Josh is a professional bettor who also works for SBC and in this special post for the Bet Diary, he shares his experiences on one of the services he follows as part of his betting portfolio. We hope you enjoy it!
When I sat down in December to make my ‘business plan’ for 2023, Optimum Racing was an obvious choice to add to my racing portfolio. It is selective, has an excellent historical record spanning two consistent decades and the man behind it, Andrew Lowrie, has a specialism in chase racing – something that I (and other services that I looked at) lack.
With no Oddschecker bookmaker accounts available, I must consider several questions when looking at a service like this. Are bets released at a suitable time? Can I profit without Best Odds Guaranteed or extra places? Are exchanges a realistic outlet for bets? ‘Yes’ was the answer to all three.
As you can see below, my ROI for ‘advised’ bets is running below the 27% ROI we have recorded for Optimum Racing in 2023. Despite this, my 10.94-point profit is roughly in line with the service’s P & L. This can be explained by differences in the way I have recorded bets and taking an early price about one winner the day before advised (it predictably drifted from 9/2 to 8/1!).
Not just headline selections
You can see Optimum Racing’s ‘advised bet’ figures for yourself by viewing the tables on the service’s SBC page or its bet-by-bet record. What I have found is how much more the service offers on top of this.
Each day, Andrew Lowrie sends a podcast to members by email. Here, he shares the insight for the selections he puts forward alongside his thoughts on the other chase races on the day.
Anyone who has listened to the ProBet Podcast will know what to expect – Andrew has an encyclopaedic knowledge of chase racing horses – their jumping, their preferences for ground, tracks and trips and their past runs. He marries this up perfectly with the use of sectional timing, which he often references in his analysis when sharing his value selections.
Depending on the strength of the edge Andrew discusses, I have followed these bets and classified them as ‘Mentions’ in my record, which is detailed below. Account bets target a 20-25% edge from Andrew’s tissue prices against the market; these bets are those with an edge up to that range.
The result is that I have been able to increase the volume of bets I place – 164 extra bets over a 4-month period, averaging out at around 40 a month. The edge is smaller (I am currently achieving just under 11% ROI on these bets), but it is very good for ROC and bank growth.
The Podcast – an example
Here is an example of one of Andrew’s podcasts from 22nd April – a busy Saturday – with annotation of how these horses performed underneath.
Andrew’s headline selection, Sail Away, was advised with a stake of £15 each-way and a minimum price of 5/1. It bolted up, winning by 11 lengths at 13/2, with a BSP of 11.0 and an exchange ‘3 place’ price of 3.3.
Of the other selections, Coastguard Station and Return Ticket finished 3rd and 4th in the 1:15 at Ayr, whilst Balco Coastal faded to lose to Andrew’s ‘biggest threat’ in the 3:00 as Datsalrightgino won at 8/1 (with a BSP of 10.51).
Monbeg Genius and Flower Of Scotland were non-runners in the Scottish Grand National, leaving Magna Sam as the sole runner from those given positive mentions. The horse went odds on in running before fading to finish 5th at 14/1 (BSP 27.64), landing place returns in the process (at standard industry terms).
Madiba Passion finished 2nd in the 1:40 at Bangor, with an ISP of 5/1 and a BSP of 6.41. Andrew’s three positive mentions in the 4:00 (Allo Allo, Zestful Hope and Taste The Fear) finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, with ISPs of 9/2, 5/1 and 7/1.
This is a snapshot from one day, but it is typical of what is on offer.
Adding ‘Mentions’ to my bets from Optimum Racing may have lowered the ROI a little, but it has been the perfect way to find extra value and grow the bank that I have set aside for the service.
The Late Information Service
Optimum Racing’s ‘Late Information Service’ is something that I added to my portfolio after asking Andrew some questions about it in February. It relies on inside information from sources within the racing industry and operates on a ‘pay-as-you-win’ basis.
Historically, the service has a strike rate of around 50%, but I have yet to build up a sizeable enough bank of data to analyse performance properly. Some bad variance has impacted returns so far, with two horses running at sub-1.1 in running and failing to provide what would have been sizeable profits (including one with a BSP of 6.5 – that one hurt!).
I will continue to track performance and update this record accordingly.
A service worth following in
Optimum Racing has an excellent historic record as its 25% ROI indicates.
What that record doesn’t tell you is the following:
- Bets are released at realistic times for any bettor (mid-to-late morning). Liquidity is present on the exchanges and bookmaker prices have settled after their early morning movements
- Selections don’t crash in price – exchange prices and even BSP are both profitable angles to follow the service in
- Both major and independent bookmakers will take these bets – the lack of a contraction in price means that account restrictions are unlikely in the short term (and should be avoidable altogether if business is spread around intelligently)
- Only 20% of my core subscription selections so far have been advised – using the daily podcast to find extra value is a profitable angle and excellent for bank growth
- The Late Information Service is an optional ‘add-on’ with membership. Historical performance suggests it is profitable, but more data is needed for the SBC to verify it