Tuesday, 31 March 2015

US Senate Hearing 2005...

It is of course dangerous to enter into the realm of politics on a blog! This is not intended to be a political post. I am not going to give my political views nor from the content of this post should anyone assume that I have any.

I watched Galloway's performance in the US Senate hearing ('oil for food') in 2005. Ten years on I have watched it again. I put this up, not to make any political statement, but because I saw it then and see it now as pure entertainment!

It was just good to see a man stand up for himself. I have seen too many 'cower' before the 'panel'!

As the old saying goes: "Be careful what you wish for." Or perhaps that should be: "Be careful who you invite to a Senate hearing."

A subsequent investigation cleared Galloway of any wrongdoing over the matter.

US Senate Hearing 2005

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Trading System...

To prove a stats based betting system I would normally want 2000 bets and a good volume of action (otherwise you'd be testing for years!). It's 'upsetting' to see people using or buying a system after only a hundred bets or so - just because they have seen good profits during that period. Standard deviation will generally make fools of them and the system.

I have been working on a small side project - a 'trading system' - very selective but it is interesting and I think that even with only two and a half weeks of trading it will be profitable. I will have to take it through the summer but I don't see how the results could fundamentally change.

So how can I be more sure of my trading system after less than a 100 trades than a stats based betting system after 1000 bets? Simply because my system relies on my 'actions' - trading 'in' and then 'out' of a position. As a trader you are in control and acting on what you are seeing on the screen. On a 'bet and forget' system you have no control, although there are other benefits of course, such as taking the 'emotion' out of the equation or saving a lot of time because often you can place your bets in advance of a race - at BSP for example.

The first few results are below.

Trade No.53 was an error, one that I am unlikely to repeat - but it has to go into the P/L, after all an errant click of the mouse can happen and next time it could go in my favour.

The profit figures are to 1 pt. or £1.00 trades if you like. I prefer to use 'minimum units' to show P&L as it strips away all the nonsense. ("We made 10,000 points of profit...to £10,000 stakes!").

The strike rate is high and there is no reason for the individual losing trades to be any bigger than the individual winning trades - except perhaps for two or three times a month when you might suffer a loss of your whole 1 pt. / trading stake. Also, you are not reliant on getting in at the best possible price, this isn't about scalping or trying to steal a few ticks, it's about large / solid movement.

So far it has yielded 8.25 points of profit. The great thing is that at this stage of the market there is reasonable liquidity and so trading stakes can be in the hundreds and probably thousands.

As there are so few trades, maybe I will use it for my retirement one day! Succeed or fail, I will try and remember to report back in a few months on how it's going.

It would be great if it works. No in-depth knowledge of horse racing is required. I found this by investing a little time - nothing more. If I came up with this - then most people reading this blog could too.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

English Clubs. Champions League...

A bit late on the Chelsea 'de-brief' but Cheltenham got in the way. The only thing more mysterious than Dark Matter was Chelsea's inexplicable performance against PSG. I understand the point about 0-0, 1-0, and 2-1 score-lines (all of which we had at some stage during the match) being enough to get us through, but if you are going to have a defensive strategy, then you need to be more confident in its execution! If you are not, then you need to put the game to bed with goals - especially if the opposition are down to ten men. PSG were brilliant, granted, but there were periods of the match where we should have dealt better with the situation.

Luiz scored a fantastic headed goal. Well...it just had to be...

The 'defence mentality' is logical of course, as long as you have a good defence, which Chelsea do. 'Defence' always wins out against 'Attack' over the long term, be it in football, NFL and I assume most other relevant sports like rugby and hockey.

The pundits have been banging on about English clubs failing in the Champions League after Chelsea's exit, but I am not sure that there is an inherent problem. Man City have been 'mis-managed' in their campaign (they could still beat Barcelona!). Liverpool are building, Man Utd, not in Europe, but in transition. Arsenal are clinging on but you never know! English clubs will be back. I don't think Chelsea had anyone to fear in the competition and have proved themselves against the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Ultimately, they had one poor match, which is usually costly at this level.

