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The three ‘P’s – Patience and Perseverance = Profit.

If you’ve been reading the Bet Diary recently you’ll have noted how difficult things have been for Northern Monkey recently.  A sharp and deep drawdown has been to the sufferance of all followers, and it’s never nice when it happens.  And you know what?  I reckon there’s likely to be some who have decided to quit, or at the very least reduce stakes, perhaps convincing themselves that the edge that has been proven over the last few years has all but disappeared.

Now, just as one swallow does not a summer make, one big pay day does not a drawdown wipe…or something…  But I’ll tell you something.  A really nice winner or two takes the edge off the pain and helps restore any wavering faith.  And that is exactly what happened for Northern Monkey on Saturday.

The day coughed up just over 19 points of lovely, sweet Northern profit.  Wayne went in big on Tis Marvellous in a competitive sprint at Ascot, backing it with a decent stake on it’s own and doubling it up with a few others.  Tis Marvellous was bloomin’ marvellous, winning easily and landing one of the doubles for what was a timely reminder of Wayne’s skills.  There’s still a way to go before the losses from this losing run are fully recouped, but it’s a very real start to doing just that.

Portfolio performance for July to date:

July is still running pretty smoothly and it was another decent week.  Of the seven services offering bets so far, only one is in the red, Football Service 2, who in direct contrast to Northern Monkey, had a torrid Saturday.

Favourable mentions and nods of recognition to MVS (Lite) and Racing Service 3 too, for their efforts last week.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 16.32%, ROC 2.32%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 60%, ROC 1.81%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 14pts, +11pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 28pts, +0.775pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 29pts, +17.4pts.

MVS: Staked 33pts, +8.25pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 31.75pts, +14.653pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 18.5pts, -4.74pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 46.75pts, +3.75pts.

New exchange friendly racing tipster to add?

Just a very quick update this week as time feels like a valuable commodity.  Interestingly however, a chunk of that time has been writing up a review that SBC members will shortly have access too.  The review is of a horse racing service that can be followed very profitably with both the bookmakers and the Exchanges.  I’m giving serious consideration to adding into the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio, so watch this space.

Portfolio performance for July 1st – 7th

A strong week to start July off, with five of the seven services in action producing a profit.  The two to fail to do so were the two strugglers from last month, Northern Monkey and Racing Service 3.  Let’s hope their fortunes reverse soon.

The only service to really excel was Bet Alchemist who knocked in a lovely 16/1 winner on Saturday.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 21.15%, ROC 2.32%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 40.68%, ROC 0.61%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 5pts, +12pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 11pts, +5.6pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 14.5pts, +5.9pts.

MVS: Staked 14pts, +3.25pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 15.75pts, -2.125pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 8.5pts, +0.69pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 17.75pts, -3.375pts.

June Review

June ultimately ended in a profit, but the way that came about was a little like your team scoring the winning goal in injury time.  Thanks to Golf Insider’s 80/1 winner and 200/1 second place in the latest European Tour event, which finished on Sunday 30th June, the month wasn’t a bad one for betting at all.  This despite much of the month being a frustrating affair as the good work of four services was made bad by the drastic loss of form of two.

Even Golf Insider’s heroics would have meant a more or less break even month had it not been for a hugely impressive last few days for MVS Lite.  Five winners from five bets on Saturday spewed out over 12 points of profit alone (and well done to any of you who used the multiples strategy here!) and it all just goes to show how betting fortunes can change so very suddenly.

The start of the month was marked by an outstanding day for Racing Service 1 which ensured that this service ended with a fine profit for June as a whole, even if that spectacular start wasn’t built upon.  I’ve not been following for long, but I like what I see – betting into the stronger markets provided by better quality racing is so much more straightforward.

And so to the two miscreants, Northern Monkey and Racing Service 3.  The former has had a torrid time of things as it’s suffered it’s third deepest drawdown of all time.  The fact that it’s recovered from worse in the past shows it is more than capable of turning things around but we also have to be mindful that things could get worse before they get better.  As for RS3, well there’s  no doubt he is a tremendously talented interpreter of the from book too, so we have to be hopeful that he too will put a disappointing month behind him.

