Favourite Week of the Year?

Cheltenham – A Unique and Glorious Week

Tried hard not to jump on the Cheltenham bandwagon. Every single person with a vested interest in making money from traders have their snouts in the trough. I don’t want to big it up at all, in fact I have a slightly different perspective,

Firstly, let me say that as a person who makes his living from Racing, and first and foremost is a huge fan of the sport. I love Cheltenham week. It has always held my imagination and for any Racing fan, it is the World Cup and Olympics all in one. I love everything about it and I am very excited about the week ahead.

Now with my trading head on I see things a little differently. Cheltenham is a fucking pain in the arse. We have had poor Racing for over a week, trainers have the better horses put away for Cheltenham, traders are keeping things tight so they have as much of a trading bank as is possible. The week after Cheltenham is another dead week too. So for the pleasure of 1 week we lose 3. Can I make as much in that one week as to make up for the poor trading on offer in the other 3? No, it’s doubtful.

You will know that I am pretty much a swing trader. My aim is to get involved in trades that give me more than 1 or 2 ticks. I also like to trade at the shorter end of the market. Where most of my trades are on runners with odds under or around 4.0. These types of races are at an premium at Cheltenham.

That’s not to say I cannot do well. On the races where I can get involved in a swing, I can add in pretty much as much money as I like, with the knowledge of a stable exit position should things go wrong. Not something I can do on a Monday afternoon at Wolverhampton.

I think the hype is such that many traders, especially newer ones will be thinking that you just have turn up. The promise of extra liquidity will be a licence to print money. But when you get to trade the race that has 20K sitting in front of your £25 it’s almost overwhelming.

One of the scariest things is the shear volume of money in the market. You might think twice about sticking in your £25 behind that £20k as I already mentioned. But imagine it like this; You have a basket of shopping and you are in your local Tesco’s. It’s Christmas and there are 100’s of people with big trolley loads at the checkouts. If this was a Tuesday when there were 7 checkouts open it would be a massive problem. But it isn’t. There are 35 checkouts open, and there are 2 members of staff on each one, helping to pack your shopping and get you through as quick as possible. So in the big scheme of things, you only have to wait a little longer than usual. Same with the fill rates at Cheltenham, big queue, but faster fill rate = quick turnaround

So a couple of tips that may help you enjoy Cheltenham

  • Keep your expectations in check
  • Don’t get too overwhelmed with the amounts of money in the queue in front of you
  • Know that the more traded volume that has followed into a market the slower it will react, especially before the Live shows.
  • Expect any of the Mullins/Ruby Walsh to shorten appreciably with they have winners in previous races. These like last year are ripe for accumulators.
  • Don’t get carried away by the occasion. Normal trading rules still apply.

Hope you get a nice green week,



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