Horse racing online was certainly not an option when I first started betting. I attended school in England for several years and the earliest recollection of placing money on a horse was at a point-to-point meeting when my friend’s father offered to take me along during spring break.
My approach to weighing up the field was based on the fact that the course appeared to be uphill and to my novice eyes, very demanding. Casting a glance on the runners I spotted a large dapple gray that appeared to have the size and power to face this daunting challenge and duly placed my on-course bet of two shillings (approx 20 cents) to win.
Despite my big beauty not being the fastest starter, his power prevailed and the elation of picking my first 8/1 winner will stay with me forever. Having become a “professional” punter at the age of thirteen I proceeded to donate my school dinner money to the local bookie for several weeks, until going without lunch due to severe (self induced) financial hardship I quit.
Several years later I chanced to watch a program on UK TV entitled ‘John Gough-Last Of The Big Punters’ (or something similar) and was absolutely amazed at the amount of work John put into his business. His study was full of formbooks and years of bloodline books.
What I thought was just a simple “knack” turned out to be a very intense system of study that he had dedicated years to perfecting. He became so feared by bookmakers he needed a dedicated (and well-paid) group of runners spreading his off-course bets while he spent thousands of pounds on course backing the wrong horse to win, in order to lengthen the odds on his real fancy.
With the advent of horse racing online and systems like Betfair much has changed over the years and although nothing beats the exhilaration of attending the live event, the opportunities to make money from the comfort of your own home have grown too.