Picking The Brains Of A Tipping Master

Gary Priestley reveals all…

A ‘Quick’ Word From Me

Welcome and thanks for taking the time to read what follows.


UPDATE: What follows was first published on June 30th 2016. I am writing this update note in May 2017. As luck would have it this post would jinx it’s author for the next few months. But, given he is having one of his barmy months where he is tipping big winners left, right and centre, I thought it worth sharing again. He may not thank me for that mind! With that said…

Gary has posted a comment below with updated P/L figures etc…


Today I have a special guest post for you, from arguably the best free tipster around- Gary Priestley (indeed as I write he has just tipped another 14/1 winner, on top of 25/1 x2 and 14/1 winners since he first emailed me his thoughts below- and probably a few I have missed also!)  

I know you will enjoy it and with any luck take something away to apply to your own betting.

There are many reasons why I blog on these pages; to inform, to try and entertain, to provide profitable information/insight (yes, despite recent weeks, the long term trend is one of profit 🙂 – patience will be rewarded at some point albeit I hope I don’t have to wait until the mud starts flying again in November!) and I suppose to share my betting journey with you – the highs, the lows, the frustrations, the mental anguish. And I relish the engagement/comments from your good selves, many of you know how to tip a decent priced winner. 

The most satisfying moments for me are hearing your success stories from your own bets, using information/stats/views shared on here – whether it be my own approach, or advice as to services/tools that may help. (GEEGEEZ GOLD being the main drum I bang on that front, and for good reason, followed by HorseRaceBase )

Like you, I have much to learn about this great game of ours. In a sport that is always changing and one that is so complex (THE most complex?) there will always be new/different things to learn.

Now, I get it wrong more than I get it right. I am always eager to improve- and there is much to improve on.

I am eager to learn about the approach of other punters – what makes them successful, and what I may be able to apply to my own betting. 

I can enjoy following other people’s tips – but personally I like to know why a horse is fancied/what the approach is – not a view shared by all bettors of course. If a tipster is making you money, many won’t care why the horse is selected. But, that makes it more enjoyable for me. 

So, where better place to start than with the king of Twitter Tipping – Gary Priestley


Introducing Gary

I have followed Gary on Twitter for a couple of years now I suspect. (I should add I haven’t followed many of his tips- more fool me) Those of you who know my own back story will be aware that I lost a lot of money in my first year at University on the horses before stumbling across Geegeez. From there I discovered the likes of Gary’s brother, Gavin (nag-nag-nag) and the likes of Ben Aitken (narrowing-the-field).

Matt, Gavin and Ben have taught me plenty over the years. And now, it is Gary’s turn.

Before I hand over to him, let’s just have a look at his ‘numbers’ since he started tipping on Twitter in March 2013 through to 20th June 2016 (improved a bit more since he sent me this article- another 50+ points or so I think)

  • 3084 selections / 195 winners / 520 places (excluding winners) / 715 wins/places / +1286.91 points / +£12, 869.10 p (to £10 stakes- maybe I should start following them!)


Over To Gary…. (in his own words…)


My methods are tried and tested over many years and have brought me great success at some of the biggest meetings going, as well as the lowest grade handicap hurdles.

I first got into betting in the mid 1980’s. My dad owned his own chain of betting shops, my sister worked for him as did Gavin my older brother, now owner of the popular blog site nag-nag-nag and writer of the TTS & Festival Trends.

I left school in 1987 to work for my dad doing the board marking in the good old days of extel. Then in 1990 Gavin and myself set up on our own as Gee & Gee Turf-Accountants based in Paignton Devon.

We had a shop in Poole in Dorset as well as Trecco Bay in Porthcawl, and a more local shop in Torquay. We sold the business in 2001 to Jennings Racing when it all went computerised.

In those good old days there was no Racing Post, just the Sporting Life, and they had a marker sheet for settlers to write the results down. That marker sheet had ratings on it, an example below…

Name       LY      TY

RED        86       84

BLUE      83       78

BLACK   98       67

BLUE      81       79

GREEN  68       73


My very first bet using this method was a 5pew L31.

