From draw advantage expert
to strategies with spreadsheets.
A brief history of losing, research and
development, and winning,
or how I went from a minor who wasn't old enough to bet,
to a supplier of picks and shovels for the Betfair Gold Rush.
Formulas and maths of trading
Strategies for horse racing and football trading
A very accurate analysis of U.K. horse racing draw
I have enjoyed betting and especially horse racing since I
was a lad.
Whilst I was still at school, my dad took me to quite a few northern
racecourses such a s Thirsk, Ripon, Catterick, Haydock, York, Donny, Redcar,
and Stockton (befrore it closed).
That's where my interest in horse racing came from.
Later on we hit Cheltenham a couple of times, when Night Nurse won the
What a great horse he was.
When I got older, we used to meet up on a
Saturday afternoon for a few beers and trips
across the road to the bookies for a few bets.
There were no pictures in those days, but the commentator on the "bookies
blower" could give anyone a heart failure on a Saturday afternoon.
My dad knew an apprentice jockey's dad who lived in our village, and we used to get the occasional
tip from the stable.
I'll never forget a horse called Caribbean Boy.
Caribbean Boy was a 7F horse.
The trainer used to run it over various
distances and unsuitable ground (I guess) to get its handicap down.
We used to get "the word" when it was due to
that sticks in my memory was a race at Ripon one Saturday afternoon.
The blower commentator excelled himself that day.
"2 furlongs to go, and its so and so, so and so, so and so, etc., etc,"
with no mention of Caribbean Boy.
"Entering the final furlong and it's so and so, so and so, so, and so, etc.,
"200 yards to go and it's so and so, so and so, so, and so, etc., etc, with
Caribbean Boy making a move from the rear..... "
"100 yards to go
and so and so, so and so, so, and so, etc., etc, with Caribbean Boy coming on the outside"
"Nearing the post and it's so and so, so and so, so, and so, etc., etc, with
Caribbean Boy still making headway on the outside" ..... Christ
.......... Come On !!
"Inches to go and Caribbean Boy is getting up !"
With half the village on Caribbean Boy, the cheer that went up that day must
have been heard miles away.
The jockey is now a successful trainer.
To this day, in our house we
never refer to that trainer by his name.
When we see him being interviewed on
television, we always refer to him as "Caribbean Boy".
My dad was very good at picking winners, but
I lost every week.
I started to study southern trainers who sent only one runner up to northern
My theory was that it probably cost just the same to send up 2 horses as
one, so a "One horse raid" was what I looked for.
I used to look for single runners from southern stables at a whole meeting.
If the race meeting lasted 3 days, the qualifyers had to be just one runner
throughout the 3 days.
I looked at the final days racing for single runners from southern stables,
and then eliminated any of those horses if a the stable had had a runner on
one of the previous days.
My selection method improved, and I began to hit more winners.
It paid to specialize.
Ron Boss was my favourite "one horse
raider" trainer at that time.
When he sent just one horse up north
from Newmarket with the expense of a horse box, staff
etc, quite often he meant business.
Later, I began to keep records of other
things and eventually studied draw advantages in horse races.
knowledge of draw advantages increased, I found I needed to bet on more than one horse,
to put my information to best use, so I
began to collect different Dutching formulas for the staking of more than one
I taught myself computer programming using BASIC, and built a few programmes
My first programmes were written on a Sinclair computer with a rubber
I used Dutching to stake up to 6 well drawn horses using bookie accounts, or
placed bets in shops.
I now use those Dutching formulas and a selection of Hedging formulas for
building Excel spreadsheets.
stalls were introduced to The U.K. at Newmarket on 8th July 1965.
They were first used in The Derby in 1967.
It's obvious to me that an analysis of a count up of the number of wins
from each starting stall should reveal which stalls are favoured by the
In over 40 years since the introduction of starting stalls, very few accurate studies have
Most draw advantage advice seems to be based on guesswork.
Take a map of the course, a few personal observations, and Hey Presto !
there's your draw advantage advice.
Even today, despite the availability of very powerful computer software,
newspaper draw advantage advice and that given by television presenters and web sites, continues to be extremely poor.
In 1982, I published a book of draw advantage
charts, with 6 years results 1976 to 1981.
Some years later, I started to build web sites.
I like to think my web sites are functional rather that pretty.
By 2006, I published 10 season's results on my web site,
startingstalls.co.uk counting the number of wins
accurately for literally thousands of races.
Using the presentation
method that I perfected in the late 1970's, the advice I produced was
extremely accurate, and was backed up by years of experience and past record
I reckon I was the country's expert on the subject of draw advantages for quite some
time - World Champion.
Every week on my web site, I published
newspaper draw advantage advice for high profile meetings and big races, and
compared newspaper advice with results on the racecourse.
None of the newspaper advice was worth the paper it was printed on.
If you compare the advice given by The Racing Post, Sun, Star, and Mirror,
you will see no end of totally opposing views.
They cannot all be correct.
You can take it from me, that draw advantage advice in this country is
extremely poor, and probably always will be.
My guess is that if you bet on the horses, you more or less ignore the draw.
Why ? Because the advice available in newspapers doesn't work
............... it never has done.
It's not based on facts and will let you down, probably sooner rather than
In my opinion, draw advantages are affected by drainage, distance, the
number of runners, and the positioning of the stalls - against the Low rail,
the High rail, or in the centre of the track.
Drainage and the going.
If I race against you and I run on dry ground whilst you run on softer
ground, who's going to win ?
It is obvious that horses run faster on dryer ground.
Identify where a faster strip of ground is, and you could be onto something.
Races of 5F and 6F are a controlled dash for the winning post.
In races of 7F and further, tactics come into play, so draw advantages
deteriorate dramatically as distance increases.
Number of runners.
In races with large numbers of runners, there are often traffic problems,
which usually causes draw advantages to be less effective.
Also, at some courses, a few runners make break away from the main group and
race at the other side of the track, searching for faster ground - again,
not good for predicting draw advantages.
Concentrate on races with limited numbers of runners, and from a draw
advantage point of view, these problems are largely eliminated.
Positioning of the stalls against either rail or in the centre of the track
is often overlooked, but stalls positioning ALWAYS has an effect on the draw
This is all obvious stuff, but drainage, distance,
the number of runners, and the positioning of the stalls are rarely researched correctly.
The information I provided was very accurate,
and allowed the reader to make his own decision regarding the draw if he
I provided a write up for every course and distance up to a mile, but anyone who
could read a graph could draw their own conclusions from the presentation.
Some of it was very powerful stuff.
I like to think that my findings were responsible for Epsom Racecourse positioning the
starting stalls next to the stand's rail in all 5F races since the mid
Previously, the stalls were usually positioned against the low
rail (far side viewed from the stands), sometimes centre, but never against
the high, stand's side rail as they are now.
Also, I like to think I caused Doncaster Racecourse to
lay new drains in the straight in the 1980's.
That's how good my information was.
Before you criticize those 2 observations, just ask yourself "What is your contribution to racing
These 2 links show articles published in the
National Press concerning race results prior to these measures at Epsom and
Doncaster being taken.
Shortly after these articles were published, Epsom and Doncaster took
The timing of their actions could be a coincidence, but I don't think so.
Judge for yourself.
From 2003 to 2007, I published draw advantage
my Starting Stalls web site.
Site visitors who were willing to pay for draw advantage information in 2003
- 2004 were few and far between, so I made the information free from 2005
I began to concentrate my efforts on Excel trading spreadsheets from 2006
During my draw advantage web site period, I offered to supply draw advantage
information to The Racing Post, and Channel 4, but nothing came of it.
stopped updating my information after the 2006 flat season.
