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Making every bet an important one

It is an often overheard comment about racing and gambling - there are too many races on these days to concentrate on.

You're absolutely right Alice so why do you try?

Every bet you have should be made as if your life depends on it. If it did, would you be having the same bet? It is so easy these days to be on the net with the pay TV blaring away, seeing something coming in the 5th at Oodnagalahbin and thinking "didn't that run well somewhere the other day - I better throw a lazy ten on it." These "lazy tenner" bets add up to a lot of money over the space a of a week or month and can make the difference between winning and losing. THEY MOST OFTEN DO.

You should only be betting that $10 if you TRULY believe it can win. It should be on a race where you have spent a matter of some time assessing from all the angles you hold to be true. If not, what the hell are you doing? You should be acting as if that $10 is the last $10 you have in the account to play with. Every bet should be made with the serious intention of winning, not just entertaining yourself.

A lot of the time when I'm analysing a race I count the negatives. That is, count the negatives against each horse and why it can't win. In fact, it is easier a lot of the time asking why a horse can't win than trying to look for the positives of why it can win. Is it dropping back in distance significantly from its last start? Is it going up so much in class that it can't win against a far better class of animal? Is it being ridden by a claiming apprentice? Is it drawn out at barrier 18 in a 19 horse field? Is it six weeks since it had a start and its record indicates it does not race particularly well fresh? Was it beaten by more than 5 or 6 lengths last start against a similar class field? Is today's race distance shorter than any race previous in which it's at least run a place?

There are lots and lots of different negatives - some more important than others - they take time to notate and compile - but if you aren't doing this to the best of the tie available to you and your learned ability, again, what are you doing?

The list above is just a small sample of the negatives you could be looking for to tell you why a horse can't win. I find that if a horse has three or more negatives like that they really struggle to win and they can become a great lay bet for those of us playing around with Betfair and the like.

There's a poker pro called Mike Caro whose advice to all players is this: "Play your best game all the time" and that advice is just as valid for we horse racing punters. What on earth is the point in having a bet on something you have not spent time analysing to determine if it is worth your last ten dollars? Would you have had that bet in the Melbourne Cup just gone on that horse if it was your last ten dollars?

They may well wish to televise 40 and 50 thoroughbred races every day on pay TV. The TAB may think it's a great idea to try and replicate the pokies in a small way by trying to emulate having instant result after instant result and hopefully get a bigger turnover from people focused on bet after bet after bet.

I choose NOT to play that game. I choose to spend time on a smaller number of races and hopefully getting a more reasoned result from a greater input effort. Don't you?

Betting in every race is not compulsory! No one stands there with a gun at your head demanding you put money on something - anything! So why play that losing game anymore?

Treat every bet as if it was your last ten bucks and I guarantee you'll be far better off at the end of the year. You'll also get a greater sense of satisfaction knowing that that when they win it wasn't just a "half stab in the dark" and you actually used your intelligence to sort out the most likely result.

You are undoubtedly better off having 5 $40 bets a day on 5 races that you have invested thinking/analysing time in to than 20 random $10 bets on half thought out "might wins" and hail Mary and hope for the best.

Despite what the screaming anti gambling do-gooders in the community might tell you and INFER, gambling is not just something that we poor addicted useless time wasters do (as if it's any of their **** business) and we are all half educated nit wits and should be nanny sat by the Government. Don't start me on that!!!!

It can also be a pursuit that people, with far more common sense and analytical skills than the do-gooders have, can enjoy and succeed at on a long term basis - if they are prepared to put in the time and then follow that up with - yep, you guessed it - patience and discipline. Oh dear, we're back to that again.

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