Some of the recent bets advised on NMP include:
Indefatigable 40/1 - WON
Bachasson 33/1 EW (placed)
Dame de Compagnie 16/1 - WON
Edwardstone 16/1 EW (placed)
Bob Mahler 25/1 EW (placed)
Plan Of Attack 25/1 EW (placed)
The Conditional 14/1 - WON
Simply The Betts 12/1 - WON
Sire du Berlais 10/1 - WON
Concertista 5/1 - WON
Chosen Mate 5/1 - WON
Al Boum Photo 10/3 - WON
Epatante 3/1 - WON
Shiskin 3/1 - WON
Honeysuckle 2/1 - WON
My name is Wayne (aka the Northern Monkey) and I have run my Northern Monkey Punter (NMP) service since 2010. Here is some info on my background and the history of my service.
I studied Ecology at The University of York and have an MPhil in Biomedical Science from the University of Bradford - for a project investigating the use of polymer nanoparticles for gene and drug delivery.
I initially started my working career as a research scientist in 2006 and am a co-author on two publications in Biotechnology Progress.
The image on the left shows some cells from my project, in which I was aiming to deliver DNA into cells in the lab with a view to potentially treating genetic conditions later down the line (though we never made it that far!).
It is a microscopic image of a cluster of cells into which DNA, which codes for a green fluorescent protein (originally taken from jellyfish) has been delivered inside the cell. The blue areas show the stained cell nuclei.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in science, and met some great people, I lost my funding for my course before it was completed when my sponsor - a privately funded University spin off SME - was put into liquidation during the 2010 recession and the entire workforce was made redundant.
The birth of NMP
I had been casually interested in horse racing from my time studying at York ( photo below (c) Philip Woodward) - there had a been a top-class racecourse on my doorstep - and had written my own horse racing blog for several years and produced a small profit.
It helped that a lot of my science work involved growing cells in the lab - which required lots of work in the mornings but then quiet afternoons whilst you waited for cells to grow overnight. This provided me with lots of free time which I exploited to my advantage - of course I was writing up my thesis in the library ;-), but I was also in the computer room studying horse racing form like crazy, experimenting with systems and reading up on how to improve my betting performance.
It meant I was able to fast track my learning of racing in a short space of time. Lets face it, we all learn the hard way initially.
When I was made redundant, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and give up writing my freely-viewable racing blog - I launched a paid-for service and NMP was born in 2010.
For the benefit of those based abroad, the name "Northern Monkey" is a common and jovial term often used to describe people from the North (by those from the South) in England.
The service then was somewhat different to what it is now. It is fair to say I was feeling my way around in the dark in the early years, but a strong set of 2010 results - all of which were proofed from the outset - helped my service quickly build up a name for itself and over the years I have gained a core of loyal members.
Getting reviewed by the Smart Betting Club in my first year helped me immensely because I quickly realised what the standards should be for a service and established my target audience for the first time.
In the early days I did not have a large marketing budget (and I still don't now!) so I relied on word of mouth from friends and family to try get new members on board.
I posted on various online sports forums to try increase awareness of my service (social media was not as widespread as it is now). I will always remember one of the responses I got from a skeptical bloke on a football forum, who said,
" punters are not interested in backing what some lad in his bedroom in Bradford is interested in, they want inside information."
It is an attitude that many have towards horse racing - that it is a corrupt sport and you need inside information to succeed. NMP is proof, however, that if you work hard enough to research and back your own bets, you can have a long-term edge over the bookmakers and make it pay - without needing inside information.
My aim with the service is to provide my members with an honest, reliable and profitable service, with headline profit figures that can be realistically replicated by all with bookmaker accounts.
I am of the opinion that if members are following one of my selections, the very least they deserve to know is my rationale behind the bet - so reasoning and post-race feedback is provided for each selection - you get more than just a horse name and a race time as a member of my service.
NMP was voted Best Racing Tipster and Best Overall Tipster in the Smart Betting Club Awards in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
I run NMP alongside a full-time journalism role in the industry - one which I have held since 2010. My work has appeared in many national newspapers, including my weekly (Saturday) column which I wrote for Racing Plus in 2014 and showed a (+67 % ROI) during the turf season. You can see several example columns by viewing the image gallery on that link.
What started as a little side project through my daily job turned into a highly profitable source of tips in a national newspaper!
The most pleasing thing about the column, which was titled 'Inside Track' and was run in conjunction with formbase gurus Proform, was that the results were extremely profitable to industry starting prices - not inflated by unobtainable prices to restricted stakes (the criticism of some of the well known tipsters in the game these days).
The column covered a whole host of big meeting winners in races like the Spring Cup, International Handicap (Heavy Metal won at 33/1), Northumberland Plate, Old Newton Cup, Portland, Skybet Dash and Great St Wilfrid. I also tipped up the autumn double by advising Big Easy in the Cesarewitch and Bronze Angel in the Cambridgeshire.
Despite its high level of success, at the start of 2015 I gave up writing the column to concentrate on sending out my bets solely through my NMP service, though my time writing for the paper was a great experience and the high level of profit my column produced (especially as it was mostly to SP) showed I can stand alongside anyone in the industry, writing a professional and profitable tipping column in the national press.
I have participated in the tipping competition run for members of the Horserace Writers And Photographers Association (HWPA), finishing fifth in their yearly tipping competition in 2011 and fourth in 2013 (with the second most number of winners tipped up over the year) - up against the top media pundits in the industry from the likes of Timeform, Sporting Life, The Racing Post and Racing UK.
On 26th August 2015 I went through the entire six-race card at Musselburgh and tipped up winners at SP's of 11/10, 11/4, 11/2, 3/1, 5/1 and 9/4 on the Attheraces and Oddschecker websites as part of my journalism role.
This would have returned 3,991/1 in a six-fold accumulator for anyone that combined all of the selections together in a big multiple!
Another achievement I am particularly proud of was advising to members the 1-2 with The Tin Man and Growl in the Champions Sprint during the 2016 season, at odds that were 8/1 and 80/1 the night before racing.
I actually backed the tricast in that particular race, personally, after adding in a third horse that was a personal favourite of mine, Brando.
I was interviewed by The Smart Betting Club in December 2015 as part of their " how I make money from betting" series. A copy of the magazine can be downloaded for free, with my in-depth interview starting on page 14.