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14 Aug 20 16:45
Date Joined: 29 Jun 02
| Topic/replies: 31,727 | Blogger: workrider's blog
Published by the Sporting Chronicle, just had a look on ebay and some are in poor condition , if anyone on here has one to spare I will buy it off them , Nostalgia kicking in I guess .I used to buy it every week and spent many a night burning the midnight oil, loved the systems page and convinced myself the Holy Grail was in those pages...
Pause Switch to Standard View Handicap Book .
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Report workrider August 15, 2020 1:14 AM BST
I was hoping one of the old timers might have one tucked away they no longer want and would sell it...
Report second again August 15, 2020 6:59 AM BST
I bought it for years,but threw it away every week.I remember some readers would save the form pull outs and make a form book.
Report know all August 15, 2020 8:07 AM BST
split second speed ratings ken hussey was years ahead with his timings , plenty tried to match it but it was never the same when he died,it was a must buy every week.
I wonder what he would make of todays timings that make speed ratings irrelevant when every day the courses move the rails and then publish the guess of how many yards they have added to the race. speed ratings used to be the starting point but no longer relevant in the majority of races imo
Report The Pies August 15, 2020 8:43 AM BST
My real interest with racing started with the launch of the Weekender in 1983 (I think) but I quickly graduated to the RHB because I found the results more detailed, expecially liked the analysis. As mentioned I kept all the results pull outs to create my own form book. Going back to the Weekender I did like the reports by Icarus from the meetings he had been to in the week which I recall were all southern based.

Just looking at my bookshelf and I've found 'How to Win At Racing" a 1987 Raceform publication. Inside of that there's a cutting from the Weekender by Icarus from 1985 called 'Paddock Pointers' and a Timeform News with an article by Colin Russell on 'Race Reading for Timeform'.
Report scrabbler August 15, 2020 10:04 AM BST
In the 1960s my Dad used to get the weekly handicap book and also the Racing and Football Outlook. Although he kept the form inserts, he did buy the Form Book Update for some big meetings like Royal Ascot, Goodwood and the St.Leger. As a young lad I was intrigued by all the ads from people selling "sure fire" tips and "inside information". Anyone remember the Dawson System ?
Report kemo sabe August 15, 2020 10:15 AM BST
this post did make me smile and then think how long ago was that ,,    lots of tipsters of course with weekend letters from folks like fineform , it painted a different world for me when i was a teenager , the letters page was always a read and re read for me ,    maybe thats why i like the forum so much ?
Report clacton August 15, 2020 10:26 AM BST
Does anyone remember 'Masons Time Test'  Must be 1950's.
The 2 year old Handicap I always found interesting. They dont do one nowdays.
I dont think the weekly publications now are anywhere as good as the old ones.
Report kemo sabe August 15, 2020 10:33 AM BST
im just trying to remember the names ,,, kevin blake comes to mind ,  there were quite a few with military sounding names like the colonel , the major , never called the corporal or the squaddie    most from if memory serves brighton area or  lewes, their tips came neatly folded with typed addresses ,  i do have fond memories of them but of course we only remember the winners dont we ,
yes i do remember the dawsom system ads but never bought them ,
Report scrabbler August 15, 2020 10:47 AM BST
I'm not sure which publication was involved, but I recall columns under the bylines Master Herbert and Figaro. In the 1960s fixed odds football coupons were a very popular form of gambling. I can remember local collectors of these visiting our house. Another visitor was the local bookie's runner collecting bets and occasionally paying out !  After well over 50 years I can still remember my Dad's nom-de-plume used with the bookie.
Report kemo sabe August 15, 2020 11:03 AM BST
nom de plume ,  now yr going back and board markers who were paid beer money ,  but gave  a few less abled in life a purpose ,,,  big jimmy  for one , walking up the road he was slow and cumersome yet with his mgic marker or originally chalk he as soon as he was on the podium came to life ,   the local church could not hold the people at his funeral ,  lots outside and even more as he was taken to the cemetary ,   they even needed extra bearers , next time at the cathedral i shall light a candle and im sure as he didnt have a bad bone in his body hes resting in peace ,
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 11:04 AM BST
dawson system??....anyone remeber that....always on the 3rd page every week
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 11:05 AM BST
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 11:06 AM BST
sorry scrabbler...missed your post
Report kemo sabe August 15, 2020 11:08 AM BST
clive holt was the fine form  , guy ,  his well produced book , was it called winners back winners i would read and re read , i always though of him every morning going to the village newsagents very early to get his milk and the sporting life , then studying endlessly ,,  ive no idea of course if he did , but it was for me a nice picture in my mind
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 11:12 AM BST
i remember sending off for one tipster who advertised a saturday double.....when i recieved the letter it was the name of about a dozen horses...always remember only one won at odds on.......intriqued to see what his advert would be.....he had the odds on winner  and a one of his placed horses as his saturday doulble
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 11:15 AM BST
borrowed fineform off my was rubbish....points for how they run last time out and points for C|D.....complete garbage
Report kemo sabe August 15, 2020 11:22 AM BST
of course it was all rubbish just like it is now ,,,  my stuff more than most of course ,  yet it was for me at least a tiny window into another world ,     , i liked the plots the intruige the dodgy characters , the colour ,   its never left me really ,,  but i have to say that the shut down made me far more reflective of what i want from the game ,, for the last ten years im not sure its as much fun but at least the changes i made make me win a few quid ,  but i wdnt say it was as much fun
Report kemo sabe August 15, 2020 11:22 AM BST
of course it was all rubbish just like it is now ,,,  my stuff more than most of course ,  yet it was for me at least a tiny window into another world ,     , i liked the plots the intruige the dodgy characters , the colour ,   its never left me really ,,  but i have to say that the shut down made me far more reflective of what i want from the game ,, for the last ten years im not sure its as much fun but at least the changes i made make me win a few quid ,  but i wdnt say it was as much fun
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 11:34 AM BST
read the book...he said do the ratings...then ignore them and study form
Report kemo sabe August 15, 2020 12:01 PM BST
or like most on here do none of that pick horses cos they like the name or guess ,
Report dukeofpuke August 15, 2020 12:18 PM BST
I bought the fineform book and actually followed it for the flat season 1990 to £100 win and was over £5000 up and and thought i had discovered the 'grail' but it didnt work for the NH season and the next years flat so moved on to timeform 50 to follow and was backing them at £10 win £5 ew and also some saturday accas and got Sibton Abbey in the Hennessy at ep of 100-1 in 1992 i remember a saturday lucky 31 got the 1st 4 last 1 was backed into fav but 2nd would of been 1000,s but got back about 600

