Life Is One Long Race-Day
There’s nothing more certain in racing than losing days. Even losing weeks, and months. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
As I pen this on a Monday afternoon the week has kicked off with a couple of losses at Wangaratta. My weekend revolved around Boom Time – who was a good thing beaten at Flemington on Saturday. It is hard to keep a level head.
The psychology of punting can be as important as your ability to read a race. There are plenty of excellent judges who are losing punters. In fact, some of the very best racing analysts I’ve come across can’t find a way to win and turn their skill into profitable punting. Conversely, there are mediocre judges who display enormous discipline that are able to profit from horse racing.
When punting, there are five words that I lean on during bad runs: “Life is one long race-day”.
There is no last race. There’s no need to blast out in the ‘Get Out Stakes’.
Overcoming losing runs comes down to trusting your process. I find that I’m drawn to short-priced favourites during downturns, seeing them as an easy way to arrest the slide. This isn’t my modus operandi – my best results are away from the pointy end of the market – so I know it spells trouble.
My punting relies on a form of level staking that allows me to cash in on long-priced winners. Focusing on trials and jump-outs, my standout runners are often ones the big teams ignore and as such, they are often ignored. In times of confidence, I have no issue betting against a drift and have the same stake on a 20/1 pop at a 2/1 shot. When a losing run takes hold, I find myself lessening the stake on roughies. I start over-betting the short-priced runner and ultimately, steering away from the process that I’ve found to be successful.
If you’ve landed on a profitable punting process or method, the key message is to stick with it religiously. Downturns are inevitable. Don’t let them affect you, stick to the strategies that worked prior to the downturn and before too long you will be backing winners. From first-hand experience, I can assert that pivoting your strategy and trying to ‘blast out’ will only increase the damage.
If a losing run continues, take a break. Reassess your process or method – you may need to adjust your approach to analysis or wagering strategy.
Punting during a losing run is tough. Sticking to your guns isn’t easy. But, in my experience, I’ve found that keeping a level head ensures the downturns are endured, and overcome, with limited damage.
For a punter, life is one long race-day. Never punt like the last race on a card is your final change to break-even – there’s always tomorrow.