Queensland Winners is now open and our newest analyst, ‘The Professor’, is set to debut tomorrow. We caught up with the man himself to learn more about his punting strategy and what you can expect from the membership.
(Apologies for the scratchy audio!)
Daniel Squires: Hi guys, and welcome to this week’s webinar. We’re very excited here in the office at Champion Bets. We’re launching a brand new product on Queensland Racing, and on the line I have The Professor, our analyst from Queensland. How are you?
The Professor: Very well thanks Daniel. Glad to be here. Very exciting times.
Daniel Squires: It’s fantastic to have you on board. Obviously, we’ve done our due diligence over the course of the few months and the in-house trial that we’ve run has been exceptional. So, tell us a little bit about your background.
The Professor: Yeah, sure. So, I’ve actually spent a lot of time in the university system. I did my undergraduate degree, and then actually did a PhD. I worked in the university system doing research for about 10 years. During that time, since my university days really, I’ve been interested in doing the form and taking it seriously for probably about the last 10 to 12 years. It got to a point where I was actually spending more time worrying about doing the form than perhaps what I should have been doing at work-
Daniel Squires: That’s unusual. That’s unusual; a university student that loves a punt!
The Professor: Yeah, isn’t that strange? It’s almost like I spent too much time at the pub. So, I guess I got the bug during those years and since then I’ve been fascinated; consumed with trying to find winners and get the right prices, and work out how the big boys do it. So the last couple of years I’ve been working full-time in the industry, and looking specifically at Queensland form.
Daniel Squires: Fantastic. Can you tell us – why Queensland? It’s a question that I’ve been getting over the last couple of days. Is that you feel that there’s a niche market? You’ve got an edge there?
The Professor: Yeah. I think one of the things that’s great about Queensland is there’s so many opportunities. You’ll get six or seven meetings just in South East Queensland, not even considering North Queensland. You’ll get six or seven meetings a week to find a winner. It does make the workload quite a bit higher having to do all the replays.
I think the other thing is that there’s such a variety of tracks as well. A bit less so now that Eagle Farm’s been out of action, but you’ve got such a different variety of tracks that suit different horses that I think there’s lots of different opportunities to see horses going from unsuitable conditions to suitable conditions. And with minimum bet laws in place now, it’s obviously easier to get set.
Daniel Squires: Yeah, it’s interesting, and I did want to touch on that aspect, there seems to be more variables in Queensland tracks than what there does anywhere in Australia for the way that they map during each particular race meeting. How do you differentiate and do the form for those different tracks? You specialise in South East Queensland, is that correct?
The Professor: Yeah, that’s right. Yes. We’ll look at, obviously, the Metro meetings at Doomben and Eagle Farm soon, then obviously, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Toowoomba. Then country tracks like Dalby, Kilcoy Beaudesert, Gatton, all those types of places. So the way the tracks played is the big factor, and that’s probably one of the edges that we have.
Obviously, when I review a meeting one of the main things we’re doing is looking at how the track played and which horses were advantaged or disadvantaged. So you build up quite a profile of the track and how it generally plays, but then there are obviously conditions that can make a track play a different way to what it normally does. So it is a tricky kind of situation. I think hopefully we’ve got a pretty good grasp, I think it is one of the reasons that this data is successful at the moment.
Daniel Squires: Now you’ve got an example of a race – I know all the guys are very keen to learn about your strategies and how you do form for a race, so have you got one there that you can run us through?
The Professor: Yeah sure, so this is a race from a couple of weeks back at the Sunshine Coast. So the way that I approach doing the form is, I do have a background in science and maths so I have a lot of ratings and stats that I use to generate what I call a baseline price or a ratings price, that doesn’t take much time to do.
Then once I start looking at the meeting, I’m looking at doing the speed map and I’m looking for things that I know aren’t necessarily going to be included in that baseline price; things like how the track is going to play today, is the horse advantaged by the map, did it sit 3 wide no cover on the hot pace last start, was it disadvantaged by the track bias last start? Basically going through and working out the speed map, working out which horses are going to be advantaged and disadvantaged and kind of tweaking those baseline ratings.
