that's pretty much all I knew. There was a fair bit of information around, about it, so I started doing that, and I had varying degrees of success, but after a few years, I just felt that this type of data didn't really provide a lot of value, due to the large number of people that had general access to it. So I decided that I wanted to go in search of something just a little bit different. Around about six years ago, I started looking into the sectional times. That had always fascinated me. At the time, it seemed that not really many people were using sectional times, and they could be an edge if I was able to use them effectively.

It made sense to me that times were critical since we had an official race time and an official 600 metre sectional time. The more I looked at the times, I learned about them a bit more and realised that while they were definitely getting me better results, just times on their own are really quite misleading because they disregard factors like pace, track speed, class of horse, things like that. Times can actually steer you in the wrong direction if you're looking at just pure real times on their own. There needs to be a bit of perspective applied to the sectional times to normalize them across all the races from country to metropolitan.

That way, you gain a bit more accurate perspective on the merits of the performance of each horse. So instead of just using the real times, I found a product with some speed ratings that took those factors into account and actually found them very effective. It wasn't long at all. I was pretty much using them exclusively for my own betting. It was around this time I actually started providing selections to a horse racing service for about 18 months and wound up having really good success. We made about 230 units profit, at 15% profit on turnover during that period, and things are going along really well.

Unfortunately, the company that I was working for at the time, decided that they were going to move exclusively into sports data services. At that point, I was no longer required, so I pretty much just went back to my own betting, primarily with the speed based analysis, and having a really good time with that. Things were going really well, so the bug got me again, to look at a service. So I decided that I would probably start my own service back in about 2018. So I got on social media and started building a bit of a newsletter member base.

I had about 400 people on that newsletter database. In about 9 months, we made about a bit over 60 units profit at 18% profit on turnover. It was a bit more of a selective type service, and at the time, it was a pretty nice platform, I thought, to start the service. I was getting ready to start it about a month before, and I actually had a job opportunity come up in my professional field outside of horse racing. I just couldn't refuse that, so the service didn't eventuate at that point in time. But I can't complain too much because now being part of the Winning Edge team, it's a fantastic opportunity and so far, things have gone extremely well.

Brad Thompson: Definitely. Since joining Winning Edge 3 months ago, you have delivered 73 units profit, 40% winning strike rate, 46% profit on turnover. So, you've come out of the blocks.

Mat Smith: Yes, it's really refreshing that the results that we've had on the live service have actually mirrored pretty much what I've achieved through the model. So I was really happy with that.

Brad Thompson: You mentioned analyzing times is quite complex. What type of data do you use to do that analysis?

Mat Smith: As I said, I just use a set of professional speed ratings. I’ve built those into a database. The database also has all your typical form, market, and class factors. I find that I can use a combination of all those elements, and they work quite well for the type of analysis that I do. I also do combine that with some video analysis filmed on certain races, where the data tells me that there could be something there that I've missed.

So, generally, the data is pretty good at pointing out when a horse might have been held up at a stage. The actual speed ratings will give you an indication of that. So I generally go and look in a bit deeper into the form, a little bit deeper into the video analysis, and just have a better look what might have happened. Quite often, there is a reason there the horse might have been held up or something like that, so that goes into the database as well, and I can take that into account, next time when they're running.

Brad Thompson: You've delved into a fair bit about the Speed Star speed process. How did you come across this method?

Mat Smith: When I was using the speed ratings, I thought that there might be some additional factors that I could utilize to help make a bit more profitability. I was doing a bit of research on general form and market characteristics that I could possibly use with that. At the time, when I was just doing my own betting, I was constantly around about 10% profit on turnover, but what I found, I was just betting into a lot of races, and generally multiple horses in each race. It gave me quite a high turnover, and also a high winning strike rate per race.

The downside to betting multiple horses in a race is that you're pretty much guaranteed to back a lot of losers. Then that goes against how I've tried to set up myself and go about my work over the years. So I decided that I was going to just perform some analyses on horses that were a little bit more favored in the market, and try to determine if there were any form factors that generally made them more popular to general punters out there, and see if anything lined up well with the speed ratings, so I could start to use these extra factors to help me eliminate more horses, and trying to narrow that selection down to one per race.

