About the service / FAQ
Northern Monkey Punter is a Horse Racing tipping service which sends out daily e-mails to members via a closed e-mail list.
My primary interest is class 4+ Flat racing, so most bets come in the summer, during the turf season. Within a specific week, more bets are advised at weekends or during any midweek festivals, when the quality of racing is better.
If the quality of racing is poor (often the case midweek), I will advise no bets and we will have a day off and wait for some better action.
The majority of bets are e-mailed between 8.30 am and 8.45 am in a morning. For some of the big weekend races, which are priced up early (often the case for the big races shown on TV), or for the big festivals, I sometimes issue the bets the night before racing.
The service is suitable for members who have access to bookmaker accounts and does not suit those using betting exchanges - there is insufficient liquidity to follow the selections on betting exchanges and I would advise anyone who needs to use betting exchanges to find an alternative service to join - one which which perhaps issues their bets later in the day when it is easier to get stakes matched on the exchanges.
Bets are provided on a staking scale (0.25- 3 pts) to give an idea of the level of confidence and perceived value behind each bet. The maximum bets are rare, and most bets in the main turf season tend to be around 0.75 to 1 pt.
The bets sent are mostly singles - a mix of win and each-way, sometimes both.
There are also some multiples sent to accommodate those members who like them. They are often to try generate stake roll ups on our main fancies for the weekend - we've landed some highly profitable ones in the past (albeit they are more volatile bets than the singles).
Frequently asked questions
- Can your service be followed using betting exchanges? Sadly, no. There isn't enough liquidity at the time of the morning the bets are sent. Members will need access to bookmaker accounts to get the most out of following the service and obtaining the quoted prices!
- Can you delay sending the bets until later in the day so I can back them when there is more liquidity on the exchanges? Sadly, no. I run NMP around working in a full time job and my full time job is my absolute priority. I cannot get online during standard office hours but I run the service in my leisure time on an evening and endeavour to reply to all queries as soon as possible. My service is an award winner, in part, because the bets are practical to follow, however, and by sending the bets within a narrow window (most are sent around 8.30 am in the morning) members know exactly what to expect before signing up for the service.
- What is a 'saver bet'? A saver bet is a backup bet sent in a particular race alongside a main selection. If a saver bet wins it won't yield a worthwhile profit on the race itself but it will cover the stake for another bet in the race. For example in a race I might back Borderlescott as the main bet to a 1 pt win stake at 2/1 and also back Takeover Target to a 0.25 pt win stake at 4/1, with the latter being the saver. If Takeover Target wins at 4/1 it yields 1 pt of profit which covers the 1 pt losing stake on Borderlescott, thereby providing some insurance in a race.
- Why do you back each-way at prices like 4/1? It is all to do with psych. It frustrates me when I back horses who suffer a near miss and I have nothing to show from it. Betting win only IS the most economical way of betting but it involves longer losing runs, and you need a larger betting bank to absorb those losses. Betting each-way shortens losing runs and helps me maintain my focus. The services' historical results demonstrate it is possible to make my methods pay. I do, however, top up many of my bets and have a second, win only bet as well as an EW bet. This is to ensure the largest portion of the bet is on the win side of the bet. If you fancy a horse to win a race then, naturally, you should expect them to also have a strong place chance.
- What does a '0.25 pt EW and 0.25 pt win stake' mean? It means the advice is to place a standard 0.25 pt each-way bet on a horse (which is basically 0.25 pt on the horse to win and 0.25 pt on the horse to place, costing 0.5 pt) but to then top up and have another 0.25 pt win single on the horse. The total outlay on the bet would be 0.75 in this case. You have 0.5 pt on the horse to win the race and 0.25 on the place. If the horse places it softens the loss compared to if you had placed a win only bet.
- Why don't you bet to level stakes? Some days I don't fancy a bet as much as others. This may be because a horse is considered well handicapped but may be badly drawn, may have uncertain weather conditions casting some doubt over its ability to handle the ground, or the stable may be badly out of form etc. I personally don't understand why anyone would want to back such a horse as strongly as a horse who ticks most form criteria boxes. Some bets also represent better value than others and if you spot a great price I believe you should have the flexibility to stake stronger on the higher value bets. My results over the last 11 years show that stronger-staked bets outperform the weakly fancied bets.
- How long do your advised prices last? Longer than the other services who are in the Smart Betting Club Hall Of Fame! NMP has the highest 'odds availability' rating of those Hall of Fame Services at the time of writing. The reason for this is because I record my results to top and bottom prices and send out each bet with a range of prices (for example if a horse is sent out as 16/1 Paddy Power, 14/1 Coral, 12/1 Bet 365 it goes down at 16/1 in the 'highest' odds column and 12/1 in the 'lowest' odds column in my records). Naturally, when you are doing well, members will take the top prices more quickly and they won't hang on for long, but I think the bottom end prices advised are often still available 15 minutes after bets are issued and I think that's a reasonable period to expect members to get on, given I am very clear about the narrow time window in which bets will be sent - members come to know when to expect their daily e-mails to arrive - hence why the service has a good odds available rating with the SBC. The strongly fancied bets will be cut in the morning but will often drift back out in the afternoon when there is more liquidity on the exchanges.
- Would you consider sending bets the night before racing where there are more price ricks? I am reluctant to do this as I think it is better for prolonging the life of betting accounts if you can place your bets in the morning, though I agree the biggest price mistakes with the bookmakers are found the night before racing. You can never say never, and years down the line I might end up running an overnight service, but that isn't the intention at the moment and hasn't been the way the service has operated to date. You need access to fresh accounts and to be prepared for quicker closures if betting the night before racing.
- When you are advising stakes, why do you use the term 'points' and not simple pounds sterling?! Points (abbreviated to pts) is a standard industry term used when advising stakes on bets. The reason for it is that it makes the betting relative to each individual. Everybody's circumstances are different and if I recommended a bet with a £50 win stake, for example, that would be a big bet for somebody operating with with a £500 betting bank (and it would be unsustainably big to be honest), but it it would be an average bet for someone operating with a £5000 betting bank, for example.
- How much should I be staking on bets when following the service? That isn't for me to say as everybody's circumstances are different and everybody comes on board with a different aim in following the service. Some members are losing punters and want to adopt a more professional approach with their betting and are happy to stake lower, whereas some members are purely profit orientated and and their sole concern is making a bigger chunk of profit that will not only clear any subscription costs, but also make them a worthwhile profit on their turnover during the course of a year. I advocate responsible gambling at all times and no member should ever bet more than they can afford to lose.
- Why do you advise so many multiples? Most of the bets I send are singles, but I do send multiples too. Multiples made up 117 pts of our 730 pt turnover in 2020 and 613 pts was turned over on singles. Multiples yielded up to +50.61 pts profit in 2020 (a +43 % return on investment), which highlights just how much they can boost our annual profit total if we manage to land a big one! We have landed some big multiples in the past and they are exciting bets to have on side alongside our singles, which are the staple bets of the service. It is my intention to generate the bulk of our annual profit from the singles in any given year and any profit we get from multiples, which are more reliant on luck as you need more than one leg to be successful for a return, can be considered a bonus.
- Why do you think your results dip over the winter and are typically strongest in the summer? My main interest is the Flat season and the summer is the peak betting betting period for turf racing. We don't have any turf meetings over the winter so bets are sent from the all-weather meetings then. Aside from the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National I've little interest in the jumps season. Racing is all about the Flat for me and I love sprint races. The starts and ends of the season are usually tougher because of the weather, although that can change year to year, and due to horses being trained to peak in the middle of the season. At the start of the season (late March and early April) many horses lack a recent run, so it is tougher to get a handle on their current ability/form. At the end of the season many horses lose their form and are ready for their next winter break.
- Which bookmaker accounts will I need to follow the service? The most commonly quoted firms are those listed on Oddschecker, like Paddy Power, Bet 365, Betfred and Bet Victor, and also Coral and Ladbrokes. Any bookmaker offering best odds guaranteed (BOG) is worth having (if you back a horse and the price drifts at SP you are paid out at the higher price) and my advice would be to split your stakes up and spread them about across several firms as much as is practically possible (not always easy on busy days). If you are lowering your liabilities with any one firm you can lengthen the life of your accounts.
- How do you keep track of rule 4 deductions if there are non-runners in races you've had a bet in? I log those flagged up on William Hill's website. They are the most transparent of the major firms and on their horse racing result pages provide a breakdown of all R4's set to be applied in all races and the times they became applicable.
- Where do you source the in-running data listed in your results spreadsheet from? The Timeform/Betfair results page. Knowing how short a horse has traded in running gives you a quantitative measure on how well a horse has run, to complement my own qualitative assessment from watching a race myself.
- What do you mean when you say a selection is a 'filler bet'? Bets which I am not massively keen on but have backed to small stakes for an interest in a race or because I think they have some sort of a doubt hanging over them - preventing me from having a standard-sized bet on them. Essentially, they fill an e-mail but I wouldn't be too upset if they won and I hadn't bothered placing the bet in the first place. Bet reasoning is provided with all bets so members can get an idea of what those form doubts may be which hang over a selection. On the flip side, seeing the strength of the stake or the content of the reason provided in the bet write-up should give you an indication of when I am very keen on one. It is the stronger bets which are the main ones to focus on. An average bet is around 0.75 pt. Anything sent out with a stake higher than that is an above-average fancy. 0.125 pt EW filler bets and 0.25 pt EW bets (or 0.25 or 0.5 pt win bets) are weak fancies.
- Do you have any plans to send the bets via text message or Telegram in future? I've no plans for this. All bets are sent via e-mail and that is how I plan to continue operating the service.