Admitting Defeat

At what point should one admit that something isn't working? How long does it take for something to become a self evident waste of time?

Personally, I'm quickly approaching that place. Scratch that! I'm there already.

It is three weeks now since I proudly posted my best ever day on the pre-race horse markets. Three weeks since I declared that, finally, there may be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I'm afraid to say that that was something of a false dawn.

In those three weeks I have yo-yo'd (is that a word?) between profitable day and losing day. The result is, I've lost £25 in that time. The loss itself is unimportant, it's the marked lack of progress in that time that is getting me down. The past three weeks has been like swimming through treacle - not that I have ever indulged in that particular pastime, but I'm sure you get the right impression.

Trading the win markets in the last ten minutes before the off is just not working for me. I've tried using graphs, taking note of support and resistance points, but I'm just not getting it on a consistent basis. As a result, I am not enjoying the process at all and, I believe, that then instills a dangerous mindset. Consequently, I'm going to give the pre-race markets a rest for a while and look at other aspects of trading the nags.

I'm still trying to find an angle in the horse markets that will work for me. What that is, or will be, I have no idea at this stage. I'm going to embark on a paper exercise for a while and effectively write off the rest of July.

I'll have a little dabble in the greyhound markets when the mood takes me, but for the moment, the pre-race win markets are out of bounds. I'll still be around updating the blog as normal, as well as being available in the chat room during most afternoons.


Cassini said...

Hey Alistair. Why do you feel the need to paly the horses at all? The dogs were working well for you, so stick with what you're good at. Personally I don't go near either because I have no edge, and the markets are full of people who know far more than me, and if one doesn't have an edge, one is never going to be profitable.

playslip said...

Hi alistair,chin up mate, cant remember how many times i have done my bollocks, i had a total lack of discipline but now finding i can see the woods for the trees, good luck with any form of trading you do, keep up the blog and in my opinion this is one of the honest ones.

Alistair said...

Hi Cassini, what you say is eminently sensible as ever. It was important for me to at least try scalping the pre-race markets. There is money to be made there, but if you don't try how do you discover if you can grab some of it?

I'm happy that I gave it a good go and discovered that I couldn't find an edge, at least the way I was doing it, so I can move on to something else.

The greyhounds have taken a back seat for a while, partly because I wanted to try the horse win markets. I'd been feeling for a long time that I had reach the limit of what I was capable of on the dogs. Even though I was earning reasonable money on the dogs, I had to put in extremely long hours to do so and I felt it necessary to expand my 'portfolio'.

That reasoning still applies, which is why I want to return to soccer, as well as look at other sports. Will I find an edge in these markets? Who knows, but there's only one way to find out.

It will be fun trying, but in the meantime, a return to the dogs looks on the cards.

Playslip, thanks for the comments. Fortunately, I've not 'done my bollocks' since I started trading in Feb 08. I'm in a position now where I feel I can experiment in other markets. It's a pity I have failed to find my way with the pre-race trading despite there being plenty of opportunity to do so.

There's plenty of other markets to experiment with, even other avenues within horse racing. It was the place markets that set me off on this journey in the first place. Perhaps a return to those is worth looking at.

I'll concentrate on doing some paper trading for a while, and leave real trading on the back burner. I'll need to do that anyway as I have my accounts and tax return to do - joy of joys! - not to mention some big projects around the house.

Thanks again chaps for popping by.


Jose said...


It was Archimedes the one who made famous the word Eureka! He basically found the solution to a real tough problem after going for a bath to relax !

You can read more about it here

Taking time off is (most of the time) a really good idea. It gaves you a chance to step away from the problem and come back to it with a clear mind.

Good luck with the time off. I really enjoy reading your blog and your struggles make mine more bereable too !


PhilipH said...

Hi Alistair,

I took time off from trying to trade the horses - and I'm still enjoying the break of quite a few weeks now!

Just went back to my minimalist mug punting with much more success and enjoyment.

However, I really do think that most would-be traders on the nags find it difficult, if not impossible, to make it pay. It does seem logical and simple enough in theory - but practically it is just a hard slog, imo.

Wasn't it John T (The Gambler) who lost bundles after moving from tennis, cricket and other sports trading and trying his hand at racing? I am pretty sure this was his downfall.

Your greyhound trading seemed to give you a steady return month on month so perhaps you might stay with the devil you know best?

Good luck anyway, Phil

Anthony said...

I agree with most comments there Alistair. I have been guilty of struggling away at the horses when a change of sport was probably a good idea. This weekend really showed I had been banging my head against a wall when the cricket really paid off. Tennis and cricket are completely different markets to the horse racing and you might even ENJOY trading them. There's always loads of tennis which provides great opportunities and you've already got a bit of a head start there;-)