Going back to fineform 1990 i got a steady stream of winners Knight of Mercy 14-1,Eradicate 12-1 and loads of others and if anyone interested i can post the rest up for that season
Report Davros August 15, 2020 12:51 PM BST
I also owned that book and remember thinking the pages too shiny to wipe my bum with.
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 1:12 PM BST
my mate worked in the same factory he was praying the book would come back before our summer holiday...always the day before the king george....when i got back to work i asked had it arrived....yes he said more"s the pity
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 1:14 PM BST
funny thing he has given gambling....his wife give him an ultimatum...her or the gambling.he had a real problem gambling though to be fair it was mainly roulette machines
Report portmanpark August 15, 2020 1:16 PM BST
given up * gambling
Report workrider August 15, 2020 4:13 PM BST
I saw there was about 20 replies and thought ,it must be someone offering to sell a copy but low and behold no such luck. I must say I enjoyed reading to replies , The Pies I have that book, the wife bought it for me as a birthday present and it was magical, I can still see me putting my asterick's alongside each horse...
Report MJK August 15, 2020 4:34 PM BST
WR you might find this interesting
Report screaming from beneaththewaves August 15, 2020 4:35 PM BST
Report screaming from beneaththewaves August 15, 2020 4:44 PM BST
Twenty-nine years ago next week.

Nothing really changes - both the front-page tips came second.

