Betwade - Wading through the murky waters of football betting and tipping




Monday 13th July



How to bet and find value in Corner Markets


One of our new members has started looking at corner bets a bit more closely. 


The United game is interesting as they have won their last 4 games by 3+ goals, the first team in Premier League history to achieve this feat. Here are there recent games.


The market is quite well statted up 


Villa 3 -5 Utd

utd 8 - 3 Bournemouth

Brighton 4 - 5 Utd

utd 10-5 Sheff Utd


Everton 3-5 Soton

Soton 2-13 City

Watford 5-3 Soton

Soton 4-6 Arsenal


Good luck!







Saturday 18th January



Jose's set up problems leading to early goals


We are back!


And I've spotted something with Mourinho. He sets his team up incorrectly... then often manages to rescue it 2nd half and claim a point back. Have a look at the fixtures since he took charge.


Have a pop on Watford to be leading but then Spurs to claw it back - it's happened v weaker opposition already this season several times.



Opponent 1st goal HT score FT score
West Ham Spurs 2-0 3-2
Olympiakos Opponent 0-2 4-2
Bournemouth Spurs 1-0 3-2
Man Utd Opponent 1-1 1-2
Burnley Spurs 3-0 5-0
Bayern Opponent 1-2 1-3
Wolves Spurs 1-0 2-1
Chelsea Opponent 0-2 0-2
Brighton Opponent 0-1 2-1
Norwich Opponent 0-1 2-2
Soton Opponent 0-1 0-1
Boro Opponent 0-0 1-1
Liverpool Opponent 0-1 0-1
Boro Spurs 2-0 2-1




Saturday 22nd April

Team news in the lower leagues

The Godden Angle


Stevenage are missing striker Matt Godden . He's 3rd top scorer in the league with 21 goals which is 32% of the total goals they've scored in the league.  He's also got 6 assists meaning he's been involved in 42% of their goals

They're playing Mansfield at home today.  Mansfield have the 5th best defence in league in terms of goals conceded ,  and the 2nd best defence in terms of chances conceded. They only concede 8 shots per game (vs league average of 11 shots per game) ....  it means Mansfield have great chance of winning today and quite like 1-0 correct score (8.2), maybe "covered" with 0-0 and 2-1 , both at 11s.


Matt Godden Matt Godden : Prolific on and off the pitch, but will be sorely missed today


Recommened bets - Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80

Recommened bets - Mansfield and Under 2.5 goals @ 4.50

Recommened bets - Mansfield to win by 1 goal @ 4.0



Go well


Jonny Punt


Monday 17th April

Can you back every horse and make a profit?


Irish Grand National Preview 2017



I saw a tweet after the Gran National that had you backed every horse each way, for the 6th year in a row you would have won money?

There’s a few reasons why this may work as a strategy.

  1. Extra places – Firms are bending over backwards to get you to bet with them so with most firms going 5 or in some cases 6 places on the each way, the place book pays out a lot more than normal.
  2. Best Odds guaranteed – If your horse drifts in price and the SP is bigger you will get the SP rather than the price you took. This again means that the over round will be reduced. Currently on Oddschecker there are 31 runners and the over round is 117%.
  3. Bet365 match guaranteed – This promotion from bet365 means that the other bookies are finding other ways to compete for your business. It also means the over round stays low as they are forced to match competitors who push prices out.
  4. No clear favourite – This will also probably only work if the favourite is a double figure price. In this race we have a 6/1 favourite so if he wins you won’t be getting a good return unless ad few 66 or 100/1 shots sneak in the top 6.


As a fun experiment I am going to place £5 each way on all the horses and hopefully might come out with a bit of profit. If we can get a few big prices places and a 14/1+ winner I think we might have a chance.


31 runners - £5 e/w – Total stake £310


Worst possible result with the Fav winning. Here's how it broke down.


1st - Our duke 9/2 (6/1) - Return £42.50

2nd - Bless the wings 12/1 (14/1) - Return £22.50

3rd - Abolitionist 14/1 - Return £22.50

4th - Thunder and roses - 25/1 (33/1) - Return £46.25

5th - General principal - 16/1 - Return £25.00

6th - Noble Endeavour 16/1 - Return £25.00


28 ran - Stake £280 - Return - £183.75


failed experiment this time. Worst possible outcome with Fav winning and no big outsiders placing.




Good Luck





Tuesday 4th April

Saphir’s are a Punters best friend 


Grand National Preview 2017




I am having to look at the national a little further out than usual due to a poorly planned holiday which might even see me miss the race altogether! Nevertheless it has been a very strong race for us with Ballabriggs, Pineau de Re and Rule the World all winning at big prices in recent years so lets hope for more of the same.  The concern is that any sort of going change could blow a selection out of the water but I am hopeful I have covered all bases.


Handicaps at Cheltenham recently followed a very distinctive pattern; generally the Irish won (7 out of 10) and more than ever horses are proving that it doesn’t matter what weight you give them they are still capable of winning;


Ultima Handicap - Un Temps or Tout - Top Weight (1 out of 24)

Coral Cup - Supasundae (6 out of 24)

Pertemps - Presenting Percy (2 out of 24)

Kim Muir - Pendra - should have won - got mugged on the line (1 out 24)

County - Arctic Fire - (1 out of 24)

Grand Annual - Rock the World (4 out of 24)


The conclusion to draw from the sample above is that in the most competitive and most sought after Handicaps in British Racing the winners this season have had to shoulder a fair amount of weight and their class has won the day.  Arctic Fire put up an incredible performance in winning the County.  He was giving 6 pounds to the horse that finished second and that horse (l’ami serge) was second top weight.  He was giving the third horse nearly two stone!!  My feeling is that the quality in handicaps is significantly rising.  I suppose prize money plays a big factor;  Brain Power scooped more money by winning the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot than he would have done if he had finished second in the Champion Hurdle.  Arctic Fire, by winning the County, snaffled more than had he have finished third in the Champion Hurdle.  Secondly some stables and owners have so many good horses that they have to try and split them up and as such horses who should be running in the top races are diverted to handicaps and L’ami Serge (a prime examine of this) illustrated what is possible by running a great race under a big weight when second to Arctic Fire.







Wizard's of Oz hoping to change the DJ’s tune


Masters 2017 - Australia Day on Masters Sunday


With the majority of the pre masters tussling out of the way one man is able to walk around the paddock the apple of any casual spectator’s eye.  A specimen tailor-made (not pun intended) for golf at 6ft 4inches tall, forearms like tree trunks and levers that co-ordinate to create such power Dustin Johnson has long been touted as Golf’s next big thing.  However a combination of off course misdemeanours where rumours of alcoholism, infidelity and possibly drugs have seen him serve a suspension from the sport, couple that with a reputation for lacking the mental strength to get the job done have seen him fail to hit golfs highest echelons.  His victory in the US Open in 2016 put end to a run of 11 top 10 finishes in major without getting over the line, 6 of which he finished inside the top 6.  More focused (thanks to coach Butch Harmon and mentor/father in law Wayne Gretzky) and now lighter (with previously described monkey no longer on his back) he is a one way DJ juggernaut that is serving up Tiger-esque dominance to the rest of the players.  Irrespective of prize money and format he has proved he is the number 1 in the world and subsequently going to be a tough nut to crack at Augusta - especially since he has finished 6th and 4th in the last two years, his game looks primed to destroy the par 5’s!  At 7/1 he is a worth favourite and with some firms paying 7 or 8 places, I wouldn't put you off DJ.







Monday 20th March

Union Berlin to take advantage of Nurnberg's lack of firepower
There's only one major game today and that is in Bundesliga 2, a very profitable league for
I've been doing some research on this game (all day basically cos I don't think there are any other fixtures of interest !!) and it looks like Union bet are a stand out price as pointed out by Wadey on his Bet of the Day. It's true the H2H is awful but this is very different Union team and a very different Nuremberg to previous campaigns.
Union are typically a mid table side (finishing 6th, 7th and 9th in prior seasons) - whereas this season due to addition of few key players they are now pushing for promotion - 2nd in league
Nurnberg are sort of the opposite - currently sat in mid table (10th) after finishing 3rd last season (and 9th before that, but that was their first season after relegation for Bundesliga 1)
I'm going through the last 10 games of both sides and Nurnberg recent form is awful,   probably largely because of losing their top scorer (Burgstaller) in January transfer window (snapped up by Schalke) - and so even the league table this season (Union 2nd vs Nurnberg 10th) is doing Nurnberg a favour


Sunday 19th March

Jonny Punt has a very strong record so far at Betwade, with a very consistent strike rate and a profit of 176 points.


