How did that win? – An intro…

Trends, mini-angles and systems have been a staple of my own personal punting for many years now.

The vast majority of these angles revolve around trainers because, as we all know, they are the poster boys and girls for ‘creatures of habit’.

It’s an approach, however, that you need to keep on top of.

You need to make sure the angles and systems you have are still doing the business, whilst at the same time you also need to be keeping a beady eye out for new ones to add to your portfolio to keep the profits rolling.

If you are doing it right it’s an ever evolving approach, an approach that demands tweaking of current angles, letting go of under-performers and sourcing of new systems to inject fresh blood into your portfolio.

But how do you find the new angles? 

In truth there are many ways but one of the best ways, I find, is looking at the winners for the day or previous day, picking out a selection of ‘interesting winners’, finding a starting point/way in on the stats for the horse/trainer in question (which is easy enough when you have databases behind you) and then ‘back-engineering’ (you know, like they do at Area 51 with the crashed Alien spacecraft!) with the aid of databases to find a solid and robust trainer angle that would have pointed you to the winner in question.

As always this approach can lead you down many blind alleys but I’m comfortable with that going in, for at the bottom of some seemingly blind alleys there is often a golden nugget or two gleaming away in the deep dark corners.

Now it’s important that you don’t just source an angle, knock it into shape and then start throwing money at it from the get go. There has to be some sort of incubation period before fully unleashing it into your full portfolio. The length of time for that incubation period is debatable and there are no right or wrong answers (in my experience anyway).

Some people say you should paper-trade any new angle for a sustained period of time before putting hard cash on the line and whilst there is plenty merit to that angle I don’t fully agree with it. When I source any angle the chances are that I’ve spent a good few hours on the research, I’ve picked through every conceivable avenue and alleyway, looked under every stone and the final angle I’ve settled on won’t have been found on a whim. Sure, some angles take less time than others, but they will have been given the same rigorous tests as an angle that’s taken me half a day to source. In short I don’t like cutting corners. When I’ve settled on an angle I need to be convinced by it and have no doubts regarding it’s integrity.

If I’m confident that the angle I’ve uncovered has been churning out profits for the past few years (which obviously can be checked using various databases) and I can see no conceivable reason for it to stop running at or very close to the same level (hell the reason I’ve found the angle is because there has just been a winner on it) then I have no concern about following that with hard cash.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not diving in full steam ahead and firing at my usual level, I have a ‘new angle staking level’ that allows me to road test the new angles and get a feel for them in real time. It’s a very low level staking plan, generally £2 per qualifier, but that just gives me a better feel of the new angles and allows me a better mindset when it comes to determining whether or not to add them to my portfolio full-time, where they would then be upped to normal staking levels. For my mentality this just works better. It’s a separate bank and it doesn’t interfere with my main betting accounts.

Cracking into a newly sourced angle at normal stakes doesn’t sit well with me but then again neither does paper-trading, I want something a bit in-between although admittedly still erring towards the paper-trading side.

Often my research is kicked off by either watching the racing live (which is pretty much every day) or taking a look through the results in the evening. Other times my interest can be piqued by something an analysis or reporter has said whilst I’m watching one of the racing channels, or in the case of one of the examples below shouted by a certain Matt Chapman on ITV Racing.

The ITV gang were up at Musselburgh on Saturday (15th April) and after Paul Midgely had won the Borderlescott Sprint Trophy with the outsider of his three raiders (the 14-1 shot Desert Law) Matt Chapman, in typical Chapman style, started screaming…

“we need to pin Paul Midgley to the wall and ask him ‘HOW THE HELL DID THAT WIN!?'”

(I may not have got those words bang on, but it’s close enough…and for the record I’m a big Chapman fan, I think he’s great for the game, this is not some sideways swipe at him)

Now we could have pinned Midgley to the wall and asked him that very question but the chances are he wouldn’t have told us! So rather than waste time with that approach I went database delving instead and asked the database…

How did that win?

Winner: DESERT LAW (P Midgley)

Date: 15/04/17

Race: 2.25 Musselburgh – Borderlescott Sprint Trophy Conditions Stakes

Angle: Paul Midgley sprinters

5f turf races | 12 or less runners | Class 2 & below | Aged 3+ | GB or IRE bred | Same distance or down 0.5f from last race | SP 25-1 or less

Since 2011…

64/342 | 19% S/R | +£248.21 BFLSP – W&P 139/342 | 41% S/R

28% above expectation

Yearly breakdown…

2017 – 1/7 | +12.05 BFLSP

2016 – 9/56 | +5.39 BFLSP

2015 – 10/44 | +62.85 BFLSP

2014 – 13/55 | +34.59 BFLSP

2013 – 8/49 | +14.36 BFLSP

2012 – 13/69 | +73.32 BFLSP

2011 – 10/62 | +45.64 BFLSP

It’s no secret that Midgley is a bit of a ‘sprint king’, the vast majority of his runners (and winners) come over the minimum trip and it made perfect sense to start looking for an angle amongst that sub-section of his string.

I think it’s also fair to say that Midgley isn’t one of the top of the tree trainers and it’s no surprise that the angle only concentrates on his runners out with the top level (C2 & below).

He’s also not really a solid 2yo trainer either and that section of his squad actually strike at the lowest level of any age group for the trainer (4% S/R) so again it makes perfect sense to look only at those runners aged 3yo+.

Will this angle keep producing the profits? 

I see no reason why it won’t although I’d expect it to be a bumpy enough ride at times. The profits it has been churning out, however, should make the ride worthwhile.

I also sourced the following angle during this extended Easter weekend…

How did that win?

Winner: STUBYTUESDAY (M Easterby)

Date: 17/04/17

Race: 6.00 Redcar – racinguk.com/hd Handicap

Angle: Mick Easterby April Handicappers

M Easterby | April Handicaps worth 13k or less | SP 16-1 or less | Distance move of no more than -2.5f & +1.5f from last start

Since 2011…

37/156 | 24% S/R | +£152.15 BFLSP – W&P 79/156 | 51% S/R

52% above expectation

Yearly breakdown…

2017 – 8/16 | +33.96 BFLSP

2016 – 11/42 | +41.27 BFLSP

2015 – 6/22 | +41.03 BFLSP

2014 – 2/24 | -9.52 BFLSP

2013 – 3/25 | -11.88 BFLSP

2012 – 4/11 | +37.97 BFLSP

2011 – 3/16 | +19.32 BFLSP

Now there are clearly two ‘dud’ years in there (2013 & 2014) but it’s the last three years (including this current year) that have my radar on high alert for this angle. Indeed yesterday (Monday 17th April) there were four qualifiers on this angle and THREE of them won. Based on the last three years I think it’s clear they seem to have this sub-set of their runners fit and ready to fire for the early season handicaps.

Will this angle keep producing the profits? 

I’d be fairly hopeful of this being a profit producing angle and I think it may have something to do with Mick Easterby’s son David having a more prominent role in the day to day running of the yard in recent seasons. He’s ‘officially’ the assistant trainer but it’s no real secret that he has a fairly large say in things these days, which may also explain the resurgence of this angle in the past couple of seasons.

Clearly we are halfway through April now so there won’t be all that much juice left in the angle this term but I don’t mind that, this is a long term game and I’d be happy to follow this for the remainder of April and then stick it on the back burner for April 2018. Not all angles this method uncovers will provide instant gratification…

I plan to drop a few of these angles here on the FREE BDH Blog throughout the summer and I’ll also create a page on site with all the angles/systems in one area for easy access.

I’d love it if you joined me for the ride…

Ben (BDH)

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