May 26, 2017

The Professional Syndicate

I have been looking at The Professional Syndicate, a horse racing ratings service, which claims to be ‘the number 1 horse racing ‘ratings’ service in the country’. As far as ratings go, I have often stated that it is problematic comparing like-for-like ratings of different services because they all may have some strengths and some weaknesses. None of them claim that you would make a profit by backing every top rated runner, and understandably all of them claim that you have to be selective.

What subscribers get for their subscription money is access to daily ratings, plus suggested strategies and an enthusiastic forum where there is great camaraderie. For the past month I have kept tabs on a couple of those strategies plus suggested best bets of the day and longshots.

The overall impression I get is that the way it is run is somewhat amateurish. As strategies are suggested and run by subscribers they are understandably patchy and unreliable, and therefore frustrating to follow. So some days they won’t appear on the website, and on the days they do there will be no set time of posting.

For me, the biggest disappointment with the service is the way the ratings are presented. What you get is the first and second rated selections for every race, with no explanation and no weighting. For shrewd bettors it is very difficult to know what to do with this information. Anybody who takes their horse racing seriously won’t be interested in this, and they would do well to refer to Racing Dossier to see how the pros do it. I accept that they probably don’t have the resources in time/expertise terms, but the buying public would note that the subscription to Racing Dossier is actually cheaper, and there are other far more comprehensive ratings available such as Inform Racing and Geegeez Gold. Those also run 7 days a week, whereas this service takes Sundays off (even though their sales page says 7 days a week). The only reason I would advise subscribing to The Professional Syndicate as opposed to one of the others mentioned would be if the top rated results were actually more successful than the others. Although I don’t have these figures, I very much doubt that they could be. Other services will tell you all the factors taken into account when producing the ratings and the confidence you would have in backing a particular horse. Or, indeed, in laying a particular horse, and this is certainly an area you can’t get from The Professional Syndicate. When you do click on the Results tab, you don’t actually get results, you get the previous selections. If you want to check the results and odds, you would have to do the work yourself.

As far as the tested strategies go, I trialed a couple over the month. Pippin’s Strategy won on 20 days out of 21. Awesome, right? Well no, this only made one point profit. How so? Well, it’s a SAW (stop-at-a-winner) strategy, meaning one loss can wipe out 20 or more wins. Demoralising, and why I never go anywhere near this method. The final day I tested this it won, but you had to lay out £205 just to win a tenner!

Another strategy, James Prize Points Strategy, was a convoluted and time-consuming scoring system, which you could work out yourself, or you could wait for James to blog the selections, but this is a patchy service by a subscriber. In the testing period it ended at around 15 points down, but I only recorded the blogged selections.

I recorded results to Best Bet Of The Day, most of these were in the odds-on domain, and this finished up on around minus 5 points to BSP-5%.

The Longshots service was also patchy, sometimes many, sometimes none. This was a shame because there seemed to be some mileage here, with the win bets losing slightly, and the place bets more than compensating for an overall profit to BSP-5% of 5 points, but double that for place only bets.

Finally, occasionally forecast bets are given out, either straight or reverse. This was showing a small loss for 6 forecasts. Three of these were given as reverse, and they all won. The three which were given as straight all lost, but had they been reverse they would have won and made six out of six!

So, a likeable enough bunch of people on here, but likeable isn’t enough to recommend subscribing. I couldn’t possibly point people to this when there are much more professional ratings suppliers out there which charge lower subs. I was veering towards a neutral rating for this service, but a fail at this time really isn’t harsh. There are some glimmers of promise in there; they have been running the service for four years, but they have to make a decision to take it to the next level, or to drop the subs down to a nominal rate and keep is as a matey forum. I would also like to see them offer a free or reduced rate trial period.

Monthly membership is £34.99 by Paypal, and there are discounts for longer period subscribers.

Anyone interested can sign up here:

http://www.cash-master.com/The-Professional-Syndicate.php

 

Filed under Backing,General,Horse Racing Systems by Dave Yeates

5 comments

{ 5 comments }

Partisipants June 15, 2017 at 8:11 am

Good evening guys and ladies

I’ve read the forum and also read the article. I just wanted to start by saying no post was deleted by me as the forum is place for all members to air their views and their opinions, good and bad. Its unique to any other ratings site.

Its never nice receiving criticism and especially from a faceless reviewer who never once contacted us (me) to say they were reviewing the service or asking for feedback. I am disappointed whoever reviewed the service, only did so for 1 month and that they also made some glaring errors in their overview.

However, some of their criticism was valid to a degree and Jason and I are in discussion – so perhaps its been a good thing.

The Inform Racing service produces some wonderful pages of numbers, drop down boxes and other cosmetically pleasing figures. The service is stacked full of statistics, facts and figures and what remains their biggest bug bare amongst their membership??? It takes their members too long to assimilate the information and that its difficult for them to understand what all the numbers mean and how they can use the info to successfully pick a winner. The author of the service continually throws up new strategies or tinkers daily with existing ones, almost responding to member concerns or how a previous days racing has panned out.

As you will no doubt understand and hopefully expect, I keep a constant eye on the competition. I review and analyse all the main competitors as I want to judge my ratings against theirs. I also want to see if I can take bits of their site I like and bring it to this one.

Jason and I are planning major development of the Service and have been busy these past 2-3 months starting the process. It takes time and resources. We’ve introduced a chat feature as you reach the home page and other features will follow.

Speed ratings who I consider the main rival to the ratings, produces a very nice website. They show a massive loss at SP but somehow record a profit at BSP. They produce differently coloured numbers and produce FULL race cards. They also often put a ZERO against many horses, horses I have picked as 1st or 2nd rated and that win. They’ll get lucky with a 36/1bsp winner and shout about it, not mentioning the 15 days of losing selections before. We have had 100/1+ in running winners or 20+/1 bsp winners.

My point is that however aesthetically pleasing a site is, however much info I put on the site and litter it with numbers, 100% of you are ONLY interested in winners. Backing winners whether that be win, ew, place – IF I litter the ratings selections with FULL race cards full of numbers you are only going to focus on the top 2 or possibly 3. What do the numbers mean? Do you know what 1.220 (speed) x 4.00 (track) x 3.4 (trainer/jock) x 5 (variable for a certain distance) x any other variable I use? IF I apply a % change for newly raced horses based on my pedigree stats, how are you to work out what they all mean unless I tell you the power to that that % signifies?

When I devised the ratings and the service of 4 years, I wanted to keep it simple. 2 horses rated 1st and 2nd. That was it. No fancy looking numbers beside the horse or countless pages of stats you have to spend 30 mins on each race to determine which one to bet on (Inform Racing!)

I wanted it to be about 2 horses or 3 if they were close.

I wanted an interactive site and I wanted to produce winning selections.

The strategies, criticised by the author of the article, are organic, and have been created by members using the ratings. How can that ever be a criticism? It should be celebrated. The strategies are successful long term and are sustainable. From Pippins, to Jacq’s to James’ to A v B, to Stan’s place picks, to them ALL! They have been created USING the ratings, they dovetail the ratings and give members an angle on how to use the ratings.

The marketing emails that Jason sends out are factual in their content and are designed to highlight the good points or successes of the day. They are marketing tools to which to entice new members. There is no embellishment or exaggeration as far as I am aware. IF there is please tell me.

The subscription price is, IMO fair and reasonable for the effort that goes into producing the ratings and the service as a whole. Its less than a cup of coffee a day. The core price has not increased in the 4 years we’ve run the service. We offer trial prices, special offer prices and discounts for longer subscriptions.

Its all about choice and opinions. Members are free to think with their feet and generally do if they haven’t got the discipline or patience to make these ratings work.

I take the ratings and your views very seriously. I am a genuine guy trying to give you all extra info and an extra edge when it comes to betting on horses. And to be fair, I am pretty good at it, generally. We certainly have far more good days than bad – todays afternoon results produced a 71% strike rate of placed selections. (thanks Richard for the stat). Some of those selections lost by less than 1/2 length, a few more lost by less than a head. Margins of error. The odds on chance tonight getting completely mullered by the rank outsider at a crucial part of the race, came 3rd by a neck – margins of error.

I agree that certain things could be tightened up on the service, like a fully laid out results page and I’ll work to fix that, but going forward the ratings format of 2 horses set out the way they are will not change. Its simple to follow – its easy to read and in conjunction with all the strategies on the page it doesn’t take members long to adopt a method that suits them. I maintain that these ratings should enable most members to make £20-£30 a day or £7000+ / £10,000+ pa. Today, first race, winner at 7/4sp £20 bet – £35 net win. Finished for the day. Some of you may have got 9/4, so even better. Yesterday the 2nd 1st rated winner of the day won at 9/4, Hermosita.

Ive never shied away from criticism and I don’t always get it right. I put myself up every day to be shot down. Sometimes I feel the horse Gods just aren’t with me, other times I think they smile on me, when my system picks out beepeecee at 10/1 sp – not one other site had it as a selection. Not even Richard matched it.

There is always room for improvement, and I shall take on board the reviewers comments, chew them over and implement suggestions that can benefit the service.

But you cannot please all the people all the time and whatever I do to certain aspects of the service will make members happy and equally, members mad.
However, I shall be talking to Jason about improving some areas. If you want fancy numbers, drop down boxes, 5 page excel spreadsheets full of meaningless numbers to cross reference, then please join inform racing or a dumbed down version – Join them for 3 months and come back to me via email and tell me how many winners you had. tell me your profit/loss and whether ALL those figures helped or hindered your ability to select a winner. You need 3 months to really review the service.

I thank each and every one you for being members. I value you all and take seriously my obligations and responsibility.

I hope the majority of you stick with the service. If the article is enough for some of you to question your membership, then I wish you all the success with other services and would ask you simply drop me a line from time to time to tell me if the grass was really that much greener.

I firmly believe we really are first amongst equals and we are the best rating service out there. I think in terms of winner % and placed %, no one touches us. But then again I would say that. Its my ratings. I hope a few of you at least also share my conviction and have the betting banks to prove it.

At 12.25am I’ll bid you a good morning!

Matt

DAVE June 16, 2017 at 10:42 am

Thank you Matt. I fully understand why you are miffed by my review, but I stand by it. There are two types of punters (and I have met both at many seminars and courses over the years), those who just like to be told what to bet on, and these generally tend to be 50+ males, and those who like to know WHY they are backing certain horses, and these are more in the under 50 male and female category. I think you have to credit people with prudence, and blindly following a first and second in any race is not a recipe for success and profitability, however good the ratings. Other than the Best Bet Of The Day, there is no indication of the difference in confidence between any first rated selections. This is why I personally find Michael Wilding’s ratings on Race Advisor so much more comprehensive. Information. To me, that’s the key that makes the difference between winning and losing.
I’m sorry to be a “faceless reviewer”, but that’s the nature of the beast. I can tell you, like most of Cash Master’s reviewers, I have many decades of experience – the first race I watched live was seeing Shergar win the Derby at Epsom, and winning £11 for my £10 stake on that favourite. Shergar has since died, as has his jockey Wally Swinburne, but I’m still here!
There are another two types of punter, not necessarily split between the two I mention above: those who like big risks, and those who remain safely in a cosy comfort zone. I am firmly in the latter category, which is why I would never follow Pippin’s strategy, because it is a stop-at-a-winner strat, and that means you can often lay out more than £200 just to win a tenner. However many thousands of points it makes, I will never engage. I do, however, admire the fact that you have a thriving forum with many involved in putting forward ideas.
I have said many, many times that you can’t judge any service on short term. My ideal for most services would be at least a year, so that both codes can be taken into account in horse racing. Two years is usually best. However, my review is not about how good the ratings are, but how useful I think the service is, compared to similar services. I would love to see a Which? style review of all the main ratings services, but I’m not sure who would pay for that. If somebody wants to pay me £40k a year for two years to carry out such a survey, I would be delighted!
Again, I wish you guys well. The point about this website is that most of the reviewers are independent of the owner. From all the reviews I have carried out, I have never been asked to change or amend anything, and this is why I am happy to write these blogs

Alan June 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

I have been a member from the begining of this service.
Yours is the only site that gives me what I want, simple choices on horse and strategies to use.
I have made thousands of pounds from your ratings.
No other service has ever come close.
Don’t change a thing.

Alan.

Dean June 19, 2017 at 9:21 am

Well said Matt. I, and I am sure many others do too, appreciate your feedback and the effort you put in (my post was nothing against you or the work you do).
I would like to add that I tried Racing Dossier (which was mentioned in the review) and it did not keep me involved. You couldn’t make out winners using the numbers given, they had a few but not every top rated was as good as their numbers showed – I even tried it alongside the TPS ratings to see where coincidences lie – I think it goes without saying which is best because I am still here and not there.
Please don’t take me the wrong way but I do like the way you KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)…haha – we all work from the 2 horses you supply and the strategies we use come from this.
I look forward to seeing what TPS adds to the site and you know we are all here if you need testers before something goes live.

Thanks for everything Matt, Jason and members.

Car June 19, 2017 at 9:22 am

Matt thank you for the and Honest and Brave reply
Its a very refreshing change from just about any other site I’ve been involved with (this also sets TPS apart)

I think,I speak for most folk when I say we appreciate your hard work and effort AND more to the point your win rate !

there truly is no other site like TPS

and of course there is always room for improvement but the fact you take this on board is all we can ask .
Thanks Matt

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