Finally, thanks to Golf Insider’s exploits, it was a good month for the Broxchange portfolio.  As the only service from the portfolio in action through June, that’s hardly surprising!

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -9.61%, ROC 4.85%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 141.9%, ROC 10.39%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 46pts, +9.087pts, ROI 19.75%, ROC 9.08%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 68pts, +45.175pts, ROI 66.43%, ROC 22.58%

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 70.3pts, +99.762pts, ROI 141.9%, ROC 24.94%.

MVS: Staked 57pts, +26.51pts, ROI 46.5%, ROC 29.45%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 77.125pts, -36.572pts, ROI -47.41%, ROC -45.71%.

Football Service 2: Staked 29pts, +0.59pts, ROI 2.03%, ROC 1.47%.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 79.75pts, -17.388, ROI -21.8%, ROC -12.42%.

Getting grumpy and losing patience.

It was the Royal Ascot meeting last week, the Flat’s answer to the National Hunt’s (far superior, to my mind) Cheltenham Festival.  For some reason, I’ve never had a memorable Ascot meeting in terms of my punting whilst every year at Cheltenham seems to end in a fine profit.  Perhaps that’s why I much prefer the latter.

Anyway, about half way through the week I was one grumpy old sod.  I’d had a couple of winners but nothing special, and with the past six weeks’ betting performance making me believe that what I am experiencing currently fits so beautifully well into the Catholic definition of ‘Purgatory’, I was not a happy chappy.

It doesn’t happen that often, but when a negative mindset takes hold, it’s suddenly very easy to be hypercritical of your tipsters.  You start to question how someone can have a “strong angle” within a ridiculously hot 30+ runner 7 furlong handicap, why a tipster seems to be frittering away points on bets that don’t seem to fall within his area of specialism, or how can anyone really see value in a price they’re advising.  I don’t need to tell you it’s all psychological, do I?

That it is all in the mind was proven last week on Friday and Saturday.  The first three days of Royal Ascot had been difficult and frustrating, and I was asking all those questions I’ve listed in the paragraph above, but not in such polite language.  I felt I was putting these bets on in stupidly competitive races because I was stupid, unable to back my own judgment and not strong enough to tell myself that these tipsters didn’t know what they were doing and that I was throwing good money after bad.  And then Bet Alchemist knocked in a 20/1 winner and all was well in the world again.  Literally, just like that, my confidence was renewed and suddenly there was purpose again to what I was doing.

Fickle?  Yup, absolutely.  Normal?  Yeah, I reckon.  It’s ok to be grumpy sometimes.  We might like to try to be robotic when it comes to betting, but occasionally, you have to accept you’re human.  And if from time to time that’s a grumpy human…well that’s ok too.

Portfolio performance for June, to Sunday 23rd

Another losing week, although not by much.  After a loss in May though, and now in the red for June too, this is proving to be a testing spell.  As noted above, Bet Alchemist found a lovely winner and generally fared well through the Royal meeting, and MVS (Lite) enjoyed a decent week too.  Which is not something that could be said for Northern Monkey who really isn’t enjoying himself at the moment.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -1.5%, ROC -0.61%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Futunver, Golf Insider): ROI 3.53%, ROC 0.18%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 37pts, +14.212pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 58pts, +37.675pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 49.8pts, +1.762pts.

MVS: Staked 41pts, +9.26pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 59.625pts, -29.228pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 24.5pts, -1.51pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 71.75pts, -18.888pts.

Suffering from betting OCD.

There’s a new betting blog out there, and from what I’ve seen of it so far, it’s very good.  Written by an SBC member it follows a portfolio of tipsters, most of which will be very familiar to you.  It’s well written and the content is interesting.  I’ve already bookmarked it for my own daily reading, and you can find it here.

Reading the first couple of posts it struck me that I really do suffer from an acute form of Betting OCD.

The author of the blog has clearly done some research into his tipsters and found methods of following some of his services that deviate from the instructions provided by the tipsters themselves.   I can’t do that – my betting OCD doesn’t allow it.  Goodness knows I’ve tried over the years, but every time I do I immediately feel uncomfortable and it’s not long until I go back to doing what the tipster says.

