The Weekend Wager – 30/05/09

Posted on May 30, 2009 by  

Welcome to this the latest ‘Weekend Wager’ free betting column produced by Mike Bishop from the Secret Betting Club and Money Maker Review service.

I work as part of the team at the Secret Betting Club where we uncover exactly which experts, systems and tipsters you should follow to make money betting. As well as proofing dozens of tipsters we also include monthly articles on professional gambling tips and betting strategies. Every article and review we put together is also listed at our new member’s website Money Maker Review.

Welcome to this the latest ‘Weekend Wager’ free betting column produced by Mike Bishop from the Secret Betting Club and Money Maker Review service.

1. Mike Says

Bookmakers. Love em or hate em they are here to stay and a necessary evil for anyone who bets. There seem to be more of them than ever these days, as a quick glance at a major odds comparison site such as will prove.

Us punters in theory benefit from this as with this huge number of bookies and the ability to track live odds to the latest minute, if not every second, there are many ways to spot the chance to make a profit when their odds are out of sync. Of course these days we have the likes of Betfair and the other betting exchanges but many of us still use the traditional bookies as they offer the best value and choice at times.
This huge number of bookmakers out there means there is more and more pressure from them to put out prices on a wider range of betting markets than ever before. This is something already at the Secret Betting Club we have taken advantage of in areas such as non-league football and darts, where in their haste to offer odds in these relatively fledgling markets, certain bookmakers neglect to do proper research! Just as a punter who doesn’t know his bets will suffer, so to do the bookies, and we have seen a few SBC recommended services sting a few of them for big sums over the years.

With this in mind we are always looking to get into more of these relatively untapped markets, and one area we have dipped our toes into this month is the sport of boxing. Here at SBC, our latest issue (due out in the next 24 hours) has a review of a very interesting looking boxing service, run by a total betting nut from America, who has for the past 2+ years made a very tidy profit on the sport. Now most high-profile fights that feature guys such as Ricky Hatton or Joe Calzaghe attract a lot of bets from all of the bookies, some of the more regular less prominent fights don’t quite, which opens up the door for our boxing betting guy here. All in all, this boxing service looks a really tasty proposition and allows us to plant another sucker-punch on the bookies!

There is something else about boxing that also appeals, as unlike some of the prima-donna footballers we see prancing around the pitch these days, a boxer has to give his all in each fight. Certainly you wont see them going down feigning injury like they have been shot as Mr Drogba is partial to. Certainly it makes you feel like you get value for your bets and more about this boxing service can be found in the latest issue of SBC which is out later today.

Mike Bishop

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2. The Next Week In Betting

The official end of the English season sees Everton face Chelsea in the Cup final this weekend, in a game that will see lots of activity at the bookmakers. Back in January I highlighted Everton at 25/1 to take the cup so I will be levelling this out by backing Chelsea to make it a win-win situation whatever happens on Saturday. Chelsea are clear favourites in their last game managed by the Guus Hiddink at a top priced 3/4 with Bluesq, whilst the Toffees are fairly friendless with 5/1+ available on Betfair. Lots of money is on the under 2.5 goals market as both games between these two in the league ended 0-0, but the bookies are aware of this and you can only get a top priced 8/13 with Paddy Power.

My own preference in this game is to back 1-0 final result for either side, where you can get 6/1 with Ladbrokes on Chelsea to win this way and 11/1 with Boylesports for a similar Everton victory. If Moyes’s men do win it may well be down to goalkeeper Tim Howard who is a 16/1 shot to be man of the match with Bet365. Other interesting punts in this market are Steven Pienaar at 20/1, John Terry at 16/1 and Michael Essien at 10/1 (all prices with Bet365).

The 6/4 on England to see off the West Indies in the recent one-day series was much too big, but I cant go as far as Andrew Strauss and recommend them to win the 20/20 world cup which starts on the 1st of June. The English 20/20 team is very much a work in progress with a new captain and plenty of uncapped players at this level so the 12/1 with Ladbrokes on them to win is something I am happy to pass on. I feel that South Africa offer a shade of value to take this at 9/2 outright with Totesport and if I had to pick one outsider it would be Sri Lanka at 9/1 with Paddy Power. India though remain very strong favourites at 3/1 with Sportingbet and if the likes of Ghambir, Sehwag & Yurvaj fire, then they may have too much for any of the rest.

Next week also sees the 2nd week of the French Tennis open with Rafa Nadal now an extremely short 2/5 outright with SportingBet to win as he continues to dominate the sport on his favoured clay surface. 2/5 works out as 40% interest on your bets for the next 7 days if Nadal does go all the way but I imagine there maybe 1 or 2 scares along the way to give such short-odds backers a fright or two. Novak Djokovic is one of the very few who could conceivably stop him so at 7/1 with Bet365 he may offer a small interest and a total wildcard would be Fernando Verdasco at a whopping 40/1 with Extrabet.
Good luck with whatever you’re having a punt on this week.

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3. Tipping Legends Column

The Tipping Legends are 2 horse racing specialists who both have an in-depth knowledge of the sport and will be supplying a full rundown of some of the weekend’s feature races and betting angles. These guys know their stuff when it comes to racing, ignore at your peril.

Question & Answers Session with Jeremiah Catskill of the Tipping Legends

Q. What was your first ever bet – and at what age did you start getting interested in racing?

A. My first ever bet was with my Dad on the Grand National in the early eighties on Corbiere. I remember having 30p of my pocket money on at 13/1. My first real bet was less successful! I backed Dark Ivy at around 5/1 in the ’87 National. Don’t think I would ever bet at those odds in the National again! – He fell at Beechers & sadly broke its neck. That was when I was 18 and despite that costly lesson I became hooked. Never having much money in my early adult years my main interests revolved around the big televised events and it helped that I had the knack of picking the National winner. Getting the 1-2 when Mr Frisk won was my early highlight.

Q. Why should someone follow a tipping service rather than make their own selections?

A. Many people enjoy racing and betting but not everybody has the time or the talent to make it pay. I doubt anybody wants to bet to lose, so if they are looking for the thrill of a bet but also want to see potential profit from that hobby, then using an expert or two can help them out. I’m sure most people who use tipsters also select their own picks but want the security blanket of using a tipster. I liken it to a professional footballer as if I trained 8 hours a day at football, I may improve a bit but wouldn’t even manage to play non league. Likewise, some people just don’t have the necessary analytical acumen to profit at horse racing, whatever level of study they put in, so a helping hand is sought. We always make it abundantly clear that nothing is guaranteed and if its a quick buck required, we may not be the right avenue to go down.

It is worth noting that many of our subscribers are professional gamblers who make a good living from backing horses and many of them subscribe to a portfolio of tipsters. Racing is now international with the advent of the Internet and we currently have subscribers from 15 different countries! The strength of any service depends on renewals, and we are fortunate to have over a 60% renewal rate from our subscribers.

Q. The old chestnut – if your advice is so good, why not just bet large amounts yourself instead of offering your advice to others?

A. Yes, I do hear this one often! I do bet on all my selections but I see no problem at all in earning money off the back of my hard work and skill. Tipping is often the only profession where its frowned upon to sell your skills. If I made money but our customers don’t, then that is an issue, but luckily our customers that have been with us for a longish period have made very good profits from our advice. Some of the biggest gamblers in the country subscribe to our service, and they have an in depth knowledge of racing.

Q. How do you go about making a selection – what sort of time would you spend looking at a race?

A. On standard day to day races, depending on the field, I can analyse a race fully in 30 minutes, but if I know the horses it can be much quicker. I find that if you analyse too much you get caught up in so many different factors that its very hard to step back & make that all important judgement. I always look for value and primarily at longer odds and I always start with the favourite and if I get a quick feel that its vulnerable I will then look for something to beat it. If I can’t find a decent alternative then usually I leave the race alone or if that favourite is long enough to become a value bet then that may tempt me. My favourite horses to oppose are experienced handicappers coming off a win and raised in grade. They are often exposed and have had their day in the sun and are also often overbet, so there is usually value in the other runners.