(Sporting Chronicle H'cap Book became the Raceform H'cap Book, then Raceform Update (I think).)
Report Wannawin. August 15, 2020 7:42 PM BST
I have a copy of the Dawson System book.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves August 15, 2020 7:51 PM BST

Tony Peach's letters/systems page from that issue. Again, nothing changes in 29 years - even back then they couldn't make it pay/ the game was gone/ what's he talking about/ this is the worst season ever, and so on.
Report themightymac August 15, 2020 7:55 PM BST
workrider there are many online to view on British Newspaper Archives website for a modest fee.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves August 15, 2020 8:00 PM BST
Anyone know what became of TBA of Hove, who sponsored the Prize letters?

I never used them, but apparently they operated systems for punters - favs ridden by Pat Eddery when there wasn't an R in the month, that sort of thing. Must have been a licence to print money.
Report onlooker August 15, 2020 8:08 PM BST

From memory - the TBA - was 'Track Betting Agency' ...

- and not, of course, the far more reputable  - Thoroughbred Breeders Association.  Happy

The fact that they were based in Hove - rather told you all that you needed to know.
Report Oldgit1 August 15, 2020 8:42 PM BST
I first bought it at the bookstall in Kings Cross station the night before Never Say Die's Derby win in 1954. It was an eye opener for me and changed my way of betting. Reflections on Running highlighted many future winners and the one on market movers also pointed to future winners. The systems page was also good with ongoing discussions that I often took part in were often ongoing after months and some conning scum like Race Expert tried to trade on the Four Day System. I stopped buying it when so much became available in the racing Post.
Never say Die was an expression my landlady was always using and she asked me to put a pound EW on it for her.
I used to correspond with racing Journalist Roger Standing who often wrote for it. His last E-Mail to me before he died suddenly in 2002 referred to a horse called Invitation his sister owned that said "right at the bottom of the handicap, with a 5lb claimer!"
The claimer was a lad called Ryan Moore. It did not win. By that time Roger was retired and lived in Switzerland and owned a company in England called Endless Fine Art.
Report Oldgit1 August 15, 2020 8:48 PM BST
" "
The vab der Wheil system was written in a way that could be interpreted in many ways. I never really felt it deserved the attention it got,
Report workrider August 15, 2020 10:38 PM BST
Thanks MJK I already know about that site, its really to just get my hands on the paper and read it ,like old times if you know what i mean, reading the Irish Field atm , its now 3e 90c I first bought it when it was 1/3d still magical...
Report onlooker August 15, 2020 11:21 PM BST
I see the Irish Field is 150 years old this year.

It is, and always has been, an excellent, if not exceptional, publication.

I have always kept the copies that I bought whenever I have been to Ireland

workrider  -

I have, in my fairly immense collection, a few years/seasons of the Sporting Chronicle Handicap Book 'Pull-Out' weekly Results Sections all  Sellotaped together - Pritt had not been invented then - into an Annual Form Book... that I actually used for around 3 consecutive  years, until I could afford to subscribe to the, far more manageable, Weekly Loose-Leaf Form Book.

Sadly, for you, I did not retain the copies of the weekly paper itself - apart from perhaps/probably a few copies that will be buried somewhere deep in the Loft....

-  along with several hundred, if not more, copies of The Sporting Life from the mid/late 1980s.
Report Facts August 16, 2020 3:18 AM BST
For years I used to subscribe weekly to the Raceform Note Book.
Flat season was red plastic folder with laces to thread through the latest result pages with comments. White paper , which was replaced with the permanent pink pages which came the following week.
National Hunt, was a green folder with buff yellow pages.
Brilliant publications.
Report Ramruma August 16, 2020 5:16 AM BST
TBA -- I'd always assumed they were commission agents, a posh and old-fashioned name for putter-onners.
Report lead on August 16, 2020 5:26 AM BST
Used to buy "Weekend Special"??......I think it was a RFO publication..on sale at bookstalls...late 70's/early 80's I think..nothing all that special about it if I remember right,just a list of selections and a little reasoning
Report workrider August 16, 2020 12:23 PM BST
onlooker, get up into that loft right now! Laugh..I love the I.F. and even now when i can't go racing it lifts my spirits , I'll send you this weeks in exchange for a H/book...I know the editor Leo who was also a student in the I.N.S..
Themightymac, thanks for the heads up re the U.K. papers , but its sitting reading the paper that matters to me,i'm old school...
Report screaming from beneaththewaves August 16, 2020 3:17 PM BST
Dodger McCartney, on spotting a punter in the Tote Credit office at Worcester consulting Chaseform Note Book:

"You want to hide that. If you have an accident, and they find that thing on you, they'll lock you up in the bin!"