The most common manifestation is around the issue of staking.  It’s frequently possible to make a higher ROI from following a certain tipster by backing all selections to win as opposed to each way.  I’m pretty certain most tipsters know this but those that do employ the place terms as part of their advice are doing so to smooth out the ride.  But if a tipster tells me to back a horse each way, I’ll back it each way.  I’m like a natural born soldier who will only ever follow orders, without question and without grumbling.

I think my initial logic when I started betting was that if I’m paying for an expert’s advice, then it would be pretty daft not to listen to instruction.  You wouldn’t pay a solicitor for legal advice and then do the opposite of what they tell you, would you?  I appreciate now though that betting is a little more nuanced than that.  Not everything is black and white, there are various shades of grey too.  That said, by merely following instructions, I’ve not done too badly over the years.  I think I’ll just carry on as I am…until someone tells me to do otherwise.

Portfolio performance for June, to Sunday 16th

A very quiet week, and one in which the weather continued to be wet.  Very wet.

The racing was pretty standard fare, with last week being the week before Royal Ascot.  As such, there wasn’t a great deal of betting action at all.  From what there was, MVS had a decent enough time of it, Racing Service 3 did not. The others either made a little or lost a little.  Not a week that is going to stay in the memory for very long at all.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 2.71%, ROC 0.58%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 54.84%, ROC 1.9%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 17pts, +2.975pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 20pts, +45.325pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 33.5pts, +18.262pts.

MVS: Staked 33pts, +4.13pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 33.125pts, -17.503pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 9pts, -1.241pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 41.25pts, -12.688pts.

How to suss out a new bookie

As an SBC member I recently received an email outlining the fact that there is another bookmaker for horse racing bettors to try out, Regency Racing.  Providing a purely telephone-based service as Regency do, this appears to be quite an old-fashioned but somewhat likeable way to operate.  It means human interaction (Heaven forbid in this social media driven age!) when placing a bet, which is something I find as I get older, strangely reassuring.

Wisely, the missive I received from the SBC contained the sage advice to not go all in, but to try the service out by depositing a controlled amount of funds.  Regency’s claim to accept business from winning and losing punters alike is likely to make them an attractive proposition and there may be a temptation to rush in and deposit a fair chunk of your betting bank.

The SBC themselves, in a recent article – – asked just how safe our deposited funds with bookmakers are.  It is apparent that different firms exercise varying degrees of security and that you’d do well to ensure you avoid making yourself vulnerable should a firm go under.

When I started to put these two articles/emails together in my mind, it dawned on me that using a new bookmaker for the first time is now rather similar to joining up with a new tipping service.  It’s sensible to start slowly with each, getting used to how they operate and gaining a “feel”.  Can I get the advertised or advised odds?  How does each react to a spell of sustained success or failure – does the bookie start to restrict your stake or the tipster change their approach?  Just like you might after a while, up the stakes placed on a tipster’s bets once you’ve gained confidence, so might you be happier to deposit a large amount with a bookmaker (although there’s still no reason to go daft) once they’ve proved to you that they process withdrawals quickly and efficiently.

I think this is all very much worth bearing in mind when you start looking to use different books.  I’ve a feeling that the industry is in the process of change, and am hopeful it will be for the better.  There is more awareness now of the unfair practices a number of bookmakers operate to rid themselves quickly of any “customer” they deem might possibly know what they’re doing, and that in itself will create an environment in which entrepreneurs spot a gap in the market.  So, as savvy punters, let’s just be careful out there.

Portfolio performance from June 1st – 9th

Quiet times with no bets from Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, and just a couple on the first day of the month from Football Service 2.

Racing Service 1 had an amazing day on Saturday 1st, generating an ROC figure of over 25% from the afternoon’s sport.  It was big winner after big winner to give up one of those days that come along once in a blue moon.  Good job it did mind, as Northern Monkey in particular has found the going tough to say the least!

Nice to see Golf Insider produce two weeks of very solid returns, without actually hitting on a winner.  It’s one thing waiting for those big-priced winners that you’re confident will come eventually, but smoothing out the wait has a lot going for it.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 10.48%, ROC 1.18%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 2, Golf Insider): ROI 120.26%, ROC 2.94%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 12pts, +3.225pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 12pts, +50.7pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 23.5pts, +28.262pts.

