Northern Monkey Punter

2017 NMP Service - post season statistical breakdown

E-mail first sent to NMP members on 21st November 2017 and discusses the areas where the service under and overperformed in 2017....

Overall results 

The 2017 service, which began on 9th November 2016, ends with a final profit of +4.33 pts from 1115.48 pts staked (+0 % ROI - break even to worst prices or a small profit to anyone (i.e. most) who took prices and achieved better than that in reality).

The return on capital for the 2017 service, from an initial 80 pt betting bank, is +5 %, which perhaps takes a dim view of the year. 
I have received feedback from several members who have doubled their betting banks this year, which is pleasing to hear.
There was seemingly a lot of scope to better the prices on record this year by taking prices on the singles and multiples in a morning. 
Other ways members have apparently improved their own profits has been to back the shorter priced selections win only and also be proactive in backing the selections in enhanced place markets when they have been available. The figure on record is what it is, though. 
Overall service profit and loss since inception is +497.99 pts from 5553.90 pts staked (+9 % ROI). 
 I have looked into the results a bit more closely to try work out where we were strong and where we went wrong this year. 
 It is worth keeping in mind throughout that the service had a long-term edge of ROI of 11 % at the beginning of the 2017 service (this was based on thousands of bets so luck simply didn't come into forming this figure). It has since dropped to 9 % after this year. 
A service with no edge could quite feasibly have a ROI of 0 % if picking enough selections, simply due to normal bad and good luck evening themselves out. 

2017 P/L breakdown in a nutshell
  • First half of the season was unprofitable. Second half, by contrast, was profitable
  • Not enough double figure returns were landed before June. They did follow thereafter, though, providing the recovery
  • The singles show a profit on the year. The multiples show a loss
  • The staking scale served its purpose again. Stronger bets outperformed the smaller bets
  • The shorter odds selections showed much better performance than the longer priced selections
  • Basic probabilities suggest we have been unlucky this year and could have expected many more winners in a 'normal' year

Seasonality - a game of two halves 

Service profit from Nov '16 - May '17 

537.50 pts staked 

-35.09 pt loss 

Service profit from June '17 to Nov '17 

577.98 pts staked 

+39.42 pts profit 


I tried to emulate the memorable Cheltenham of 2016, when we made +25 pts profit from 50 pts staked (to lowest prices), but this time we didn't make Cheltenham pay. 

The crown jewels in our ante post betting list - Unowhatimeanharry (16/1 into 10/11 fav) and Yanworth (12/1 into 2/1 fav), surprisingly, both lost. 

We also wasted stakes trying to get some of the Cheltenham bets onside in multiples before the Festival had began (an approach which worked brilliantly in 2016 - but didn't work so well this year).

Instead of starting the turf season over 50 pts up, as we did in 2016, this time we were -26 pts down. We therefore started this season on the back foot. 

The way the service sets up, we need to be landing the big Saturday winners if we are to enjoy a successful season. In the first six months of the 2017 service, we didn't have any bets which yielded a double figure profit*, and only eight winners in that period produced a profit in excess of 5 pts. 

We would expect the first six weeks of the season to be difficult but this year more than others, we just couldn't get going early on. By contrast, in the second half of the season 17 winners returned a profit which exceeded 5 pts and we had five of those which were double figure returns. 

*for this aspect of the analysis each bet was treated individually. So if we won two lots of 2.5 pts from two different bets (for example if backed in a 0.5 winning single and included in a seperate winning double) it wouldn't have exceeded 5 pts for that particular selection 

Just looking at the staking totals, I feel we overstaked in the first half of the year. We should be turning over higher stakes in the summer, when the quality of racing is higher, but a heavy involvement at Cheltenham - both during the week itself and leading up to it - has upped our turnover in the first half of the year. 

Moving ahead, as stated previously, we will be cutting the turnover over the winter and for the Cheltenham ante posts this year. More of our Festival bets will be placed during the week itself. I am also looking forward to not moving house next year! Things have certainly settled down from July onwards since we moved in and the decorating and prep work came to an end!

Performance of the singles vs multiples 


971.38 pts staked 

+25.05 pts profit 

+3 % ROI 


144.10 pts staked 

-20.71 pts profit 

-14 % ROI 


Firstly, the singles have obviously underperformed. Bearing in mind the service had an +11 % edge at the beginning of the year, for them to produce only +3 % ROI this year is disappointing. 