In that process, I was trying to achieve the goal of a 40% strike rate, and increase the profit on turnover to 20% at the time, up from 10%. That was really all I was trying to achieve. After a few months of testing and analysis, I found that I had come up with a set of factors that could work well. So I built a very basic model. Actually, I had it built for me because I don't have that ability. I found a guy who was able to build that for me, and we loaded it with the predetermined form and market factors. That basically forms the foundation of all the analysis work that I do.

The model itself is essentially designed to find the right horses in the right races for me to preview. From those model selections, I then do further analysis on those and use the speed ratings to verify the form and market factors. I don't pick them blindly. I do put a bit of work into having a look at those model selections, and it has actually improved the results quite a bit since I started doing that. What I found was that horses that were strong on form factors and market factors that I could verify with speed ratings, then these are the horses that I really wanted to be on.

Apart from that, there is the element of just the speed rating process itself. There's, oftentimes, when I find horses that do stand out on speed ratings alone, and they are missed to a certain degree by the model because they don't generally fit the criteria, or they're not popular with the market. We've had a few of those recently. We had Montefilia at $12, and we also had the Beaufort Park horse on the weekend at $7. They were in the market to a degree, but they really weren't the popular favorite horses, but on the speed ratings alone, they really stood out as far as I was concerned.

Those selections make up around about 20% of the overall selections, but they are very important to the overall winning strike rate and profit on turnover.

Brad Thompson: It's a high win strike rate service, so it's not a huge turnover service, is it?

Mat Smith: No, not at all. I'm trying to steer away from that because I like to think that I'd be better off just trying to focus on the really good races that the model finds, looking for the better horses in those races, and just trying to line them up with the speed ratings to find those horses that I believe are stand out bets. I just don't believe in betting for the sake of it, I can go weeks without a bet if I have to, but, obviously, I want to find a few good horses to bet on each week. I don't go about looking for extra horses to bet on just for the sake of having a bet.

Brad Thompson: It does focus on mainly Saturday Metro Racing?

Mat Smith: Yes, that's correct, Brad. The Metro racing on Saturdays, I found to be far more consistent. Generally, that's how the model tends to work, with more consistent data and better horses, it does have a far better result when it looks at those horses, rather than just your average horses running around the country.

Brad Thompson: Do you bet on the other days as well, like feature days outside of Saturdays or those kind of days?

Mat Smith: I do sometimes. It just depends on the horses that are going around. Generally, if I've got a bet midweek, it's through a Blackbooker that I've looked at through a previous race analysis, and I'll earmark it as a horse I wanted to have a look at. Generally, if there's a midweek one, then that's the horse in mind, but with the Spring Carnival upon us, I will be previewing some of the bigger mid-week ones such as the Manikato and Geelong Cup, Melbourne Cup Day, and Oaks Day. So chances are there'll be a horse or two there that strikes my fancy due to the fact that it is generally Saturday class horses running around on those particular meetings.

Winning Edge Investments is an independent provider of tips, ratings, and betting education on horse racing and sports, recruiting only the best full-time professional punters and expert analysts. Does your tipping service offer transparent posting of results every day? Using an achievable odds recording method? Do they offer a 120-page betting education pack with every membership? And do they provide a profit guarantee, loyalty bonus credits, refer a friend bonuses, and special insider discounts to valued members? If not, head over to winningedgeinvestments.com for a different, better experience.

Treat your betting like a business, and invest intelligently, with Winning Edge Investments.

Brad Thompson: Just back on the model, what kind of testing have you done, and what were the results of that?

Mat Smith: So, initially I looked at two years' worth of data, 2018 to 2019. Things change quite a lot in racing, and I wanted to keep the dataset fairly recent. I didn't want to go back too far, and I wanted to look at what factors I could find in there that were likely to be affecting prices reasonably closest to the present day. Once I had those form and market factors that I wanted to use, I put them in the model, and I just ran that over 2019 data. Essentially, the 2018, 2019 data was fairly similar, so I just ran it over the 2019 data to get a baseline.

