topsport podcast episode 4, dean evans, sectional times

Trial and jump-out analysis is widely used by form analysts these days, but that wasn’t the case not so long ago. Then Dean Evans came along and achieved superb results with his Trial Spy service with Champion Bets.

Many have tried to replicate what he does, without achieving the same results… we caught up with Dean Evans for a chat.

Dean Evans, welcome! Back to the start, how did you first get into racing?

My father bred a few handy racehorses, one mare who won 11 races, and won on all four Sydney metro tracks which is a rare feat for a mare, another who won a few staying black type races and almost qualified for the Melbourne Cup, and a few others so I suppose I caught the racing bug from following those horses.

My father worked for a few bookmakers back in the day. He was always I suppose mathematically inclined, as was I, so I’ve always had an interest firstly in racing but then in wagering. I can recall ringing up the TAB using my dad’s betting account as young as probably 12, pretending to speak in a deep voice and placing bets.

I remember at around age 15 doing the form for a race in NZ, was on an absolute bog Heavy 10 track and I worked through the horses and knew there were only 3 horses in the race who could handle such a wet track, ignored all other form lines or references, boxed the 3 in a trifecta, cost $6 and won $8,000, which was a lot for a 15 year old, bought me my first car, but importantly taught me that you can win at the game if you do the research, find an edge and can beat the market, it’s possible, although time has taught me it’s by no means easy.

So you got away to a very successful start! Has that continued ever since?

No, I certainly haven’t always been a successful punter. I was always good at finding big priced winners, and identifying value, but a lot of people can find a winner. The true challenge is how do you turn that skill or ability into a long-term profitable venture.

I knew I would always bet on racing, I knew I loved racing, I’d always follow it and be passionate about it, and being the type of person I am, rather than I think trick myself into believing I would either stop watching racing, or that I would watch racing but not bet on it, I was realistic and figured if I’m going to always love to watch racing and bet on it, then being the type of person I am who doesn’t like to lose money, I became determined to find out how to ensure I could do it profitably.

So that involved reading a lot of books and information not just on how to find winners and value, but from all types of gamblers on money management, staking, bank preservation, risk v reward, strike rates, POT and ROI percentages, drawdown, the Kelly Criterion and those types of concepts, and I at some point it just all clicked and I figured out how to ensure I could stay in the game during losing periods, but then also really capitalize on winning periods.

How did you get started with trials and how did Trial Spy come about?

When I started following trials, I used to put each horse into a blackbook and actually had a spreadsheet where I would keep track of all the results, using a rolling bank. So started with a $10k bank betting 1% of the bank, so to start with $100 per trial blackbooker, and then increasing the bets as the bank increased, believe it or not on the spreadsheet the $10,000 bank actually got up to over $1,000,000 so I knew I had something there.

I started offering the selections to a very limited number of members and it proved to be an incredibly popular and successful service, only able to take an intake of new members once a year and that has continued to this day.

Trial Spy has been going since 2013. How have you maintained an edge over that long?

The key is to constantly review and refine your methodology. I’ve adjusted for market changes related to more people watching trials, but most don’t know what to look for or how to identify value, so I believe the market has shifted back to undervaluing trial form significantly, which is a great space to be in.

What can punters expect with a Trial Spy membership?

We have an average of around 20 bets per week, and we bet anywhere and everywhere there’s an edge to be had from a promising trial performance – in any state. On race morning you’ll get your bets with all the details plus stake, price to take and a summary of the trial performance that has led to our bet. It’s all there, you just have to put your bet on!

It's one of the longest-running and most successful racing memberships around.

And you can get involved in Trial Spy right now. Just click below...

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