Thursday, 28 January 2010


It shouldn't, but it still amazes me how our brains distort information when put in certain circumstances. I had an opportunity to review my IR footage mentioned in my last post, and am almost gobsmacked when seeing the risks I was taking. At the time I was not fully aware and felt slightly uncomfortable but couldn't quite put my finger on why until seeing the footage later. I was quite fortunate on a few occasions and it could of easily been a losing day, it was almost like watching a horror movie at times!

I'd like to think that some of the work I did over the past 6 months has improved my awareness and attitude towards risk somewhat, and it just goes to show that reviewing all trading, profitable or not is vitally important in giving it a fair assessment. What I have found most interesting is how the markets move IR, it's a whole different beast that's for sure, and that I knew already, but actually trading the runners and pushing money around really opened my eyes to how the book fluctuates and where the money is actually being matched.

What have I conluded from all of this?
I will be returning to prerace trading for the timebeing. Although I have no doubt that there are plenty of opportunites to profit IR, I am simply not experienced or skilled enough to have an edge longterm at the moment. I think my knowledge of racing has undoubtably grown in the past few months however it is far off what it needs to be to read these races effectively. I'm expecting it to continue growing as I watch more and more races, and hopefully one day I will give it another crack when I feel the time is right. Another reason for not persuing is that the fast pictures I was fortunate to have are a rarity, and even on the specific days they are available I could potentially be unavailable to trade, further reducing the opportunities. I was thining about the possibility of visiting one of the these trading rooms fitted with SIS pictures, although SIS is still not as fast as the picturs I was getting, perhaps something else to look at in the future. For now though I want to focus all of my efforts on prerace and see how far I can push it.

One thing I would like to point out for anyone having trouble closing trades prerace, try and trade some markets IR. After only a few it should become clearer why taking a prerace position IR is a complete gamble, it just doesn't make any sense once you see how these markets move! You would be far better off closing and using your stake on a planned IR strategy, at least that way it's not a complete gamble and has some tact to it. This experience has perhaps delivered the final blow to any IR closure notions I may still of had prerace, and in that respect I'm pleased to have gained another positive result from it.

Saturday, 23 January 2010


Horse Racing
Unit stake: £50
Session P&L: £90.25
Average market P&L: £6.02

With the racing being on TV I decided to try some in-running tactics today, and for the races not on TV I used Timeform radio which if anything was bang on the terrestial TV pictures. I would describe today as low risk tactics, if there is such a thing in-running. It involved watchng and reading the race before making any trades. I was using £50 stakes and actually felt quite comfortable with this, strange as the thought of using £50 pre-race seems more daunting to me. As soon as I hit £50 profit I felt really relaxed knowing that if I had a nightmare of a race and lost my whole stake I would at worst break even, as it happens I managed to keep profiting to end the day with my highest profit yet.

This has got me thinking about getting more serious about in-running tactics. To be honest I'm a bit confused as to what I will try next time I trade. Pre-race has been going well but the markets seem so competitive it takes so much effort and energy just to squeeze out a 10-20% increase to your bank with a 10% stake size. Today I manged a 90% increase with a 50% stake size and the effort involved was minimal - don't think I can remember having such a relaxed trading session. I'm also questioning whether I just was fortunate today and whether my in-running tactics have a longterm future? Perhaps I should just withdraw the winnings and carry on with my slow but steady gradual pre-race staking plan? Or perhaps I'm starting to see a lot of potential in-running which I had never explored before? I'm just a bit worried at how easy it seemed comparitively to pre-race, it remind me of the saying, if it looks to good to be true it probably is!

I think I enjoyed it more because I was actually watching races and got confident at making decisions whilst the race unfolded. Perhaps this is a style that just suits me, I will need to tread carefully though as two consecurive disasterous races will effectivly wipe out my profit, and that is definitely probable. Might have some time tomorrow to trade although its 50 50 at the moment. Whatever tactic I  decide to use next time, I think some time is needed to think it over, although another 90% increase to my bank would certainly be warmly welcomed....