Once I had that baseline, I was ready to start live-testing on the upcoming races. When I did get those baseline results, they actually exceeded the expectations I had for the model because it really only used a handful of factors. When you combine those with the speed ratings, there wasn't really a lot of variables that were actually used in the model compared to some models have over 100, I have a fraction of that. It's a fairly simple model, just trying to look at the better horses at the top end of the market essentially. It was very clear, as I said before, that the quality of horses and racing in general, outside of Saturday Metro, is really below average.

The results for Saturday Metro, in particular Sydney and Melbourne, were exceptionally good. They had a 40% strike rate and over a 40% profit on turnover, so that was where I decided to put my focus. When I analyzed these are the races and horses picked up by the model, I found the average price of the winners was around $3.00 to $3.20. There were really no winners in double figures in that 2019 testing period. I gained a feeling of confidence out of that, that the results were genuine, and that there was potential to replicate those once we moved into live testing, which I did at the start of January this year.

Of course, the worst thing happened. We had a loss in the first month of testing.

Brad Thompson: It's always in way.

Mat Smith: We had a 7.5 unit loss. It was actually the biggest losing month the model had, and, of course, it had to happen as soon as it went live. I thought, "Oh, what's going on here?" Then February and March rolled around, and they were quite big winning months. I knew at that point that it was just variance, which happens to the best of us. Overall, results from January to March of this year were pretty much going on with the 2019 testing at just a touch over 40%, so it all lined up quite well. Then I moved on to April and June.

I did some more testing, but I actually did a little bit more manual intervention at that point using the speed ratings a lot more. I did notice a notable increase in number of selections that I had, and a fairly considerable increase in the profit on turnover. For that quarter, it actually almost hit 80% profit on turnover. I pretty much put that down to variance as well because the longer-term testing just didn't agree with the fact that would be the new normal. I just put it down to a good period of results. Overall, 2020 results, we had just over 220 units profit at 65% profit on turnover. It was significantly up on 2019, and I thought that was really pleasing.

Since the inception of the model, up until Saturday just gone, we've had 94 betting days for 67 wins at 71%. So essentially, we're winning 7 out of every 10 days that we bet, so that's a pretty good result.

Brad Thompson: Yes, good strike rate. What time are the bets sent? How many bets are sent, and how are the official results recorded?

Mat Smith: We have a standard release time of 11:15 on days where there are selections. Obviously, on a Saturday, our release time is 11:15, and if there is a situation where there'd be no selections for Saturday, then I would send out communication of that nature. On other days when there is potentially selections midweek, we have a 11:15 release time. The number of selections varies. Realistically, we're likely to be somewhere between four and six on any given day. Somedays there'll be less than that, but some days there'll be more, just depending what the model finds, and what I find through the speed rating analysis.

We record our official results at 2 unit win using BOB prices. I found over time that BOB generally beats SP. You can generally take Betfair SP as well, and that has proven to be quite profitable. More often than not, it comes out on top. It's really a great set and forget strategy. I realized a long time ago that I'm not the best at pricing horses, so I feel the best strategy I've got is to let the model find the horses. I make the analysis to find the final selections. I look at the markets in the morning, and if the market sits around a price that I'm happy to take on the horse, then it will go out as a selection, at BOB.

Then I'm just happy to let the market decide what the final price we get for the horse. Generally, the prices of the horses have actually come up quite well and above the range that I'm interested in betting in any way, so I don't feel we miss out on anything by not taking an early price. When you take an early price in the morning, you're looking at 120%, 125% market sometimes. Generally, the horses tend to drift a bit later in the day towards start time anyway.

Brad Thompson: It really is an easy service to follow. It's pretty light on volume, but a really high winning strike rate so it ticks a lot of boxes.

Mat Smith: I'm pretty simple in the way I try and do it, Brad. I don't want to complicate it by trying to take an early price, and then sit there and watch the horse drift out a bit, and hopefully when it wins you think to yourself, "I should have just waited to take that better price." A lot of people too, don't have the time to sit around trying to wait for the best price, so just put the bets on early and enjoy the day.

Brad Thompson: Just looking back on last Saturday, you were up at 34.6 units, 288% profit on turnover, 83% strike rate, 5 from 6. Hungry Heart was your only loser. She didn't run up to expectations, did she?

Mat Smith: No, she didn't. I did have some reservations going in about the quick backup. She had a really brutal run the week before in the Flight Stakes. If she wasn't racing in Melbourne, I certainly wouldn't have been on her, but I felt that that field was a little bit inferior to the ones she faced the week before, so I was prepared to give her an opportunity. The model liked her quite a lot and her speed figures were able to back that up. Unfortunately, the early pace she got on Saturday was just a bit too strong for her, and she was just a bit flat, but that's all right. I'll take 5 out of 6 any day of the week, Brad. I think most people would do that.

Brad Thompson: Absolutely. Is that one of your best Saturdays you've had?

Mat Smith: That is the best Saturday the model has had, Brad, yes. That's right up there. That beat the last mark by about 10 units, so it's really good.

Brad Thompson: Fantastic. Let's hope it continues.

Mat Smith: Yes, absolutely. We're coming into a good time of the year, so there's some good horses running around, good races. We'll certainly be out there to try and pick up a few more.

Brad Thompson: Fantastic. Mat, thanks for joining us on the Winning Edge Podcast, mate, and all the best into the future.

Mat Smith: Thanks, Brad. I appreciate the time. Thanks very much.

At Winning Edge Investments, our team of highly-skilled expert analysts and full-time professional punters review the data, crunch the figures, assess the best betting opportunities, and deliver them to your phone via our app and your email inbox in real-time so you profit. Go to www.winningedgeinvestments.com. Look at our membership options, make your choice, and enter the promo code, PODCAST, to receive a special 25% discount on your first membership just for listening. That's P-O-D-C-A-S-T for a 25% ongoing discount on your first membership. Treat your betting like a business, and invest intelligently, with Winning Edge Investments.

Brad Thompson: Today on the Winning Edge Podcast, we're joined by Mat Smith, from the Speed Stars service. How are you, Mat?

Mat Smith: I'm really good, Brad. How are you?

Brad Thompson: Good thanks, mate. You've had a purple patch in recent weeks. It must be a good feeling.

Mat Smith: Yes, it was actually a really good feeling the last couple of weeks. The results have been a little bit up and down through variance, but things swung back in our favor over the last couple of weeks. It has been really, really good.

Brad Thompson: 7 winners from the last 8 bets at an average price of $5.50.

Mat Smith: It would be fantastic if I could do that every week, but it was really good. I was really quite impressed.

Brad Thompson: Tell us a bit about your background in analyzing horse racing data.

Mat Smith: Brad, I've always been interested in racing, but it was mostly recreational fun. I was actually pretty poor at it when I first started because I generally had no idea what I was doing. I decided that I wanted to try and take it a little bit more seriously, a little bit over 10 years ago. At that point, I started with the traditional weight and form type analysis as most people do, because, at the time, that's pretty much all I knew. There was a fair bit of information around, about it, so I started doing that, and I had varying degrees of success, but after a few years, I just felt that this type of data didn't really provide a lot of value, due to the large number of people that had general access to it. So I decided that I wanted to go in search of something just a little bit different. Around about six years ago, I started looking into the sectional times. That had always fascinated me. At the time, it seemed that not really many people were using sectional times, and they could be an edge if I was able to use them effectively.

It made sense to me that times were critical since we had an official race time and an official 600 metre sectional time. The more I looked at the times, I learned about them a bit more and realised that while they were definitely getting me better results, just times on their own are really quite misleading because they disregard factors like pace, track speed, class of horse, things like that. Times can actually steer you in the wrong direction if you're looking at just pure real times on their own. There needs to be a bit of perspective applied to the sectional times to normalize them across all the races from country to metropolitan.

That way, you gain a bit more accurate perspective on the merits of the performance of each horse. So instead of just using the real times, I found a product with some speed ratings that took those factors into account and actually found them very effective. It wasn't long at all. I was pretty much using them exclusively for my own betting. It was around this time I actually started providing selections to a horse racing service for about 18 months and wound up having really good success. We made about 230 units profit, at 15% profit on turnover during that period, and things are going along really well.

