A solid start; but plenty to work on & still plenty of time. I thought now would be as good a time as any to touch base and just have a quick glance back over the year so far. I am coming off one of the more frustrating weekends on the punt. It has been a solid start to the year but this weekend saw the year to date drop from around the 14-15% POT mark down to a fraction over 11% (all results are now updated on site).

Second place is just the first place loser

Saturday in particular was frustrating. I identified eleven races to bet into. I found the winner in four of them and in six of the other seven, was on the horse running second. Most of those were by narrow margins or in unlucky fashion. While it is pretty easy to get disheartened at that, it is probably a good reminder to take stock and comfort in the fact that I am around the mark. Had a few of those photo finished gone the other way this could be much more of a celebratory article.

Year to date performance not so grim

The year as I said has started on a solid note. January and February saw a return of around 15% POT both months and March is literally a result of -$1 at the moment. The consistency of winners has been good but I have probably been disappointed not to really turn a decent day into a really big one.

One thing I have changed this year is to try and be more selective as to what races I suggest to bet into. Even while doing that, I have found this year that I have still bet into races (mainly Group One races) that I probably shouldnโ€™t have. It certainly is a game where you never stop learning.

What’s working so far

The method I have found that has worked really well for me this year is putting greater emphasis on how certain races will be run and which horses will be suited best by that. A good example of this was Gailo Chop in his last two runs. I was really keen on him two starts back at Caulfield where he looked to get complete control of the race and own it out in front. That is how it turned out and we got the chocolates.

While the Australian Cup looked a similar type of race, there as always going to be more pressure up front and Gailo Chop certainly wasnโ€™t going to get his own way. The appearance of Supply And Demand in the race along with multiple Lloyd Williams runners always suggested he was going to struggle to gain control of the race. That is exactly how it panned out. While Gailo Chop was clearly the run of the race, he just got no peace and was ultimately touched off narrowly by the outsider Harlem.

Focus for improvement

While I think that extra focus has worked really well for me. Areas for improvement and an important lesson is not to be scared. Follow your gut instincts and have a crack. Gailo Chop, Spanish Reef and to a lesser extent Kementari have probably been horses that I could have went harder on but didnโ€™t and saved on other horses. So that is something I am going to keep in mind over the coming weeks.

As always, please feel free to send through any feedback and thanks to everyone who tweets/sends messages, it is really appreciated.

Looking ahead with Golden Slipper and The Championships

Looking ahead we are about to embark on some really serious racing in Sydney with the Golden Slipper and Championships coming up in the next couple of weeks which should provide not only the opportunity to watch some great racing, but some excellent betting opportunities.

For the more immediate future this week. A midweek Wednesday preview looks likely for Melbourne with a handy meeting at Sandown. I will also cover the Moonee Valley meeting in full on Friday night. Saturday might look a bit different. I paid the price late last year for getting involved at Pakenham and Ballarat on their stand alone Saturday meets and had shockers both times, so I am only going to bet at Mornington in races where I am really confident we can get a result. That may mean I give the meeting a miss all together. Obviously on Saturday there will be a heavy focus on the Rosehill Golden Slipper meeting and will look to get back on track at Doomben as well. Coffs Harbour also have a meeting on Sunday and I typically have some luck there so I will look to get up a small preview for that to keep us going on Sunday.

There is plenty happening, it is a busy time of year and while I would have loved that POT to be up around the 15-20% mark, I still think we have started the year well enough to give us a good base moving forward to hopefully deliver a successful year on the punt.

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