  • The first horse was called Burrie Walk and he won at 33-1.
  • The 2nd finished 2nd at 16-1
  • The 3rd won at 33-1
  • The 4thl horse was Neblin in the Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury.  He won at 10-1.
  • My last one finished 2nd in a photo at 10-1

I got £1350 for my £3.10 stake. Bearing in mind I was working as an 18yo for £75p/w I’d just won 18 weeks wages for £3.10.. I was hooked…


The basic starting point…

Back to those marker sheets and their ratings…

Name       LY      TY

RED        86       84

BLUE      83       78

BLACK   98       67

BLUE      81       79

GREEN  68       73


As you can see from the example RED had achieved the highest rating so far that season with BLACK the lowest.

But, BLACK, on one of his runs from last season achieved a mark higher than RED has achieved this season.

So my thinking was as follows…

IF BLACK was to run to that mark of 98 he would win this race easily.

That is very much how my mind still works today, but without Sporting Life doing it for me.


So, how do I find the right races/horses to focus on?

The problem comes when you have 7 meetings in a day and 56 races because each race can take an hour if done properly so I need a very quick method of reducing the number of races involved. I follow these basic rules…



  1. Look through the racecard discarding any race that isn’t a handicap
  1. Discard any race that is a handicap but is either a 2yo nursery or a 3yo only handicap
  1. Discard any race with less than 7 runners declared as this reduces the ew terms but also limits the value
  1. Discard any all aged handicaps with more than 4 3yos running as that produces too many unknowns.


In general that would leave around 10 races per day.

On the Flat…Over time I’ve come to realise I have a great deal more success in 5-6-7F handicaps as opposed to 10-16F handicaps

Over jumps…In NH races I tend to fair much better in 2-3mile h’cap hurdles and less well in 3m+ H’cap chases.


What Next?

Of those 10 races that are left I like to see a runner who’s on the up, winning his last 2 or 3 races and a short price.

That scenario presents a great opportunity to find some value elsewhere.

The horse who’s gone up 15lb for winning 2 or 3 races, unless he’s a strong improving 3yo, can’t sustain that improvement. They reach a ceiling but are massively over-bet by fav backers.

Those kind of races I see as opportunities.

Next, I flip the market on its head and start with the outsiders.


I’m looking for a horse who:-

  • likes conditions,
  • has won off a higher mark than todays
  • has a significant jockey booking
  • or been running over distances or on ground they can’t possibly win off.


When all these factors are put together you might have a race where nothing stands out so you leave the race alone.

You may have 2 or 3 that meet the criteria and that’s when you dig deeper into form.

Now for me, if I find a runner who has 4 or 5 things in his favour but something major against him, but he’s 33-1, then it’s worth the risk.  At 16-1 he may not be worth the risk.

Again, that’s where discipline comes into it.


You need to say – ok for me he’s a 20-1 chance, I’ll take 16s but nothing shorter and if he’s 14-1 then you leave him but if he’s 33-1 then that’s the value!

On my site everything I tip is 1pt ew singles.

No multiples, no 3pts on this, 1/2pt on that.


The ONLY way to win consistently is level stakes singles.


On my figures since starting on twitter in March 2013 , up to the 20th June 2016 as I write I’ve had…

3084 selections with 195 winners.  For some that’s quite a low S/R of 1;15.81


But, when you see the average odds of those 195 winners is 17.34/1 you see doing win only you’d still be in profit.

Throw in all the placed runners and those figures massively improve to 3084 selections with 195 winners & 520 places giving 715 returns at average odds of 20.20/1

That means 1 in 4.31 bets are placed, to provide an overall profit of +1286.91pts

Or £12869.10 to £10 stakes. 


So, remember the golden rules

  • EW Level Stakes
  • Value
  • Keep to the game plan
  • Above all be disciplined

All the best & Happy Punting


You can find all of Gary’s tips, for free, at the web link below..

Web:  http://www.tipstersreview.co.uk/todays-free-horse-racing-tips

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gary_priestley


Some Questions to Gary

Following Gary’s informative piece above I had a couple of initial questions that came to mind. Below you can find what I asked him, with his response…


What do you class as a significant jockey booking?

For me significant jockey isn’t about the trainer/jock relationship etc but more about whether the jockey has won on the horse before but not ridden him for last 8 races for example, but back on board today – things like that.