Chelsea's Champions League/European Record - Last 10 Years

2004 - Champions League Semi-Final
2005 - Champions League Semi-Final
2006 - Champions League 2nd Round
2007 - Champions League Semi-Final
2008 - Champions League Final
2009 - Champions League Semi-Final
2010 - Champions League 2nd Round
2011 - Champions League Quarter-Final
2012 - Champions League Winners
2013 - Champions League 1st Round/Europa League Winners
2014 - Champions League Semi-Final

The one issue for English clubs, especially towards the latter stages of the Champions League and towards the end of the Premier League season - is fatigue. In the Premier League, virtually every game is a 'battle', your toughest game could come against Liverpool or Sunderland, you never know and it does take its toll.

Contrast this to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga for instance, who in the current season to date have won around ten of their domestic matches by scoring four or more goals. The top teams in the European Leagues often have a much easier time of it.

Personally, I always wanted Chelsea to concentrate on the Premier League this season. It's about time we won it. Europe can wait...

Monday, 16 March 2015

Dark Matter...

The Hadron Collider is back online after an upgrade and hopefully scientists will soon discover more about one of the great mysteries of the universe...'Dark Matter' or as it used to be known, 'Missing Matter'.

Our disc-shaped galaxies are moving too quickly - thousands of kilometers per second - and in theory these systems should have been dispersed or flung out to the edge of space. So how do they stay intact? The theory is 'dark matter' which is essentially extra mass and gravity that allows the systems to stay bound together. The problem is that we can't see dark matter through the telescope - it's 'dark'.

Many theories have been put forward. Could dark matter just be 'ordinary matter' that isn't luminous; brown dwarfs, planets, gas clouds..? But ordinary matter in the 'necessary quantities' should give off some light or radiation that would be detectable. Could it be that in distant space a different set of physical laws apply?

Dark Matter is only 'theoretical evidence' as to why galaxies remain intact, without light, however, the existence of this 'invisible' matter is very hard to prove but it is thought to be central to everything in the universe. All we can do is look at the effect that dark matter has on its 'environment' and go from there. After all, we cannot see gravity, we are just aware of what it does.

The big problem is that Physicists can come up with the existence of all kinds of particles - Neutrinos for instance (the existence of which has been largely proven) WIMPS (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) and MACHOS (Massive Astro-Physical Compact Halo Object) the latter two being touted as probable dark matter candidates, yet in the end it will be harder to show that this is actually the 'stuff' of dark matter, due to the fact that it rests in galaxies thousands of light years away.

If the Hadron Collider can prove the existence of dark matter, it would be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time. Physicists appear surprisingly bullish. I'm not holding my breath!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Cheltenham Results Day Four...

Day Four Results
Ok today. Largely saved by the Coneygree 9/1 ('saver'). The 2.40pm just fell apart for me - but two of the selections virtually halved in price before the off, so I had good value. I would have really expected one or two more good priced winners over the festival but if you bet the bigger prices you tend to 'live and die' by one or two horses! I tend to avoid the shorter priced runners (generally very poor value at big meetings) having said that I got five out of six favourites that I staked (one faller). I do bet them in accumulators / savers - only to try and cover stakes on the main selections.

I made good profit again this year - even if it wasn't spectacular. Of course I am a trader not a bettor - except at the big meetings! Normally betting each-way is not the way to go. Win bets are more profitable over the long term, although results volatility will be greater. For me, the big meetings are about having an 'interest' in the race and so each way betting is the best option for that. I had a lot of fun and I hope you did too! Day Four post.

Hargam 15/2 - 3rd
Devilment 22/1 (e/w) - 4th (Four places on offer with a few bookies).
Petite Parisienne 11/1 - 5th

Definitely Red 25/1 (e/w) - PU
Tea For Two 28/1 (e/w) - PU
Carracci Apache 22/1 (e/w) - PU
Blaklion 14/1 (e/w) - PU

Many Clouds 8/1 - 6th
Holywell 14/1 (e/w) - 4th
Bobs Worth 20/1 (e/w) - PU

'Saver' on Coneygree 9/1 - 1st

Of the other mentions for the last three races - where I didn't bet - the highlights were:

Paint the Clouds 5/1 - 3rd
Chosen Milan 40/1 (e/w) - 5th (into 16/1 SP)
Shelford 22/1 (e/w) - 5th

So a bit of excitement.

Until next year!

Cheltenham Bets Day Four...

Day Four Friday
Well lets hope we don't throw away the profit today!

