BOZmail – 21st MARCH – the 2020 home of the BOZmail

Welcome to the BOZmail service including the daily LESS IS MORE bet. 

SATURDAY MARCH 21st  2020 

I am preparing my thoughts on the abolition of the ISP in Racing as an upshot of this cessation in UK racing as a result of a request from a BOZmailer to get forum activity underway during this crisis cessation. It will take me a day or two and I wanted to quote from an article I wrote on why you never place a bet at SP a while back. Not been able to locate the article yet but during the search I stumbled across this argument for never backing each way that was commissioned by Betting Insiders and contains some useful stuff on why I recommend trading the to follow horses that I thought may be of interest to new BOZmailers who haven’t yet got their head round the trading element of my work. This article was written in 2018 and I have moved on from it a bit. In particular worked hard to omit those trades that present no chance to hedge (part of my to follow list criteria for selection these days) but I thought I would reproduce the article in total as was during this quiet spell. It does throw up some points of interest I think and gives a bit of a picture of the practicalities of trading that I don’t write so well about in ephemeral emails. Reproduced in full below….. 



Currently standing at 22.8778 points (temporarily suspended)



Currently standing at 10.4606 points



Currently standing at 4.90 points


BOZmail 2020 cycle current overall profit = +5.2384 points


LESS IS MORE: (temporarily suspended)

LIM 2020 Strike Rates: Lays: 23/36 = 63.88%  Backs: 9/26 = 34.61%

US RACING – SATURDAY play in Crisis Corner


Spent ages looking but not found one. There’s a race at Tampa on Sunday that fits the bill so I’ll exercise patience and wait for that. Weird this. Less is More is definitely the thing but never been here before where the selectivity developed leads you to not betting at all! On a Saturday. Saturday without a bet. Unheard of! Of course there are a million dog races I could tap into. Old BOZmailers will remember the trials I ran two years back on daily dog tipping. Reading the markets beforehand is the problem still to be overcome. Tissues are highly unreliable these days and a reliable market only really forms in the twenty minutes before the off. So working a play in advance is tight.

Am on it though. Thinking how I might best be able to tap into that here. I do ok betting on dogs. Less well tipping on them! Today’s plan is to work out a playable strategy for the Bozmail picking up from where I left off in January 2018. Bear with me.  

The Boz’s March US & Irish Racing LIM results:  (£100 bank)

18th:  -£4-10 (-£4-10) Lay @ 1.7 : Back @ 21.0

19th:   NO BET

20th:  +£2-94 (-£1-16) Lay @ 3.0

21st:   NO BET

 Good Luck with your bets.



LIM Monthly Scores:

February: + 1.3496 points

March (truncated): + 1.5282 points


The BOZmail golden rules:

1/ Try to look where others do not.

2/ Make sure your selections are as good as you can get them(the boz’s job here)

3/ Get your staking right (up when confident – down when less so or when managing bank)

4/ Do all in your power to get best price available(whether that be using price comparison sites or using partial staking techniques on the exchanges when unsure which way a price might go. Be careful not to take exchange ‘silly prices’ if you are going in early on a lay price or if a specified low lay tissue price goes on a significant drift. Always check bookmaker tissue prices first to get a guide on what to expect from the market if it is not yet properly formed on the exchanges. The recommendation is always to secure a price (if possible) when actually placing the lay bet. Your discretion based on personal form study and watching the markets develop also encouraged to ensure you maximise returns.The staking advices are a general rather than rigid dictate – mainly for the less experienced and those not able to spend time watching markets develop and practising the optimum betting time skill. Remember also that a lay price available at a significantly lower level than stated on the sheet offers opportunity to increase lay stake without increasing calculated safe lay liability. This can be a key profit optimising tool in the long term if your form study agrees with that published by The Boz.

5/ Always keep in mind the long term ‘importance of  breaking even’ philosophy and practice. This is very much used by The Boz in his staking advices and is recommended in your betting practices – especially during the down spells – in order to maintain a healthy and consistent bank.

6/ Always remember the BOZ does traditionally suffer from Murphys Law. If he expresses his opinion but states that he won’t be betting on it himself and isn’t making it an official tip, remember that historically these can be his best advices! The 2019 Grand National opinion expressed paid a £2,260-93 tricast for a £60 (£1×60) permed stake (five selections). 

7/ Never accept an overall loss. This has been the BOZ’s mantra for 22 years. The year the BOZmail posts an overall loss is the year he packs in.

“I play cautiously and strategically with bank management always in mind.”  Boz 



                   DASHING WILLOUGHBY

To mimic Mr Micawber, “ it is not in my estimable nature to impose upon my fellow man the machinations of an opinion that is far from being sagacious and could be,in view of my tendency toward pecuniary liabilities of a most trying and sadly far too frequent occurrence, a merest. and simply senseless, folly! “

How many politicians and world leaders over the years might that also mimic, eh? Indeed Mr Dickens was not a writer without the sharpest of foresight.

To crib from his brilliance further, my reasons for quoting him here are far more ‘umble! I do not wish in any way to dictate betting methods to any of my fellow punters and have always been punctilious in my writing and tipping over the years that it is very much a case of each to his own. I tell you what I fancy as a result of my work and research and you do with it what you will. You want to put your mortgage on my modest predictions then it is your right in a free world and society to be as bloody stupid as you like!

Because that does happen of course as every nervous tipster knows.It is a burden we carry and the reason why some tipsters do spoon feed their clientele with precise staking plans and dictated instructions of how and how not to bet. Such approach is entirely understandable.

Especially of course when you have as big a gob as I have and a tendency to phrase your reading of an upcoming sporting event in such a fashion as to suggest that you have just borrowed Doctor Who’s tardis and travelled forward to tomorrow’s meeting at Kempton and seen what happens in all the races so know exactly how to form your bets for the day! And no you may not submit that idea as a pilot episode to the BBC producers currently engaged in making the excellent new series of Doctor Who. I’ve been banging the door on that one for years!! The Cybermen go through the card at Ascot and use the proceeds to finance galactic domination! For some reason, I think the BBC considers it politically incorrect! 

Apologies, for I digress. The reason I mention all the above is because with my big gob, I posted on the Betting School forums a while back my opinion that each way betting is for mugs and that it was always something to be wary of when a tipster was suggesting an each way bet! I know! What about my each to their own philosophy? And it’s not as if I never had an each way bet. Nor indeed never tipped an each way selection. Done plenty of my share of each over the years.

Trouble is I also have this ability – very Mr Micawber like – to dismiss or simply conveniently choose to forget on any given occasion – the important lessons learned in life. Anyone else suffer that precocious case of ill discipline?

It was very early in my life that I received the each way betting lesson from my bookmaking father who patiently explained the maths behind why bookmakers invented each way betting and why it is in their interests to promote it. I don’t intend to replicate the maths here quite simply because it is too complicated and boring (although worry not, I am coming to some examples of trials that I have run to illustrate the point) but remember that bookmakers look at betting from a business point of view always. To ensure profit not loss. Their control of the odds on offer is the mainstay of that but the type of bet they offer is the more subtle version of their control.

And each way betting was an early example of that superseded in the modern world by all sorts of other variants like total goals and asian handicaps and how many head butts will Zinedine Zidane execute next season!

Put simply, an each way bet suits the bookmaker predominantly because it eeks two bets out of the punter rather than one. And both of those bets can go down. Turnover is paramount to the consideration of any multi-client business and on that simple premise alone, the each way bet was a golden goose invention to the bookmaking business and is why of course they promote and extend it like billy-o in the modern world. Yes, we’ll even pay you out on seventh in the thirty five runner handicap on Saturday because there’s still twenty eight losers and our maths suggests we’ll still come out in the black whatever the result!

