Horse and Hound Review – Betfan

Horse and Hound Racing is a brand new mixed tipster service which is being offered by the Betfan group. Tips come courtesy of a long time tipster for Betfan, Laurence, who takes a very selective approach.  

Introduction to Horse and Hound Racing

Betfan are one of the biggest names in the tipster industry, and yet, they continue to surprise me with some of the decisions that they make. Now, I am not a businessman per se. Their business is managing tipster services, so I am certain that there is some kind of rationale behind these seemingly odd decisions somewhere.

But when something like today’s subject, Horse and Hound Racing, comes out it is hard to know what the end game is. Now, there are a lot of reasons for this line of thought that I hope will become apparent over the course of this article, and I will admit my tone will probably end up being very cynical. I want to say though, I am genuinely trying to see the positives here.

So, with this (admittedly) rather bizarre introduction sort of out of the way. Let’s have a very good look at Horse and Hound Racing and see whether or not the positives are there, or whether Betfan have… Perhaps jumped the gun here a little bit.  

What Does Horse and Hound Racing Offer?

In terms of what you are getting with Horse and Hound Racing, there is little here that strikes me as straight forward. There are a lot of reasons for this that I will cover, but it does mean that you have to approach Laurence’s service with an open mind (something I am really trying to do).

First things first, this is a long way from a daily service. Selectivity is key to Horse and Hound Racing and it is a theme that you will see cropping up often. This isn’t a bad thing at all. There is nothing worse than a tipster service which simply bangs out tips for the sake of giving you something.

Laurence is definitely one of the more select services that I think that I have ever looked at though. For context, over August and September, just 27 bets were placed. That works out at one every other day(ish). Again, not inherently a problem. I would rather win often and bet rarely than the other way round.

Given that this is a Betfan product, there is no getting away from the management side of things. There are plenty of ways to receive your tips including email, a member’s area for Horse and Hound Racing, as well as the Betfan app (which is available on iOS and Android).

The quality of email is also very good with advised odds, bet information, and staking advice. There is also a small write up on why a dog or horse has been chosen. This is something that I am a strong advocate of and will remain so.

Unfortunately, the tips aren’t really sent out to any particular schedule. Horse racing tips are typically the morning of racing, but there isn’t really a window of time when you can expect these. Greyhound racing tips are usually later in the day, but again, there is no structure here. This does mean that Horse and Hound Racing will not suit everybody due to this lack of scheduling.

Moving on to the bets themselves, we find ourselves on much more familiar ground here. Laurence predominantly favours straight win bets with the occasional each way as well. All of this does at least mean that it is easy enough to place bets when they come in, especially when you consider that there aren’t many of them.

In terms of the odds. Honestly, Horse and Hound Racing leans towards the lower end of the spectrum. There have been a number of evens bets and in some cases, even lower than this. Looking at Betfan’s proofing, the longest shot to date has been a horse at 8/1. This of course means that when you win, you don’t tend to win big, and that becomes problematic.

I want to talk a little bit now about the staking plan that is in place for Horse and Hound Racing because honestly, this becomes very important in my opinion. Especially when you start to look at the long term viability of the service.

Laurence will typically advise horses to be backed with 3, 4, or 5 point bets. There is a strong leaning towards the top end of this scale however. Now I will admit that given the low volume of bets, this shouldn’t be too problematic. After all, it means staking perhaps 40 or so points per month. With a 100 point betting bank, that doesn’t seem so bad.

This applies doubly so when you look at the strike rate for Horse and Hound Racing. Honestly, it is pretty good. August had a strike rate of 36% whilst September performed even better at 43%. These aren’t bad results at all. But, as I will explore later, they are only one part of a wider picture.

How Does Horse and Hound Racing Work?

To be fair to Betfan, they are (especially by their standards) very transparent about what the selection process for Horse and Hound Racing entails. Put bluntly, a lot of it comes down to experience and inside information.

Laurence says that he has spent over 50 years as a successful punter and has also owned a number of winning racehorses. He also says that he has been involved with greyhound racing having worked training dogs himself, as well as having some open-race dogs that were trained by some very high profile trainers.

Of course, this time spent in the world of horse racing has allowed him to build up a large number of contacts. Betfan say that this is where Laurence gets a lot of his information from, and that he is subsequently sharing that with us.

Now I’ll be honest, this kind of claim is something that you see very often. It is difficult to substantiate, but always sounds impressive. Personally, I think this is a genuine case. Laurence has tipped with Betfan before and actually runs another service beside Horse and Hound Racing.

Now, I will admit that this is all based off feeling rather than hard evidence, but I see no real reason to doubt these claims.

What is the Initial Investment?

The pricing for Horse and Hound Racing is… Well, there’s no getting around it. It’s bloody steep. There are a variety of different options available, but none are really what I would consider to be close to what I would personally expect to pay for most tipster services.

The lowest outlay comes in the shape of a weekly subscription which is priced at £20 plus VAT. Next, there is a monthly subscription which is priced at £60 plus VAT, however you should note that this is billed every 28 days. As such, you will pay this out 13 times in a year.

There is slightly better value to be had in a quarterly membership which is £169 plus VAT every 90 days. Finally, there is the option to sign up to Horse and Hound Racing on a 6 monthly basis which does represent the best value, however this does come with a significant outlay at £286 plus VAT.

As is the case with all products from the Betfan group, there is no real money back guarantee offered for Horse and Hound Racing. The team do say that they review refund requests, however these are not typically granted.  

What is the Rate of Return?

By far and away the biggest problem that comes about with Horse and Hound Racing is when you actually look at the profit and loss potential for the service. Because honestly, what Betfan have shown to date, it is pretty pants.

At the time of writing the service is 2.56 points in the red. Now, this might not seem like a significant loss, but previous months have demonstrated a profit of just 1.3 points and 0.14 points. These results simply aren’t good enough.

Conclusion for Horse and Hound Racing

Honestly, I have no qualms with the set up of Horse and Hound Racing. The approach that Laurence has isn’t a bad one at all. I have talked at length even before now about quality over quantity. But what do you do when you have a service that isn’t providing quantity or quality? Things start to become problematic.

I’ve spent some time trying to think of something positive to say about Horse and Hound Racing. Perhaps, at best, I can say that if Laurence starts to get better tips from his contacts then there may be a turn around? But… that feels very optimistic.

Here’s the thing. Where Horse and Hound Racing struggles in my book is with the odds involved. If you are backing horses or dogs at lower odds, you need to win often. And those strike rates, whilst not necessarily terrible, aren’t good enough.

For some context on how the odds affect everything so much, I think you only have to look at the August for Horse and Hound Racing (which I feel the need to highlight was the best month). 13 points staked over 3 bets saw a profit of 21.55 points. That isn’t too bad. But given that you had 4 bets before this streak lose you 18 points, well, you can see how you need to be very consistent.

So, Horse and Hound Racing hasn’t performed well enough in my book. I don’t care how you want to dress it up, 1.3 points of profit in a month is bloody abysmal. But Betfan are also asking a lot of money for these tips as well. On a “monthly” subscription, you are paying out £72 per month and £936 over the course of a year.

If you are only winning a few points per month, there is no real way of making this an economically viable tipster service. Sure, you could spend thousands of pounds per point, but there are services out there that are massively outperforming Horse and Hound Racing at a much lower cost.

This means that on the really odd chance that you’re in a position whereby you are going to spend thousands of pounds per point, why not sink them into something that will offer much higher returns?

I just can’t see a way of making Horse and Hound Racing work. It is by far and away one of the worst looking tipster services that I have seen for a long time. It doesn’t make money, it is very expensive, and the nature of the service means that it can be difficult to follow.

As such, there is no getting around the fact that whilst I like the idea of Horse and Hound Racing, the execution is woeful. For me, it is a perfect example of the problem with following tipster services, actually.

Like I’ve said, I don’t doubt Laurence when he makes the claims of his pedigree. But you are still relying him to turn things around. And given the nature of how Horse and Hound Racing works, there is no way that this can feasibly happen. His inside information can’t really magically get better. At least if you are following your own betting strategy, you can make adjustments if you start losing.  

Probably not surprisingly, I cannot recommend enough giving this a very wide berth.

There just isn’t a single element here that I would say works, and the only result I can see in the is your betting bank dwindling. At best, it looks like it might sit stagnant. And just because it really bothers me how much Betfan are asking for Horse and Hound Racing given the results, I want to highlight again that you will be paying out a lot of money for the privilege of this.

 

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From: Simon Roberts