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There are specialist in nearly every walk of life: the dictionary definition of a specialist is ‘A person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity; a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field’.

For many, unfortunately, the nearest we come to a specialist is in the health field.

If you have to attend your GP’s surgery and your doctor fails to diagnose your condition, or is unsure and needs a second opinion, he/she will refer you to a specialist. (If you push hard enough that is!)

One health specialist on a recent TV programme stated: “Think of the human body as a car with all its thousands of parts; now a health specialist would be fully expert in one tiny area of that car’s make up.”

That’s how fined-tuned these specialists have to be in order to gain expertise in their chosen field.

It’s certainly no different with betting/trading. Those that specialise make money and plenty of it! More often than not, they will also enjoy researching their area of speciality, hence why they chose it in the first place. ‘Enjoy your work and it’s not really work’ is a common phrase I often hear.

I remember reading about one guy famed for his accurate predictions in the Eurovision song contest. Apparently he was very successful in narrowing the countries down to the two or three most likely to win, and by all accounts he would trap the winner from those on his shortlist every year bar one for a period of 20 years!

Apparently his secret was all to do with rhythms and which judges would enjoy those rhythms, based on their own countries’ musical traditions.

The ones he felt had the broadest appeal to the judges would be placed on his shortlist, and with a few more filters, he would finally arrive with 2 or 3 countries in with a big chance. This success was only possible by specialising and researching everything possible angle that may influence the result and why judges vote the way they do. Obviously there would be a margin of error built in, as we all know tactical voting has been employed in the past (allegedly).
How and where to start

If you plan to specialise in an area of betting/trading, then it (of course) helps to have an enthusiastic passion for the area in question.

When you have a passion for something it leads to a greater appetite to learn all you can. In turn, that makes you more successful and thus creates an upward positive cycle that will see you get more proficient over time.

With the Turf Flat season now upon us, this may be a good place to start your ‘specialisation for profit’ project.

I know many who make good livings from specialising in certain codes of horse racing, as they become immersed in it so much they can almost visualise how the next race will pan out.

This only comes via repetition in watching recordings of a selected group of horses day in, day out. This brings with it gradual and ever-increasing profits, as you get to know the horses in your area inside out.

A good place to start would be five- and six-furlong sprint races over the Flat Turf season, and/or two-mile to 2.5-mile novice hurdle and chase races during the National Hunt season. (Preferably using NON-handicap races – that would be an ideal platform for the beginner.)

Key areas to observe and make notes of are as follows.

  • Let’s say you watch a six-furlong race and a horse that cuts the pace early on and leads up to the five-furlong mark, but then just fails to see out the extra furlong. This may be one to look out for when next running over the shorter five-furlong minimum distance.
  • Likewise, a five-furlong race where you see a selection running well late on, but could not catch the winner: this horse maybe ideal for a step up to six-furlongs.

Obviously the above are just some basic observations to look out for when starting: you would then fine-tune your selection process by taking into account factors such as:

  • Did they all get a level break from the starting stalls?
  • Were any unlucky in running: blocked in behind a wall of horses etc? (If so, you could also place them in your notebook.)
  • The going may not be to the selection’s liking: checking the ‘PostData’ box from the Racing Post will determine this.

When next backing them, make sure that:

  • the stable is in form;
  • there’s possibly the same jockey on board, although this is not essential;
  • it’s the same ‘going’ as the previous race, and/or the horse goes on the current going for the race evaluated;
  • you check the opposition, with a bit of cross-referencing and form-reading (if necessary call upon your ever-growing library of recorded races);
  • you look out for early positive/negative market moves on the day.

All the above are important guidelines to adhere to and get you off the ground. If the above process is repeated often enough it will quickly become second nature and you will soon derive a short-list of runners to watch out for next time out.  

As mentioned earlier, once you get a feel for the contestants involved (in our example horses at five and six furlongs), you will become very proficient, to the point of knowing the ones to follow, thus improving your winning strike rate.

If horse racing is not your main interest, then football, rugby, cricket, tennis or even politics may be – the list is endless. In short: an area that floats your boat.

The big advantage here is that this process and knowledge can be carried with you for life, with no reliance on a third party. As they say education is no load to carry!

EU Referendum update! The price for the UK to ‘stay in’ has now eased to 1.57, so having layed at 1.44 (as per my article two weeks ago), some of you will now have made 13 pips profit. I’m now inclined to equalise my bets across both outcomes for a guaranteed profit and go in again by backing the UK to stay in at 1.57/58 and wait for it to drop.

Week 9 – Racing Consultants results update
How did they do at Cheltenham? Find out more here.

 Click here to access Racing Consultants.