WINNING-EDGE-PODCAST

Dean Evans: Betting like an Investor

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Dean Evans of Winning Edge Investments joins Jake Williams of Business of Betting podcasts to talk about sports betting as an investment and how to be successful long-term.  Dean Evans is widely regarded as historically Australia's #1 professional horse racing tips provider, with 2 services (Trial Spy  & Dean's Tips ) amassing over $120,000 in profits over 8 years for members using an average bet size of just $60.      Read the transcription here: Jake Williams: Greetings and hello to everyone. This is the Business of Betting Podcast, and I'm your host, Jake Williams. Today is episode 39 and we have Dean Evans joining the show. Dean, AKA the Trial Spy, has been an enormously successful horse racing analyst and service provider based on his innovative and revolutionary approach to form assessment. We chat about investing principles, money management, bank preservation, how to watch to trials, the tipping industry, and the guiding principles for Winning Edge Investments. This podcast is proudly sponsored by Betfair. Betfair operates a betting exchange and is licensed in the Northern Territory of Australia. Residents of Australia can join Betfair by visiting betfair.com.au, and support this podcast by using promo code BOBPOD. Please gamble responsibly. As always, you can find us at businessofbetting.com, or @BettingPod on Twitter. Please fire in any questions or feedback on potential guests you would like to hear from. So thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy my chat with Dean Evans. Today I'm joined by Dean Evans from Winning Edge Investments. Dean, thank you very much for joining me. Dean Evans: No worries, Jake. Thank you very much for having me on. Jake Williams: So let's get straight into it, Dean. What's your background and history in horse racing and betting? Dean Evans: Well, I think my love of racing came from my father. He bred a number of horses in New Zealand and Australia. Had some black type success and a few reasonably handy horses and I used to love heading out to the track, both in New Zealand where I'm originally from, and in Australia, and just going and watching them. I guess from there, I've always had a mathematical background and been good in that area, so it developed I suppose from enjoying betting. And I think enjoying the racing firstly, but I think getting to a point where when you're watching something you enjoy so often, betting is a fairly integral part of the racing game. And so, I used to do that, and I can recall doing it probably from about age 10 on my dad's betting account, trying to pretend with the deep voice calling up the TAB and trying to get things on. I can recall when I was about 13 or 14 watching a particular race. It was on a bog heavy track and doing the form and seeing that there were only three horses that could handle the heavy and everything else just couldn't, boxing those three up and getting a trifecta. It only cost me six dollars and won about eight grand. And I think about then was when it piqued my interest. For a kid that was a truckload of money and I suppose it tweaked in my head that, oh, hang on, if you do a bit of research and you know what you're doing, you can do something out of this. But having said that, I still went through my early years finding a lot of winners and certainly backing a lot of big-priced winners and that sort of thing and knowing that I could beat the market, but still not winning overall. And so, it was really I suppose a situation where I knew this was a passion, I knew that I loved racing, and I knew I suppose that I'd always want to bet on racing, but being the type of person that I am, I decided ... I was losing. I'm also the sort of person that doesn't want to lose money, so I decided rather than quitting, I wanted to educate myself on how to become a profitable and successful punter. And so, that meant reading a lot of books, doing a lot of investigation on the web, and I even started following certain services. And I guess turned myself from a losing punter to one that was winning very handsomely. Went through the same process I suppose as a lot, with winning comes getting banned. I got to a position where I was banned from most bookies in Australia. And that came from developing an edge a few years ago around trials. I was watching a lot of trials and all I was really doing was chucking them in a black book, any horse that I'd seen trial well. And particularly, I liked to focus on maidens and young horses and that still happens today. Maidens and young horses were trialling up against open class horses, or horses that had won a few races and jog trotting next to them while they're under hard riding. And back then, a few years ago, that was just an absolute goldmine. It was quite unbelievable that no one was watching the trials, you have horses going out at big odds who you just knew had panels on the field. And from that, I built an association with Champion and released a service called Trial Spy that was incredibly successful and still is. We've been doing that for about five years and generated around 600 units profit, around 10% profit on turnover, and it's just been an incredibly successful service. We're only able to do one intake for a few days a year and then we close it up, because it's been so popular and I suppose we haven't had many drop offs. So it's shown that that edge was enormous. It's certainly different now, there's a lot more watching it. I know, I'm talking to some friends and acquaintances who work for bookies and that sort of thing, they cottoned on after I started doing webinars to large groups, on the trial game. It's very different now. If there's a horse that trials well, regardless of its form, the bookies keep it tighter than they used to, where they used to ignore or not place as much impetus on the trial form. So I kicked that off and at the same time was doing non-trial related form assessment as well, so that resulted in running another service, and both those services still run today. Jake Williams: I want to run through a hypothetical scenario with you. Before you were with Champion and you were winning based off your trial form, as well typical handicapping, how much do you think a corporate bookmaker should have paid you for that information? Where I'm coming from is instead of banning you, there's obviously a value in you winning long term and them having access to that information. What do you think it was worth to an individual corporate bookmaker to essentially accept a certain level of your bets to have access to that information? Dean Evans: Some of them did do that, and some of them still do that. There's still some bookies that'll let me bet, and obviously with that, the minimum bet laws come in. Most of them have let me bet, some still don't abide, but I give up after a while trying to force them. But some of them still did. From my perspective that was okay to get a little bit on, but it was nothing much, because as soon as I'd place a bet, it would smash those odds in for that bookie. Because I'm running services, I try to avoid that as well and got to a point where I was having to get most of my bets on late, just so that I'd allow members the opportunity to get in there early. They certainly did, but we did some really basic maths on...back in the early days of Trial Spy, everybody had a Bet365 account, they weren't actually banning people, they were betting you the best tote guarantee. And we would have pulled millions from them as a group, even on your most conservative estimates. So it's no surprise. There was a couple of periods where they just went bang and pretty much restricted virtually everyone receiving the service, because they could see the pattern I suppose. And so, you've got to adapt with that in terms of services, obviously. We now send everything out after 9:00AM, so that everybody can at least get on with the minimum bet laws. But also, there's more of an opportunity I think now to ... some can bet early, some can bet late. There's some good corporate products, whether you've got Betfair SP and you can still set a minimum price. Best tote SP, The Global Tote with Top Betta also that throws up some huge prices sometimes. There's alternatives for people and there's more of a mix I think now of clientele, which is good that you've got some who like to bet early, some who like to bet late and monitor themselves, some who like to just use one of those products that I've just spoken about. So you get a mix and there's a lot more balance now, so we don't see the crazy odd movements that used to occur. Jake Williams: Let's talk price. Unlike bookies and totes, the Betfair exchange is a low margin, buy, sell, fixed odds marketplace, where the value stays with the punter, not the house. Ready for the game within the game? Join betfair.com.au. Gamble responsibly. So take us through your mindset when you decided to release your Trial Spy selections, because from my perspective it sounds like you could have put a group together and potentially made a lot of money out of it, doing it without providing access to the public to those selections. What was the rationale to be able to provide that to other punters out there? Dean Evans: In hindsight, we probably could have done a lot better doing that, but at the time, I was learning from some of those involved there and it was sort of a kick off for some additional income considering that I was in a position where I wasn't able to get anywhere near as much on as I wanted to. From there though, what I found was I actually just really, really enjoy the interaction side of things. I think most people know that betting can be a lonely game when you're sitting there in your dungeon and betting away on your own. So I really enjoy the interaction and I enjoy the questions from members and helping them. And it got to the point where with both my services now, there's a 100 page member information pack. And it's basically a culmination of all of the questions that have come from members and punters wanting to learn how to get the best odds, how to avoid getting banned by the bookmakers, and how to just maximize their profits with their betting activities. A lot of it is around the mindset side of things as well. And I enjoy that. I enjoy the education side of it. I enjoy helping people win. And that's probably the reason why I've continued to do it. There's a lot of pleasure from getting emails from people telling me how much they've won over a period, or what they've done with those winnings, and that's enjoyable. Jake Williams: It's incredibly fair, makes perfect sense. So on this topic, you mentioned it sounds like a manifesto, what are some of Winning Edge Investment's philosophies and I guess general thoughts on the horse racing and I guess sports betting, tipping industry as a whole? Dean Evans: Well, I suppose what I tried to do over the time is just listen to what people wanted when it came to tipping services. I think that there's a lot good analysts out there and a lot of good pro punters, but it doesn't always translate to necessarily having a service that people enjoy or are able to win from. I think the industry as a whole has a lot of question marks around it. I think when you look at the fact that a lot of tipping services can promote corporate bookmaker links and that sort of thing, I've got to say it's somewhat antithetical to the aim of having punters win when you're on the flip side, actually incentivised for them to lose by virtue of promoting corporate bookmakers and getting a payment based on losses. I think that's one of the reasons why people have a lot of question marks about a lot of tipping services and their motives. And even some of the major horse racing websites, they're packed full of very useful information and certainly get people to bet more, which is a big positive. And the information they put out in a lot of cases is good, but at the end of the day, they are still ultimately incentivised to get people to bet, and unfortunately incentivised to get people to lose, because that is the structure of how the corporate affiliates work. In terms of complaints from people that I've heard about other sites and generally around the industry, I think results not being posted on the website regularly, meaning that they're not verified. Some don't put them on the website at all. Some only send them if they're asked, which again, I think questions the transparency and you've really got to question the accuracy of those. I think too, you've really got to focus long term with your betting, and yet, most seem to trump on the results over a day or a week or a month, which again, is somewhat meaningless for anyone who's looking at betting long term and making a genuine profit over a long period. You see testimonials that are from members who've had a great day or a week or a great start. There's no clear odds recording policy, so it's unclear how they've come up with these results and whether they're achievable. No explanation of the betting bank, I always find that interesting. There's a lot of talk about units, people using units. But people use units simply to reflect that if you say one unit on a horse, for one person that might mean 100 dollars, for another person that might mean 200, for another person that might mean 500. But what I find interesting is how many have converted across to this units concept, and yet, don't actually have any clear explanation of how many units you're supposed to have for the service. So their whole unit concept is somewhat meaningless. And the results actually not being from when the service started, but created out of thin air somewhat. And people not having any other sort of profile, whether it be on social media or anywhere and being somewhat hidden and unknown. So we took a lot of the experience I guess that I've accumulated from doing this for five years across two different services. With Winning Edge, it was just all about trying to do the right things based on what people wanted from a legitimate service, making sure the results are transparent. We have seven services at the moment across different horse racing genres and sport. We make sure those results are up on the website every day. We've got clear summaries on the units of profit, units invested, profit on turnover, return on investment. A full detailed spreadsheet with every single bet and more detail than I believe any other services have. And we also post the daily and overall results on Twitter and Facebook every single day. So we're accountable in a way that no other services are. There's a very transparent and clear odds recording policy. So with any service that starts with us is firstly a very, very long and involved and detailed process of verifying the results and going through a trial period to ensure that they are genuine. We record at the third best fixed price only from a small, select group of bookies who actually take a bet, along with mid tote. It ensures clarity for members and non-members alike to critically assess and compare each service's performance, and it's stated up front. A lot of services say the same ... "If you'd done this or you'd bet this way, you would have achieved a certain result." But the advice is useless if it's not provided before the tips are sent. We're all about the fairness and achievabilty of the results recording. The services are genuinely profitable and people can see that daily, and are verified by all of the members who are following. We're real people, we're not hiding behind names or just behind a computer screen. They're all people with real profiles and available publicly, not just behind a computer. We provide a profit guarantee with every service. So if our service doesn't show a profit, then we refund the next payment and that just means that, again, the analysts are very much aligned with the customers, and that if the service isn't making a profit, then the analysts aren't getting paid. And again, unlike virtually every other tipping service, we have no corporate bookmaker affiliate deals, which means that if the services are losing we are not getting any income. And we don't just tip, we educate, try to act as a full advisory service, provide very clear information when the bets are sent on whether to bet immediately, whether to bet later, the exact units to have on the horse, the current price and all of the detail. And like I said, new members get a 100 page member's information pack with plenty of education to help them with testimonials from long term members. They're from people who have been with us for years and years, not for a week or two. For me it was really just about the concept of really trying to make sure that everything that I've learned over five years of what people want and how to do things in an honest and open and transparent way about the realities of how to succeed with your betting. That's what's important to me, is that people treat it like an investment and that's when we recently merged horse racing professionals and sport betting professionals into one name. I wanted to call it Winning Edge Investments, because if you look at the definitions of betting and gambling compared to investing, they are very, very different definitions. But I treat it very much as investing, treat it like a business and expect that anyone who's a member is doing the same. Jake Williams: Yeah, that's fair. That makes perfect sense. On the investing side I was curious to listen to some of your public thoughts from while ago now, but talking about investing, and it seems like that was part of the impetus for Winning Edge Investments and people like Warren Buffet from Berkshire and Ray Dalio from Bridgewater. What are some of those guiding principles you've gathered along the way, and you've touched on some of them, but from the investing side more so, that you've been able to translate to sports and horse racing? Dean Evans: Yeah, I love reading about successful investors and particularly around, not only the methodologies that they use, but also the mindset, because that's so critical to success in any type of investing. And I think you've only got to look at what's happening in certain markets. I was reading about Amazon, everybody knows the Amazon business. Their share price at one point was $113. It went down to $5.97 and it's now $1362 I think on last look, the current share price. A successful investor who's backing themself knows when to hold and when to just continue to back their judgment I suppose, whereas the vast majority of people they simply sell and panic during a down period. There was a very interesting analysis that had been done multiple times on hedge funds and funds that invest on behalf of what you'd call mum and dad investors. And what they found is that the actual results that people, your mum and dad investors achieve compared to the results that are actually achieved by these hedge funds is significantly reduced and that's because of the emotion side of it. The mum and dad investors panic and sell when things are going down and buy once they've gone up again. Another great example is Bitcoin. It's probably out of the scope of this discussion around the future and the virtues of crypto currencies, but what I find interesting around Bitcoin is again, it shot up to $50 dollars and then dropped to $15, it shot up to $250 and dropped to $50. Once it got to $1100, it dropped to $185. As we know now, it's $15000, or by the time we're finished talking, it might have dropped to $13000 and bounced up to $17000 Jake Williams: Could be anything. Dean Evans: ... time. But what's interesting now is when I look at cryptos is that a lot of people in the racing industry have gone into that space. And what's interesting is they've almost changed their mindset. The smart ones at least know that crypto, and it's almost become people are accustomed to it, that it's going to bounce up and down, and up and down, and up and down. If you have this belief, and a lot of them have a very firm belief that it is going to keep going up and up at least for a fair while to come, then they're not bothered by those massive swings. And I suppose the reason for me going on about this is that I have the same perspective when it comes to betting. I know that I'm going to win long term, and I'm not bothered by any sort of any short term variance. But what you come to learn in running these sorts of tipping services is that people have a tendency to drop off during a down period and a tendency to hop on after a big winning run and then wonder why they're not achieving those results. And I guess what I have tried to do and will continue to try to do with Winning Edge Investments is say to people, "It's about time in the market, rather than trying to time the market." If you subscribe to our services, you know these are highly successful, expert analysts or full time professional punters, who you can trust and rely on our services. We do everything right in terms of trying to ensure the results are achievable and everything's open and transparent. And if the service isn't performing and we don't have the faith long term that it will, then we terminate, because there's absolutely no benefit in our business in having a losing service. Not only does it not come in because of the profit guarantees, but it also drags down the portfolios of everyone. So we're very quick to act if a service isn't adding any value to what I would call the overall portfolio. But if you look at Warren Buffet, $58 billion net worth, one of the richest men in the world, he actually started as a horse racing handicapper. From learning how to price a horse, he then moved to pricing companies and stocks. And Warren made a fortune being contrarian, backing his own opinion, and it's the same in the racing game. You need to back your own opinion. Respect the market, but don't let it over influence you, because you need to be contrarian and you need to back your opinion. If you don't, then you're not going to win simply following the market. There's a few other quotes of his that I just find interesting that you can relay back to racing or betting in general. He's made the comments before that derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, CFDs and options, that sort of thing. I suppose a punting equivalent of derivatives are exotics. Quinellas, trifectas, and quadies, which you can absolutely make a profit from, but if you're not making good profit on your win and place betting, you're unlikely to do so with those. He talks about understanding risk, draw down, it's about using a mathematically sound bank protection strategies. He's made the quote, our favorite holding period is forever. That's again what I'm speaking about. The longer term perspective you take, the more successful you'll be. And he's also said I have no idea on timing, it's easy to tell what will happen rather than when it will happen. The largest global betting syndicates in the world, they don't know when their winning or losing periods will be, they just know they'll win overall. And I guess that's the message that we try to continually convey to our members and to anyone who's interested is that you can make outstanding money from betting on horses, and you can do it in a way that because of the power of compound, you can grow your betting bank significantly quicker than you can with alternative forms of investment. If you've got a $10,000 betting bank, if you chuck it in a bank, you're lucky to maybe make 3%. Warren Buffet himself, he makes 20% per year on stocks. So unless you back yourself to be better than Warren Buffet, you're going to struggle to do 20%. But the difference with betting on horse racing or sport is that you're constantly turning over, you're constantly turning that bank over. So rather than just investing a static $10,000 at the beginning of the year, you're turning that $10,000 over. So although you only need $10,000, you might be turning that over to $100,000 or a million over a year. And at the end of the day, if you're constantly turning that over at say, that $10,000, you're turning over $100,000 in a year and you're only making 10%, well, you've actually made a $10,000 profit. And that's a 100% return on your bank, rather than 20%. And it's that simple concept is where the great potential in betting on racing or sport is. So if you do have an edge and you take a long term perspective, then that is what can be achieved. Jake Williams: So have you thought about doing things to help your investors save them from themselves for want of a better term, in terms of perhaps minimum subscriptions, which obviously, probably from a PR perspective, may not come across great, but things like that where you can not only tell them, but try and save them from themselves? Or, have you just said, "Look, we're going to provide you with all the tools, all the content," and then ultimately if you want to treat it like a mum and dad might treat their investment portfolio and opt in and out at the wrong times, based on panic, that's for them to decide? Dean Evans: Yeah, look, the first thing that we've tried to do is educate, and educate, and educate, and educate, and try to have people hold the answer in their hands. One thing we did do when we merged is we removed weekly memberships. And I find it interesting that a lot of others in the game have in fact done the opposite and only offer weekly memberships, which to me is, again, antithetical to the concept of trying to succeed with your betting long term. So at the moment we only offer monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscriptions. I have given a lot of consideration to removing the monthly subscription. And there's other business models that we've considered and will continue to consider, whether we lump all services together into one and have a one group of services that people follow under the one price and really treat it as one big investment, like that. Jake Williams: To diversify? Dean Evans: Yeah. Ensuring that diversification and then just ensuring that all the services that are in that group are highly profitable and pulling their weight. That's one way. There's other methods around potentially charging based on the actual profit achieved and not charging if a profit's not achieved. At the moment, the difficulty with that is just the mechanics of it and the admin I suppose required catching people. I'd like to do something like that, but it's just an administration nightmare I think. So at the moment for us, it's about doing the right things, educating people and just ensuring that we remain the trusted provider of these services and that people know that our best interests are at heart and they have to be, because our entire business model is based on success. And if we don't succeed, we don't get anything. So at the moment that's the focus, and for me, my passion is really just about educating people. It can be hard to stay the course. It can be hard to hold on when things are going down. I think the difficulty that people have, if you buy a crypto and you just leave it there and you don't look at it, it's easy to ignore it when it's going up and down to a degree. I think what people struggle with is when you're betting, you're there every day, you're placing the bets, so there's a bit more of an early effort required. I don't really call it effort because I enjoy it, both the challenge of getting the best price, but also, there's a lot more enjoyment of sitting there and watching the races and cheering the horses, enjoying the process more than just sitting and watching a number go up and down on a screen. But I think Ray Dalio another one of his quotes was do the hard things, the reward is bigger. And that's a fundamental law of nature. You have to do difficult things to gain strength and power, it's called perturbation. It's how rock or carbon becomes diamond. It's like pushing yourself hard at the gym. If doing something difficult brings benefits from doing it, you look forward to doing it. And that might mean putting twice as much effort into reviewing half the number of races or spending time getting the best possible prices or whatever it is, but life tends to reward those who stay the course and back themselves. And at the end of the day, it's that simple concept of value, if you're getting odds greater than a horse's true chance of winning, then you can't possibly lose in the long term and that's really what I try to focus on personally, and that's what I try to educate people to do whether they're following services or whether they're betting for themselves. That's just the critical element. Jake Williams: So you mentioned before a little bit about the power of compound and what your bank roll can do with turning over money a number of times and repetition of bets and things like that. What is some of the guiding principles for your money management, and what things have you put in place to ensure solid money management? Dean Evans: You've got to start with betting bank that's the first point, in the same way that you'll say I'm going to put X amount in the bank, or I'm going to put X amount into shares, or crypto or property or whatever it is that you're wanting to invest. You need to have a set amount and say this is how much I want to bet. We convert the betting bank into units and utilize a 100 unit betting bank, so if you know if have $10,000 then you're betting 100 dollars per unit. And what you've got to do, some people have ... I wouldn't ever recommend anything less than a 100 unit betting bank. Some people are more conservative and have a 200 unit betting bank. That has some merit as well. And some people like to bet 5% of their bank, 4%, those sorts of numbers are generally around what's advised, similar to hedge funds investing, somewhere