Betwise Blog
Betwise news, analysis and automatic betting info

Cheltenham – Final Day

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Thank goodness it’s the last day.  I am a Cheltenham traditionalist, so technically this last day should not even exist, the Gold Cup should already have been run, and I should not have to blog having arrived home late on a bumpy taxi ride.  Never again – roll on the month long breaks between posts of the past.  But once you’ve started a Cheltenham selections blog, it’s just not on to stop – even if nobody is reading!

Anyway, I digress.  Cheltenham selections for the final day, as powered by the wonder of Smartform, are:

13:30: Guitar Pete
14:05: Diakali
14:40: Briar Hill
15:20: Bobs Worth
16:00: Harbour Court
16:40: Une Artiste
17:15: Oiseau de Nuit

All we need at this stage is just one decent priced winner to put the system in LSP, and not a bad strike rate to boot, for the whole of the Festival.

Good luck!


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Cheltenham Day 3

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

For our 1 reader, you must be getting fed up with this by now 🙂

Though the overall results are still not too shabby, despite only 1 winner today.  Tomorrow, the automated Cheltenham system has thrown up a fair few at decent prices.  Here goes, and fingers crossed:

13:30:  Double Ross
14:05:  Fingal Bay
14:40:  Boston Bob
15:20:  Quevega
16:00:  Sraid Padraig
16:40:  Same Difference

And that’s your lot…


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Cheltenham Day 2

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

So today we picked 2 winners, 3 places (inc. 20-1 second) and 2 unplaced.

And coming up the automated picks for tomorrow’s racing (but first a word from our sponsor):

I wrote this program for Cheltenham horses about 4 years ago.  It takes about 2 minutes to run over all the form in Smartform and most years returns a level stakes profit. Over all years, its profitable to LSP. Oh, the wonders of Smartform. Or more accurately knowing a bit about horseracing and having at your disposal a programmable database.

So here goes for tomorrow’s picks (actually takes longer to write the blog post than pick the horses, can you believe it?):

13:30: Royal Boy
14:05: Carlingford Lough
14:40: Dell’ Arca
15:20: Sire De Grugy
16:00: Quantitativeeasing
16:40: Orgilgo Bay
17:15: Modus

Best of luck to you all, and, if you want me to run the program again tomorrow, post a comment or retweet to let us know you’re listening 🙂

And best of luck to you all…

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Happy Cheltenham!

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Well, what better way to awake to Spring than the Cheltenham festival?

I’ve followed a Cheltenham system based on data only programmatically accessible through Smartform for the past few years that has always yielded an LSP. It tends to spot a couple of longshots through the meeting, so it’s not to be relied on. But for fun, here goes selections for Tuesday:

13:30 Vautour
14:05 Trifolium
14:40 Ma Filleule
15:20 Hurricane Fly
16:00 Quevega
16:40 Shotgun Paddy
17:15 Art of Logistics

Have fun!

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Twitter updates for 2014

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Hi there,

And Happy New Year to all of you!

There’ll be a few improvements to Betwise in the year ahead, and we’ll be starting with Twitter service updates for Smartform subscribers.

We’ve been trialling these for a while, now we’ll be adding in the date.  Basically for all the daily subscribers the tweets will show you when the historic results for the previous day’s racing have been updated and with what meetings, and likewise for advance daily cards, when these have been updated and for what meetings.

Hope you like this, and please don’t forget to follow us at for more in the year ahead.

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Pace in the Coral Sprint Trophy, Newmarket

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Following on from last week’s post about visualising pace in the race, here’s another pace chart painstakingly crafted for today’s big sprint at Newmarket.

As with Ascot last week, you can see that at Newmarket the horses run from right to left if we are looking from the stands side (the usual television angle) of the course.  Thus Hasopop is in stall 16 and BlueGrass Blues, running towards the far (or “inside”) rail, is in stall 1.

Non-runners Lewisham and Heaven’s Guest (at the time of posting) have been removed.

So the pace in the race is definitely with Bapak Sayang towards the stands rail.  This colt has a great draw for a front runner in stall 15 in that he may be able to bag the rail early to run against and dictate the pace of the race.  The bad news is that Newmarket’s wide, straight galloping course has not got the best strike rate for front runners with ambitions to win.  There also has to be a caveat that this horse has only had 5 runs so it might be a little early in his career to label him a persistent front runner.

If you like the graph, or anything needs clarifying, please let us know in the comments section.

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Pace in the Victoria Cup – because a picture is worth a thousand words…

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Check out this pace graphic (just one of the things it’s possible to do with Smartform and a little programming).

Every day we produce leader and lagger statistics in the Betwise Members’ area – this graphic shows the difference between the two as “net lead” – if a horse is in the negative part of the graph, we expect them to start slowly, a horse in the positive part of the graph shows a probable early leader, and the extent to which they will lead.  Everything else is as you will expect to see in the race – horses are ordered according to the draw, from Solar Deity on the stands rail in stall 1 to Born to Surprise racing in stall 29 on the near side rail.   Ascot’s a right handed course, so the horses are racing from right to left if you look at the course from above.  Therefore this is like an aerial view of the racecourse and shows us which horse(s) we might expect to be leading after the first furlong of the race, where the horse’s position is represented by the blue dot.  Of course, the dynamics of the race mean that the horses will start to bunch and will not stay in “lanes” once they have started, also it’s usually the horse that actually gets the lead that matters most (our prediction is Dream Tune in this case).

If you like this graphic or would like to see anything else explained or added to it, please let us know in the comments section.

You can draw your own conclusions from the graphic but here are my thoughts on inplay bets:

The early pace looks to be towards the stands side, with Dream Tune looking highly likely to secure an early lead.  A good back to lay candidate?

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New automated betting strategy for sprinters added to site

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

A new automated betting strategy has been added to the members’ area on the site.

It runs in real-time every day considering all sprint races in the UK and Ireland, using the same techniques described in Automatic Exchange Betting to select and schedule races automatically.

This robot considers each Flat sprint race (ie. 5 and 6 furlong races) 1 minute before the offtime and assesses all contenders against variables derived entirely from the Smartform database. Eight variables are used, each converted to a numerical value, then a simple average is taken of all. The robot simply backs the top rated from these averages. It could be a lot more sophisticated (the variables could be weighted or could form inputs to a neural network). Further a value price could be derived from backtested results (or any other method of determining a price) and bets made only on the contenders that exceed the value price or exceed it by some margin.

However, the top rated average on its own produces a recommendation per race and is at least interesting enough in recent backtesting to show it live on the site to £2 stakes. If you catch it just before the race from the link at this page you will see the recommendations as they are bet, together with results and recommendations from any previous sprint races on the day.

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Analysing previous performances on heavy going

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

In the wake of the recent, somewhat unseasonal, downpours in the runup to Midsummer’s Day, the going around the country has been changed to include the terms “Soft” and “Heavy”.  In the case of Leicester, we can add “Abandonned:  Waterlogged”.

Such unseasonal changes are always liable to mess with the form book.  One of the tasks of the form student is to establish what previous form, if any, has been shown on such going.

In Smartform, we can translate this into a query on any particular runner, in order to find all its previous runs on similar going.   By way of example, we’ll pick a race at Sandown today, since it is currently supposed to be riding “Soft, Heavy in places”.  The race we’ll look at is the 2.50 at Sandown, a handicap over one mile.

First, let’s look at how to pull a runner’s entire history (in this case, Leviathan) from Smartform, in order to look at its career runs, as follows:

mysql> select scheduled_time, course, weight_pounds as ‘weight’, going, trainer_name, jockey_name, distance_yards as ‘distance’, num_runners as ‘ran’, finish_position as ‘finished’, unfinished from historic_races join historic_runners using (race_id) where name=”Leviathan”;

Smartform subscribers can try this one at home, since the table of results is rather wide to reprint in the blog (of course we can include any of the variables available in Smartform within the returned results, this just shows us the most pertinent basic information in order to see if Leviathan has shown any promise on softer going).

We can see from the results, however, that Leviathan has never raced on going which has included the word “Heavy” in the description.    However, he has raced once on proper Soft going (proper in the sense that it wasn’t “Good to Soft”, for example), where he finished first of 13 runners.  That was almost exactly one year ago,

If we had wanted just to cut to the chase and see runs only containing the terms “Heavy” we could have altered the query with a condition for the going description.

Let’s try that for another runner in the race, Sam Sharp, as follows:

mysql> select scheduled_time, course, weight_pounds as ‘weight’, going, trainer_name, jockey_name, distance_yards as ‘distance’, num_runners as ‘ran’, finish_position as ‘finished’, unfinished from historic_races join historic_runners using (race_id) where name=”Sam Sharp” and going LIKE “%Heavy%”;

This time, only one result is returned.  A second out of 4 runners in a recent race over course and distance.  The horse appeared to handle the going, being beaten only narrowly. However, we’ll find that it’s quite rare that horses have had many runs on heavy going, so that most queries which restrict results to runs only including the term “Heavy” on these runners will produce the results “Empty Set” (as with Leviathan).  Where a run is returned, as in the case of Sam Sharp above, the sample size is usually so small that even if the run was not good, it is hard to say that the horse did not act on the going.  We can say the reverse, however, where the performance in a run has indicated that a horse acted on the going.

Producing an individual query such as the above for each runner in a race is somewhat tedious of course, so this is exactly the type of query that can be automated for a whole race, dispalying all runners’ previous performances on heavy, for example, in one move, using a simple programming language, such as R or Perl.  For some examples of using R with Smartform in this way, see the last Chapter of our free ebook, “BetfaiR Trading with R”.

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Do 2 year old foaling dates matter at this stage in the season?

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

We wrote about foaling dates in an April post – here – on the basis that in the earlier part of the season, any edge in age – and therefore physical maturity – can have a significant impact on the outcome of races.  Clearly as a horse gets older, any difference of a few months in foaling date between it and its peers will be less and less significant.

This part of the season, in the run up to Royal Ascot, is interesting and perhaps represents a cutover in the importance of the early difference in age.  Form starts to mean more than foaling dates, though it’s true that Ascot 2 year old winners all tend to be quite forward, by definition.

Using Smartform we can see just how much impact foaling dates do have, and when these may become less significant, by using the historic data and writing queries to assess all previous 2 year old races.

We can also apply a query to the daily declarations to rank upcoming races in this way.  Back in April we produced a query for one race – today, here’s a query extended to produce a list of all races together with contenders (for today’s racing), all ranked by foaling dates – earliest to latest – for each contender:

>select scheduled_time, course, trainer_name, jockey_name, name, foaling_date, forecast_price from daily_races join daily_runners using (race_id) where age_range=”2YO only” and meeting_date=CURDATE() order by scheduled_time, course, foaling_date;

At a forecast 14/1 price, Rock Up, ridden by Frankie Dettori and trained by David Elsworth in the 1.45 at Newmarket, stands out as a possibly overpriced January foal, assuming there is still an edge at this stage in the season.

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