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The Punter’s Revenge…

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 suppose, for me, the seminal horse racing book has to be The Punter's Revenge by Tony Drapkin and Richard Forsyth.

The book is full of information on statistics, bookmaking, prediction of horse races and football games.

It is, I have to say, slightly dated though; the code is all BASIC (does anyone still code in BASIC?), originally for the BBC Micro but all quite portable.

And that also means that there is no mention of betting exchanges just fixed odds and pools coupons.

The book is still available (second-hand) on Amazon and parts of it have been digitised by Google Books and can be read online here.

Tony Drapkin still uses ideas in the book to offer ratings for horse races, which can be seen at HOOF Ratings.

The author says of his book....

"Selected chapters from the old classic ’The Punter’s Revenge’, which I co-authored in 1987, are now available as an online resource in PDF for those interested in statistics and statistical approaches to horse racing. The book is very dated in places, but the statistical principles and methods that we advocated all those years ago, still hold. For technical reasons, the PDF version is not available on this site, but can be accessed by joining the HOOF discussion Forum."

The book starts off by explaining a bit about the history of gambling before delving into probability and statistics.

Next we learn more about bookmakers and racetracks before getting into the interesting stuff, the computer programming.

Now, I do have to say that you'll learn next to nothing about computer programming from this book but...

If you are planning to write a computer program to help you pick winning racehorses (or, indeed, losing racehorses for the layers amongst you), then you do need to read this book first!

The book has a nice easy style and is written in an accessible way.

Although I do have to say that it is a book to be studied rather than just dipped into; you do need to make the effort to ensure that you fully understand every page/chapter before moving onto the next.

Having said that, I can categorically say that, if you are planning to use computers in your search for racehorse profits then reading this book (and putting the time in to understand it) is a must!

So, if you can get your hands on a copy of The Punter's Pal (in paper or electronic form), snatch it up!

You might even be tempted to join Tony's discussion group at HOOF discussion Forum, as well?

See you there!

keith-eckstein  the horse racing scholar

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