between 2% to 4% of their total investment portfolio in any one trade or investment. But yeah, the concept's essentially the 100 unit betting bank and then betting generally is somewhere between 0.5% to 3% on any one bet, or any one horse. And it's really about minimizing your risk and minimizing the risk of depleting your bank to nothing, whilst trying to maximize your return as well. There's always that balance in any type of investment between minimizing risk and maximizing reward. If you bet too little, you don't get enough value out of it, but if you bet too much, then you risk blowing your entire bank. And so, our philosophy with all of our services is exactly the same, it's always the 100 unit betting bank, it's always that you're able to record in exactly the same manner. They're easily comparable, but also, people really understand exactly how to use it. I suppose it's a version of the Kelly criterion, and it's definitely the concept that we use, something like a quarter Kelly equivalent, but not exactly. It's really trying to balance the fact, and the respect that we have that we're responsible for the banks, the betting banks and the investing of a large number of clientele. So balancing that risk and reward is what's critically important and that's why we have these measures in place. Jake Williams: And what about recalculating your bank? How often would you do that? So if you've got a 100 units and they're a dollar each and then you get to 1,000 dollars let's say, when do you recalculate? Is it daily, weekly, monthly? How do you think about that sort of approach? Dean Evans: Yeah, it's a very good question. There's a lot of material on this and there's a lot of opposing opinions. I know a lot of successful punters who do it daily and others who do it yearly. My advice to members is to do it probably no more often than every six months or so. I think for one thing in terms of simplicity, particularly when you're following services, you don't want to be trying to do bizarre calculations on how much to invest if you've got a 10,000 betting bank and someones telling you to bet a unit and you know that's a 100 dollar bet, that's nice and simple. But if you're constantly having to recalculate that and the bet's 1.25 units and your bank's 12,100 and you're trying to do this maths all the time before you put a bet on, it's not all that productive. I think the other problem with daily is we all know the volatility in betting. There's swings and round about all of the time and the challenge is often that you go through a losing run and your bank gets depleted, and then suddenly when you have the inevitable winning run you're having less on the horses because you're using ... Let's say your banks gone from 10,000 to 5,000 dollars, suddenly you're only betting half, so it takes double the effort to get your bank back. So I advise members to look at it every six months, even a year. For me personally, I actually do it each year. I reset and go, "Okay, what am I going to attack with this year?" And I don't reset through the year. I stick with that through the year. It's easier to follow and it's easier to plan for all potential outcomes and requirements through the year that way. So there's a lot of theories on that, I don't believe in necessarily a right way or a wrong way, a lot of it depends on people's personal situation and what they're comfortable with. But I would look at adjusting probably every six months or so, rather than trying to do it daily, unless you're comfortable with doing those calculations consistently. Jake Williams: And what about recalculating your bank? How often would you do that? So if you've got a 100 units and they're a dollar each and then you get to 1,000 dollars let's say, when do you recalculate? Is it daily, weekly, monthly? How do you think about that sort of approach? Dean Evans: I've done a lot of ... in the member's information pack, there's a lot of detail around my thoughts on whether you should have one bank for multiple services, or separate banks. And I'm certainly of the belief that for each service that you're following you should have a separate bank for that. The issue that you have when you've got one bank for multiple services, firstly, if you've got a $10,000 bank, but you're betting on three services, but you're betting 100 dollars a unit, you're automatically, actually, have cut your betting bank in three, which means if one of the services fails and has a significant losing run, you can lose the entire betting bank despite the other's performing well. The other issue is just around diversification. If you have one betting bank for multiple services, you're actually not diversifying despite the fact that you think you might be, because you only need one very, very poorly performing service to drag your entire bank down, whereas if you're following five services and you've got five separate betting banks ... And if you've only got $10,000, you might have a $2,000 betting bank for each service. But at least if you do that, if you have one terrible, terrible service that you're following that doesn't deliver, at least it doesn't bring your whole bank down, it only brings a portion of your bank down. So in terms of diversification, I'm certainly a big proponent of having separate banks for every service, rather than trying to merge everything into one. Jake Williams: That's interesting. I haven't really found any good content online, or maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. It's fascinating that you've covered that deeply in your package you provide to the members. That's very interesting. You see the numbers, you want more control. On the Betfair exchange, you can back, lay, trade and set your own odds. So join the world's largest peer to peer betting platform. Get into the game within the game at betfair.com.au. Gamble responsibly. You're a trial watching expert, so I want to delve into that. We touched on it earlier and I guess take us through when you had the most edge earlier on when you were watching trials. Take us through what you would watch, what you were looking for, what notes you would make, things like that, and how that's evolved to now, and what that edge is like now. Dean Evans: Yeah, in terms of what you look for in trials, I think the first thing is the time. The times were important. I've gone from using the times that were available just on the Racing New South Wales or Racing Victoria, the various websites. Come to the realization that they weren't always accurate, so doing my own timing. Coming to the realization that that was very time consuming, so I moved to Vince Accardi's stuff for a while. And then, at the moment, I now use the Ratings2Win access database. And what I like about that and the reason that I prefer it to all others is it compares the trial times to a par, rather than seeing a raw time. So I got to a point where raw time isn't that important to me. I've not really got any interest in that, and it's really just how quick or slow was it compared to the average or par time that's usually run in those trials. And the raw time against par is one element of it, but what's also very important is simply comparing those times on the same day, because you tend to find whether it's wet or dry track conditions, or the way the wind's blowing, or how far the rail is out, and all these sorts of things can have a big impact on the times. And comparing times of trials across trials run on different days is actually quite problematic and difficult. It can be done with the par times to a degree, but the first thing's just comparing ... You usually have on those big trials, certainly the ones at Rosehill and Cranbourne and all these trial tracks usually have 10 or 12 trials over the same distance. So you can do a lot of comparison firstly on times. And then the second thing is I actually do the form for trials in the same way that most people do the form for races. So I'm actually looking at the horses, the class of the horses, who's involved, the trainer, the stage of their preparation, and almost have ... in my mind, I'm going through and working out what I think the finishing order should be. And then it's having a look at the outcomes. And when you're looking at the trials and you've got some open class horses, some horses who've won a few country races, and you might have some maidens in there, two and three year olds, it's about how should they be competing. And obviously you get very excited when you see a maiden or a young horse who's jog trotting along a far more experienced and successful horse. And that horse might be under hard riding. And certainly when they've run time, then you know you've got a horse that's got a lot of potential coming up. For me, you've got to look very closely at what the jockeys are doing. You can see the jockeys that are hard riding, their forearms are under pressure, or they've got the horse under the stick, they're really trying to get the best out of the horse. Then you've got some situation where the jockeys aren't really pushing the horse out, but aren't restraining it either, they're just letting the horse jog trot under its own steam. And then you've got the situations where you can see the rider almost like he's trying to pull up a weight, his hands are locked tight, and he's trying to pull the horse up. Obviously, in those situations when you can see the horse is still making ground on the leaders or jog trotting up next to others that are hard ridden, that's where you know you've got a horse that certainly has a lot more to give. So those sorts of things that you're looking at as well. There's the action of the horse, does the horse move freely in its action, does it look like it's gliding across without any issues, did it jump well, all that sort of thing, so it can put itself in a position in a race. You find there's a lot of horses that are quite unruly or erratic and then what you want to do is take notes on those and see if they improve their manners over time. And sometimes the ones that improve their manners are the ones that have their race performances and improve sharply. A good example recently with my Trial Spy service about in mid-December, I advised members to take $34 about Sunlight for the Magic Millions and that was on the back of watching it run a Gold Coast trial where it not only ran a time that was 10 lengths above par, but what was interesting was that it was basically jog trotting on the inside of a horse that was ridden out called Outback Barbie that then came out and won a listed race on debut. And it was straight after it won that listed race on debut that I sent the information to members and said, "$34 about Sunlight for the Magic Millions is outrageous. This horse was absolutely jog trotting next to a listed winner. It looks like it's come back incredibly strong and it just needs to win a race to qualify and that's it." And as most will recall, Sunlight ended up bolting in the Magic Millions. Started $3.80 favorite, and that was a fantastic result. But it's that sort of thing that you can see early. Zoustar's another one that I remember before the Golden Rose that I advised members to bet in futures about a month before at $15 because again, it was a young horse, it was running in trials, hard held alongside black type performers. So it's those sort of trials that excite me and that's what you're looking for is those horses with a lot of potential, particularly when they're going into the weaker races, maidens and that sort of thing to start off with. And you know that they're going to blow them away, but you can also follow them successfully through their careers because they've got that potential. Jake Williams: Dean, you're going to get a lot of people banned if you keep providing $34 about Sunlight. So just keep that in mind, please. Dean Evans: I'm aware. Jake Williams: You hear about horses like Pierro I believe who apparently wasn't very good in trialing if my memory recalls me correctly. Do you find those sort of horses as well? If it is a really good horse who just trials poorly or looks terrible, how long does it take to form an alternate opinion about something that is doing those type of characteristic trials? Dean Evans: Yeah, it can be tricky and there's certain trainers whose horses I suppose run up to their trials. There's other trainers whose horses trial like absolute superstars. I guess trial like Tarzan, run like Jane sort of thing. And then there's some that their horses just don't appear to trial well at all, they're always under hard riding. What I've learnt over time is that some of those trainers, they put the heavy boots or shoes on the horses, even the jockeys have got a lot of weight on. Sometimes it might be because they're wanting to put a bet on the horse later, but I don't think it's always as nefarious as that. Sometimes it's just that the trainers like that sort of methodology of the horse carrying a big weight and having those heavy shoes on, and then going to the race and feeling a little light and ready to go. I know Peter Moody was sort of like that, the Snowdens are a bit like that. And I'm finding more recently Brad Widdup is one whose horses, at least on face value, don't trial anywhere as well as they race. Now those trainers are fantastic to follow if you can pick up on that, because their horses tend to be at far greater odds than the ones who've trialled to the naked eyed more impressively. And so that's where the art of it comes in and there's the science of the data and the times and that sort of thing, but there's also a real art around understanding how the different trainers trial their horses and how they look. The Gai Waterhouse don't always as look as impressive, because she rides them out hard, and most people in trials are trying to look for the ones that are hard held, jogging, but all of hers are given a very steady workout. But again in the case of Gai and Peter Snowden and these sorts of trainers, the horses really come on from the trials and tend to continue to improve substantially heading into the races, whereas, I think there's other trainers whose horses are already full wound up for the trial, and then they look very impressive, but they get to race time and they've already done their dash. Or they're simply just massive unders because they've trialling well, but there's others that have a lot more improvement. So it's an art, it's a very difficult thing to sit here and explain simply. But it's like anything, if you find your niche and you focus on it and you do it over a long period, the Malcolm Gladwell theory of 10,000 hours, then you just build a bit of gut instinct on these things and end up working with that and trusting that through the process. Jake Williams: So take us through your Saturday or a race day. Once you've done all your form, you've looked at the trials, you've done your additional form on top of that, what does it look like for you? Are you just sticking to what your form says and betting accordingly? Are you accounting for the bias of the track? Take us through what you do on a race to race basis on a Saturday afternoon, for example. Dean Evans: Yeah, well, Saturday's often mayhem. I've got the two services, Trial Spy and Dean’s Tips, so the Trial Spy's entirely on the trial form and the trial analysis and then Dean’s Tips is based on my assessment of the Ratings2Win database access and speed ratings and compiling ratings on horses and identifying the big value there. So yeah, the first thing I'm doing I suppose, bang on 9:00 AM, the first thing I'm doing is sending the information out to members and then I'm looking myself at the markets and getting any early bets on, where there's significant value. Through the day, I have a tendency, I bet more on ... do all of my analysis and then focus on the key horses that I want to back. And sometimes in a race there might be a strategy, we're backing two or three horses, and so I might back one early and then look late for the others. But I tend these days to very much stick with my opinion. I do an enormous amount of hard work every day in order to form the opinions that I have. And I think it goes back to the quotes from Warren Buffet and the like where you've got to be contrarian, have your own opinion. And I've seen some winners drift to crazy prices. We had one for the Dean’s Tips service, it was 100/1 when I gave it out, and it ended up drifting out to as much as $560 on Betfair and won, a horse called Emmadee. Now if you let the market convince you that the horse can't win when it gets out to 560/1 then you've missed out on an enormous opportunity. So I've found especially these days, the market enormously over reacts. We see it in cricket, it's an example where a big bash you're watching and those prices fluctuate up and down based on a wicket or that sort of thing. I find in racing the markets are massively over betting by the end of it, particularly favorites. I mean, there's some short priced favourites that just get down to crazy odds and the rest of them drift. And they're not drifting because there's something wrong with them, they're just drifting because of the market forces of the money on the favourite or one or two horses. And these days, that market is controlled by a fairly small set of very substantial punters and betting syndicates who more or less a lot of them have the same opinion anyway. What I have become quite good at is assessing what I think the market will do compared to what I think the market should be in terms of trying to determine what those big syndicates are likely to bet on, the robots as some call them, where they're most likely to focus, and then determining whether the drift is simply because of the market backing the horses as expected or not. Certainly track bias is something that comes into it in a big way. It's probably my biggest frustration is the track bias prevalent at the moment. I know there's a lot of different opinions on this, but I actually come from the roots I suppose of the fact that I love horse racing. And one thing that I loved about horse racing is watching horses come from the back and charge home. And you see it in a lot of countries, in New Zealand it certainly happens, Hong Kong has a big straight where it happens a lot, in the UK. Horses can win from anywhere. What seems to be happening in Australia is ... and it's not necessarily the fault of track managers, but the tracks are just so rock hard and they're so tightly turning in a lot of these smaller tracks that horses just can't win from the back. I find that racing ... I just find it boring. I know a lot of people in betting are saying, "Well, it's easy, you just back horses that are on pace and that sort of thing." And certainly that's a huge edge, is simply focusing on horses on pace. But I still love to go down to Flemington every year and enjoy watching the Melbourne Cup Carnival. I think it's the best racing in the world, I just absolutely love it. But when you've got huge fields of 16, all you want is for the horses to have the ability to come from out wide and swoop. And I've found in recent years that that's becoming less and less prevalent even a big track like Flemington. So I'm finding the enjoyment of watching those huge races a lot less when it's actually more about the map and who can get into the decent spot, rather than who's the best horse, and every horse having a reasonable, even an opportunity to win. And we're finding a lot of races these days, horses just don't have the opportunity to win. Now, from a betting perspective, I understand you can take advantage of that by doing your maps well, but as a racing lover, it's probably my key bugbear at the moment is just that the tracks aren't being prepared to give the horses, and therefore the owners and the punters, every chance on actually backing the best horse. And I hope it's something that the industry looks into, because I certainly know that your rank and file punters who fund the industry, they do like to see swoopers, they like to see horses having their chance, and they don't just want to see a procession of leaders on the rails winning all the time. So that's something I guess getting back to the point of your question, yes, if there's a significant track bias and I'm on something that might need a bit of a backmarker, then I will look at adjusting my bet, whether that's smaller or eliminating it entirely. You can't ignore that, but you've got to be careful not to overcompensate as well, because it's quite interesting how often there can be a prevalent track bias for the first six or seven races on the day and the last one or two it actually goes the complete opposite way, because all the jockeys go silly up hard and front, set a suicidal pace, and then they win from the back at the end. It's all part of it, but to summarize, I put in so much work at the beginning that I generally tend to stick with that and there's the ups and downs that go with track bias and things changing through the day, but I generally stick with my process and find long term, again, that there's swings and round abouts, but long term it's fine. Jake Williams: Poor old Chautauqua. It could have been anything with favorable tracks in Australia. Dean Evans: Well, I think he's done a pretty amazing job with his style, but I guess when you look, most of his success has been at Randwick, which for the most part is a pretty fair track, and down the straight at Flemington, those sorts of things. But yeah, he's an absolute superstar. I think people really love that style of racing, they really do. And you want those horses to at least have a reasonable chance. We all understand that on pacers win most races and there can be reasonably slow tempos in Australia, so they're going to be favoured. But yeah, what frustrates me is when a horse hooks out wide and that's essentially quicksand and the horse just can't possibly win, or there's a rails bias. It's that sort of thing that just needs to be stamped out, because it's not racing anymore, it's just nonsense. Jake Williams: Even Winx had an element in the beginning. Certainly I remember the Sunshine Coast race, which most people probably remember, which started off the winning streak I believe, or it was one of the earlier races where she just went crazy down the outside and you don't see too many of those, not consistently anyway. So it's an interesting thought. Dean Evans: It certainly made people wake up and think this horse might be something special. Winx, I think it's one of the things that people enjoy about the Trial Spy service, we actually backed Winx at its first two starts and by no means identified that it would become the champion it was. But you could see from its early trials that there was definitely something there in terms of an engine and they gave her a couple of quiet trials. But the little bit that they tested her out, she showed something. And horses like Winx and Chautauqua and Redzel and a lot of these high quality horses, who star in most Golden Slipper winners, horses that from the Trial Spy service we've identified early on in their careers. And I think that's something that I get a lot of enjoyment from too, was identifying them early and then following them through their careers. But certainly that's where the trial stuff gives you a different sort of edge and perspective and opportunity. Jake Williams: So before we finish up, I want to go back to Winning Edge Investments for a minute. Who do you suggest, based on what you've said, I think I know what the answer is, but who do you suggest signs up to your service and services? Are you only looking for those with a long term sort investment strategy and people who are using those types of words, who want to be in it for a long haul, and eke out 10%, 12%, 14%, 16% or whatever it is, and align their investment goals with that? Is that your target? Dean Evans: Yeah, absolutely. You need to be prepared to be disciplined, you need to be prepared to have a betting bank. One thing about I guess the tipping industry and the services is we need to balance the membership numbers, and we do that by ensuring that we're priced in a way that we're not flooding ourselves with a ridiculous number of members. There's certainly a lot of services that have far more members than us, but we deliberately keep it to a restricted level and will close services and have done plenty of times if we're going over membership numbers, or we're seeing any issues with prices. So we're not out there desperate for the maximum number of members. In fact, we're quite the opposite because the success of our existing members, amount of members in the future is imperative, because we're in it for the long haul. And what's also very important of course is that our analysts are doing it for a living and betting themselves, so they can't afford to have prices disappearing or crucified. So we are looking for people with a long term perspective. We're looking for people that are interested in treating it like an investment, and understand the ups and downs and want to be educated. I go back to myself in that I knew that I was good at finding winners and finding good value, but I was still losing a lot on the punt until I learned about the mindset side of things and setting a bank and being disciplined and using the various money management strategies that we advocate. So for me, it's anyone who's interested in this long term and I guess has the mindset of hey, I love racing, or I love sport, I'm going to bet on it. You've either got the option of trying to not bet at all, or you may as well make some money from it and enjoy it. And I guess that's what we focus on, is people with that sort of mindset, but that understand that that's not going to come from one big win, and it's not going to come from winning every single day or every single week or even every single month, but that you're going to have the ups and downs in the same way that a lot of the biggest companies in the world, Apple, Amazon, Google, even Bitcoin. It's gone up from 5 cents to $15,000. They all have big ups and downs, we have our swings up and down too. But if you look at the results graphs overall of our services, they're going up, and if they don't, they're removed. So that's the mindset, is that investment mindset. And if you have that or you want to learn how to get that, then you're probably suitable. And if you're not and you're just wanting to have 20 or 50 bucks on a Saturday, there might be other services that are more suitable. Jake Williams: So how do listeners get in contact with you? Or what's the website for them and the Twitter handle, so if they are interested they can certainly reach out? Dean Evans: The website is www.winningedgeinvestments.com. My Twitter handle is @DeanTrialSpy. The Twitter handle of us is @winningedgebets. And you're welcome to take a look at the website. There's plenty of information there. We've got all of the membership options, the results, a lot of educational material on there. And we've also got a free newsletter, so you're welcome to simply sign up there, or contact us with any questions about how we operate. And certainly this year, I've already spoken to all of the analysts and this year is going to be where we really focus on providing a lot more educational content about how we do things, how each of the services go about things. We've got quite a diverse range of services, one that focuses on New South Wales, one that focuses entirely on video watching and black booking horses, one who's entirely around pedigree and actual pedigree analysis to identify winners. And one who's built his own propriety database and then actually had a PhD data quant person come in and analyze it and build a model to provide very select bets only when the market price is substantially above his rated price. And that's running at 24% profit on turnover at the moment and 170 units in about four months. Been quite incredible. A golf service that's tipped a 1000/1 winner and a few 500/1 winners, and a cricket service that's been very highly successful as well. So there's a wide range but each have their own niche and their own edge. And I guess it's about what service suits you and that can depend on what you like to bet on, but also the bookies you have available, or whether you want to just bet and forget or whether you can monitor prices, that sort of thing. But if you get in touch with us, we can help to advise you of the service or services that are best suited to each person. Jake Williams: If you liked the content, approach and strategy of Dean, please feel free to head over to winningedgeinvestments.com. Check out their site, products, and of course, subscribe to their newsletter. And feel free to utilize code BOBPOD. Awesome Dean. It's been incredibly fun. I really appreciate your time. I'll certainly be keeping a close eye on, and I wish you and the team all the very best and I look forward to doing this again another time. Dean Evans: Yeah, thank you, Jake. I appreciate your time and what you're doing with this podcast. It's absolutely fantastic. I've really loved listening to all of the professionals and experts in the different spheres. You've got what I believe is the foremost, primary podcast now on this topic, that was something that wasn't available anywhere. But you've got some fantastic guests on there and I encourage everybody to ... Because for me, educating people on betting and the potential success is critical because I love racing, but it's reliant on betting. And racing certainly is under pressure from sports betting and other forms of investment. So we need to keep educating people and keep them interested to keep this game going. So please keep it up, you're doing a fantastic job. Jake Williams: Much appreciated. And definitely, let's do this again soon. Dean Evans: Absolutely. Thank you very much, Jake.

