Trevor Lawson heads up the highly success Melbourne Ratings for Champion Bets. Since launching in 2016, Trevor has put together a very tidy 257 unit profit at 14% Profit On Turnover.
The success is no surprise – Trevor was going to be a strong performer. He’s been betting on the races in Melbourne in a professional capacity since 2001 and spends every waking hour fine tuning his prices in the bid to find some value.
Prior to becoming a part of the team, Trevor was already working with a small select group of punters, and fortunately that success has translated into a great few years with Champion Bets.
The interesting part about his journey was that he came into the world of professional punting with very little experience under his belt. In fact, he was a professional golfer in a former life.
So for those casual gamblers out there who like the idea of taking their punting to the next level, here are some words of wisdom from Trevor Lawson.
For those that don’t know, can you tell us about your life as pro golfer? Did the mental aspect of the game help you as you moved into punting?
I was full time golf professional for 13 years. I played tournaments, taught golf and ran a golf shop. The mental aspect of golf helped with dealing with the pressures of betting. It taught me self discipline.
Where did your interest in racing and punting first come from?
It really came from my first boss when I was a Trainee Professional. He would have a bet on a Saturday and we would listen to the races on the radio.
Have you always been focused on racing?
In the early eighties I bet a fair bit on the trots. But since the early nineties have bet exclusively on horses.
Did you ever consider betting on sports over racing, given your background? Specifically golf?
Not really. I bet a little on the AFL, but I was betting with my heart more than my brain, so I stopped. I’ll still sometimes bet on golf when the majors are on, more so for an interest.
What sort of approach to finding winners do you use?
I have a computer database (Southcoast) which is ratings based using weight and time ratings that I have fine tuned over the years. I use the horses past ratings, position in running, jockey, trainer bonuses/penalties etc to come up with a final ratings figure which allows me to price up a market. I then look to back the overs.
How would you define your edge?
I think I’m good at finding races where there is a false favourite and finding horses to back to beat it.
How did you go about developing your betting from when you first started to today?
I watched a lot of good punters at the track, which is hard to do nowadays. I found most good punters did their own markets and also backed more than one horse in the race. Once I found groups of horses to back, I began to succeed.
What advice would you have for new punters today who are trying to find an edge in racing?
Price the race accurately. Be price orientated, not tip orientated. I think there is still an edge in video analysis. Be hard on horses in your assessments when reviewing past races.
Do speed maps, try and bet in races where the on pacers look to have an easy run. Focus on backing them. Generally the races that are run on tracks where the leaders are advantaged are the ones with most turnover. Bet at tracks where on pacers are suited. Avoid get-back run-on type horses.
How much of a role does data analysis play in your betting?
A lot. All the video watching is converted into margins which is converted into ratings. My markets are calculated off my final ratings using an algorithm that I created for myself.
Do you feel that there is still room for the human element in finding winners, or can you see a time when computers take over?
Definitely . Video analysis is a personal thing. Knowing the horses, sometimes you can decide even though the numbers say one thing, you know they just don’t look right.