Yesterday was the last instalment of the Value For Racing trial and so I’d now like to share my findings with this service over the last month.
To briefly recap, the service is based around 4 different backing systems, one of which involves “place only” selections (the 4T system). The service is based around an investment approach to betting, with the aim of growing a sum of money over time so that the returns can rival other altermative investment vehicles such as the Stock Market. Because 4 different systems are involved, the suggested approach is to split the bank into 4 equal portions so that risk is spread between the systems (a sound approach that any readers familiar with investment/portfolio management will be familiar with). The suggestion is that 2 of the systems (odds on 1 and odds on 2) can also be used as “stand alone” systems with recommended level stakes of £100.
The trial was started with a main betting bank of £1000, split into 4 lots of £250. I also set aside a bank of £2000 for each of the odds on systems to see how they performed as separate stand alone systems. In order to maintain consistency and transparency throughout the trial I decided to base my results on Tote returns, as this approach caters for both win and place markets and results can be checked after the event. I could have used regular SPs for the win-only bets, or looked at early morning exchange prices but I found the Tote approach was the most consistent.
Although I don’t know the inner workings of the systems (selections are sent out in 2 emails each day rather than disclosing the selection criteria), it appears that they are based on choosing very short priced fancied horses which on paper should stand a good chance of winning (or placing for the 4T system) The overall strike rate is therefore pretty good, but then again randomly selecting odds on favourites will also give a comparable strike rate.
An important question for most people of course is “Are these systems profitable?”. At the end of the trial, the starting bank of £1000 finished at 966.87 (a loss of 3.3%) The £2000 bank for odds on system 1 finished at £1800 (down 10%), while the odds on system 2 didn’t have any selections at all and so the bank stayed level at £2000.
On the surface this doesn’t look that great, but there are some important things to consider here. The most important point to bear in mind is that 1 month in a long-term investment strategy means nothing. Anyone with any real experience of gambling or investing will know that bad months do occur, and it is long-term performance that really counts. From my point of view the key purpose of this trial was to get a feel for the types of selections/bets made and to get a feel for how the system could potentially perform over time. The second thing to bear in mind is that I used an “aggresive” staking plan that is an option given in the welcome pack. This effectively means doubling up after a loss, and keeping at the inflated stake until a losing cycle has been cleared. This will therefore tend to exaggerate any profit/loss made in a short (i.e. 1 month) period.
There is one main concern that I have with the service (and which applies to any tipster service really). The yearly cost of the service amounts to £300 (give or take a few pence). What this means in practice is that a starting bank of £1000 would have to grow by 30% over the year simply to cover operating costs. Anything less than this and the service would be running at a loss. Of course if one had larger sums to invest then the % return required for breakeven would be lower, but it’s certainly something to bear in mind. My gut feeling is that an up-front one off investment to purchase the rules of systems (rather than a monthly subscription) would be a better approach.
My overall conclusion as to the effectiveness of this service (based on 30 days only) has to be “neutral”. I believe that another 2 or 3 months of trialling (minimum) would be required to draw any meaningful conclusions.
I would like to thank André for giving me the opportunity to test his service, and for giving other blog readers an insight into it’s operation.