Dean Evans: Evolution of Betting and Bookmaking

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Dean Evans sits with Jake Williams to talk about his view on the evolution of betting and bookmaking. Dean Evans is widely regarded as historically Australia's #1 professional horse racing tips provider, with 2 services (Trial Spy & Dean's Tips ) amassing over $120,000 in profits over 8 years for members using an average bet size of just $60.      Read the transcription here: Jake: Dean Evans, welcome back to the Business of Betting podcast. It's great to chat with you again. Dean Evans: Yeah, great to chat with you, Jake. I'm really looking forward to us. It's a real pleasure to be back. Jake: As people will probably know, now we're going back to interview some of the most popular guests and some of the most insightful and I do urge everyone that haven't already or even if they have to go back in and check out your episode and I'll make sure it's easily accessible, given we talked a lot about pretty important principles around betting and then some of the things that you've learned from other things like finance, for example and I think, we even talked about Bitcoin and a few other things back then. So, I'm interested and very excited to get back into some of those topics but more so the different ones and we'll see how we go here but just starting off in terms of the last couple of years. Is there anything that stands out that has changed or evolved quickly either on the analysis side and the handicapping or even the betting side? Is it a similar circumstance as to when we last spoke or other major changes at this point? Dean Evans: Things are always evolving from a form perspective. Firstly, we're in a bit of a data revolution at the moment, I would say. Data is becoming more widespread, more mainstream, more accepted sectional times and more accessible. You can pay for sectional data from the likes of  [00:01:34 inaudible] and daily sectionals and pull daily ratings to [00:01:38 inaudible] planning for Michael Fraizer and the like, but we're also getting to a stage where bins, for example, is providing sectionals for most metropolitan race clubs and major racing jurisdictions to the point where anyone can access basic sectionals for every horse in a race and they are good quality commercial databases available, planning to win and planning form and self [00:01:59 inaudible] are all highly regarded. There are many pros who use those or their own. Race sectionals are freely available but many punters are at a loss really on how to use them, isn't unable to control and what value do they assign to those sectionals and how do they use them but speed maps can be generated at the click of a button. It can be obtained from free websites. There is more information on tracks, weather and potential biases and the quality of analysis on mediums such as racing.com and those things is improving as credit to the likes of John Anderson and Matt Welsh have tried to drive more quality insight analysis and an unbiased conversation and discussion where they can. Theoretically, as it continue to be the case throughout time that there's more information and insight and data available but the argument is the good quality punters and winning punters have always had a more advanced level of information and tools available to them. I suppose the difference now is that less exclusive, you get between those winning punters and those that had no real useful information has reduced and there's an opportunity for punters to gain data and access information more readily and more easily. They're also more able now to access the actual insights and information and tips of a full-time professionals and that thing. That gaps narrowed and the opportunities widened for people to win punting. So, leveraging that data and finding the edge really is even more critical now than ever. On the flip side, I'd say, the betting side of things unfortunately, has gone backwards quite a bit in the last couple of years. The market percentages are much higher and that's made more challenging for punters to achieve the same level of profitability and turnover as they did previously. Jake: On the handicapping analysis side, obviously those that are winning longer time and more savvy will be looking to make sure, they are a step ahead. What does the step ahead look like in the last set of 12, you know, months? Is it just making sure the data you get is claimed and make sure it is correct and there aren't any major issues? Or is it how you interpret it, that's the area that you need to focus on, horse like, Nature Strip comes to mind and just trying to figure out what all the times mean for a horse like that? He's probably tricky and it's thrown inside a couple of times and obviously, is been different trainers and all that type of thing. Are there any areas that are more of a heavier focus that you've seen over the past 12 months in those areas? Dean Evans: I think the edges are shifting all the time and possibly shifting quicker than we are used to. I discuss these topics with a wide range of people [00:04:53 inaudible] analytics services example is entirely data driven. He doesn't do any video, work, anything else. Everything he does is entirely based on your modeling with your own database by a PhD data scientist and the calculations or writings derived from that. He's revising that model every three to six months and finds whatever mix of the 250 plus variables that you can assess about a horse in a race, that actually has an edge completely changes in that period and staying ahead of that is the key. I've just finished building a Power BI analysis suite that I can use on my betting or analysis for that matter to quickly determine which of around 100 key variables are profitable and which are not in my personal bidding and deep dive where necessary and the next step is moving to machine learning with that, which I'm currently assessing but adapting is the key. You need to be able to quickly write or order those 250 variables that you're assisting from the most important to the least important and that changes based on the situation of a race on a bog heavy track. You may consider the ability with the horse to handle the going higher waiting on certain tracks and distances. It's the early speed and it's the map that a critical inner weight for age race might just be that true base rating or handicap rating and a staying race. It might be the ability to run the trip but in every circumstance, it's a different weighting of the variables that's important and then that weighting can change over time as the market will catch on or not on some of the variables. In many cases, those variables I've just spoken about, they may not actually be there, they may be back into the price. There's no true edge in those. You find even example with bias that can be after a few races that can be over compensated by the jockeys and by the betting market. It might be on speed bars for the first few races but suddenly, all the jockeys are steaming to the front and you go fast paint and suddenly the sweepers come home and now the cages, the bias appears there but suddenly, the track is dry or gets wetter or the wind changes and so that bias turns around and many computer-based systems that actually changed the market at all for these factors because there's actually no edge in doing so. But the most critical element that I think is that with whatever edge you've identified, you need to find what works for you, firstly and then secondly, you need to continually be testing that edge exactly still exists because often that edge is now back into the price and on the topic that you're talking about with speed. That has certainly become one of the major focuses in recent times and I think, it's gotten to the point now where I think there's a speed obsession to the point, where question for a lot of people who were using it whether they're really writing it correctly anymore, where they're really overcompensating with this speed obsession to the detriment of the other 250 plus variables that exist and at the end up, they can assess and if everybody is obsessing and over weighting their belief at their speed rating is correct or most accurate or most reliable and the question whether that's really the edge that many punters want to focus on. We're going to try to focus on getting around that and looking at the other variables that actually impact a race. It’s open for question but for my experience in talking with so many different punters, they all have a completely different approach and they can all work at the same time. Jake: How does an individual or a very small group, let's say, especially if they're not doing it full time but even if they are, how do they go about continually testing to see if the edge exists as you mentioned or continually updating what they're doing or continually doing the R & D on their system and their approach and it seems like an unenviable task and it strikes me that those syndicates and those groups that are able to pull resources are obviously well placed anyway but even more so, as we go through this process of rapidly evolving edges and then the market adjusting accordingly. Dean Evans: It's probably two parts of the question is, what to the advanced syndicates and pro punters doing and what can the everyday person do? It's incredible when you speak with some of these large syndicates. I've been fortunate that this, the big four group, Jellico and David Walsh are well known in Australia but there's two others that are part of that group before in Hong Kong that are billionaires and four good friends. I've been able to spend quite a bit of time with them and they speak about examples where their model was raking in millions and millions and all of a sudden, they went through quite a period of losing and they couldn't figure out what it was. After a few months, they suddenly realized that in bidding in Hong Kong that the shout in track could change the camber on the turn from the 600m to 400m mark or something like that. The camber changed and because of the camber change, their entire models got shifted upside down. It's quite incredible when you hear those stories to know the level of detail that they're going into and what they need to do find the edge and have the edge and house and something like that, most people wouldn't even consider it can have such an enormous impact on their models. When you have access to data and you have access to people who are experts in analyzing their data then you can test these things and test how they shift over time and test what the market is overestimating and under estimating for the average person. You really need to have a fair period of time when you're testing something but if you’re finding, the market opening shorter and staying shorter on edges that you previously found, you were getting great value from then that's usually the indication that it might be time to look at something else and look at it either on another way of exploiting that edge that you have or finding another edge and quite often the answer can be as simple as if you think the edge is disappeared and it's gone the other way. You can look at playing those analysis if you think they're being over a bit for a period and then switch back when the edge comes, which is the cycle of how things operate. An edge that was there can disappear but then it can come back as the large syndicates and the other punters shifts their weightings of their models to the different variables. Jake: It is somewhat comforting that even the big syndicates and the billionaires and millionaires can have a bad run and can lose some cash and then on a model, when it comes to their betting. You impacted by the betting markets, you mentioned before, the percentage is getting higher directly for you. Does that impact where you bet, how much you bet, how often you bet? Is it something that you might shy away from smaller provincial meetings or maybe you focus more heavily on different aspects just given how the market is evolving? Dean Evans: One of the biggest shifts in the new bidding environment. I think, it’s shifting from bidding early to bidding late. I think, to fit those halves of the 2010 decade, I was bidding early a lot. Early markets were much better and the percentages were lower, products available were better and there were more opportunities and more recently, a lot more of the bidding is late now because the markets just don't open up on the bigger price runs until late. I'm different to a lot of punters who would focus on favorites and more often look to get the favorite bid and then find the races where I believe, there's a false favorite bid around it and the advantage of that is that the markets have tightened up the skinny, pointy end of the market with the favorite. So, the opportunity with horses at bigger odds is still very prevalent, if you bet late. For me, I got to a point where it was no longer feasible for myself to bet for myself really. I was so heavily restricted by bookies and mainly, not even abiding even with the minimum bet laws for me and a fire up a bookmaker website, I get a different price to what everyone else sees. I see a price and dynamic loads and it doesn't really exist for me. So, I outsource my betting with a syndicate and no longer do that myself and the other drivers that I have to bring services and oversee winning edge investments and other racing related businesses and have an investment property portfolio of other investments or two young kids. So, something had to give and that was the area that I chose to outsource but it was formed. I think, a number of punters have had to adapt and I believe the edge with the prices and back in the favorites has diminished and going wider hasn't to the same extent but now, I have two very different methodologies of finding winners, a standard database form and video analysis approach and then the trials approach and child's approach really lends itself to maiden races and two year old’s and three year old’s and that it hasn't really changed but the other approach I've switched from focusing exclusively on metropolitan races to then I focus almost exclusively for a number of years on provincial country races for quite a while and then recently, I've gone back to a metropolitan races predominantly major black type races, focusing on those where I can get more on and focusing on where I think the edges are there, a concept called historical profiling major races that has really helped me to identify what it takes to win a major race before analyzing that race and I found that very fruitful. I'm currently working on a database and on pulling together data from two prominent database sources and two prominent sectional times providers and dynamical data and pulling that together into a bespoke database for myself to analyze edges and variables and take myself to that next level again and there's no stopping in this game. You have to keep moving forward. You have to keep evolving. You have to keep yourself ahead of the market. I felt that's what I needed to do to take things to the next level again and that's what I'm currently doing. Jake: Take us through the process of shifting all of your betting or a part of your betting anyway to syndicate. It seems like something for anyone who's a gambler or better or punter out there who likes betting and maybe even is very good at it, semiprofessional, professional that aspect of it is probably something that's very difficult to give up and obviously, the control aspect and that being lost. Was that something that you struggled with? Was it difficult to eventually hand over? Or did you just have to look at it pretty methodically and put certain steps in place and ultimately, it was the right call? Dean Evans: Ultimately, there are people who are able to go out onto the track and place bets and you can get more on the track and you can get more on at better prices quite often on the track and there's a loss of control as various things that you've got to way up with it but for me, I was forced into a corner really to too many options, there was. I'd rather cut down what I was doing somewhere and I couldn't really see where to cut it down and also, was having to accept that I was going to get way worse prices than doing I could go for this option which makes life a lot more difficult. It ultimately was a reasonably simple decision that I think, my advice is to try to get to the track where you can and have opportunities there and as I've said to most people to have accounts with absolutely every bookie that you possibly can and bet fair and spend as much time as people tend to spend on learning about betting and finding a winner, spends much time actually on getting the best price because that is the one factor that can really change the dial for any punter more so than anything else. I was spoken to punters, it's been hours and hours on the form or databases, all these things and then you talk to them and I've got three bookie accounts and it's startling. That's the easiest way to increase your edge immediately is to absolutely everywhere and bet fair on everywhere that you possibly can at the best price. It's the most critical thing. So, it's something that I've tried to educate people on for throughout my time is that needs to be your major focus, getting the best price and learning when and where to bet. He has got to be your number one focus ahead of everything else. Jake: You mentioned before, you tend to work around the favorite, so you have more recently anyway. Has that resulted in bigger swings in your betting or is it very manageable? And I think, the obvious follow up and it's funny, I still read and he had different approaches to this which is pretty startling and I’m guessing, you're going to have a very clear answer on this when betting in these races. I'm sure you're betting on at least one and probably two, even three different horses or more to be able to build your own book around a favorite, if you don't necessarily love the price. Dean Evans: Yeah, absolutely that certainly bet multiple horses in a race and there's no reason not to. You can provide a really simple example, if you have a three-horse race and the market thinks that there's a 50% chance of horse one winning and a 25% chance of horse two winning and a 25% chance of horse three winning. Do you think there's a, let's say, 33% chance of all three horses winning then why would you not bet both horses, two and three? Why would you want to pick one and guess? And then when you run the mathematics of that, you can use as extreme examples as you like but if there's one horse who's short on the market and you think it's got a very low chance of winning then you should be betting a very large number of the other runners in the race. Unless you want to go to the option of simply laying the favorite that's the other option that's available to punters on bet fair but some prefer to simply bet to win and then it comes down to how many of those do you want to bet and you're going to use Kelly or what form are you going to use to devise your age and place those bets and where you're going to draw the line in terms of the edge. It's not necessarily just a feel, it's a market price, the copyright price. You might need a certain amount of juice to be worth betting and to deal with that variance. Bidding around the favorites, it can have wide swings in terms of variance but bet in multiple runners can help with that. For me, I've found probably the biggest driver of variances can lead to bias that's been inherent in the tracks more than anything else. If the tracks are fair then I go very well and if they're biased then it's a lot harder. Jake: You talked about you're spending far more time betting at the very end closer to jump time. What impact has that had on the general punter as well as yourself? Are there many positives that come with that? Or is it simply something that's forced on you and you wouldn't prefer to do it and there's far more negatives that are outweighing any of the remaining positives? Dean Evans: I think, it really comes down to the way that the process is working at the moment with the early markets which is a set of very high market percentages and then bent into shape by people sniping away at them but no one's really getting any decent amount of money on and you look at the Saturday market, you start on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday. By the morning, they're pretty well bent into shape whether by Friday, they're more or less bent into shape and no one's really got a lot of money on. The bookies are essentially getting a free market adjustment. While they're making mistakes in those early times, they're not paying much for them and I think that's one of the limitations with the minimum bet was, if a bookie is a real bookie and they're putting up a price and they really should be forced a bid that price from the moment they put it up. No one's forcing them to put it up but once they do, they should be beholden to the same rules that apply after 9am. I don't think it's really ideal at the moment.  It's sucking a lot of money from the mug punters who are living in the old times or FOMO type situation where they believe they'll be better betting early when 9 times out of 10, they're not. Now, they'll be far better off waiting or even just bidding BOB or bid various pay than they are getting early because they've been to these huge markets but then the deductions are enormous sometimes and they're just getting ripped off really. Jake: The Friday afternoon punter walks into the tab and fills out his paper slips still or puts in 10 or 15 different bets into the machine. He's far better off just doing BOB or bet for SP almost every time. Dean Evans: Yeah. I would say, absolutely. Jake: Have you thought about any way? Obviously, you mentioned one there about making any bookie that puts up a price to bet to minimum bet laws. Is that the only thing that can be done to try and make sure it's a real market or without even condense things further and they may not necessarily be that interested in putting it up, as they typically do now? Or are there other things that come to mind to try and draw out the available length of time to bet on some of these races, given if it really is the last 3,5,7, 10,20 minutes before race that obviously is going to have a major impact on that market? Dean Evans: I think, to start off the bidding markets have changed dramatically in the last few years and I think to be blunt, one of the major issues we've had is prominent breeders in charge of racing and it was in their best interest to raise prize money to enormous, unsustainable levels and increase the prices of yearlings and the values of SARS and broodmares and we think about how the industry is funded by punters, funders extravagance. Now, the market percentages have increased and have increased to increase the margins of corporate bookmakers to pay the race field for use and likes and alike the situation doesn't really benefit the industry at all. Now, when I think about high stallion fees and instilling values and broodmare values, all it means is that our best horses are retiring early. How is that a benefit to us? It's not even it's coming at a negative cost of the turnover and hence, the funding of the industry. How's that a benefit? It's not, so to add to the pain and we had the lunacy of these point of consumption taxes from the state governments which to me is, it's killing the goose that lays the golden egg. It's all being passed to punters to fund and the point of consumption tax imposed by the government. It has led to those early markets opening up at bid greater than 135% and the SP prices are even above 120% and this is 5% points higher than it was in previous years. It's like getting $165 in a two-horse race. Now, the government's getting these huge tax increases and prize money is going through the roof but punters are suffering and I don't really know if any other industry whether the most critical cost customers is put in last? They're usually the VIP but punters have been charged double the price of admission and shoved to the most lead section at the moment and punters have options. They can turn over less, they can turn over nothing, they could switch their betting funds to sports to E-Sports or pokies to drinking or dining or any other recreational activity in the world. Should the wheel turn so far away from the punter that they switch their capital tool to alternative sources and prize money will drop and standard and quality racing will drop. It'll cause irreparable damage to this game that we will love. The bookies are paying more in fees and taxes. They're removing betting products. They're increasing market percentages and it's all at the expense of the punter. I think Winston Churchill said, “You can't text a nation to prosperity. You can't try to tax yourself into prosperity. It's like standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself up by the handle.” The entire economic history of Earth has proven this statement to be correct and yet it feels like that's exactly what the racing industry is doing. We can learn lessons from the UK racing as the annual turnover of course, is pitting in great but decline year in year from 2008 to 2018 just keeps going down. The prize money is in the pits. The punters have different options in sports betting, casino betting and E-Sports and all these things that offer better market percentages and I think, there's a lot that needs to be done in this place and there's plenty that can be done. The taxation situation is being looked at holistically. Racing needs have found and needs to get majority of those from punters. We want decent prize money. We want a vibrant game but it needs to be sustainable. I think, a tank with the key government of peak racing bodies to discuss a serious reform on the taxation and the fee structure on horse racing and ensure its longevity and survival. It's critical that PoC taxes aren't sustainable. The funding model needs reviewing. Contribution of the tab and corporate bookmakers and rails bookmakers, I think, needs to be assessed and taxing companies on turnover rather than profit or margin. It's not the right approach. Potentially merging the tab into one totally more international investment can relieve the pressure on the local betting markets and what we need is a bid in marketplaces competitive and vibrant and generates turnover. That's what generates funding. The minimum bet laws are ridiculous. The bookmakers aren't bookmakers anymore. You should be aligning more with rails bookies to win 5K at least rather than 2k. The bookies should be forced to abide by minimum bet laws from the moment they put up the prices, as I mentioned. No one's forcing me to put up those prices but they should be forced to accept that set those prices. I think, one piece that hasn't really been discussed much but a really solid idea would be enforcing market percentages. We were talking about the markets for a Saturday. On a Wednesday, let's say that the market percentages if bookie wants to put up a market should be maximum. Let's say, 130%. I'm not being unreasonable here. Then on Thursday, it goes to 125% and on Friday, it goes to 120% and on a Saturday, it should be 115%. Let's have a market that people can actually bet into and at least people will appreciate that as they go as they bid closer. A bid earlier, they're getting a worse market percentage but at least it's no and the issue with the way, they're treating the markets at the moment is they might open them up at 1.5% but then the horse gets bet. They win the prize in for that horse and they don't want the prize out for another horse, so that they're not bookmaking. That’s just ridiculous prices. You're having a price available to all is it should be something that's enforced for bookie changes. The price for certain individual locking in that file, it should be six figures. So, they don't do it and we've got a fair marketplace. Uniform deductions methodology, bookie is really a low unto themselves in this regard. They're applying whatever with methodology they like that even the official top flock, it's currently based on five or six bookies and having the same price at the same time and it's being gamed. They're changing their prices at different times. It should be based on whether a price was available with free bookies at any time of betting in that last 30 minutes of bidding and that’s so their fair top flock. At the moment, their price is embarrassing compared to the actual, true top flock on bet fair. I certainly think that there's a lot of ways that the industry can come together and look at trying to improve both balance and improve the markets that generates high turnover, whilst also ensuring game reminds us. It's obviously critical and required. Jake: Are there any silver linings to what's going on the betting side or are there more viable options out there because it sounds like to me, if you and I had to convince, let's just say, a professional sports bettor to dip their toe into racing or get more involved in racing. They really only have the exchange which is obviously very light. They have on track options potentially, if they want to gather up the miles on the road and get out to all those tracks. They have some limited availability with corporates but again, closer to jump time in play isn't really an option.  