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Interview with David Peat!

About 6 months before I started Focus Ratings I also started a small blog which detailed my learning curve with all things Horse Racing.

Once Focus Ratings was under way though, I found that I didn't have time to do both and so I stopped updating the blog.

I am now shutting down the blog and have decided to move some of the content over here - purely for your amusement only.

I recently did a quick review of

and was so impressed (especially with the free bulletins available on the latter site) that I asked the site's owner, David Peat, if I could interview him.


Mad, striped shirt wearing, Newcastle United supporting fool that he is....

He agreed!

The interview starts here!

1). David, how did you first become interested in Horse Racing?

I became interested in horse racing at an early age - thanks to my grandad who used to ask me each Saturday to pick 3 horses from the televised races - he would then put on a Round Robin at the local bookies and we would watch the races together and any winnings woould be split 75-25 - well, I was only 6!!

2). David, you live in France. What made you move over here?

Was it the superb range of extremely smelly cheese and the abundance of excellent red wine that attracted you or....

Were there other, lesser, reasons?

Not a very exciting answer I am afraid but life in the UK had become far too stressful, working ever longer hours, missing the children's birthdays, so we both decided it was time for a change and South West France was that.  

We were lucky in that we did not come to France with no help and support as my parents have lived here for about 20 years.

3). Your excellent free daily bulletins and weekly reviews that you post on (and I still can't believe that you give them away for free!)

What is the reasoning behind that?

There is so much rubbish being sold at the moment – get rich schemes – win £10,000 per week that I decided to give something for nothing.

In the past I have sold this information last year it was for a small fee of £27 but this year I felt that although I had a decent clientele I would like to get the information out to more people and let them see that there are genuine providers.

4). Your eBooks (available at are very detailed and well worth the £17 that you charge for them.

Is producing these a full time job or do you have other work that you do as well?

Affiliate Alert!

Just so that you know, I am not an affiliate of David's - if you decide to buy those 5 eBooks then I'll make the grand total of... "Nothing at all/Not a Penny (not even a centime!)" out of it!

And, if I can endorse something that doesn't earn me a penny then...

What greater recommendation is there than that?

I would love to be able to do this full time but I do have to have a day job as well, which is looking after the grounds of a chateau - all 220 acres of them!

A normal working day for me is 7 to 8 hours working at my day job then another 3 to 4 hours updating my horse profiles and creating my daily and weekly bulletin as well as writing the 5 books that are available to buy this year.

5). How do you find the French Horse Racing scene differs from the British one?

The French racing tends to be more family orientated and is far cheaper to visit than its English counterpart.

Let’s take for example the cream of racing, the Arc De Triomphe meeting; entry to the grandstands last year was 8 euros or around £6.50 and this lets you go where ever you want apart from obviously the hospitality rooms.

With my family, we visited another course at Vichy whilst on holiday and the children and wife had free entry and I paid 4 euros – this encourages the next generation to become interested - something the English should take on board.

6). You launched your first product in 2006 with the excellent Profiting from Horse Profiles (if I'm right?) - was it always a dream to earn part, if not all, of your living from providing quality Horse racing related products?

Yes 2006 was my first book as you so rightly mention and yes it has always been a dream to earn some money from horse racing and this was an ideal way of doing that.

7). And - where you give away your excellent bulletins for free! What are your ongoing plans for that site?

My short term plans are too keep the blog so that I can provide information for free and this allows me to look for new angles and systems which I will be able to share on this platform.

8). I'm a long time fan of the Isle of Man TT and I love watching the races from the point of view of the on-helmet or on-bike cameras.

Do you think that we'll ever have on-horse cameras and, if so, would it add to, or detract from, the sport?

It certainly would be interesting as you could see how a jockey rode a race – whether they would want that is a different thing!!

9). Still on a technology note; I am constantly amazed that we, in the UK, don't have sectional timing on our UK horse races.

Do you think that we should do or, would our variable weather make a mockery of the results?

I feel on the flat where each course is different and distances can vary depending on where they decide to put the running rail that it would not prove to be worthwhile – however I cannot see why it cannot be introduced on the AW as races are run on the same surface and over similar tracks.

10). On a far more serious note...

