Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth? What the f*** does that even mean? I take it to mean – If someone is giving you a gift – accept it gratefully. I actually googled this to see where it came from. Apparently as horses get older their teeth grow and protrude from their month, Experienced folk can tell a horses age by it’s teeth, So the saying relates to if someone is giving you a horse don’t complain if it’s very old. 🙂  What’s that got to do with this trade? It was a gift!

Got some good comments and critique from my last video where I broke down the trade, so thought I’d do that again. It’s really important not to get too hung up on this explaination. It is dissecting it into minute detail – after the event. That’s always very easy to pick apart. It’s always easy in hindsight, but not so easy when your money is sitting there!

Have a look at the video and then read the comments

00:00 The initial trade was placed as a LAY on the fav at 2.20. The 2nd fav had just broken though it’s resistance point and cross over at 4. A cross over is where the odds change in tick size. In this case below 4 is 0.05 increments and above 4 is 0.1. This is a natural barrier, so breaking though is significant. The fav had a drifting trend and had been trading in the range between 2.06 and 2.2 in had also broken through it’s upper resistance point. An outsider Shamick Boy had moved from 40 into 20. Although I don’t give as much credence to bigger prices this adds to the pressure on the fav to drift, as would any downward pressure from Kuda Huraa.

1:50 It’s ticking along nicely. I’m happy with the staking. In hindsight I could have been more aggresive. But all the time in the back of my mind was that the horse was trained by Nicky Henderson. He’s the top trainer and I didn’t have a reason to understand why the horse may be drifting. Punters are fickle, and it could soon turn.

2:!2 The back book is tight here (100.7%) – it means that something is unlike to drift without something moving in to counteract it. What I am saying is there is little room for ebb & flow – the runners are directly influencing each other. There is still downward pressure from 3 of the runners against the fav. This is why I added to the trade. I could not see it going zooming off into the distance, so attempted to take a modest 5 ticks from that £200.

2:24 I talk about the amounts of money appearing and disappearing. maybe spoof money? If it stands out and it doesn’t move up or down it probably isn’t real, If someone wants to back or lay something the money moves.

4:40 The live pictures say it all to me. At Newbury the horses are corralled in a holding area with a narrow exit. It is absolutely clear that the fav wants to leave there first . None of the other runners are putting him under any pressure for the position. A common strategy nowadays is for people to back the horse pre race and trade out once the odds have dropped as the y take a prominent position in play. A favourite with an uncontested lead (as long as he settles well in the race) is likely to have a healthy reduction in odds. As it becomes clear to all this is happening the odds tumble. irrespective of what happens in the market prior to this. This last few moments wipes all that out.

UPDATE

I have received a comment from Daz: he makes a good point about using the “Back2lay” strategy and warns of it’s danger. If you read my reply to Daz you will see that in this case I was using the fact that he was obviously lining up in front and taking advantage of the reversal in the drift as a consequence. This was a high confidence trade – because I could see what was happening.  

As you guys know. I have a straightforward approach to my trading. I say it how it is. If I don’t do well i say so. I don’t pretend to be the best, because I am not. I am like most of you guys. I make bad calls, use bad judgement and have bad moods. I want to share with you something that happened EXACTLY along the lines of what Daz is warning about.

I wish I had recorded this live, it was 19th December at Exeter (1:50)  I have found the video of the start of the race to show exactly what happened. The fav in the 4 runner race was Bury Parade. A smart horse trading at around 1.5. I was watching the preliminaries and at Exeter the horse (depending on the distance) have to walk down a narrow walkway. There is only room for 2 horses across max. In this case Bury Parade was a couple of lengths ahead. When the horse get to the bottom, the usual chain of events is they walk straight onto the course and off they go. I saw this as an opportunity to make some very easy money. When a favourite, especially this short leads. As long as it jumps ok and doesn’t pull. The odds will tumble very quickly. I expected to get 5-7 ticks before they saw a fence. I was very aggressive with this trade and staked a Substantial amount. Watch the video (Click the link below) and see what happened next. Lesson learned. btw. My wife got very little for Christmas this year 🙂

Bury Parade

 

8 thoughts on “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

  1. Hi Mate,
    Was looking back through old posts to see if this had already been answered; i’m sure it has but i cannot find it….. I was wondering, when you started 8 years hence, What kind of bank did you start with and what were your typical stakes? did you already have a decent lump to make big trades or did you build it gradually over time from a small amount?
    I’m aware this is a rather blunt question and i forgive you if you’d rather not reply
    Thanks
    Al

    • Hi Al, I started with a couple of hundred quid. Lost it. repeat – repeat- repeat. I was about £4k down before things started to turn. In hindsight my stakes were way too big. If your trading the ladder like my videos I would suggest staking with about 5% of your bank (£50 per £1000) and the having the exit at 20% of your stake max – So basically max loss £10. Per £50 staked. The other thing to consider is your strike rate and average profit. If you have a SR of 90% but only win £2, but average loss of £50. You lose. I try to make sure my loss never exceeds what i expect to win. If my SR is better than 50% I win. That’s the sort of thing you need to perhaps factor in. Hope this makes sense mate. The most important thing is bet with what you afford to lose, and don’t be influenced by stakes you see on YouTube videos. You don’t need huge stakes to make decent money. I traded a race at Cheltenham on my video account for an explanation video for my Training Events. I used £200 and greened up at £102 – Cheers MG

  2. Thanks mate,
    Really appreciate that. I think my biggest problem (like so many others) is accepting the loss from time to time. I will sit there all afternoon, trade 20 races for £20 stakes and make a nice £25 or so profit, then I will lay a horse in the last race which is an ‘obvious’ drifter, at which point it gets backed in massively in the last minute leading to a £15 loss. So of course I let it go in play and it wins from the front going away for a huge loss!
    Taking the initial hit would’ve been the correct move, but it can be hard.
    Thanks again,
    Al

  3. Alan, i know excatly what you mean dude. Stay at the same point as you. 😉

    You not alone!

    MG thanks for the video and all the great stuff you give the world for free.

    Cheers

  4. Hi MG,

    Firstly, many thanks for your posts. Always look forward to them and read your blog with much interest.

    Just wanted to post a warning re trading the front runners, as it “appears” to be an easy buck.
    I’ve done this for some time. Reading form, picking out the pace in the race and trading with a view to green up before the first hurdle/fence. Or if trading well, green up pre off.

    You can do this race after race until someone decides to take a stand and even though a horse is clearly a front runner and lines up in front, the price doesnt move.

    This normally happens on horses that have drifted pre race and it seems that someone knows it wont win and willing to take it on.

    I only post this as Ive busted several banks this way and although I’m far far from an expert, just wanted to warn fellow newbies and semi newbies about the so called easy money.

    Looking forward to further posts.

    Daz

    • Daz –
      I think the last post on my post makes it clear:
      “4:40 The live pictures say it all to me. At Newbury the horses are corralled in a holding area with a narrow exit. It is absolutely clear that the fav wants to leave there first . None of the other runners are putting him under any pressure for the position. A common strategy nowadays is for people to back the horse pre race and trade out once the odds have dropped as the y take a prominent position in play. A favourite with an uncontested lead (as long as he settles well in the race) is likely to have a healthy reduction in odds. As it becomes clear to all this is happening the odds tumble. irrespective of what happens in the market prior to this. This last few moments wipes all that out”.
      My message is – Whatever has happened in the market (i.e drifting or steaming) can be wiped out by the way the horses are lining up at the start of a race. I didn’t take this in play (only to green it) – although I do sometimes (with caution). You are quite correct with your warning though. I had a dabble with form analysis to identify front runners, but to be honest you have more success looking for hold up horses that travel strongly. The in play B2L thing has eaten itself now. There are so may at it that the market has almost adjusted itself pre race to take into account running styles. This trade is a perfect example of that. A big drifter that suddenly turned.
      One of the things that many traders complain about is when the odds on a runner reverses for “no reason”- There is always a reason – it’s just we don’t always see the reason. In this case we do.
      In line with what Daz has said. As it’s a good point. If you take this type of trade in play – it carries a bigger than usual risk and should not be compared with letting a trade go in play, purely becasue it went wrong pre play and you hope the odds dropping in play might get you out of the shit. In my experience, this is a epic fail.

      To finish this comment, I’ll give you a recent example of exactly what Daz is talking about. There was a race at Exeter where there was a very short priced fav called Bury Parade. I’ll post up what happened in the post once I locate the video to show you.
      Thanks Daz for your comment. Cheers MG

  5. Thanks for this video, Steve – very informative. The first time I watch any of your videos, I turn the volume off and make my own analysis… I then watch the video again, this time with the volume on, and compare my initial analysis with your commentary. The encouraging news is that my analysis is starting to mirror your commentary, which means you’re doing a good job of teaching. March 2014 has been my most profitable month yet, so thank you.

    I’ve noticed that you tend to trade shorter priced favourites in your videos. Do you trade races where the favourite is priced at say 4.60 or 5.20, or do you tend to leave those races alone?

    • Hi Josh – Appreciate your comments. It’s great to know you’re making money from my advice! I have other strategies for the bigger priced runners. That’s not to say you can’t trade these bigger prices in the same way. I would urge caution though. In the weaker markets these can be very volatile and you can be in a world of pain very quickly if you get caught on the wrong side of something. Saying that, you can make big profits too. I just prefer to stick to the shorter priced runners as it suits my style better. Cheers MG

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