Betting early, like you've said, is really difficult if not impossible. Is there any silver lining within that if we had to convince someone to come over or is it requiring at this point, it's past the tipping point and there's got to be change different regulation, different enforcement, mandating margins and those type of things before we see any positive uptick? Dean Evans: There's been a negative tone because punters are getting a raw deal at the moment but there's always opportunities, in spite of everything said about market percentages with bookies. The market percentages on bet fair haven't changed. The opportunities to live on bet fair is an example. The issue is that as compared to the UK, the market liquidity in Australia is too low which is a shame. You can bet powers before the first race at a lowly nothing meeting in the UK with reasonably substantial deep pools in Australia. They don't get going properly, usually into last 20 minutes. I think, bet fair marketing's a bit off the mark. Potentially, they should be attending bet mass marketing, I think, to get the tab crowd, the nod crowd for one of a better word. That's where the focus should be to simplify but they don't, they're still tiny as compared to corporates and that's a real shame because if bet fair was much bigger than the corporates would be forced to be more competitive because no one would be bidding with them and really, the tab [00:31:45 inaudible] create its own exchange account for let me understand, why they haven't bid but the opportunity is there on bet fair now and the on-track bookmakers are doing great things, are offering great prices and services as well above the corporates and they're starting to get online. There's plenty of opportunities to make money betting on horses, still there's no doubt but I just believe the industry has a lot of work to do to shore up its future and improve things. I put forward some of these ideas sometimes on social media and people say, “Oh! But the taxation and corporate bookies can't survive.” I'd argue, why do we need all these corporate bookies to survive? There's this fixed mentality that they need to exist but the point is, who cares? If my sole interest is the improvement and betterment of the racing industry. I don't really care if some of these overseas corporate makes need to fold or consolidate in Australia or divest because punters and the racing industry for free from a funding perspective, we'd all be better off with three corporate bookmakers. It was bid spending less on new bugs for suggestions that I provided to dramatically increase the local and global turnover and to fund this industry and keep it alive. The current model is just killing that goose that laid the golden egg and once it's gone, it’s gone. That's why I'm so passionate about it. I just think, the industry really needs to take step back into where are we going and where are we getting our funding from. I do think that the biggest and the easiest way to improve the funding would be to have some levy or tax on the breeding industry based on a percentage of either the sale of stock or the stallion stud fees. This would share the load to a portion of the industry that to be honest, really isn't contributing its share. I think that needs to be done. It's critical to the success of the industry and it's time to industry starts getting local on this because the punters just can't keep funding everything. There's just no more room to move there. Jake: How about bet types because I've lived in the US a while now and I see a strong push on pick six and all different options including multiple races, multiple horses and things like that and obviously in Australia, there's the equities and other options, trifecta and what not but it's definitely not pushed nearly as much and obviously, there's certain challenges that come with those different betting options but have you explored much and even more recently around betting qualities and what that looks like from a tab perspective as well as things like trifecta, even if it's only on group one race days or during the spring Carnival. Obviously, the Melbourne Cup, it seems like everyone has a first for now and that's evolved a bit more but it's a very wind focused marketplace generally and I think, most people that talk about it, most of the coverage and maybe rightly so it’s headed that direction but have you seen any other bet types that you've either dabbled in or considered or spent some time investigating? Dean Evans: Equities are mathematically a good betting type and I certainly do enjoy taking equities on big days and they're black type racing arm and with the equity pulls a reasonably deep and most importantly, they're taking out 5% of races. The equity is at the lowest, take out right from the tabs of any bet times. Absolutely, they're not a bad betting medium. I agree with what you say, I think racing should really be pushing the big win type opportunity, wooden places, it's there for the most but you are competing with Lotto and Keno and these things and I think, Kevin earned these big jackpot pools with big sixes which hasn't taken off who usually here, like you say, it is huge in other countries. Hong Kong has things like the triple trio, large equity pools. I've suggested before, one of the best things that racing could do would be to come together and offer punting competitions that are cheap or free to enter. If they're able to spend millions and millions on prize money, why not have a punting competition with a decent prize pool. I’m talking, a million bucks and have it over a spring or an autumn and set rules and get absolutely everybody joining in and there might be a nominal cost to enter that any punter is going to want to have a crack at that and suddenly, you've engaged them, you entranced them and you've got them interested for a long period of time. I do think putting really substantial prize money into some punting, tipping competition would really generate an enormous amount of interest. Racing Victoria, racing.com pushing pick 7 thing and it's a great concept and most of the time is 50 grand, that's good but people aren't falling over themselves to do that. You want something that's going to engage the audience over a long period of time and it's in the mainstream newspapers and everyone can have a go and everyone wants to win. I think, that's an option and like you said, I think you want those options with big pools whether it's equities or big six or triple three or all these things but they need to find a way to capture the imagination of the mainstream. Not just the people who’re currently fans of horse racing. Jake: I want to ask you about pricing because obviously, the way you're describing things, it sounds like the options are relatively limited and all the information is more available, more accessible and potentially, a lot of the off the shelf approaches might basically spit out the same or a similar number and if that's the case, is that negative necessarily? Or are they positives within that? For example, if you're, let's say, 10 betting options. All have the favorite up to 80 and you think it's a $2 chance versus it might be 10 different options that have all relatively different prices from even money after $3, which obviously is a bit of extreme example but there are certain things you can take advantage of when pricing seemingly is headed in a more homogenous direction? Dean Evans: The reality is most of the leading syndicates in the world are heavily influenced by the wisdom of crowds and the market price already. You hear from the likes of David Walsh as part of that original group before that included Jellico and him, many others have started by trying to build these complex computer models to accurately price the race and virtually, all of them found it actually substantially more profitable to take the market price as the truth and then adjust that for the variables that they felt the market had mispriced or under bet on that event. The largest syndicates that don't believe they can price a race so accurately that they can disregard what everyone else thinks. That's something for everyone to consider, particularly when it comes to not just model building but also staking. The challenge is most punters in truth would have no idea which of the variables that they wait as important are already baked into the price, which aren't but I would argue that some of the activities that most punters undertake and spend a lot of time on have no value at all to them in practice. I'll give you one example. Let's say, speed maps. You've probably spoken to dozens of successful pro punters in your business of betting on cars and let's say, the first thing that they uniformly say they do is, done to the form for a race will be a speeding map and I'd argue, why? You interviewed Dominic Byrne. He invented the speed bet, when no one else was doing it. When was that? 20 years ago. If every single punter and broodmares is doing a speed map then is there really an agenda? And don't get me wrong on some bias tracks. For sure, you have to do a speed map. Canterbury, Caulfield both of which in the last few months have been frankly complete and in other shambolic disasters as far as race horses go with just an inside rails lead bias. This is not a [00:40:05 inaudible] valley and other tight tracks that have a clear pattern, [00:40:07 inaudible] distances within those tracks. Speed maps opposition running are more important than most other factors but I see people assessing the Melbourne [00:40:15 inaudible] Derby and the first thing they do is a speed map as well and I'm like, really, why? You're not adapting at all of the 250 plus variables to assess. Do you reckon one that's really worth doing. Are you going to predict the speed map of 24 horses, most of which you've never seen in Australia before? What purpose of all those variables to analyze? Do you think that speed maps on top 30 in that situation? I'd say, no that you're wasting your time and I spoke with one of the most prominent sectional time providers in Australia and he has been many thousands of hours and dollars, getting multiple PhD and Masters to try to come up with an accurate computer formula to determine the early speed of race and he had all that are the early sectional times and cross referencing with the barriers and the jockeys and the standard early sectionals and everything and after all of that, he could not produce anything that could with any remote accuracy, determined accurately the early speed of a race with any statistical significance and that's impacted by two factors, jockey intent. All the jockeys get speed maps done. If all speed maps say, it's going to be hot speed. Guess, what happens? It will pull the reins early and try to get a slip behind. Suddenly, there's no pace and conversely, they see race with no speed on. Suddenly for them, all have a bright idea and want to go forward and then you have a track bias where it's favoring on paces early and suddenly, everyone wants to go forward and the speed is suicidal and the bet marker wins. Even once you've determined, you’re predicted to be. You saw the need to assess, how that will impact the race because the old thinking was that a quick early speed suit and bet markers and slow really speeds to dog paces and now, the more advanced thinking is that dropping accurately can actually disadvantage the leaders and so on. Really, speed can break the hearts of the runners behind, even if you could accurately determine the really speed and what does that mean when you're way better than bias. Given all of that, the average punter and even in the [00:42:10 inaudible] has asked question, how many speed maps the average and ask punter are doing or even accurate with all that time being spent on that could be spent on identify an edge one of the other 250 plus variables that probably have a far bigger edge and importantly, more certainty of accurate analysis. I've never said it publicly but in the spring from the June, Brisbane Winter Carnival to November, the random component Carnivals, I think my tip service, using as an example because you can assess it and I made 130 units profit, about 22% POT. We didn't have a losing period in six months and I didn't do a single speed map because I focused on other variables that I felt had a far more substantial edge that worth my time and ultimately, involved back in the horses most suited to the race. Jake: Their tracks are racing fairly like they did in the spring? Dean Evans: On those big traps, the maps are in my opinion of a little substantial edge but the key caveat to that is when the tracks are biased, suddenly the map and position and run variable can have more importance but I think, that's why there are so many including, myself has such a hatred for unfair tracks but the point of that is there are many ways to skin a cat and I think, trying to educate the everyday punter. The point of what I'm trying to say is that I've seen punters who don't consider sectional times at all in their betting and get a hugely successful. I know punters who are totally video based and don't have a database and are hugely successful. There's many ways to do things and the point I'm trying to make is, with this modernist pricing that you're speaking about and with the situation, you need to find an edge somewhere and I'm saying, the edge might not be where everyone's trying to point you. If everyone's trying to point you to a speed rating database. If everyone's trying to point you to their speed map. Maybe that's not where the edge is, maybe it’s somewhere else. Jake: No, I think it sounds like from a far anyway, we're at the very top of the bell curve when it comes to people using speed maps and even it’s finding its way into the mainstream and you're right, that's a good indication that maybe, it's time to hop off that bandwagon and maybe, it'll come back around sometime soon where it is useful or maybe, it helps some people get a frame for the race or framework and it helps them picture what they’re going into but you're right, if that's a sole dominant factor then it's probably at this moment anyway, not necessarily that useful. It's interesting though because I think, the quandary still exists where we want to try and educate the mainstream. If I asked you three or five years ago, you might have said or seven years ago, yeah, let's try and get them understanding. Certain things that are now less in vogue or more useful to put it that way and then vice versa. Now, if you're starting off day one tomorrow, you may not necessarily start there but it is a challenge where I think, we do need to do a better job at letting the masses know about how the smart people are thinking about it and obviously, the problem with that is, as soon as it becomes part of the masses, it's no longer what the smart guy is looking at. Dean Evans: Yeah, that is a challenge but the point of what I'm trying to say really and convey is just that you need to be contrarian to be winning. If you're doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. With the way, they syndicates and the large punters are operating in the way that the markets are currently in the margins, pricing these things, you just need to find an edge for each for yourself, be continually need to look at what you're missing and if you truly believe that you're going to be able to read sectional times better than someone else's speed maps better than someone else is good on you and some people can. I'm not saying, the people working solely on speed that are winning a lot. There's people working solely on speed maps that are winning a lot but you got to bet yourself to be better than that or you find something else. There are edges everywhere and there's opportunities to make great money in this game everywhere, in spite of, what I've been speaking about in general which is more than I want the game to improve. I want the game to be more open to everyone. I want the markets to improve because that'll help funding. It doesn't mean that there's not still great opportunities for everyone bidding on horse racing as they most certainly are but you've just got to think differently. Jake: Where are things that in Australian racing and I must admit the amount that I do follow it. It doesn't strike me as if we're in a golden age. [00:46:37 inaudible] I do think, there are more internationals having more success. Again, I'm certainly not living and breathing in it but I do remember the old days of you would have a Melbourne Cup or a Caulfield cup runner and putting aside maybe the Japanese runners that had a bit of a hot streak in Delta Blues and then a couple of others was a Pop Rock or something like that did well on there but where the things sit now in terms of locally as well as internationally? Do you have a sense of whether we are in a strong period of time or maybe, it's not the case? Dean Evans: I think, in terms of the standard of racing in Australia, I think the weight for age and the staying ranks, in particular, have a very low standard. Quite frankly, in the spring we had a betting came of last placing and wonder group on [00:47:24 inaudible] miles second up at 101, we have Blackheart back, come out as a nine-year-old after two tendon injuries and when the group one Underwood, 101. Kluger was a seven-year-old who hadn't won for three years in Japan hadn't run a place and it's last forced out, couldn't even run a place in the nonblack tight race in Japan came out and ran a quite a close second to Winx and the Queen Elizabeth, which is Sydney's version of the Cox Plate. Again, we had the Queen Elizabeth this year in day one and he's not a superstar but he absolutely playing them with [00:48:01 inaudible] James when the Sydney Cup who was flat out trying to win a listed race previously. The loss of Winx has exposed the real lack of depth in the white frayed standard horses in Australia as much as we all want to defend our backyard. I think, the reality is the question marks internationally are the quality and depth form of probably Warrington at the moment. We've been blessed recently like, some true champions like, Winx and Black Caviar and despite that they are absolute the world champions with one anyway. Hopefully, another can come along and distract us but I think, we need to look at the causes, a couple of key drivers. The breeding industry is so strong, is driven by the high prize money. [0:48:45 inaudible] is worth more as a [0:48:46 inaudible] and a racing proposition and as a result in a large number of our top two-year-old and three-year-old colts, not even progressing into their four-year-old beyond and that leaves the geldings but then you've got race horse exports to Asia, they've exploded. We get around 400 plus horses exported to Hong Kong and China each year. I think, they're only accepting the younger horses, the two- and three-year olds that are prepared to pay telephone numbers sometimes even for non-black type horses and you can see how quickly our depth and stocks are being depleted as obviously having an impact on the quality of our horses and this is why so many of our very best champions in recent times such as Winx and Black Caviar and Finger Lakes have enabled overseas. Now, they're all [0:49:23 inaudible]. Beginning, when it comes back to punting, it again comes back to stop looking for the obvious and stop being a bit contrary and I think, in the form between many states is more comparable than previously believed. We have the lights of also like, Mystic Journey and the WA horses are really doing very well. These in states now and in even most of the fields, many horses winning a far bigger prices than the true learning [00:49:50 inaudible] are vastly over a bet. Particularly, these unproven horses with seemingly good records to find the next step a bit of a challenge but I think, punters they are waiting and hoping that next Winx or Black Caviar and taking short odds about biddable commodities we've sent in horses like Avilius and Mystic Journey and Libertarian [00:50:09 inaudible], when a nature's driven to be. They'll get beat at these really short quotes and their handy list of horses but I do think, given the weakness in the stock says, it's only an opportunity to bet horses at big prices because some feel quite even and they're just not as strong as people sometimes want them to be. Jake: What about tracks, you mentioned it before and it's comes up really often about how awful they are or how unexpectedly bad they might have been, I think. Obviously, a heavy 10 is a heavy 10 but that seems like there's much more chatter around about it. How does that impact, obviously, betting and has it had an impact with obviously the quality of horses and it might be a bit more of an unknown, where you get more 101 shots up or what's your sense of how it's been impacting racing? Dean Evans: Look, I'll be blunt it. I really believe one of the biggest issues in racing is the track preparation. The bias is an unavoidable, it's an outdoor sport. There are factors such as, weather and typically wind and rain that creates the bias but there are mitigating factors available and the first is the real position and when people are on the record and they defend the track managers but I can tell you off the record. I spoke to a number of track preparers and experts and they say in the vast majority of cases that these inside rails and on pace track biases were avoidable if the track appears to the right course of action. Now for me, to be honest, when I talk about track bias, I actually really just talk about that inside rails bias. I'm not that fussed about any other bias and I don't think generally, is anyone else. It's rare, it’s an on-pace bias on its own. It hardly ever happens. If it does cause, there's a rock-hard track with a short strike that generally favors on paces anyway but I can tell you in Hong Kong and Japan and New Zealand, I don't think, they have anywhere near the same level of this inside rails track bias issue that occurs in Australia and I believe it's a choice. I think that racing fans and punters and track managers are accepting of a form of racing in Australia, we're on paces and horses hiking the rails wind but it’s terrible racing and reason I'm so passionate about it is it's terrible for the industry in every way. I posted on social media belt wicked rails pilot bias in the past and often the members that pipe up the most of the members of the industry that pipe up the most, first and foremost are the jockeys and that's because the inside rails bias is inherently dangerous if you're a jockey and you come to the realization that the only way you can win a race on a certain day is to find the rails. It is suddenly competing for a tiny portion of real estate on a 450 kg thoroughbred running. 50 or 60 something km/hr. and you're in a 16-horse field and everyone wants to be on the fence. It's really dangerous and then you think of a trainer, you've set a horse for a major race. You want an entire team work for months to prepare horse for certain race and you can't control the weather or the track conditions, they vary [00:53:03 inaudible] but at the very least, you should expect that if there's 16 horses in a race, they will all have some chance of winning and there's been a truckload of races this autumn where they say, 16 horses in a race and literally only three of them could possibly win after they've run 400m. How is that acceptable for an owner who's invested hundreds and thousands, often millions of dollars to get to a race and they go there with their family and their friends and they syndicate and they get to the race and I know they can't even possibly win because of the drawing wide and the fence is a travelator and the rest of the track is [00:53:37 inaudible] quick stand like, only horse in the rails can win. It's just completely unacceptable and for me, it's very fixable and it's quite simple. The defense on pacers is already favored by mathematics and physics. They don't need further assistance. To my eyes, if there's any chance whatsoever that the inside is going to be faster than the rest of the track. Any chance at all then either move the rail or water the shit out of the inside, to be honest. [00:54:03 inaudible] and Flemington, the horses swoop often the rails off but do you ever hear anyone complain about that? No, because it's great racing. Every horse can get off the rails. That's easy. The field can [00:54:13 inaudible] 10 wide and every horse gets clear running, every punter who funds the entire show in the industry, you can cheer for their horse on the straight knowing they've got clear running and they've had a go. Same with the owners and the trainers and jockeys, it benefits everyone. That's completely fixable. It just takes the industry leaders to say, hey, this is actually the biggest problem. Let's just fix that stuff. There's guidance on start with a good four and with a good three. Make the guidance to track managers. Just make sure the track is fair, make sure you've eliminated the lanes as much as possible in particular rails lane and make sure every horse is going to have its chance because that benefits jockeys, trainers, owners, punters and everyone and they won't like the tracks too hard because that creates bias. Frankly, the job of the track managers should be to make the track safe firstly and fair and that's basically fair means every horse has chance and that's all the industry asks. That’s why, I'm so passionate about those inside rails bias. It just keeps happening over and over again and even though the Corfield track got completely lambasted in the media by everyone on Blue Diamond day. Since then, it has happened another two times. In Canterbury, they had a couple of meetings where living races in a row one by the leader on the rails living in a row, something like 19 out of 21 races that I looked at, was one by the first two but that's not racing. It's just garbage and it’s avoidable. I just think, it's a massive issue and I think, its avoidable issue and the governing bodies are there to make calls on these things and it sounds like one that should be the key focus of track managers and I think that they’ve given that direction and given that focus then they'll find the solutions. Jake: I can certainly hear it in your voice and I'm just picturing the 100m final at the Olympics and you can't win unless you're in line one or line two and the outside six lines of no hope. Dean Evans: Exactly! People would just say, what the hell is this? That just be a complete joke, if you had running races and if you're in wild lands, you're running at half the speed of everyone else. It's just ludicrous that happens and that will happen so often and I just do not believe for a second when people say that it's not avoidable. It is avoidable. It can if that was the key focus point and it would be completely avoidable. I would avoid it. Jake: Absolutely. One final, for I like hearing your thoughts on the tipping world. Obviously, it's one that there are plenty of bad services out there and it always strikes me that what you're doing and how you're doing it and the terminology used and the process as well as the education part of it's critical. What are your thoughts on the state as it is now with respect to the tipping industry? Dean Evans: We tried to try to revolutionize the industry, frankly, at winning edge investments, trying to do the basic things that are spoken about a lot in our recording results or prices that members can actually achieve a substantially downplaying the results compared to what was available. Actually, posting those results on the website and social media every single day being 100% transparent. I don't think it's a shame, though. It's a real shame but it's a big industry and it gets a bad rap from certain providers. There are con artists in the industry everywhere to be frank. We had someone asked to join our services or tips when we turned them down and now compares his results as when they're completely fabricated and recorded the highest of either the fixed price or the best owed or the top flag or the bet fair SP without commission taken out and using Einstein try to compare these things but in spite of that, he still doesn't post results sheet because you can't actually make a profit pretends that he is and even the biggest tipping service in Australia for horses and many knows who he is recorded them, the highest possible price available anywhere at any time when sending a tip. So, you've got people trying to compare these things and you can once the results are achievable and one is not and I think, it's unfortunate. There's a lot of dodgy providers out there and it's easy for someone to set up a Facebook page or Twitter page and start taking money and I'm astounded how many people actually fall for that stuff and might not even have a basic website or they've got no long term record or they show the best [00:58:33 inaudible] can be easily faked or now with a weak bookie, there's a lot of people taking people for a ride but no man was just always be truthful and realistic about the realities of betting that the ups and downs, there's lots of downs but over time, if you're profitable, they're simply part of the journey. I've spent time with playing poker and having dinners with two of the original [00:58:55 inaudible]. And even these billionaires they talk to you about having these significant losing periods, despite having the most sophisticated and profitable databases and bidding operations in the world but you still get these guys on social media trying to point out losing periods and it's like, about a losing period because he saw our results sheets and our graph and that's what we're transparently uploading and referring to every day but it's moronic and childish. Can you imagine walking up to Warren Buffett? The world's most biggest and most successful investor where 75 million enters Berkshire Hathaway annual conference and trying to pour and point out that the poor stock you invested in or the few months where the share price went down. It's idiotic, you'd be laughed out of the room but the issue with the tipping is really it's that short term focus. Its people that ask, what's the most important factor when assessing your own betting your own bidding or tipping service in recent units profit or was [00:59:51 inaudible] or strike writing nonsense. It’s none of them, Otto's longevity and transparency is there's hundreds of services out their claims have been around for a period of time and yet their results through either nonexistence or they only show a recent period. Why do you think that is, the guy's been around five years and shows you the past year's results, what do you think that is, what happened the other four years and the livestreams? Guys, I'm sure results at all at the end of the year and some random periods suddenly send out some summary of their results. Now, I've achieved x units YPOT and who's verified that it's garbage. To me, it's just nothing, it's worthless and we've seen it firsthand, we've had dozens of people trying to apply and join winning edge investments as an analyst and we trial them for long periods and most fail before we take them all. Now they give up or they stop and they don't like our recording or our transparency or our accountability, you'll know your results and find holes and they don't like that return them away and Siemens set themselves up on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram with an inaccurate set of results. We all do and we didn't accept and you just have to be really weary. We're independent, we thoroughly review and audit everyone, we engage independent contractors to do that we refer a new service and when we're satisfied, it'll benefit the members and unlike most different services, we offer a profit guarantee we don't receive trailing commissions from affiliate bookies based on losses Soviet, it doesn't benefit us to have a losing service is actually very detrimental. So, less people can rely on that as a general basis and mindset terms of how we want to operate but it's a tough industry, the reality is most punters just don't have the long-term mindset and the ability to wait out a tough losing or dread on period to succeed and so, they bounce from idea to idea or they bounce from service to service and they're looking for some perfect service or method that never loses in it and it doesn't exist. I get suckered into talking about a big day or a week that they had and focusing on the short term but it's about the long-term results.  I've just tried to convey that in terms of you, we try to offer a range of services that suit different punters summer, high volumes on a low volume, something a bit early fixed odds are somebody that's better be BOB or bet fair SP and some back favors and some back refuse and some focus on certain states and Australia wide. It's just about tailoring the right service to the individual which we like to help people with before they join. I think the key is just to be wary, I think people it's a real false economy to try to go with someone who's free or cheap, when you're turning over spending as much money as you are betting that's cutting your nose off to spite your face or trying to save a bit of dollars a year but really, what you're costing yourself is the opportunity to learn and grow and invest successfully and learn from these full time professionals and really get information from the right sources and if you want to be serious about betting and that's really what you want to do, you got to be able to critically analyze where you're getting your information from and whether that's actually providing you with a true edge in whether you really loved learning and growing with that. So that you can take yourself to the next level and actually, really win on the pump. Jake: Absolutely and it's a difficult one, given there are con artists that do exist but obviously keep fighting the good fight and hopefully those that are looking for long term investments in different things, they can find it and order themselves and make the right decisions and before I go, I wanted to just ask and fingers crossed, we're all hopeful that nothing gets called off anytime soon. I think the chances are that it may happen, if that does have you and obviously there's been equine influenza before but since then, I dare say, you probably haven't had a day off in the last decade. If you did get let's just say, I told you got three weeks off or four weeks off, what would that mean, would that be a holiday, would that be a time to go back and look at certain things, would that be a full cleanse from racing or do you have the luxury of thinking what that might look like? Dean Evans: Well, yeah, I like a lot of people in the industry would love a break. I think the industry is so wall to wall and I know it's been causing a lot of consternation with trainers and jockeys and the light winners. They've got to get up really early in the morning for track work and then they're racing at nighttime as well. I think the industry as a whole needs to look at that and know it's suitable and funding but Geez, I could really do with the day off a week, a Monday or something. Even, if each state had a different day off, one state with a Monday, one state with a Tuesday and one state with a Thursday, where they don't race but now, I think, all participants need that. I certainly don't want racing to stop and this is just an enormous number of people that rely on it but I've been preparing in the background for it. I certainly spending a bit more time with the kids in the family would always be welcomed and is as with anyone in the industry but for me, I'd certainly see it as an opportunity and that seller was looking at everything in life and if racing to stop, I would spend all of my time on working on my database and I didn't find new edges and getting prepared for when it resumed. So, I'd certainly say, it was a huge opportunity, in the same way that I think, a trainer or a jockey or anyone could spend that time, getting better at what they do and learning from someone else, as well as reconnecting with your family and having some downtime.  I think there's always opportunity with these things and yeah, it would give me a lot more time to focus on the going forward and the planning for the future. So, I'd be okay with it but the other day, there's a lot of people that do rely on it to get to give huge credit to the racing industry, to still be running to really be the only sport that is still going they've done just an incredible job and as the trainers have said that they feel more safe on a race course than they do anywhere else. The biosecurity measures that they put in place and emergence, restricting travel in the various regions that jockeys can travel in and that thing. It’s remarkable that we're still racing in this crazy time and it's a real quick to the industry and we're very fortunate that it's still going but I just think, if there was any broken everyone, the industry needs to look at it as an opportunity to spend some time to improve their craft. Jake: Absolutely. They've done a terrific job and like I said before and you reiterated hopefully, just given how many people rely on the industry it doesn't happen but if it does, I'm sure it might be a welcome relief for some. Dean, thank you very much for coming on. I know it's been a while since we last spoke and I always love chatting just given the depth and breadth of your knowledge not just in racing and betting but more broadly and it's always fun to get your insights. Thanks again for coming on the show.  Dean Evans: No. Thank you very much, Jake. I really appreciate you calling me back and keep doing an amazing job, interview, so insightful and everyone in the industry just loves what you do and listening to the insights of so many different people and the different approaches and knowledge. It's incredible what you do and very enjoyable for all of us. Jake: Much appreciated!

