Enjoy this sample review, which was first published in Smart Betting Club Issue#55 from November 2010. For more reviews like this and the latest stats on this service be sure to take up a full Smart Betting Club membership
King of The Tipster Swingers:
Northern Monkey Punter
Service Name: Northern Monkey Punter
Price: £19.99 for 30 days, £34.99 for 60 and £49.99 for 90 days membership
Summary of findings
– 30% ROI over 600 bets since February.
– 24% ROI to Betfair SP over the same period.
– Advises bets the night before racing.
– Superb customer service.
– Concerns over pressure on odds availability.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
We have been looking forward to penning a review of this service for quite some time now as the Northern Monkey tipster aka Wayne has really impressed us since he began proofing in late June this year. With an additional proofed record dating back to February at the Racing Index website and a ROI in the region of 29% over 600 or so bets, its easy to see where our interest lies.
To give a bit of background, Wayne is from the North of England (hence the service name) and began his site as a free service back in February as he attempted to build up a following.
All bets were initially proofed at Racing Index, before he agreed to also proof to us at the end of June this year. Not long after that, in July he first introduced a fee for his advice, which still offers great value for money. 30 days costs £19.99, 60 days £34,99 and 90 days membership is £49.99. Set against his record in 2010, he has provided one of the best value services we have monitored this year. Certainly enough to keep this particular monkey well stocked when it comes to bananas!
Currently it seems Wayne combines running NMP with his day-job and so therefore he sends all email selections out the night before racing. There are obvious pros and cons to this, which we detail further on, but we have been struck by his prompt reply to emails and very professional approach. For someone who runs the service around his main job, he puts some full-time tipsters to shame!
Wayne is consistent with his staking plan as bets range from 0.25 pts and up to a 3 pt maximum. Most bets are advised to be backed each way and are at decent prices generally, with value betting being the ultimate goal, i.e. backing a horse at a bigger price than its realistic chances. Where possible Wayne advocates the use of a Best Odds Guarantee bookmaker as well so as to benefit from any drifters in price. Considering most bets are advised the night before racing, this can be especially beneficial.
Each bet also comes with a detailed write-up as to its choosing with a recent example below…
This middle distance handicap looks a decent little event. Spanish Duke heads the betting at 11/4 and looks to hold a strong chance. He is up 9 lbs for an easy win last time out and although he isn’t yet fully exposed I think other rivals are better priced. King’s Destiny has dropped back down to his last winning mark and with Michael Jarvis bang in form with a strike rate around 50 % in the last fortnight, he is entitled to run a big race. Ideally, I’d want 10/1 plus to back him though and ELLA looks a decent alternative at 12/1. Alan Swinbank is in decent form himself (5 winners from his last 21 runners) and his six-year-old mare is his only runner of the week at Doncaster (also entered in another handicap on Saturday). She hasn’t had much racing for her age as she needs some cut in the ground, but she could never land a blow behind an enterprisingly ridden winner last time and is entitled to come on for the run. She showed she acts at this track when a good third in the valuable November handicap here last season and now the ground is deteriorating towards the back end of the season she should enjoy a bit more action.
Advised bet: Ella 12/1 Paddypower, 0.5 pt EW (3 places, 1/5 odds)
Results wise there are a few diference metrics which results have been calcuated to. Advised prices are those suggested by Wayne in his email and take advantage of any benefits if a bet drifts and are to be placed with a best odds guarantee bookmaker. Via the Racing Index site we can also view the results to Betfair SP and SP, which are useful to see the differences in odds on offer.
Summary @ advised prices
|Last 6 months
|Last 3 months
Monthly Breakdown @ advised prices
The main figure is the long-term achieved 29.70% ROI, which is outstanding performance and shows what can be obtained if following at advised prices. As the monthly breakdown shows though it does require patience at times with both May and September providing almost 150 of the 184 pts profit generated. Its normal to observe a quiet month or two as you wait for the big rewards to come in. There has been just the one losing month back in August, when 14.59 pts were handed back to the bookmaker, albeit temporarily.
The swings if following this service are best observed on the graph below, where a couple of noticeable spikes can be viewed. These represent a couple of large winners, indicating the need to be patient and follow each and every bet.
We have also listed the breakdown of returns for each month at Betfair SP to illustrate the differences on offer if following.
Monthly Breakdown @ Betfair SP
Monthly Breakdown @ SP
Comparison table of all 3 methods
As the tables indicate there is a difference between the results obtained to each of these methods, although even at Betfair SP the ROI level is still a very impressive 24.05%. This is thanks in part to some very big winners, where the Betfair SP was a lot higher than advised price such as Colonel Mak on the 18th September. The advised price was 33/1, whereas Betfair SP paid out at 75.94!
In general it would appear that the majority of the time, the better prices lie when taking an early advised price with the exception of those at bigger odds, where the Betfair SP can often be very high. A mixed strategy of following at Advised or Betfair sp could be one way to go.
Proofing wise we have only received the advised bets direct to us since the end of June, although we can see the bets previous to this were accurate from the Racing Index record. There is no reason to doubt these are not correct and we are happy to work with these figures.
Red Sky at Night – Punters Delight!
Practicality wise, Wayne is one of those rare tipsters who supply the betting advice the night before racing. This it seems is forced upon him to some degree due to his day job, but it does also open up the service to those of you also with no time to spare during the day.
His betting advice will be with you in the evening before racing between 8 and 10pm by which time at least a handful of best odds guarantee bookmakers have priced up the race. On the very few occasions that they dont, such as a recent evening race at Dundalk where he advised a bet, he will settle results at SP. This doesnt happen too often.
From a time perspective it only takes perhaps a few minutes each day to place the bets, they are very simple to follow and well explained. What you need to be aware of however is the fact that prices can move if you dont get on your bets relatively soon after they have been sent through. The majority of the time the price movement can be small, so for example – 10/1 has become 9/1 but very occasionally a gamble can appear on a bet and the odds will move significantly.
A few recent examples of this include Equuleus Pictor, advised at 14/1 but as short as 8/1 come 10am, Galpin Junior 10/1 into 5/1 and Final Verse 14/1 into 9/1
Its fair to say that the bookmakers are more sensitive to large sums of money coming in for a big priced horse before the markets have settled. It may also be that as more people get wind of the quality of this service, that there is simply more money being put down and the odds are reacting to that.
Bear in mind as well that often there are only a handful of bookies who have priced up a bet the evening before the race with the usual suspects including VCbet, Bet365 and Paddy Power. If therefore you have experienced problems with account closures or restrictions with any of these bookies, this could be cause for concern.
What All This Means
In general we always recommend that the best practice for whatever service you are following is to take a bet at advised prices when it is received. This is especially the case for a service which has a record as strong as NMP.
It is certainly worth being aware of this factor before joining the service if you feel it will cause a problem for you. On the flipside though there may well be many members licking their lips at the prospect of a service that you can follow in the evenings so its swings and roundabouts here.
There is plenty to like about Northern Monkey and Wayne has built up his tipping reputation in the right way. The customer service is excellent and he is very easy to deal with, quick to respond to questions and comes across as having a punter-centric attitude. He isn’t just here to make a quick buck, unlike so many in this game.
Results have been excellent with a near 30% ROI from around 600 bets suggested a very considerable profitable edge. That is up there with the likes of Equine Investments, who remain the benchmark for long-term proven tipster success.
Unlike Equine though the prices of membership are also extremely affordable and there are membership spaces available. At just £50 for 90 days subscription, it is the type of service that will be easy for many members to test out and also to make a profit above and beyond membership costs. Again this all backs up the fact that Wayne is putting his customers first and trying to build up his reputation the right way.
The only question marks in our mind relate to the small problems of practicality of advising bets the night before, which may open them up to greater odds movement in the future. As NMP becomes more popular, then more money is down and the more the prices move. You do also need to be aware of the need to get your bet on early where possible. Also we do need to consider the fact NMP is currently a part-time role for Wayne and it will be key to see how he copes with an increased workload if he maintains his performance.
With the completion of November we have 10 full months worth of proofed results and it’s fair to say Wayne has proven his success during this period. The Hall of Fame potential is clear to all but we want to see how things progress over the next few months especially from an increased exposure point of view.
For the time being therefore we are rating Northern Monkey as a recommended service, with a view to a Hall of Fame upgrade in the near future.
3 Key Pointers:
Results available in detail on website. Results spreadsheet is updated and sent to members at the end of each calendar month.
2. Practicality Of Profits
Low workload but slight concern on odds movement and the use of only a few bookies when placing a bet the night before
3. Customer Service
Top quality service, commended.
Suggested portfolio weighting: