- Read all about Gareth’s background
- Gareth joins us on the Betting 360 Podcast: see Parts 1 and 2 of the chat at the bottom of this page
Gareth Phillips has been in the betting industry for his entire working life – nearly 30 years now – and thus has a wealth of experience in form analysis and punting.
Like many pro punters, Gareth started out as an analyst for Mark Read, where he was mentored by some of the leading racing analysts in the country.
He then spent almost twenty years working for a private betting syndicate led by a Queensland punter. Gareth, along with a couple of others, analysed form and devised betting strategies for this syndicate with hugely profitable results.
He was then recruited to ‘jump the fence’ and work for some of Australia’s biggest bookmakers, starting at Sportingbet (which was acquired by William Hill Australia, in turn acquired by BetEasy).
Gareth then moved to Ladbrokes where “I pretty much had to do it all myself there (at the corporates). Database, trading, pricing and framing markets, form… the whole lot.”
He was required to frame markets from scratch and would often be the first in Australia to publish fixed-price markets on race meetings – with no other book’s prices to compare against. Rival bookmakers would simply scrape his prices once they were released and copy and paste them as their own.
“That was nerve-wracking at times, of course!” he said.
“Going up first, you’ve done an entire card of eight or nine races from your own figures and you just know that there’s hundreds (or more) punters out there waiting to seize on any one mistake you’ve made on one horse. And it’s not like punting, of course, where you can just pick the horses and races you like and ignore the rest – you have to price the lot. But overall we did pretty well and made very few errors.”
The ‘copy and paste’ culture of pricing has now well and truly taken hold at all major bookies, meaning Gareth’s skills were no longer required… so he’s now betting for himself and has made a profitable start to it.
What is Gareth’s edge on the market?
“I know it sounds very general, but it really is just experience,” he said.
“I’ve seen it all. When I first started out, we had an edge simply by going to the track and seeing every horse run – without widespread racing telecasts that was a big edge on plenty of people. Then replay videos became available and I was all over them. Like all edges, that slowly disappeared as racing vision became widely available to the public.
“Throughout the years, there’s been a number of “edges” I’ve been able to employ to beat the market – weights, times, track bias, sectional times, speed maps… in isolation, each of them has in turn disappeared as an edge as information has become publicly available on a widespread basis.
“These days, there’s a few different things I use in combination with each other to produce an edge on the market. And a big part of my advantage is experience, in that I’m able to look over a race relatively quickly and assess whether it’s worth analysing properly as a potential betting race. If I see it’s not, I just move on to the next race or venue. My knowledge of the horses, jockeys and trainers allows that.
“That lets me cover a lot of racing and really zero in on where the value is. It’s there, you just have to find it.”
What others have to say
From the Risk and Trading Director of Sportingbet / Centrebet:
“During my 13 years with the combined businesses I hired and fired about 20 analysts. Not only did Gareth outperform all of them in terms of results, but he also demonstrated a work ethic that was second to none.”
And this from Ladbrokes where he was a Racing Trader and Senior Form Analyst from 2014 to 2019:
“Gareth was responsible for trading and providing prices for horse racing including some of the most iconic races in Australia. The position required excellent analytical skills as well as the ability to liaise between different departments. Success was dependent on strong attention to detail and efficient work processes. These are all characteristics which defined Gareth.”
Aaron Barby, highly successful former Champion Bets analyst, has known Gareth for quite some time, and his feedback was typical of what we received from everybody we asked:
“I’ve known Gareth for years and have worked alongside him at times. He’s a ripper bloke and a ripper judge. His years of bookmaker experience means he knows the game from the inside out. Framing markets is second nature to him, having done it for so long. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with more passion and knowledge of the great game. He finds value, and he finds winners.”
What does Gareth’s service look like?
Gareth sticks to the areas he knows best, which makes it easiest for him to find that value. He’s focused on racing in New South Wales and South-East Queensland at all levels – metro, provincial and country – which gives him plenty to sink his teeth into. There’s racing in New South Wales every day of the week – usually multiple meetings – and in Queensland 5 or 6 days per week.
He does the form and bets 5 or 6 days per week but doesn’t use a scattergun approach to his betting. You can expect around 20 of his best value bets per week in total. All will be released on raceday after Minimum Bet Limits are in place. Most bets will be delivered at 9am in the morning, and Gareth will notify ahead of time if there are further bets to come throughout the day, so you have due warning of when to be ready for them.
All bets include the stake, price or dividend type to take, and a short commentary on the horse’s chances.
In addition, Gareth is very keen on showing you some of what happens ‘under the hood’, so at different times there’s further information in addition to official bets. That includes rated markets, mid-meeting track reports and meeting reviews… all-in-all, you can expect to hear from him quite often.
Betting 360 Podcast
You can hear about all of this – and learn a little from one of the best around – in a special two-part podcast series we recorded with Gareth.
In Part 1, Gareth took us through his background in his own words:
In Part 2, Gareth takes us deeper into how he does the form:
- “My database is my brain – Everything I do or think is in there”
- The evolution of form databases
- Watching videos with Dom Beirne and Mark Read
- The importance of accomplished video watching
- Why you need more than just ratings
- Rating jockeys
- Big edges in provincial and country racing