In the photo to the right (in which, you are once again, wearing a striped shirt?), I've noticed (and I've checked and double checked - I've even brought in a independent expert to confirm my suspicions), that you appear to be drinking a glass of wine from a bottle sealed with a plastic cap rather than a cork!

Forensic fanatics who want to check my detective work could click on the image to see it full size!

Is this...

(a) An attempt at reverse chic? In other words, are you trying to say that.. Even though you might live in a chateau in France, you are still a man of the people?

(b) An error of the part of the waiter - you ordered a bottle of 1948 Chateau Haut Laffite (nice plonk if you can get it!) and...

Because of your strong geordie accent, the waiter thought that you said..

"Bring me a bottle of your finest cooking wine, mon ami!"

(c) You actually like the stuff that costs 60 centimes a litre from the little co-op behind the boulangerie?

I can put my hand on my heart and blame my two Welsh friends for me having to force this 60cent a bottle of wine down my neck and I have to admit after that night I will not be drinking it again – bad head and taking two steps forward and one back on the way home had no influence on this decision what so ever.

11. A Family Question

In this photo of you (and yet again wearing a striped shirt??) with your gorgeous wife and lovely children (well, I assume that they are your lovely children and that you haven't just borrowed two photogenic children from a complete stranger in order to make the photo look better?)

But, for the sake of argument, assuming that those lovely two children are, in fact, your lovely two children and...

You caught them sneaking off to the PMU with their school dinner money in order to put it all on a complete outsider!

Would you....

(a) Immediately change to paying for the school dinners monthly by check?

(b) Threaten to lock them in a small windowless room with John McCririck for three hours if you ever catch them doing it again?

(c) Sit them both down and explain to them that the propensity of complete outsiders to win is in inverse proportion to the attractive (but occasionally unrealistic) odds that are on offer. And that, in any case, most professional punters make their money by finding value rather than high priced winners. And, furthermore, betting at the PMU is not the most cost effective way of losing your dinner money; there are online bookmakers and betting exchanges where you can lose your dinner money at a slightly slower rate.

(d) All three of above and then tell them that next time they need to invite you along as well!

Probably (d) without referring to answers a, b and c at all as I can hardly talk as, at their age, I had a bookies runner in the form of the school caretaker.

What a great guy!

I presume they thought I was just talking to him over the fence while he lit his morning fire - 2 really good years and then we moved school – Bugger!!

11). What is a PMU?

David, could you, for the sake of our English readers, try to explain what is the difference between a PMU in France and a Bookies Shop in the UK? By the way, if you feel the need to pop out to your local PMU to do some onsite research (and perhaps, boire un coup ou deaux? in the name of journalistic integrity), please feel free to do so...

The French really care about their racing and want to protect it at all cost – hence why myself and Keith have to go through hoops to get a bet on UK racing.

This in my opinion is a good thing as prize money in France is certainly of a far better standard than that in the UK.

The PMU is like the Tote in England, however whilst in England you can bet with every other Tom, Dick and Harry here in France you can only use the PMU.

The PMU puts the majority of money back into the sport whilst in the UK the bookies only give a percentage each year and this gets smaller each year as they take bets on everything and anything – take virtual racing now we even have to pass an arcade to get to the counter, oh dear I better stop before this turns into a full rant.

12). If you had just one tip to give to new arrivals to horse racing, what would it be?

Think outside of the box and do not follow the crowd by this I mean not to follow a newspaper tipsters or each race favourite: you need to read plenty of books before you start as I was very influenced by Nick Mordin (Betting for a Living) and Alan Potts (Against the Crowd) and find an angle that very few other people use.

13). National Hunt Jumps, The Flat, All weather or, those silly trotting horse and cart races they have here in France - what is your preference, and why?

Oh God, not trotting racing - what a complete waste of space!

Give me National Hunt racing any time of the day!

What other sport leads you through the year to two jewels in Cheltenham and Aintree, need I say more.

14). David, just for the record...

What was your best ever betting day?

As I tend to back only in singles now I have to go back a long way in the betting journals and it was a double on Greg Norman to win the Wentworth Match play in golf and Dancing Brave for the Arc De Triomphe.

I would have bettered this as I had backed Mr Snugfit to win the Grand National from some very fancy prices downwards and every spare penny I had each week I would back the horse again, jumping the last I was overjoyed as he looked nailed on to win only to be mugged by Last Suspect (the one that got away but never forgotten!)