Expert Q&A: Cameron O'Brien

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Full time professional punter Cameron O'Brien, our newest expert who heads up our Western Australian Tips & Ratings servic , talks to us about his 12 years as a pro punter. He has joined Winning Edge Investments to provide his successful betting strategies to members. He joins us to discuss his background in racing and punting.   Read the transcription here: Interviewer: So I'm here with Cameron, and we're going to talk about his Western Australian racing service and find out a bit about him. So hi, Cameron. How are you going? Cameron O’Brien: Hi, Stephen. I'm very good. Thanks for taking the time out to do this. Interviewer: Okay. Now, to start off, tell us a bit about yourself. Cameron O’Brien: Yeah. Sure. Well, I'm a 42-year-old guy. I grew up in sort of country Victoria and then in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. And I was into racing from a young age, but didn't sort of get into professional analysis 'til I was in my 20s. But yeah, I grew up there and have travelled around a bit, and these days, live down the coast, down the Bellarine Peninsula. I've got a large, young family of five children. And yeah, doing this full-time for a long time now. Interviewer: Okay. So how did you get into racing? Where was the first track that you went to? Cameron O’Brien: The first track. Well, I can't remember the first actual track I went to. It was probably actually Healesville where I grew up, but the first proper track, I suppose-- well, I got into racing through my father. My father was a successful punter and analyst, and he helped Don Scott with his racing tome, the Winning Way, because Don was in New South Wales when he helped him with the Victorian class and weight tables, and he's actually acknowledged in the beginning of that book by Don. And so Dad actually got me into racing. I liked it. And he took me down to the Melbourne Cup of '86 where I looked at the Sun form guide on the way down and made up some little point system like stats at the distance and stats at the track and overall stats and recent form, and it selected the favourite, At Talaq, as the pick. And Dad had $10 on it for me at five to one, I think it was, and I got back 60. And as a 10-year-old, that had me very interested [laughter]. And so I guess Flemington was the first proper track I went to at the Melbourne Cup. Interviewer: Okay. So you started with a point system. You would've evolved that over the last few years, so how did you do that? Cameron O’Brien: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it did. So I continued to follow racing loosely, I suppose, in the next couple of years, but then when I was about 15 or so, I was interested in studying it more. And so Dad gave me the Winning Way to read, a copy that Don had actually signed, which I now have in my bookcase, and he said, "All right, well, read this." And so that just opened my eyes to a new way you could analyse racing as opposed to just looking at the Sun form guide and this whole idea. And Don was such a brilliant writer. He was such an amazing writer. He was not only a great punter, but when he retired, he then wrote several plays. He was a champion debater and a wonderful writer. And so the books were so well-written and so sort of convincing that just this new world opened up to me. This new world of racing analysis where, in his world, it was using class and weight to rate them and then compare them like-for-like and such and then turn that into a price which you valued it. And I just thought, "Yes, well, this is--" I was like a religious convert. I thought, "This is what you have to do." And so I started dabbling in doing my own class and weight ratings like that just on Victorian racing at the time. And I'd do things like-- well, I got Dad to go to the printing press place. And Don had a sheet for the past races, and he had a sheet for the upcoming races. And I got Dad to photocopy me several hundred of each of those so that I could start to build up my own ratings. And I even got those little card index things. And like Don used to do, I'd have one for every horse and carefully transcribe each line in of their form as I went, with some details about each race. And so after a while, I had this huge, big roller index thing of cards for these Victorian horses. I was basically doing the metros and main provincials only. And then I'd do the form and do things like ride down to the TAB. And the TAB guy knew Dad, so he'd turn a blind eye as I put the odd bet on and, yeah, I really started to get into it. And that was sort of where all this began for me, was doing that. Don didn't like-- well, Don said he didn't like to use times, but I think that's actually wrong. I think he used them a lot more than he makes out. But he was very much class and weight rating [inaudible]. So that's how I started out, but then after that, when I was about 18, I started reading Andy Byers' books, the American time professional, and I realised, "Well, hang on, there's more to time here than what Don used to say," and so it started to develop for me. I started to then actually do time ratings rather than straight class ratings. And it was a bit more wild because straight-up time ratings can be pretty wild and pretty raw, but therefore, I was teaching myself. And Dad read Byers' books as well, and so we were sort of doing time ratings. And Dad was still doing some ratings at the time as well himself, so I would put my ratings into his database that he had. So I was really giving myself an education in different ways to analyse races. It all started out with Scott's books and, as I say, it led through to Andy Byers, and it sort of progressed from there. Then I took some time off and went travelling and came back and went to uni for a little bit. And it wasn't 'til I'd landed a job working as an analyst for Mark Reid when I was 23 or 4, whatever I was, that I then saw another side to it where Mark would use more about the pace in the sections and that kind of thing. So it sort of kept developing from there really. And where it got to the point-- I left working for Mark after a couple of years and started developing my own methods even more, and I guess it's been a constantly developing thing until I went out on my own punting in 2007. And yeah, it had taken me-- I left Mark Reid in 2002, and so in the next sort of five years, really, I was sort of developing and still working. And so it's been a constantly evolving process, really, since I was about 15, I suppose. Interviewer: Okay. So where do you find your edge is now? Cameron O’Brien: Well, the edge is in having accurate ratings and then using them in the right way when you do the form. So, as I said, it started out being class ratings, and then I was doing time ratings, and then Mark Reid taught me about using the sections and things. So the way I work out my ratings is really a combination of those three things. The class of the race is the established starting point, and then you use their times and their sections to work out, "Now, what did they really actually do here?" And then obviously adjusting to such things like the weight they carried that day, and then obviously the weight in the upcoming race. And then when you do the form, you start with their ratings. So you work out, "Well, what kind of horse is this? What is his ability? What can he rate if everything goes right? And therefore what do I think he'll rate today given the circumstances of today's race, given who's riding him or her, given his suitability at distance, suitability at the track, suitability at the map, and his reliability, and of course the trainer and the trainer's reliability to get a horse to perform?" And those are the core components of doing the form. But accurate ratings have to be the backbone of it. If you're going to be a ratings analyst, then your ratings have got to be right. And I guess that's where it comes back to Perth, for me, is it's a good place to rate because it's a pretty stable environment. If tracks are constantly rating throughout the day, it's quite hard to work out what they've rated, and so your ratings might not be quite as reliable. So the edge comes in having really reliable ratings and also being able to then turn those ratings into a good predicted figure for the upcoming race. Interviewer: Okay. So what led you to looking at Western Australian racing? Mark Reid led me to that because I was the second in charge to Melbourne's-- under the best analyst I've come across, a guy called Jerry Twomey, and he taught me a lot up there. And then I was put on to doing Adelaide because the Adelaide guy had left or whatever. I can't remember what happened. And so I was doing Adelaide for a while, and that was a bit depressing. And then the Perth guy left, and so Mark just told me I was now doing Perth as well. And as anybody who knows Mark, you don't really argue with that. You've just then got to cop it and go and do it [laughter]. And so I found I liked Perth a lot more than Adelaide. And so from there, I sort of-- but I hadn't paid much attention to Perth racing prior to that, and I sort of thought, "Oh, hang on. Yeah, there's some advantages here. Some advantages." And so after I left that, I still maintained an interest in Perth racing. Obviously, being a Victorian, Victoria was what I sort of based myself on, but the Perth racing is what I find the most reliable in a lot of ways. And yeah, so I've maintained a very strong interest in it ever since. Interviewer: Okay. What tracks do you like in Perth particularly? Well, I like most of them. There's a couple I don't touch. Esperance and Narrogin. Esperance is a beautiful place to visit - we've been there a few times - but its track is too quirky and so it's too much about being the right spot. And Narrogin's much the same, and a lot of Narrogin horses are Narrogin specialists. They'll go great there, and their figures everywhere else never live up to what they can do at Narrogin. So I've started a form for tomorrow. There's a horse who's at Ascot who's been performing well, but all of his wins have been Narrogin, and his ratings at other tracks outside of Narrogin are nowhere near as good. So that's the kind of stuff I stay away from. But, I mean, Ascot's reliable. You know what you're always going to get. It's on pace, but that's fine because you know it's always going to be that way. It's like Caulfield in a lot of ways. On the short trips, you want to be-- you don't have to be on rail, but sometimes, it is an advantage, but as long as you're on pace on these short trips, then you're in the right spot. But as long as you know what you're in for with that, it's fine. Belmont holds up well in the winter. Northern Pinjarra, Bunbury, are all good places to bet. Geraldton's a little bit lesser, and Albany's a little bit lesser, but I do do them and go okay there. And that's sort of the crux unless I've forgotten one. I don't think I have. But that's sort of the crux of it. There's only six or seven tracks there that I'm really betting on, so it's not form lines everywhere. Those tracks have got a really strong history. Because they only race in a few, and I've got a big history in these tracks, so I can work out, "All right, this track, this distance, you need to be here," or it might be that it doesn't matter where you can be. Bunbury is a bit more fair than some of the others. And so I know the tracks. You get to know the horses because there's no interstate riders. Interstate raters, I should say. I mean, there are obviously at the carnival, but that's a very small amount of the total. And there's far less wet tracks, and so there's far less sort of chaos with that kind of thing and biases that happen on wet tracks and things like that. Obviously, there are some wet tracks in winter, but far less of them. And so the ratings tend to settle out and work out well and, as I say, the whole key here is to have accurate and reliable ratings or else the whole system falls down. Yeah, so they're the tracks I bet and that's how I think they work. Interviewer: Okay. So then you use your ratings to determine your bets. So what type of bets will you be looking at sending our members? How many bets a week? Approximately how many units will you spend a week? Yeah. Yeah. Sure. Well, Perth? Well, the number of bets will depend on how many meetings are in a given week, but they usually have on average about four meetings a week. Sometimes, more. There's rarely less than that, but sometimes more. A normal week would have a Wednesday meeting, a Thursday meeting, one or maybe two Saturday meetings, but the secondary Saturday meeting is generally pretty poor, and a Sunday meeting. Oh, yeah, I meant to mention Kalgoorlie before. I do do Kalgoorlie too, but I'm not as keen on it as I am on the ones more on the West Coast. So it averages out. So if we look at four meetings a week, it averages out about two-- sorry, roughly 10 bets per week, therefore. And the suggested unit amount varies, but on average, it's about 1.2, 1.3 units of bank per bet. So I think you could say, at a minimum, it'd be 12 units a week. But yeah, I would say at a minimum, but it's probably a conservative figure. Yeah, and as far as, yeah, unit of bank recommended, that's as a percentage of bank. So 1.2 is 1.2% of bank, etc. Interviewer: Okay. So given the time zone, when would you normally expect to release your bets? Yeah. Well, yeah, it depends on the time zone, as you say. Obviously, I'm in Victoria. Right now, Perth is three hours behind Victoria, so at this time of the year, I think we're looking at 1:00 PM as the release time, which is, of course, 10:00 AM over there. So essentially, you could say we're looking at releasing at 10:00 AM Perth time, which is 1:00 PM at the moment Eastern States Time or, well, New South Wales and Victoria time, and when it's non-Daylight Savings, 12:00 PM Eastern States Time. Interviewer: Okay. So that's allowing time for the scratchings to come out, for the markets to stabilise-- Cameron O’Brien: Yeah, that's right. Interviewer: and then identify where there's value at that point. Cameron O’Brien: Yeah, it gives me time to fix up and change whatever needs to be changed after scratchings. There's not as much scratchings in WA as there is in meetings in Victoria. Probably in Queensland, in Brisbane, they can have half the field scratched. Yeah. But yeah, you've got to have time to finalise everything and not rush it out, and make sure the bets are right and make sure you're giving the right ones. So 10:00 AM Perth time seems like a good time to me. Interviewer: Okay. So your previous results, what are you looking at for profit on turnover long-term? Cameron O’Brien: Yeah. Well, in the last year and a bit, my bets have made about 10% on turnover, and I can't see any reason why I won't continue with that. My more recent results, the last three or four months, are higher than that, but I'm not going to go saying that they're going to be outlandishly big just because the last three or four months have been really good. I'll stick with the 10%, which I think is well and truly acceptable anyway and if we get more than that, then, well, that's good. Interviewer: Okay. And what type of information do you send out with your bets? Cameron O’Brien: Yeah. Well, if any of the listeners are subscribed to Mark Rhoden's service, it'll be the same as Mark's service, which will be an outline of the race with all of my prices, with a comment for each horse and a race comment, and also what the suggested bets are, the unit amounts, and that kind of thing. So you'll get the full service as far as all my prices and such. So if markets change and people want to go backing some of the overlays later or whatever, then they can, and I'm happy to sort of steer them on how I think they should do that, if the members want, down the track. But certainly, they'll have all my prices there. People who play exotics. A lot of people love to play quaddies and things - I do too - and so if they want to be doing those kinds of things, then they'll have all my markets there, not just the bets. They'll have my markets, so they can use whatever takes their fancy, really. Interviewer: Okay. And for Western Australian betting, are there any bookmakers that you find are preferable to use given the market over there is a little different to the East Coast? Yeah. Well, the best of the best product is a good product no matter what because you're getting the best of either top fluc, or the best tote, or SP. And their betting market's okay as far as the fluctuations. To me, the top fluc can be a reasonable product. And the SP can turn out pretty well as well. I'm talking about the metros here at the moment. And so that. Betfair's reasonably okay, but between those-- but I'll often suggest to take-- well, not often, but I'll commonly enough suggest to take the fixed price when I think it's wrong. And in that case, you've just got to try to get on for as much as you can at the fixed price before it goes, and then take something like best of the best. Because what happens in all these markets, not just the East Coast or in Perth or wherever-- what happens is the last five minutes of betting is dictated to by the robots, by the syndicates, and if they don't like something, even if it's been backed [early?], if they don't like it, it goes back out. So Mark and I discuss this regularly. Mark Rhoden, that is, and I discuss this regularly. It's bloody impossible to predict what the robots are going to do. One thing you'll be sure, "They're going to like this. They have to. This looks a good thing. This must be backed," and then it drifts out in the last few minutes, and you have no idea why. So the robots, they're of their own minds, obviously. But that means that best of the best and Betfair SP are viable because they run that. If they don't like a horse, it'll drift on bet for SP and, of course, all the bookmakers just follow Betfair anyway. So it'll drift on track and, therefore, the totes will get out as well as the robots adjust the totes. So products like best of the best, but also if there isn't a best of the best available, something like best tote SP, they're very viable products in that respect. Interviewer: Okay. So you expect that our members will be able to get a good bet on. Cameron O’Brien: Yeah. And depending on what their bet size is, if they have to spread it across two or three of those mediums, then well and good. But there's a couple of people who offer best tote SP, for example, so you could get on with a couple of them and then-- well, I mean, several offer it, but some of them won't let you on. And then, yeah, as I say, depending on their bet size, that you put some into Betfair SP as well and, potentially, if they've got time, shop around, in the last couple of minutes, for a price. If they don't have time to do shopping around for a price in the last few minutes, well, that's fine; you just put it all on whatever I've suggested at the start, whether it be best of the best, or best tote SP, or whatever it might be. So yeah, you can get a decent bet on because you can spread it around like that. Interviewer: So there's enough liquidity in the markets to be able to do it. Cameron O’Brien: Yeah. Well, in the case of best tote SP, the liquidity is the bookmaker's-- his satchel. So if he's taking the bet, it's not going into any pool. Unless he bets it back into the tote or he bets it back into the ring, then the liquidity is just what he's willing to take on as his risk. Interviewer: Okay. How are official results recorded with all--? Cameron O’Brien: Yeah, the official result will be exactly what I've suggested. So if I say, "Have 1.8 units on this thing at the fixed price of $3," then obviously it's recorded as 1.8 units is at $3 assuming that $3 is available. And it's got to be transparent in that respect. And if the $3 isn't there-- when the emails are going out, if it's gone, if it's disappeared-- if I've prepared the email 10 minutes before, and it's going out 10 minutes later, and the $3 is gone, then we adjust the suggested price to take-- or it might change to, "Well, actually, back it this way now instead." So if I say best tote SP, for example, then obviously, we've just recorded that. So it'll be recorded exactly as suggested with the stakings I've suggested and for complete transparency. Interviewer: Okay. So thanks for your time today, Cameron. That was a fair bit about your service. Are there any racetracks in particular you'd recommend for people who are either travelling to Perth or are in Perth to go to for a good day out at the races? Cameron O’Brien: Yeah. Well, I've only been to a couple of them. I've been to Belmont. I've been to Ascot. I can't remember if I got to-- no, I don't think I ever got to Esperance, but I would say if you wanted to visit, a track like Esperance would be wonderful because it's a beautiful part of the world as well. The South Coast down there is stunning. And Albany looks like it's stunning as well. I haven't actually been there. I've travelled around, but I never saw Albany. So those tracks would be good. As far as the good tracks, Belmont's nice, and Ascot's nice, but the one that would be the best if you could get there - I haven't been here, but I've seen it on the telly and my jaw drops - would be Broome. Broome looks stunning. You've got the racetracks right on the water and that beautiful coastline out the side of it there, and people who have been there tell me it's absolutely stunning. And so I'm looking forward to, at some point in my life, getting over to Broome and having a look at that. Interviewer: Do you often send bets out for Broome? Cameron O’Brien: No, I don't bet on those kind of tracks, no. Up North, yeah, there are more tracks up there like that in Carnarvon and these kind of places, but, no, I don't bet on those at all. Interviewer: Okay. Great. So once again, thanks for your time, and good punting. Cameron O’Brien: No worries. Thanks very much, Stephen. I hope it clarifies some things for all the members and, if not, feel free to get in contact with Winning Edge. And if any questions, I'm happy to answer. Interviewer: Okay, great. Thank you. Cameron O’Brien: Thanks, Stephen. Interviewer: All right.