Unfortunately, the company that I was working for at the time, decided that they were going to move exclusively into sports data services. At that point, I was no longer required, so I pretty much just went back to my own betting, primarily with the speed based analysis, and having a really good time with that. Things were going really well, so the bug got me again, to look at a service. So I decided that I would probably start my own service back in about 2018. So I got on social media and started building a bit of a newsletter member base.

I had about 400 people on that newsletter database. In about 9 months, we made about a bit over 60 units profit at 18% profit on turnover. It was a bit more of a selective type service, and at the time, it was a pretty nice platform, I thought, to start the service. I was getting ready to start it about a month before, and I actually had a job opportunity come up in my professional field outside of horse racing. I just couldn't refuse that, so the service didn't eventuate at that point in time. But I can't complain too much because now being part of the Winning Edge team, it's a fantastic opportunity and so far, things have gone extremely well.

Brad Thompson: Definitely. Since joining Winning Edge 3 months ago, you have delivered 73 units profit, 40% winning strike rate, 46% profit on turnover. So, you've come out of the blocks.

Mat Smith: Yes, it's really refreshing that the results that we've had on the live service have actually mirrored pretty much what I've achieved through the model. So I was really happy with that.

Brad Thompson: You mentioned analyzing times is quite complex. What type of data do you use to do that analysis?

Mat Smith: As I said, I just use a set of professional speed ratings. I’ve built those into a database. The database also has all your typical form, market, and class factors. I find that I can use a combination of all those elements, and they work quite well for the type of analysis that I do. I also do combine that with some video analysis filmed on certain races, where the data tells me that there could be something there that I've missed.

So, generally, the data is pretty good at pointing out when a horse might have been held up at a stage. The actual speed ratings will give you an indication of that. So I generally go and look in a bit deeper into the form, a little bit deeper into the video analysis, and just have a better look what might have happened. Quite often, there is a reason there the horse might have been held up or something like that, so that goes into the database as well, and I can take that into account, next time when they're running.

Brad Thompson: You've delved into a fair bit about the Speed Star speed process. How did you come across this method?

Mat Smith: When I was using the speed ratings, I thought that there might be some additional factors that I could utilize to help make a bit more profitability. I was doing a bit of research on general form and market characteristics that I could possibly use with that. At the time, when I was just doing my own betting, I was constantly around about 10% profit on turnover, but what I found, I was just betting into a lot of races, and generally multiple horses in each race. It gave me quite a high turnover, and also a high winning strike rate per race.

The downside to betting multiple horses in a race is that you're pretty much guaranteed to back a lot of losers. Then that goes against how I've tried to set up myself and go about my work over the years. So I decided that I was going to just perform some analyses on horses that were a little bit more favored in the market, and try to determine if there were any form factors that generally made them more popular to general punters out there, and see if anything lined up well with the speed ratings, so I could start to use these extra factors to help me eliminate more horses, and trying to narrow that selection down to one per race.

In that process, I was trying to achieve the goal of a 40% strike rate, and increase the profit on turnover to 20% at the time, up from 10%. That was really all I was trying to achieve. After a few months of testing and analysis, I found that I had come up with a set of factors that could work well. So I built a very basic model. Actually, I had it built for me because I don't have that ability. I found a guy who was able to build that for me, and we loaded it with the predetermined form and market factors. That basically forms the foundation of all the analysis work that I do.

The model itself is essentially designed to find the right horses in the right races for me to preview. From those model selections, I then do further analysis on those and use the speed ratings to verify the form and market factors. I don't pick them blindly. I do put a bit of work into having a look at those model selections, and it has actually improved the results quite a bit since I started doing that. What I found was that horses that were strong on form factors and market factors that I could verify with speed ratings, then these are the horses that I really wanted to be on.

Apart from that, there is the element of just the speed rating process itself. There's, oftentimes, when I find horses that do stand out on speed ratings alone, and they are missed to a certain degree by the model because they don't generally fit the criteria, or they're not popular with the market. We've had a few of those recently. We had Montefilia at $12, and we also had the Beaufort Park horse on the weekend at $7. They were in the market to a degree, but they really weren't the popular favorite horses, but on the speed ratings alone, they really stood out as far as I was concerned.