"I'm sorry?"

"It's all written by a blind woman who never goes racing, you know."

Which was a bit unfair on Mary Truman: she didn't write the whole thing, and she never missed a meeting at Newton Abbot or Devon & Exeter.
Report workrider August 16, 2020 3:26 PM BST
Dodger was some punter from what I've heard , killed on way home from the races I believe....
Report Arklearkle August 16, 2020 3:57 PM BST
Workrider I may be able to come up with a copy for you but it wont be in the next month or so. From what period are you looking for - I dont have any of when it was in book form. I threw many out when i was moving house about twenty five years ago
Report workrider August 16, 2020 4:16 PM BST
Around the 70s would be brilliant Arklearkle, thanks very much .I will pay you for it...
Report screaming from beneaththewaves August 16, 2020 5:11 PM BST
Dodger was the great survivor of the Ring, even through the grim years of the 4% tax. He was a natural comedian too, and he loved being Dodger - the character everyone on every jumps track in England and Wales knew or wanted to know.

He popped up in a couple of articles Brough Scott wrote for the Sunday Times in the early '80s - one an interview with the man at his base on the S Wales border, and another where Scott took the race train to Folkestone one day in the depths of winter, and Dodger was there, of course, full of optimism - "this is our year!"

You can read them in On and Off the Rails - The Best of Brough Scott (1984). A terrific book.
Report Oldgit1 August 16, 2020 5:16 PM BST
Another one I used to buy was the Racehorse a 4 page paper with masses of information.
They had a Best Bet of the Week that used do well. I was at Kempton one weekday when it was an unraced horse in the last race, possibly a 2yo. It opened at around 33's so seemed a no hoper so I left to get to the station before the rush. I could hear the commentary as I went and it won.  I think it was called Persian something
Report onlooker August 16, 2020 5:56 PM BST
Yes - Facts - I subscribed to the Note-Books, too  - and agree ... they gave you a further dimension

It was the forerunner of what is now described as ANALYSIS under the Results in Racing Post

I deliberately bought an old copy off ebay a couple of years ago - Just to get ONE Race Result from a year before I regularly subscribed.

it was a race when I was 19 years old - when I was getting £16 per week as a Credit Office Settler and Phone bet taker (including Saturday's off course)

It was paid -  'in my hand' .... 'Tax Paid' etc  ("but never tell anybody") said the Jewish Bookmaker that I worked for - and if ever anybody asks where you work ... "tell them Alexander's Employment Agency".

No doubt another scam - whereby the staff for the Bookies were being 'hired' from the "Employment Agency" .... BOTH owned by the Bookmaker, of course. Happy

Back to the race - as I said - I was getting £16 per week ... and I had a £5 Each-Way on a horse ...

like earning £800 per week nowadays ... and having £250 Each-Way on a horse.

The horse WON at 20/1.... £125 Winnings!

I got the train home after work - and then, instead of catching the bus ... Jumped into a Taxi home - for a couple of quid.

I felt like a millionaire.  Happy
Report Arklearkle August 16, 2020 5:56 PM BST
Workrider I could not be certain I've one from then but if I have you're more than welcome to it. I'll check the jungle (attic) and let you know but have quite a bit on for the next few weeks and will let you know then.
Report saxon farm August 16, 2020 6:48 PM BST
A pleasing tale!
Thanks onlooker.
Report onlooker August 16, 2020 7:00 PM BST
Cheers - saxon - It certainly was one of those days/races which I will never  forget - in every detail, too ... including listening to the Extel commentary ... but without being able to shout out.  SadGrin

  *  I have a funny tale  for tomorrow - too few people around to appreciate it on a Sunday evening.

  *  I will be putting it on the  - 'Leopardstown or Lepertown'  Thread.
Report Hayden August 16, 2020 7:06 PM BST
Did some business with the Handicap Book myself , does anyone remember an advert on either page 3 or page 5 about 3 inches high .

Simply said " Send me £1 " with a few contact options underneath.

Over £29,000 received over a period of advertising time with the donors having no clue as to what they were getting for their £1

Not much in the way of rules or proofing around then so anything was game within reason.
Report workrider August 16, 2020 7:59 PM BST
Thanks again Arklearkle, any issue will do.
Report mrcombustible August 16, 2020 9:19 PM BST
Leo Powell editor Irish Field, brother Brendan Powell
Report kemo sabe August 17, 2020 9:10 AM BST
i have to say this thread does indeed reach the parts others cant reach ,   its a melange of good humour , stories and information for anyone with an interest in racing and  its people , 

it makes me ashamed ok only slightly at the drivel i post on here ,   i hope it continues for a while yet , i like the idea of folk falling through the ceiling in searching for a paper from 1980 and emerging with it waved in the air like , Souness and the FA cup
Report top2rated August 17, 2020 9:21 AM BST
workrider will be eternally grateful, Arklearkle!

Report kemo sabe August 17, 2020 9:28 AM BST
now that is very very funny , im impressed credit where its due ,  no one was hurt in the making of this picture i hope
Report workrider August 17, 2020 11:03 AM BST
Report jumper3 August 17, 2020 2:06 PM BST
I too bought the Clive Holt books when they came out. While his CD 11 system did bring in winners, it always struggled to make a profit, everytime I tried to follow it. If I remember correctly though, it wasn't too bad in finding placed horses in quality handicaps and at pleasing odds. A mate of mine use to form his placepot picks around the Clive Holt system and had some luck following these in the top quality handicaps of the time, late 80s if I remember correctly.
Report steerforth August 17, 2020 3:32 PM BST
The Clive Holt book (Become a successful punter with fineform as your guide) was a watershed for me. The ad was so tempting and week after week I would tell myself - ignore it, dont be a sucker, until I eventually caved and risked it. Yes the formula applied without thought was, (and still is) nonsense,it was a hook for the sale, but the book was a roadmap to the right way to approach betting on horses. Before reading it I was a doubles and trebles punter, the odd nice return, masking inevitable ongoing failure. After reading it, I never went back to that again. It's easy to forget that all the best literature on how to bet came later, and while I'd like to think the likes of Mark Coton, Nick Mordin, Andy Beyer and most especially, Alan Potts, would have put me right eventually, that little red book with the shiny pages still has a special place on my shelves. I'm not and never will be a professional punter, but the pleasure of trying to think and act like one has kept me happy for years, all thanks to that first step.
Report onlooker August 17, 2020 4:51 PM BST
top2rated 17 Aug 20 09:21 

workrider will be eternally grateful, Arklearkle!


Brilliant - GrinHappy  -  How that has  not happened at my house beggars belief.

I have more stuff in the Loft than in the rooms underneath.
Report stewarts rise August 17, 2020 5:16 PM BST
That picture reminds me of when i was about 13/14, my dad was in hospital and i was at home on my own. I was on my way to catch the bus to school(Grammar of course) when along came my mate who was a bit of a bully at that age. "Your old mans in hospital isn't he, give us the keys to your house i'm on the wag today". Handed keys over saying don't go upstairs, as i'd hidden the money dad had left under the floorboards and hadn't put the boards back. Came back home to find  a big hole in the ceiling which he'd put through with his foot, luckily he never found the money! Had to get my neighbour to come and plaster it back up and reapply some woodchip paper to cover it up, never told my dad a thing!Grin
Report workrider August 17, 2020 5:19 PM BST
I hope it wont deter you onlooker...Laugh..Now up them stairs...
Report stewarts rise August 17, 2020 5:21 PM BST
Sorry workrider binned all mine about 10/12 years ago, had hundreds, but the loft would have come crashing down again if i'd kept them.
Report workrider August 17, 2020 5:24 PM BST
Laugh Stewarts , no problem mate...
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