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Good to be back

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £2.00
Session P&L: £3.13
Average market P&L: £0.15

It's great to be back! As anticipated my new job has kept me very busy. First day off I have had in a while and fortunately the weather is looking to have finally returned to normal. I decided to use minimum stakes as it has been a month since I had last traded and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Was quite pleased as I seem to have picked up where I had left off. I was more pleased though as it was the first time I used The Toy with no external advanced charting and I seemed to be able to read the markets as well as ever. Thanks to some useful posts on TT forum I changed my trading screen slighly and it did make a big difference. Once the overview comes out it will be in my eyes the best application available, and of course it's free! 

I did feel my ability to focus wasn't quite where it had been when I last traded, so I need to work on that a bit. I did have a break around 3pm when I noticed it wavering slightly, didn't quite get my rhythm back after that. Did of course make some errors and bad trades but I managed to scratch most of those markets in the end. Will not incude this result in my bank as it was just an exercise mainly to prove to myself I could still trade after such a long break, and it has given me the confidence to pick up the staking plan next time. Here is a screenshot of the new layout:

I have had to compromise with the number of ladders open to fit in the larger graphs. To be honest though I rarely trade out of the top 3 in the book, and use the 4th slot to switch between any other runner I'm interested in. I think this is where the overview will be most useful, giving me the ability to see all the runners and how certain runners movements are effecting others, partucularly on races where there are larger fields. I did also use a magnifier at times to blow up the betfair graphs if needed, although the more I traded the less I used it. I do use my own custom audio alerts which help me focus on the time before the off. I will be editing these regularly to help remind me of things I should be working on. Might even upload a few of these wav files somewhere for people to download at some point, if anyone's interested let me know either here or on a forum and I'll upload them.

Monday, 4 January 2010

December Review

Horse Racing

On the whole I have been pleased with December. I did have a few relapse moments which in hindsight frustrated me more than I should of allowed. I do have much more confidence in my ability to profit now than before, despite not trading as much as I would of liked in the latter half of the month (mainly due to other commitments). I feel my attitude towards risk has changed and I find some of the risks I used to take, even as recently as a few weeks ago unacceptable anymore. I've also decided to tighten up things slightly to protect my bank better by introducing a few new rules, will post more details about this during the month.

There is a slight blip in my equity curve due to my poor attempts to trade the Aussie Racing, however overall I'm happy to report the curve is looking good. You can see from the second graph that I'm almost averaging £1 a race now which is also pleasing, particularly considering my stake size.

The strike rate has also stayed high but I would expect it to start decreasing now, partially due to my increase in stakes, and more specifically as my new tighter rules will certainly reduce my strike rate and profitability, but with an overall reduced risk, which is what I aim implement in the next few weeks.



My lack of trading opportunities have regrettably transpired mostly onto my football scalping. The racing did always take preference and with reduced trading time I ended up only trading about a quarter of the football markets managed in November. A shame as I increased my stake size to help push things along but didn't anticipate how little time I would have for it in the end. However the equity curve is moving in the right direction which is encouraging. The low risk tactics here are what continue to interest me in these markets, however the last full day I traded these markets I did start to feel fed up with it. On reflection I think I just burned myself out a bit having traded 63 markets that weekend. I prefer to break it up into a few markets a day and will continue to do this fixtures permitting. I also included a second graph below showing how the footy profits were made, and as you can see it is all small scalps of 0.1-1% that add up. You can also see just how few go against me, this is the low risk element I was talking about earlier that I really like about this tactic.  In case you missed it in my last review thought I should also mention for anyone interested, the racing analysis graphs were made with MG's spreadsheet and the Football graphs with Both very quick and easy to use. 

I also have some other developments that will regrettably eat more into my trading time these next couple of months. The first is that I was offered a new full-time job which I would of been daft not to accept. This has meant leaving a company I was with for 4 years, but when you're struggling to find reasons to stay the choice becomes a lot easier. With my old role I was very comfortable and rarely tired from work leaving me with more time and energy to trade. I don't anticipate it being the same in my new role, particularly in the first few weeks. I also have a couple of other side projects I need to complete by February. I will of course be trading whenever possible but it seems likely to be reduced until things settle down again. Good news is this is all happening now when the racing isn't all that great, and I should be trading much more by the time we hit the more exciting March period.

Would of been ideal if I started trading a year earlier when work seemed like a dead end job and I had much more time, but I suppose that's just the way it is sometimes, like London buses they were originally all red, wait that's not quite right...  Here's to a prosperous 2010!
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