I have subsequently looked into the performance of the singles further. As stated above, not enough double figure winners were landed in the bad run in the first half of the year. Things have picked up in the last three months, however, with Nakeeta (Ebor), Donjuan Triumphant (rearranged Ayr Gold Cup) Withhold (Cesarewitch) and Saunter (November Handicap) all going in.

In terms of the multiples, I've touched upon this issue many times. When looking at the -20 profit figure it is worth remembering most of the multiples involved settling at SP - so anytime a horse was backed, the P/L column bore the brunt.

The nature of multiples (big cumulative odds) also means longer losing runs and extreme P/L swings are more likely - they are more volatile bets. The P/L figure for the multiples also doesn't fairly factor in the number of near misses we've had. 

A couple of the 'nearlies' were.... 

Home of the Brave - traded at 2.24 in the Lennox Stakes but beaten by a winner who had hit 1000.0. Victory was worth over 20 pts 

Jumira Bridge - traded at 1.18 and was beaten by a neck by a winner who'd hit 20.0 (having gone off 3.00). Victory was worth over 20 pts. 

Orion's Bow - hit evens at Newcastle but endured a nightmare run. Victory was worth over 10 pts 

Growl hit 1.42 in running in the Stewards' Cup, before finishing fourth under soft handling. We were on for 40-50 pts if he had won. 

.......based on the in running odds the above horses had worked themselves into in their races we could have expected 2.5 winners, so to get none was very harsh (and there have been other close calls too). 

I'm now keeping separate P/L tallies for the singles and multiples each month so members can see how both type of bet is faring. Opinion remains polarised but hopefully members who want to back the multiples for that excitement of standing to win big still will do so, while those who want a smoother, steadier ride, can ignore them and stick with the singles. 

I will still send multiples in the 2018 service, but I don't intend on turning over quite so much on them next year. The danger, as ever, is that if one of the legs wins, you are relying on subsequent legs to get a return so, in that respect, you need a greater element of luck with these riskier bets. It makes sense to have the bulk of our money on the selections where our edge is more pronounced, i.e. the singles and the fate is less reliant on luck. 

2017 Profit breakdown by odds range (single bets only):

Odds of 10/3 or less

264.25 pts staked 

256 bets 

+41.45 pts profit (+16 % ROI) 

Actual winners 88 

Expected winners 79 

A/E 1.11 

Odds between 7/2 and 10/1

555.13 pts staked 

621 bets 

+2.13 pts profit (0 % ROI) 

Actual winners 98 

Expected winners 98 

A/E 1.00 

Odds of 11/1 and bigger 

152.75 pts staked 

198 bets

-18.53 pts loss (-0.12 % ROI) 

Actual winners 13 

Expected winners 14 

A/E 0.93


The shorter priced picks have performed very well this year and it is the picks at longer odds which have held us back. The point to note with the longer priced picks, however, is that the potential returns on such bets are greater, and that minus figure could have quite easily swung into a profit if we'd enjoyed a 'normal' (i.e +11 % ROI) year. 

The 'expected' figures, based on the advised odds of the selections, suggested we should have had at last 14 winners within the 11/1+ odds bracket. We actually managed 13, which is one less than even a service with no edge could quite feasibly manage. 

With an 11 % edge going into this year, I think we have probably been short changed of two, possibly three winners at odds of 11/1+ this year. Growl and Unowhatimeanharry or two who immediately spring to mind! 

I don't think the number of winners at odds of under 7/2 flatters us, as an 11 % improvement on the expected number of winners is 87, and we achieved 88, which is close enough. This particular odds bracket performed perfectly in line with realistic expectations. Even if you took the view we had one 'lucky' winner here, it would still show a generous profit if that extra winner was discounted. 

With regards to the 7/2 to 10/1 bets, which accounted for a good chunk of the turnover, we broke even, with the number of expected and actual winners leveling out at 98. We know the service has a +11 % edge long term, so an 11 % improvement on 98 expected winners is 109, i.e. we could normally expect 11 further winners in this mid odds range. 

There have been plenty of near misses form the placed selections who didn't go on to win, so it is easy to imagine these selections faring better if we'd had the rub of the green this year. 

2017 Profit breakdown by stake strength (singles only):

The average stake was 0.90 pt in 2017 (up from 0.82 last year). 
  Stakes of < 1 pt 
518 bets 
313.63 pts staked 
-5.23 pt loss (-2 % ROI) 
Actual winners 80 
Expected winners 82 
A/E 0.98 

Stakes of 1 pt 
396 bets 
396 pts staked 
-16.55 loss (-4 % ROI) 
Actual winners 69 
Expected winners 72 
A/E 0.96 

Stakes > 1 pt 
162 bets 
264 pts staked 
+46.83 profit (+18 % ROI) 
Actual winners 45 
Expected winners 37 
A/E 1.18 

As was the case last year, the results show the benefit of having a variable staking scale. 
It hasn't a paid to follow my service to level stakes - anyone doing so is diluting strongly fancied bets, which have been a very good source of profit over the years, with weakly fancied filler bets, which often have form doubts over them and have something to prove in one way or another. 
The actual number of 'big' bets above 1 pt winning is four more than we would expect during a standard year, so either this is somewhere the service has a strong edge (i.e. the confidence in bigger stakes is well justified) or it may be that the figures are slightly flattered this year and may level off in future. 
The figures for > 1 pt bets last year was +20 pts (+11 %) which is more in line with the long-term expectations. That said, the 1 pt bets produced +44 pts (+12 % ROI) last year and this year they have only made a small profit of +2 pts (0 % ROI), so the overperformance of the strong bets has helped compensate for the underperformance of the average bets this time. 
The odds of the 1 pt selections suggests we have fallen 11 winners short of where we'd expect to be this year. Again, there have been plenty of near misses in this staking category. The combination of 1 pt bets at odds within the 7/2 to 10/1 range have seemingly been the underperformers for us this year. 
The < 1 pt bets were also 11 winners short of where we'd expect to be this year. Last year the < 1 pt bets had produced +12 pts profit (+4 % ROI) by comparison. 

A comparison of win only vs advised stakes (singles only) 

Advised stakes
971.38 pts staked 
+25.05 pts profit 
+3 % ROI 

Win only 
971.38 pts staked
+77.50 profit 
+8 % ROI 
Such a notable profit increase for following a win only strategy is in keeping with previous each-way vs win only comparisons made by myself, members, and those who review and monitor the service. 
The enhanced profit figure assumes you were able to get full stakes on at the same odds, however, which would be unlikely every time in practice as your liabilities would be bigger and you would more than likely have to split the stakes up between firms to get on. 
You might be able to get a full, bigger stake all on with best odds guaranteed, either, for example. If adopting a win only approach, I would advise members to up the betting bank or drop their unit stake to withstand longer losing runs. 
Despite this latest profit comparison highlighting (again) that win only staking is the most efficient method of betting, I will continue to advise a mix of win and each-way bets for the service in 2018. It smooths out the ride and is more suitable to my style of betting. I dislike having nothing to show for selections running running well in defeat and find that backing each-way helps maintain mental focus during the inevitable losing runs. 
This year I did top up many of the EW bets with an extra stake on the win side. The rationale was that because the win part of bets is the most economical part of the bet, it could boost the profit and we could at least have some consolation from the place return, even if the horse didn't win. This may also help explain why the betting turnover is up this year. 
However, we've basically had too many horses placing and not enough winning this year, so we haven't felt the full benefit of that particular change to the staking. I will leave it up to individual members if they want to tinker with their own staking strategy in future. The only staking strategy I will record in our spreadsheet is the bets to advised stakes - as sent out in each e-mail. 

Recent Winners

Some of the recent bets advised on NMP include:

Talia 6/1 - WON

Angel Shared 9/2 - WON

Buy The Dip 2/1 - WON

Tony Montana 5/1 - WON

Starlust 7/1 - WON

Mitbaahy 20/1 - WON

Pepsi Cat 5/1 - WON

Woodhay Wonder 7/2 - WON

Change Signs 7/2 - WON

Economics 5/1 - WON

Clarendon House 7/1 - WON

Shadow Army 9/2 - WON

Hiatus 4/1 - WON

Eldrickjones 10/3 - WON

Bellarchi 14/1 - WON

Voodoo Ray 4/1 - WON

Democracy Dilemma 9/2 - WON

Moonlit Cloud 9/1 - WON

Brummell 11/4 - WON

Bague D'Or 7/1 - WON

Key To Cotai 11/1 - WON

Desperate Hero 6/1 - WON

See more past winners.

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