You do know what you know
Have you ever
surfed around between races on the cable TV and landed on that BBC
Knowledge channel? Now there's an interesting place to be from time
to time! The have re-runs on a lot of the time of the BBC TV series
Mastermind. Some of the stuff on there is fascinating.
They have these
people on that show whose special subject is obscure stuff like 16th
Century English Cathedrals and they sit there and answer two
minutes worth off the most, TO ME, irrelevant questions. Questions
like "What was the name of the housekeeper who tended house for
the architect of St Someone's Cathedral in Essex?".
Now you have to
ask why anyone would bother memorising this stuff for later use. The
truth is that to them, for whatever reason, memorising it is not an
effort and seems to occur naturally and, if you ask them, they are
astounded that everyone doesn't do that in the way that they do.
The same psychology
applies to everyone - even you! It's why we all do the things we do
and have expertise in different areas. Every one of us has an aptitude
for some things and are completely hopeless in others. I have a friend
who was a horologist when he was working at it. A horologist? Yes,
a watch maker and repairer. A keeper of time. And he was (and probably
still is) very good at it. People with historic clocks and time pieces
from all over the world sent them to him for restoration and repair
because he "knew his stuff". He understood how they
made these things from 300 to 400 years ago and therefore how to fix
How did he gain
the knowledge? Reading, observation, repetition. Listening. Watching.
Doing. Learning from his boss as an apprentice.
A very clever
and skilled craftsman. An artisan. What does he know about fixing
motor cars? Two fifths of three quarters of the proverbial. What does
he know about horse racing? Even less. Why? Well obviously it's something
he's never really been "in to" and hasn't applied himself
to the gaining of knowledge about it to have either an interest in
pursuing it or the ability to stay in front of the game while playing.
And so it is with
most people. Each of us has a niche even if we don't understand it
ourselves as to why and where it all started. What do you do well?
Really well? Do it in a manner that gives you confidence before you
start the job that it will get finished properly with a result that
most of the time will be personally pleasing to you? Cabinet making?
Gardening? Cooking? Punting?
My son is very
good at poker. He has that unique "card sense". He worked
for a while as a dealer at a casino until he got bored with the drunken
yob punters that kept making the same inane remarks night after night
after night - all thinking in the haze that it was probably the first
time the dealer had ever heard the same stupid comments and should
therefore be most amused by them. (If
you go to a casino remember - they've heard it all before and aren't
the slightest bit interested.)
Anyway, he's very
good at card percentages in poker. He wins a deal of money at it from
those who've never taken the time or had the interest to learn the
percentages of the game - the way it works. And it is all percentages
and odds. Nothing else.
In the same way,
horse racing and betting on them is all about percentages.
Nothing else. The ones who have made the effort to understand the
percentages - chances if you prefer - win money from the investment
pool mostly supplied by those that haven't taken the time to arm themselves
with the necessary knowledge to just give themselves that winning
Me? I'm very good
at patterns. I see patterns of repetition in everything whether it's
horse racing results or gardening or target rifle shooting or even
politics. It's all about patterns of repetition. And they happen with
just as much certainty in those aforementioned pursuits as the chances
of the sun coming up this morning. Day after day. Week after week.
Month after month. The same patterns keep repeating.
As I've written
on other parts of this site, your individual result achieved in
the adoption of these patterns is merely determined by the very point
at which you start applying those patterns of repetition to your own
My penchant for
patterns (love the alliteration) allows me to spend vast
amounts of time poring over results for hours and hours (when others
mostly get bored) and identify long term trends that you can use to
your advantage. I like it. I enjoy it. And so, like the good people
on Mastermind who know all there is to know (almost) about 16th century
cathedrals in Essex, I try to know as much as I can about patterns.
I get just as
much enjoyment chasing down patterns that break down after a few hundred
racing events as what I do from those that don't break down. (Make
sense of that if you're a sports psychologist!). And there have been
a heap of them.
If you are going
to get seriously involved in this sport of racing you have to spend
the time before you will achieve worthwhile results. I noticed a telling
comment on a forum the other day that read "the more time
I spend doing the form the luckier I seem to be".
Sure, save yourself
some time and pick up a method or two off this site and read and analyse
and understand where I'm going with it and how I arrived at
the conclusions I did BUT add your own research on to the end of it
and make it yours and yours alone. Your opinions and research are
probably worth way more than mine. And when you have added to my initial
research with YOUR ideas you will have a unique system that no one
else has and so therefore gain benefit from it via better returns
form the growing punting pool.
You should not
believe what anyone tells you without doing your own research. I don't.
Neither should you. If you want to know something you have to start
by asking and then confirming from other sources.
There are so many
resources available today via the internet that make it so easy to
arm yourself with knowledge that was not available when I started
punting some 50 years ago as a kid at nanna's place when the only
generally available form guide of note that had more than the last
three starts was the Melbourne Truth. If you want more data on anything
to do with racing and it isn't available on the net send the clubs
an email and ask them. Or the bookmakers association. Or the racing
radio stations. Or the commentators. ASK. Most will be only too pleased
to answer in an honest and helpful way if you approach them in an
honest and cheerful manner.
BUT do the research
yourself and satisfy yourself it is the truth. You can't improve without
the basis of truth and remember, truth has no hidden agenda.