There are numerous tipsters out there, offering up their advice (usually with an expensive charge for the privilege), and all claiming hot information that will lead to a fast buck and unbelievable profits for all subscribers. The merits of these tipster claims can be assessed independently by horse racing tipster reviews such as the Secret Betting Club, or my reading various online forums (which generally tend to have a degree of healthy scepticism).
The best tipsters are the ones that have stood the test of time, remained consistent and been open about their profits and losses (and have the results verified independently). At bettingexpert our free racing tips are up every morning before 8am, and have a ROI of over 10% from over four years of racing tipping.
But what does it take to become a successful racing tipster? What are the keys to posting consistently profitable racing tips? Here are 10 pointers to guide you in the right direction.
#1 - Specialise in a certain area of racing
Any aspiring racing tipster should become an expert in one particular field of horse racing. Whether it is 2-year-olds on the flat, or novice hurdlers over jumps, it is important to become better than the market with your understanding of the formbook.
Look for angles that might lead to horses being overbet next time i.e the wide margin winner in really deep ground that is flattered, or the horse making all the running against a favoured rail on the day. There is so much racing day to day now (especially in the summer when evening racing takes place six days a week in the UK), that it is impossible to understand every area of the sport.
#2 - Look for weakness at the front end of the market
The weak favourite who takes a chunk out of the market is a great thing to be able to identify as a tipster. Often these will be from the top yards, particularly in maidens and novice hurdles, where cash tends to flow towards the high achieving stables.
On the flat names such as Sir Michael Stoute often have market leaders in races based on breeding or purchase price, not their actual form in the book. They are priced on sentiment rather than what they have achieved, and becoming good at finding these weak links in the market can pinpoint the best races to tip in.
#3- Latch onto up and coming yards and jockeys
Everyone has heard of Paul Nicholls and John Gosden, but have they heard of Henry Oliver or Hugo Palmer? The astute tipster notes a new yard that has a good strike rate and can obtain excellent value by latching onto an up and coming stable before the wider market catches up.
This season (2015-16) over jumps Harry Whittingdon has an incredible 30% strike rate with all his runners, often going off at big prices, and anyone who realised early on what a talent he is would have enjoyed an extremely profitable winter so far.
#4 - Avoid hype and whispers at all costs
Keep your eyes open and your ears shut. Anyone in racing will know that whispers and rumours are rife. By the time you hear that a certain horse is working brilliantly or the stable lad has had his maximum on, the business is highly likely to be shopped and the price long gone....even if it happens to be true.
Any tipster aiming for profit should be using his own opinion, from hours of watching races, making ratings and keeping notes...not from a whisper he has heard in the local pub.
#5- Play each-way when the odds are in your favour
Look for races with 8 runners where the bookmakers pay 1/5th the odds a place 1,2,3 where there are very few realistic runners. The same can apply in 16 or more runner handicaps, where 1/4 the odds a place 1,2,3,4 are terms that are mathematically hugely in the punters favour.
Focusing in on the best races to play in is half the battle, and some offering expert racing tips base their main bets on finding these races (admittedly it is very difficult to get on, with the exchanges now flagging up the correct price to be placed and it is often a lot less than what conventional bookmakers are offering).
#6 - Look for any track bias and keep a record
Identifying a bias can be a key element in a tipsters repertoire. Some are well known and priced into the markets, for example a low draw at the tight Chester track is a huge advantage and those drawn in 1,2,3 are always a lot shorter than their form entitles them to be.
But others are less obvious or in the public domain. At Fontwell for example it is often a big edge to go wide away from the deepest ground in the winter, but very few riders are aware of this. Jockeys such as Andrew Thornton always walk the course beforehand, and this sort of knowledge can be crucial when searching for winners away from the obvious.
#7- Check the weather and going reports
If you're offering professional racing tips, it's important every morning to be aware of the latest ground conditions and weather. A dramatic change can completely effect the claims of all the runners, especially a dramatic softening of the ground when all your selections form is on a fast surface.
Using twitter to follow the various racetracks is a great idea, and all have got a lot better in recent times at keeping the public fully informed of any changes. See my twitter feed @stephenh61 for a great list of racing people and organisations that are worth following to gain that vital edge. Identifying great sources for inside opinion will give you a huge advantage. There are plenty offering racing tips on Twitter, but seek out Twitter accounts that offer more than just telling you who to back as most will simply not be profitable long term. Information is key.
#8 - Tip prices that are available and not just with small firms and likely to disappear
One major problem punters have (and complain about when they review a tipster) is that the prices tipped up are not widely available. Often popular tipsters such as pricewise in the Racing Post will put up horses that are a standout price with one of the smaller layers i.e 16/1 with Boylesports, when the biggest price elsewhere might be 12/1. Profits are therefore based on prices that simply are not available to 99% of punters and even in tiny size to the 1% who can get a bet there.
The professional racing tipster should aim to offer horse racing tips up at prices that are available with two or three of the major firms such as William Hill, Coral or Betfred...and there is certainly little point in tipping up arbs with the Betfair price (as they will disappear within seconds).
#9 - Don't boom the winners or look for blame elsewhere when it goes wrong
Another pet hate is tipsters who feel the need to "BOOM" every time they find a 4/5 (1.80) winner. If you are any good as a racing tipster the results will speak for themselves, and often those who shout the loudest will have the least to say (and will disappear altogether after a poor run of form).
There are plenty of fly by night merchants looking for gullible customers, and these tend to be the ones who exaggerate the success of their tips and shout the loudest when they win. Avoid them at all costs....and try to develop a calm, measured attitude to tipping based on form and sound principals.
#10 - Have a thick skin and ignore the brickbats
As a professional racing tipster, the criticisms will come thick and fast when you encounter the inevitable losing run, with plenty of places where irate punters can now vent their spleen. You are likely to be called names, told you are useless and should give the game up.....but it is best to ignore these screams and concentrate on finding winners without feeling pressurised or tempted to change your methods. Remember that you're posting racing tips for today, not yesterday or last week. Remain in the present with an eye on future success.
Even the best judges of form, such as the excellent Hugh Taylor on Attheraces (the best all-weather judge in the business in my opinion), have spells when the trail goes cold and the losses can pile up. Try to take a long run view, keep records month to month, and try not to doubt yourself when things are not going your way.
Long term profitability is the key and at the end of the year you can truly judge the merits of any racing tipster.
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