Two bets instead of one. Two losers instead of one. But not two winners instead of one. One and a fraction of a winner. How many times have you split your stake on the 25/1 shot you fancied in the big handicap and then regretted it after as it hoses up as you thought it might and you realise that you just let the bookie off between 30 and 40 per cent of your winnings?

It is sold as a consolation prize of course for when your horse doesn’t win and who can blame punters and tipsters alike for protecting their egos and their mental health when the losing streak is on by backing to gain some profitable succour if their horse gets placed. I know I have. 

That said, it is part of my current discipline package – recently reviewed as ever it is – to give each way betting the swerve. If I fancy a horse to place now, I back place only (and of course that can be caveated with the feeling you get when it goes and wins and you are only on to place! – such is betting). Just my current discipline backing up my stated opinion in my own betting and tipping but of course what I said on the forums was a little more precise than just each way betting is for mugs. I stated that it has been superseded in the modern world in value terms by the ability to trade on each way fancies and that is the premise I adopted on my BOZmail daily tipping sheet in June 2018 (long overdue) and it is the example of one of those bets that I propose now to expand on as one of my two examples to illustrate and attempt to back up what I have postulated above.

The horse is Dashing Willoughby – a two year old miler trained by Andrew Balding who had won his UK debut Class 4 Rules race on the all weather at Wolverhampton (August 17) by a head at odds of 25/1 and impressed me enough in doing so to go on to my horses to follow list post haste.

His next time out was in a class 2 at Newbury ridden by Oisin Murphy – as opposed to David Probert who has ridden him on his other two efforts – and I fancied him strongly to run a big race at the early tissue price of 8/1 at which I tipped him up on my sheet.

In old money so to speak, it was an each way fancy at that price as the race was a big step up in class and although I did fancy him to handle the market favourite, there were several unexposed lurkers in the field (it was the 25/1 shot Raakib Alhawa who got up late to chin him and there’s a horse to add to your notebook) so that gung ho win bet it was strictly speaking not. Rather than tip up the each way bet, in line with my newly adopted tipping policy of recommending the trade and taking the best prices you can get, I was practising what I preached on the betting forums and here’s the maths behind my own trade so that you can judge for yourself whether you think I did the right thing by tipping up the trade rather than recommending a more traditional fixed odds each way bet.

In the ever fluid changing price market, I tipped at 8/1 on the evening before the race based on the initial tissue release but managed 10/1 myself on the exchange (win bet only) and due to sustained pressure in the morning and lead up to the race, Dashing Willoughby returned in second place at SP of 9/2. As is my practice and with 10/1 on a strong fancy (mainly because of the booking of Murphy to ride) I decided to leave my trading to go in play although of course there were plenty of chances for profit arbitrage pre race with the price crashing all the time. In the actual race, I focussed on my prediction that DW had the favourite covered and they came head to head a furlong out and my boy did indeed show the much greater resolution under excellent strong riding and so I didn’t take the hedge offered at that point at 3.5. On into the last 50 yards with DW having asserted in front and trading at 1.33 my resolve broke as I saw the 25/1 monkey out of the corner of my eye finishing like a train and so I actioned my prepared hedge of 10 points at 1.5 which was matched at the aforementioned 1.33 and so I risked losing half my winnings if he held on and gained a wallop on my each way return when he got chinned on the line. That final decision is all a bit of a whirl of course which you’ll be used to if you have done any of that live last seconds trading. Did I really think DW was about to get beat? Or did I just cover myself in case he did? Thus the dilemma of trading and I’m not sure where the truth lies. Some of it is subconscious or instinct and you only add logical decision making reason to it when you are explaining after the event like I am now. Did I think he was about to get beat which is why I triggered the hedge? Yes. I tell myself that to justify the wisdom of my actions. Truth is I’m an ever cautious punter (which is why I got seduced by each way betting in the early days) and my deep subconscious will often get me covering myself  when the opportunity arises. It did so here to my immense benefit. There have of course been other times when it has cost me half my winnings but I never regret that. Better than being chinned on the line and losing all. Absolute truth in the explanation of reasoning is that maybe DW was gonna hang on and maybe he wasn’t. I don’t have access to the tardis to check what the result was going to be and it was that close!

