Friday, 18 July 2014

Pen, Paper, Sun and Plenty of Hoegaarden

Four Days of Sun and Hoegaarden

Well the weather has finally come good, so once again so I grabbed the opportunity to disappear down to the coast. I spent the first day cycling from Whitstable to Ramsgate and it was most enjoyable indeed.

After my usual afternoon siesta I ventured out for a few evening beers. Luckily I didn't stay out too late or get smashed as when I got back to my room I managed to snap the key off in the lock. Unfortunately it was 00:20 and the lady who owns the B&B is 84 years old! I had no choice but to ring the buzzer and to be honest her daughter wasn't particularly helpful. I did get put in a spare room but had to wait until about 12:00 the following day for the handyman to make an appearance and sort out the lock. So it ended up being a late start, once I had the chance to shower and get changed, but it probably gave my body some time to recover from Monday's effort.

So Tuesday afternoon was spent soaking up the rays (although it was a bit overcast) outside The Belgian Cafe and the evening saw me back in The Belgian after a sherbert outside The Oak. Once the Hoegaarden started flowing I felt compelled to put pen to paper. I have been reading a book entitled 'Mindstore' and it really got me thinking about how I'm living my life at the moment. I grabbed a pen from behind the bar and a couple of sheets of serviette paper and started to scribble a kind of mind map. The Hoegaarden was certainly doing it's magic and before I knew it I had a mass of scribblings combined of notes in circles, boxes, weird shapes, most of which were interconnected by lines snaking across my serviette paper. My final task of the night was to grab the crayons and start colouring!

The sun shone again on Wednesday so it was back to The Belgian for more Hoegaaarden, more reading and more scribbling. After a quick check of the weather forecast I decided to stay Thursday as well .... well why not eh? So in the evening I hit The Belgian, yep AGAIN, and was lucky enough to see a band called The Angelo Tristan Band and they were fucking brilliant. Fast forward a couple of hours and I'm left standing outside The Belgian and it's 02:30 and Mark the chef decides that it's time to have a bonfire on the beach. Now a couple of girls, Sue and Pauline, have tagged along (purely platonic you know) but Pauline is absolutely mangled and can hardly string two comprehensible words together. Mark finally gets a little fire going and gets a few beers from his boat. Before I realise it's nearly 06:00, but oh what a beatiful morning, sitting there watching the tide and the sun coming up in the morning sky. I decide that discretion is the better part of valour and head back to the B&B for a few hours kip.

So after getting my head down for a couple of hours and having a cooked breakfast I get showered and head back down to The Belgian to be greeted by a still very pissed Pauline and Mark who was beginning to wilt under the burden of staying up all night. At this stage I was feeling quite relieved that I'd had a break as another early morning reveller decided that he wanted a punch-up with Mark and threats and words were exchanged. Then, about an hour later this guy offends Sue (who is still hanging on in there) and she decides to throw the table halfway across the street, smashing all the plates and glasses and then wanders off down near the beach and 15 minutes later chins the bloke!! All I wanted was a quiet beer in the sun!!!

I ended up staying out until about 17:00 and listened to a banjo player and a local guitarist bang out a few tunes. I did plan to go out in the evening but I woke up at about 20:00 and decided that I was too fucked ... so went back to bed. So all in all it was a fantastic four days in the sun.

The Mindmap

Well I'd call it my version of a mind map type of diagram. The Mindstore book contains a list of areas that contribute to your 'wheel of life' and the idea is to have all of these areas in balance. The idea is to analyze each area and give yourself a mark out of 10 which relates to your current status.

The more I thought and the more that I scribbled I gradually became aware that practically all of these issues have some bearing on my effectiveness as a trader ... and that's why I decided to put my scribblings on this section of my Blog.

Now I also added my own 'spokes of the wheel' and ended-up with the following:

1. Family (3)

I was a bit shocked to only be able to rate myself as a 3. I easily identified negative factors and these included:

  • poor relationship with my wife - when you have beem married for as long as we have then you need to make extra effort to keep that spark in your relationship. To be honest neither of us really try anymore and pretty much lead seperate lives. We do have a great time when we manage to get away togther, but other than that our relationship is pretty boring and sometimes quite stressful as we both want different things from life.

  • poor relationship with my eldest son - to be blunt he can be a lazy fucker with no respect. This is especially annoying when he has so much potential.
  • taking family members for granted - to be honest I make very little attempt to enjoy time with my parents. My mum lives in the same street but my dad lives an hour and a half away. This is something where the blame lies totally on my shoulders.

Now as we all know having angst with members of your family can easily impact your trading. I've lost count of the number of times that I've been quite happily sitting at my desk only to get fucked right off by a family member either moaning, screaming, shouting, being a bell-end or just generally being a twat. They often have the ability to send me from a state of calm to a state of screaming and shouting. Even as I sit here now I've already had to tell my grandson a few times to use his 'little voice' as he is being a noisy little fucker!

Now I've worked from home for almost two years now and this generally means more interaction with family members and at times when I am under pressure, i.e. trying to concentrate and work. I've found that this constant erosion of my inner calm has made me very negative in my general daily interractions with family members and I have a few well used phrases which usually consist of:

'shut the fucking noise up I'm trying to work'

'did you all have a good time getting shit faced down the pub while I was sitting here working'

'is any other fucker going to clean/tidy/wash up etc'

'this is not a fucking hobby'

'fuck this I'm fucking off'

There are one or two other more personal areas that I'm not going to share on here, but I feel that they all need to be addressed in order to work my way up from that score of 3!

PS I do love my missus (she reads my Blog!) but fuck me she can be a right pain in the ass sometimes! 

Now on the plus side I do, like many people, have an absolutely fantastic family and with a little effort here and there I should easily be able to get my score up to a 9 and to be honest everyone should be at least an 8 shouldn't they?

2. Social (8) 

My social score was relatively high. I've found that with age comes more confidence in social environments and I'm pretty comfortable in most situations.

3. Personal Development (6)

My personal development goes in fits and starts. It's closely linked with time management, as poor time management leaves no time for effective personal development. I've also realised that my personal development is pretty much entirely focussed on learning how to trade more effectively.

4. Health (7) 

My health is a mixed bag. On the plus side I'm physically active, hit the gym nearly every morning and generally follow a good diet. On the negative side I was diagnosed with mild cardiomyopathy and occasional atrial flutter about 10 years ago. This sometimes causes me to feel like a bag of shite but generally it's no problem. My teeth are also fucked and to be honest if I could get a set of dentures on the NHS then I probably would!

Oh and I forgot about my mince pie (eye). I woke up one night and had like a blurry splodge of grey affecting my left eye. It turned out to be a retinal branch vein occlusion, which is basically a blockage and bleed in the eye. Luckily it didn't hurt or affect my central vision and gradually over the last 14 months it's improved and almost back to normal.

5. Attitude (5) 

I'd like to think that my attitude is more on the positive side of things but when I really think about it then I'm not so sure.

On those days were everything is going right then I can scream 'who's the Daddy!' and everything seems so easy. However, on some days I often allow even the slightest problem to manifest itself in my head which then puts me in a negative state of mind and this means that I often worry about the smallest things ... I am a worrier! This probably stems from childhood were most of us don't want to make mistakes or get into trouble. I suppose that some of us grow up and continue to worry, some achieve that right balance of being able to address the situation, and others just get about their lives and don't give a fuck.

6. Finances (6) 

I'm pretty good at managing my finances. However, I do worry a lot about money and the thought of going skint and having to go back to work is always floating about in my head. Therefore I do become very 'money centric' at times. I'm by no means tight fisted but I do like to keep a fairly close eye on my finances.

Unfortunately there is one thought that tends to creep into my head every now and then and it really fucks me off. It concerns a video I took down @ Ramsgate maybe three years ago when I was at the financial peak of my entire life. In the video I'm sitting in the Port & Anchor and casually mention how much money I have 'burning a hole in my pocket'. Unfortunately I have a LOT less these days and it does hurt to think back to when making a nice bit of cash each month was relatively easy. I have an ingrained thought that I'll never be happy until I get back to that sort of financial independance.

Strangely enough on my recent break I stayed in a B&B. Now the woman who owns this sprawling nine bedroom house also owned at least one other, yet despite this, during our chat she only ever chatted about money and how much she had to spend to maintain the buildings etc. Now this lady was in her 80's and is probably sitting on close to £1 million worth of property by the coast yet she was still constantly moaning about money. Makes you think doesn't it? I definitely don't want to be that sort of sour money obsessed person who misses out on all of the great 'free' things that life offers and I don't want to live my life in the past.

