One Electric Saw, One Sofa = Improved Betting

At last my back is starting to ease up a bit. Of course it could be the painkillers, but I prefer to think that it’s easing up 🙂

We’re having a new sofa delivered today and we had to get the two old ones out of our flat. The first one had already been removed by myself… there’s suspicion that this is what started the back pain, but I’m not convinced.

In order to get the sofas out of our flat we have to dismantle them. Now while I’m certainly not a DIY extraordinaire, I’m also quite experienced in DIY.

Like you, I have a toolbox in my cupboard which I went and took out, possible for only the second or third time this year, in order to take apart the sofa.

Unfortunately, on further investigation, this sofa turned out to be rather well made with the result that it had to be sawn into pieces in order to fit out through our hall.

While I have quite a range of tools, what I don’t have is an electric saw. And so…

…I spent a good hour sawing through our sofa with the kind of half-blunt hand saw that we all own.

To be honest, I was pretty pleased with myself by the time I’d finished. That is until my back went, which I’m still not convinced was caused by the sofa.

But I was left with a problem. A big one.

Today we have our new sofa being delivered but I still had one of the old ones in the living room.

There’s no way that the new one and the old one would fit in the room together. Quite simply I had to get the old one out.

I called upon the quickest communication tool of our time, Facebook, and sent an urgent request to friends asking for help.

My plea was responded to and yesterday two friends came over to help me move the remaining sofa out of our flat.

Remember when I said that I am not a DIY extraordinaire? Well Rob is what I would call an extraordinaire at DIY.

He can, quite literally, build anything. He recently rebuilt his house!

He turned up first and refused any of the choice beverages that I have in my kitchen (including rather a lot of beer left over from my wedding) and said he wanted to get started because it was only going to take about 20 minutes and then he would relax and enjoy a drink.

I silently chuckled into my cup remembering the hours it had taken me to get the other sofa out.

So while I was making myself a drink, it’s always important to have a drink if you have to watch someone else work, I suddenly heard this loud noise coming from our living room.

I dashed up the corridor, if you can call it dashing when you move a step at a time to prevent your back from giving way, and there was Rob with an electric saw and a sofa in three parts.

Damn him, he’d actually taken it apart in less than 10 minutes!

It took another ten minutes for him to take it out and he was sitting down with a beer before our other friend had even arrived.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with racing, but it’s crucial.

It’s something that we should regularly remind ourselves of…

If you’ve got the right tools then you can do a job properly in a short amount of time. If you haven’t got the right tools then the same job can take hours and end up being done poorly.

When we analyse a race we need to make sure we’ve got the right tools in place. Not just things such as a quiet room, form guides etc…. but also the right tools to analyse the way we want to.

For example there’s no point trying to analyse speed if you haven’t got access to good speed ratings, or collateral form if you don’t have a quick way of accessing it.

It’s very easy for me to say what the right tools are for me, but I want to know what the right tools are for you.

So leave me a comment telling me what the right tools are for you below.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. A way of finding the right Jockey, Horse and Track combination. I believe that we all pay a lot of attention to the last two but not enough to who is doing the steering. Too many Jockeys are in the wrong frame of mind or intimidated by the “big boys” or just happy to get paid for turning out. Conversely, get the right jock on board and the result can be so much better. Regards Richard.

    1. Thanks Richard, that is certainly a difficult piece of information to find out as we are never going to know if they are in the right frame of mind. But we maybe be able to create a tool that gets part of the way there.

  2. I have been really impressed by a recent addition called Race Analysis Reports to Matt Bisogno’s website at The big plus for me is that it is a visual tool and like your friend with the electric saw, it saves hours ploughing through stats by hand. Seriously good stuff and the big benefits to me are – simple to understand and easy to follow up on. It seems to be pretty successful at the minute as well.

    1. It is a great tool, I managed to get a sneak peek at it while Matt was beta testing it 😉 It allows visualisation of percentages very quickly. Visualisation I often think is the key, how can we turn data into something visually appealing to make it easier to understand.

  3. You are absolutely spot on with this advice. If you don’t have the skills or the tools to do the job-
    have a drink and let some other bugger do it!

  4. Hi Michael it would be nice to have a database with all the info I want in an easy to access format in the one place without sifting through lots of data to find the info that I want, that would speed up my selection process no end. For now I will have to carry on doing it the hard way which is laborious but fun most of the time. I get a lot of satisfaction watching a race unfold in front of my eyes and a great sense of achievement when I get it right. I always look forward to reading your articles they are the most innovative on the web, keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks for the comment Richard, great to hear from you. What kind of information do you want in a database( if you’re happy to share of course)? I would be interested to know because databases are my thing 🙂

  5. The RAR is a great starting point for me: a traffic light report which highlights the profile horses. Then I need something a bit sharper than that blunt instrument: a form study tool.

    These work for me because they suit my betting style – I look for value allied to proven form against today’s race conditions.


    1. Good question John. We ordered a sofa that is being built in our flat as I write! It was the only choice we had.

  6. one of the most important things I look for when analysing a race is good old course form. Course form is one of the key factors to most of my winning bets over the years especially at some of the tricky courses like epsom and goodwood. Also certain trainers and jockeys do very well at certain courses so I take that into serious consideration too. Would love to know more about speed ratings…….. keep up the regular emails too as i am enjoying reading your advice regards dan.

    1. Thank you Dan. Course form is usually a subject that causes a lot of heated debate. Do you consider horses who contend at a course or just winners? I am looking at writing a course on how to calculate speed ratings.

  7. Racing Post for Racecards and statistics. Unreliable as I use downloaded the data as raw data for my systems and they change it regularly. One change in format took me a week of intense work to reprogram.. Also use statistics and racecards from Sporting Life. I have a database of over 75000 records on the performance of favourites if every race since 2005 from which I extract many types of statistics.

    1. Thanks for the details. The Racing Post do change some of their data in the leadup to racing, mainly the odds forecast, and they did go through a period of extensive changes on their site which made scraping nearly impossible. So your main focus is on favourites?

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