MVS: Staked 16pts, -1.12pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 19.375pts, -18.475pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 22.25pts, -5.25pts.

May Review – A Damp Squibb of a Month

Do you remember this time last year?  It was rare for the temperature to drop below 20 degrees, and the grass was already looking scorched.  Hot day after hot day, predictable going conditions at the racecourses…a form reader’s dream.

A year later and it feels like summer is really struggling to get going.  We’ve had plenty of rain, it’s been consistently cool, and the lawn is looking very green indeed.  My feeling is that the unpredictable conditions are not helping my horse racing tipsters one bit.  Something anyway, has to be the cause of what has been a real slump in form for a number of them through the latter half of the month.

Having said all that, it’s recent addition Football Service 1 that has performed most poorly, which is a huge case of Sod’s Law kicking in.  It would seem Sod’s Law is more adept at kicking than anyone playing for the teams picked by FS1!

MVS has really struggled recently and is on a pretty sizeable drawdown, and Racing Service 4 hasn’t had an enjoyable time of it either.

On the flip side, new portfolio member Racing Service 2 has been very solid (and I can tell you that June got off to something of a flyer last Saturday too!) and good old Northern Monkey has had a bit of a stormer.  Noticeable that yet again, the officially recorded prices are significantly lower than those that are quite easily achievable.

With FS1, and Golf Insider both failing to produce the goods this month, it’s been a really poor time of it for the Broxchange portfolio.  Things can, as D-Ream once wisely said, only get better.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -3.31%, ROC -2.68%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -19.03%, ROC -14.75%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 55pts, +14.3pts, ROI 26%, ROC 14.3%..

Racing Service 1: Staked 76pts, +29.513pts, ROI 38.83%, ROC 14.75%.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 177.75pts, +5.56pts, ROI 3.31%, ROC 2.78%.

Football Service 1: Staked 39pts, -11.091pts, ROI -28.43%, ROC -22.18%.

Golf Insider: Staked 77.7pts, -64.02pts, ROI -82.39%, ROC -16%.

MVS: Staked 66pts, -16.74pts, ROI -25.36%, ROC -18.6%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 55.375pts, +16.715pts, ROI 30.18%, ROC 20.89%.

Football Service 2: Staked 35pts, -1.056pts, ROI -3.01%, ROC -2.64%.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 111pts, -13.2pts, ROI -11.89%, ROC -2.68%.

When to drop a losing tipster.

An SBC member asked a very important question in the ‘Comments’ section recently:

“I was wondering if you could give some insight into what goes into your decision to stop following certain tipsters please??

How do you decide what is just a downturn and can be reversed, and when something just isn’t worth chucking anymore money at/down the drain for – if you know what I mean?”

This is such a complex topic, as there are so many factors that play a part in the decision-making process.  We can either allow ourselves to be dictated by statistics and take a scientific approach, or rely on as abstract a notion as ‘gut feel’.

Looking first at the use of tangible data to help guide us, and one very easy way to make such decisions is to simply quit when your bank has gone.  If you set up a betting bank of an appropriate size, and this is money set aside that you can afford to lose (which it should be), then simply follow the tipster until those funds have been used up.  After all, that is the reason for having a betting bank, isn’t it?

I have to confess that it is often not that simple, and I believe that many people are affected by the level of stress they come under when a losing run has taken more than 50% of their allotted funds.  Perhaps a compromise between 100% fund ‘commitment’ and this stress is to follow SBC guidance, if it is an SBC-monitored service that is causing the pain.  I know that the SBC does not drop services from their Hall of Fame without a serious amount of thought, so perhaps that might be a trigger for you dropping a service, of if the comments made within the Tipster Profit Report are particularly worrisome and the associated ratings are cut drastically then this might act as your cue.

Then we have more subtle signs that perhaps should be picked up on if we’ve our wits about us.  Is the tipster beginning to come up with bets that surprise us, almost as if they are chasing their losses?  Are these bets outside the remit of their normal field of expertise, eg. is a horse racing expert who has built previous success on long-priced winners suddenly looking more frequently at the shorter odds runners after a lengthy losing spell?  Or is a football tipster suddenly issuing bets from leagues that have never previously been covered?  If they are, then the warning bells ought to start ringing in your head, and you may decide that you don’t wish to follow a tipster that has seemingly lost confidence and focus.

In short, knowing when the best time is to drop a tipster is a difficult and inexact science, unless you use the first method – ie. follow until your allocated funds have been used.  This is the approach you would take if wanting to do everything by the book, but with the best will in the world, we have to acknowledge that this isn’t an easy thing to do. As we know, the psychology of losing is so very difficult to control.  Accepting this is so, I’d suggest following SBC-monitored services only (and why wouldn’t you – there’s plenty of choice after all!) and then read your Tipster Profit Reports carefully.  If you see a ‘Sell’ rating, you know what to do.

Portfolio performance from May 1st – 26th May

It’s been one of those weeks when you feel you want to drop all the bloomin’ tipsters!  It looks like May is going to end in the red after a particularly poor weekend.  The last week has been particularly poor for Racing Service 2 (which was perhaps due one after the previous week’s heroics), Football Service 1 (which has had a shocker of a month), Golf Insider (which had another blank week), and Northern Monkey.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -1.83%, ROC -1.37%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -19.03%, ROC -14.75%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 52pts, +13.6pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 67pts, +34.95pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 177.75pts, +5.56pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 39pts, -11.091pts

Golf Insider: Staked 77.7pts, -64.02pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 55pts, -9.74pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 49.125pts, +21.303pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 32pts, +0.034pts.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 96.5pts, -22.7pts.

The Bet Diary Sports Tipsters

Last week we looked at the horse racing tipsters that we’re following vie the Bet Diary.  This week our attention turns to the sports tipsters.

Football Lay Profits200 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio and the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio – followed using the Exchanges (Smarkets whenever possible due to the lower commission rate).  An SBC ‘Premium’ service FLP provide lays across all the major European leagues plus some of the minor leagues too, such as the Portuguese Primeira division.  Laying requires a different mindset to backing, with a need to accept that the ROI figures are likely to be relatively low.  It’s all about high strike rate and bank turnover to generate enough profit to make the workload worthwhile.  Providing you don’t wait around unnecessarily, I find prices are successfully matched the vast majority of the time.

Football Service 1: 50 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio and the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio – followed using both online bookmakers and the exchanges.  A recent addition following an interesting review in the SBC Betting Magazine, FS1 scours the globe searching for value on home teams within a wide range of football leagues.  The bets are at decent prices for football matches, ie. all are over Evens, and so far I’ve not found securing those prices too tricky.  This is something I’ll be keeping an eye on however, as the service is seemingly growing in popularity.

Golf Insider400 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio and the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio – followed using the exchanges and online bookmakers.  No better viewing than the PGA on a Sunday night with your guy in contention and backed pre-tournament at a big price.  Bottle of wine, no thoughts of work in the morning, and absorbed by the action, the rewards can be exhilarating too.  With a track record of knocking winners in at huge odds, we have to accept that there may well be (and often are) long waits between triumphs, but that the winners are very much worth waiting for.

Football Service 2: 40 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – followed using online bookmakers.  A true stalwart of the SBC’s Hall of Fame, FS2 has been churning out regular profit for more than a decade.  Re-reviewed in a Best Tipster Guide it is clear that there is a clear methodology that goes into identifying bets, the basis of which is a detailed knowledge of the beautiful game.

So there we have it.  Six racing services, four sports.  What I would say however is that moving forwards there may be more changes to the portfolio than we’ve seen previously – a more dynamic approach.  This will reflect the need to gear turnover more heavily towards the use of the exchanges.  More on that next week.

Portfolio performance from May 1st – 19th May

An amazing week for Racing Service 2 which really cashed in at the York Spring meeting.  Thursday saw two winners at double figure prices from two bets.  The other service to make hay was Northern Monkey who landed a very nice double on Friday to go alongside a couple of other decently priced winners.  Racing Service 4 continues to have a poor time of it.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 3.4%, ROC 1.99%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, FS1, Golf Insider): ROI -14.4%, ROC -9.56%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 41pts, +14.6pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 54pts, +47.95pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 162.75pts, +2.62pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 32pts, -6.876pts

Golf Insider: Staked 55.7pts, -42.02pts.

MVS: Staked 35pts, -9.62pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 36.375pts, +29.103pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 21pts, -0.142pts.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 82pts, -28.1pts.

Moving forwards with the portfolio – the key racing services.

I thought I’d write a few facts and sentences on each service to bring followers of the Bet Diary up to date and to be clear as to how I’m following each service and why.  An quick overview, if you like.

Racing Service 1: 100 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – followed using online bookmakers.  Originally an independent service that made into the SBC’s ‘Hall of Fame’, RS1 is now an SBC Premium service, with a special discounted deal for SBC members.  The methodology hasn’t changed at all, targeting as it has done since inception, the larger race meetings.  This means that I’m placing the sort of bets that don’t attract quite so much attention from the bookmaker’s trading teams, ie. betting in strong and popular markets.  Odds hold up well too, for the same reason, and even betting the night before racing is possible – doing so in a Heritage Handicap at Ascot isn’t quite the same as if jumping on the best overnight price available in a tiny novice hurdle at Plumpton.

Racing Service 2: 200 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  Much of what I’ve just said about RS1 can be repeated for RS2.  The types of races targeted and the ease with which I can get on without odds collapsing first is why I added it to the portfolio following the review in the latest SBC Betting Magazine.  Real ‘Hall of Fame’ potential, comprehensive write-ups and race analysis that are enjoyable to read, and a strong historical record made the decision to introduce RS2 as a service to follow a pretty straightforward one.

MVS (Lite): 100 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  A derivative of the long-running Morning Value Service this concentrates exclusively on horses identified as holding value despite being at or towards the head of the market.  Backing selections at prices up to 3/1 only, this is again a ‘bookmaker friendly’ service (are you spotting the trend yet?).  The bets are released at a time when markets have had time to mature some, and sticking your money on a favourite mid-morning or mid-late afternoon when the bets are released really shouldn’t attract too much scrutiny.

Northern Monkey: 80 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  The longest-serving service in terms of my own portfolio, I’ve been following NMP for more years than I care to remember.  The official odds are easily beatable, the track record is long and strong, and this service is the equivalent of a really comfy pair of slippers.  There have been flat and barren times, but as soon as you get to the point of wondering if perhaps the edge is eroding, a few winners are knocked in and on we go.

Racing Service 3: 60 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  A service as much for the jump racing enthusiast as the serious investor, RS3 sadly operates only between the months of November and April, each season ending with the Grand National meeting at Aintree.  This is such a shame as the write-ups are informative and educational and I’d love it to run all year round.  Still, if by taking a break things remain fresh (not least the tipster himself) then so be it.  As soon as the nights start to draw in at the end of summer, I know it’s not too long for the start of the next RS3 season, and all is well with the world.

Racing Service 4: 140 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  A tremendously talented tipster from over the Irish Sea, RS4 is another who lets you know exactly why you’re putting your money down on each selection.  Often accruing profit in spurts, when hot, this guy is hot!  A long-term ‘Hall of Famer’, a real keystone of the portfolio.

Next week we’ll cover the sports services.

Portfolio performance from 1st May – Sunday 12th May

A small loss on the week with only Football Service 2 performing with credit.  To be fair, Football Service 1 had a decent enough week but this was very much needed after last week’s disaster.  The racing proved to be particularly tricky with the main Chester spring meeting proving impossible as the heavens opened on a regular basis and the ground became a quagmire.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -1.58%, ROC -0.64%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -14.18%, ROC -6.78%

Individual Service Performance

Racing Service 1: Staked 30pts, +15.062pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 28pts, -1.9pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 127.8pts, +5.09pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 21pts, -6.662pts

Golf Insider: Staked 35.5pts, -22pts.

MVS: Staked 30pts, -9.62pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 28.125pts, +13.967pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 15pts, +2.338pts.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 45.5pts, -16.75pts.