The Success of Speed Stars

Monday, December 21, 2020

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.

PETER LAWRENCE | Professional Punter & Form Analyst

Friday, December 18, 2020

Winning Edge chats to Peter Lawrence, revealing a well respected pro punter's view of the challenges & opportunities facing the racing & betting industries in the current climate.     Read the trascript here: Brad Thompson: This week on the Winning Edge podcast, we're joined by professional punter and form analyst, Peter Lawrence. Good day, Peter, how are you? Peter Lawrence: Very well, Brad. Thanks for having me on. Brad Thompson: No worries at all. Thanks for giving us some of your time to talk about your career and your views on the sport. So, tell us how you got into racing. Peter Lawrence: My father, even though he was a dentist, his father was a racehorse trainer in Rockhampton and his brother was also a jockey. So, he always had a cute interest in racing. Even though I had 2 brothers who showed no interest in racing at all and my mother wasn't interested, I obviously inherited his genes. When I was a very small boy, maybe 6 or 7 years old, I primarily, at that time was interested in the trots, which some of the older listeners may well remember. The trots were much more popular many years ago. In fact, on a Friday night on the ABC, they used to have the two legs of the daily double live and then in between the 6th and the 8th race, they would have replays of the other races that had been run that night. The betting units in those days were 25 cents. I used to have 25 cents on a couple of trotters during the night, which would be frowned upon they say, having a 6- or 7-year-old son having a bet on the trots. My first, my earliest memory of actually going to the races was actually going to see a dog at the dogs in Bathurst called Zoom Top. That was a famous Australian dog at the time. I remember having one dollar on it and I was 4/1 on and I got beaten. That's my actual earliest memory of going to a race meeting of sorts. I didn't learn my lesson then about backing short price favorites. Then I guess as time went on and as I got a little bit older, I became more interested in the races. Always was still quite interested in the trots even up until maybe I was 15 or 16 years old and would get the Trotguide on a Wednesday and still be very interested. In fact, because we lived in Bathurst during those times, went to the Bathurst trots which used to be on on Tuesday night. My father actually was friendly with a couple of farmers there that owned Hondo Grattan, that was a champion pacer. He did actually own a third of Hondo Grattan for a short period of time. But we left Bathurst and went to live in England for a while. They actually couldn't afford to race Hondo Grattan because the wool industry was...the wool prices were bad. Brad Thompson: Is that right? Peter Lawrence: So, they gave his third share to Tony Turnbull, who was the trainer. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: So, he became the owner. And then we came back to Australia to live maybe nine months later and Hondo Grattan had his first win night at Bankstown and after that, he became a great champion. I had a real interest in the trots early on but as I got a bit older, that interest waned and I became more and more interested in the races. Brad Thompson: All right. So, tell us about your major influences early on. Peter Lawrence: Well, in that period where I was a teenager interested in the races, I was always looking at ways to actually win. I was always interested in reading about punters and get the Racetrack every month, I think it came out in those days. My early journey into trying something new was that Racetrack published, what I guess people would think of now as par times for all the different metropolitan race courses in Sydney and Melbourne with like a point system on, "This many points for this time." It was a very basic thing. Didn't take into account track conditions or anything like that. I was very interested in comparing times of different horses and trying to back winners like that. And then when I was about 15 or 16 years old, the Don Scott book, Winning, came out. I suppose that really had a dramatic influence on my life. Reading about someone who'd won at the races, how they did things in a systematic way to quantify some sort of qualitative judgment on the races. Scott definitely had a huge influence on the way I did the form, the way I approached betting on races, the idea that you would set your own market and try and back overlays, all things that are commonplace now. Reading that book on Scott and reading other books, Pittsburgh Phil's book and a few other books. And then I always had a great, a real interest in the times. I tried to combine the Scott method with a times method that I had gleaned from that racetrack era. That's really how I started off trying to do something a little bit different. Brad Thompson: So, that studying of the form and learning more about it, that led to a career in bookmaking? Peter Lawrence: Yeah, it did. Down the track a few years on from that, I convinced my father to float me some reasonably small bank and went book making. Even though, this is probably in the late 80s, people would talk about how the game was not nearly as good as it used to be and how there'd been a deterioration in people going to the track but it really was, compared to today, it was a bustling hive of betting activity. In those days, I was living in Canberra. When I started there, the races were on every Saturday in Canberra and then on the alternate day, they'd be on in Queanbeyan, which is a little country town just right outside the border of Canberra. So, there was races every Saturday. In the Canberra betting ring there, there was four bookmakers on the rails on the interstates, 19 in the outer and a waiting list of about 6 or 7 and on the locals, 4 on the rails and about 12 or 13 in the outer. Brad Thompson: Big business then. Peter Lawrence: It changed unbelievably. There was a very strong ring and there was lots of young aspiring bookmakers borrowing cash off each other to go to the New South Wales Bookies Co-op to get their bookies license and pretend they had a lot more money than they did. It was a really great time. Brad Thompson: Also, tell us a bit about your journey and how your career then formed to become a professional punter. Peter Lawrence: Well, the whole time I was a bookie, I was always what was called an opinion bookmaker. A lot of other people are good at handling clients and getting the right people to bet with them and let them do whatever they want, whereas I was always much more interested in having an opinion on races and betting over some horses and betting under some horses. So, I was always using the book as really, a reverse style of punting. And I used to bet all the time as well. That was always how I approached being a bookmaker. Actually, just backtracking a little bit. I had a job, I did subscribe to Warren Block and Don Scott’s Super Form. And, of course, Warren Block, who was in charge of that, lived in Canberra. I went one day to renew my subscription to the office, had a bit of a chat to him and then ended up working there for a few years. That was a great experience and got to meet Don Scott and got to talk to him on the phone and write articles. So, worked on that side of it. Brad Thompson: Dream job for someone like yourself. Peter Lawrence: Oh, it was a dream job. It really was and some great experience. That was really at the beginning of the whole computer revolution in racing. We used to enter all the results ourselves and then produce a magazine and send that to people. On, I think it was a Monday or a Tuesday night, we would enter all the picks, nominations for the upcoming Saturday and then produce a sheet that we would send to people and they would be able to sort of scratch the horses that weren't accepted and use a sort of worksheet to work out their form of the different ratings. I became a bookie, became an opinion bookie, had a great time in Canberra. Then moved to the Gold Coast, which was a really very, very big sort of center of bookmaking. Laurie Bricknell was there. He's probably was at the time, the biggest bookie in the world. Terry Page was on the rails, a real sort of legend of Australian bookmaking. Lloyd Merlihan was there, who's still a legend of Australian bookmaking. So, they were really exciting times. During that time that I was at the Gold Coast, the internet really started to get going and the crowd seemed to drop off a bit. There was also telephone betting, which I think seemed like a great idea at the time. But often, with the internet and telephone betting, what ended up happening was there was less and less need for people to go to the races. I think I saw the writing on the wall. In those days, it was a very... It was quite a restrictive thing. You weren't really allowed to take any time off from being a bookie. You had to write an application into the race club and ask for a week off here, a week off there. The relentlessness of it was a little bit much. I lived in Byron Bay. Had to drive an hour and a bit to get to the races each Saturday. I decided, sort of around the year 2000 or 2002, it might have been, that I would stop being a bookie for a while and just concentrate on punting. Brad Thompson: So, you've been a pro punter now for almost two decades. Went out on your own and became a pro punter in the early 2000s. How has racing and the betting landscape changed since you first started out? Peter Lawrence: The change has really been extraordinary and the pace of change in the last 10 years has been particularly extraordinary. With the internet coming and people being able to bet online definitely changed things a lot. I think there's been a perfect storm of negative influences for punters in general in the last 20 years. I think the internet coming was one thing with that. It brought a lot of the English corporates to Australia. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: I think the fact that most of those have been registered in the Northern Territory was a huge blow for punters. I think when Mark Read first went there with Darwin All Sports, it was a real boon for punting and a great thing. But the fact that all these are registered in the Northern Territory has meant that there's not really anybody in that bureaucracy in the Northern Territory that really understood about betting. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: I think that combined with that, when I was a bookmaker and during all my younger life, the income stream for racing came primarily from the TAB and that income stream came from the parimutuel part of the TAB. The TAB wasn't a bookmaker in those days. The race clubs got their income stream from bookmaker turnover. The stewards were, and I think this is a very significant thing, the stewards at the races, particularly the betting stewards, they were primarily interested in what was right for punters. If you were a bookmaker in those times and a punter made a complaint to the betting steward and you saw the betting steward walking up to your stand with the punter in tow, you knew 100%, he was going to be on the side of the punter. If the punter said he was betting 7/1 but you weren't, it didn't matter. They were just on the side of the punter. I think once the TAB became a corporate bookmaker, the whole attitude towards punters by stewards completely changed and the closeness of racing associations like Racing New South Wales and RVL, the close relationship that they had with the TAB now meant they had a very close relationship with bookmakers. Stewards, particularly in the time of Ray Murrihy and Terry Bailey and whatever else, they saw themselves really, as certainly the protectors of bookmakers rather than the protectors of punters. Punters these days really have nobody to turn to. If you feel that you've been shortchanged or got a bad deal from a bookmaker or something's wrong, you have no one really, to turn to. You can't... Anyone who's ever tried to put a complaint into the Northern Territory government about one of the corporate bookmakers will know that the person you talk to has no idea about what you're talking about. Brad Thompson: Yeah, I was just going to ask that Peter Lawrence: They've never had a bet in their life. Brad Thompson: Yeah. There's not much success, there is it? Peter Lawrence: Oh, it's hopeless. There's been a disinterest in New South Wales stewards in looking after the rights of punters. Combined with that, you've had Peter V’landys taking over in New South Wales, who may have done a lot of great things for racing but one thing he's been steadfast about is that he has an attitude that the percentages bet by bookmakers is an irrelevance to punters and has seen punters as just a huge income stream for racing. There has been a perfect storm and where we are today is that really, there's nobody that punters can turn to, to try and get a better deal or indeed get a fair deal with their betting. That's been a very dramatic change that I’ve seen. Brad Thompson: In particular with New South Wales, relationship with TAB is a big factor there, do you think? Peter Lawrence: Oh, a huge factor. I used to bang my head against a brick wall trying to talk to Terry Griffin who was the betting steward in New South Wales, about getting fair fluctuations sent off the course. It went from the price had to be on three boards to be recognized as a price that was being bet to the median price that was being bet. There was just no interest in looking after punters and getting proper fluctuations sent off the course and the same situation applies now. That's because the focus of the betting stewards and the chief stewards changed from being, "Let's look after the punter and let's make sure those dreadful bookmakers don't take advantage of punters," to, "Let's look after the TAB." The TAB was the biggest bookmaker in Australia, still is the biggest bookmaker in Australia. And still today, we said the situation with the fluctuations is the same where the SP will be $4.20 and you will look on Dynamic Odds and see that five bookies were betting $4.40 and two bookies were betting $4.60. It happens 365 days a year. And the same situation with the deductions where you have deductions charged on top of other deductions. You will have the second favorite come out on a Friday, which might have been 5/2 and now, the third favorite is 5/2 and it comes out on a Saturday morning and the deduction's taken out at 5/2. There was a race at Kembla on Melbourne Cup Day last year where the official deductions were 132% because the horses just keep coming out at different times. That's not a totally unusual occurrence. Not that long ago, in Adelaide, where if you backed the winner and copped all the deductions, you got 83 cents for your dollar. Brad Thompson: Yeah. It's such a great example for this huge problem. Peter Lawrence: Huge problem. There's nobody to there's nobody to discuss it with because, A, the people in the Northern Territory don't understand and, B, the people at, let's say, Racing New South Wales, they don't care. The people at RVL, they don't care. Brad Thompson: Why don't they care? Like you've mentioned the TAB relationship but surely, there's other underlying factors as well. Peter Lawrence: I've heard a famous interview that Peter V'landys did on 2KY or Sky where he said the average punter doesn't know the difference between 115 and 125%. Now, if that's the attitude you take towards what's good for punters and you only see them as an income stream that you can just keep taxing, then why would you care whether the deduction should have been 20 cents or 15 cents or 16 cents. It's an irrelevance. The same situation applies to... We all know that some people get a live feed of the races and other huge bettors are allowed to cancel the bet 15 seconds into the race. That affects the average dividend over the year in big amounts. How could you get anyone to care if the horse should have paid $4.20 but it's only paying $4.10 if your attitude is punters won't notice or don't care and the average punter probably doesn't notice or care between $4.20 and 4.10 if they back the winner. If that's your attitude, then it's very hard to get anyone to really take seriously what's a very big issue for racing. Brad Thompson: Is there a solution you've got in mind or is it getting someone at the top in these racing bodies who cares for the punter? Peter Lawrence: Well, I think that's obviously the solution to have people involved in the administration of racing actually seeing the long-term benefits to punters as being something worth concentrating on. But at the moment, it's just a wasteland of people who really don't care. I think the pervading attitude in most of the racing organizations in Australia is that punters are sort of a necessary but unpleasant part of the racing industry. If they could find an income stream that would come from somewhere else, I’m sure they would rather take it from there but at the moment, they're sort of saddled with the punters. So, they take it from the punters but I don't feel a lot of love for punters in the racing bodies. Brad Thompson:   Is there any other solution you can think of like a punters’ union? What kind of roads could punters go down to try and achieve a better result? Peter Lawrence: Well, I’ve heard people talk about let's have a strike on one day and nobody bet to show our displeasure but I’m not sure you'd get many people involved in that. And, of course, one of the great problems with any of that is a huge number of punters don't have any expectation of winning. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: So, you're talking to quite a small subset of people who are trying to make a profit out of it and a smaller subset than they used to be. Certainly 15 or 20 years ago when I was a bookie, there was a lot of people at the races who were extremely hard to beat if you could beat them at all. They had an expectation that they were going to the races to play and make money. It seems a lot of what's promoted now is fun punting and I think a lot of people don't have any expectation of making money. They have an expectation of having a good day out with a bit of fun betting. Let's face it, everything is being done to get rid of anybody who has any expectation of winning on the punt. Brad Thompson: Why has that mindset changed, do you think? Is it purely because of the promotion of the races being fun or? Peter Lawrence: Well, no. I think that the main...the significant factor in that has been that the British corporates came to Australia, bought up all the Australian betting houses and employed the same tactics that they...and it's the same methods that they've employed in Britain for a long time, which is you root out anybody who doesn't lose more than 8% on turnover and you get rid of them. And you just have a business model that's not unlike a giant poker machine, it in fact is a giant poker machine. We saw a couple of weeks ago on stakes day at Flemington where the TAB went down and a great number of the corporates couldn't result their bets on the day within a couple of hours because they didn't even have anyone obviously working there who could enter the results of the races. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: They've got their staff down to such a minimal amount that it runs like a poker machine. All automated. Get rid of anybody who doesn't lose more than 8% on turnover and just let it run its course. They literally only have one or two losing days a year. It's hard to be sort of motivating people into, "Let's get into racing and let's really work out how we can win on the punt," when if you start to win or break square... Brad Thompson: Yeah. They make it hard for you. Peter Lawrence: ...or don't lose enough. Exactly. Brad Thompson: One more thing while we're talking about nitty-gritty of betting. What are your thoughts on the decision to go to dollar dividends? Peter Lawrence: Well, it's a little bit of a... I’ve mentioned it a couple of times on Twitter and got an absolute bagging for it but in my mind, it was just a colossal mistake by the Bookmaking fraternity in Australia. It was a total point of difference between the TAB and bookmakers. Betting of odds is understood universally all around the world even in jurisdictions where they only have all tote betting like the United States when the race jumps, the odd displayed on the screen not the dividends. It'll show a horse as being 2/1 or 3/1 or 6/5 as they say over there or 8/1. It won't be being showed as a dividend. Anyone who's been to school and done statistics and probability or to university anywhere in the world knows about odds. The idea that "Australian odds" in inverted commas are displayed as a return for a dollar just seems silly to me. The odds of a horse isn't $3. It's 2/1. Joe Blow in the street understands 2/1 or even money or a 5/1 chance. It just seemed like a crazy idea to let go of that historical difference and such a well-known part of bookmaking and of all games of chance. Brad Thompson: Why did they do that? I can't remember why they did that. Peter Lawrence: They did that because, either they got hoodwinked into doing it by the TAB or the people in charge of the Bookmakers’ Association, was it New South Wales that led the charge, decided that young people when they went to the races looked at the tote board and saw a horse was paying $6 on the tote but it was only 5/1 with the bookies and they were stupid... Brad Thompson: They were getting ripped off. Peter Lawrence: And thought, "Yeah, let's go and have our dollar on with the TAB." Now, it just was crazy but that's where we've got to. Brad Thompson: I want to ask you about the Point of Consumption taxes as well and the ongoing heavy taxation on punters. It's obviously a big reason why they're able to fund these big races in New South Wales and the like but what's your thoughts on the whole scenario of continually taking money away from punters? Peter Lawrence: Well, that really does just all tie back into the idea that, and I’m not picking on Peter V'landys specifically but his attitude that punters don't know whether it's 115% on the board or 125, that has led to the Race Fields legislation, the Point of Consumption Tax. We see now, it can be Melbourne Cup Day, it can be Derby Day, it can be Magic Millions Day, it can be Golden Slipper day at 9 o'clock on a Saturday morning and they've been betting on these races since Wednesday, the percentages in all these races is 130%. Now, the Point of Consumption Tax, the Race Fields Legislation is not paid by the bookmaker. It's 100% paid by the punter. The most extraordinary thing about it is that the people who put forward these taxes and think they're a great idea virtually to a man, they're extremely conservative people in their own political leanings and none of them would ever vote for the liberal party. When it comes to elections, they'd be heartily against taxation and ideologically against taxation. Yet in this one instance, they think it's just a perfectly great idea to keep on taxing punters and getting all the income stream coming from taxes on punters. Well, in the end, the money will run out. Brad Thompson: Yeah. What's the tipping point, how long is it going to be sustainable this way? Peter Lawrence: Well, that's a very good question. I don't know. Maybe punters are all stupid and it doesn't matter. I don't know. But at 130%, you're certainly up against it. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Makes it very difficult. I wouldn't mind digging deeper into your own form analysis. Tell us about the areas and the states and the niches that you have. Peter Lawrence: I've always kept a detailed database where it's based on, I guess, a Scott style way of doing the races. When I say that, I think that the big thing with that Scott attitude was to be able to put a quantitative number on a qualitative analysis. So, make a judgment on the quality of each individual race and to be able to give that a number. I think that that's a very important thing starting out and trying to make money out of punting or trying to develop a system that worked. You need to be able to know the difference between the different classes of races and the difference of the quality even within that class. You'll see group one, there are group one races but they're not all the same. You need to be able to, in your own way, come up with a way of saying, "I think this is a race of this quality," and to give it a number that shows that. One of the really significant things also is that people need to spend their time. Not everyone can keep a database and bet on all the races all around Australia and in different states. It's very hard to have the time to do that unless you're devoting your whole life to it. People need to think about what gives me the best bang for my buck. I think that I hear a lot of people talking about how important it is watching the videos and I meet a lot of young aspiring punters and they always say, you know, "I spend a lot of time watching the videos." Well, they must like to spend a lot of time just sitting on their own to get away from their family because it's tremendously time-consuming watching races over and over again and I think that it's a skill that not very many people have. I think that part of that, I think it's an important thing to... It's more important to be able to have a handle on what is the actual class of this race and what is this course capable of doing. We'll often see a video where Horse A may look unlucky but if you know the capacity of Horse A, you may will find that it's actually run to the best of its ability. A good friend of mine used to say, "I always worry when that horse has been trapped in a pocket that the pocket is going as fast as the horse can go." Now, I think that that's something that's...it's an important thing you need to know. Know it might have looked unlucky but that's just about as good as that horse can go. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: I think time is best spent on working out the quality of races. Brad Thompson: Is it fair to say you don't watch many videos or? Peter Lawrence: I do. Look, I have someone who watches the races for me and makes a few notes. But also, the thing is I think that it's a very critical thing to understand that backing horses that are over-bet in the market will lead you to the poor house even if you're getting the right information. If a horse you've marked without ever looking at the video, you might have priced it 8/1 but the video watchers have all seen that it was a bit unlucky last start and it's 4/1. But if the price should be 6/1, it's over-bet in the market. I just think it's a zero-sum game or worse for most people spending a lot of time watching videos. There's some real expert video watchers out there. You would need to spend many years doing it before you'd be better than they are at it. There's an optical illusion a lot of the time. The horse will seem to really fly home in a very poor maiden and people always talk about what a turn of foot it was but if you analyze the times, you'll see that in fact, it was actually a slow race. Most people, there's a great optical illusion in virtually every race every day, is people talk about horses finishing very quickly flying home but virtually, every horse is going slower in the last section of the race than they are in the middle section. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Just going past some slow ones. Peter Lawrence: Yeah, exactly. I think that that business of horses being over-bet in the market is a very, very important one for people to conceptualize if you're trying to make a profit of racing. For example, if you went to a two-up game with a group of friends and they all identified that the tosser was doing something weird with his hand and it was making tails come up more often than heads and someone was bookmaking on it. They also knew this and now the tails was 4/6 and heads was 6/4 but you were completely blind to this reality and you just kept backing heads at 6/4 and it still came up 55% of the time, you would win. They would be right. There was a bias to the tails but the market over-bet it. I think that that's a very, very critical thing that people don't understand. People are always arguing about track bias or it could have happened or if this horse had got a better run. It all depends on if the market is over influenced by these things. If there's one place the market is definitely overinfluenced by, it's the horse that looked to be unlucky last start. Just ask the people who backed Fidelia. Brad Thompson: There's a few horses like that, I think. Peter Lawrence: Absolutely. Brad Thompson: Without giving away too many of your secrets, it sounds like your database doesn't factor in the videos and unlucky runs as much as others might. Peter Lawrence: It probably doesn't factor in those things as much as others might but by having a rating next to each horse's run, you're able to identify where a horse might have dropped off and watched the... See, I’d rather do the form and then watch each individual run, go back and see if there's something, a reason why that horse might have underperformed. Brad Thompson: Yeah. On the video watching, tell us about the 80-20 principle. Peter Lawrence: Well, I think that that principle is in all walks of life and particularly, applies to where you want to put your time into doing the form or to betting. You need to focus on the things that are giving you the maximum amount of income. I think most people would do better on betting on a Saturday than they do betting midweek. So, you should focus most of your attention and most of your turnover on where you're getting the best bang for your buck. You will get, I think the markets are generally more competitive on a Saturday, you've got the on-course bookies who are still having a bit of a go. I might just say that amongst all the corporates that are out there at the moment, that the outlier as far as bookmaking is definitely TopSport. They're run by Lloyd Merlihan, a great Australian bookmaker and they really have a go and they let people on no matter whether you're a winning punter or a losing punter. I think that Saturdays offer you the best opportunity to be winning. Brad Thompson: Yeah. You never hear a bad word about TopSport. So, big thumbs up. Peter Lawrence: No, with good reason. Brad Thompson: All right. So, obviously, you weight a lot of your betting time into Saturdays then, is that fair? Peter Lawrence: Saturdays is the definitely the day where you can increase your turnover and get more money on, for sure. Better class racing. Brad Thompson: How do you like to bet generally? Is it early or late, corporates, Betfair, tote? Peter Lawrence: Well, look things have changed a lot in the last 10 or 15 years and really dramatically. I can remember there was a man who worked at Sportingbet called Brad Spicer. I rang him after the races one Saturday and really gave him a mouthful because he would only bet me to win 10,000 on the races that were run that day and I thought this was very un-Australian and a real blight on racing. Well, fast forward 15 years, and... Brad Thompson: You'd love that. Peter Lawrence: Exactly. You'd be down on your knees blessing anyone who would let you on to win like that. And then when the corporates came in of course, there was a bit of a trick in finding people who would be able to still keep betting and suggesting to them they might like to have a few bets for you. Well, they put a stop to that by, I think, making it illegal. Certainly, making it very hard to get paid out. Being able to... Whatever tricks they could come up with. So, betting early, if there was no restriction and you could get on for whatever you like, I think betting early probably still offers the best opportunity for people if you're a small punter if you can pick the mistakes and there are mistakes in those early markets. Give them credit. The people who do those early markets on a Wednesday, they put them up within a few hours. They're usually a very good set overall but it's impossible that they're not full of mistakes at the same time. That's where the best opportunity lies but also impossible to get on very much money in those early markets. Announcer: 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: All right. I'd like to just go into some general racing topics. Which are the best horses you've seen in your time? Peter Lawrence: Very interestingly, probably the three best horses I’ve seen, certainly the three highest rated horses in the history of my database have been Might and Power the day he won the Caulfield Cup by 7 and a half lengths and when he won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes by 10 and a half lengths that day, I think it was. He beat the horses that had run the quinella in the Doncaster the previous Saturday. And of course, Black Caviar and Winx. They'd be the three highest rated horses I’ve ever had. The arguments that go on between people on who was the greatest horse of all time and this, I think it often depends on what day you're talking about. I'm not sure that any horse would have beaten Might and Power when he won the Caulfield Cup that day but there were days when he was off his game. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: There've been days when Winx has been off her game. The day she just narrowly got up and beat Red Excitement at Randwick, I think it was and when she only just got there to beat Funstar, I know she missed the start, but. I think one of the incredible things about Caviar and Winx was even when they were off their game, they still found a way to win. But having said that, they primarily raced in weight for age races against inferior horses all the time. That's been a big change that I’ve witnessed in the time I’ve been doing the form. The focus used to be on the great handicapped races and now, the focus is on the weight for age races. Brad Thompson: Have you got a favorite out of those three? Peter Lawrence: I think because I was bookmaking when Might and Power won the Melbourne Cup and it was a huge result for me. Brad Thompson: Makes it better. Peter Lawrence: I think he was. He's probably my favorite horse. And just doing it from the front. Having said that, Black Caviar's winning Newmarket was equally as dynamic. I think it was a great shame for Winx's legacy that they spent the last few years just running in the same seven or eight or nine races every year and not testing her in in some other way but her wins in the Cox Plate were phenomenal and the other days where she really gapped her rivals. I must say also, there was, I think, Arriba, when he won the Australia Day Stakes at Flemington one day by six lengths was really an incredible performance. When I was a kid, I used to back Kingston Town every time it started. I was at Randwick one day when and when he won in fact, just beating, I think a horse called Northern Reward, just by a nose in weight for age race. A lot of the great champions of the past did get beaten quite a bit whereas we've seen this phenomenon in recent times in Australia where between them, Winx and Black Caviar won 58 races straight. So, it's a definitely a new phenomenon. Brad Thompson: We don't really have a Winx or a Black Caviar at the moment do we. So, can you see where that next superstar might come from? Peter Lawrence: I'll tell you what, it's an interesting thing punting. In one of those very early books, Don Scott did write about getting under champion racehorses and backing them at every start and it's actually not a bad idea. I did back, used to back, despite the short odds, Black Caviar and Winx at every start. Overall, you do definitely show a profit backing those good horses, in those, despite their short odds. As for finding out, being able to predict who the next one's going to be, it's a trick. Off the top of my head, there's certainly none of the three-year-olds around you would be, at the moment, thinking that they're going to go on and be next Black Caviar or Winx. We have this phenomenon now in Australia where the colts go to stud after they're three. There's no steroids for the geldings to race as many times as they used to race in a preparation. So, we see these totally dominant mares that seem to be the ones that can run these huge winning streaks together. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Or they go to Hong Kong like Classique Legend. Peter Lawrence: Exactly, that's right. Well, not even just like Classique Legend, you can see an impressive maiden winner at the provincials and it will go to Hong Kong and they'll get half a million or three-quarters of a million dollars for it. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Half their luck. Peter Lawrence: Like there's a lot of horses being... Exactly. A lot of horses being sold to Hong Kong, that's right. Brad Thompson: A few other avenues I wanted to get down. Your thoughts on stewarding the comparison between high-profile trainers and jockeys versus how the bush trainers and jockeys are treated. Peter Lawrence: It's a tough job stewarding, there's no doubt about it. There seems to be far less of an appetite go after the big trainers and the big jockeys than there used to be. I think back to not very long ago, Jim Cassidy was outed twice during his career. Now, it's a very, very rare thing to see a high-profile jockey outed on a handling charge. And if they are outed, it's always, they made an error of judgment and they're usually given six weeks or something. Whereas in the old days, you'd be given 12 months. There just doesn't seem to be much stomach for it. There seems to be much more stomach for having a go at the inexperienced apprentice for going too fast. We've seen that not that long ago in Melbourne where two apprentices apparently went too fast in front on a horse and Tom Sherry got outed at Wyong for going too fast on some horse, still in front with 200 to go but not much stomach for the horse that flops out the back and just runs on nicely. I understand in years in years gone by, the stewards had far greater powers and now there's avenues of appeal. I just wonder whether they just don't think it's worth it. It's the same with the high-profile trainers. There's been a string of trainers who've been outed for cobalt, often for horses that by and large, horses that didn't run a place in whatever race they were in. And yet, and I’m not criticizing Chris Waller, he's a great trainer, his effort on Epsom Day when he won, I think, six out of six in Sydney and won the Turnbull Stakes to boot in Melbourne is like a Bradmanesque training performance as far as I’m concerned. But the fact is Junoob won the Metropolitan, tested positive for Lasix and he got a 30,000-dollar fine. It's hard to understand how these things exist in the same racing sphere. There's such a desire now in being a team player, whether it's with your racing New South Wales or being on Sky, which is owned by the TAB or... Everyone wants to really champion the team and the team racing, that I think there's just not really much stomach for making a case out of the high-profile trainers. On the other hand, they have done it with Darren Weir and Robert Smerdon in Melbourne. So, who knows? I don't know. Brad Thompson: If you ask a lot of bigger punters, they'd like to see some of the high-profile trainers and jockeys get asked some more questions. Peter Lawrence: I don't think it's a good look for racing when like for example, the ride on Joviality on Melbourne Cup Day. Brad Thompson: I was going to bring that one up. I thought that was lingering in the back of your mind. Peter Lawrence: Well, it was mind-boggling for the leading rider at Flemington where the straight, a huge long straight, racing against some very poor horses, decides to go up on the fence and ride follow from 600 when the option was there to peel out wide. Now, I’m not saying that James McDonald did it deliberately. I don't think that there was any skullduggery involved but it certainly was a ride that needed...the questions needed to be asked and if people are going to be suspended for making poor errors of judgment. Like I just watched the replay of Noel Callow's ride at Benalla in the 25th of September where he's been charged for not giving a horse every chance. You'd be very hard-pressed to say that there was a difference in the two rides. Now, the stewards have just decided Benalla on a Friday, Noel Callow, this is a good one to show that we're doing something but on Melbourne Cup Day, I don't think they wanted the press of the leading rider being questioned over his ride on the favorite to be frank. Brad Thompson: Do you think it might have been different if there was an apprentice jockey on Joviality? Peter Lawrence: Oh, for sure. I do. And if it was a lesser-known rider, I do. I think it probably would have been different, yeah. Big questions need to be asked. Because let's face it, if I’m... Again, I’m definitely not saying there was any impropriety by James McDonald but in another case where another jockey rode the same way and there was impropriety, what's to stop them from doing it again the week after or the week after that? The saying justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. I think in this case, it wasn't seen to be done. Brad Thompson: Yeah. I think all punters want is consistency so they're not scratching their head over which rides are looked at and scrutinized and ones which are overlooked. Peter Lawrence: Exactly, exactly. There's a general acceptance now, I think, of horses early in their campaigns being flopped out the back and allowed to run on well and it's a nice sort of warm up for the cup, sort of thing. I don't think that there's much attention paid to those rides. Brad Thompson: Yeah. While we're on jockeys, your thoughts on the increase in minimum weight for jockeys. Seems to be creeping up each year particularly in Victoria. What do you think about it and what are some alternatives? Peter Lawrence: Well, I think that Racing New South Wales have just got it exactly right at the moment. They've dropped the minimum back down to, I think, 52. I'm not even sure you can't ride lighter than that. I think that the race needs to be handicapped on its merits and if your weight handicap weight is 48 or 49 and you can find an apprentice that is happy to ride at 48 or 49 or you can get Dean Yendall who can ride at 49, why does your horse have to carry 54. Or in the case in Victoria at the moment, through this crazy thing with Covid of having the minimum 56. So, if your rightful weight in that race before the increase was 54, now you're carrying 56. But the horse that was handicapped on 56 and a half, it's still carrying 56 and a half. Every horse down the bottom of the weights in Victoria, every owner of those horses is just being penalized for absolutely no good reason at all. Like we saw over the Carnival day after day after day where it was lower weights, the bigger race. I think in the Caulfield Cup, 13 or 14 horses carried 53 or less. And then the next day, the benchmark races are on at the provincials and the minimum is 56. These are the same jockeys riding on the next day. Brad Thompson: This makes it impossible for the jockeys. Peter Lawrence: The 56 minimum in Victoria is crazy. Brad Thompson: I'm sure there's a reason why they do it but what's your real take on it? Peter Lawrence: Well, I’m sure that the reason that they do it is that the wealthy jockeys are so powerful with such a strong lobby group that of course, it's better for them if the minimum is 56 because most of the horses carrying 58, 59, 60, 61, there's a lot more rides for them. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: Most of the big jockeys in Australia are quite heavyweight jockeys now. Craig Williams would be and Karen McAvoy can get down to the lower weights but it gives them a lot more opportunities. It's just a terribly unfair situation in Victoria. I really don't understand why they're going on with it. But in New South Wales they've got it perfectly right. I think if your horse is handicapped correctly and you're happy to find a rider to ride it at that weight, you should be able to. But if you choose to put Hugh Bowman on, if his handicap is 50 but you say, "No, I’d rather carry 56 and put Hugh Bowman on." When you declare riders, say, "No, we're happy to have 56. We'll have Hugh Bowman." But if you choose Dean Yendall, carry 50. I don't understand why those horses are penalized down the bottom. Brad Thompson: With the differences between New South Wales and Victoria, is it another good example of why there should be some national cohesion for the sport? Peter Lawrence: I'm not sure about national cohesion. I think that competition is good in all things. I think it's been disappointing in the last couple of years that so much of the competition in New South Wales seems to have been purposely directed at negatively affecting the Victorian Spring Carnival, which is the jewel in the crown of Australian racing. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: I think some of these races that are on have really, for example, the Yes Yes Yes Stakes or the sort of the race that's run a couple of weeks after that, Everest, that's 1.3-million-dollar bonus if you've already run in the Everest. Well, that is just clearly an example of attacking that sprint race on the last day of the Melbourne Carnival with no good reason for doing it other than to keep those horses away and weaken their carnival. I can't say I think that that's a good way to be going about things. Having said that, the Everest has been quite a success and I think the Golden Eagle has been a phenomenal success and it will be a big race in years to come, grow in stature. So, some of those things that have been done by race in New South Wales even with not possibly with the best intention have been very successful. Brad Thompson: Yeah, I want to get your thoughts on track conditions and how they're managed. Always a lot of talk about deliberate overwatering of tracks and rail bias, inaccurate or not regularly updated track conditions in the days before a race. What are some of the solutions you have and what are some of the main gripes you have with track conditions? Peter Lawrence: Well, it's just been such a big issue for the last 10 or so years, maybe even going back a little bit further than that. I think it started with Terry Watson at Caulfield. He was the first one to start giving out, "The track is dead," in the morning rather than good. I know one of the great track curators said to me one day just before he retired when I first started here, if I produced the track out like it was the highway just out the front of this racecourse people would pat me on the back. Now, that would be sacrilege to have anything like that. Now, I’m not suggesting we should have necessarily fast or rock-hard tracks but I’ve spoken to a lot of course curators over the last number of years about it. Not one of them has been supportive of the watering of tracks to have them as a dead track on race day. We've got this situation now, where we've changed from calling a track when it's a 4 from being dead. We now say that that's good, so that sounds better. We also have the race clubs tell the course curators that the tracks should be prepared to be a Good 4 and that's the perfect racing surface. Well, the fact of the matter is the skill and the equipment that they have in on Metropolitan tracks for watering and producing a good four is vastly better than they do in provincial tracks. So, we see these huge swings... Brad Thompson: Inconsistencies. Peter Lawrence: ..between... Exactly. Or a track is given out as a Good 4 on race morning and in fact, regularly, it can be anywhere from a 2 to a 6 and it happens all the time. In fact, I think one day at Hawkesbury recently, the track was given out as a 4 or 5 and it was a Heavy 8 when they were coming down the outside fence. Because now, we see the track reports, which used to be well worth listening to on Sky Racing in the morning at 6:30, it's just "Good 4, Good 4, Good 4, Good 4." Everyone's a Good 4. It really doesn't mean anything because everyone wants to say it's a Good 4. If you've been told Good 4 is the perfect surface, then you're inclined to say it's a Good 4. I think it's probably too late for a solution. I think that it's just the overwhelming idea in the industry is that soft tracks are good and that that's what we should be racing on. I think every course creator will tell you that it makes preparing the tracks going forward very difficult if you're always racing on water affected surfaces. It creates biases. It means the tracks get chopped up. It's hard to keep them going for the whole of the carnivals. If the overwhelming narrative is that it's better to have tracks soft than to have them good and that what punters like doesn't matter, it's very hard to turn it around. A lot of the narrative is just wrong. A lot of the narrative is about how horses can't handle a good track but the when a horse gets sent to Hong Kong and they race almost exclusively on good and fast tracks. The same in Japan. And this business of, "Oh, well, now, we have all the imported horses and they're soft-boned and they need the soft tracks," it's just total nonsense. Because throughout my whole life, the great sires in Australia have been European horses like Sir Tristram and Danehill. These horses didn't come from Australia, they were imported. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: All the thoroughbred is an English horse. It's the same breed of horse racing in Japan and Hong Kong and Australia and England. It's not a different breed. But it's become just a narrative that's believed by people. I know that in Hong Kong, if the track isn't good, the curator needs to present a written explanation to the club as to why it wasn't good because they know that good tracks promote turnover and that punters like betting on good tracks. The turnover declines if the track's slow and is even worse if the track's heavy. It's not a smart move and if you or I owned Randwick Racecourse and our income came from maximizing turnover, the first thing we'd do is have a Good 4 track every day. Brad Thompson: Watering tracks artificially must cost race clubs quite a lot of money as well not only for the water but for the resources to put the water on the tracks. Peter Lawrence: Yeah. I'm sure the expenses are huge and then you can't find those figures anywhere, what the actual cost of the water is. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: I know that in Brisbane over the last year, they were trucking in water to put it in the dam in Doomben. The strange thing is that for 30 years, you used to get the paper out in the summer in for the Brisbane races and right down at the top of it, where the fine track fast and you would have these huge fields in Brisbane. But now strangely, Queensland south Australia they, virtually never race on a good track anymore. At Doomben, they've gone to really trying to have it as a Dead 5 all the time and the same at Morphettville. Unless they race on the parks track, it's not uncommon for Morphettville to actually be a 6 on the day. Brad Thompson: Yeah. All right, on to another bugbear of punters. The fact that horses can be accepted in two different states or meetings and they're not scratched until race day when in some cases, they've already raced or clearly can't be in two races. Peter Lawrence: Mm-hmm. Brad Thompson: What are your thoughts on this one? Peter Lawrence: Well, it's just another extension of the fact that really nobody cares about the punter, nobody. The race clubs can't be bothered when a horse has won on a Friday afternoon. If they've won a maiden at Moe on the Friday and they're in a maiden at Ballarat on the Sunday and they're $2.50 at Ballarat on the Sunday, they'll still be in there on the Saturday afternoon they've already won the maiden. Because RVL doesn't care. Who cares? It's only the punters that are going to pay the price for that. A lot of trainers can't be bothered scratching the horse. I think there might even be a fee if they scratch it rather than RVL scratching it. Horses are in Melbourne and they've already been floated down from Sydney. The trainer can't be bothered scratching it from the race in Sydney because who cares? I think the overriding attitude of "Who cares," is a problem because it is the punter that actually funds the industry. Brad Thompson: Do you think they just try and pour more resources into things which don't affect the punter too often? Peter Lawrence: I think that there's... Look, I just think that people take it upon themselves to feel as if they're purists in racing the same way as the purist people took it upon themselves, the purists at the trots. We talked about the trots earlier. People might be surprised to know that the crowd at Harold Park on a Friday night going back 30 or 40 years used to be bigger than it would be at Rosehill on a Saturday. The purists, within their wisdom at the trots decided that there shouldn't be standing starts anymore because it's clear that what we need to have is mobile starts and give everyone a fair chance. But a lot of the interest in the trots was in the handicapping and coming off mobile start. Now, we mentioned Hondo Grattan, it was the first horse to win in the Inter Dominion twice. The second time he won it, he won off 30 meters handicap. Well, the Blacks A Fake won the dominion five times, I think. The purists think that's great just like all the money used be... the big money used to be in handicap racing in racing. I think when Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup, it might have been worth 10 times more than the Cox Plate. Now, all the big money is in weight for age racing. And you see, a lot of the great handicaps have been turned into weight for age races. The TJ Smith used to be a handicap, now it's a weight race. The Durban 10,000 handicap, now it's a weight race. The Goodwood used to be handicapped, now it's weight race. It's boring. But the purists think that they've done... They've really shown how superior they are in that they've made it into something that everyone can love. But they forget that it's punting that drives racing and they sometimes don't want to accept that fact. Like, I’ve looked at a few things recently on articles written by reasonably knowledgeable people, how do we get people back to the track and we have to focus more on the good stories and we have to focus more on the horse. These things are great to focus on and I’m not saying they aren't important but you won't find a more beautiful horse than in the equestrian at the Olympics. You won't find a better spectacle than the cross-country equestrian at the Olympics. It's beautiful and the horses are magnificent and the connection between horse and rider is phenomenal but nobody watches it. The reason people are interested in racing is not solely but primarily because of the betting. I think that people, they don't want to admit that. It seems like some sort of dirty secret. But unless you can promote the excitement. Like I remember seeing just last year, I think it was Ben Asgari from racing.com and they'd backed Vow & Declare in the futures market and there was a shot of them giving each other a massive high-five when it hit the line. That's exciting and that's what people are drawn to when they're drawn to racing. I'm not saying that the other things aren't important but if you continually move away from that focus and act like racing's a great place to go for a party or to drink champagne, the game's going to die out just the way it died out with the mobile starts. You need people to be excited about backing winners and not think that that's a dirty secret part of racing. It's actually the engine room and the lifeblood of racing. Brad Thompson: Do you think more should be done to educate young punters or young enthusiasts to get more involved in punting and more educated and informed about punting? Peter Lawrence: Well, see, it's a very difficult question because clearly, that would be a good thing for the future of the sport and for the future of racing. If they made the percentages 110% and everyone had a great chance of winning and the good punters would win and here's how, you know, you ran a master class, I know, at the Star Casino one time, Dom Beirne did a math class and people would come and try and learn about it. That'd be great. Also, society's attitudes have changed towards punting and towards gambling in general. One of the great problems with racing is that it didn't do a good enough job differentiating itself from other forms of gaming like poker machines. We often get clumped in together with people who are betting on... They're not actually betting or gambling, they're just gaming on poker machines because there's no prospect of winning. People see betting on the horses as similar to that. So, it's a little bit on the nose. I guess that people are trying to be careful in race clubs. Let's not promote the gambling aspect too far but by the same token... Brad Thompson: Even though it funds the game. Peter Lawrence: Even though it funds the game. That's right. Brad Thompson: Yep. Well, we've spoken about some of the challenges the industry is facing. Can you tell us about the solutions to some of these problems? Peter Lawrence: Well, yeah, we don't want it to be all doom and gloom even though I think it's important to be able to critique whatever situation you're looking at and do it honestly. I think one of the issues with racing is that there isn't really much journalistic critiquing of what goes on, perhaps too much rah-rah-ing. But having said that, there are some tremendous positives that have come out of racing in the last 15 or 20 years. I think the broadcast of racing on the television has improved out of sight. I think the racing.com coverage is great with some lots of young guys that are obviously keen on racing and keen on having a bet. The Sky Saturday coverage is sensational. There's definitely some great things that have happened in racing in recent times. As far as solutions to some of the real issues that I think confront racing and will confront racing going forward, I think it's a mistake if people think that just by fertilizing the ground and tilling it and extracting as much as you can out of punters' pockets over the last 10 or 15 years, that that situation necessarily will go forward. I think that there needs to be some reasonably dramatic changes going forward and if I was put in charge of racing as the sole administrator, I think one of the first things I would do would be make all the corporates have to be licensed in the states that they're actually betting in so that they come under the jurisdiction of that state. I think that the minimum bet should be raised midweek to $5,000 and on Saturdays, $10,000, which would be a considerable hike but TopSport for example, does bet people doing $10,000 on a Saturday. I think the nonsense of you can only back the horse once should be outlawed. There needs to be some strong stewarding of what's going on with the online bookmakers so that they comply with those new bet limits and comply with the regulations that are in and that there needs to be penalties if they don't comply. I think this business of you log on and it's $3.90 and you type in the bet at $3.90 and then it says, no, bet declined. It's now $3.50. There needs to be some way around that. I think in an ideal world, I think again, if I was made the ruler of the betting landscape, I’d ban the online bookmakers from offering tote dividends. I think that that has just seen a total cannibalization of the tote pools particularly in exotic betting. I would ban all kickbacks to the huge betting syndicates. A lot of these places are getting a 7-10% kickback and a lot of them have the facility to cancel their bets 15 seconds into a race, which is another area that I think should be looked at and stamped out straight away. Anyone who tells you that's not the case is just not telling the truth. The average tote player is betting into a market against, A, people that are probably smarter than them, B, people who are getting a 7-10% kickback on their bet and, C, they can cancel their bets 15 seconds into the race. Well, it's impossible to win. The tote needs a complete overhaul. I think if the online bookmakers were banned from offering those tote odds, that you could see a rejuvenation of parimutuel betting. Brad Thompson: Are you saying the tote would just be available through TAB but wouldn't be available through corporates? Peter Lawrence: I don't think it should be available through corporates unless the corporates have to put the money back into the TAB. Brad Thompson: Yeah, fair point. Peter Lawrence: Now, anyone who thinks that having a national tote pool under the current circumstances is a good idea has just not thought about the idea properly. One of the only places where there is some value in betting at the moment is betting best of the best. Well, under the current scheme, if you had one [01:14:00] national tote pool, that value would disappear. Brad Thompson: Yeah, that's correct. Peter Lawrence: But I think if you stop the corporates betting the tote odds, the idea of going to a national pool would have some merit if the TAB takeout was reduced to 10% or I think in fields of under 10, 1% per runner. So, if there was a field of 5, it would be 105%, field of 7, 107 but in the Melbourne Cup, 110. I think you would see a huge rejuvenation of parimutuel betting in Australia if that was the case and it would be a very vibrant market and if the kickbacks were stopped to the whales. I think that's a very important thing. Brad Thompson: What's the likelihood of these things coming to fruition and what needs to happen? Peter Lawrence: Well, in the short term, that some of them aren't... The suggestions I had for the TAB aren't very likely but they may become more likely as the pools continue to dwindle. It just doesn't get much press how much smaller the tote pools are today than they used to be 20 years ago. But some of the things I suggested there as far as regulating online bookmakers could come in tomorrow if the people who were overseeing racing, if those boards were filled with grassroots people who actually understood racing. You know, by punters, by small-time trainers, by people who make their living out of racing who would like to see a rejuvenation of those things. Really, for companies whose assets and with betting houses that are worth billions of dollars are only required to bet you to win $1,000. It's just so small. It's ridiculous really. I think the minimum bet really needs to be raised. I think that there needs to be all these places licensed in these states so that there is jurisdiction by the stewards in those states with things like deductions. The only being able to back the horse once, that really... All those things are terrible for turnover and are terrible for punters. Brad Thompson: On that point, are you saying to be able to back the horse twice through the max limit of 10,000 on a Saturday or beyond the 10,000? Peter Lawrence: Well, I don't quite understand if you back the horse at $4 and now it's $3.50, why you aren't allowed to back it at the 3.50. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: Or conversely, there's been plenty of times where I might have backed a horse at $3.20 and now, Agency A is betting $4 even though everyone else is $3.90 and they are obviously keen to lay it but I’m not allowed to take the $4. It's because the whole thing is so automated and being run, as we discussed before, as a giant poker machine that there's just nobody working there who is making the decision, "Yes, we'll lay that again." Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: I make the point again, if TopSport, which is a family-owned bookmaking business will bet you to win 10,000 at the $4 and then $10,000 at the $3.50, I just can't quite understand why the other corporates... Brad Thompson: That make a lot more money. Peter Lawrence: Which make a lot more money, why they aren't required to bet a reasonable bet. I think these things would really have a big impact on turnover. One of the problems is that a lot of the taxes that have been brought in in the last 10 years particularly, have seen a reduction in turnover because it's not worth it for those corporates. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Just back on the tote rejuvenation, do you think there's a legitimate appetite to rejuvenate tote betting? Peter Lawrence: I think that so much of the focus has been on fixed odds and clearly the TAB is doing whatever it can to get people to move into fixed odds. The way the fixed odds is administered at the moment, it's all in favor of the bookmakers. But I do think that so much of the income stream from racing used to come from that parimutuel betting. I know that it's comparing apples and oranges looking at what they do in Hong Kong but a lot of what they do is all about stimulating turnover there. I do think that there should be, if there isn't an appetite for regenerating the parimutuel, I certainly think that there should be. But it can't be rejuvenated under the current circumstance of the 17-20% take out, the rounding down, not giving dividends in 5-cent increments. All these things have just...so negative to the ongoing success of the TAB. Brad Thompson: Yeah. Peter Lawrence: I think that the other thing that sounds a little bit out of left field but going forward, we've seen the money, all the money that's come from taxing punters, going into what looks to be higher prize money. But in almost every respect, owning resources has never been less affordable for the average person. It's only maybe five years ago, I think, that Darren Weir became the first trainer in Australia to train the winners of $10 million in prize money. Last year, Chris Wallace trained the winners of $40 million in prize money. A lot of this money has been funneled into the pockets of a very few wealthy people. A huge amount of of the money that's been taken from punters has really been put into the pockets of breeders, who by and large, I’m not talking about the small breeders or the hobby breeders, but the big conglomerates like Coolmore and Godolphin etc. They really don't return anything to the industry. I think that getting them to pay their fair share is certainly an important thing. On the issue of racehorse affordability, I can remember in, I think, 1999, I was at the Magic Millions. Laurie Bricknell and I bought a Marscay filly that was $40,000 and that was the median price at that sale. I think a year or two ago at the Sydney Easter Sale, the average price for a yearling was $430,000. Well, it's got completely out of the reach of the average person to own a horse either on their own or with a friend. That is a big issue. I think it was a sad thing really, for racing, that Bob Charlie failed in his attempt to get artificial insemination legalized here. I think bringing the costs down of owning racehorses is an important thing going forward to keep the industry vibrant. Brad Thompson: It'd be a great way to keep grassroots people interested in the game as well. Peter Lawrence: Absolutely, absolutely. Brad Thompson: Just back on the point about, which is, I think, is an important point, which is getting grassroots racing people onto these boards which make decisions. How have we got to the point where we don't have representation on there and how likely is it that someone will put their hand up? [01:22:00] Is the problem that nobody from a racing background with a grassroots punting background is nominating for these boards or they're just not getting accepted into these type of boards? Peter Lawrence: I think that there's been a concerted push by people in charge of those boards to get people who don't know anything about racing onto the boards so that they'll be more compliant. Brad Thompson: Yeah, yeah. Peter Lawrence: Now having experience of being on a board might be a great thing but if you don't have any experience with being involved in racing, I’m not sure that you bring any great value to that board going forward. Going back when Jack Ingham and Lloyd Williams and people like that were big characters in racing and on boards, I’m sure racing was much better off having people who really knew about what was going on making the decisions. Brad Thompson: Fantastic, Peter. Well, great to get your thought from the game and to identify a couple of ways we can try and improve the game for everyone. Wonderful to finish on that point. Peter Lawrence: Yeah. Thanks a lot, Brad. 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. Check out our membership options here , 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 in capital letters for a 25% ongoing discount on your first membership. Treat your betting like a business and invest intelligently with Winning Edge Investments.

