671.50 points profit. 28.78% ROI – 239 bets, 33 successful selections: 2018.
A fine year from a punting perspective! It’s back-to-back profitable years in fact, ever since I changed my approach to betting on horses. As last year was all about refining, tweaking and adjusting the method, 2018 was all about putting it consistently to work.
There is no doubt that the All-Weather is my happy hunting ground. It’s so by a wide margin outperforming turf in terms of profit and ROI, and has delivered the majority of success this year: 605pts.
Of course a few big priced winners helped. They always help. However, you only find long-shots if you consistently punt them, and they only turn into a long-term profit if you find value in them. The notion that any 20/1 shot is automatically value isn’t only flawed, it’s the route to bankruptcy.
The British Turf has been a different story: a lot of bets for a negative return: -49.50pts. The story could have been a different one if not for 7 furlong races. 22 selections, not a single winner. Burned a lot of money there. Take those out of the equation and it would have been a healthy profit.
Jumps delivered a minimal loss -8pts. The Cheltenham Festival, profitably for the second year running, couldn’t make up for an otherwise poor performance over obstacles.
It’s simply not where my strengths are and I don’t have the same tools available as for flat racing. It’s telling on the scoreboard.
On the international front it was yet again a fine year. From a small selection of bets, the highlights were Hawkbill in Dubai and of course for the second year running, finding the Melbourne Cup winner with Cross Counter: +144pts.
January and March 2018 contributed as the most successful months of the year to the profit of 2018. No surprise, as those are major months for the All-Weather.
The summer months were a difficult roller-coaster. August resulted in a -90pts loss, October posting minus 75pts.
Clearly there is a lot to learn from all of that, though:
- Despite having more selections in 2018 than the year before I found less winners and posted a smaller ROI, yet a higher profit. 2019 shall be about quality over quantity.
- Low grade- and 7 furlong Handicaps on Turf have been a disaster. Keep selections on this type of races to an absolute minimum.
- Jumps: Focus on the Cheltenham Festival. Keep money in the pocket otherwise.
One of the major issues developing over the course of 2018 has been the problem of getting on with bookies. This is nothing totally new. Many punters face severe restrictions.
Only over the last two years, though – punting higher sums as confidence in my process is rock solid now, followed up by monetary success – I have started to see my accounts become restricted. Bet365, Sky, VC or Betway – they all market their products prominently but only want mugs to join them (from a business perspective: who can blame them!).
Most firms, big an small, have restricted my accounts to meaningless amounts these days. A certain Geoff Banks – at least he had the guts to engage in a real conversation, mind – accused me of cheating. While all I’m doing is working hard and putting in the effort.
Obviously the majority of my races are lower grade, less liquid markets, mid-week. To get a reasonable stake of something like 100 quid on to an 8/1 shot is neigh to imposible. And it doesn’t even matter whether you’re winning long term with these firms or not.
Exchanges help, but only to an extend. Betfair has high charges, particularly if you win well over a certain period of time. And markets for my races aren’t always liquid.
I’ve found Matchbook a pretty good substitute, thankfully. The markets are growing. Even though I barely get my full stake on top prices, at least I get my stake on within a range of odds that I still regard as value.
The issue of “getting on” has put me off the idea to potentially increase my flat stake – yes, I do bet with flat stake, because it simply works best for my process, particularly mentally – and considering going full time. The hassle isn’t worth it.
For now it remains a wonderful side income. Tax free. 671.50 points profit and 28.78% return of investment for around 20 hours work a week – that’s pretty decent – no bank gives you that sort of interest on your money. And I do actually enjoy the hours put in as well. A win-win situation.
- A complete list of all 2018 selections can be found here.
Disclaimer: This website is not a betting service. I do not take responsibility for your losses. This is a betting blog where I write about my selections. If others follow, enjoy the read and get on to a few winners thanks to this blog – great, I’m happy. Please only bet what you can afford to lose!
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Saying that: happy punting in 2019 – and bringing it to an end with my personal favourite victories of 2018: