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A to Z of punting advice

Back in the 1960's Tony Arnold, who was the editor of the now defunct Racetrack magazine, wrote a really good article on the A to Z of punting. The basics of that article still hold up some 50 years later and some of it is re-written here.

Adjust your schedule so you don't have to hurry your selections / betting. Allow yourself time for careful consideration.

Betting haphazardly will put you at an immediate disadvantage.

Carelessness is costly. It's your money so try not to make mistakes with it.

Don't expect to find a good bet in every race.

Every race has its share of erratic and unreliable animals. Be smart and eliminate them.

Find horses that run consistently.

Good solid bets are hard to find so don't be disheartened by the time it takes to find them.

Horses have good days and bad days - just like humans.

Intentionally overlooking a fault in a horse's past performance just to have a bet is a hard and expensive habit to break.

Jumps races are great to watch.

Keep a cool head and don't panic when things seem to be going wrong.

Losing streaks happen to the best of them. If you expect to win every day you are living in a dream world.

Maybe horses make bad bets. Maybe they can run the trip. Maybe they will overcome a bad barrier.

Never get sentimental about a horse.

Only by careful analysis can you ever hope to make a profit in ANY business, let alone horse racing.

Punting for the sake of "having an interest in the race" is a mugs game.

Quitters don't change their spots - just like leopards. If they show no "fight" in a tight finish today, they won't change tomorrow.

Repeat winners often have shown in the past they can run and win at a particular distance - mostly because the race pace suits them and their ability.

Sprint races need speed and stamina - speed alone won't carry them down the straight in most cases.

Trainers can make the difference between a winner and non-winner, simply by having better training regimens.

Upsets do happen but they are rare and they DON"T happen in every race. Backing horses at $50 + will send you to the poor house.

Very few people will give you credit for the winners you may come up with and will call it "dumb luck". You know the truth.

Wishing for a winner will never work. This is a serious business.

X - (bit of a cheat here) - don't eXpect to get rich punting on horses. Trying to stay just a little in front is a worthwhile aim.

You can never learn too much.

Zero is what your bank balance will be if you ignore the time honoured rules of sensible selection.