I would never bet a horse that I don’t feel has a chance of winning but if I feel that the 2/1 favourite has only a tiny bit in hand on a 12/1 rival, then the value play is the 12/1 shot even though the favourite is the likelier winner! At a very basic level I look at a horses profile and match to the conditions in better races and I also look at the class of the horse in the poorer events.

Q. Are there specific types of races that you look at?

A. I usually do my best in the better handicaps and races in general. Most of my annual profits come in the 7 or 8 big meetings of the year when each days racing has an opportunity in virtually every race. Cheltenham is my main meeting that I look forward to as I have always done well there due to the big fields and the fact that nowhere else do you get really good horses available at double digit prices. People often misread the pre festival form as well. There are plenty of horses who have looked good in 6 runner fields around Wincanton but battling with 20 others round the unique course that is Cheltenham at breakneck pace requires a very different animal. I always pay close attention to trends in these bigger races as you need a certain type of horse to shine in these very specific tests.

Q. What’s your approach to ante-post betting?

A. Roger is far keener than I am and I rarely play ante-post. So much of my analysis revolves around the conditions of the day – the going, recent form, trainer form etc. I don’t believe in following horses or keeping a notebook, you can convince yourself to back a horse just because you have noted it in the past. I also don’t follow much of the surrounding news stories in racing. The reason – I like to bet on what the form book tells me. If I have a horse in my head or I’ve read that the trainer fancies it then it gets in the way. That trainer will have his words read by thousands of punters and will depress the price, so the value goes. I hope to see things that the ordinary public ignore and get the better odds because of that. I have often come to the time to analyse a big race (often on the flat) and find that I have only heard of a few of the runners. The classics are a great example as I don’t bet in maidens or in these early season trials, so I don’t look at the races. Come the big day I review what I see and judge from that. It requires faith in your own skills as a race reader but it suits me down to the ground.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone looking to make money from betting?

A. Be realistic and put a dedicated bank to one side for that purpose alone. Specialise. Trust yourself and if you can’t do that trust somebody who you can!

Q. Do you think it’s possible to make a living out of betting?

A. Yes, but most don’t. I read with interest a prominent gamblers first book and was amazed how similar our approaches were and of course felt reassured that he was making very good money from these methods. His second book however showed him chasing a big pot and changing his methods and basically giving up on a winning methodology. It’s not easy and often can be fairly dull, so it requires discipline and a realistic sensible approach to continue to make it profitable. We advise our subscribers on the strength of the bet, how many points to invest etc. We deal with all their enquiries, and help many people to become disciplined and thus profitable with their betting.

Records are vital! You must record all your bets and we pride ourselves on the fact that we make every single bet we have made available is there for all to see on our web site. We only send our tips out the day of the races. How can you tip the night before when the going could change radically overnight!

Q. Are there any particular jockeys or trainers that you admire/follow?

A. A jockey is often the last piece of info that I look for. I do admire certain jockeys such as Tony McCoy. Robert Thornton & Barry Geraghty but I would never back a horse based on who was in the saddle.

Trainers are different though. I don’t follow stables but if you get to understand how certain trainers work then it can pay dividends. Nicky Henderson with his fresh horses, Ferdy Murphy in the spring, Mullins at Cheltenham & Tim Vaughan is a newbie whose ability to improve and place a horse is amazing (However that secret is long out & the value has long since gone!)

Q. Are there any horses that you are looking forward to this season?

A. It would be great to see Denman return to his best and also to see if Master Minded can possibly improve! On a punting basis then there are several short priced favourites at the festival which I no doubt will be opposing. Some of the likelier longshots include Celestial Halo, Albertas Run & Butlers Cabin in the National. But as I said – its a long way away and I’ll leave it much closer to the day before I make my final decision.

