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Tipsters and Shysters

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An excellent piece from Matt Bisogno of www.geegeez.co.uk fame

Tipsters. The very word sends shudders down my spine. I know a fair bit about racing, and I write a fair few pieces on here (and elsewhere) which conclude with a selection. But I am not a tipster. I’m much more of a systemite, I’d say.

The problem with tipsters in the main – though there are exceptions, some of them notably good – is that you don’t actually know if they’re any better at picking horses than you!

Another problem with tipsters is that many followers of tipsters want winners not profit. As long as the follower in question recognises that, there’s no problem at all.

What I mean is that ‘Honest ‘Arry’ could give five winning tips from seven in a week, but still lose money if they were all odds on, some of them heavily.

Now if ’Honest ‘Arry’ has a track record that is both in the public domain and has shown ‘imself to be profitable, then all well and good. Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and all that; good runs and bad runs.

But if ‘Arry’s trick is to make people think they’re winning because of the number of winning selections, then we have a problem. This happens more than you might imagine.

We need value in our winners. What is value? Well, aside from being another article entirely, it is this: a sufficient return to both justify and pay for all of the losers and leave a little bit besides.

This, I’m afraid, will often require the user of tipsters to keep records (gasp, again). But the bookie accounts will show the tale of the tape (recorded messages).

Now, don’t get me wrong. Whilst I’m personally not a fan of tipsters (I prefer to back my own judgment, for better or worse), there are some good ones. Tom Segal (Pricewise in the Racing Post) is the most everyman affordable and effective tipster I know.

For a couple of quid a day, you can get real insights. I remember recently on the amazing ‘Champions Day’ card at Ascot, he put up two horses in the closing 30 runner apprentice handicap (amazing Champions Day, bar that), and they finished first and third. The winner, Edinburgh Knight, was 18/1 and the third was 12′s, having been heavily backed.

Top tipping.

Gavin’s brother Gary is a notable tipster of sprint handicappers at huge prices. They don’t win often, but when they do, they pay for the losers and leave a lit bit extra besides. That’s value. And he’s been doing it for the twenty years I’ve known him. He’s just a judge of these things.

So yes, you can find the occasional top tipster. But look for clearly documented evidence that they are who they say they are, and they have tipped who they say they’ve tipped. Again, OBE andORR have tipster reviews which you can trust as coming from the geegeez stable of reviews.

Me? Like I said, I prefer to pick ‘em myself, though I will often look to see what Tom Segal or Gary have put up (and they’ll generally make my placepot perms at least!)

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