Ian the brains behind this exceptional new horse racing service has a wealth of experience and has proved his worth to us at BetFan for many months.
Is this the service you’ve been waiting for? Well every punter has Champagne Dreams and Ian is living them!!!
To Answer All Your Questions Lets Interview The One & Only Champagne Kid…
Hi Ian, how were you introduced to horse racing/betting and when did you decide to take it seriously? Also how many years experience do you have?
I was introduced to betting by a friend who considered himself a bit of an expert (as it turned out, he wasn’t!) in my first year at university. It was during the early days of Victor Chandler, and later some others, moving their operations to Gibraltar to avoid the UK 9% betting tax that I started to take a greater interest. Those off-shore moves by bookmakers eventually helped lead to the abolition of betting tax, and it was only then that I considered it possible to make betting profitable without both bookmaker over-round and betting tax to overcome.
It has to be discipline. The ability to stick to your betting principles without deviating from your general strategies even during losing runs is vital. A lot of my betting is in the 4/1 to 14/1 range, and I do not go trying to end a poor run by tipping or betting short-priced horses purely in the hope of a change of luck. It just doesn’t work! Neither does chasing losses, and I have been lucky in that I have never felt the need nor the desire to do that.
Lack of preparation, as in backing horses without doing enough homework on their form, or proven ability or potential in the class or conditions of the race; not having or using the tools available to make informed decisions, poor staking strategy (too much variation leading to not enough staked on winners and too much on losers), inability to treat results with equanimity, leading to over-emotional reactions to results (too high on a win, too low on a defeat). And probably many others!
I specialise mostly, but certainly not exclusively, in race profiling on flat racing. Race profiling is my description for using mixture of trends, systems, trainer methodology, sire / damsire stats for their progeny, statistical analyses of factors likely to lead to winner-finding.
I use various resources extensively, the main ones being Timeform, Flatstats, Geegez, Racing Post online, Narrowing the Field (for jump racing) and pay great attention to the writing and/or broadcasting of those in the industry who I feel have something worthwhile to say, or from whom I can learn - e.g. Eddie Fremantle, Paul Kealy, Simon Rowlands, James Willoughby, Tony Calvin to name a few.
I also bet and tip a fair bit on All Weather racing, which I find to be much more consistent in terms of racehorse performance over the years than flat turf racing with its extreme going changes, and mis-reporting of going by those associated with the courses.
This is a question I find to be a bit of a leading question with a hint of mistrust of the tipster by the questioner in it. As in, it has an element of the feeling of “you probably don’t win, so have to make money another way. Why should I trust you?”
My view is that if I am giving sound advice that leads to the purchaser of that advice making money, then why should I not be rewarded for that advice, irrespective of how I use my own advice myself?
After all, financial advisors are rewarded by payment for the advice they give their clients without being asked by prospective clients “why don’t you just play the markets yourself?”
I have seen this question answered by other tipsters in terms of the satisfaction they get from helping others to win. That is a good and honest answer and holds true for me too in addition to my earlier thoughts on this. Who wouldn’t get satisfaction from successfully helping others, and maybe even occasionally having nice words said about them for giving an honest service?
You do not need to be exceptionally talented to be successful at betting, but there are certain talents you require to be successful. Having discipline, an enquiring mind, openness to learning from others, ability to understand probabilities and statistics and the value or otherwise of those statistics, time and the tools to research, and prepare properly, and good old-fashioned hard work would make a good starting point.
Job satisfaction. I have no doubts in my ability to deliver long-term profits, and as mentioned in my response to the ‘why sell your tips’ question, I would take genuine satisfaction from giving something to those who may not have the time or wherewithal to find their own long-term profitable selections. In addition, of course, there would be what I would call ‘footballer’s bounty.’ That is, getting paid for what you love to do, or would be doing anyway irrespective of whether or not you are being paid to do it.
I am rarely away from a screen with racing/betting info open or on the TV. During the big festivals – Derby meeting, Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, York Ebor, Cheltenham Festival etc, I would spend about 10 – 12 hours a day working on racing. On quieter days, an average of between 5 to 10 hours.
An average of 2-3 bets on a normal day, rising to 5 or 6 as and when the opportunities arise. Occasional no bet days (no more than a couple per month), and a few 1 bet days would make up the rest.
I like to make final selection decisions when the market has some maturity to it, so in line with the proofing I have done to date, most bets would be released between 1 and 2 hours before the first race of the day. During summer, occasional additional bets on evening racing would be put out mid to late afternoon.
It is for me. But I would say each to his own. I do not feel I have any betting edge on any sport other than racing. Others will have an edge on football or golf or maybe F1. I don’t. Racing is all that concerns me and is the area of betting where I am profitable. It will be different for experts in other fields.
First and foremost, and somewhat obviously, a profitable service.
Consistency is also important. Whilst most tipsters I’ve ever experienced (myself included) tend to go through what I call ‘clumping’ – i.e. losing run – a few winners in close proximity – losing run – a few more winners in close proximity etc, that is better than a tipster who gives only the very occasional big-priced winner amongst a sea of losers. In that scenario, it is Sod’s law that the winner will be on the day you miss the tip for whatever reason and carry on with the next run of losers.
Good staking is also important. I use the full 1 to 5 point options depending on the price available and my feeling on whether that price represents acceptable value, good value, or exceptional value.
I believe those who throw the full 5 points at every selection may not actually be giving due to consideration that it is their clients’ money that is at stake on the advice given. This may cause clients to reduce their stake as a losing run builds fairly large losses and when the winner comes, they only have equivalent 1 or 2 points on, and a slightly sour feeling even after backing a winner.
I have been to the York Ebor meeting for every day of every year for the last 20 years. Amongst the friends I go with, we have a competition picking 2 selections each race, with one nap and one nb each day. Points are given for each win (10pts plus SP; double if the nap wins) and the winner at the end of the meeting is designated ‘The Champagne Kid’ for that meeting (and has to buy the champagne for all at the end of the day). The title is held until the following year.
The one at the bottom of the table is given the ‘D A Nolan’ title (named after one of the losing-most trainers of all time). I am by a good way the winning-most ‘Champagne Kid” over the years but had a dire meeting last year and am the currently disgraced ‘D A Nolan’ title holder and have to wear the ‘D A Nolan t-shirt of shame’ at breakfast each day of this year’s meeting. I aim to regain the correct title this year!
Outside of racing, I have many memorable moments of past league and cup wins of my football team Glasgow Rangers. Currently the club is in a total mess, but I am sure better times will one day return. My other most memorable footballing moment was being in the crowd behind the goal in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City where Maradona scored his ‘Hand of God’ goal v England in 1986. (And even better, his amazing second goal). Not many football fans can make that claim.
In racing, not much can surpass seeing Frankel in the flesh winning 3 times, twice in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, and once in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York. The latter race drew the Timeform comment “Frankel is of such quality that it’s hard to express, every superlative worthy of use, quite simply a class act and as close to perfection as there ever has been or is likely to be in a racehorse, unbeaten in 13 runs now.....” A real ‘I was there’ moment!
In terms of betting, there’s not much better than when I went through the card on Champions Day at Ascot in 2016 backing every winner – Sheikhzayedroad 11/1, The Tin Man 13/2, Journey 4/1, Minding 7/4, Almanzor 11/8, and Yuften 12/1. And being on most of them at better than these SP prices!
I can promise hard work, dedication to the task, and only properly assessed advices. I can also say that I have it very much in mind that clients are risking their own cash on advices given by a tipster. That would give me a degree of responsibility to clients to do my very best on their behalf – no ill-considered tips, no mere guesswork, just well-appraised advice that I am confident will, accepting and acknowledging there will be occasional losing months, offer a long-term trend of profitability.
In addition, I feel that in these days of account closures and restrictions, and removal by bookmakers of BOG and other concessions, it is important for a tipster to return a decent profit to Betfair SP.
My advices match my own betting in that most of it is in the 4/1 to 14/1 range. That is a range that offers an edge when betting on the exchanges, which is where I do all my own betting.
With horses priced at 3/1 or under, there is not much ‘juice’ in exchange prices, so given that lack of edge, I tend not to bet or tip too much in that range.
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