Today sees the last day of what has been a great Festival
for me. Place only bets (my speciality) have seen prices I am not used to at all. Apart from Cousin Vinny not placing,

I have had great success with Binocular, Garde Champetre, Quevarga, Voy Por Estedes, Masterminded, and Punchestowns at a whopping 1.7!

It would seem that, apart from Kasbah Bliss, price gappers at Cheltenham have performed admirably for place only purposes. Luckily, I opted for Barry Geraghty and Punchestowns!

16/1 system users will have bagged Tricky Trickster at 11/1 (20/1 in the betting forecast) and Kayf Aramis yesterday (16/1 winner and 25/1 in the betting forecast). There have been some non-performers of course but these prices more than compensate.

The Free Preview has performed well enough for a competitive festival, and in retrospect, selections in the competitive handicaps with big fields (bookies benefits!) could have been avoided.

As things stand, here are the results thus far:


FORPADDYDEPLASTERER W8-1(SP) / Available at 12-1

CELESTIAL HALO 2nd 17-2(SP) / Available at 10-1

L’AMI 2nd 7-4(SP) / Available at 3-1


CANT BUY TIME 4th 4-1(SP) / Available at 5-1

MIKAEL D’HAGUENET W5-2(SP) / Available at 6-1

COOLDINE W9-4(SP) / Available at 5-1


IMPERIAL COMMANDER W6-1(SP) / Available at 7-1

THREE MIRRORS 3rd 9-1(SP) / Available at 12-1

The losers have generally been in the imponderable races. I hope some of you went with my Nina Carberry selection on Garde Champetre instead of L’ami.

A nearly 5 point profit for the 3 days could have been exceeded readily if taking early prices especially on Mikael D’Haguenet and Cooldine.

One day to go today, and Denman appears at 5/1 and I fell off my chair! 3.55 to place – only time will tell whether the market’s lack of confidence was founded, or this was the bet of the century!

Still it’s been a great festival and I must thank Cheltenham for insisting on putting the Festival on every year during my birthday week (I’m like Royalty – I have a birthday week not just a birthday).

As ever, Cheltenham’s end signals the start of the Flat season, and time, I think, to dust off flat specific betting systems. The flat season must be approached in a different way than the jumps (quite obviously!)

The Flat season means that we have the draw to contend with, something unknown during the jumps season. The draw has a huge impact generally – and at specific venues especially.

This website can serve as a good guide to you this coming flat season as it highlights general draw bias:


This website is excellent as far as distances and draw bias is concerned:


So take a look.

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The draw can be a great guide for both backers and layers alike. Layers – why not focus on sprint distances where a short priced market leader has a bad draw? Backers – ditto, back a short priced market leader who has a good draw.

Chester’s May meeting is renowned for its draw bias for instance. Every year it is shown that those drawn high face a real disadvantage.

The Flat season also sees its fair share of maiden races (the equivalent I suppose in the Jumps season is National Hunt Flat Races (bumpers).

Maidens see the 16/1 System in its element. As you’ll see as the Flat season unfolds, especially in early season maiden races where there are 2 year old debutants to racing, that the live market is very interesting, and money can point you in the right direction (after all there’s nothing else to base your decision making on!)

Watch out to for the Irish Flat Season to start. I have spoken about this before and people like Aiden O’Brien, Dermot Weld and David Wachman are worth following this flat season (especially on each way priced horses) especially when they use jockeys Jonny Murtagh, Pat Smullen, and Wayne Lordan.

These jockeys should fight out the Irish Flat Championship, and with a relatively less competitive Irish Flat season, Aiden O’Brien should again dominate.

Keep an eye out on the blog www.back-lay-trade-horses-football.blogspot.com when the Flat season is in full flow.

What interests me this Flat Season is whether early market movers (as shown in the above blog) will continue their excellent status as pointers to not just placed horses, but winners. As you have read in the 16/1 in your lunch hour article, this method has proved extremely effective, and winners have come regularly.

Still, I would encourage backing only under 5/1 but then I miss winners like Naval Attache at 11/1, Tricky Trickster at 11/1, Gracies Gift at 9/1 and it goes on (higher prices do tend to see a lot more unplaced horses and it would be an interesting exercise to see level stakes on ALL early market movers).

As a place only betting guide, early market movers have been excellent and to level stakes have generally produced a weekly level stakes profit. Consider horses who are market movers who appear UNDER 9/4 (my thanks gores to Nigel Hallam for that pointer!)

All in all, it’s an exciting transition time. You will find that the Trading Plan from Martin Blakey (or in other words – the 16/1 system focussing on handicap races only!!) should be MORE effective during the Flat Season than the Jumps.

NO MORE obstacles, NO MORE heavy ground concerns, NO MORE fallers, NO MORE long distances should see these market mover systems increase their strike rates and profits.

I will be trying to come up with some Flat Specific backing and laying methodologies (as opposed to systems – I like to be flexible like Kelly Brook doing yoga!) which we can profit from.

The Football Season comes to an end soon too, and it will be a great time to give you a profit/loss on all of the tipsters and systems that I have followed at season end. This will point you effectively, in the right direction for 2009/2010 season.

There are a couple of standout systems and some dud tipsters too who have overcomplicated their selections and  who I would have been unhappy with if I had parted with my  cash for their “opinion”. Still, the season has not ended and I hope good performances in the run in could secure a return for the season.

Some great ideas for the next newsletter, after Cheltenham of course. I still think 1326 staking is viable and when married with my early market movers could really increase profits.

www.bettolose.co.uk had another day when all 3 lay selections won their races which should reaffirm I suppose, the decision to really hammer those nails in the coffin of all loss retrieval tipsters. I was approached by www.5startipster.co.uk to be asked to trial his resurrected loss retrieval service, and my answer asked Mr Kelly, the  man behind the service, to rearrange the following words into a sentence “Flogging stop horse a dead.”

I wish you all a happy St Patrick’s Day weekend. I’m off now to get into my oversized Leprechaun Hat and false ginger beard to blend in for the weekend.

Have a great weekend

Clive Keeling