Neal Wilkins is a veteran turf watcher, former Press Association racing correspondent and right-hand man to the eponymous Victor Chandler of the prominent bookmaking company. Neal kindly provided his betting hints, together with the advice to ‘take a look’ at a horse which was running that afternoon. I did so, noticed that its name was an extremely appropriate one given my football loyalties, observed it being backed down from double-figure odds to fourth favourite, and indulged in an each-way bet, which looked like paying off until the beast clouted the last but one fence and lost momentum, ending up fourth.


Not a bad tip, though. Pay huge attention to the trainer’s cold list in the Racing Post. Even the top stables have blank periods and they cannot explain why this happens when they continue with the same tried and trusted training methods, food stuffs and placing of horses.


Take note of significant jockey bookings. AP has got a good percentage of winners on Charlie Egerton-trained horses and has formed a profitable partnership with Tor Sturgis. Take note when smaller yards target the same races each year. An up-and-coming apprentice can be a very useful ally to profitable betting. Their allowance can be a vital tool in keeping one step in front of the handicapper.