Josh’s Weekly Diary: NOT racing to profit

Josh’s Weekly Diary: NOT racing to profit

Below is something new for the blog – a weekly diary in the traditional sense.

My thoughts, reflections, opinions and general musings on all things racing/blogging. And maybe occasionally some non-racing thoughts.  This is my attempt to entertain, inform, reflect, self-deprecate and generally provide something that you may enjoy reading. You may not of course, but then I am sure you will vote with your eyes. With any luck I will enjoy writing it also. A pleasant distraction from racing analysis. 

I am no Shakespeare and my English is not the best so I would prefer if you wordsmiths out there didn’t publicly mark my efforts.  I should have read more as a child. I’m no Boris, in more ways than one 🙂 

There is no structure as such, no planning. I am hoping things come into my head as I write. Some weeks there may be more to say than others. In general I suspect I will publish these on a Tuesday morning.

I hope you like what follows, and if not, do say so. 

Let’s get to it…


A tweet from Richard (following Germany Calling’s run)

‘poor run continues I’m nearly over the cliff’

Richard, a keen reader of the blog, kicked off a polite conversation with the above tweet. Sadly for him he started following after the ‘golden period’ of Dec/Jan/Feb and I doubt he is alone…

My Tips…I called this blog Racing to Profit, in one of my more inspired moments of creativity. Well, if you stumbled across this blog from around February/March time you would be tempted to sue me for miss-selling. It has been tough recently –well, over three months of not really going anywhere.

No, let me rephrase. Losing. Going backwards. NOT, racing to profit.

Stumbling, like a teenage drunk at a July Course Kaiser Chief’s gig, away from profit.

I have looked at the results, staring at them in my darker moments of contemplation. I have given back 8.5 points in July to date. We are on +98 points for the year. At the end of February we were on 113 points. At the end of April, 124 points.

So, losses of 15.5 points, or 26 points, since those heady days. More than manageable. Of more concern perhaps is that I hit a high of +138 points. Giving back 40 points is concerning. This is betting, and why a decent bank is required. ( I have always said 80-100 points, and in that context, the panic station is still in the distance)

But, I would understand if many have lost faith,(if they ever had it) packed up their bags, and diverted their eyes to greener online pastures. Many have. If you have kept the faith, then thanks. It is appreciated. You have to look forward in this game, with head held high and brimming self-belief. Without that, you are done.

A comparison…well I did have a chat with Gary Priestley just to provide some context. A few days ago he hit a losing run of -43 points. He had a few new followers before that run came. Some made their thoughts more than clear. Gary correctly told them to get stuffed. Good on him.

This, of course, was ended abruptly by a few decent priced winners and that run is somewhat forgotten. Maybe that is where our comparison ends. I don’t have his massive bank of profits to fall on, or multiple years of continued success.  I really do need some winners. But I won’t force it.

Hopefully the ‘stats/angles of interest’ section gives some hope that I haven’t lost all ability to read a horse race/spot a decent priced bet.


New Eyes, please…

Perhaps my recent trip to the opticians explains it. It has been over 2 years since I bought my current glasses and, unsurprisingly to me, my eyes have deteriorated again. Apparently they are still growing/changing shape. That may end by the time I am 30, which is creeping up. Come the 10th of August that milestone will be three years away. I don’t like how quickly time is going, and I believe it only gets worse. 

New eyes don’t come cheap either at £480 for two pairs (one of which is half price). Yes, they are designer. But I am still single, and you have to try all the tricks! I am hoping I can claim some of that against my tax, just to lessen the blow a bit. My eyes had better not grow again anytime soon.

These new lenses arrive on the 24th July. If my form picks up after that, you will know why. And if not, I will be asking a refund. 🙂


Pontefract….is a lovely track, and if you haven’t been, I would recommend it. With a train station only a 5 minute walk away, it is very easy to get to. You get a good look of the horses pre-race, and track-side. The big screen helps also. The place has a warm, friendly feel. 

There is also a ‘gambling’ shed as I will call it, sponsored by Betfred it would seem. Screens everywhere. That’s where those folk go who paid £15 to get in, and then spend the afternoon betting on the greyhounds. There were quite a few of them! Albeit I did watch Langley Vale cling onto victory there in a C6 all-weather handicap. So, I shouldn’t be judging. 

Beer could be cheaper – not much change out of a tenner for two pints of bitter. Maybe it’s something to do with The Northern Powerhouse, who knows. Liverpool is getting pricey as well. I mean we have our fair share of trendy bars, serving ‘craft beer’. It’s bloody nice, but at £6 per pint, it ought to be!

