Every year I spend over a month in total going through all the various systems and angles I use for each season. I have three portfolios which are the flat, all weather and the jumps. I’ve just finished putting the final touches to my portfolio for the jumps and I’m rather excited about if I’m honest. I’ve spent five years perfecting the art of getting systems right and this year I’ve gone all out in the testing of each one. The first qualifiers are in for today the 1st October!
That’s what I’m going to write about today. Some of you may find it quite interesting others of course won’t but if you’d like to see the exact way to build a system then this will be for you!
The first thing I do is to use a database. There are so many ones available out there now it’s easy and affordable to get your hands on system builders. We now need to find our niche. Most of my betting comes in handicaps and that’s because I find them easier to price up. You can use various methods but I assign ratings depending on previous form and further ratings on the handicap weight. I then convert all these ratings into the probability of the horse winning which in turn equates to the odds. If I can bet at bigger odds than my tissue (my own odds line) then it’s a value bet. Anyway back to the system. I’ll look at different handicaps in terms of class. I’ll look at distances involved, number of runners, weight carried, weight carried since last time out, step up in class/distance, trainer strike rates, trainer/jockey pairings, the going etc etc etc. You get the picture. There are literally 1000’s of ways of finding a system.
The important element when designing a system though is to base your criteria’s around logic. I’ve seen systems that only bet on Wednesday’s or if the trainer won a race yesterday. These elements bare no connection to logic. Once we have a system that is showing a profit we need to break this down further and check the stability of the newly found system.
I go through every month of the system and break it down into 4 different factors as follows:
1. Has it been profitable every month?
2. What is the strike rate?
3. What is the return on investment?
4. What is the Archie score?
So looking at number 1, it doesn’t matter that it may have not shown a profit every month but do you really want a system that shows a loss 4 months in a row and then only shows a profit in the last 2 months? It wouldn’t help in your confidence would it? If we are happy that it shows a consistent profit over a period of time we need to look at the strike rate. We need to work out what we are confident with. Could you cope with a system that has a 20% strike rate where you could face up 31 losers in a row or would you be more comfortable with a 50% strike rate where only 10 losses in a row are likely. You need to go with what you’ll be comfortable with.
When looking for a ROI I always compare it to a bank. If I can get more that 10 % then I’m happy with that. It could be more it could be less but again it’s got to be what you are comfortable with. If it beats the banks interest rate then why not!
Finally this is the most complex factor in the analysis. If you’ve never heard of the an Archie score then don’t worry I’m about to explain what it is. It’s not easy but it will tell you the continued success of a system.
Taking a combination of how many wins there have been based on how many bets we use this calculation =(J5*(POWER(J3-J8,2))/(J8*(J5-J8))). Now I know that looks really complicated but it represents how complicated it can be to get this right! But what exactly does it mean and why do I use it? (by the way you don’t have to use this method as you could paper trade instead but this speeds things up massively). If the Archie score is 5 or above, the higher the better it means that based on probability the system will continue to be profitable once you start using it. If the Archie score is low then it is likely that previous results have been based on luck or the market has factored in all the criteria you have been using.
Anyway the above is meant to represent to you how much work goes into making a profitable system and the time it takes. Once I have my qualifiers everyday I then go about pricing them up. This can take up to two to three hours a day and I do most of my pricing up the day before so I know exactly what I’m looking for. I don’t of course always get it right but more often than not I do and I turn a profit. Value At The Races still heads the all time leader board and the value I’ve found my subscribers have shown 1427.51 points in two years. That’s an average of 60 points per month and it’s only going to get better as we head into the jumps season as I have my best portfolio to date.
Remember you can also read about my daily thoughts and get 2 free tips everyday (except Sundays as I need a day off 😉 ) over at Confessions Of A Pro Gambler. I sometimes have a rant, sometimes I might even be nice!!
That’s all from me today and I’ll be back next week with more insights into making a living from the Sport of Kings. Until then happy punting and good luck 🙂