I ceased all the links on the Starting Stalls draw advantage web site, but I have uploaded the
old files again for 2009, and put the links back on the web site.
If you don't mind the info being a bit out of date, you can
view my draw
and see the method I used to show how results can be
analysed accurately to produce excellent draw advantage advice.
Once Betfair came along, it was some time
before I started to use the site.
I transferred my Dutching formulas onto spreadsheets for my own use, and
also expanded into Hedging.
In 2007, I started a spreadsheet web site
with just a few spreadsheets.
Be A Bookie and Hedge Your Bets were my main spreadsheets.
A customer asked me if I could build a spreadsheet for the Football Cash
Generator method that he had bought for £150.
From this, I developed several
football strategies with spreadsheets using a range of different Dutching
and Hedging formulas.
The Correct Score market can be used as an equivalent market in quite a few
For example in a football match, the odds of The Draw in the Match Odds
market should be somewhere close to the combined odds of the 0-0, 1-1, 2-2,
Of course Any Other Score also covers 4-4 plus a range of Home and Away score lines
with 4 or more goals, but the odds of these 2 markets will usually be pretty close.
There are other equivalent markets.
The only certain way that I have found to make
money from gambling is trading bookie's free bet offers.
Trade these offers correctly, and you are betting on a mathematical
If you stake correctly, it doesn't matter whether you hit all winners, all
losers, or something in between, you will win handsomely.
You can even bet low and lay high in all your trades and still make a very
All you need to do is bet with the bookie, and lay the same selection on
Betfair or WBX.
The only complication in these trades is what the bookie
offers in terms of free bet stakes retuned or not returned, or different
percentages of winnings awarded if you happen hit a winner.
The spreadsheet package I
offer covers different types
of bookie offers :-
Free money such as
the Betfair offer.
Bet a deposit, free
bet stake IS returned with winnings.
Bet a deposit, free
bet stake is NOT returned with winnings.
Bet a deposit, get a
percentage free bet, with free bet stake not returned with
Bet a deposit, get
another free bet on the same selection, with free bet stake not
returned with winnings
My spreadsheet package covers all these free bet situations.
If my dad was still
alive, he wouldn't believe that any bookie would give anyone a free bet.
There has never been a better time to be a punter.
If you or I were to chuck money into the betting pool in the form of a free
bet, would we expect to
come out winning ?
Of course not, and that applies to bookies.
In my opinion, bookies are
idiots to have gone into competition with one another with these free bet
There can only be one loser - the bookie.
In this case, the bookie cannot win, provided you and I trade these B ......
wonderful offers correctly.
The mathematical certainty of trading
a free bet.
If you stake correctly, it is impossible to lose when you Hedge a free
Even if you Bet Low, Lay High to the maximum when you Hedge a free bet,
you will still make a profit.
Here are the maths of a (theoretical) £1000 free bet Hedge, using the
worst odds possible.
Bet odds 1.01, Lay odds 1000 :-
Bet odds of 1.01 with the Bookie, but Lay
odds of 1000 with Betfair.
Bookie return = £1000 x 0.01 = £10. (Free bet stake is not included
Betfair Lay stake = £10 / 1000 = £0.01.
Win ....... £10 with Bookie, (£1000
x 0.01) less Betfair Lay liability £9.99 (£0.01 x 999) Profit = £0.01.
Lose ....... Zero with the Bookie + £0.01 successful Lay on Betfair.
Profit = £0.01.
All hypothetical, but a profit is shown no-matter what odds you use.
These Free Bet trades are a mathematical certainty, and the VERY
profit that you will get from Hedging them will ALWAYS cover any
loss you may make whilst trading your deposit.
Profit from Hedging your Free Bet is
a nailed on certainty.
That's a brief history of my gambling.
You can see my apprenticeship was very long.
Good luck with your trading, and many thanks
for your interest in my web sites,
3 - 9 - 1946. I will hit my 73rd
birthday in September 2019, not that it
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