Trainer Mitch Beer

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Winning Edge Investments interviews two-time premiership-winning Albury trainer Mitch Beer on his journey in the racing game, his thoughts on the industry, why he adopts a new-age approach and why it's such a thrill to train winners in the bush.   Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. Read more about our Membership Options

Cox Plate - Winning jockey Chad Schofield

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Winning Edge Investments sits with jockey Chad Schofield. Chad talks about his career and accomplishments as a jockey. Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Sydney Track Talk: Nevesh Ramdhani - GM of Racecourses, Australian Turf Club

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Winning Edge Investments interviews Australian Turf Club GM of Racecourses, Nevesh Ramdhani.  Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education! Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Andrew Hawkins | 2020 Melbourne Cup Preview + Career in Racing

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Winning Edge Investments talks about the Melbourne Cup 2020 preview with award-winning international horse racing analyst, Andrew Hawkins. Andrew has worked in many areas of horse racing and sports industry, including journalism, broadcasting, syndication, form analysis, bookmaking and administration. Andrew is currently based in Sydney, Australia, primarily focused on international racing   Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Victorian-based jockey Jason Maskiell

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Winning Edge Investments interviews Tasmanian-born, Victorian-based jockey Jason Maskiell.  Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

International premiership winning trainer John Sargent

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Winning Edge Investments interviews international premiership winning trainer John Sargent. John is a winner of training premierships and races all over the world. In this edition, In this edition, John talks about his career and accomplishments.  Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Leading Sydney apprentice jockey Robbie Dolan

Friday, July 3, 2020

Winning Edge Investments interviews one of Sydney's leading apprentice jockey Robbie Dolan. In this podcast, Robbie talks about his career and accomplishments as a jockey. Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

RACETRACKS REVEALED: Experienced track walker SAM TANKARD

Monday, June 29, 2020

Learn the fine details of how and why racetracks play the way they do to help your punting. Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Bloodstock expert Bruce Slade

Friday, June 19, 2020

Winning Edge investment sits with Bruce Slade, Director of stallions at Kestrel Thoroughbreds as he talks about his career and accomplishments.  Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

NSW Bookmakers David Dwyer & Grant Lynch

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Bookmakers David Dwyer & Grant Lynch join Winning Edge Investments to share how they’re giving punters a fairer go (no banning winners!), musings on the wagering landscape & much more! Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Allan Endresz | Owner of G1 winner Alligator Blood

Monday, May 11, 2020

Winning Edge Investments catches up with Alligator blood owner Allan Endresz to chat about the G1 winner's career, what lies ahead in the future and how he's tackling the disqualification hanging over the Magic millions win.  We also hear from Allan about his colourful professional career and get his thoughts on how the country is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Group 1-winning jockey Ryan Maloney

Monday, May 4, 2020

Group 1-winning jockey Ryan Maloney opens up on the highs & lows of his riding career, moving from Vic Qld and his key post as Edmonds Racing stable rider, mental health battles and best riders, horses, and a horse to follow. Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

Magic Millions 2yo Classic - Jockey Dale Smith & Dusty Tycoon

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Jockey Dale Smith discusses the chances of unbeaten filly Dusty Tycoon as she prepares for the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic.   Winning Edge Investments is committed in providing the highest quality tips and education whilst always remaining open and transparent, focused always on the success of you, our valued member. Why Winning Edge Investments The results of our expert analysts in the public realm are second to none. They are dedicated to staying ahead of the game, constantly evolving and pushing to innovate to get the extra edge so our members can continue to make substantial profits year in and year out. If you want to expand your betting education and skillset, take your betting seriously and become profitable long term then Winning Edge Investments is the service for you. Our expert analysts back all of their selections heavily, most as their predominant source of income, and live and breathe the betting game, which sets them apart from the other services in the market. .Read more about our Membership Options Want to get access to advanced betting education and free tips? Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and receive a 120 page Professional Betting Education Pack PLUS weekly tips from Professional Punters and advanced betting education!

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