So this was a race where we had an odds-on favourite Order Again, and this is a basic setup that you would see in the full set for a Saturday Metro meeting. You’d have my assessed price, the price that was available at the time the sheets were sent out, whether it’s an overlay or underlay, the edge that we’re getting and the recommended bet. Here you see I just had an overview of the race which is mainly to do with how I think it’s going to play out in terms of speed here.
So in this case the odds-on favourite Order Again is a kind of get back and run on type horse, and in this race there really wasn’t much in terms of pace, there wasn’t going to be a breakneck speed. And then we’ll get to the specific comments about the runner, why I’ve assessed them the price that they are, so in this case Order Again I thought was flattered last start, he got back, they went fast out front and he ran on strongly.
You can see there I also made a note that I thought the track was going to play to the on-pace runners and those who could find the fence. And then the two runners that I was interested in were Prioritise and Bergerac and both were horses that I thought could be right up on the pace and likely find the fence.
Both come out of runs where they had to overcome some kind of disadvantage; so Prioritise the run before this was trapped 3 wide in a cover, they went really fast out front and yet she still managed to kind of hold off the swoopers and hang on for a win. And luckily enough he was able to get the chocolates for us this time, he won another race on Saturday and he went really well again, so that kind of first run before this he was really about to show some good form.
Daniel Squires: And it mapped the way that you saw it, sorry for those of us that didn’t see the race?
The Professor: Yeah Prioritise kind of sat just behind the leaders and actually over-raced a little bit. Bergerac did not actually, that one didn’t quite work out. He ended up getting back, but we got one out of two right and we managed to get a little profit off the race.
Daniel Squires: Fantastic, do you have more of a tendency to play the on-pace runners?
The Professor: Yeah I do, it’s certainly in general an advantage to be on the pace, all other things being equal. Obviously though I do spend a lot of time on the map of the race, and if I think that there’s going to be a really fast speed out front I’m not afraid to back something that’s going to get back and run on. I think it’s all about context, but I’d say in general if you ask me what kind of horse I would prefer to back it would definitely be something that can be close to the speed for sure.
Daniel Squires: Fantastic. So you’re betting 4 days a week?
The Professor: Yes so generally, sometimes 5 to be honest, we’ll definitely look at the Midweek Metros on Wednesdays, occasionally we’ll get a country meeting on Thursday at Kilcoy or Gatton or one of those places every now and then, so if that’s the case we’ll also assess that meeting. Usually there’s a Friday meeting at either Ipswich or Toowoomba or Sunshine Coast, I think night meetings are actually starting in a couple of weeks too so there’ll be a Friday night meeting every now and then at the Sunshine Coast.
And then obviously Saturday we do a full set for the Metro meeting, wherever that is, and that obviously includes this type of thing for every race, all my assessed prices, comments for the key runners, and an overview of the race. And I’ll also look at the provincial meetings on that day as well. So usually we’ll have a Gold Coast and Toowoomba provincial meeting on a Saturday, and then you back up Sunday into usually the Sunshine Coast or occasionally Toowoomba. So there’s plenty of action.
Daniel Squires: And the tips will be released at 9am?
The Professor: Yeah so for the Metro meetings on Saturday the recommended bets will go out around 9 o’clock, and the bets for the provincial meetings will go out around 9 o’clock as well. And then I’ll throughout the morning update the full set, just to make sure, take all the scratchings out and update the prices, and that usually goes out around sometime between 10 and 11.
Daniel Squires: Great. As mentioned we’re very very excited, and I know a lot of our clients are very excited to have you on board. We’ve got 1, 3, and 12 month subscriptions available. If you have any questions please get in touch on 1300 500 057, or email us at [email protected] As mentioned, your in-house trial was exceptional. Just the second new analyst we’ve had this year, and we’re extremely excited to have you on board. Thank you very much for your time today Professor.
The Professor: No worries Daniel, thanks for having me mate.
The Professor is ready and raring to go!