Yes, surprise, surprise! It’s that time of year again.
The systemites and others will be wondering why they lost money during September and October and into November with their turf flat selections or National Hunt selections when last year they might have backfitted a profit.
How can it be?
The 2023 turf flat season has seen the wettest autumnal season, probably on record. The summer wasn’t much better!
We expect the ground/going conditions to become softer, but this autumn has seen rain in biblical proportions causing numerous abandonments of race meetings, many non-runners totally unsuited by ground conditions, and small fields giving fewer betting opportunities.
So, as horse racing bettors, how can we survive this time of year that, incidentally, happens every year?
We pay heed to it – that’s how!
Many “punters” I know and almost all the tipsters I take casual notice of, don’t appear to pay any attention at all to the changing weather and seasons…
I see tipsters rolling out selection after selection and punters falling into line willingly betting on every selection regardless of what is happening around them. Unless Lady Luck is firmly onside, only losses will be the order of the day, week, or month. The bookmakers’ grin only gets wider.
Let’s do some good husbandry.
The going (ground conditions)
We cannot just expect Horse A who has been running consistently on good and good to firm ground in the summer to produce the same or better form on soft and heavy autumn ground. Even October good ground will have a higher content of “juice” than summer good ground. Think of the morning dew…
That said, it is possible that a summer horse will take his form into the autumn and perform well or even win. We can never be certain, but that is where a good understanding of the form book comes to the fore over relying just upon a system selection.
In my long experience of bought and self-generated original systems (000’s of them), I have rarely seen ground conditions taken into account.
What I am trying to highlight is that you ignore the going at your peril at any time of year.
One example I use to state the difference in performance likely to cause a change in result is the beach. The sand close to the water’s edge is compact and quite firm. Running on this surface is easy for us; now look at the sand that the water has not yet reached. It is deep, soft, and difficult to run through. Some of us will cope with this change in underfoot conditions better than others. Try it for yourself next time you are beside the seaside. Don’t just take my word for it!
The transition from turf flat racing to National Hunt
The emergence of the ‘new’ National Hunt season, 2023/24, is upon us. It’s not actually a new season at all (the 2023/2024 season starts in April), but it is the time of year when the better races are up for grabs and the better horses emerge to grab them.
From November, it’s all roads lead to Cheltenham!
We are privileged to witness the finest bloodstock on offer from the UK and Ireland with all one aim in mind – Cheltenham in March. Horses will be campaigned to determine their credentials to land one of the big pots on offer at Prestbury Park come March 2024.
I’m already loving the idea of pitting my form book wits to the task in hand!
So, what can go wrong with early season National Hunt betting?
Here’s my GOLDEN RULE…
NEVER, EVER bet on a horse making its seasonal debut.
Betting on horses making their seasonal debut is a well paved route to the poor house.
If your chosen tipster (definitely not me!) advises such a bet, you should ask a few serious questions of him or her.
Here’s a few questions you should ask; but I’m sure you have your own.
How fit is the horse today?
Is the horse fit enough to win today?
Is the horse capable of carrying last year’s form into this year?
Is the horse as good as last year?
I would suggest the trainer of the horse would be at a loss to be certain of saying “yes” to those questions. He or she might answer “should be”, or “looks to be”, or “I think so”.
Only post-race when the form is in the book will you know for sure.
How many times have you heard trainers say, “He’ll come on for that” or “He’s surprised me today”?
We don’t need to be in the guessing game
Now, hopefully, you will understand why we pay heed to the start of a new season and the end of another season.
And, come April time next year, when the National Hunt switches back to the flat, we’ll be paying heed again!
Don’t be finished and fallen out with the National Hunt season by the end of November! We have so much to look forward to.
Making a profit with your betting is not easy, but it can be done.
Clients at First Class Racing make a profit to worthwhile stakes.
We don’t bet often; we average one bet a week over the course of a year. And we don’t bet for the sake of it, with extra care being taken over the factors described above.
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