There are one or two other personal money related issues that happened in the past and often wind me up when I think of them, but hey, that's all done and dusted so it's time to forget about all of that shit, learn from it and soldier on!

Finally, one thing that is driving me on at the moment is the fact that I have missed many opportunites over the last few years to make really good money. I don't want to look back in a few years time and realise that I never had the bollocks to grasp the nettle. However, once again on the flip side I have always seemed to land on my feet. Opportunities have always come along just at the time when I needed them, and for this I am grateful.

7. Career (7)

Well if trading is my career then I'm going OK at the moment and there is also untold potential.

8. Perception (4) 

My perception of events, and maybe more importantly my reaction, plays a big role in shaping my outlook on life.

Now there I was sitting in The Belgian Cafe, chilling out in the corner, drinking my Hoegaarden and scribbling these notes when I noticed something. Every now and then I would glance up at the growing crowd of late night drinkers and occasionally I'd spot someone who, for whatever reason, was starting to piss me off. Maybe it was someone chatting shite in a loud voice or just someone that I perceived to be a bell-end. I then realised that I do this quite often and it will often put me in a temporary aggressive mental, not physical, state of mind.

Now strangely, on the flip side of the coin, I can often get drawn-in by fucking idiots and sit there quite happily having a chat. It's a bit confusing thinking about it, but I suppose it all comes down to how I have built my pre-conceptions of certain types of people and events and my response is automatic and hard-wired. My missus does always say that I'm the worst judge of character that she knows!

9. Time Management (6) 

My time management is pretty good but I have noticed recently that I'm spending way too much time on unproductive tasks.

10. Commitment -

11. Environment -

12. Lifestyle (5) - I suppose that my lifestyle is another mixed bag. I feel that I live quite comfortably but maybe this area is the culmination of all of the above factors maybe? What's the goal? ... to live comfortably in a chilled state?

Goals -

Stress -

Old age -

Feelings of sadness and getting pissed-off = depression = always worrying

TBC ........


+£131.39. Managed to get straight back into the swing of things and was probably heading for a £200+ day but had a bit of a hiccup halfway through the day and had to settle for just over £130.

I'm going to smash it tomorrow and I'll be looking for at least a monkey to cover my recent holiday expenses.


We have 55 races scheduled for today so it's just a case of trying to average a tenner a race, although there will probably be quite a few overlaps.

12:28 I'll try and do the rolling update again today. I'm currently practicing a few new guitar chords in between updating today's horse notes and I'm up to the 19:00 @ Lingfield so I should be able to get them all done in time for the first race which is the 13:35 @ Newbury ...

14:38 started quite well, then missed a cracking opportunity and then gave some back .... ho hum ...

15:18 AAGGGHHH!!! trading on a Saturday just does my fucking head in!! ....

16:32 ... just had a touch that's taken me up to +£370 ... now's the time to play nice and steadily ...

18:56 creeping ever so slowly to that elusive monkey but it doesn't help that there are no pics from Lingfield ...

19:17 just over +£420 but the pics from Lingfield are broken, so that only leaves 4 more races from Haydock ...

+£451.56. So I ended up having a cracker today which helped pay for my 4 day break ...

Now I just need to make sure that I keep the ball rolling ...


+£92.45. Absolute pants racing today but I suppose that is the norm for Sundays. I was on the ball in one race and pretty much made my day's profit from backing one in the place market over the jumps by keeping my eye closely on what was going on behind the leaders.


+£82.91. Unspectacular effort ...


+£225.43. This was a day where I won £200+ in one race and felt more fucked off than you could ever believe! That was THE race at Ballinrobe where someone's in-running bot presumably malfunctioned and it was help yourself to as much free money as you could get. However, me being me I was sitting there thinking 'there must be somthing wrong here'. Instead of smashing the absolute bollox out of it I pensively traded a few clicks and greened at £200 and then sat on my hands worrying that I might make a balls-up and end-up doing my bank. Well the truth is that I really should have got £5k+ .... and to be quite honest a lot lot more.

