Keith’s Notebook 1st April 2020

Hi Everyone

How are you?

Have your routines totally changed due to the lockdown? Or are you one of the many front-line staff in the NHS, care homes, supermarkets and other essential services?

Despite the fact I work from home my day has been turned upside-down read on to discover how it generally pans out. Next week I will tell you my lockdown schedule still just as busy but a complete change of routine.

What I will be covering in this edition of Keith’s Notebook.

  • The Virtual Grand National
  • FAQ – What does a horse racing tipster do?
  • This Week’s Suggested Reading and Viewing.

The Virtual Grand National

On Saturday at 5pm ITV are showing the Virtual Grand National a CGI rendered version of the race using a complex algorithm.

Runners have not yet been declared but the bookmakers have announced there will be a betting market on the race with all proceeds going to NHS Charities.

We will be running some kind of virtual competition on this virtual race so look out for the email nearer the time.

FAQ: What does a horse racing tipster do?

I can only answer this question for myself, other tipsters will have their own methods but my focus is not on picking winners but on eliminating as many losers as possible.

No tipster can provide you with a constant stream of winners and anyone who thinks they can find the holy grail and get a source of 100% winners, day in day out, that they can follow to £10 stakes and give up the day job is quite frankly living in cloud cuckoo land.  

I went semi-professional backing horses in 1994, my first bet in this new career was just £20 at 7/2 on Erhaab in the Derby, at least I started this era with a winner.

I have shown a profit on my horse racing bets every year since although some years have been better than others.

Below I have detailed a typical day.


  • 6:30 AM – Computer on, Kettle on, make coffee.
  • 6:35 AM – Review the day's prospective tips and finalise them taking into account non runners, going changes, overnight betting patterns etc.
  • 7:30 AM – Type up daily tips and send out emails to the respective services, My Inner Circle first followed by VIP Club and finally I pop the Little Beauty over to my colleague Mel to email to everyone else. Update the Today's Tips page of the FRT website. Update the relevant Facebook pages. 
  • 9:30 AM – Or on busy racing days when there is televised racing such as Saturdays and Cheltenham week this can be 11:00 AM or later – Break time, breakfast, get dressed take the dog out, most days for a 45 minute walk which gives us 2½ miles of exercise.
  • 11:30 AM – Close the entries for the VIP Club Tipster Competition and post the selections in the VIP Lounge on Facebook. It is always interesting to see what the members fancy, there are some shrewd operators amongst them.
  • 12:00 PM – Deal with emails.
  • AFTERNOON / EVENING – I watch as much live racing as possible, this is a vital activity and is key to building up my Tracker Horses often as many as fifteen in a week but generally around ten to twelve (these are shared with Inner Circle) and indeed the Notebook horses (an abridged version of four or five from the tracker) which are shared with all my email list subscribers.
  • 3PM – This is when the declarations for tomorrow are usually available. Jumps are 24 hour decs and flat 48 hour, but I don't work too far ahead and concentrate on the next day only. Since the flat introduced 48 hour declarations multiple entries have increased and therefore non runners have gone up too.
  • 3PM – 5.30PM – Identify the best races on the following day's cards for prospective bets and draw up a long list. Research the runners from this list of races checking form, conditions and ratings from various sources to create a list of possibles for each race on the long list, this can identify standout bets at times and on others reveals plenty of dangers. At this stage many races that can be eliminated from the equation.
  • 5:30 PM – Family meal.
  • 6PM – 8:30PM – 6pm is when most bookmakers have formed a betting market. This is when I review my list of prospects for the races left on my list against the markets and other metrics that were not available earlier, comments from the Racing Post, Sporting Life, Timeform and others can often reveal something I have missed although sometimes the opinions can be conflicting and muddy the waters a bit.  During this session notifications come through from my horse tracker, often I have already picked up that they are running but sometimes I have missed one or two and these merit another look at the respective races. Eventually I have a good idea what the tips for my various services are going to be for tomorrow's racing and I can call it a day.

Along with everything detailed above I am constantly researching and writing in order to improve my skills, much of what I have learnt will in time be passed on to members of my Inner Circle. Race research ends up in our “The Horses Mouth” Magazine, you may have read the Cheltenham edition.

This Week’s Suggested Reading and Viewing.

As this went down well with many readers last week here are a few more ideas to relieve the boredom.

A good watch on Youtube is when When AP McCoy met Aidan O'Brien

A fascinating look behind the scenes at the world-famous Ballydoyle as legendry jump jockey AP McCoy met world-famous flat trainer Aidan O'Brien back in 2018.

Watch it here


This week I am suggesting three DVD’s for your viewing:

  1. ChampionsThe 1984 film based on the true story of jockey Bob Champion and Aldaniti who won the Grand National against all odds.
  2. Frankel Superhorse – The story of Frankel is one of the greatest sporting stories ever told.
  3. 50 To 1A bunch of New Mexico cowboys head for the Kentucky Derby 2009 with their horse.


Three more of my favourite books from my extensive racing library are.

  1. Gambling For Life – The autobiography of processional gambler Harry Findley.
  2. The Tail End System – Written 13 years ago now but much of it is evergreen, you will discover a different approach to picking big odds winners.
  3. Better Than Sex – The Autobiography of Mick Fitzgerald

That is it for this week if there is anything you would like to see included in future editions of Keith’s Notebook please give us a shout.

Recommendations for the Viewing and Reading section are also welcome.

Yours in racing



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