The trouble with 'dreamers'....

Last Updated: 18.09.2018

Tuesday, 18th September 2018

The trouble with ‘dreamers’….

There are many different types of tipping services or racing advisories on the market....

There are lots of different types of punters out there in search of information and advice....

Against the Crowd is a racing advisory. As the author of this column, you might think I would want ALL punters signing up to make use of my output....

But that’s not the case....  

We are always looking for new readers – we go in search of them. We always welcome new readers – with open arms. We hope new readers will take to our specific approach to the game....

But it doesn’t always work out that way. Not all marriages turn out to be of the happy-ever-after variety....

Certain types of readers go with ATC like custard goes with lamb. The two things just don’t belong on the same plate....

  • I have a dream....

For example, the dreamer is NOT a good fit with what we do here....

You can point out a horse to the dreamer and he won’t be able to tell you with any sense of certainty which end is which....

The dreamer has absolutely no real interest in horse racing. The sport makes no sense to him whatsoever. It never did. It never will....

The dreamer doesn’t know Lester Piggot from Leicester City. Ask him what he thinks about Stradivarius and he’ll think you’re talking about the violin....

If the racing is on the TV on Saturday afternoon, the dreamer is short odds-on to switch channels and start watching the Western on Movies for Men....

Despite all this, the dreamer has somehow managed to convince himself that there is a man out there in the world who can change his life and financial prospects by showing him which horses to bet....

Who knows how these things happen? Who knows how these peculiar ideas grow and thrive in people’s minds? Who knows how such twisted dreams take root and develop?

You might not think such nonsense and foolishness possible. But, believe me, you see them ALL when you produce a racing service such as ATC....

Every strain and breed of mankind passes through over time. The dreamer is a more common traveller than you might imagine....

  • No knowledge....

And the dreamer is the very last kind of punter you need on a service like ATC....

Why? Because his expectations are so woefully out of line with reality....

So out of line you cannot possibly hope to deliver the service he is looking for....

For a start, he knows so little about the sport of horse racing. He brings zero contextual understanding of how the game works outside of the fantasyland ideas he has created in his own mind....

And he is so betting-illiterate that he heads into the project with the cast-iron expectation that every bet should win....

Not will win. But should win....

His mindset is that of a man convinced that there are people out there who call every race run correctly....

That’s how little knowledge and experience he comes to the table with. If knowledge and experience were breadcrumbs on the bird-table, your average robin would keel over from malnutrition....

Yet the dreamer expects to be in front from the word go. And to stay in front ever after....

That’s a hard taskmaster, ladies and gents. You’re never going to please the dreamer....

  • No limits....

And the dreamer doesn’t go into this thing as a pastime that might produce a handy four-figure profit over a 12-month period – increasing the amount of walking-about money he has on the hip....

No. The dreamer tends to dream big....

Real big. Bigger than your wildest dreams....

He goes into this thing looking to retire (next month), buy houses (several), sports cars (several more), a super-yacht, an island in the sun, a Premiership football club, an airline company, a date (maybe more!) with Jennifer Lawrence....

He goes into this thing because he wants to live like the last of the international playboys. He wants to rub shoulders with the glitterati. He wants to be moving and shaking with the movers and shakers....

And he kind of expects to be able to do all this betting the horses you put up at £5 or £10 per point – £20 max....

In truth, the dreamer is a bad fit for any racing service....

Nobody really wants him. His expectations are so far off-beam that no service can hope to meet with his approval short- mid- or even long-term....

Whatever you do, however you do it and whatever the outcome, the dreamer is going to be an unhappy camper....

  • In search of winners....

But some services are a better fit for the dreamer than others....

To the dreamer it’s all about backing winners. After all, how can you make any money if you’re not backing winners?

And we understand. We have all been there. We have all stood at one time or another in the dreamer’s size 10 boots. And we all know exactly what the dreamer is failing to factor into his thinking....

We all know that he is neglecting to consider price. He is so fixated with the idea of backing as many winners as possible, he completely overlooks the price at which he is backing them....

That’s fantastic news – short- to mid-term at least – for one of the several million tipping services out there that specialize in putting up short-priced favourites....

A service of that nature might register a strike-rate of 30% to 40% from time to time. Once the dreamer realizes (as he will) that nobody picks winners 100% of the time, this service with a big wining strike rate will undoubtedly be of interest.

If the winners keep coming, he might soldier on with it – under the illusion he is winning....

It is only over time that he will come to realize with depressing finality that the prices he is taking on his bets make it impossible to get in front over the long term....

This is the moment of true crisis. The moment the dream might finally turn sour....

In case you missed it....

I have never been a fav-backer – and I never will be....

I don’t like fav-backers – and my dislike is based on experience....

Take a trip down Memory Lane with me and revisit Congleton circa-1987 – the school of hard knocks where I learnt the punting basics and where my contrarian approach to the game started to take shape....

I have never been a fav-backer....

  • ‘Another loser’....

But the dreamer is NOT cut out for a service like ATC....

Here at ATC, we don’t even pretend to look for winners. Instead, we look to find the right horse at the wrong price – one that can get competitive despite being overlooked; one that the market is misreading or mis-interpreting....

And we figure that if we do that job well enough over the long-term then the winners will take care of themselves. So too the profit we hope to extract from our participation in the game....

But the dreamer never can quite tune into that idea....

We don’t blame or criticize him for it. We understand that it’s not an easy concept to get your head around. We appreciate that it takes a specific type of character and temperament to play the game the way we do....

So we understand why JB – whose been with us just a short fortnight (no time at all) – might feel moved to write in and register his disappointment with our performance over the weekend....

‘Another loser. I expected a lot better from this.’

There is not much we can say to him to soothe his troubled mind. Some dreams and expectations are so big and so far-removed from reality that no service can hope to make them come true. Some people dream too big. Some people expect too much, too soon or too often....

Is that down to them? Or is that down to us at ATC?

I don’t know. Probably a little of both....

All I can tell you for sure is that the way we play at ATC is not a good fit for every type of punter out there. Dreamers especially find us very difficult to get on with....

  • The last word….

I was happy with the bet on Abel Handy in the Portland at the weekend....

He wasn’t as competitive as I would have liked on the day – but the way the race unfolded meant nothing in the race was able to put it up to the winner. One of those things....

What I liked about the bet was getting the 33s on Friday. Everybody else was overlooking the horse. Nobody gave him any kind of chance. But I think his performance was god enough to say we were on the right tracks....

My job is to find those horses. Horses capable of producing competitive runs despite negative market sentiment....

We’re not always going to find the value price. When we do, we’re not always going to capitalize with a winner....

But when the whole thing comes together, it makes the wait for winners worthwhile.... 

That’s the way we roll the dice at ATC. Like I say, not for everybody. But we won’t be changing our ways anytime soon....

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd