The solution, obvious as usual, is to concentrate on the top class meetings and races, rather than simply order the Racing Post for the same days every week in the hope of a suitable race. The Form Value method works best in big, lottery-style races and there is a steady stream of them to be exploited. I will start this coming Saturday at Ascot.

The other realisation is that I have actually developed a proper, professional approach to this all. I mean, I have a good grasp of form reading (including contrarian angles) and insights into the odds-making process, plus a strong motivation to make it pay. This of neccesity makes it a lonely business as one seldom meets others on the same wavelength. So be it, let’s see what the coming weeks bring.

The year so far has been good – not moneywise but as a learning curve. I haven’t previously been so conscious of the seasonal timescale; Ascot, York, Aintree and Cheltenham have been markers in the racing year. Consistency of method is crucial; I missed Balcarce Nov and Sesenta due to chopping and changing (at 66/1 and 28/1, ouch!) so no more of that. One’s role models are in the American books by Cramer and Quinn. And Klondyke Pete, of course :-) In short, there’s gold in them thar hills, let’s go prospecting!