August 2010 Summary

Well, it's that time again. Time for me to try and summarise another dismal month for me. My second losing month in a row and my third this year, indeed, my third since I started in Feb 2008.

August has been a frustrating month resulting in my biggest monthly loss since I started. Much of that loss was due to the lay system which started on a prolonged losing run as soon as I started putting my hard earned cash on it. Par for the course really. I stopped midway through the month only to see the system pick up in the last 10 days.

You just couldn't write the script for it.

A Dramatic Recovery

Unlike my trading, the lay system has seen a dramatic recovery over the past week returning the P&L back into positive figures and giving, as I type, the highest value since it started. Of course, this was bound to happen since I stopped putting money on it. :)

Over 50pts have been earned over the past seven days and is much more like the sort of performance I'd seen in May-July. The question is, why the deep and prolonged dip in it's fortunes over the past 3-4 weeks? Just a natural statistical blip that one might expect in any system, or something more interesting?

Oh Woe Is Me!

"Not again", I hear you say. Well, this may very well be the last time you hear me say it, as I have come to the point where I have to seriously consider my life as a trader. At least as a horse trader.

Twice today I was caught by someone with a hell of a lot more money than I have, suddenly bringing the price in from around 12.0 down to 7.0 in less than 5 secs.

The first of these happened early this afternoon when my lay sitting at 9.2 was swept aside as the market went from 12.0 to 6.8 in a handful of seconds. I managed to get out at 7.6 for an all red screen of £10.53.

Par For The Course

Isn't it just typical on the day after I decide to halt feeding the lay system with real money it turns around and gives me a completely win free day? Sod's Law, Murphy's Law? I can never remember.

I'll continue to monitor it's progress for the rest of the month as if I was putting cash on. However, until I figure out whether the poor performance over the past three weeks is a natural blip in the system and only to be expected, or something a bit more fundamental in the selection process I'll be keeping my wallet tightly padlocked and accept the 34pt loss I've incurred this month.

Now we all know what is going to happen don't we?

Time For A Holiday?

Another terrible day today with 5 out of 10 laid horses winning their race. This lay system, that showed so much promise in May-July, is turning into a major disappointment.

Since I started putting money on this on the 20th July, I now find myself over 15pts down. More worryingly, this month has seen a drop of 34.20pts after only two weeks. Although I promised myself I'd give it until the end of August, I have to seriously question the wisdom of that decision. That's a lot of points to lose in such a short space of time and my problem is, there's is no sign of a let up.

Easy Come, Easy Go

This laying lark is proving to be a bit of a roller coaster this month as yesterdays gains are wiped out and I'm back to square one. Go to Jail, do not pass Go and do not collect £200. You've got to laugh.

The same thing happened today as did yesterday. I tried building some green on the runners I intended to lay. Not once did I managed to build some insurance on those picks that went on to win. Indeed, I made things worse. I'm going going off Baldrick's cunning plan.

A Cunning Plan

Baldrick: I have a plan!
Blackadder: Really! A cunning and subtle one?
Baldrick: Yes
Blackadder: As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?

Since I started putting real cash into the lay system, I have avoided trading those races to keep things simple, make monitoring easy and it provided a nice 'break' between those races I was trading. Today however, I decided to implement Baldrick's cunning plan and trade those races. Specifically, trade the horse(s) that I was intending to lay in order to build up some green on it and act as slight insurance to cushion the blow in the event of a winner.

Black Wednesday

With obvious reference to the tumultuous events nearly 18 years ago, I suffered my own devaluation in the lay system today. Having suffered a late turnaround yesterday evening, the run of winning lays continued today. Out of 9 lays I had today, I managed to find 5 winners and completely blow the recovery I was experiencing clean out of the water.

So, after nearly 3 weeks of putting real money into the system, I'm slightly down. 1.78 points to be precise. However, my 100pt bank I set aside for this little exercise is more or less intact and I move on to the next day, but it is difficult to hide my disappointment with how this is progressing, or not as the case may be.

Today wasn't helped by some very shoddy trading on my part. resulting in one of the biggest daily losses I've had for some time.

Never mind, onwards and upwards...

A Game Of Two Halves

A phrase normally associated with football rather than horse racing, but it perfectly describes my day in the markets today.

The afternoon card was excellent and I had accumulated a decent total come dinner time thanks to some successful lays interspersed with solid, consistent trading. That was the first half...

Lay System Update

The lay system has picked up a bit over the past few days I'm pleased to say and I'm hopeful that that will continue. Having started putting real money on the picks two and a half weeks ago, things have nearly recovered after the bad run I had midway through.

It is in the nature of the system that bad runs will happen, and I am prepared for that, but I'm obviously happy that things have recovered.. With a bit of luck, things will kick on now and start showing the kind of monthly returns I saw in May, June and July, on paper at least.


With the new football season upon us, I thought I'd take this opportunity to invite you to join the forum where there are some interesting threads taking place in the horse section, with some others kicking off (pun intended) in the football forum.

If you haven't been there in the past, please pop by and say hello. It doesn't take long to register. If you've visited in the past, please do so again and join in the discussions - or create your own. It's a great place to explore new strategies, exchange views on trading and monitor progress of systems and plans.

Green Shoots Of Recovery?

I've been doing a lot of work in the garden recently and couldn't resist the title, though I've probably just given myself the KOD.

After the very poor performance of the lay system in recent times, I'm glad to see the signs of something of a recovery. A profit of 8 points was had yesterday and a similar return was on the cards to day... until the last race that is.

Lack Of Faith

Today I came away with a loss because I committed the cardinal sin when following a system.... I didn't follow the system!

I've had such a bad run this past week or so with the lay system that, following another couple of winners today, one right after the other, I allowed myself to be filled with doubt and didn't follow up on the other picks that the system had flagged up. As a result, instead of a near 3 point profit, I took a loss of just over 5 points. Very annoying and very silly.

So after a very promising start since putting my hard earned cash on the line, I now find myself a fraction in the red after having some 21 winners in the past eight days or so.

I've got the rest of the month to see if it picks up and starts to reflect what I was seeing the previous two and a half months.

Not The Best Of Starts

August has not started in the way that I had hoped. At least not as far as the laying is concerned. Three losing days out of three with today being the worst. I'm now down over 14 points in three days.

Actually, I cannot believe the number of winners I've been laying recently. Since the start of the Goodwood meeting a week ago, I've managed to lay nineteen winning horses. As Victor Meldrew would say, "I don't believe it". I'd be better off just selecting them with a pin!