Mick Bartley: Australian Punter

If there were a Hall of Fame for punters, certainly one of the inaugural inductees would have to be Melbourne Mick Bartley.

Even though he was a qualified electrician, Bartley had little use for wires, bolts and ohms. In fact, he is credited with saying, “Never tackle something electronically designed to beat you.” Somewhat ironic an utterance from an electrician, but perhaps, who better to know.

According to Bartley, he never went to school. Coming from a large family of nine, he used to sell empty beer bottles to scrounge up money to bet with the local SPs as a boy of 10. Apparently the moral and legal implications of this activity were not adequate to discourage him from participating.

By the time he retired in 1977 he had amassed a considerable fortune. He is perhaps, among big-time punters such as Eric Connolly, Felipe Ysmael and Hollywood George Edser, the best for aspiring punters to emulate. He was not as colorful or flamboyant as these others, treated punting in a very businesslike fashion, and was able to accept losses rather than chasing them until totally broke.

Along with knowing when to pack it in, it also helps to have a big bank. Barkley was helped in this regard by his 1960 Opera House lottery win which fetched him almost $200,000. He claimed to have a system for even this type of gambling, always buying 50 tickets at a time.

This concept of spreading his risks contributed to his developing a large and lucrative SP network with big businessmen and politicians for clients.

He was the mastermind behind the 1971 syndicate of a small group of punters who cracked the jackpot in Canberra for $400,000 earning as much as $265,000 for himself.

In the late 60s and early 70s it has been established through audits that Melbourne Mick was annually betting sums in the neighborhood of $5 million through the TAB.

His arrival at the racecourse during his prime was typically accompanied by hordes of fans eager to see which horses Bartley intended to back so that they could ride his coattails. Bookmakers trembled at his approach and other big punters experienced considerable apprehension regarding what impact his moves would have on their odds.

This type of attention was not conducive to Bartley getting his desired odds, so he frequently used agents to put his bets on.

One prime example of this tactic took place on the occasion when Bartley wanted to make a substantial plunge on a race at Randwick Racecourse. He devised a signal system with his agents, employing a red ladies’ umbrella. He had instructed them to wait until he opened the umbrella before placing any bets. Prior to the start of the race, Bartley’s horse blew from 7-1 to 10-1, Bartley’s umbrella went up and his agents backed the horse down to a 5-2 favourite. It surely was a cause for comment to see a highly respected punter of Bartley’s stature carrying a womans’ umbrella, a red one nonetheless, but Bartley’s horse won and brought him a substantial windfall.

Bartley was a proponent of seeking value. He attempted whenever possible to find horses to back at longer odds than form would dictate. He also was adept at picking daily doubles which contributed substantially to his fortune.

The story of Melbourne Mick Barkley is certainly inspirational from the perspective of impoverished boy rising above all obstacles to succeed, but it also could be viewed as educational from the point of view of how to control your emotions at the track, not chase losers, and keep a calm head on your shoulders. He knew how to accept losses without letting them undermine his confidence. All punters, regardless of bank size, would be wise to study his example.

Three Methods to Identify Horse Racing Long Shots

One of the biggest kicks in life may be backing a long shot and seeing it cross the finish line first. making a big score is good for the spirits, not to mention the wallet. However, as any experienced horse racing handicapper can tell you, trying to cash tickets on longshots is a one way ticket to the poor house.

Long priced horses are usually considered the bait for gamblers who want a shot at a big price for a little investment. Their greed is usually rewarded with the usual payoff for greed, poverty. They have a low probability and high risk which inflates the pools, but most handicappers stick to the more consistent racers. If you want to succeed as a handicapper you better learn the difference between handicapping and gambling because there is a difference. You must consider each bet an investment and estimate the rate of return compared to the risk. Of course, like a lot of good advice you will receive in life, it sounds good but is a little more difficult to implement and stick with.

But if you do consider it an investment and compare the amount of risk to the rate of return, you will have to have an idea about how likely the horse is to win. Here are 3 situations that will afford you that opportunity to assess longshots.

1. The Phony Phavorite. The first place to look for wagering opportunities is the favorite because that is where the biggest single concentration of money is found. If your handicapping indicates that the favorite is not worthy of being the favorite then the other more likely contenders should be considered. I am talking about the horses that are going to go off at fairly low odds because they look like they could win the race. These types are not long shots.

If you eliminate those horses then the longshots are worth considering as possible winners. Try to find a longshot who has actually won at that level and on the surface and distance that it is going in the current race. Believe it or not it does happen that the only horse who has ever done what is being asked of it in the race is a long shot. It is a very under rated angle in horse racing handicapping.

2. Familiar trainer moves often produce big winners. Each trainer has his or her own favorite moves for winning. Familiarize yourself with trainer moves and then look for them in connection with longshots. Here is an example of a trainer move that paid $87 for every two dollars bet to win on his horse.

Apple Talk raced in the 2nd race at Tampa Bay Downs on February ninth of 2008. There were some indications that the horse might fare better in the race than he did in his previous races. A mutuel pool evaluation method showed that there was inside money wagered on the runner, probably from the stable. That is an obvious sign that the stable and trainer had determined that he was ready to score.

The racer was entered in a Maiden Claiming sprint event after two races in Maiden Special Weight races. The class drop off two long conditioning races at a higher grade were also an indication. It is a familiar trainer move. One important thing to bear in mind is that in any maiden race, a horse is being asked to win at a distance and surface that it has never won at before. So all maiden racers meet the requirements of case one, a phony phavorite, but many maiden favorites actually do score.

3. Equipment changes can improve a racer’s performance in a big way. The addition of a Cornell Collar, tongue tie, blinker’s or some other equipment as well as the addition of lasix can make a big difference. Of course, it is always a good idea to confirm your suspicions by checking the mutuel pools for inside money.

One of the best situations to identify is an event with a phony phavorite and find a horse who meets the requirements mentioned previously, i.e., an equipment change with action in the pools and a good trainer move.

Adding it all up, the first place to start is with the favorite. If it is a phony then check out the likely contenders. After going through all of these you may find a longshot is actually the best bet.

Horse Racing Handicapping With Earnings Per Start As A Factor

Class is perhaps the most difficult of all handicapping factors to quantify. Some people think it is a combination of the level a horse raced at and also how well the horse fared in the race. There are some who feel that speed is the real measure of class and that horses dominate others by simply running faster and running the competition into the ground.

One method of determining class is to divide the total earnings by the number of races run. For instance, Horse A has had ten races and earned $100,000. Horse B has had 15 races and earned $185,000. Which horse has earned more per start? Simply divide $100,000/10 and $185,000/15. Horse A has earned an average of $10,000 in each race while Horse B has earned $12,333 per start. Clearly Horse B has been earning more per start so no matter how difficult the races it faced compared to Horse A’s races, it performed better.

This is a useful way to measure class when the horses are of about the same age and have had similar backgrounds and campaigns. It gets dicey, however, when the horses vary in age and the number of races is significantly different. Usually the purse value is higher for a young horse as it works its way through state bred races with softer fields and juicier purses. Once it hits open company and no longer races in races with purses that are subsidized its earning per start may begin to fade.

Even though said horse is racing at a higher level, the purses are lower and the competition is tougher. Perhaps a better way to gauge class by earnings is to look at each horse’s first ten races. Another possibility, if they’ve raced enough, is to only look at races where they’ve competed in open company. If the information is available you may try using their earnings in their last five races.

It appears that there are two cases where this method may be more accurate. The extremes of horses with many races and horses with very few races seem to fit the bill. Therefore we will probably find it most useful when handicapping older horses and very young horses. Like any other method of measuring class, however, this too will prove to be only an estimate. Horseplayers who handicap enough races sometimes develop a sense of class and can spot a young horse that is going to move up through its conditions and the ranks quite easily while others will slowly move through the non-winner races until they hit the open claiming ranks where they will have a mediocre career.

Racing Tips – Picking Outsiders – Tips For Finding Big Priced Winners

A select few pro-punters have looked at this perennial question of “how to make good profits” from horse racing and, differing thought patterns emerge each time. It is apparent that the majority of “average” punters tend to favour the shorter priced “high win percentage” favourites, but those in the know look for the higher priced “value” horses.

Now, when I say “higher priced value” I am not specifically referring to “long shots” which, although very nice indeed when they win, are a far more risky proposition. As with any investment based medium the old adage of “risk equals reward” stands! It has been suggested that the price you seek should be dictated by the size of your bankroll, but I cannot subscribe to this theory at all. When you collect at decent odds it is well worth the effort needed to find the selection but a note of caution, the losing runs can be much longer than the shorter priced wins so your betting bank must be adequate to sustain this.

My top suggestions that will help you in your quest to find regular bigger priced winners are as follows:

Tip 1.

Make sure you have a strategy and that you stick to it religiously each time. Doubts will certainly appear but be strong and disciplined. Being disciplined is THE most important part of any strategy! There are plenty of betting systems available to aid here and most people find it helps with doing the same thing consistently. If a selection is found by the system, DON’T let the price dictate. Just bet as you would normally do. Stick to THE PLAN!

Tip 2.

If you are not using a betting system, make sure you understand what and where to look for your potential selection. A good starting point can be to seek out a really big priced winner last time out and see where it stands today. Next, get to know your race track. Mastering one or two local tracks can pay huge advantage when it comes to betting. Understand what the main factors are in today’s race and then compare these against all the other horses in the field. Try to stay clear of big fields as they can often produce no more than utter confusion when having to deal with so many factors/horses.

One thing you should definitely be looking for was whether your chosen selection today had any distinct advantage over the field last time. Look at all the main factors such as Class, Recent Form, Going, Distance etc. Why? Because one thing you can be 100% certain of is that if the bookmaker, or other punters if you are using a betting exchange, missed something last time, they WILL make the same mistake again. The area of expertise you are building here is to spot and take advantage of situations like this repeatedly.

Tip 3.

This can be a crucial aid to help you win more often. Patterns exist for everything in horse racing and DO repeat themselves regularly. You will be amazed how often everyone else seems to miss this one simple fact. Having the inside measure on a good “gambling” yard can dramatically increase your returns. We are NOT interested in the yards everyone gets to know about, we must seek out those that tend to keep their cards close to their chest. A “gamble” horse is no use to us when every Tom, Dick and Harry is in on it. The price will plummet and they invariably FAIL anyway.

Jockey’s are the same but to a lesser extent, for what should be obvious reasons.

Just do some research and you will find that some of the BIGGEST price winners have been ridden by the BIGGEST, in terms of fame, jockeys. Well, there you have it. My TOP 3 TIPS for starting to get bigger priced winners. I hope this helps and that your betting bank sees considerable growth over the weeks and months by following these simple tips for success.

The Best Bet in Horse Racing Handicapping For Beginners and Novice Horse Players

Other than getting a good tip on a horse from someone in the know, there are some bets that traditionally offer a better chance of winning and making money betting on the horse races, especially if you are a beginner or have limited experience handicapping horse races. Upon entering any race track the horse player is presented with a multitude of opportunities for wagering on almost any race. There are the traditional flat bets like win, place, and show. Then there are exotic bets such as the daily double, exacta, quinella, trifecta, superfecta, pick three, pick four, pick six, place pick nine, and others.

It is nice to have so many choices but that can be a trap for the beginner. Seeing a large payoff on an exotic bet, such as the superfecta in the Kentucky Derby that paid over half a million dollars, can encourage a bettor to wager on the exotic wagers and to forsake the less exciting flat bets.

But there are several pitfalls inherent in the exotics, especially if you have limited knowledge of betting and making money from your bets. if you are just gambling for fun, then by all means, swing for the fences, as they say, and go for the big exotic, but just realize that hitting the truly big payoff is almost as difficult as hitting the lottery. But if you would like the nice warm feeling of leaving the race track with more money than you entered with, the flat bets are a much better deal.

One of the reasons that flat bets are good bets is that you can tell what you are getting and what the bet pays. That means you can make a fair judgment as to the actual value of the bet. Even a person with rudimentary horseplaying skills will sometimes see the odds and think to him or herself, “That horse would be bet down more than that, that’s a good deal!”

When that occurs, it is a golden opportunity to make a profit. Put enough of those situations together and you will be a winning horseplayer, no matter how much experience you’ve had. Another reason that the exotics aren’t as good as the flat bets, is that the takeout, or “vig,” as it is sometimes called, is higher on the exotics in most situations. That means that the track takes more money out of the pool before the winners of the bet are paid, so you are paying more for the privilege of making the bet. Over time a higher vig, even just a few percentage points higher, can really add up and eat into your winnings.

If you find the flat bets too boring and really feel you must play the exotics, I advise you to find a horse that seems to be going off at good odds, compared to its form, and wheel it in one of the exotic pools. if it truly is an overlay, the exotics may pay well and you will not lose because you failed to figure out which horses to use to complete the bet. So the win bet is by far the best bet for a beginner or novice, followed by the wheel bet in the exotics.