How we roll....

Last Updated: 07.11.2018

Wednesday, 7th November 2018

How we roll….

We’re at that point in the racing year where it’s a bit like being in limbo....

The summer and the flat season are disappearing in the rear-view mirror whilst the winter game is not yet fully in stride....

Things will start to take shape over the next few weeks....

Horses that were out in the field for summer will be back on the track. Form lines will establish themselves. The season’s key players will start to make themselves known.

And we’ll be able to approach races from a betting perspective with a little surer footing than is the case in the early stages of a new season....

There aren’t many opportunities to draw breath in the racing programme. This is one of them. And at such times, it can pay to take stock and remind ourselves of the game plan, what it is we seek to achieve and how we go about achieving it....

  • A source of confusion....

We have plenty of grizzled old veterans on the ATC service....

Readers who have been with us for years....

Readers who have stuck with us through thick and thin – enduing the bleak times (when we can’t get one into the frame let alone past the winning post ahead of the rest) and reaping the rewards when we hit the purple patches....

Old readers – each highly-valued and greatly appreciated – know the score. And the score is this....

At ATC we are never going to hit winners every week. Or even every other week. We are always going to back more losers than winners....

Hell, we don’t even set out to find the winner of any race we target. Here at ATC, we are not looking for winners....

Old readers understand what I mean. But new readers – and we always have some fresh faces on the school bus – can get very confused when I make a statement like that....

  • ‘What kind of racing service is this?’

Some new readers will put their hand up and ask: ‘What kind of racing service is it that doesn’t want winners?’

Therein lies the confusion....

It isn’t that we don’t want winners. Of course, we do. Winners are what it is all about....

But we don’t set out to locate the winners of any race. When you look for the horse with the best case for winning, you’re probably going to land on a favourite or another short-priced horse....

The market isn’t stupid. By and large, it knows what it is doing. The short-priced horses are a short price for a good reason....

But if you back those short-priced handicap horses, you are not going to make it pay – not across the long-term....

Yes, you’ll probably clock up a better strike rate than we achieve here at ATC. But it will be to no avail. You won’t be banking a betting profit....

That’s an inescapable fact. Back short-priced horses in big handicaps and prices you’ll be betting at will be too short to get you in front or to keep you in front on the bottom line....

  • Our approach in a nutshell....

Here at ATC, we recognise that basic fact. Our whole approach is based upon it....

We never back favourites. We very rarely back a horse at a short price....

We leave that game to the punters who want to play that way. We leave that game to punters who feel the need to back regular winners and are happy to forego long-term betting profit by doing so....

At ATC, we take a different approach. We take a contrarian approach to the big handicaps....

Instead of following the money and jumping on the market bandwagon, our focus is always on one thing and one thing only – identifying the right kind of horses at the wrong price....

At ATC we are interested only in identifying and exploiting what the market has got wrong....

We are interested in the horses the market is incorrectly overlooking, under-estimating or ignoring – horses the market is incorrectly pricing....

Our over-riding objective is to identify horses that are set and primed to run big races yet trade at big prices....

In short, we are looking for value. We are looking for horses trading at prices which underplay their true chances (as judged by me) of getting competitive in the valuable big-field handicap events....

  • Not an exact science....

It’s not an exact science.  It’s not an easy assignment. Many tipping services won’t even look at the races we target. Just as reader PB outlined to us at the end of the Royal Ascot meeting in June....

‘Congratulations on some great tipping at Royal Ascot this week. Many of the tipster emails I received this week were not even prepared to put up a selection in the big handicaps, advising punters to steer clear. You nailed your colours to the mast. I tip my hat to you.’

We expect to get more wrong than we get right. That’s always the way. And our expectation is built on hard-won experience....

We always get more wrong than we get right. And that trend will harden and endure as time goes on. You can take that to the bank....

We don’t concern ourselves with achieving big strike rates that we can brag about in promotional packages....

We don’t concern ourselves about losing runs. We know we are never going to be firing winners in left, right and centre, race after race, day after day and week after week...

We expect losing runs and we deal with them phlegmatically. They are part of the game – an inevitable by-product of the way we choose to approach betting the big handicap races....

Our only ambition is to seek to get enough right frequently enough at the right kind of prices to turn a healthy profit over the long-term....

That’s the kind of service ATC is....

We go our own way. We do our own thing. We stick with it – win lose or draw. We never deviate from our contrarian approach – come what may. We put the hard yards in, we trust to our methods and we always come good in the end – whatever happens in-between times....

  • Not for everybody....

The ATC way is not right for everybody....

Some punters find they can’t cope with the way we play. They either expect to have a winner in every race – an unreasonable expectation to set out with. Or they can’t buy into big prices. Or they can’t handle it when a succession of big-priced picks fails to win....

I’m not criticising those punters. I know that how we go about playing these big handicaps can lead to some frustrating periods that are hard to deal with. Nobody knows that better than me....

But it’s a long game that we play. It doesn’t take many winners at big prices to put right a whole series of losers – and then some....

Hit a purple patch – as we frequently do – and a relatively small strike rate can put you a long way into the black....

But getting the long-term pay-off takes temperament. And patience. And mental strength. And a degree of faith. It doesn’t all happen in one weekend....

The rewards are there for those that can stick it. Just ask those readers who have stuck with us for 5-years and more. They know the score....

When we get it right and go on a jag, we really do pile the points onto the scoreboard....

  • One thing is for sure....

One thing I can tell you for certain: we won’t be changing the way we play the big handicaps here at ATC. Not a chance....

If you’ve been with us for a while, expect more of the same....

We’re looking to kick on and to bring you more winners at big prices in the most competitive and hard-to-call races on the British programme – bar none....

If you’re new to ATC, strap in and enjoy what is sure to be a rollercoaster ride consisting of tough lows, fantastic highs and periods where the metre just ticks over....

And, of course, we’re not just a tipping service. Big race selections are just one component of the ATC service....

We go out 5-days per week, and in-between the big races we look to bring you analysis, angles, observations, insights, ideas and intelligence that you won’t be reading about elsewhere....

We’ll get back to that order of business tomorrow....

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd