The Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop is a one day course held at the Bet Angel headquarters in Hook, Southampton that offers novice sports traders the chance to learn from professionals about key aspects of the Horse Racing markets.
Background Information to the Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop
Horse Racing is a massive industry and one of the most popular sports to trade on Betfair for several factors:
- It’s tradable on almost every day of the year (363 out of 365 days)
- Numerous opportunities daily due to the number of races (An average of 3 meetings with 5-7 races per day)
- Highly liquid markets (ie, lots of money flowing through them)
It is the first sport that many of those new to trading on Betfair attempt to learn because of these factors. In my opinion Horse Racing is the true art of sports trading because you’re relying mainly on technical skills to read and react to the market as it is happening live whereas with many other sports, like football, a lot of research is done beforehand and is dependent on the events that occur in the football matches.
With pre-race trading you have much more control over the outcome as it is less reliant on external factors and more your ability to read and trade the markets as you seen them.
Who Are Bet Angel and Peter Webb?
Bet Angel is a Betfair and Betdaq trading software company and was founded by Professional Sports Trader Peter Webb who has been trading on Betfair almost since the first day of its inception back in 2000. Peter’s desire to use a software application with an interface that provided information he needed to trade the markets to its full potential led him to have Bet Angel trading software created. It is one of the most popular software’s on the market and the company offer courses to aspiring professional traders to teach them how to trade the markets.
The company offers 3 types of courses: The Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop, Peter Webb’s Trading Masterclass (you can read that review here) and the Learn to Trade Workshop. This course, the Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop, focuses solely on the pre-race horse racing markets. The company also offers Personal Mentoring services where you can spend a one-on-one day session with one of their professional traders.
Booking the Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop
The Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop was my first foray into learning trading. I had been interested in sports trading for 3 years – ever since I got into Matched Betting – and decided that in June 2016 that the time was right to start developing a new skill. Bet Angel was a company I was familiar with having watched many of their YouTube videos and so I booked myself onto the Horse Racing Workshop through their bettingexchangeacademy.com website at a cost of £240.
As soon as I booked onto the Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop I was sent an information email with the terms and conditions and a general overview of the course – it was to last from 9:15am to 6pm.
After sending an email back agreeing to the terms and conditions I was sent further details in relation to the location, directions, airports and accommodation. I always appreciate this level of detail as being from Belfast it’s an extra expense to get over and have to book a hotel, so if someone can provide me with the best option then it means the less I have to do in planning my stay!
I booked my flights into Southampton Airport and booked myself into the White Hart Hotel, Hook which I was to find out is literally a 30 second walk from the Bet Angel offices – very handy!
The Day of the Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop
The course started promptly at 9:30 after everyone arrived and some light introductions were exchanged. We were all welcome to grab a hot drink and biscuits whilst water, a pen and a notepad were on the tables in front of us – as well as our own computer screen. There are only 6 spaces available at the Bet Angel courses and I feel this is very beneficial as everyone gets their opportunity to ask any questions whilst having them answered in as much detail as they need.
Peter Webb was around for the first hour or so and we had the opportunity to ask him some questions and gain some of his pearls of wisdom as a Professional Betfair trader of over 15 years. It was only then that I realised Peter was not the one giving the course – but one of the Bet Angel’s in-house professional traders called Dave.
Dave proceeded to give us an insight into his life as a professional trader and his thoughts on how the horse racing markets have evolved over time and what they are like to trade these days. He also offered us some helpful advice regarding bank management, protection of our Betfair accounts using 2-Step Authentication and the mindset of a professional Betfair trader. As someone who had no experience of trading at all I found this all very useful information.
Next, we moved onto talking specifically about Horse Racing trading covering topics such as which types of races which are best suited towards swing trading and which are best for scalping with some tips regarding how a horse racing trader thinks when they are in the market. These included:
- Trust in what you are doing and have a positive outlook
- Try to ‘wash’ your money through the markets
- ‘Feed’, or ‘phase’, money out of the market when closing your trades
- Look at the weak points in the market for your exit points
- And the most important of all: Don’t join the “What If” club
After that, we discussed the more technical side of trading such as how market structure impacts the markets and whether Weight of Money is a useful indicator and how and when to know when to trust it. We also learned about how to read the other indicators such as:
- Volume traded on the markets
- Volume traded on each runner and what this may indicate
- The amounts queued, waiting to be matched
- Traded volume and the Bell Curves that form around prices
- Volume % vs Implied %
- Pivot points, crossover points and resistance point
We were also given a few handouts regarding the volatility of certain race types and how markets tend to react around certain odds.
We were also taught a little about recommended trading set ups and how to set up the software interface. I must stress, I never felt at any point that this course was about selling me the Bet Angel software. Of course, it is used during the training day, but it was never pushed on us that we should use the Bet Angel software.
After this we broke for lunch with tea and coffee where a selection of sandwiches and pastries were on offer. It was at this point Peter re-joined us and we had another chat with him and Dave together. Peter then went off to prepare for the afternoon’s racing as we resumed the course where we started to look through the afternoon’s markets. It’s worth noting that the course was held on a Monday when generally the standard of racing quality isn’t high.
Throughout we talked and discussed about the races that were in front of us and could ask Dave further questions about what we were seeing and how we should read the markets. Dave took the time to go through many of the points we had talked about in the morning sessions in greater detail and drew some visual examples on the classroom easel so we could better visualise how he saw the markets and their signals in his mind’s eye.
This information was hammered home until we knew it – which was great. If someone didn’t get it then Dave didn’t mind going through it until we all were very clear.
Lastly, we finished up with some other questions and Peter joined us again to let us know how he had got on in the day’s trading and we had another opportunity to ask him any questions we still had.
At some point throughout the day Dave handed us a course booklet that contained information we could take away with us. I have to admit, I thought it would have a lot of content on how to trade the horse racing markets but there’s only a few pages at the back which cover anything about this.
The rest of it is about market structure, odds display, the ladder interface, the use of stop losses and the difference between a scalp and a swing trade– which I would have assumed are things which most novice traders already may know. This sort of content seems like it would be more suited to Bet Angel’s ‘Learn to Trade’ course which is purely designed for beginners to get an overview of sports trading.
There was no follow up communication from Bet Angel after the day had been and gone. But as I got into my trading and began practicing it I did begin to realise one thing – as much as the information I had got from the day was great, I had no strategy to put in place when tackling the horse racing markets! I feel this a key part of the course that is missing.
I’ve read on a few forums that many professional traders feel new traders should find all of this out for themselves…but I think this is utter folly. People need a basis from which to start and whilst the information gained on the day was very useful I couldn’t help but feel there was a missing part of the jigsaw which was key aspect we hadn’t learned about. Professionals go into markets with all the information we had learned, but they have strategies which are dependent on the market type/scenario to combine them with.
At the time I really did feel like I got a lot out of attending the Bet Angel Horse Racing Workshop, but hindsight is always a great thing and I realise now that whilst I learnt so much useful information there was no real practical basis from which to go home and start from.
If you’re in the early stages of your Sports Trading journey and are really intent on booking a course then my advice is that the better option is to attend Mug’s Game’s Horse Racing Workshop which is the same price at £220 and provides you with a practical strategy that any novice can get to grips with. It also comes with 8gbs of video which you and go home and watch in your own time so the strategy is imprinted on your mind. I’d say the Bet Angel course is better suited to people who have been trading for a good while, have got to grips with it and want to enhance their level of knowledge.
If you’ve been on a Learn to Trade Workshop or availed of Bet Angel’s Personal Mentoring sessions please get in touch if you’d like to review it!
Have you been on a Bet Angel course? Comment below with your thoughts on it!