Having provided the two historically most profitable horse racing tipping services in Australia over 6 years, Dean is a form analyst you can trust to deliver a quality and profitable service.
It had been a while, so we caught up with Dean for a chat.
First of all, let’s talk about you. 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 4 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, 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.
You’re widely known as ‘The Trial Spy’, and you’ve run that betting service with enormous success for many years. Briefly, how did you get started with trials – before anybody else was really looking into them – and how have you been able to maintain the Trial Spy success as they’ve become more prevalent as a form tool?
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 with that service making nearly 700 units profit in 6 years at over 10% POT. So essentially more than doubling people’s betting banks each year, with a 100% return on money certainly well above what you’ll get from a bank, these days offering maybe 1-2%, or even Warren Buffet the best share investor in the world usually generating 20% year on year returns, so that’s where the opportunity is.
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.
And your other service, Dean’s Winners, which is now coming to Champion Bets. What’s the background and form approach with that one?
It very much shifted from in the first 2.5 years being mostly based on video watching, trip handicapping and the usual form principles, not at all data driven, and mostly on metro/city racing, to now where the focus is also on data & information, speed & class ratings, and also a greater focus on country & provincial racing on top of metro/city racing.
I have a very detailed form database and have for some time. Some years back I spent about six months just studying my database and identifying the other key form factors that the market and other punters under-value significantly. I found three key factors that the market certainly under-valued: accurate speed ratings, class ratings, and focusing on horses that are on the pace.
So my basic approach went to those areas and that was the basis for selections. I found a real edge and from there, it’s been a case of constantly refining the selection methodology, as the market is always moving and you have to stay ahead of it. In the webinar I explained certain other concepts I look for to find big priced winners such as SP profiling, back to back, track/distance specialists, using the concept of isolation that I explained in the webinar.
You’ve had fantastic success since the service started with over 600 units profit at 8% POT and multiple winners at 100/1+. In what ways have you refined your approach?
I’ve found a big part of the success has been overlaying class and speed ratings over the actual conditions, such as distance and track, for the upcoming race. General class and speed ratings can be overplayed by the market, but I’ve focused on the horse’s ratings only over the conditions of the upcoming race. We’ve found a decent edge there.
These days, very much focused on the speed & class ratings of the horses relevant to the conditions and variables that the horse encounters in the race it is contesting today, and other variables such as trainer/jockey stats, the speed map and expected position in running, and then incorporate reviews of replays of races to identify any betting opportunities from horses not suited by the way a race was run, track bias, being blocked or not getting its chance due to a poor ride, or just a standout future performer to keep an eye on.
Your service covers racing right across Australia – how do you do that?
I’ve developed ways to review all races very quickly and determine whether the race is essentially a lottery or meets the criteria of a race worth reviewing in a lot more detail. I’ve also done a mountain of work in determining which tracks are profitable and which are not so although I bet in all states, I don’t bet on all tracks in all states, so I’m able to cut down my focus to where I know the data and my assessments are most profitable and stop spending any unnecessary time on areas that are less profitable.
In the end having access to a lot of data at my fingertips, plus the fact that I just have an extremely good memory for anything horse racing related, horses, their quirks, idiosyncracies, where they are strong and weak, same with jockeys and trainers, that a lot just comes to me naturally so I’m able to work very quickly through fields and data having done it for so long and established a clear, reliable process that I know works and has a big edge long term.
I guess an obvious question is, what in essence is the difference between your two services? Is there any crossover in terms of selections?
Dean’s Winners is based on all of the form assessment factors stated above. Trial Spy selections are derived solely from the analysis of trials and jumpouts. There is no crossover of selections, they are 100% separate and independent selections using different methodologies that both fortunately have a big edge on the market.
What can punters expect from Dean’s Winners in terms of what they’ll receive and projected results?
We bet usually around 4 days per week, but only when significant value is present, so some days there might be no bets, some days 1 or 2, some days plenty more, it entirely depends on how the markets have shaped up compared to my assessments on the day. We recommend a 100-unit betting bank, and bet on average only 0.5 units per bet, using a derivation of around a quarter Kelly Criterion type concept when placing the bets to maximise rewards whilst trying to minimize drawdown as much as possible.
You’re provided with everything you need, the track, race number, race time, horse name, current market price, whether to bet early or late or spread evenly across the two, bet type and how many units to have on the horse or bet. I certainly focus on value, had plenty of big priced winners, Emmadee won for us at Toowoomba, 100/1 recorded officially, but started $260 Betfair SP and got out to as much as $560 in betting on Betfair only bet in the race, Carn at 150/1 at Eagle Farm only bet in the race, Stage Girl at 125/1 at Pinjarra, Mighty Boss at 100/1 in the Caulfield Guineas etc etc, so certainly a focus on value and everyone loves backing winners at those prices.
The title of Australia’s most successful punter isn’t one to be thrown around loosely.
However Dean’s results across the past 6 years have been nothing short of superb with over $120,000 profit across both services in that time.
Dean’s Tips alone have generated over 600 units profit at ~8% POT over the journey (i.e. $60,000+ profit at $100 a unit), including big priced winners such as Carn $149, Stage Girl $126, Emmadee $101 ($560 Betfair), Mighty Boss $101, Kaiser Franz $71, Calvo $57, Shazee Lee $57, Harlem $53, Sacred Falls $51, Sea Lord $51, Mourinho $43, Cnetre Divider $42, Forseen $41, Cameo $41, Gala Affair $41, Gold Fields $41, Havana Cigar $41, Runaway $41, Thermal Current $41, Just Two Vees $40 and plenty more.
In addition, members receive Dean’s renowned and exclusive Members Information Pack, filled with 74 pages of educational material designed to make you a better punter.
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