Good racing tipsters can be a very powerful ally...

We established last month that tipsters are actually an integral part of the sport we love and almost every punter uses them whether they’re backing Jason Weaver’s pick on ITV Racing, Templegate’s nap in The Sun, Pricewise’s selection in the Racing Post, or paying a subscription to Cleeve Racing. So the real question is….

Can a tipping service actually make me money?

The short answer is yes… but the biggest gamble you’re likely to make is which service to trust. There are a myriad of services out there and all of them claim to be profitable in one way or another. But think about it: if it was that easy to make a profit from backing horses, would there be any bookmakers? And is any service going to claim it will lose you money when it wants to attract paying clients?

How can I really trust what a tipping service is telling me?

Whilst I’m not saying for a moment that there are tipping services out there that tell downright lies, there are ways that they can ‘spoof’ profitability without being completely open. Take for instance selective timescales

Only consistent long-term profits are worth anything. Members of 'Winnerswinnerswinners' may have made a profit of £1,000 in July, but what has happened in the 6 months before July and why exactly are 'Winnerswinnerswinners' choosing not to talk about it? If, during that period, there were combined losses that added up to more than £1,000, you’d have lost money punting - added to which would be the cost of your monthly subscription.

Other services may only publish their winners. If they do, this should be a massive red light, because if they’re not prepared to report every bet, the only impression you can reasonably make is that they’re running scared of their losers.

So is it reasonable to assume that the prices quoted on winners is actually attainable? I know of one service that claims 16/1 winners to advised stakes of £200. Good luck with getting that bet on - and I wish you even more luck in getting any kind of bet with that bookmaker afterwards!

I’ve got all that… so what or who do I trust?

First of all, trust your intuition.  You’ve been punting a long time (and you're probably north of 50 too!).  Life experience counts for a lot, so what does your gut tell you?

Does the service appear to be professionally run? Does the brand itself look professional (are there typos, poor grammar and/or shoddy design on the website or is the messaging conflicting)? If they look and sound professional, it stands to reason that you’re likely to get a more professional service.

Other than that, do they have a clearly defined service proposition that tells you exactly what you are going to get for your money - and do these claims actually seem reasonable?

But by far the most important factor when choosing a tipping service is ‘ARE THE CLAIMS THEY ARE MAKING 100% VERIFIABLE?

Any tipping service worth its salt needs to be totally transparent to both existing and potential members. There are several high-quality review platforms out there that will ‘proof’ any tipping service that asks them - well, those that are confident enough to open themselves to scrutiny!

Proofing is when a service sends every bet it gives to members before it runs to a completely independent 3rd party. They will ask to proof for a period of usually 6-12 months.  This should be long enough to account for ‘swings and roundabouts’. The Reviewer then publishes its findings in detail, including:

  • Are all bets delivered in a timely manner and were the prices advised actually available?
  • Were stakes reasonable and what was the longest losing run?
  • Did they blow the recommended betting bank before the review period actually ended?
  • What was the overall profit or loss when the review finished?
  • Would you still come out in front after paying your subscription costs?

By far the best review sites in my personal opinion are Smart Betting Club, Honest Betting Reviews, Geegeez, and Casmaster.  But of course, there are many more out there.

Personal testimonials are also important but do bear in mind that...

‘I have been with Winnerswinnerswinners for 5 years now and made big profits every year, it’s paid for the family holiday and a new car every year’

may well have been typed in by the site owner. How can you know it’s true? The simple answer is - you can’t!

Testimonials made via an independent platform like Trustpilot (where service owners can only send out invitations requesting a review but have no access to what’s been written) give a much more reasonable level of trustworthiness. So if you can’t find any independent reviews, this should also be counted as a bit of a red flag.

And finally - the quickest and easiest thing to do ("why wasn’t this in the first paragraph? I hear you ask"), would be to go to Google and search for ‘complaints about 'Winnerswinnerswinners’.  If nothing comes up then they’re definitely worth a closer look. If, however, plenty of gripes are unearthed, it’s time to quickly move on.

That’s it for now.  Next month we’ll be asking: Why would I even use a tipping service in the first place?

If you have any questions on this or any other aspect of tipping services feel free to get in touch with me by emailing nick@cleeveracing.com