I have now been twice and backed 3x 16/1 winners on the first visit, and two at 8/1 on the last visit. My new favourite track!  I could do with finding some like that on these pages, as I’m sure you would agree.

Where should I visit next…?


When is 6/1 value?

It is hard not to question your approach when a) you are having the troubles I am at present b) 6/1 shots somewhat bolt up like 6/4 shots in decent races – that you have ‘dismissed’ in part, on price grounds.

Orion’s Bow…somewhat bolted up at Hamilton- in form, progressive, well drawn – he won like a potential group horse and like a horse who you would have been pleased to back at 6/1. I didn’t and I wasn’t close to really. Maybe that is the problem. Too easily dismissed. I mean horses can’t win 5 in a row can they??

He hadn’t proven he couldn’t win on the ground and the jockey said something interesting – on breeding he said that it wasn’t a massive concern and more pertinently for me was the comment that he ‘wasn’t ready’ when previously trying soft. Now in form, and having matured/gained more experience, it posed no problems to him here. He out-classed them and sluiced through the mud. Wins like that always make you ponder.

Long House Hall… fairly bolted up at Market Rasen – another 6/1 shot who you would have been pleased to back. I had reasons why I was against him. My fears about being held-up were unfounded – they went a decent pace which set it up more for a closer- and he clearly has ability.  Doh. The great value judge that is Tony Calvin, fancied him, and thought 6s was fair. 

Clearly, this is an area I need to improve on. And I know I have said that before. 

I will just leave you with his comments from his Betfair Blog, that are worth absorbing… (the Coral Cup point smacked me in the face as something I may have overlooked.)

“But I am going to take him on to small-stakes with Long House Hall at 7.00 or bigger in the 14:45.
The case for him is simple. He ran a good trial for this race when fourth over 2m4f at Uttoxeter last time, the step up in trip will suit, the ground should present no issues and he is on an attractive mark.
He is unexposed over fences, having just his fourth chase start here, is a course winner and, if translating the form that he showed when second in the Coral Cup off just a 3lb lower mark in March, then I think he is weighted to go very close.”


And finally…

Amanda Perret

Watch her All-Weather runners that didn’t run on the AW LTO… One of those micro systems that I wish I had been following on the blog this year. This one was highlighted on the blog some time ago

Amanda Perret/All-Weather Handicaps/NOT All-Weather LTO (so flat turf or NH)/ running at the same class, or up 1 class/ 12/1 or shorter. (1/25, 4 places above 12/1, 1x 20/1 winner) 

Since 2010…

82 bets / 25 wins / 37 places / 30% sr/ +84 SP / +106 BFSP / AE 1.99

She was 1/12, 2 places in 2015, so I thought a watching brief this year. Well, her 2016 stats are 8 bets / 4 wins / 5 places / 50% sr / +31 SP / +40 points BFSP.



Back next week,



Post Comments

Do join in the conversation below, we're a friendly bunch.. all questions welcome, and do share your selections or thoughts

35 Responses

  1. I bet you feel better for that, it always helps to get stuff down in writing to put things in perspective. Just a few observations –

    1) Depending on when you sign up for a tipping service is always going to colour your opinion of the tipster. Nobody grinds out consistent winners on a weekly basis, some long term profitable services go months in the red before turning it around. As long as the vendor doesn’t try and make out that they are a licence to print money for anybody that signs up then its a case of caveat emptor for anybody that hands over their money.

    2) The majority of people who join tipping services are either degenerate gamblers desperately seeking a holy grail of punting success or working people with little disposable income who can just about manage the monthly subscriptions but need every month to be in profit from the tips to enable them to keep going.

    From the above you can see why someone like Gary Priestly would get a stream of abusive e-mails when the service is going badly, you are dealing with people with either unrealistic expectations or playing with scared money that can’t afford to lose. Something to think about Josh, when you decide to go down the paid service road yourself!

    3) The Amanda Perrett example is something that I suffer from as well, namely that if a season following an idea throws a loss, even after years of success, I will just bin it. I did the same with a system based on backing Karl Burke’s runners on their second career start until last year, then scrapped it – you can look it up yourself for 2016 to see the untold riches I have missed out on this year 🙂

    1. Good stuff Steve, thoughtful as ever. I would never rule out anything in this game but I have no plans to go down the paid tipping route in the traditional sense. You need a few years of continued success to even think about that, and I like the current approach, and the one I have planned from August on-wards.
      Yep I can recall a few Burke winners at tasty prices in recent weeks, second time out. Always the way!