Hargam 15/2
Devilment 22/1 (e/w)
Petite Parisienne 11/1 (e/w ok if you can get 4 places)

Petite Parisienne would probably be my weakest of the three.

I won't be getting heavily involved. I may take two for a few quid:

Ebony Express 18/1 (e/w)
Hawk High 25/1 (e/w)

Just hoping for a good run really!

Definitely Red 25/1 (e/w)
Tea For Two 28/1 (e/w)
Carracci Apache 22/1 (e/w)
Blaklion 14/1 (e/w)

I may take all four. Not sure yet. You could just place win bets with four.

Many Clouds 8/1
Holywell 14/1 (e/w)
Bobs Worth 20/1 (e/w)

I will have a few quid (e/w) on Lord Windemere 22/1 and Houblon Des Obeaux 50/1.

I will have a saver on Coneygree 9/1.

Not betting here but I would have: Paint the Clouds 5/1, Salsify 11/1 and Chosen Milan 40/1.

Not betting here. Sticking a pin: Shelford 22/1 or Balgarry 25/1

Not betting here but I would have: Grumeti 16/1 and Ted Veale 14/1. Of the bigger prices maybe Brick Red 28/1.

I might still have a better go at sorting out the final races. So may post again.

Good luck.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Cheltenham Results Day Three...

Day Three Results
Better today. Quite a few of the picks ran very well. Day Three post.

Ptit Zig 11/2 - 5th
Irish Saint 16/1 (e/w) - 4th

Eduard 20/1 (e/w) - 4th
Wishfull Thinking 33/1 (e/w) - PU
Taquin Du Seuil 12/1 (e/w) - 9th

Uxizandre for a few quid 16/1 (e/w) - 1st

Cole Harden 20/1 (e/w) - 1st
Whisper 9/1 (e/w ok if you can get 4 places) - 5th
Lieutenant Colonel 9/1 (e/w ok if you can get 4 places) - 10th

Tiger Roll for a few quid 66/1 (e/w) - 13th

Buywise 10/1 (e/w) - 4th
Burn and Turn 20/1 (e/w) - 18th
Rajdhani Express 11/1 (e/w) - 8th

Not a serious race for me in terms of stakes. None of the four were placed.

Benbane Head 25/1 (e/w)
Grandad's Horse 33/1 (e/w)
Benbens 20/1 (e/w)
Guess Again 28/1 (e/w)

Cheltenham Bets Day Three...

Day Three Thursday:

Ptit Zig 11/2
Irish Saint 16/1 (e/w)

I may have a 'saver' on Apache Stronghold. Valseur Lido a likely winner but didn't want the price.

Eduard 20/1 (e/w)
Wishfull Thinking 33/1 (e/w)
Taquin Du Seuil 12/1 (e/w)

Ma Filleule or Don Cossack would have been the short priced options - just a bit short. I'll take Uxizandre for a few quid (e/w) too.

Cole Harden 20/1 (e/w)
Whisper 9/1 (e/w ok if you can get 4 places)
Lieutenant Colonel 9/1 (e/w ok if you can get 4 places)

I might have a 'saver' on Zarkander. I will have a few quid on Tiger Roll (e/w) at 66/1.

Buywise 10/1 (e/w)
Burn and Turn 20/1 (e/w)
Rajdhani Express 11/1 (e/w)

Monetaire is the option for the 'saver'.

Not a serious race for me but I will have small stakes on:

Benbane Head 25/1 (e/w)
Grandad's Horse 33/1 (e/w)
Benbens 20/1 (e/w)
Guess Again 28/1 (e/w)

Good Luck.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Cheltenham Results Day Two...

Day Two Results
Not the best day. Parlour Games would have given me around break even - but only managed second place. The 'savers' didn't save me either! Some of the bigger priced runners ran ok but didn't make the frame. I wasn't overly confident in the Day Two post. I had peanuts on four horses in the 17.15, one of which was Modus (e/w), which came 2nd at 33/1 - but it was never a confident bet in a 22 runner bumper. Sadly this was the highlight of the day other than Dodging Bullets!

