Horse racing, it would seem, has always been a part of my life. I have very early childhood memories of accompanying my grandfather to the TAB (Totaliser Betting Agency) in Australia, before settling down with him for a Saturday afternoon listening to the race calls on AM radio.
Growing up in Scone, New South Wales, Australia, was also probably a contributing factor. Self styled as the Home of the Thoroughbred, Scone district has a dense concentration of throughbred breeding studs, which are now being encroached upon by mining interests. I also remember sneaking into the local TAB, at about sixteen years of age, to place a few small bets during lunch time and after school. They must have known I was underage, but in those days it didn't seem to matter.
Later, I paid up my Sydney Turf Club membership, attending numerous race days at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, as a reasonably serious but no doubt mug punter. Some of my greatest horse racing memories come from this time, in my late teens and early twenties. Octagonal will always remain one of my favourite racehorses.
After moving to the United Kingdom, racing took a back seat for a few years. It seemed too hard to learn the game all over again - new tracks, new trainers, new information.
Eventually my interest in the sport could not be denied. In a new era of faster personl computer technology and data analysis, I could now dig into databases of past race results searching for profitable systematic angles. This continues to be my main mode of operation today. Utilising the R statistical computing language and basic statistical methodology, the quest for profit continues every day.
The main thrust of this blog will be to explore racing data and the ways it can be used to predict winners. Although, finding winners really isn't enough. The secret to profiting long term is finding enough winners at the right prices. All part of the journey to find an edge.
I have also invested in a number of horses in the last eighteen months. Hopefully a few of them will be winners. To date there have been some small successes with Dominium.