What you see from Jonny Punt is the tip of the iceberg. Due to Betwade rules the maximum selections we allow are doubles, to keep the site looking clean and really focus in on the best selections and value on the coupon. However, the reality is that there can often be five or ten bets that may be flagged up as value.


This is the first article from Jonny Punt and he talks you through the betting process, how to analyse the match and find value on the coupons.


Good Luck


The Hidden Value - 18/19th March



Morning punters !!!

Been up early this morning and doing lots of research - spent about 2 hours writing this (and getting my bets on!!) so hopefully it's helpful ......

I think there's some absolutely cracking "hidden" value today :

1. Feyenoord win - 10 points @ 1.85

b) Feyenoord win and o2.5 goals - 5 points @ 2.96

Feyenoord remain THE form team in Eredvisie, have won 11 out of last 12 in the league, only losing once in their last 14 matches -  and typically they score goals.
Heerenveen on the other hand are going through a difficult spell: one win in eight and losing five times in the process, including a 4-1 defeat at Excelsior (15th in league) last time out.
2. Genclerbirligi win - 10 points @ 2.00

Rizespor are missing key players for this game – including captain and top scorer Kweuke. They have a host of other injuries including CB pairing Umit Kurt and George Oboabona
Rizespor away form is awful, have failed to win 21 of last 23 away games, and they are in free fall at moment having lost last 3 in a row

3. Napoli win to nil - 10 points @ 2.42  

b) Napoli -1.5 - 5 points @ 2.24


Empoli have lost their last 5 games in a row and failed to score in their last 3 matches
Napoli have won 6 of their last 7 away games and have scored at least 2 in 12 of their last 14 games. Empoli top scorer Levan Mchedlidze is out injured – meaning the lowest scoring team in Serie A face an even bigger challenge this weekend
4. Deportivo win - 10 points @ 2.36

Depor unbeaten in 4 games since new coach Pepe Mel took over  (including draw w Atletico Madrid and beating Barcelona last time out). Celta may be tired after travelling to Russia to play Krasnodar on Thursday and haven't won in their last four league games.
5. Porto HT/FT - 10 points @ 1.60

Porto have won last 9 in a row and have been Porto have won HT/FT in their last 6 matches
Porto have kept a clean sheet in their last 10 home matches against Vitoria de Setubal in all competitions.


Feyenoord win - 10 points @ 1.85 = 8.5 points

Feyenoord win and o2.5 goals - 5 points @ 2.96 = +9.8 points

Genclerbirligi win - 10 points @ 2.00 = +10.0 points

Napoli win to nil - 10 points @ 2.42  = -10.0 points

Napoli -1.5 - 5 points @ 2.24 = -5.0 points

Deportivo win - 10 points @ 2.36 = -10.0 points

Porto HT/FT - 10 points @ 1.60 = -10.0 points


Total Stake : 60 points
Total Return : 53.3 points


Go well!!


Jonny Punt



Friday 17th March



Cheltenham Festival Day 4 preview


Irish benefit year to continue on St Patrick's Day


The title of yesterdays blog was ‘the favourites strike back’ and that they did is superb style with only unowhatimeanharry letting down what would have been 4 short prices going in.  The 4 timer from Ruby and Willie was truly fantastic but it now bodes a serious question for day 4; Do we try and beat Irish or join in their party?  Worryingly Gordon Elliott thought Friday was his best chance for winners and given its St Patricks day there will surely be owners and trainers targeting victory here from months ago.  There has been a lot of smoke and mirrors from the shrewd Irish this year; Elliott claiming the novices looked a modest bunch before saddling a 33/1 winner in the supreme followed home by the Mullins hotpot (not as average as maybe he thought!).  Furthermore the two handicaps yesterday were won by Irish horses who were claimed to be “badly handicapped”.   Yet both horses won as they liked looking like they had been dropped into the race at the last fence and then winning eased down in two of the most fiercely competitive races of the season!  Today will make or break the festival for many so lets hope to find some winners and finish up on top.



Race 1 - 1.30 Triumph Hurdle


I’m happy to take on the two short priced JP horses here as they have been winning on softish ground throughout the year and whilst I accept that horses high up in the betting have a good record in this race there are certainly a couple of angles to explore.  The Irish form lines are centred around the trio of Baupaume, Landofhopeandglory and Mega Fortune.  They have all been beating each other this year and at the prices I am surprised to see the Willie Mullins / Ruby Walsh combo almost double the price of Mega Fortune.  I am of the opinion the Rich Ricci 4 year old will significantly prefer better ground and 14/1 ew about a horse who has placed in a Group 1 and won a group 2 for these connections looks very generous.  The big question now is whether to play another Irish card or hedge and pick a Brit?   Landofhopeandglory looked the standout Irish 4 year old having reverted from Father to Son after an unsuccessful tilt on the level in the German Derby.  He has all the right pedigree you would expect from a Coolmore flat horse and very much fits the same profile as the stables winner last year Ivanovich Gorbatov.  Currently available at 12/1 its the value in his price that has swayed me in his direction.  Of the home team Masterblueyes looks the pick of the value especially given his romp in the Adonis last time out.  However the value in his price has gone somewhat and at a very big price I am going to put up a little saver, just in case the Irish form doesn’t stack up.  Coeur De Lion has run some excellent races this year, none least when a length second to current short priced favourite Defi Du Seuil over course and distance.  Yet despite this narrow defeat over track and trip in a recognised trial race he is 50/1 that is definitely value.


Recommended bet : 5 points EW - Baupaume 14/1

Recommended bet : 5 points EW - Landofhopenandglory 11/1

Recommended bet : 2.5 points EW - Coeur De Lion 50/1








Thursday 16th March



Cheltenham Festival Day 3 preview


The Favourites Strike Back


Race 1 - 1.30 JLT Novices Chase


This race revolves around Yorkhill and whether his jumping holds up.  He jumped poorly in a public schooling in Ireland recently and subsequently everyone has been on his case.  Personally I don’t think it will be an issue and whilst last years neptune form hardly took a boost with Yanworth’s dismal effort on Tuesday I expect him to win.  Disko is a horse I like a lot and looks a solid each way play given there are just the 8 runners.


Recommended bet : Yorkhill - 10 point win @ 6/4

Recommended bet : Disko - 5 points ew @ 6/1


Image above : Yorkhill




Race 2 - 2.10 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle


This is one of the toughest races at the festival to size up and cases can obviously be made for a whole number of these.  My main fancy is Forgoodmeasure; Phillip Hobbs and JP were desperately unlucky in this race last year and I fully expect him to run really well. He has ran three times at Cheltenham this season, clearly with this in mind and experience on the New course will hopefully prove to his advantage.  Clondaw Cian was thought good enough last year for a tilt at the Neptune and ran in a trial here.  He wasn’t up to that level but has since won at Cheltenham and 25/1 rates a good ew bet.


Recommended bet : Forgoodmeasure - 5 points EW @ 10/1

Recommended bet : Clondaw Cian - 5 points EW @ 28/1






Wednesday 15th March


Cheltenham Festival Day 2 preview


Willie trying all he can to keep the wolf from the door


Race 1 - 1.30 Neptune Novices Hurdle


The opening novices event on day 2 is run at the intermediary distance of 2 and half miles and in the most recent years been the guide to which horses will be prominent in the champion hurdle picture in 12 months time.  Interestingly it might actually see the best two novices around clash as it did last year (Altior subsequently proved that wrong).  Last year Yanworth could not be beaten, but Yorkhill turned up and swotted him aside.  This year’s pretenders are Willie Mullin’s Champion Bumper 3rd Bacardys who since his fall has been impressive over the timber particularly in the Deloitte and is this years Irish raider looking to spoil the English party.  Neon’s Wolf’s chances for this are advertised in bright flashing lights; 4 races 4 wins and oozing class, Noel Fehily literally cannot hide his excitement when he talks about him which is saying something about the introverted Irishman.  He seemingly prefers soft ground but the ground isn’t going to be fast and it is officially reported to be on the slow side of good to soft so it shouldn’t inconvenience him.  The value has sailed off into the sunset but I expect the Wolf to be well and truly at the door and having a hose down by 1.35.  At bigger prices Monalee would interest me if he runs (probably going Albert Bartlett route) in this race but as with so many in this line up its hard to 100% call who is running from a couple of days out. 


Recommended bet : 10pts win - Neon Wolf - 2/1






Monday 13th March

Cheltenham Festival Day 1 preview


Roars, Rags, Ricci’s and Ruby


In the past few years the festival opener has been dominated by trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh who have combined to win 6 of the last 8 grade 1’s on Day 1.  The one that got away was Altior in the Supreme Novices Hurdle last year where the pair had to settle for second with Min.  I say the one that got away because the 8th was the memorable Annie Power fall and when they have one fall at the last the others you would think are in for a chance…but up turns Glen’s Melody the Mullins second string and wins anyway!  Had Annie Power won, 7 out of the first 8 (last 2 years) Grade 1 races were won (the other they were second) by the same trainer / jockey and owner - Rich Ricci.  Suffice to say they are dominant.  However this year, largely due to injury, that same combination only have three runners on Day 1 and two are in the same race, so it may be the year for a changing of the guard, if admittedly only a short-lived one


Race 1 - 1.30 : Supreme Novices Hurdle


Often a race which attracts a lot of attractively bred ex flat horses but one which they have a surprisingly poor record in of late.  In the last 9 years only one ex flat runner has hit the first three.  So for me it illustrates that staying power over speed is definitely preferable.  One thing is for sure there will be some classy horses coming out of this race in the future and the roll of honour is long and illustrious.  The market is a funny one at the time of writing as it predominantly revolves around two horses Moon Racer and Neon Wolf.  Moon Racer is a Cheltenham festival winner in the bumper and was chalked up to run in this last year before injury curtailed his season.  Now, still as a novice at the age of 8 he is my idea of the favourite.  However the vibes continue about him redirecting to run in a ‘weak champion hurdle’ later on the card.  Moon Racer, Ballyandy and Movewiththetimes are all very closely matched and whilst Moon Racer and Ballyandy’s match ups to date haven’t been at the Supreme standard, they definitely make a fair amount of appeal.  My issue, with Ballyandy in particular, is he has been on the go a fair bit this season and a horse trained to peak in the Supreme may well have his number.  Neon Wolf certainly would be that horse and if he takes his chance then I think he will probably win.  However it is expected he will run in the Neptune so at 4/1 NRNB he was worth investing earlier in the week but possibly not at much shorter.  I can’t have Melon, Willie Mullins latest superstar worker on the gallops.  He has only had one run and is flat bred.  I have to admit I wouldn’t really want to lay him but think mainly his inexperience may well catch him out here.  He may well develop into the best horse but will he be the best on Tuesday, I’m not so sure.  On the day I will more than likely back one of Willie Mullins second string (possibly Crack Mome) but that will depend on who is actually running and what the prices look like! What I’m looking for is a powerful stable, proven group form and a highly respected NH pedigree; step forward River Wylde.  Sired by the legendary Oscar he has ran in a point over 3m losing out by a neck but importantly illustrated a bit of stamina. Since hurdling he has shown continual improvement and whilst maybe he’s no Altior he does looks progressive.  His latest victory was a strong staying performance to outlast Elgin (who is overpriced at 50/1 for this race) in the Group 2 Dovecote on good ground.  If the ground is not too soft I think River Wylde is a good bet EW at 12/1.  At huge prices both Elgin and more notably Labaik could be interesting to sneak a top 4 (lots of bookies will offer an extra place on the day).  He hates racing!! Refused to Race on no less than 4 occasions.  But if he jumps off 50/1 could be a lovely price.


Recommended bet: River Wylde - 5 points EW 8/1 : Placed + 5.0 points




Race 2 - 2.10 : Arkle Challenge Trophy


Altior is obviously a serious horse and any novice that could well challenge for the Queen Mother against the mighty Douvan no less deserves to be a 1/3 shot.  Thats not really my style I’m afraid and I am going to attempt to pick the odd hole in what looks a bullet proof favourite.  A few years back the gutsy Champagne Fever (serial festival winner) came up short when 50/1 Western Warhorse caused a huge shock.  That won’t happen on Tuesday but I have played Royal Caviar EW at 20/1.  He is a little shorter now and I suspect he will start 3rd favourite on the day about 10/1 so it’s a squeak of value for him to hit the frame.  Charnel put up a very decent performance going down by only 6 lengths to Altior last time out and I will probably play the tricast of Altior / Charnel and Royal Caviar for a bit of involvement.  Sometimes the better horses get embroiled in a battle to take on the ‘big name’ and some of the weaker horses are left to pick up the pieces.  I just don’t think any of the Jockeys can be foolish enough to think they can lower his colours and just settle for the minor honours.  On all known form Charbel looks an EW steal at 10/1 so will put that up as the main selection.


Recommended bet: Charbel - 10 points EW 11/1 : Fell - 20.0 points


Image above : Charbel


Race 3 - 2.40 : Ultima Handicap Chase


This race has taken me hours to trawl through and still the waters are a little murky.  This is mainly because horses are so well placed its tricky to know which route to go down.  The race is getting classier and the previous 3 winners all carried over 11 stone and have run very well at Group 1 level in their careers.  If the ground is soft I will be all over Otago Trail but I think it will be as usual Good to Soft day 1 one ground.  From a class perspective Theatre Guide jumps off the page, jockey Paddy Brennan thinks he should run in the Gold Cup! He clearly retains all his ability however his Course victory crucially came on the more galloping New course and he has tried this race a few times without hitting the frame, though he did fall last year so we won’t know where he would have finished. The next horse I am interested in is Viconte Du Noyer.  The owners had the second a few years ago and this fella has the right type of racing style to be successful here.  Jumping up with the pace and staying really well he won a staying handicap on the Old course in November beating Minella Rocco (20/1 for Gold Cup) no less.  He is 8 which is a good age for this race (2 of last 4 winners).  My worry is he ran in the Welsh national and thats always a tough race especially in the soft and this new Tizzard recruit is inexplicably 33/1. That is definite EW value.  The one horse I really need to mention epitomises the recent article I wrote about handicap plotting and placing.  The Druid’s Nephew won this race 2 years ago off an OR of 146 in December 2015 he peaked at 156 and now is back down to 146 again.  If, at the age of 10 he retains his ability he is a handicap blot and there are none better than Neil Mulholland for pulling this sort of thing off.  Noel Fehily is already booked too so things look set for a big run.  The negative is he is now 10/1 as this rating has been picked up by the shrewdies so begrudgingly I will look elsewhere.  I wouldn’t put any off backing Un Temp pour Tout or even Champers on Ice (whichever Tom Scu chooses to be fair).  The horse I have backed Ante Poste is Singlefarmpayment.  I love his credentials and although his win here has come on the New Course I think he may well be suited by the Old course.  Again his price is skinny now at around 7/1 so my second selection is going to be Heron Heights for the Henry De Bromhead team.  He may not run as he has multiple entries but wherever he ends up I think he has a big chance.  He won a novice chase on the old course in October and whilst that form isn’t tremendous it looked a nice prep with March in mind.


Recommended bet: Viconte Du Noyer - 5 points EW 50/1

Recommended bet: Sinlgefarm payment - 5 points win 15/2




Race 4 - 3.30 : Champion Hurdle


A tricky one this year with no top class attraction yet on show.  My Tent or Yours probably tops the list on his achievements but ultimately he continues to come up short.  However in a supposedly weak renewal what’s to stop him going one better?  20/1 EW seems big continuing he has come second for the past two years.  That is in my opinion the best form on show, whichever way you spin it. You wouldn’t rule out the JP McManus tricots this year for sure.  My preference for this race continues to be Yanworth.  He has only lost once and that was to Yorkhill at the Festival.  He has plenty of Cheltenham form and although he hasn’t looked a million dollars this season I think he is still the best horse in the race and will be a tough nut to crack.  Brain Power brings the unconvential Handicap form into the race and has looked seriously progressive this season after winning the Betfair off a heavy weight.  The vibes about him look good and he would certainly be of interest.  However in my opinion if you like Yanworth how can you not also like Ch’tibello.  He lost out by just a length last time out to Yanworth and has reported just had his wind done.  I was taken by an interview Dan Skelton did about him saying that if any race turned into a sprint he would win hands down as he is absolutely rapid.  If the ground is good he definitely is overpriced at 33/1 ew.  I was very put off Buveur D’Air when the bloodstock agent who bought him said it was unlikely he was good enough for a Champion, though his Supreme third and Aintree win is good form the suspicion is softer ground would enhance his claims.


Recommended bet: Yanworth - 10 points win 3/1

Recommended bet: Chtibello - 2.5 points EW  33/1

Recommended bet: My Tent Or Yours - 5 points EW 16/1

Image above : Yanworth


Race 5 - 4.10 : Mares Hurdle


A race which revolves around the two Rich Ricci owned Mares there are too many variables to really get stuck into either.  They don’t think Limini is good enough for the Champion but good enough to beat Vroom Vroom?  Limini has Apples Jade held one recent run but Apples Jade prefers better ground and improved as the spring went on last year, she will definitely be ridden differently to the way she was last time.  However she really disappointed in the Triumph last year and my suspicion is that Rich Ricci is happy to go in two pronged to ensure he gets the job done with one or the other.   I’m still not 100% convinced by Jer’s girl at the top level and as result the play is back Lifeboat Mona ew.  On strict form lines she gave Midnight Jazz a conformable beating in January whereas VVM could only pip her a head at Doncaster last time.  Lifeboat Mona has a real turn of foot and is still unexposed post wind operation.  That isn’t often the case in these mares events and I suspect the market has basically ignored the English contingent because they have such a poor record in recent years because of the Mullins domination.  12/1 is definitely fair and worth backing about a Mare Paul Nicholls continues to rave about and even more so if for some reason Vroom Vroom Mag fails to run…


Recommended bet: Lifeboat Mona - 5 points EW 16/1




Race 6 - 4.50 : National Hunt Chase


A race run off level weights for amateur riders this is not a race to look for long priced value.  The top rated horses tend to do very well and last year the top two rated were first and second.  I must admit to backing Martello Tower each way at 20/1 so that seems to be looking good at half those current odds but the more I look at the race I am taken by the two Irish raiders Edwulf and Genie in a Bottle.  Both have powerful connections, both laid out for this race and both with the highest ratings, it could turn into a match race with Beware the Bear or Martello Tower chasing them home.  Its difficult to know which one to flag up. Edwulf’s jumping has let him down but his racing style looks suited to this race where they don’t go as quick and he can hunt round and pick them up late a la Minella Rocco.


Recommended bet: Edwulf - 5 points Win 11/2

Image above : Edwulf


Race 7 - 5.30 : Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase


The closing race and only 1 winner in the last 9 to go off bigger than 12/1.  Starting prices 12, 11, 8 in the past 3 years means the punters are generally finding the right horses towards the top of the market.  This is hardly even a handicap anymore as the weight spread is likely to be about 3lbs so the key is finding the best horse rather than unpicking some shrewd placing.  Foxtail Hill has done nothing but improve all season and his jumping is excellent.  His latest effort to be at hardened handicappers over the new course was mightily impressive and I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumped some of these novices off their feet.  He is definitely first pick for me even though the value has dried up a bit.  I would be interested in Heron Heights as already mentioned in the Ultima.  Itsafreebee ran poorly in soft ground last few times but on better ground accounted for Cole Harden over fences and ran creditably behind Yorkhill and Yanworth in last seasons neptune.  At 12/1 he is of interest if the ground isn't too soft however it is annoying that stable jockey Dan prefers Value at Risk and Davy Russell is booked for Two Taffs - The fact Dan has opted for VAR is probably a tip in itself.  If it was  soft Zamdy Man who is 2 lb clear top rated would have to come into the equation and at 20/1 too! However those horses picking up a penalty after the weights were announced do not have a good record.  I also think Mixboy and Double W’s have the progressive profile to have a say here but his form at the ‘lesser tracks' is difficult to equate. The interesting thing about Double W’s is he has only raced at 2 miles so far, this step up in trip could bring out more improvement.


There is a race in November over the new course which has a good record in producing placed horses here.  The race this year was won by Royal Vacation who takes the RSA route but in second was Potters Legend beating some quite well fancied horses high up in the betting in the Ulltima in the process. To add further substance he ran a 1 length second to Ballyandy in a bumper over the old course back in 2015 so I think he definitely has more scope as a chaser.  Lucy Wadham is a relatively unfashionable trainer and as a result he is 20/1.  I think he has been missed and fully expect a bold show. Unfortunately, he is running in the amateur race on Thursday at 12/1 and we can back him in that instead.


Recommended bet: Foxtail Hill - 5 points Win 6/1


Image above : Foxtail Hill


There's 28 races at Cheltenham so even two good winners you will be way ahead, so as a word of warning, even if Day 1 doesn't go too well there's a long way to go. Also don't forget to check out the Cheltenham offers on the blog.


River Wylde - 5 points EW 8/1 : Placed +5.0 points
Charbel - 10 points EW 11/1 : Fell -20.0 points
Viconte Du Noyer - 5 points EW 50/1
Sinlgefarm Payment -5 points win 15/2
Yanworth - 10 points win 3/1
Chtibello - 2.5points EW  33/1
My Tent Or Yours - 5 points EW 16/1
Lifeboat Mona - 5 points EW 16/1
Edwulf - 5 points win 11/2
Foxtail Hill - 5 points win 6/1


Total staked : 80 points

Total returns : 15 points 


Good Luck 


The Leviathan



Sunday 12th March 2017


Cheltenham Best Offers


With Cheltenham starting on Tuesday, each year the offers in shops and online get more and more competitve to the point that some races virtualy offer an under round or the concessions are so good that it should be hard to lose money.


The explosion in offers started 4 or 5 years ago when bet365 blew everyone else out of the water. On top of their best odds guaraneed service, and 4/1 winner offer, they went best industry place from 10am on the day of the race on every horse. So if you back a horse with bet365 you know it's the best price out there. With such a muggy database, they still win money and their turnover goes through the roof, depriving other bookmakers of turnover. It's predatory pricing and has turned out to be a genius move by the Coates family. In response, the other bookmakers offer very good offers to try and counter this. Here's a summary of all the offers for existing customers.


Bet365 industry best price offer is against Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power, Coral, Sky Bet and Boylesports.


Online offers


* MB = money back

Bookmaker Headline Offer  BOG Enhanced Place 4/1 Offer Faller insurance
Bet365 Best industry price from 10am Yes 1/4 all races Yes No
Skybet First race refund up to £25 Yes No No No
Ladbrokes 1st race if fav wins, MB up to £25 & MB if your horse is 2nd up to £25 all other races Yes - SP Plus 1/4 all races No No
Coral Fallers insurance up to £25 Yes No No Yes
William Hill 5 lenghts MB if 2nd or 25% bonus if wins Yes No No No
Boylesports If your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd to Fav, MB up to £20 Yes No No 1st or last jump
Betfred None Yes No No No
Paddy Power Free bet up to £20 if your horse finishes 2nd Yes No No No
Betway MB up to £10 if your horse losses in 1st or last race Yes No No No
Betfair None Yes No No No





Monday 6th March 2017


The Levianthan Angle

First Time Handicapper


One of the biggest skills a trainer needs is knowledge of the programme book i.e. what races come around at what points in the year, how much they are worth and where they are run. Another important factor in this equation is what do they require to get into the race.  Trainers will plot and plan months in advance to ensure their horses run in the appropriate races to get their handicap marks at a level they feel the horse can win off.  In this article we will introduce the notion of horse handicapping and all importantly search out a punting angle for which to make profit.


    “Handicaps are intended to produce a competitive race structure that provides an exciting
    spectacle for followers of the sport, both for those who enjoy watching closely matched
    horses in tight finishes and also from a betting perspective. Betting data confirms that
    handicaps are popular with punters, with less competitive races (in terms of the number
    of runners and the relative levels of ability) tending to generate lower betting activity.”


According to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) handicapping is meant to make racing more interesting and it is true, my favourite types of races are handicaps when there is lots of quandary and question over whether horses are well weighted and as such will run a good race and more likely to win.  As a quick overview, when horses run (and sometimes when they don’t) they are continually being “rated” by a team of handicappers.  They judge horses form against each other and will allot horses a weight for the race based on their OR (official rating).  This rating changes on how well or poorly they run.  If they win they also incur a penalty,


“The race conditions for most handicaps includes applying a standard penalty of 6lbs in flat races and 7lb in Jump races for any horse that wins after the Handicapper has had the opportunity to take account of the win in setting the weight to be carried by each horse.”



There are 3 angles to exploit that I am going to discuss here;


1)    Horses with a cleverly protected handicap mark
2)    Irish trained handicap runners 
3)    First time handicap runners


1. Horses with a cleverly protected handicap mark

David O’Meara is an absolute genius at placing horses in the right races and protecting their handicap marks and in 2014 he illustrated this by scooping a variety of major handicaps all over the country with “well handicapped horses”  I will use his November Handicap winner, Open Eagle, as an example.


A good horse at 2 in France (which usually means they like soft ground), he had a few runs at 3 in England and was given an official rating of 95…the plot is on.  The next 5 runs are in class 2 races some are worth in excess of £50k, so decent races.   He finishes 11/10/9/15/5 and his mark slips down to 82.  This rating is probably a little low to get him in the November handicap a few months later so he prob has to win a race or two but not by much and not too good a race.  He wins an £8k class 4 handicap at York and a 7k class 3 at Redcar and his mark is up to 86.  That is still a full 9lbs off what it was 12 months previous.  Open Eagle gets into the November Handicap off a low weight on soft ground and is probably nine pounds well in (which according to the BHA over this distance is 6 lengths).  Throw in some soft ground and he bolts up by 12 lengths at 15/2.  He was found in the market and went off favourite but he opened at 12/1 that morning and the ‘shrewdies', smelling a plot, clearly dived in.  He is now trained over jumps by Willie Mullins!



Image above : Open Eagle entries and how he beat the handicapper


This sort of thing happens all the time and if its on the all weather to win a pot of £5k or a big handicap worth £50k or more there are always horses with long range targets in mind.  Our task is to track them down and find them.


2. Irish trained handicap runners


Irish trained horses are assessed by the Irish handicapper and whilst Phil Smith (Head of Handicapping at the BHA) believes he keeps close tabs on the Irish runners inevitably trainers are going to be able to take advantage of lenient marks or indeed exploiting a difficulty of comparing Irish and British runners.  Remember the handicapper assesses and makes changes when horses run against each other and confirm form lines.  As the British and Irish horses race with far less frequency this becomes more difficult.  Gordon Elliott and Tony Martin certainly enjoy themselves in the UK and make the most out of their horses handicap marks.  Tony Martin is another master of protecting a handicap mark, none more so than Heartbreak City.  Running off 79 in July 2015 he scooped the 174k Ebor at York off a mark of 103 (only 3 horses ran off a lighter weight) and then went on to agonisingly get touched off (lost a head) in the Melbourne Cup (£1.8 million) and run to a mark of 125!  Firstly what a training performance and secondly a masterclass in placing to ensure the owners picked up maximum prize money on the journey.  The ability of martin to get this horse (Melbourne Cup runner up next time out) into Britain's richest handicap off nearly bottom weight is remarkable.  He duly hacked up by 4 lengths.  This illustrates that the British handicapper was not in the right ball park with his weighting and as such Heartbreak City ran amok and won at 15/2 - again available at bigger in the morning.  



Image above : Heartbreak city running off a low handicap mark at York orchestrated by trainer Tony Martin



With Dundalk’s all weather meetings on a Friday night this makes for another angle and if you see a horse coming over to run at Wolverhampton based purely on its Irish handicap mark it is worth noting.  Often trainers are coming over and scooping races on the all weather over here and by the time the handicapper works them out, they are off back to Ireland.


Mr Boss Man has only ever had 2 wins and 2 seconds on the flat in 16 starts.  His record at Dundalk reads 5/5/5/7/5/5/4 he comes over to Wolverhampton and runs off 2 wins and a second in the space of a month.  The handicapper catches up to him and he’s off back to Ireland.   His trainer spotted a couple of class 6 contests across the Irish sea and connections came back 7k better off.  This is definitely something to keep an eye out for, especially if the horses is described as having its first run in the UK from an Irish trainer.


Image above : Mr Boss Man, an Irish horse who ran at Wolves to beat the UK handicapper


3. First time handicap runners


In order to qualify for a handicap mark (without going into fine detail) a horse needs to have had 3 runs.  This is deemed a sufficient amount of time for a horse to be judged by the handicapper.


On the flat a theme you often see is young horses running in maidens, having very little chance of winning but running to a) give their horse some experience and b) get three runs into the horse so they can get an official handicap mark and the fun can start. Recent Chelmsford scorer Seaborn is a great example of such a horse to keep an eye out for.  The first thing to note is he is trained by a small trainer in Simon Hodgson (just 7 wins on the flat in last 6 seasons).  In his first maiden he went off 100/1 and raced on the AW at 8 furlongs (1mile).  In the same race trainers such as Sir Michael Stoute and Richard Hannon (2,000 winners in last 6 seasons) had horses running as well as many other top stables such as Mark Johnston, Marco Botti and Ralph Beckett so it stands to reason he was a 100/1 shot.  His second and third races were a similar story going off 66/1 in both races against some big stables.  He qualifies for a handicap mark having beaten just 4 horses home in 3 starts.  The key now is to spot the following;


1.    New Track
2.    New Trip (distance of race)
3.    Much lower grade
4.    Not running against big stables 


No disrespect to the trainers that ran horses in the £3k class 6 (0-60) handicap at Chelmsford on the 9th Feb but they aren’t in the same calibre as those that ran horses in the previous maidens.  




Seaborne is priced up at 16/1 and whilst there is probably not a lot to recommend him on his previous runs in terms of bare form the accumulation of the 4 points made above make him of interest on handicap debut against horses that equally haven't shown much form to date.  The favourite, for example, at 15/8 has never finished better than 4th in 7 runs.  He ended up finishing second to further emphasise these are a very modest bunch and the fact Seaborn has jumped out of the frying pan of decent AW maidens this race would have felt a much easier assignment.  It’s easier to be wise after the event but it is certainly always worth having a second look at handicap debutants and if they are clearly overpriced as Seaborn was then its worth an investment.  The price was reflecting poor form in harder races and the reputation of a small trainer and sometimes it is dangerous to write those things off without a second look.



Monday 27th February 2017


Pitch dimensions - Is there any mileage in the small ground theory?



Twice in the last month I’ve been watching the Premier League and either commentators or managers have come out and declared that the size of the pitch, directly affected the tactics of the opposition and therefore the outcome of the match. I’m just going to have a look at both cases objectively and see if there’s any truth in these statements, or whether the pitch size card is just a tactic used by managers to deflect from the real reason they lost. I will also take a look at Tottenham and how Wembley may affect them next year.


Pitch Myth 1 – ‘Man City thrived at the London Stadium on West Ham’s large pitch’

First of all, I want to look at all the pitch dimensions of the 20 Premier league teams. It is true that the London stadium is bigger than the Boleyn ground but by how much? And did Man City benefit from this extra space?

Here’s a list of the pitch dimensions taken from the Official Premier League page for the 2016/17 season.





Pitch area


Emirates Stadium

105m x 68m


Vitality Stadium

105m x 68m


KC Stadium

105m x 68m

Manchester City

Etihad Stadium

105m x 68m

Manchester United

Old Trafford

105m x 68m


Riverside Stadium

105m x 68m


St Mary's Stadium

105m x 68m


bet365 Stadium

105m x 68m


Stadium of Light

105m x 68m


Liberty Stadium

105m x 68m


Vicarage Road

105m x 68m

West Brom

The Hawthorns

105m x 68m

West Ham

London Stadium

105m x 68m


Turf Moor

103.51m x 65.01m


Stamford Bridge

103m x 67.5m



101m x 68m


King Power Stadium

100.58m x 67.67m

Crystal Palace

Selhurst Park

100.56m x 67.67m


Goodison Park

100.48m x 68m


White Hart Lane

100m x 67m




In 2012, the Premier League introduced a rule to standardise pitch size. This was a reaction to Stoke City, who under Pulis were narrowing the pitch for PL games and Delap’s long thrown ins, but having to widen it in the Europa League games to comply with their regulations. “Unless otherwise permitted by the board, in league matches the length of the pitch shall be 105 metres and its breadth 68 metres,”.

Thirteen of the twenty Premiership teams now have the standardised pitch size with White Hart Lane the smallest at 100m x 67m.

Anyway, back to pitch myth 1, the London Stadium is significantly bigger than the Boleyn ground which was 100.58m x 68m but it’s exactly the same as Man City’s home pitch? Why then did the commentators think the pitch is bigger? They mentioned it at least four times. Well I think most of this small pitch / big pitch equation comes down to the closeness of the stands to the playing surface. At the Olympic stadium there are huge distances to the crowd and this makes the place less intimidating and feel more open. So even though the pitch is the same, it can feel a lot bigger. What we are witnessing here is a perception illusion.


For more fun perception illusions click here


Pitch Myth 2 – ‘Burnley’s small pitch made it easier to play long balls against Chelsea’

After the Burnely v Chelsea game in the post match interviews, Conte was asked why he thinks Burnley are so good at home, here’s his response.


Conte said: 'The pitch is small and this is better for the team that has to defend and play this long ball. 'You have less pitch to cover and then there is a good atmosphere with the supporters and I think it's good. It's right to have this type of atmosphere at Burnley and for all these reasons they have all these points in the table. We found a team that thought to disrupt our football, to play this long ball and to fight the second ball.'

Let’s break this down and see if there's any truth in this.

1.    The pitch is small – yes it’s smaller than the standard by very small margin but it is still bigger than Stanford Bridge. v 
2.    There is less pitch to cover – Turf Moor is the narrowest pitch at 65 metres, but Conte was implying it was the long ball not the cross field balls that their game plan was based on, but again commpared to SB this is not true.
3.    There’s a good atmosphere with the supporters – this is the point I agree with Conte on… Turf Moor is a traditional tight stadium and the supporters feel on top of you. The perception illusion makes the pitch feel even smaller, the opposite to the London Stadium.

So I think overall we can say myth busted here, Turf Moor is actually bigger than Stanford Bridge, however the narrower pitch may have made a small but ultimately insignificant role in the long ball tactics. It was actually good tactics against a team to allow Burnley to reset, get 11 men behind the ball whilst exploiting the space behind the wing backs and stretching the back 3 of Chelsea across the pitch.


Pitch Myth 3 – ‘Tottenham are struggling at Wembley becasuse of the surface and bigger pitch’

As we’ve seen earlier, Tottenham have the smallest pitch in the Premier League. Wembley has the standardised 105 x 68 surface. Overall the pitch is 6% bigger than White Hart Lane. Spurs have a tremendous record at WHL, it’s a tight small stadium with great support and an intimidating place for away teams. Wembley feels like a cup final, players dream of playing at Wembley. Wembley is vast; 90,000 fans, miles away from the pitch with the corporate ring of Club Wembley disrputing any atmosphere to allow to build between the upper and lower tiers. 

I think of all three myths, this is the one that holds the most water. Tottenham have found it difficult to adjust to Wembley but I think this is probably due to familiarity, the perception illusion (feels less intimidating as stands are much further from the pitch) the pitch size and also just as importantly the pitch quality. Against Leverkusen the pitch was terrible. The ball doesn’t roll as well as WHL, it doesn’t zip of the surface. They aren’t allowed to water the surface at half time or before the game and I think the ball can tend to stick in the surface as there is a high amount of friction with the ball.

In conclusion, I think it’s probably not pitch size that is important, it’s how close the fans are to the pitch that probably makes the difference.

If you have any comments please get in touch. Would love to hear your thoughts.


Good luck






Saturday 11th February 2017


Big winning week for accumulators?


Just a quick article today, I've had a good look through the coupon and I don't think i've seen so many short odds on shots for a whilst. If United, Arsenal win early then it could be a very uncomfortable day for the layers. Here's all the odds on shots, let's see how many win today. I've got a sneaky feeling it's a good day to be a punter and a bad day to be a bookmaker.


Here's the 26 main favourites on the coupon this weekend, virtually all of them are 1.50 or shorter. Let's hope they all win.


Match Home Draw Away Result
Arsenal   v   Hull 1.30 5.5 11.0 Won
Man Utd   v   Watford 1.25 6.0 13.0 Won
Burnley   v   Chelsea 8.0 4.5 1.44 Drew
Bournemouth   v   Man City 7.0 4.8 1.44 Won
Brighton   v   Burton 1.50 4.3 7.0 Won
Scunthorpe   v   Shrewsbury 1.67 3.6 5.5 Lost
Portsmouth   v   Accrington 1.67 3.6 5.5 Won
Celtic   v   Inverness 1.15 7.5 17.0 Won
Rangers v Morton 1.16 6.5 13.0 Won
Alaves   v   Barcelona 10.0 5.0 1.33 Won
Osasuna   v   Real Madrid 13.0 6.0 1.25 Won
Atletico Madrid   v   Celta Vigo 1.4 4.8 9.5 Won
Darmstadt   v   Dortmund 8.0 5.0 1.4 Lost
Ingolstadt   v   Bayern Munich 9.0 4.5 1.4 Won
Leipzig   v   Hamburg 1.5 4.33 7.0 Lost
Crotone   v   Roma 8.5 4.8 1.4 Won
Inter Milan   v   Empoli 1.36 4.8 10.0 Won
Torino   v   Pescara 1.4 4.8 8.5 Won
Cagliari   v   Juventus 10.0 4.8 1.36 Won
Monaco   v   Metz 1.25 5.5 12.0 Won
Guimaraes   v   Porto 6.0 3.8 1.53 Won
Livingston   v   Stranraer 1.57 4.0 5.5 Drew
Lincoln   v   Woking 1.5 4.4 6.0 Won
Feyenoord   v   Groningen 1.25 5.5 9.5 Won
Ajax   v   Sparta Rotterdam 1.18 6.0 13 Won
PSV Eindhoven   v   Utrecht 1.28 5.0 9.0 Won



Good luck



** updated Feb 24th - so we can see some great results for the punters with 21 Winners, 2 Draws and 3 Losses. Probably not enough to bankrupt the bookies but lots of winning selections. The Chelsea draw probably saved the bookmakers a small fortune.





Friday 10th February 2017


Second String Horses - The Leviathan Angle



In this series of articles I will be identifying some key areas where the occasional horse racing punter can look to find a decent bet at a decent price.


Much is made for the need to find “value” when betting;  this is essentially the premise that the bet you want to place is probably a bigger price than it should be and therefore worth an investment;  Marseille at even money to win at home with Payet and Gomis firing is probably value against most teams. Similarly in horse racing a lot can be made of horses at the top end of the market which leaves lesser fancied horses to drift to prices way longer than represents their chances.  In this series we will delve into some easy ways to find them.


The White Cap Theory - Backing the Second String

In Horse racing there are some powerhouse owners.  They own a large portion of the best horses in training and when they retire the horses are bred with other top class horses in their ownership to make the best of future generations, well that's the theory.  The biggest example of this on the flat is Aiden O’Brien, the trainer for the Coolmore Stud operation.  In his training career he has saddled 272 Group 1 wins, with an incredible 132 Individual Horses being successful at the top level!  With such an wealth of talent, very good horses are going to go into races not being their stables supposed first choice and this is when we can take advantage.  I am going to split this article into two sections focusing on the flat and jumps giving examples of how the embarrassment of riches these top trainer/owners have can lead to us scooping a few decent winners in the satchel.



Which owners should we focus on for 2nd string horses?

Flat Racing




If you see these colours then they are representing the might of the Coolmore operation despite being officially owned by the Smiths or the Tabor’s or the Magniers…it's Coolmore.


They only have one trainer (by and large) in the UK and Ireland, Aiden O’Brien. As with most major operations they have a retained jockey who will get the first choice of who to ride.  In this case that jockey is Ryan Moore.


Eg. Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes;  Ryan Moore opts to ride Coolmore owned Legatissimo (6/4) Seamie Heffernan has to ride Diamonds and Rubies (also Coolmore owned) (8/1) and beats the fav to win by a short head



Another good example of this is the 2016 Arc.



Yes, I accept the first string won on this occasion but because Found had Ryan Moore on board and was 6/1 multiple Group 1 winners Highland Reel and Order of St. George were 20/1 and 14/1 respectively.  This price I believe is based more on the fact they aren’t first choice as opposed to their chance of winning.  It represented excellent ew value to back all 3.  AOB is throwing his top horses at Europe’s premier flat race and as such were certainly overpriced.


Taking this to the extreme in the Oaks the same year Aiden O’Brien (the best trainer with the best horses) saddled 3 horses.  The outsider of the 3 was 50/1.  She had never ran over a mile and half (only over a mile in two group 1’s that season).  Upped to a mile and half and at a whopping 50/1 Qualify won the Oaks.  The reality is any horse trained by Aiden O’Brien should never be 50/1 so it can often pay to look beyond the fancied options.


The only time this rule is to be ignored is if a horse is being employed as a pacemaker and this is often clearly outlined as a plan by the trainer.  However recently even pacemakers have been running good races with Roger Varian’s Roseburg, pacemaker for Postponed, being placed in a group 1 at 50/1 and when Workforce when the Derby in 2010 Coolmore pacemaker At First Sight was second at 100/1.  It can happen but is more uncommon.



Godolphin is slightly different as although they are owned by Sheikh Mohammed (Sheikh of Dubai) and they have two main trainers in the UK; Saeed Bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby.  This has got a bit messy in the past year in terms of jockeys, however William Buick is certainly Charlie Appleby’s retained jockey with Saeed Bin Suroor using a variety of jockeys.  The Dubai world cup is one of the richest races with the winner scooping $10 million. Twice in the last 5 runnings it has been won at a great price by a Godolpin second string horse.

2015 - Prince Bishop 16/1    (Godolphin Second String)
2012 - Monterosso 20/1    (Godolphon Second String)


The Godolphin second string wears a white cap, hence the white cap theory and it can often provide some value in races at Meydan.  It becomes tricky to know who Godolphins’ first string is if they come from different stables? Obviously this is hard to know as there is no overall retained jockey cherry picking the best horses.  A good angle is to look for things that don't make sense, when it comes to jockeys, trainers and prices.  Here is an example;


Top trainer Charlie Appleby and his stable retained jockey (who has the choice of all the yards horses) is riding Artigiano (8/1) yet Folkswood is 4/1 for the same trainer.  Folkswood ran a good race in second and went on to win again afterwards but Buick knew who was most likely to win this race and won as the apparent Godolphin 3rd string.  This leapt off the page as weird to me and made it must bet. It’s worth keeping an eye out for these kind of inconsistencies that can help us find a good bet at a good price.




Jump Racing or National Hunt


Whilst jockeys often know the best horses this isn’t always the case and regularly in national hunt races jockeys ride the wrong horse and as a result of their choice we get good value on the alternatives.  This is even more prominent in jumps racing as horses from their powerhouse owners split their horses up across several stables. This makes it is difficult to confidently compare who they think will win and as such most of the money goes on the horse the jockey decides to ride, even if there is very little difference between the horses in terms of racing ability. Therefore the prices can differ dramatically between the two horses.


The green and gold are synonymous with national hunt racing made famous by retained jockey Tony McCoy. AP would have first pick of horses and as such prices became very short on his rides so the value is to look elsewhere.  They operate a retained rider which is now Barry Gerraghty so it is easy to identify the second string.


2014 Champion Hurdle - My Tent or Yours (trained in England by Nicky Henderson) was the mount of AP and was 3/1, Jezki (trained in Ireland by Jessica Harrington) was 9/1.  They had raced a year previously finishing 2nd and 3rd in the Supreme Novices hurdle.  Very little between them and they hadn’t raced since.  One was three times the price of the other.  Jezki is the value bet as 9/1 second string and ends up winning by a neck from My Tent or Yours.


Owned by Mr Ryanair Michael O’Leary they own loads of horses in Ireland and have a retained jockey in Brian Cooper.  However in some big handicaps they have loads of runners and it must make his job very difficult to choose.  Even more difficult is the horses are spread across about 5 different trainers to comparing notes must be difficult.  As a result he picks a horse and the bookies will make that horse shorter than the others despite anything else and if he chooses wrong and one of the others win, than there is likely value in their price as a result.


The Betfair forum is rife with criticism for Bryan Cooper and is apparent inability to pick the right horse.  There is even some suggestion he is put on some horses in order to shorten its odds so the O’Leary’s can make a few quid, though I doubt that is true but the face this sort of thing is discussed illustrates it happens and as such it is an angle worth noting. 



A great final example is the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham 2013


It is race difficult to predict anyway and Willie Mullins is regularly the man to follow.  His retained jockey is Ruby Walsh but in these type of races he allows his son Patrick to have the first pick.  Patrick picked Union Dues and went off 9/1 third favourite.  Ruby Walsh (the stable jockey) gets to pick next and picks Briar Hill and he bolts in by 7 lengths at 20/1! 


In conclusion this isn’t a piece to say the first string horses won’t win and please note the advice isn’t to always pick the second string.  However examine their credentials along with their price and there is quite a decent chance they have been pushed out to a bigger price because they are perceived less fancied when actually there is very little between both horses.  Often trainers and jockeys say there is little to split them and then the prices go up and one is 3 times the price! Just remember a second string for someone like Willie Mullins or Aiden O’Brien is probably better than most first strings! And that’s where the value lies.


Good luck


The Leviathan Angle





Friday 3rd February 2017


Home advantage in football


How much is home advantage worth in football?


We often hear about how hard it is to win on a wet Tuesday night at Stoke, or how the Kop at Anfield is worth an extra half a goal a game. But realistically, how much of an advantage is it playing at home and how can we benefit as punters?


Take a look below at the statistics for the main leagues across the world this season in terms of corners, shots and goals. 


  Home Goals Away Goals Goal Diff Home Shots on target Away Shots on target Shot Diff Home Corners Away Corners Corner Diff
Premier league 1.6 1.2 0.4 4.6 4.0 0.6 5.4 4.8 0.6
Championship 1.5 1.1 0.4 4.5 3.8 0.7 5.7 4.8 0.9
League one  1.5 1.1 0.4 5.0 4.1 0.9 6.0 5.0 1.0
League two 1.4 1.3 0.1 4.6 4.0 0.6 5.6 4.9 0.7
Conference 1.5 1.2 0.3            
Scottish PL 1.5 1.2 0.3 5.0 4.2 0.8 5.4 5.0 0.4
Scottish Champ 1.3 1.3 0.0            
Scottish L1 1.4 1.5 -0.1            
Scottish L2 1.7 1.5 0.2            
France Ligue 1 1.5 1.0 0.5 4.4 3.7 0.7 5.3 4.0 1.3
France Ligue 2 1.2 1.0 0.2            
Bundesliga 1.5 1.2 0.3 4.7 4.0 0.7 4.7 4.3 0.4
Bundesliga 2 1.4 1.1 0.3 4.4 3.5 0.9 5.4 4.5 0.9
Serie A 1.6 1.2 0.4 5.2 4.0 1.2 5.6 5.0 0.6
Serie B 1.4 0.9 0.5            
La Liga 1.6 1.3 0.3 4.9 3.8 1.1 5.8 4.0 1.8
Segunda 1.4 0.9 0.5            
Austria 1.6 1.2 0.4 4.7 4.2 0.5 5.5 4.3 1.2
Belgium 1.7 1.1 0.6            
Denmark 1.4 1.2 0.2 4.8 4.0 0.8 5.1 4.7 0.4
Greece 1.3 0.9 0.4       5.3 4.0 1.3
Eredivisie 1.5 1.2 0.3 5.3 4.1 1.2 5.6 4.6 1.0
Portugal 1.3 1.0 0.3 4.5 3.4 1.1 6.1 4.8 1.3
Russia 1.3 0.8 0.5 4.2 3.4 0.8 4.8 3.9 0.9
Sweden 1.7 1.4 0.3 5.7 4.7 1.0 5.4 5.0 0.4
Turkey 1.4 1.1 0.3 4.6 3.9 0.7 5.3 4.2 1.1
Champs League 1.7 1.2 0.5 5.0 3.8 1.2 5.5 4.3 1.2
Europa League 1.6 1.2 0.4 4.5 3.8 0.7 4.6 4.3 0.3
MLS 1.7 1.1 0.6 5.2 3.8 1.4 5.7 4.1 1.6
A-league 1.6 1.3 0.3            
Argentina 1.2 0.9 0.3 4.3 3.4 0.9 5.6 4.2 1.4
Brazil 1.5 0.9 0.6 5.0 3.4 1.6 6.1 4.1 2.0
Mexico 1.5 1.2 0.3 5.0 4.2 0.8 5.4 4.9 0.5
Average 1.48 1.14 0.34 4.79 3.88 0.91 5.45 4.49 0.97



So we can see from the table above that across all of Europe, home advantage is worth 0.34 goals, 0.9 shots on target and 1.0 corner. In Scottish League 1 and 2 and Football League 2 the home advantage is almost non existent despite the fact the on target and corner difference is the same.


The advantage is roughly 8%. With 2.62 goals on average per game, and a 0.34 goal home advantage, it comes out at 7.7%.

So a 50/50 favourite on neutral territory will become a 54/46 favourite.


Interestingly, home advantage seems to go up slightly the further teams travel. The biggest countries USA, Brazil and Russia all have over 0.5 goal home advantage, although this could be a coincidence as Belgium also has a high home advantage.


As the standard of football drops down the leagues, home advantage becomes less significant. Studies have shown familiarity, home crowds, travel and the influence of the home crowd on the referee can all affect the home away bias.


Below are the odds from Scottish League 1





We can see that the bookies have pretty much adapted and put this in to their models. East Fife and Queen's Park are on the same points but the prices are 2.5 for the home team and 3.0 for the away team despite both sides being very similar in quality.


We are only scratching the surface of home advantage, there are hundreds of studies and stats on the subject, but most importantly at Betwade we want to know if this knowledge can help our long term trading and ultimately profitability.


So next time someone in the pub asks you how much is home difference, you can confidently say a third of a goal, BUT it doesn't matter too much, the further you go down the leagues.....and it's actually negative in Scottish League 1!



Good luck




Monday 30th January 2017


Staking plans and Bankroll Management


What staking plan should I use to maximise my returns?


This is a question that a lot of people have asked over the decades. How much should I bet on a particular event?

Well I think the first part of that question is simple

  1. How much money do you have?
  2. Bet what you can afford to lose or to put this another way, don’t go broke!

The worst possible outcome for any gambler is to go broke. I’ve read a few books from poker players and professional gambler and traders where it says everyone goes broke at least once, and it’s how you bounce back from these setbacks that makes you who you are etc…. Bollocks!

I’ve never heard such nonsense in my life. You can’t justify after the event saying ‘oh well it happens to everyone’, it doesn’t and it just means you over staked and you’re an idiot. Never go broke. It’s not a hero movie like on TV, it’s your life. Be sensible, don’t chase losses. Treat it like a job, even it’s not and you will already have a head start on the competitions.


So what is the optimal staking strategy?

On betwade a standard 10 point level or unit system is used except for the bet of the month which can go to 20 points. This level staking isn’t a bad way to trade especially for the beginner or novice punter. It takes the emotion and stress out of deciding your stake and means you can focus on your selections. However, should you be having the same stake on a 100/1 shot as a 1/3 shot?

The answer is probably not. The main reason you enter any trade or punt is because there’s value. Think of it like you are backing a stock on the London stock exchange. Value is investing your money in an investment strategy where the stocks (or bets you make on sports teams) are selected that trade for less than their intrinsic values (or what the odds are). Value investors actively seek stocks they believe the market has undervalued.

So, if we make something a 50% or Evens (1 to 1 chance) and we can get 6/4 or 2.5 or 40% implied odds with a bookmaker or exchange, then we are getting 10% value on the bet.

Therefore the greater the difference in percentage terms we are getting on th bet, the higher we should stake on the selection.

(However, as you become a more skilled punter, this system can come a cropper when bookmakers start to restrict you as they employ very low skilled workers who can’t price anything up and just copy betfair. Bar this anamoly, this is the best way to go about increasing your bankroll and becoming a winning trader).


How should I manage my Bankroll and adjust my stakes?

It’s absolutely vital to never stretch yourself too far or over stake. In my opinion bankroll management is probably the second most important element after the selections themselves. If you are a gambler who is trying to win long term, improve what you are doing and maybe supplement your income, I think it’s unwise to stake more than 20% of your bankroll (the money that you put aside for only betting) on any one selection).  

It’s also important not to over think the staking system. Bet what you are comfortable with, but also have a general idea in your head what you should be staking on each selection at a given price


Here’s a rough guide that I use to manage my bankroll. It's based on a very loose Kelly Criterion. Kelly's Criterion is a formula that is used to determine how much of a bank should be risked on a given bet. The formula takes into account the odds of the bet and the probability that it will win and the probability that it will lose. However, Kelly Criterion is extemely aggressive and can recommend staking up to 90% of your bankroll on one bet which is ludicrous.


1 point / 1 % of bankroll – Fun bet size, big odds or accumulators
2 points / 2-3% of bankroll – Single and Doubles
3 points / 4-5% of bankroll – Singles only with implied value of 5%>
Max bet / Up to 20% of bankroll – Singles with implied value of 15%>


I hope this helps gives a good introduction to staking and bankroll management. If you have any questions about bankroll management or staking plans use the contact us page or google Kelly Criterion or bankroll management for further reading on the subject.


Good luck.






Friday January 27th 2017


What is Dutching in sports betting and why should we 'Dutch' as punters?


What is dutching?


Dutching is a method used to divide your stake over a combination of selections in an event so that the same amount is won regardless of which selection wins. This technique is useful when there are two or more outcomes you wish to back.


A working example of dutching


Imagine you are placing a bet on the football tonight on Marseille v Montpellier and like myself you look at the statistics and fancy Marseille to win. You look at the odds and back 1.72 Marseille.

You might not look at it this way, but essentially you have backed 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, 3-2, 4-3, 4-2 etc Marseille to win. When you put all these bets together, the price should come out at 1.72.

So when we are looking for value as a punter, why not take some of the selections out that seem unlikely. In the case above, Marseille have kept 8 clean sheets at home and are a bit more defensive minded under Marcelo Biesla. Likewise Montpellier have failed to score in 3 of their last 4 away games.

Looking at the Marseille to nil price it’s currently 2.82 on betfair? Can we get better than that.




Let’s look at the correct score market and see if we can get some better value. If we dutch 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 at 7.6, 9.4 and 15.5 respectively, the to nil price shoots up to 3.3. Add 4-0 for extra insurance and using the calculator below it comes out at 3.01.


So we can see that by dutching our correct score selections, we are getting better value than just taking the win to nil price. Obviousy 5 nil could happen, but in the long term we should be ahead by dutching. 


What other markets are good for dutching?

The best markets are where there are multiple outcomes but we want to narrow down the options. Correct score markets work well as well as first goalscorer markets, first touchdown in NFL etc and horse racing.

Why is it called Dutching?


Firstly, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Dutch!

The name comes from the Prohibition Era in the United States by Al Capone's accountant, "Dutchy" Schultz as a technique in order to lay horses. The beauty of the system was that he backed multiple horses to win in the same race.  The amount he bet on each horse was calculated so that the same amount of profit was achieved if any of his horses won the race. Essentially, Dutchy Schultz was laying the horse (or horses) he didn't expect to win, by backing others in the same race which he thought had a better chance of coming home first.


Nowadays, we can you this system to find greater value with our sports betting.


Good luck. 






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