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THE "X" FACTOR uncontrollable betting factors

Recently I spent a delightful few hours at the property of a trainer who's been a friend for a lot of years - more than both of us would care to remember, probably! He was working a particular horse when we arrived and we were chatting about its chances at the coming weekend's race - my friend is not a punting trainer and hasn't been so for quite a few years and he knows that nothing we discuss would go any further - we've known each other for that long!!

This particular horse had only recently come in to his stable and arrived in somewhat poor condition. The previous trainer had been unable to really put any condition on it because it simply wouldn't eat and they couldn't work out why. Now this was a horse that had won a couple of times on the "mainland" and, as such, would always appear to have an excellent chance in Tasmanian races it was entered for.

It's previous mainland trainer had "flogged the guts out of it" before passing it on. So my friend had spent a deal of time trying to get this horse right. They had discovered that it had stomach ulcers (just like people get) and once they treated that issue it started eating up and putting on condition and was galloping very well in trials. It's immediately previous trainer was unable to get a track work rider in the area in which they trained and so this poor thing was being "trained" by being led around from the back of a ute (no kidding!). Consequently it's "form" read very poorly and it was rated very little chance of success.

Now from where I stood, it had a lot going for it. For starters, it looked in really good nick (as my friend is a great conditioner of horses and a very good horseman - and there is a difference between good trainers and good horsemen - or horsewomen for that matter - politically correct - lol) - it looked 'sharp of eye", was interested in what was happening around it - had muscled up across the chest and it just "looked good". It had also, as I mentioned, trialled very well over the distance of the coming event in which it was entered.

Now had I not happened by on that morning when it was being worked I would have had absolutely no idea about the horse's past, the training problems it had had, the care and attention it had been given and why it had a reasonable prospect of success in a race in which it was again expected to probably "finish down the track".

So what's the point of all this? Simply that when you are doing your form considerations, there are those "X factors" that you can't possibly know or have any way of quantifying in to whatever formula you are using. Unless you are the trainer of every horse in the race, you won't know what problems there have been in its preparation, whether it's been eating up normally over the last fortnight, whether the jockey who rode it last time rode to instructions or had a brain explosion mid race, whether it injured itself in a stable incident but they'd been treating it as best as they could - all sorts of day to day things that simply happen despite the best efforts of those involved.

It brings HOME that no matter how careful, methodical and consistent you are in applying a quantifying value to as many form factors as you choose to consider, there is ALWAYS going to an X factor or two (or ten) that you cannot possibly either know or quantify that will bring your other work "undone".

Accept it as fact - realise that you can't pick every winner for any number of reasons, understand that there will be times when these X Factors will appear in a sequence that may well lose you your entire punting bank through no fault of your own.

The only way to combat this is to ensure that if your punting bank should double (and that is the object of the exercise isn't it?) that your original punting bank be withdrawn and you start from square one again with "their money" and work forward from there.

As that bank increases, it is IMPORTANT that you withdraw profit money on a regular basis. Why? Because if you do lose that bank you will have done all that work, put in all those hours, exercised all that discipline, for absolutely no benefit whatsoever and that would be very silly.

X factors are real - X factors are dangerous to your future prosperity - X factors are beyond your control.

It highlights why you need to have a system of staking that eliminates the big bet - small bet - big bet syndrome. Inevitably you will end up having the big bet on a race in which the X factors bring you undone and your punting bank will wave bye bye as it passes in to the hands of others!

Even if you are just betting on a "percentage of bank" basis, this will ameliorate the devastating effects of the X Factors when they come visiting (and they will).

My friend's horse? It started better than 40's and paid very well for a place, thank you very much. I could never have supported it had I not known of its past problems and the way they had been addressed. Now while this aided and assisted my endeavours in this ONE race, how many X factors worked against me in other races in which I had an interest that day?

How many were you working against yesterday? Scary isn't it?

Every methodology and set of ratings we distribute on this site is just as exposed to a total wipe out combination of X Factors as every other that is available. NOTHING is fool proof but through paying careful attention to your staking approach, all does not have to be lost.