The day has finally arrived. My favourite week of the year. Since 2009, my colleague and fellow blogger John Considine has put my punting to the test and monitored my wagers to see if I can beat the market. I failed in 2009 but succeed in 2010, 2011 and 2013. 2012 was probably my worst week ever – only one winner in four days!
The logic (and economics) behind this annual test is grounded in the pioneering work of Professor Eugene Fama. Fama’s publication "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work" appeared in the May 1970 issue of the Journal of Finance and conceptualized the efficient market hypothesis (EMH). The work changed the way we think about markets forever.
Put simply, Fama concluded it was not possible to ‘beat the market’. The house always wins. I’m prepared to put EMH to the test again.
A word of caution. Although, I follow national hunt racing throughout the season, I know no more than the next punter. Selections are based on my best judgement. I am in no way confident of each one’s success. The best advice I can give is trust your own judgement.
Day 1 Summary
After getting off to a flyer with Vautour, the day got steadily worse. Rock On Ruby ran very poorly in the Arkle while King Massini fell when travelling quite well in the 2.40pm. We were unlucky that both Hurricane Fly and Cockney Sparrow finished 4th, just outside the each way money. The latter was backed at 10-1! Foxrock was our selection in the amateur riders race and just wasn’t good enough, while Ohio Gold was injured in the finale and was pulled up. Some work to do to catch up. Overall stake was €14. Return of €6.38. Loss on Day one of €7.62.
Day 2 Summary
The second day was almost a replay of Day 1 for us. Faugheen (owner/trainer/jockey combination) put us well ahead, following on from Vautour yesterday. However, that was again the highlight. Neither Carlingford Lough nor Waheeb were good enough to get involved at the business end of the 2.05 or 2.40. Sizing Europe (12-1) ran a cracker in the Champion Chase but was sadly passed on the run in to finish 4th and deny us each-way money. Sire Collonges led until the 27th fence in the cross-country chase but faded in the closing stages. Ivan Grozny and Vigil were our final two selections. Both had chances turning in but neither managed to finish in the places. Overall stake of €14 saw a return of just €5.25. Loss on the day €8.75. Total loss to date of €16.37. Plenty of work to do to turn this one around. EMH is well ahead at the half way point.
Day 3 Summary
After success in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, I'm starting to thing Fama may be right. Frustration abound. Felix Younger, Al Ferof and Salubrious all failed to fire, while Annie Power was second. Fingal Bay did give us success at 11/2. The last two selections were Third Intention (5th) and Buddy Bolero (fell). Stake of €12. Return €8.88. Loss of €3.12. Better than Day 1 and Day 2 but still well behind. Overall loss €19.50. A miracle is now required to beat the market.
Day 4 Summary
Friday brings redemption. Guiter Pete (9/1) On The Fringe (11/2) and Claret Cloak (7/1) all finish 3rd and pick up each-way money. However, the highlight of the day is our Gold Cup winner Lord Windemere (28/1). Total Stake of €14 sees a return of €25.50. Profit on the day of €11.50. However, the market wins. Overall loss of €8 over the four days.
Hats off to Fama on this occasion.