      1. Micolys just popped in for Mr Burke at Ayr, at least I was on this time, even though I only got 7/2. Thats 6/14 now in 2016 for Karl Burke runners in class 5/6 with H Runs Career =1 for a mere 134pts profit at BSP!

        1. wallop! Maybe I had better start keeping an eye on those albeit no doubt the market will be cranking down on those soon.

          1. He’s been doing it for a few years now Josh, I don’t think the odds will drastically reduce because A) He isn’t that well known and B) The qualifiers usually have no form to speak of!

  2. Hi Josh, I know I’ve said this before and Steve really hits the nail on the head.

    People are free to read / subscribe when /if they wish. The losing run is not an issue! We are all free to make our own judgements….. Are we not?
    I didn’t follow you with Germany calling. I had my own thoughts on the race. That follows for most readers of the blog. Paying member or not we have something called free will!!!
    You are doing a superb job. Content is good. You do well.
    Steve, correctly points out those looking for the ‘holy grail’. It ain’t in this blog folks! Sorry, but it never will be! ( and that’s not a dig at you Josh). This game is not designed that easy.
    For those going through tough times all I would say is ‘dont put your hand in your pocket ‘ and stop slagging Josh off.

    Over my short time I have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of people connected with horse racing. With all the confidence in the world these people have in the animals ability shit goes wrong. I lost a G on blue royal at Ascot when Fitz dropped his whip. I was told before Xmas that rule the world would win the national……Did I back it? Did I fuck.

    Get the drift guys

    Keep your chin up Josh…. Your doing a sterling job. The winners will come.

    1. Cheers Jarrod- I should say that I haven’t been ‘slagged’ off in recent weeks, and rarely at all on these pages. People just disappear quietly which is fine. I am here, in the firing line, and I dont mind reasoned critique.

  3. same. sticking with the blog as i always intended.

    the approaches and thought processes are clearly sound and destined for long-term profit. any decent punter understands the dry spells. “it’s just variance”, as they say!

    all it takes is one winner to turn the tide – profit-wise and emotionally

    1. might i recall a tough spell at the start of last NH season?

      Then came a certain Highland Lodge and the rest is history

      1. Wise words Ali- yep, took me a while to feel way into jumps season/form to settle say, and then Highland Lodge lifted the mood somewhat! Just need to find a 33/1 sprint handicap winner 🙂

  4. First of all Josh, thanks for putting me on to Bet Alchemist, 3 nice winners on Saturday.

    I found Mr Stenson in the Open and so a nice £650 profit from the event.

    I think that the secret of trying to find winners in any event is to have a clear head, try to see where the value is and go with it. Test your thinking win or lose after the event and………try to learn from it for the future. Dont bet unless you have first done this.

    I hope your designer frames have the desired effect on the girls.

    1. Haha cheers Martin. Glad BA is going well, Nicky has a proven track record in this game- the odd bumpy patch as expected but long term he is good person to follow. Glad it has started well. I try to be selective in the services I tell people about, for this reason. There is a lot of crap about. Nice profit on the Gold, what a final round that was.

  5. Sometimes you have to turn the argument around ,The fact is that you are around 100pts up after six months,probably if you were asked if you would be happy with that for six months,a doubling of most peoples betting bank,you would probably say it was a decent return,the fact is that you only need a few winners to motor ahead again,and you are only operating on winnings,the bookies friends are greed,impatince,pride,to be succesfull you have to resist these forces.If your scratching around for bets you usually fail,the winners jump out at you,better to be patient for these opportunitisto present thmselves

    1. Thanks Gerry. Yep, I mean if the profit had been more evenly spread out the mood may be lighter- but that is how it goes sadly, many troughs and a few peaks. Very true about waiting for the opportunities to present themselves. Which they do. Patience is key

  6. Will you be doing a N.H. Trainers/Courses trends for 2016/17 and when do you intend to publish it?


    1. Hi Michael, yep I will be. I plan to start work on it this month. All being well by the end of September. It will be improved on last year’s which was a bit too stat heavy (i like the ‘top 3’ per section) – a bit more focus on some micro angles/systems. I may do a ‘lite’ version as well for those who don’t wish to buy the full one.

  7. totally agree with all the above comments Josh.. in it for the long run and enjoy your thoughts and obviously all your hard work !!
    Keep it up

  8. Not quite the “golden bullet” I’ve been searching for since opening up an email promising untold riches (not one of your emails Josh). I enjoy reading the blog and has been very useful, without the blog I would never have found out about hrb or systems in general. I still cannot read form and have given up on that side of things but systems I’ve picked up from here and those I’ve made myself have netted me over 400 points lol

    1. ah well, that is what we like to hear. Looks like i need to be following your systems!! Yep, you won’t get real, or promises, of untold riches from these parts!

      I’m intrigued now, do email me your best ones if you dont mind haha

      1. Haha jokes Josh!!! You’ve seen a few of my systems before, I will email you a few when I get back from my holidays. I’ve got one with a tasty 11pc strike rate you’l love lol

  9. Hi Josh,
    27 and you haven’t got a “job” ! When I was 27 I was working 14 hour days as a newsagent with a wife and 2 toddlers to support. I’m an 81 year old widower now with failing eyesight and the cheapest frames available. (You won’t worry about looking good when you get to your eighties)
    I’ve tried tipsters and I’ve reached the conclusion that you all hit a losing run as soon as I join.Add to that the fact that within a couple of days they start promoting another service as the best thing since sliced bread and I wonder why I signed up at all. I’ve been backing the gee-gees for the last 15 years. I handed over £40 at my local Ladbrokes to open an account and I have just over £500 in my account now. I love systems, I still bet small, a couple of quid ew or a 50p ew patent and it doesn’t worry me if I can’t be bothered to bet, like today for example. I do like to read blogs like yours, so keep up the good work and I won’t tell you if I am following one of your selections in case I cause it to lose.
    Good luck to everyone, Ron

    1. Hi Ron,
      Thanks for your wise words – yep, I certainly won’t be asking or expecting violins for my current way of life – I realise how lucky i have it at the moment – or, maybe I don’t and should think about that more. (I have had a ‘normal job’ for a few years after graduating, but that got a bit boring and I was lucky to be in a position to given this blogging stuff a go)
      Sounds like you are enjoying your punting and doing a good job – as long as I can provide you with something of interest to read every now and then, that will do me.
      Good Luck to you too,

  10. Hi Josh. Its feast and famine in this game Josh. i have had a share in Kantara Castle for over 2 years now. No sign of champagne up to now. He runs in the last at Beverley this evening. The RP has worked out he is lurking on a lifetime low mark. I am ever hopeful and he is 16/1. If he like you could produce earlier running he would be a certainty. Keep the faith.

    1. Hi John, good to hear from you. Yep you can say that again, on all fronts, betting or owning the odd hoof! Good luck with Kantara Castle later on, I will watch and cheer on with interest. Faith will always remain!

  11. Josh

    As most on here I wish you well as I find you a good read and we all hit a flat spot ( I certainly did in January and February this year). Given the logical way you approach the game then it’s really a question of toughing it out until the hot spot arrives as it surely will . The Royal Ascot mini was very useful in narrowing things down and helped a very successful week. The flat trainers stats profile pack I’m not slavish following but dipping into it when I feel the need. A review of how it performed track by track at the end of the season would make interesting reading. I feel the flat in 2016 maybe a bit skewed as until ltoday we haven’t really had Summer and the ground has been much slower than the norm which may well be affecting how some trainers operate.

    1. John, thanks for comments, much appreciated and well put – your thoughts on the flat season may well ring true and it won’t do any hard having a sustained period of dry weather, but who knows how long it will last! Flat Stats- I will review how the main trainer systems have performed, the ones I follow on the blog, where they exits. It may be a bit too time consuming to go through every angle etc! I suppose when I compare the old and new versions in March time next year it may be clear which ones didn’t do so well etc. The stats are the stats as I say and it sounds like you have a good approach of dipping in etc
      Glad you enjoy the read, that is the main thing!

  12. Josh
    I have been with you since Dec/Jan of this year, so I have managed to get some of the good stuff and now some of the “not so good stuff”, notice I didn’t say “bad” as there has been the odd winner along the way. There is more to to the profit side as I entertainment with the blog, reading what guys are betting on and so on. Your style of writing is easy to follow more like a conversation.
    I am not a big punter but enjoy watching the races, following your various selections but cherry picking what is simple to follow, like K Burke second career runs, M Johnston hcp LTO winners same class, to add a little to that I had 3 of his LTO placed horses but down a class or 2 on Sat and all won, small trixie as a try out but all the ideas have come from this blog. That’s Entertainment for me.
    I have one query, You specialize in 3m chases in winter NH, but “dabble” with 5/6f sprinters on the Flat, I would have thought you would have a better take on 4yo+ hcps with a bit of history to look back on for trends and stats which take in older horses like your NH 3milers? To me they represent the equivalent to what you do successfully with NH. Would be interesting to hear your views on it. As you may guess I am not a fan of the SPRINTS as if the dwell in the stalls your races is just about over before it has started but with 4yo+ hcps you can get a run for you money over a variety of distances 1m+ at least. Look forward to your comments as usual.
    I am a paid up Donations Club member and looking forward to some of your changes, NH racing and heavy going ones at that!. Cheers for all the work you put in I’m in it for the long term.

    1. Hi Mike, your support is much appreciated as always and hopefully you may enjoy some of the slight changes- well you will have your own members area on the blog with a forum if you so wish to use it, and it is just an easier way to distribute members only content etc- mainly the stats stuff etc.
      I am glad you highlight the entertainment aspect and the all round enjoyment you get – from me, the ideas, the writing, the tips and of course the invaluable contributions from fellow readers. I think we have a good community growing here and that is what it is all about- with a focus on long term profit of course.

      Query – Yep in truth I don’t have a ‘specialist’ area on the flat and in truth there is still much to learn in the 3m+ game! The sprint handicap testing zone is an attempt at that – you are not the first to suggest that I may be best focusing on longer races/different races. I thought i would try with these sprint handicaps and see how we get on. A lot to learn but it brings some focus. The Stats/Angles of Interest area is an attempt to use the tools at my disposal to make a profit from a wider range of race types and ways in.

      Indeed, I think my flat ‘tips’ are showing a loss of near 20 points and if I ignored those, the jumpers- including likes of Al Co and Son of Suzie in recent weeks have kept things ticking along! At the same time, on this blog before I have tipped flat sprint handicap winners with stats/trends from 16/1 to 50/1 (85 BFSP) – and another in that range would be most welcome!

      Maybe I should become a 4yo+ 7 furlong specialist – that could be an area that I could get stuck into and could be a fun area to research. That may be the next area of focus after the sprinting. I am not going anywhere for quite a long time and I know I will get to a good place at some point to cover all year round.


  13. Hi Josh,

    Sorry been meaning to post but the heatwave has been playing havoc with my sleep so have been shattered. First of all at the end of day whilst we all want to make money I have always thought this site is about a lot more than that. You’ve done a great job of gathering a great bunch of like minded people on here who make this site what it is that actually understanding what betting in racing is all about. Considering the number of cummunities filled with people who are after a quick get rich scheme that alone is a worthy acomplishment. I pay my £12 more for the knowledge learned here than anything else. You’ve also helped introduce me to Ben Aitken and Geegeez Gold (I fully reccomend both for any serious punter) both have helped me improve as a punter.

    Back when I first reading here was in the autumn last year. At the time I couldnt lose and had 11 weeks in a row of profit. Obviously things like that dont last and the enevitable downswing followed from December to just before Cheltenham. Its fucking frustrating when that happens but sadly thats part of the game. I dont think I was doing anything differently but just felt I was constantly hitting the post. Luckily things changed during the second half of March and I won what I had lost thrice over. You havent become a bad tipster overnight so just keep doing what you’re doing and things it will change however as painful as it is sometimes you just have to ride things out for a few months. The only thing I would say is stick to you guns. I saw you put here that you didnt want to tip up 4 points because of the run you were on. Treat each race independently of any other. Obviously its easier said than done and we are all human and tilt effects us all. Likewise when you’re back on a hot streak dont tip more points than normal just because you ahve points int he bank. I think considering I tried my hand at poker for six years before moving on to racing makes me a little bit better equiped to handle the negative aspects of downswings. Just keep believing in yourself and it will turn around.

    I appluad you for opening yourself to any potential abuse by posting publicly. Sadly there are too many people who just dont understand this isnt an exact science or a quick fix. I have seen enough abuse out there (not on this page Id like to point out) to stop me ever thinking about doing something simular. I have stuck to tipping to about 12 friends and that will do for me and occasionaly post them here.

    BTW your thought process on the sprints is a good idea. I think its all there. I guess one small thing which I couldnt see on these is considering horse as to whether they miught be regressing but I guess that would be covered elsewhere.


    1. Hi Nick, thanks for your comment, much appreciated. I think that community aspect is one of the strong points about this blog and hopefully we can build on that moving forward.

      Yep I have added a bit on regression, i did think about it but left it out, but actually it is something explicitly to think about, as well as those going the other way.


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