Q. Jumps or flat – which is better for turning in a profit?

A. Always used to be the jumps, but the last 2 seasons have seen superb profits from the flat. Partly due to some really nice long shots such as Bulwark 66/1, Eddie Jock 50/1 and a few others at 33’s. Might be a blip but if it occurs for a third year then I may start to call it a trend!

Visit The Tipping Legends Website

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4. Herbie Fogg

Statistical research lies at the heart of the service provided to subscribers at Horse racing expert Herbie Fogg runs three services: The Edge, Turfmax and a newly launched Saturday service, which enables non-members to obtain the Edge Saturday advice from £1.90 per week:

The Timeform Jury Stakes (Group 3) at Haydock, 3.05pm Saturday 30th May.

Last week Alyarf duly obliged, like the good thing he undoubtedly is, for readers of this column. As we bend before the proliferation of high quality racing delivered up as sighters for Royal Ascot, this week we turn to the Timeform Jury Stakes, the John of Gaunt Stakes as was, lately of Group 3 status, in a competitive early season fixture that tends to reward a solid form pick who is physically peeking now rather than in a few weeks time and who, typically, is then freshened up for a tilt at something during the Glorious or July meetings.

Of the last 13 winners, 12 were returned at 5/1 or less and had run during the past 2 months. Applying these two simple criteria swiftly whittles the field down to four prime candidates: Asset (Saeed Bin Suroor), Beacon Lodge (C Cox), Main Aim (Stout) & Tariq (Chapple-Hyam).
On the formbook Arabian Gleam trained by Jeremy Noseda would certainly be another, a horse last seen victorious in the National Express Park Stakes (Grp 2) at Doncaster and who has reserved his best for left-handed galloping tracks. In theory Arabian Gleam is aimed at Group 1 glory in the Queen Anne on June 16th. But as we know Jeremy Noseda knows all about presenting a horse after a lay-off, and this horse does have a record of going well fresh.

It is also a trifle suspicious that he should be taking this engagement so close to Ascot – if successful here they may decide to side-step the Royal meeting in favour of heading direct to Newmarket, if not it has been a good sighter. It’s a slight imponderable and you should take heed of market support and in particular the reaction of the big 3. He’s against the trends, and stall 9 would not be an advantage, but if stripped fit would be a sort to consider.

There does not look to be an abundance of pace here. Welsh Emperor likes to make the running and seems set to find an uncontested lead. This is potentially bad news for Tariq who is generally held up in last, were it not for the fact that he has finally been dropped back to 7fl after failing to get last home coming from off the pace in Group 1 races over a mile. He hung left at Newbury and visually it was less impressive than 2008, but he looks more than capable of picking up a race at this grade and trip. The question is do you put your faith in one stepping down or stepping up? Most of us, I think, rightly prefer the latter.
Readers of this column will remember Beacon Lodge, short-listed for the Spring Trophy (Listed) over C&D, where he took first place just a shade cosily from Ordnance Row. He is a big strong type with a Grp 3 success at 2, who has had his problems and who now appears on the upswing. He’s fit and the yard are bang in form, but this represents a stiffer assignment. He’s not been one to inspire confidence and it remains to be seen whether he is capable of stringing two good races together. The ground if a little on the easy side would also be suitable.

Asset did not need to be at the level he showed at Nad Al Sheeba to pick up a recent Listed event at Leicester to see off Regal Parade, and is another who does not inspire total confidence, that win serving if anything to highlight his faults, hanging badly right in the last furlong.
Which brings us to Sir Michael’s Main Aim. On ratings it appears to be between him and Tariq and I will side with the former who made a blistering re-appearance two weeks ago, ripping a Class 2 handicap field to pieces, powering clear over 6fl and who now seems set to fulfil his potential and go on to better things. He should be untroubled by a muddling pace, holds a clutch of prime Grp 1 entries and looks entirely suited to 6 or 7 furlongs. He’s not ground dependent, looks every inch a top performer in the making and should have the fitness and class to come out on top here. On the downside, I suspect we may not be the only ones to have noticed. But I do think he’ll win.

Bon chance,

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