Saturday 26 March 2011

gastropod mollusc-like (sluggish)

I've been feeling a bit sluggish this week. Dunno whether it's a virus or what, but I haven't had much motivation, least of all for full-on trading.

I took Monday off, a self-enforced break and the first for a long time. My return on Tuesday was rubbish

The big loss was in-play, one of my lays went a bit wrong.

Losing days are damaging to me for so many reasons...

It's money not earned. Following a bad day at the races, I always have this image in my mind of me going outside and throwing a clutch of £20s down the drain...not exactly positive reinforcement! As I skulked around the house after this particular day, my wife gave me the "look at the big picture" speech which is the only thing she can say to cheer me up when I'm like that, bless her. I went to the cash-and-carry that evening to buy some bulk items for a family party, and moped around thinking about how much it was going to all cost. It cost me £70 - that's 70 sheets I would have still had in my bank if I hadn't have turned the PC on that afternoon.

Days spent losing are followed by more days wasted trying to get it back. So if I sustain a heavy loss on Monday, it might be Thursday before my bank is at the point it was on Sunday night, at which point I can carry on increasing the bank.

Guilt. That whole "I am the man of the house and provider for the family" ethos gets a good kick in the nuts on a losing day. "Hi honey, I'm home...WITHOUT ANY BACON". It's makes you feel like poo.

A bright side

The point I'm making here though (to myself), is a little bit of perspective is needed on a losing day. It needn't be all "doom and gloom". I haven't lost my family and home in a tsunami, nor a daughter to some crazed taxi driver. I'm not bankrupt. I have my health and many nice material possessions. And I have more freedom now than ever before.

It's important not to put off being happy and grateful until the "going is good" again, and it's VERY important to look at that big picture your wife goes on about. Besides, any trader that's worth his salt knows that another decent day is just around the corner

Friday 18 March 2011

Battle: Cheltenham 2011

Well, where do I start? It's been a profitable week and I'm pleased with my total over the last 4 days...

I feel pretty washed out today, and am popping 'Tesco Extra Power Pain Relief' tablets like sweets to keep the aches a bay. I've worked pretty hard the last 4 afternoons and I think I'm feeling a bit run down now.

I'm still boggled by some of the single race totals that people post up, particularly Peter Webb and Jack Birkhead. I've said in the past that Peter Webb appears to do no wrong and his posts leave me a bit cold, but nevertheless his profits are excellent. Somehow, he manages to trade two exchanges simultaneously? I've seen that film Multiplicity but I didn't realise it was ACTUALLY possible to clone yourself ;)

It also made me laugh when Peter wrote:

"it is clear than two or three horses a race are being manipulated and that is spoiling it for other exchange users"

Bahahahaha! Yeah, because everyone plays sooooo nicely the rest of the time - NOT!

Decent enough start to proceedings

I threw about a 2.5k bank at it and found the going pretty good. After so many naff meetings over the Winter, it was nice to trade some nice stable markets with some decent stakes for a change.


Upped my bank to everything I had (about 3.5k). Had to cut my session short as I'd agreed to go and see Battle: Los Angeles * with my wife and couldn't go back on it. I've had Cheltenham in my diary for weeks so I knew it was on but made the arrangement without thinking. When I think about how many other Wednesday afternoons I've sat there trading some crappy Southwell meeting for bugger all, it was a bit silly not trading every scrap of the most prestigious meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar!

I got caught for -£60 by a big sudden move in the last one and managed to reduce the loss by a little. I wouldn't say I was being complacent, I just took a risk opposing a trend and got bitten.

* The film was worth seeing for 3 and a half notes (Orange Wednesday) and had the right balance of everything I like in a film:

- Alien invaders
- Futuristic weaponry
- Fantasy destruction of major cities
- Simple plotline



I found my stride on Thursday and was looking at a 400 quid day, but missed it by a few quid cos I couldn't get anything out of the Wolverhampton evening meeting. Oh well. The Cheltenham markets seemed very straightforward on this day and I had no trouble in getting 50 or 60 sheets in some races.

I'd laid Identity Parade before the last fence in the 16:25 at Towcester - not something I do very often - before it fell. I sat there for a brief second, counting my green, when the inevitable happened and it brought down the only other runner. Race VOID. Just when you think you've seen it all!


I was looking forward to today despite feeling under the weather and thought, after trading upto a ton pre-race in the Gold Cup, I was on for another record day. Sometimes though, I get a bit indifferent after a big win which comes down to the fact that once I get to a decent total for the day, the money starts to become less important and I sort of switch off a bit. I went on to lose about 60 quid before the urgency kicked in again and I was making it back with aplomb.

So in conclusion, I really enjoyed myself and have a target to try and beat next year. Lots more goodness to come during the Spring and Summer, and it really feels like we're starting to leave the long Winter behind. Hurrah!

Monday 14 March 2011

Back down to Earth...

...with a bump!

Nothing doing today...

I was experimenting in-running and took a few early hits so it ended up being a damage limitation exercise. I'll gladly accept a loss of this nature on a "research and development" day but obviously you've gotta not let them get out of hand otherwise you'll be forever chasing, and that's pretty exhausting.

I don't know what the next few days will bring. I'll settle for a couple of hundred quid across the 4 days, which is pretty meagre, but I'm no good at chasing big targets. I usually know early on if I'm ON THE CRAB as the money flows in effortlessly.

The witching hour

Bit late to be posting but I can't settle - that late evening marrow bone snack is repeating on me...

Had my second best day ever on the gee gees, which is a bit surprising after yesterday's carry on.

I gonna celebrate and treat the family to some 3 ply toilet more Wilko budget bog roll for me! ;)

Most of it was from in-play trading, which seemed quite straighforward today. It got pretty hairy at times, and you do need to have your wits about you, but I think I'm onto something. Eventually, I wanna be making this daily, and more. I wanna roll wit' da big dogz!!

Quite how things will play out when the jump racing ends though is anybody's guess. Things have gone well in the last 3 months but there is always the danger my strats won't translate well to the flat racing.

I've added a Twitter feed to the blog. Why? Because I was bored during yesterday's downtime more than anything. I've been trying to think how I could make social networking work for me. I'm not really a big fan of it to be honest, and don't like plastering my life all over the internet, but at least Twitter is fairly unobtrusive. It's not like you need Twitter in order to follow people's tweets, as you can subscribe to the feeds in Google reader (though they don't come through instantly), but I can see the benefit when I've got (in Twitter's words) a "short, timely message" to write which doesn't require a full blog post. We'll see.

Friday 11 March 2011

Living on the edge

I upped my stakes in-running today. Admittedly, I made a few mistakes and was fortunate not to get stung.

It's easy enough to get caught up in the heat of the moment, especially when there is a lot of activity in the market towards the latter stages of a race.

I've been concentrating on a couple of new in-running strategies (well new to me). I think I'll be leaning more towards in-running trading in the future, as the frenzied action suits my style of play. I find it exciting, and greening up some decent amounts is ultimately more satisfying than "scraping a few quid" pre-race. I've probably peaked at pre-race trading now, and I find it too stressful to be bothered looking for new strats. All that second-, third- and fourth-guessing wears me out. I suppose it's human nature to try and find easier ways of achieving the same end result. The path of least resistance and all that!

I re-read one of Adam Heathecote's posts from last year, where he showed a screenshot of him making £1.8k in the Gold Cup. To this day, it still boggles my mind how someone can profit by that much on one race. That said, I think he remarked in another post that he will stake upto 6k on the big races, which goes some way to explaining it I suppose. This snippet was also interesting

"I traded roughly 4000 horse races averaging between £70 and £75 a race. I didn't realise when I started it was possible to do that but it definitely is if you reach the peaks..."