15). David, this is almost the last question...

Those of us who live in France (the 700,000 Brits and the 65 million Froggies) generally agree that Johnny Hallyday is, in fact, the greatest rockstar that you've never heard of and...

That his greatest hit, Que Je t'aime is, in fact the best rock tune that you've never heard and should really be the new French National Anthem.

Would you care to comment?

And do you really think that the great Johnny should be the new French President?

What is it with France and ageing pop stars this is something I do not get this at all – that said, he could be no worse than the current incumbent.

16). And finally, David....

I can understand your sad and futile addiction (and I know that there are medical resources available to you) to Newcastle United FC (and I speak as a sad and futile Spurs supporter - perhaps the only one in France?) but....

Could you, for the benefit of my readers, try to explain the Striped Shirts?

Having given me a complex about stripes we had a big bonfire last week and burnt them all I am now off to buy some new plain and boring shirts with no strips checks or any other patterns.

My Last word is Newcastle 3 Wigan 0 (I have had this interview for weeks waiting until Newcastle won) Howway the TOON!!

David, thank so very much (or, merci beaucoup, as we say in France!) for your time and patience and...

For being so much of a sport!

I'd love it if some of the readers of this blog would head over to or and have a look round.

I'm sure that if anyone has any other questions that they want to ask you they can post them as comments here and you'll do your best to reply?

Once again, thank you very much David Peat for being the very first ever victim willing interviewee here at

I suggest you pop down to your local PMU, put a couple of euros on a complete outsider and have un demi (ou trois) to help you decompress?

keith-eckstein  the horse racing scholar



Have you visited

What did you think of David Peat?

Were you as super impressed (or super impressé as we say in France) as me?

Feel free to leave a comment if you have something to say.

Your opinion is valued!


Links and further study...

1). Frankel: The Wonder Horse - Champions Day, Ascot 20 October 2012, saw Frankel win his 14th race, a 100 per cent win record, and a truly outstanding performance confirming his status as a superstar. Frankel: The Wonder Horse is the complete illustrated story of the world's best racehorse. The book charts the superstar's career from his birth through each of his races to his 'retirement' at Banstead Manor Stud. Frankel set the bar higher than any horse has ever done through utterly memorable performances and the book relives these races and the incredible training feat by Sir Henry Cecil. Assembled from the archives of the Racing Post, the book includes contributions from all his connections as well as a complete record of all his races and full statistics of his phenomenal career. Fully illustrated with stunning photographs from the Racing Post's archives.

Get the book here... Frankel: The Wonder Horse.

2). Kauto Star: A Steeplechasing Legend - It is widely accepted in the world of jump racing that Kauto Star is the best steeplechaser since the immortal Arkle half a century ago. The only horse ever to have regained the Cheltenham Gold Cup crown, and a scarcely credible five-time winner of the other classic of the jumps season, the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, Kauto Star has posted an extraordinary record during eight seasons racing in Britain. But it is what lies behind the statistics which make the Kauto Star story so compelling: the rivalry with stable companion Denman, his next-door neighbour in the Somerset yard of trainer Paul Nicholls; the fallibility expressed in his earlier chasing years by the heart-stopping habit of making at least one major blunder in a big race; the apparently terminal slump in his form as he reached veteran status, which only made the resurrection more glorious. Kauto Star: A Steeplechasing Legend tells that uplifting story as it unfolded through the pages of the Racing Post and the incomparable photographic skills of the Post's photographers, to make a worthy celebration of the life and career of one of jump racing's all-time greats.

Get the book here... Kauto Star: A Steeplechasing Legend

3). Precision: Statistical and Mathematical Methods in Horse Racing - "Precision ... Statistical and Mathematical Methods in Horse Racing" thoroughly discusses the mathematical and statistical methods in handicapping and betting techniques. Differentiations, combinatorics, normal distribution, kernel smoothing and other mathematical and statistical tools are introduced. The jargons and equations are kept to a minimum so that it is easy to understand for most readers. More than 20 professional programs are freely available to download, which can allow readers to easily apply the methodology introduced in the book.

Get the book here... Precision: Statistical and Mathematical Methods in Horse Racing

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