2018 flat season performance summary

Godolphin’s Cross Counter capped off a very successful season of tipping on the flat when storming home at 8/1 to land the Melbourne Cup a little after 4am Tuesday morning – that’s Paul’s second winning selection for the race in the last three seasons. With just the December meeting in Hong Kong remaining, where we rarely play, it’s unlikely we’ll have any more flat selections until Meydan in the spring.

We finish this flat season 61.39pts in the black with a whopping average return on investment of £1.40 from 120 bets. I say ‘we’ because there’s two of us, and Cross Counter’s late surge to victory was a fitting metaphor for Paul getting up to edge our seasonal head-to-head by a cosy 3pts. Paul finished up 32.44pt from 30 bets this season and averages a red-hot ROI of £1.75. I made exactly 3x more bets [90] returning 28.95pts at £1.26. A very solid season all round.

Tipster Profit/Loss Average Odds (Decimal) Number of Bets Points Staked  Return on Investment
Joel 28.95 13.51 90 111.50  £1.26
Paul 32.44 10.42 30 43.00  £1.75
Total 61.39 12.74 120 154.50  £1.40

Our average price taken was just shy of 12/1, with Paul at 19/2 and myself a little higher at 25/2. If you’re reading this positive bulletin in bewilderment after experiencing nothing but losers when following our tips, our high average price taken is a big part of why. Punting longer odds is always going to be very swingy, meaning long losing runs are inevitable and catching the winning long shots is vital. We experienced one of those runs during a winless month of September before roaring back to form with a 36pt haul in October.

As ever, the advice is not to overlook the long-shots we put up as they are absolutely crucial to our profitability. We expect them to lose a huge majority of the time because they don’t have to win that often for us to finish up. We’ve landed 28/1, 20/1 and 16/1 winners this season, and missing any of those is going to make your numbers far less positive.

Top five winners from the 2018 flat season:

Epsom Derby: Masar 20/1 – Joel
It’s difficult to remain modest when talking about Masar’s 20/1 win in the Epsom Derby, which completed a ridiculous 10,330/1 hat-trick of winning selections in the race after Harzand (11/1) and Wings Of Eagles (40/1) did the business in its two previous renewals. I absolutely love this race so roll on the 2019 renewal!

Champion Sprint Stakes: Sands Of Mali (28/1) – Joel
One of the great sights in racing is a front-running sprinter burning off the opposition. Sands Of Mali did just that in the Group One sprint on Champions Day, returning at 28/1 and jumping to number two in our all-time list of biggest winners since our first tip in 2015. Magical (15/2) and Roaring Lion (8/1) were winning selections in the two following two races to cap off a quite ridiculous hour of punting.

Great Voltigeur Stakes: Old Persian (16/1) – Joel
With subsequent St Leger and Melbourne Cup winners Kew Gardens and Cross Counter in behind, this season’s Voltigeur turned out to be a red-hot form line as Old Persian gallantly clung on for victory on the Knavesmire. A 16/1 winner is a 16/1 winner.

Melbourne Cup: Cross Counter (8/1) – Paul
It’s one of the biggest races in the international calendar and every tipster needs to show form on those big days. For the second time in three seasons, we supplemented our morning caffeine boost with the buzz of waking up to the Melbourne Cup winner.

Cesarewitch Handicap: Low Sun (9/1) – Paul
Nothing went right in September which made Low Sun’s victory in the Newmarket marathon all the sweeter.

Tactics for the jumps season

We’re now underway with the jumps season and we’ll be fairly conservative with the tipping in the opening months, so expect one or two bets max per week and at significantly shorter prices in the Graded races. It’s a perilous time for punters with the lack of rain causing many horses to delay their reappearances, so race fitness is going to be anyone’s guess.

The main adjustment we make when switching from the flat to the jumps is to bet less based on pedigrees and profiles of potential and instead switch the emphasis to form in the book. Punting on the jumps is all about backing who we perceive to be the best horse in the race, when the price is right. The issue is there are fewer horses in training than on the flat, meaning smaller fields, and the longer distances of jumps races tend to exaggerate winning margins, which means it’s a lot easier for everyone to form an accurate view on who’s got the best form. That includes bookmakers, which means you’re going to struggle for value in comparison to a highly competitive Group race on the flat.

The highlights of November are Cheltenham’s two-day Betvictor Gold Cup meeting and Haydock’s Betfair Chase, so keep an eye out for selections.


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