Bet City School
Commit to Learning


An excellent piece from Matt Bisogno of fame


What a boring number one point, eh? Well, yes and no. It depends how you think about it really. For me, watching racing presented by intelligent people (I’m afraid you’ll need a satellite dish or digibox for that, in the UK at least), is instructive.

Reading blogs – maybe even this blog – can be helpful. Reading books too.

It doesn’t really matter how you learn best, whether it’s the spoken or written word, TV, internet or a book or newspaper. What matters is that you understand that if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.

As cheesy and hackneyed as that maxim is, it is also true. So commit to learn more about horse racing and betting. Understand how the betting market works, and the different routes into it (ante post, morning prices, best odds guaranteed, exchanges, arbitrage, laying, tote, indices).

Learn more about trainers to follow. Look at how class affects performance. And pace. And fitness. And speed. And jockeyship. And trip. And so on and so on.

It is as impossible to know everything as it is not to learn anything when you commit to the subject matter. For me, this is a lifelong journey, irrespective of whether I get to continue writing here or not. I’ll never lose my love for racing, and betting, and my thirst for knowledge remains as unslaked now as it was the first time I ever watched a race.

I have more books to read on the subject than there is time available (currently on Michael Pizzola’s ‘Handicapping Magic’, a rare out of print US text written about ten years ago; and Racing Post’s 500 Greatest Gambles, a bit of light entertainment with some interesting historical snippets that I’ll drop into the blog from time to time), but that’s ok. I’ll get to them… probably. ;-)

The other side of the coin, for more experienced racing bettors, is research. Who says you can only consume the work of others? The internet has both made huge quantities of data readily available, and made everybody a potential publisher.

This is how I got to jack in the day job and indulge my passion. And it’s how I’ve ended up writing 5000 words here, when I only planned for about 1500…!

But this is not about me. It’s about you: about you being a better bettor.

If just one or two of the points above resonate with you, and you vow to work on those elements, you’ll have more fun, win more money, and feel more in control of your racing and wagering experiences. Surely, that can’t be a bad thing!


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