Meet John… Cleeve Racing’s new Head Tipster – part 1

Hi there, we want to wish you all a much better 2021 that improves significantly on the last 9 months and gives us all some light at the end of the tunnel!

With December drawing to an end and 2020 finally consigned to the bin, we wanted to have a look at how our new head tipster John is performing after he has been ‘given his head’ and is now operating in line with his normal style rather than trying to fit in with the embedded Cleeve ‘house style’. This change was effected at the beginning of December.

In December we had a total of 42 selections, 24 win bets and 18 each-way bets. Of these tips he had 12 winners and 5 each-way places… this is a profit strike rate of over 40% which is really impressive. We finished the month of December well in profit and are now in front for the Winter Jumps season (season started 14th November), so the actions that we have taken that changed the scope of the Cleeve service seem to be justified so far… but admittedly it’s still early days.

We thought it would be a good idea to give you some background on John the person, and also an insight into how he goes about his selections strategy.

In the first part of this two-hander, John gives you some of his personal background and an idea of how he developed from his early punting days...

“Hi everyone, John here… I have been asked to pen a few words about myself and my punting background so here goes… I was bought up in a mining village in South Yorkshire and from my early teens, I always had an interest in horse racing. There were no racing stables nearby and I have never even sat on a horse never mind owned one, so there was never any ‘inside information’ to help me, the horses I backed were purely the product of the little information I could get from the daily newspapers... there was no internet in those days! I had my lucky 15 or whichever multiple took my fancy on the day and had those types of bets for years, with the odd success and good return masking the reality that I was actually a serially losing punter.

The years went past but things only changed when I started adopting a more systematic betting approach. I managed to get hold of a book by Clive Holt called Fineform and adapted his system a little and started to bet on only those selections, but without really knowing if I was winning or losing and I quickly realised I needed to keep records of every bet I placed and I also realised I needed a betting bank to separate my betting, win or lose, from the household money.

Putting the initial betting bank together was a problem for me because we were not particularly well off and every penny used to count. I discussed my conundrum with the wife and assumed that would be the end of that. But then a few months passed with me still using my Holt system when my wife said “look I have my annual bonus soon at work and I’ll give you £200 open up an account and you can do your bloody punting properly like you know you should be” Not only was I totally flabbergasted, but these proved to be wise words from the gaffer indeed… (and is more proof that she’s always right!)

My betting bank soon started to grow, I only started off staking £2 a point, but the weekly total staked came to over £50, which was a not inconsequential amount of money in those days. As the bank profit grew and I became more confident in my selection process, my stakes increased, but I hit the inevitable downturn in results and the betting bank started to decrease. I stopped using the Holt system as a template and turned my focus on trainers who were in red hot form. Once again, I started to see my betting bank grow, and once again I couldn’t sustain it and hit a downturn again… can you see a pattern emerging? Over the years I followed many different systems that on their own were not quite enough, but each time I picked up bits of knowledge along the way. On the way, I have also read many, many books on the subject of the psychology of gambling and horseracing selection strategies.

My betting bank now is now quite large and I stake large amounts over a monthly period. I mostly always stake to flat amounts which I believe gives you a clearer indication of how successful your methods are. I am not a fan of each-way betting unless the bookmakers are offering extra places. My methods have become more and more tuned as time has passed and my experience has grown.

In part two of this post, I'll be looking at my betting 'style' from the perspective of selection strategy, staking and betting banks so I look forward to seeing you then.

Wishing everyone all the best for the future

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