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How To Become A Professional Punter

Larry Taylor shares his expert tips

If you are thinking about becoming a professional punter, here is your chance to learn from one of Australia’s most experienced professional punters, Larry Taylor from Elite Racing. Elite proudly boasts independent industry recognition for professionalism. The 5-STAR MIDAS CHOICE RATING is the highest possible rating from racing’s independent racing watchdog. In this how-to guide, Larry explains what to focus on and what mistakes to avoid. Get your professional punting career off to a good start with this quiet word with one of the best in the business.

How did you get started in the horse racing industry, and what inspired you to become a professional punter?

I had a deep interest in horse racing from a very young age, keeping statistics and recording tips for Melbourne and Sydney racing from the age of about ten.

What kind of research and analysis do you do to find the best bets, and what resources do you use to gather information?

There are serious databases these days with masses of information available at a click for every racehorse.

As a professional punter, how do you manage your betting bankroll, and what strategies do you use to minimise risk and maximise profits?

Once you are fully committed to doing what it takes to win, it is quite easy to set aside a betting bank and bet small percentages on each qualifying bet. It is the absolute resolve to do what it takes that sets professionals apart from everyday punters.

What common mistakes do novice punters make, and what advice would you give someone just starting in their career as a professional punter?

Novice punters make mistakes every step of the way. Not keeping to a betting bank is the most common failing, but not having a strong selections plan, not having or applying a staking strategy, betting on hunches, chasing losses, plunging, second-guessing selections, and, therefore, missing winners are just a few other tragic but common shortcomings.

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“It is the absolute resolve to do what it takes that sets professionals apart from everyday punters.”

How important is it to deeply understand the horse racing industry, including trainers, jockeys, and racecourses?

The more racing-industry knowledge, the better. Studying the statistics and idiosyncrasies of jockeys and trainers is important. Knowing the layout of each racecourse, including race-start positions, distance to turns etc., is vital if you want to approach punting professionally.

How do you cope with the pressure and stress of betting on horse races, especially when the stakes are high?

That is not a problem when you have committed to apply that bank. The stakes are in the same percentage range all the way along, so there is no change in pressure or increased stress. This is the difference between being a professional punter and someone who dabbles. By taking a disciplined approach, there is a lot less stress.

Do you specialise in certain types of races or specific tracks, or do you bet on a wide range of races?

My private algorithms take into account what type and distance of race, and the racetrack as just a tiny part of the whole. Betting can be successful in a wide range of race types and distances if your selection process has all the variables covered.

How do you deal with losing streaks, and what steps do you take to regain your confidence and stay motivated?

Losing streaks come along at any time, regardless of how strong a strategy is long-term. They are tough to handle mentally and test whether your commitment is real. If you believe in your selections and staking, then you will tough losing streaks out. The reward when you have done that and ride the next winning wave is one of the greatest thrills of professional punting.

professional punter, How To Become A Professional Punter

“Losing streaks come along at any time, regardless of how strong a strategy is long-term. If you believe in your selections and staking, then you will tough losing streaks out.”

What advice would you give someone who wants to turn their passion for horse racing into becoming a professional punter?

Having passion is a great start. But unless you believe it is possible to turn that dream into reality, then don’t start. If you do have the passion, you would have already spent countless hours studying form and honing all the tools to become a pro punter. If you are planning to develop your own strategies for selections and staking, then expect a long apprenticeship. You will know when you have the package. Alternatively, you will need to find a reputable and leading racing service for your base information or, if you learn to trust their methods, tap into that valuable information. What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.

What do you see as the future of horse racing betting, and how do you stay on top of the latest trends and developments in the industry?

Horse racing in Australia is always changing. The past ten years have seen more change than ever before. Tracks will be upgraded, redesigned, or disappear. Race programming will always be tinkered with, especially with the NSW/VIC rivalry. But overall, the changes that come along from time to time are easily accounted for and are not as disruptive as one would think.

How do you calculate the value of a bet and identify profitable opportunities in the market?

Our algorithms are designed to calculate the value of the bets according to the myriad of variables that are considered for each race. Profitable bets are identified by a simple process of elimination. Most horses will have negatives that make it safe to discard them. It is not that hard to pit the positive contenders up against each other to find the main bet/s in a race.

What are the most important factors when handicapping a race, and how do you weigh and prioritise them?

There are hundreds of factors to consider, and every race has its own set of ‘problems’ that the algorithm has to solve. Each variable – like going, distance, track, barrier, jockey, current form, long-term form, comparative form, times, sectionals, and many others – is considered and quantified for every horse in every race.

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“Our database keeps meticulous records of all horses, jockeys and trainers, and each one is assessed daily and allocated a performance rating.”

What betting strategies do you use to manage risk and maximise profits, and how do you, as a professional punter, adapt your approach to different situations and markets?

Our main approach has always been Win betting. For us, it is the Dynamic Duo: Winning selections combined with small, graded percentage bets.

How do you use data analysis and technology to inform your betting decisions, and what tools and software do you rely on?

We have access to a database that details the complete form for every horse racing in Australia, New Zealand, and other overseas locations. Drawing on this mass of data, our algorithms take a race field and sort it into accurate rating selections based on our methods. This provides an amazingly strong base for us to personally evaluate using decades of experience and knowledge.

How do you evaluate the performance of jockeys, trainers, and horses, and what metrics do you use to measure success?

Our database keeps meticulous records of all horses, jockeys and trainers, and each one is assessed daily and allocated a performance rating. Punters would be surprised at some jockeys at the top of the ratings. Horses are all allocated Rating/Class figures. This figure changes after each race and is a starting point of the rating process.

How do you handle information overload and avoid analysis paralysis, and what processes do you have in place to manage your workload and stay focused?

When punting is a passion, there is no such thing as overload or lack of focus. It is a “hobby” that pays well, and every day you appreciate that. To be able to pass it on to budding professional punters via a successful racing service is a source of great pride and something we never take for granted. After all these years, we still jump out of bed every day with great anticipation and expectations.