It's usually the case of  'if it looks too good to be true then it probably is'. Well this time it really was free money and there must be a few out there in BF land who have raped a lovely stash of cash into their accounts.


+£228.22. I got caught with my pants down in the 19:15 @ Salisbury and had to take one for the team! Apart from that it was a nice first day back after a few days back down the coast.


+£80.30. It seemed like a strange old day today with only 3 meetings (at least they were all RUK). I was surprised when I looked at my P&L to see that I only traded in 7 races.


+£146.47. I had another one of those days where absolutely nothing happened during the afternoon and then when the evening racing started I managed to nick a few quid. It's strange how that happens sometimes?


+£349.55. I started the day with a good £100+ result in the first but I could have in fact easily greened-up for £400, but once again in the heat of the moment I didn't manage my position very well and didn't have enough exit points lined-up. It's really annoying when you take a look at the ladder after the race and see just how easy it would have been to taken a very easy £350+ instead of just £100+ .... to be honest it was £250+ lost instead of £100 gained!

I then knuckled down, nibbled away, got a good result in the 3 runner chase and did OK on the day.



  1. Hi Dave. You mostly inplay these days? What sort of stakes you using currently? Weather is supposed to be nice this week so having a few beers im sure? Friday i'll be sinking a few hopefully. haha
    Hope you are good mate. All the best

    1. Hi Chris.

      Yep almost entirely in-running.

      In the win market I'm generally using £60 - £150 but I'm gradually getting higher. In the place market I normally use £50 as I'm either laying or backing late on and not really trading as such.

      Yep another scorcher this week so maybe off to the coast again hopefully?

      How's things going at your end?

      Cheers - Dave.

    2. Ah nice Dave, cheers. It'll be Saltburn for me if any beers are to be sunk. Yeah good this end. All in-running too. Try to take a few quid per race then play my back to lay trades on top. Had a clean sweep at the Curragh yesterday 4/5 i traded actually won and the other finished 2nd. Rarest occurance i think i've had.



  2. P.S. Are those little amounts also inplay? Small scalps?

    Cheers again- Chris

    1. Hi Chris.

      Yep the small amounts are the £5 pre-race trades to get the BF video.

      Cheers - Dave.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi Dave,

    I've quite impressively managed to read the majority of your blog in my lunch hour!

    I'm just wondering whether you have tried using any bots? Also, as I work 40hrs a week, whether you think there are any techniques that could be automated using bots to trade successfully during the day? i.e. backing front runners before the off & laying in-play etc

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    1. Hi Sam.

      The whole blog in 1 hour blimey!

      No I don't use bots and I can't think of any technique that can be used to create something reliable and profitable, although there must be some out there?

      Cheers - Dave.

    2. Thanks for the reply Dave!

      Just a quick Q - in your vast experience of trading on the horses, would you say it is possible to analyse pace angles and pick out races where there only seems to be one horse that will make the pace/front run and back this horse pre-race to lay in-play? how much do the odds generally shorten?

      Thanks again,

  5. Hiya Sam.

    Like any other strategy backing leaders can have it's drawbacks. First of all you need a way to identify these leaders and then as you say try and isolate races where there looks to be an obvious leader. The draw then plays a part as your leader may be drawn high, at let's say Beverley over 5F, which negates part of the advantage. Another fly in the ointment is that you can often get one of the rags deciding that today is the time to try and blitz out and lead, thus screwing-up the lone speed angle. Finally you have to realise that there are dozens of other backers, traders, arbers etc trying to do the same thing which further minimizes your edge.

    On the plus side yes the price can crash very quickly if your selection obtains an uncontested easy lead, but the opposite is true if your selection misses the break or decides that today he's going to change tactics to a hold-up style (and this happens quite a lot!)

    So in summary I'm not too sure whether the benefits will outweigh the negatives?

    Unfortunately this strategy is not even that easy to implement while sat watching the races on the BF live video as you're behind the track players who have usually gobbled-up all of the prices before you've even had a chance to press the button!

    Hope this helps - Dave.

  6. Cheers for the replies Dave. Guessing the BF live video is just a rough guide considering the market is often well in front of the pictures? Case of just having skill to try an anticipate how a horse/jockey is reacting?



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