As is tradition this week, we turn to the Cheltenham Festival. Over the past years we have tested whether rules of thumb such as following certain jockeys or trainers offer a successful strategy for beating the market. This year I will try something different and am deferring to the knowledge of those within the industry.
For the next 4 days we will follow a selection of industry professionals listed in the Irish Daily Star and Paddy Power supplement, making predictions across all races each day.
I will assume a consistent betting stake with updates to follow during the week.
Let's see if the "experts" can beat the bookies!
Day 1 appears to be a day for the bookies. The table below presents the results for our ten experts, that are sourced from many aspects of the racing industry.
We assume a €10 stake in all races. Each way predictions are assumed to be €5 on win and €5 on the place. In a number of instances the expert tips two horses. In these cases we split the stake, and put €5 on both.
Matt Chapman, Ruby Walsh and Mick Fitzgerald all mention a winner but cite another horse in the same race. Hence a 0.5 correct score is reported. 3 of the 4 jockeys listed failed to pick a winner in any of the seven races.
Just two of our experts finished ahead after Day 2. TV Presenter Matt Chapman was certainly the man to follow. He tipped no less than 5 winners (including one each way) yesterday including Band of Outlaws and Envoi Allen, as well as Brewin'upastorm each way at 11/1. In total, the flamboyant television presenter made a profit of just over €57 on an even €10 stake.
Mick Fitzgerald was the only other pundit to finish ahead and reported an impressive 90% increase in stake having correctly picked 2 from 3.
Overall results for Day 1 and 2 below. Just 3 of our 10 experts are ahead after the combined first two days of the Festival.
The final standings are now presented. Not surprisingly, the bookies managed to get the better of all but of our experts.