It was an extreme example of the argument that trading provides better value than each way betting but here is a chart of the differential outcomes based on whether you backed DW as a fixed odds each way bet or whether you traded him on the exchanges and in running as The Boz did.Always helpful as an overview I find. All pre race bets were placed to one point and fixed odds to a split stake each way of 0.5 point. The exchange computations include deduction of commission.

                                                   Returns:     If Placed           If Lost If won

1.  BET TO WIN 1pt SP                                   -1 -1 +4.5

2.  BET TO WIN 1pt (AdvP)                            -1                         -1 +8.0

3.  BET E/W to split stake SP                        -0.05 -1 +2.7

4.  BET E/W to split stake (AdvP)                 +0.3 -1   +4.8

5.  Traded on exchange                                  +8.82 +8.82 +6.7

Although this is an extreme example and some trades will show far less plus when you add win and place potential together, it is significant to me that both elements of win and place trade return score greater than the fixed odds returns to advised price and the combined plus potential of both win and place are a whopping 10.42 points.

Which is the argument I place before you in asserting that to me in the modern world,trading a win bet is better value than fixed odds each way on a horse you fancy to run well in the modern world. Run your own trials on a selected number of each way fancies and see what results you come up with. That’s what I’ve done for my second trial example when the editor of Betting Insiders asked me to do an article to back up my assertions made on the forums about each way betting. Before I come to that, can I also point out that I won more on my exchange play betting win and trading in running on Dashing Willoughby finishing second than I would have done if I had been confident enough to back him as a win bet only to advised fixed odds bookmaker prices. If that’s not an advert for playing on the exchanges, I don’t know what is!

So over 5 weeks in September/ October – as a side issue with the work I was doing on the forums – making Less is More lists on Nick Hardman’s Big Race picks where I tend to filter out his each way advices unless I give the selected horse a serious win chance, I kept stats on all horses selected at 20/1 or greater from both his daily lists and my own and traded and backed each selection at each way fixed odds to compare returns over an extended sample. This is because there are those that say when you get to 20/1 shots that you fancy, each way fixed odds betting does make sense for long term returns. I wasn’t sure whether I subscribed to that or not. Hence the trial.

Here are the results;

29 horses over five weeks between September 14th and October 19th 2018 all at advised prices of 20/1 or over drawn from Nick Hardman’s BRC coverage plus

THE BOZmail daily content.

1 winner

4 placed

24 losers

The return to 0.5pt each way fixed odds bets = -3 pts

I hasten to add that all five successful bets came from Nick’s lists. The Boz never even got one placed! And that the score on Nick’s selections alone was a very respectable +5 points. The winner was Handsome Bob and I’m still getting over not including that on my LIM list!

All 29 selections were bet to 1pt win on the exchanges with a view to hedging at a preferential price either in running or pre-race (largely dependent on whether I seriously fancied them or not) and I report that:

10 of the 29 selections were unsuccessful trades i.e. a preferential hedge price never appeared after bet was placed racking up a -10 points on the final record.

But that of the 19 successful trades, +18.6 points profit was yielded (almost 1 point per selection which is a decent return in the way of these things) making for a total plus on the 29 selections of +8.6 points which beats even Nick’s 5 point fixed odds score. Also worth adding that I did not get the in running trade on Handsome Bob that I should have done given that I hadn’t got him on my list of fancied horses and had thus traded him early and made just a measly +0.9on him as a 20/1+ winner. That’s how it is with trade figures really. No merit in what you could have achieved (with hindsight). All that matters is what you did achieve. 

But further evidence I would say that each way betting as a value play is a thing of the past. But do your own trials and see what you come up with. I shall be carrying mine on with both my and Nick’s selections to make for a 12 month sample on which I will report at a later date. 

Gary Boswell

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