Those selections make up around about 20% of the overall selections, but they are very important to the overall winning strike rate and profit on turnover.

Brad Thompson: It's a high win strike rate service, so it's not a huge turnover service, is it?

Mat Smith: No, not at all. I'm trying to steer away from that because I like to think that I'd be better off just trying to focus on the really good races that the model finds, looking for the better horses in those races, and just trying to line them up with the speed ratings to find those horses that I believe are stand out bets. I just don't believe in betting for the sake of it, I can go weeks without a bet if I have to, but, obviously, I want to find a few good horses to bet on each week. I don't go about looking for extra horses to bet on just for the sake of having a bet.

Brad Thompson: It does focus on mainly Saturday Metro Racing?

Mat Smith: Yes, that's correct, Brad. The Metro racing on Saturdays, I found to be far more consistent. Generally, that's how the model tends to work, with more consistent data and better horses, it does have a far better result when it looks at those horses, rather than just your average horses running around the country.

Brad Thompson: Do you bet on the other days as well, like feature days outside of Saturdays or those kind of days?

Mat Smith: I do sometimes. It just depends on the horses that are going around. Generally, if I've got a bet midweek, it's through a Blackbooker that I've looked at through a previous race analysis, and I'll earmark it as a horse I wanted to have a look at. Generally, if there's a midweek one, then that's the horse in mind, but with the Spring Carnival upon us, I will be previewing some of the bigger mid-week ones such as the Manikato and Geelong Cup, Melbourne Cup Day, and Oaks Day. So chances are there'll be a horse or two there that strikes my fancy due to the fact that it is generally Saturday class horses running around on those particular meetings.

Winning Edge Investments is an independent provider of tips, ratings, and betting education on horse racing and sports, recruiting only the best full-time professional punters and expert analysts. Does your tipping service offer transparent posting of results every day? Using an achievable odds recording method? Do they offer a 120-page betting education pack with every membership? And do they provide a profit guarantee, loyalty bonus credits, refer a friend bonuses, and special insider discounts to valued members? If not, head over to winningedgeinvestments.com for a different, better experience.

Treat your betting like a business, and invest intelligently, with Winning Edge Investments.

Brad Thompson: Just back on the model, what kind of testing have you done, and what were the results of that?

Mat Smith: So, initially I looked at two years' worth of data, 2018 to 2019. Things change quite a lot in racing, and I wanted to keep the dataset fairly recent. I didn't want to go back too far, and I wanted to look at what factors I could find in there that were likely to be affecting prices reasonably closest to the present day. Once I had those form and market factors that I wanted to use, I put them in the model, and I just ran that over 2019 data. Essentially, the 2018, 2019 data was fairly similar, so I just ran it over the 2019 data to get a baseline.

Once I had that baseline, I was ready to start live-testing on the upcoming races. When I did get those baseline results, they actually exceeded the expectations I had for the model because it really only used a handful of factors. When you combine those with the speed ratings, there wasn't really a lot of variables that were actually used in the model compared to some models have over 100, I have a fraction of that. It's a fairly simple model, just trying to look at the better horses at the top end of the market essentially. It was very clear, as I said before, that the quality of horses and racing in general, outside of Saturday Metro, is really below average.

The results for Saturday Metro, in particular Sydney and Melbourne, were exceptionally good. They had a 40% strike rate and over a 40% profit on turnover, so that was where I decided to put my focus. When I analyzed these are the races and horses picked up by the model, I found the average price of the winners was around $3.00 to $3.20. There were really no winners in double figures in that 2019 testing period. I gained a feeling of confidence out of that, that the results were genuine, and that there was potential to replicate those once we moved into live testing, which I did at the start of January this year.

Of course, the worst thing happened. We had a loss in the first month of testing.

Brad Thompson: It's always in way.

Mat Smith: We had a 7.5 unit loss. It was actually the biggest losing month the model had, and, of course, it had to happen as soon as it went live. I thought, "Oh, what's going on here?" Then February and March rolled around, and they were quite big winning months. I knew at that point that it was just variance, which happens to the best of us. Overall, results from January to March of this year were pretty much going on with the 2019 testing at just a touch over 40%, so it all lined up quite well. Then I moved on to April and June.

I did some more testing, but I actually did a little bit more manual intervention at that point using the speed ratings a lot more. I did notice a notable increase in number of selections that I had, and a fairly considerable increase in the profit on turnover. For that quarter, it actually almost hit 80% profit on turnover. I pretty much put that down to variance as well because the longer-term testing just didn't agree with the fact that would be the new normal. I just put it down to a good period of results. Overall, 2020 results, we had just over 220 units profit at 65% profit on turnover. It was significantly up on 2019, and I thought that was really pleasing.

Since the inception of the model, up until Saturday just gone, we've had 94 betting days for 67 wins at 71%. So essentially, we're winning 7 out of every 10 days that we bet, so that's a pretty good result.

Brad Thompson: Yes, good strike rate. What time are the bets sent? How many bets are sent, and how are the official results recorded?

Mat Smith: We have a standard release time of 11:15 on days where there are selections. Obviously, on a Saturday, our release time is 11:15, and if there is a situation where there'd be no selections for Saturday, then I would send out communication of that nature. On other days when there is potentially selections midweek, we have a 11:15 release time. The number of selections varies. Realistically, we're likely to be somewhere between four and six on any given day. Somedays there'll be less than that, but some days there'll be more, just depending what the model finds, and what I find through the speed rating analysis.

We record our official results at 2 unit win using BOB prices. I found over time that BOB generally beats SP. You can generally take Betfair SP as well, and that has proven to be quite profitable. More often than not, it comes out on top. It's really a great set and forget strategy. I realized a long time ago that I'm not the best at pricing horses, so I feel the best strategy I've got is to let the model find the horses. I make the analysis to find the final selections. I look at the markets in the morning, and if the market sits around a price that I'm happy to take on the horse, then it will go out as a selection, at BOB.

Then I'm just happy to let the market decide what the final price we get for the horse. Generally, the prices of the horses have actually come up quite well and above the range that I'm interested in betting in any way, so I don't feel we miss out on anything by not taking an early price. When you take an early price in the morning, you're looking at 120%, 125% market sometimes. Generally, the horses tend to drift a bit later in the day towards start time anyway.

Brad Thompson: It really is an easy service to follow. It's pretty light on volume, but a really high winning strike rate so it ticks a lot of boxes.

Mat Smith: I'm pretty simple in the way I try and do it, Brad. I don't want to complicate it by trying to take an early price, and then sit there and watch the horse drift out a bit, and hopefully when it wins you think to yourself, "I should have just waited to take that better price." A lot of people too, don't have the time to sit around trying to wait for the best price, so just put the bets on early and enjoy the day.

Brad Thompson: Just looking back on last Saturday, you were up at 34.6 units, 288% profit on turnover, 83% strike rate, 5 from 6. Hungry Heart was your only loser. She didn't run up to expectations, did she?

Mat Smith: No, she didn't. I did have some reservations going in about the quick backup. She had a really brutal run the week before in the Flight Stakes. If she wasn't racing in Melbourne, I certainly wouldn't have been on her, but I felt that that field was a little bit inferior to the ones she faced the week before, so I was prepared to give her an opportunity. The model liked her quite a lot and her speed figures were able to back that up. Unfortunately, the early pace she got on Saturday was just a bit too strong for her, and she was just a bit flat, but that's all right. I'll take 5 out of 6 any day of the week, Brad. I think most people would do that.

Brad Thompson: Absolutely. Is that one of your best Saturdays you've had?

Mat Smith: That is the best Saturday the model has had, Brad, yes. That's right up there. That beat the last mark by about 10 units, so it's really good.

Brad Thompson: Fantastic. Let's hope it continues.

Mat Smith: Yes, absolutely. We're coming into a good time of the year, so there's some good horses running around, good races. We'll certainly be out there to try and pick up a few more.

Brad Thompson: Fantastic. Mat, thanks for joining us on the Winning Edge Podcast, mate, and all the best into the future.

Mat Smith: Thanks, Brad. I appreciate the time. Thanks very much.