I wish he'd start posting again, as I always found his insight into market behaviour quite fascinating.

Monday 7 March 2011

'e fell o-ver

Traded a bit of the Blackpool v Chelsea game this evening. Switched the radio off at 3-0....he thinks it's all over....

Dodgy penalty decision for Chelsea's second if you ask me. I was only watching a grainy internet stream while listening to Five Live, but I could see enough to judge that it was less than deserved.

With arguably Blackpool's two strongest players out tonight, I didn't expect to be opposing the Chelsea victory in any shape or form. At 0-1 though, Drogba and Torres were looking decidedly flat, which made the draw odds tasty enough to scalp for a few quid. I'd built up a pretty decent amount on the draw but sadly it wasn't to be.

I did a £50 lay of Augsberg in Bundesliga 2 when they were 4-2 up with 30 mins to go. Well you do, don't you? At 1.04, it was only ever gonna cost me 2 quid.


These little side bets keep things interesting, but I'll only ever tend to risk what I've made in other games. I'll never get rich off the footy with my conservative approach, but I'll never get poor neeva!

Anyway, I haven't really got the patience to sit there watching the odds move at a snail's pace, especially since I've been doing the in-running horse markets.

The horse trading continues to serve up some decent daily returns and I'm pleased to be regularly exceeding my, in hindsight, rather modest £30-a-day personal target.

I had a family function to go to on Saturday. It always adds a bit of pressure knowing that someone will inevitably ask: "so how'dya get on then?"

Cue the 75 quid drubbing in the first race...

I fought back with some aggressive trading and had recouped the lot within half-an-hour, and got on with the job after that.

I say aggressive, but I didn't take any more risks than usual - I just upped the workrate to an almost frenzied state. I couldn't keep going at that exhaustive rate for the whole session that's for sure! I had to "save face" though, this is my living after all.

Tuesday 1 March 2011


A 4-day BT outage has pretty much hampered all chances of me earning a bit of decent profit on the horses recently. I feel sorry for the Indian call centre people, getting arsey customers like me reading them the riot act because some muppet in this country decided to perform an upgrade without telling the customers going through that particular exchange.

In the meantime, I've been trading with the 3G BT dongle that I use on my backup netbook. This has of course meant that I've no backup and have therefore wimped out of any pre-race trading in fear of a PC crash or dongle outage. My PC randomly crashed one day last week which hasn't happened in ages, so I can't take any chances.

Trading purely in-running with a small bank has confirmed one thing, I can't rely on in-running profits alone to see me through. The pre-race trading appears to focus my i-r capers a bit more; lose a bit pre-race and I can look to make back the deficit i-r; make a bit pre-race and it acts as a buffer to take a few chances i-r. The two go hand-in-hand.

I suppose we all settle into a groove, a way of doing things, and when that pattern is disturbed then it can be very upsetting.

Missed the big move on Man Utd last night from 4 to 3.65 after my friend PeteG tipped me off about the Utd price being a bit high. I was a bit too hesitant and the price was gone before I could blink. I tried getting on board a bit later but I couldn't get matched at the price I wanted. I monitored the market throughout today and put some money on about lunchtime and then go caught by an upsurge in the price at about 12:30...

leaving me about £90 in the red. I calmly went and collected the nipper from playschool and waited for it to play out. I couldn't imagine Utd trading above 4 unless Ashley Cole had been firing his pellet gun at Rooney without me hearing about it ;) By 13:30 the price has settled down again and I'd managed to scratch it for a £4 loss, so I could relax again after that.

Managed to make a few quid in-play while listening to the match on Five Live. As much as I'd have preferred to watch the game on the telly, I can't bring myself to pay Sky all that money a month for the privilege - I pay them enough as it is (for multi-room etc).

My internet connection still isn't right, as although I'm back online, it feels like I'm on dialup again. I hope it's rights itself by the morning so I can get into a decent rhythm again tomorrow arvo.