Beast of Burden 12/1 (e/w)- 9th
Parlour Games 13/2 - 2nd
Snow Falcon 33/1 (e/w) - 5th

If in Doubt 12/1 (e/w) - 5th
Kings Palace 6/1 - 6th

Simply Ned 14/1 (e/w) - 5th
Dodging Bullets 9/2 - 1st

Duke of Lucca 6/1 (e/w) - 8th
Sire Collonges 7/1 (e/w) - 6th
Hey Big Spender 33/1 (e/w) - 5th

Looking forward to a better day tomorrow.

Cheltenham Bets Day Two...

Day Two Wednesday:

I'm finding it quite tough in some of the races today - but then that's what Cheltenham's all about!

Beast of Burden 12/1 (e/w)
Parlour Games 13/2
Snow Falcon 33/1 (e/w) - (small bet only).

I will have a 'saver' on Outlander 9/2 or Vyta Du Roc 7/1 .

If in Doubt 12/1 (e/w)
Kings Palace 6/1

I will have a 'saver' on The Young Master at 11/2.

Simply Ned 14/1 (e/w)
Dodging Bullets 9/2

Champagne Fever now a non-runner. Pity - would have been the main pick in this race.

May have a 'saver' on Sire De Grugy but price dependent.

Duke of Lucca 6/1 - (e/w)
Sire Collonge 7/1 - (e/w)
Hey Big Spender 33/1 e/w

I will have a 'saver' on Any Currency at 13/2. Just going each way here in a big field at 1/4 odds.

Good Luck.

Cheltenham Results Day One...

Day One Results:
It was a case of 'nearly' and at bigger prices you have to expect that. I had a 'saver' on the favourites that I feared in the form of doubles / treble which helped. I also got another 2nd place with Polly Peachum in the 4.00pm but wasn't confident enough to put it in the Day One post. Even so, anyone following should have made a reasonable profit.

Jolly Allen 11/1 (e/w) - 8th
Qewy 14/1 (e/w) - 5th
Tell Us More 16/1 (e/w) -6th

Vibrato Voltat 6/1 - 4th
Josses Hill 14/1 (e/w) - 3rd

Mentions for a few quid:
Court Minstrel - 30/1 e/w - 5th
Gods Own 40/1 (e/w) - 2nd

This race was just a bit of fun really. Indian Castle and Gallant Oscar made the frame but I was only on Indian Castle and some of the other losers. So lost a few quid here.

Jezki 11/2 - 4th
Arctic Fire 20/1 (e/w) - 2nd

I'll try and put up my bets a bit earlier today - hopefully by 12.00.

Good luck.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Cheltenham Bets Day One...

Day One Tuesday:

A bit problematic with some very strong favourites - save on them if you like but I don't generally bet short prices - anyway here is what I'll be betting:

Jolly Allen 11/1 (e/w)
Qewy 14/1 (e/w)
Tell Us More 16/1 (e/w)

I fear Douvan.

(My daughter likes Seedling 22/1 (e/w)- sounds cute!)

Vibrato Voltat 6/1
Josses Hill 14/1 (e/w)

I will also have a few quid on God's own 40/1 (e/w) and Court Minstrel 30/1 (e/w)

I fear Un De Sceaux.

I have a few I could bet here. Way to many. Not sure how I will approach it but will probably have some win or each ways on three or four of them. Not a race in which I will get heavily involved so will just have a bit of fun / a few small bets and try and get the winner.

Indian Castle
Gallant Oscar
Mendip Express
Ned Stark
Cape Tribulation
Monbeg Dude

Jezki 11/2
Arctic Fire 20/1 (e/w)

I fear Faugheen and The New One.

Monday, 9 March 2015


Well it will be a week off for me - watching Cheltenham (on TV) placing bets and having fun!

Cheltenham tends to produce static markets due to the high liquidity - so it is great for pre-race 'scalpers' (small movement / tick traders) who are prepared to go in with big stakes. I have never been the world's greatest scalper and I don't plan on trying to improve during the festival. The only pre race markets I tend to trade are Maidens or any race where it looks like I might get in a decent swing trade (multiple tick / large movement).

In play markets are also different during Cheltenham, perfectly tradable, but I am happy to leave them, relax and watch the racing.

So whilst the few good scalpers are making hundreds or even thousands of pounds per race - I'll be checking some stats and placing bets instead!

I will try and put bets up on the blog just for fun. I haven't yet had an unprofitable Cheltenham - although last year wasn't great.

Some bets will be well ahead of time - other bets may be closer to the off.

Good luck.