What tools do you use, if any? I am a HorseRaceBase and Geegeez Gold user – do you use such things or just the RacingPost/Sporting Life online? 

I use the Racing post website and my own knowledge and memory. If I could get into using Geegeez Gold it would probably make my life easier but I’m not into all the tech and find it too complicated.


Are you a big tracker of horses?

Probably one of my biggest mistakes is I don’t write anything down so I do miss the odd one as I don’t use trackers etc. What needs to be remembered is I get a lot of criticism for doing the same horse over & over. My answer to that is if it was well treated last week but finished 7th and got dropped 2lb for that run, it’s even better treated now so I’m not going to stop doing him just because he lost. Secret Witness is the worst case scenario of this – formerly rated 100 now only 60  he keeps running ok but can’t win a race.  I do need to give up on him!!



Like me, when reading the above, some questions may have popped into your head.

So, if you have any questions for Gary, or any comments in general, feel free to post a comment below.

Gary has kindly agreed to answer a few of them. So, fire away. I will collate them/narrow them down and post his response in due course. I am sure he is more likely to answer your questions if some donations head the way of the Injured Jockeys Fund above 🙂 

Thanks for reading,


p.s a plug of my own… you can grab my new free report for the Flat season 2017 HERE>>> (qualifiers posted for free in daily posts,2/6,+16 points in 12 days so far)


Post Comments

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

27 Responses

  1. Great article josh , I’ve been following Gary on Twitter for some time he comes across as a very nice down to earth man and I have backed his recent winners at very big odds also follow his golf selections now and again your blog and his selections are the first things I look at when picking horses thank you.

    1. Thanks Steve – well thanks to Gary for taking up my invite! Hopefully in time you cant go wrong with a RTP and GP combo haha. Yep, has habit of picking monster winners on the Golf also.

  2. I came across Gary on Twitter but I have never ever backed a single one of his tips, the reason being they were just names of horses and times of race, I could see he was having some big winners but it still did not get me backing his selections.

    Loads of people stick names of horses up and I always think ‘Why’ tell me why.

    Now I see how Gary picks his selection and I have the ;Why’ answered.

    I just want to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to Gary for taking the time to write the article and to you Josh for sharing it.

    Today, I will be backing Gary’s selections because I know both now How & Why.

    Thanks Again, there will be a donation on it’s way to the injured jockey fund, although I see that there is no pay pal option.

    1. Cheers Steve. Yep I tend to agree with your assessment there- I have picked his brains a bit over twitter before and I have enjoyed learning about his process – it does bring ‘tips’ to life.

    1. I will ask him! Dont think he has a facebook page but I believe you can link your tweets to Facebook etc! Assume you don’t have twitter.

  3. Thanks Josh and Gary.
    I have done something similar off and on over the years but can never quite decide on the cut off point time wise. I tend to use two years mainly but sometimes go back to the start of a horses’s career to establish ground/distance preferences. I would like to ask Gary does he have a favoured cut off point?
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks Richard, good question. Yep, deciding when a horse is just regressive is always a constant challenge.

  4. Seems so simple yet brilliant. I cannot argue with this man regarding tipping horses he is the best I’ve ever seen. But surely his staking plan needs to be looked it, if he believes he always needs to bet value he should be betting more when he believes there is more value and less when there is marginal value. Or is this not up for debate?!

    1. Everything in life is always up for debate, even the horses! 🙂 Good question, we shall see what he says. I would think experience has led him to this place – there will be some that bet more when a horse drifts, or more on a bigger price. I think his value call may go on ‘feel/experience’, (but not certain) rather than a mathematical formula against set criteria/creating a tissue etc. Value isn’t an exact science. Also, I would say betting different amounts, when you go on feel etc ,adds another level of anguish/decision making. And, if you basic approach to finding the horses is the same I can see why you would just stick to same amounts. Also helps for public scrutiny – in private wouldn’t surprise me if he had a bit more on some! I will ask..

  5. I have followed Gary for a long time and am amazed by the high quality of his tipping. It is good to get some insight Into his methods but I have just been through today’s selections and none of them seem to fit the criteria. Am I missing something?

      1. Hi Ray/Mike/Max you’re right in what you say and to a degree Josh is correct in his answer. Todays 4 runners don’t match that criteria that is just an unfortunate coincidence of timings. If you follow me on twitter you see me tweet things like “done all 7 meetings for tomorro nothing of interest so I’ll wait for the markets to be put up and I’ll have another look” well that was the case with yesterday. But the 4 I have done have still in part followed the process only as I had none for ratings etc I use the market in a way I’ve developed through years of doing it as a job. I price up every race of interest myself then compare them with the bookies as they price up I had Frangarry 7-1 in my market so 18-1 was hugely overpriced. This is another aspect of what I do but I didn’t include that in the original piece as Josh wants to do a follow up and I didn’t want to over complecate things. The process explained in Josh’s article is the basic model of how its done but as Josh explained in his answer you do need to be flexible and adaptable which I am with my knowledge of forming markets etc but the average punter wouldn’t know where to start.
        Hope that in part explains why todays didn’t look right!! GL

  6. I suspect Gary has outlined his initial approach and may not have revealed every ‘way in/approach’ that he uses 🙂 I will ask whether he wants to outline his thinking behind Frangarry as that may be revealing. I suspect his race shortlisting process is fairly rigid – but that there may be a few more factors than those 4 above and there is clearly some flexibility – I suspect he relies on his instinct/experience at times as well. We shall see!

  7. I have followed Gary for a few years, top bloke and what he isn’t telling you is how ill he has been recently and how his positive attitude to life and tipping is just so refreshing.

    I would say 2 things to those who may not be aware of his tips and his methods.

    1. When you look for value, as he does, losers are inevitable, however by sensible level point staking and getting on early, more often than not you can make a nice profit. When he is hot, he is red hot and at the moment he is on an excellent run.

    2. I am close to retirement age myself and have had a long and successful working life. One thing I have learned is that very occasionally, you come across someone who is worth listening to and learning from. The phrase “keep your mouth shut and open your ears” is one my grandfather taught me, in other words, listen and learn and don’t waste time with the finer details, GP is in my opinion one of the few Tipsters really worth following and listening to, and I would put him in the top 5 of out of hundreds that I have followed and tracked in my 30+ years of following horse racing.

  8. I’ve started following some of Gary’s tips recently but I find the odds are often much lower than Gary gets. Due to work/family commitments I often can’t get on straight away and currently don’t bet if I can’t get the odds quoted. Is it possible to quote the lowest price that still represents value?

    1. Hi Darryl, you’re not the only one who has this problem but there’s very little I can do. I post them early so people can get the bets value but as mine are so over bet early the bookmakers react quickly thus taking some of the value away. One thing I have notice tho is the oncourse bookmakers don’t lay mine at silly odds so they do tend to drift sometimes back to where we started so if you don’t back one at 10-1 because I tipped it at 20-1 but it then drifts to 20-1 you still haven’t done him. My suggestion would be to back them at the shorter odds with firms who offer best odds guaranteed then you’re covered both ways. If they drift and win you get bigger odds if they shorten yet further then you still have value but if thye lose it doesn’t matter what price you got as we’re all losers. It’s very difficult for me to put a bottom line on the odds as I take the market of every race individually as there are many factors that make that market inc price of the fav/day of the week/the racecourse/ number of runners etc so in short not really something I could put a number on or even a %.
      Hope that helps

  9. I have followed Gary also and thoroughly believe in the value angle, i normally dutch his selection and one of my own for the race and today was a belter ,even though Gary may disagree as my Parlour maid snatched victory after Gary`s selection Time for Champers plucked defeat from the jaws of victory and netted me £206 on a £1 exacta, still one of my go-to Men is Gary!!!
    Well done and keep up the good work ,when them two pulled clear today i wasn`t really bothered which way it went…Also golf tips are exemplary!!
    Hope Mr Priestley jnr did well in his interview ,keep up the good work!

  10. Hi, can I just clarify does Gavin mean disregard the 2yo nursery sand 3yo only hcaps or disregard the other hcaps?

    1. hi, my reading of that is to focus on handicaps, and then disregard 2yo nursery and 3yo only. And focus on all the other handicaps that are left- generally speaking suspect he means 3yo+ and 4yo+, 6yo+ handicaps. He definitely doesn’t mean focus on 2yo/3yo only, he leaves those well alone.

  11. Hi All,

    Reading it back it doesn’t make it clear I NEVER touch 2 yo nursery h’caps or 3yo only h’caps, I also discount any all aged h’cap with several 3yo’s in them.

    Taken from the original article…
    On my figures since starting on twitter in March 2013 , up to the 20th June 2016 as I write I’ve had…

    3084 selections with 195 winners. For some that’s quite a low S/R of 1;15.81

    But, when you see the average odds of those 195 winners is 17.34/1 you see doing win only you’d still be in profit.

    Throw in all the placed runners and those figures massively improve to 3084 selections with 195 winners & 520 places giving 715 returns at average odds of 20.20/1

    That means 1 in 4.31 bets are placed, to provide an overall profit of +1286.91pts

    Or £12869.10 to £10 stakes.
    Those figures are from the original piece in June 2016

    updated to 22/5/2017

    4259 selection 278 winners SR 1:15.3 which is improved on June 2016 of 1:15.81

    though the average odds has dropped slightly from 17.34/1 to 16.62/1

    add in the placed runners and from 4259 runners 278 winner/703 placed you have 981 win & placed at SR of 1:4.34 compared to 1:4.31 back in June 2016 so the numbers are very consistent so even though I had a very poor run for several months after Josh posted this piece(for which I hold him entirely responsible) over the 11months since then the numbers are still bang on. The average odds of a placed horse was 20.20/1 its now 20.02/1 so very similar.

    Profit was 1286.91pts to 1pt ew stakes it’s now 1424pts which is a ROI of 16.72% overall.

    As Josh & I are great believer in stats the numbers over the last 11months are very consistent with what had happened in the previous 3 years so even with that terrible run the counter balance to that was a very good run. Numbers don’t lie they add up over the right time period its having the discipline to stick with something when its going wrong. Also timing is everything the best time to start following any tipster who has proven P/L is when they’re having a bad run as you’ll enjoy a good run sooner. Conversely the worst time to start is when they’ve had a very purple patch because you know whats coming!!

    Good Luck All

    PS any comments or questions I’ll check back in later or Josh will notify me.

  12. I followed Gary’s tips (during a bad spell admittedly) and I’m afraid I came to the conclusion that they aren’t for me. Not because of the losing runs – I’m used to backing horses at bigger prices and enduring the bad spells – but because I couldn’t get close to the advised odds consistently. I appreciate what Gary said earlier about lots of his picks not gathering on-track support which sometimes means the SP will have drifted back, but of course that means you need access to BOG.

    I suppose it’s mostly to do with the increase in restrictions from bookmakers. Whereas a year or two ago I could look at a tipster and be fairly confident that I could place bets at close to the advised price, nowadays that isn’t the case. If I see tips with a great historical profit / ROI, I’ve then got to work out how they record their prices. If it’s someone whose records are based on the best available price with one bookie, especially if that bookie is often BF / PP which it was when I followed Gary’s tips, then I need to accept that I won’t get close to the historical figures.

    This isn’t intended to be a slight on Gary at all, but it’s a sad fact of the life of a punter in 2017.

    1. Hi Neil,
      Whilst I appreciate getting same odds as me is not always possible for everyone my P/L is done on the basis of the price I obtained thats not always PP/BFSB but those prices are available when I post them. Once I’ve tweeted the selections what happens from there regarding markets is completely out of my hands but bare in mind I predominantly back in low grade h’caps on big priced runners so it won’t take much to shift those prices. As I have 7500 followers only takes 1% to back the same 33-1 shot with £5 and the price will collapse. Everyone knows what time I post my selections as getting the best value is the whole point there is no point in me holding back posting selections until 9am next day as majority of the time the % thats in my favour has gone.
      Sorry you followed me during a baron spell but again thats something that you have to factor in when following someone the bigger the odds the longer the baron spell statistically will be, but discipline, bankroll, patience will all end up with you making a profit but breaking even still means your better off than 95% of everyday punters!!

      1. Hi Josh/Gary/All. I also only look at H’caps without nurseries and 3yo only or an overload of 3yo’s. I also now avoid races beyond a mile and a half except for festival races such as The Ebor, Chester Cup, etc. My belief is that I am better concentrating on races from 5-10f. I also tend to have a higher percentage of losers in races below C4.

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