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
The 2017 service covered the period between 9th November 2016 and 20th November 2017.
The start of the 2017 service covered the all-weather racing at the back end of the previous year.
We made a marginal profit of +2.47 pts from 44.50 pts staked in the remainder of November, with strong bets on Haaf A Sixpence (9/2 SP) and Pearl Spectre (5/1), as well as routine victories from the likes of Beardwood (9/2), Young John (10/1), Alfred Hutchinson (10/3), Volunteer Point (5/2) and Petite Jack (7/2) some of the highlights.
We also backed a few jumps winners with Native River (5/1) winning the Hennessy and Unowhatimeanharry (5/1) winning the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.
Not the first time in the service's history, however, December was a poor month and we lost -20 pts from 79.50 pts staked.
The winners we did back included Gracious John (11/2), Captain Dion (9/1), Heavy Weight (9/4), Realize (4/1) and I Am Not Here (10/3) on the all weather and the likes of Vieux Lion Rouge (12/1), Yanworth (7/4) and Messire Des Obeaux (7/2) over the jumps.
Basically, we just didn't yield anything like the number of winners we needed to turn a profit. Based on the prices of the selections advised we would have expected 13 winners for the month off the singles, at least, even with normal good and bad luck (and given our long term edge was +11 % we would have expected slightly more), yet we managed only 10. We had plenty of near misses, but repeatedly just didn't get the rub of the green......
Ripoll (7/1) hit 1.32 in running at Wolverhampton but was robbed of victory close home. Kylemore Lough (had a big bet on him at 10/1 and 9/1, hit 1.42 in running), Beardwood (backed at 6/1, hit 1.55 in running) Dusky Dawn (backed at 5/1, hit 1.52 in running), Timekeeping (strong bet on at 7/4, hit 1.16 in running) Doing Fine (backed at 4/1, hit 1.50 in running), Rock Steady (backed at 9/2, traded at 1.30 in running), Come on Dave (went off 20/1 and hit 1.33 in play) and King Robert (backed at 8/1, traded at 1.52 in running), Carolinae (backed at 6/4, hit 1.20 in running) and Charismatic Man (backed at 15/8, hit 1.40 in play) were others who looked like they should win, but none of them got over the line, so the P/L figure took a hit.
It is worth watching some of those runs back to see just how unlucky we were!
Given the misfortune we had experienced in December, it was nice to see things level themselves out in January as we made +18.09 pts profit from 56.50 pts staked (+32 % ROI) to recoup our December losses.
The pick of the winners included Zac Brown (SP 12/1), Final Venture (10/1), Kasbah (11/2), My Target (9/2), Winter Lion (4/1), Mythical Madness (SP 9/2), Championship (7/2) and Promising Run (7/2), while we enjoyed plenty of success with the bets at short odds, such as Petite Jack (9/4), Ertijaal (13/8), Lancelot du Lac (9/4), Garde La Victoire (7/4), Isharah (3/1) and Bring On A Spinner (5/2).
Zac Brown did us another good turn, winning at 10/1 after drifting at Lingfield, though attempts to make the all-weather pay were otherwise futile in February and the other six wins we landed were all short prices/small stakes.
We would have expected 10 winners that particular month, based on the prices we had taken, in a 'normal' period of performance.
Again, however, when the chips were down and horses were getting into race-winning positions for us, they failed to go on to win. We had horses beaten that traded at 1.56, 1.73, 2.02, 1.79, 1.48, 1.66, 2.16, 1.21, 2.00, 2.06 and 2.00, which all went on to be defeated, so we ended the month with a -11 pt loss.
A not-so-fantastic Festival
The 2016 Cheltenham Festival had been an exceptional one for the service and highly profitable so I sought to repeat the same approach in 2017. This time, however, things just didn't go to plan.
Firstly, we got Unowhatimeanharry onside ante post at prices up to 16/1 for the Stayers Hurdle and Yanworth onside at prices up to 12/1 for the Champion Hurdle. I then looked to build the rest of our Cheltenham ante post selections around those two bets - which looked the crown jewels in the portfolio when they went off 10/11 fav and 2/1 fav, respectively, on the day of their races. Frustratingly both lost!
Yanworth ran no sort of race but Unowhatimeanharry, who was considered the banker of the whole meeting by many respected judges, was unsuited by drying ground on the day. He then went on to reverse the form with his conqueror, Nichols Canyon, next time out at Punchestown when there was a little bit of juice in the ground!
The 2017 Festival was further frustrating because we didn't manage to get stakes rolling up onto the 'banker' picks with the same efficiency we had done in 2016 and wasted stakes in attempting to do so.
Ultimately, what it meant was that despite backing the winner of the Gold Cup at 33/1 ante post, Sizing John, (pictured, right, (c) Racing Post) and also having the second and third placed horses onside each-way, we ended up making a small loss at the Festival for the week (around -4 pts to lowest advised prices) and a loss of -14 pts for March.
The first six weeks of the flat season are traditionally the toughest for Flat punters generally, with horses returning from absences and with horse fitness very much difficult to get a handle on. I therefore wasn't surprised to see we lost -9 pts over the period of April and May (from over 200 pts staked), as we needed the form and fitness to settle down.
However, the summer period is usually the period of the year where the service excels - so I was expecting us to then kick on from this point and enjoy our usual purple patch. It did come, eventually, but it happened much later than normal this year and actually came in the autumn.
Between June, July and August we turned over 360 pts, yet we yielded a loss of -18 pts - which just isn't 'normal' in this period for the service.
We weren't short of close calls, which could have seen our revival kick into action much sooner. We were very unfortunate with several of the multiple bets we placed in the summer.
Caravaggio was my banker of the week at Royal Ascot so not only did we back him as a strong single, we had him multipled up with the likes of Kasperenko and Angel of Darkness, both of whom finished second.
Home of the Brave traded at 2.24 in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood but was beaten by a winner who had hit 1000.0 in running (Breton Rock). Victory for him would have been worth over 20 pts to us.
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 at BSP). Victory there would have been worth over 20 pts.
Orion's Bow - hit evens at Newcastle but endured a nightmare run. Victory for him would have been 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, having backed him at big prices ante post.
The other thing which held us back in this June-August period was a lack of big-priced winners in the big Saturday handicaps - an area where the service had fared strongly in the past.
In and among those months of disappointment were a 3 pt MAX bet winner on Mythical Madness, who drifted from 11/2 to 11/1 at Haydock after rain arrived, yet remarkably won, and victories for The Tin Man in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (11/2), Higher Power (8/1) in the Northumberland Plate, Ekhtiyaar (9/1) at Newmarket's July meeting, Harry Angel in the July Cup (11/2) and Magical Memory (3/1) in the Hackwood.
In August, we actually showed a minor loss, but the profit and loss see-saw'ed in this period, too, as we were just waiting for things to click.
We backed Ebor winner Nakeeta (12/1) (pictured, centre, (c) Racing Post), who has become something of a favourite on the service, and also Marsha (8/1) to beat overhyped American hotpot Lady Aurelia in the Nunthorpe.
September was finally the month when we got the results our patience deserved and we started to make some positive headway for the year.
Masham Star (SP 8/1), Impressive Day (8/1), Major Pusey (11/2, -15p R4), Great Hall (SP 9/1), Brilliant Vanguard (SP 8/1), Sepal (9/2 -10p R4), Caravaggio (6/4), Shabaaby (15/8), Laurens (10/3), Show Palace (3/1), Roundhay Park (3/1), Great Hall (SP 11/1), Brorocco (9/1) and Donjuan Triumphant (10/1) all won for us for +14.40 pts profit for the month.
We had actually backed Donjuan Triumphant for the Ayr Gold Cup at bigger prices than that so it was a big shame the race in Scotland was abandoned and we had to back him at shorter odds in the rearranged race at Haydock. C'est la vie!
We used the September profit as a platform to build on and wiped of our losses for the year- and put ourselves in profit - with a quite majestic October. It was basically down to one horse....Withhold.
There is no finer sight in racing than seeing Silvestre de Sousa riding away on one you've backed to win a packet, and we had the brilliant Brazilian in the saddle aboard Withhold (25/1 ante post and at 12/1 in a double with 10/3 winner Blakeney Point) when he absolutely hacked up in the Cesarewitch (pictured below, (c) Racing Post), making all of the running and landing a huge gamble, having gone off 5/1 on the day.
It was the performance of the multiple bets which had held us back over the summer (the singles were actually close to, if not already making a profit) so it was pleasing to see a good chunk of our Withhold win come from the double with Blakeney Point (+28 pts of the +44 pt profit).
Other winners for us in October included Battaash, who produced a monster of a performance to hack up in the Prix de l'Abbaye for us at 3/1, Sophie P (8/1 -15p R4), Blakeney Point (SP 10/3), Solomon's Bay (11/4), Take Cover, who was another MAX bet winner for us at 7/4, Van Gerwen (9/2 -25p R4), Boy In The Bar (SP 4/1), Lynwood Gold (7/1), Alaadel (9/4), Fire Brigade (5/2) and Quick Look, who landed a bit of a touch for us having been blasted from 4/1 into 13/8 when winning for Mick Easterby at Catterick.
We signed off the year with a very good November.
Collectively, the Breeders' Cup selections ran really well as we had Forever Unbridled (10/3), Wuheida (8/1), Roy H (9/2) all win and saw Awesome Slew (18/1) and Beach Patrol (6/1) pick up some place money.
We were on Lady Aurelia in several multiples, which was a great shame, as she bombed out and busted a double with Roy H!
We backed the winner of the November Handicap at Naas, Swamp Fox (15/2) the same weekend as the action in Del Mar, kept things ticking over with some small victories from Gulliver (2/1), Alsvinder (3/1) and Timia (9/4) on the all-weather, but the headline grabber was an 'Ian Williams' double on London Prize (4/1) to win the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton and Saunter to win the November Handicap at Doncaster - both of which took place on the same day.
We had backed Saunter strongly at the ante post stage at odds between 14/1 and 12/1 and then by getting him onside at 8/1 in the multiple with his stablemate, we ended up winning over 25 pts when he kept on strongly to win under Jim Crowley.
That brought the curtain down on the turf season for another year, though I did send out some all-weather picks for a further week before the 2017 service was brought to a close.
Having finished the final half of the season strongly, we will look to carry that momentum into the new year.....
End of year figures (9th Nov '16 - 20th Nov '17)
Total Pts Staked: 1115.48
Total Profit: +4.33 pts
Seasonal ROI: +0.39 %
Seasonal ROC: +5 % (using 80 pt betting bank)
Singles: +25.05 pts profit (to lowest advised odds) from 971.38 pts staked (+ 3 % ROI, + 31% ROC)
Multiples: -20.71 pts profit (with vast majority of bets settled at lower SP, not the higher advised prices) from 144.10 pts staked (-14 % ROI, -25 % ROC)
Post season statistical analysis
I provided a statistical breakdown of the 2017 service results to all members, which may also be of interest to prospective members.
The purpose was to examine the performance of the bets by stake strength, bet type (singles vs multiples), by size of advised odds and also by seasonality (first half vs second half of the season).