Isiris is a long running horse racing tipster service which was started a long time ago by one Kevin Booth. Whether or not he is still behind the service isn’t clear.
Introduction to the Isiris service
When you look back at the annals of tipster history, there are some names that made a huge amount of money during the late 80’s and into the 90’s. There are a lot of reasons for this, however I believe that the main one comes down to the fact because the internet just wasn’t a thing.
One of the biggest names from that period is Isiris. A tipster service founded in 1992 that has something of a marred past. What matters to me though is the fact that the service is still operational now and is still claiming some £1,000,000 of profit across the two offerings. With that in mind, let’s see whether or not Isiris is still capable of upholding its reputation now that we’re well and truly into the 21st century.
What Does Isiris Offer?
Fundamentally, Isiris is actually made up of three different services. Now, I could break these down into different reviews, but honestly, my research has suggested that it is better to look at this service as a complete whole rather than doing this. Starting with the logistics, Isiris is somewhat uniquely positioned in so much as it allows for multiple methods of receiving selections.
The two core services are Mainline and Mark Your Card, both of which appear to be email based services. Mark Your Card also comes with a premium phone line, as does the lay betting side of Isiris, Losers Line.
It goes without saying that because of the nature of this review, there are a multitude of different bet types available. As mentioned, Losers Line is based entirely around horses that you should be laying. Mark Your Card appears to be predominantly win based racing. Meanwhile, the Mainline service offered by Isiris is described as mostly betting on horse racing “but with regular bets on womens tennis and rugby union”.
There do appear to be staking plans in place for Isiris, however these seem to ultimately carry more risk than level stakes (as the results will demonstrate). Naturally there are more potential profits to be had if you do follow the staking advice, but again, I am not certain that this will be the wisest move in the long term.
In terms of a strike rate, there is some very conflicting information available. The Isiris website claims that the strike rate “on main bets” (presumably being Mainline) is over 70% year on year. That sounds great, however a look at their own proofing through Best Tipping shows a win percentage of 27.25%, a significant drop. The same website also shows that Isiris’s Mark Your Card bets have a win percentage of around 22.66%.
How Does Isiris Work?
There is a lot of speculation surrounding how Isiris actually find and identify their selections. Don’t forget that this is a service which has been around for coming on to 30 years at this point. I would even venture that the methods that are used today are a long way away from the methods that were being employed way back in ’92 when Isiris started (of course, this is only speculation).
That doesn’t mean however that there is no information whatsoever in terms of what is involved, and that is what I want to focus on.
One their proofing page for Mark Your Card on Best Tipping we are told that Isiris have requested that they don’t show details of their latest bets (a point I want to pick up on later). The reason for this is supposedly that Isiris believe that it would “reveal certain betting patterns but more importantly compromise the positions of contacts they have in the racing world”.
This concept of inside information has been a big part of the speculation surrounding Isiris and I am somewhat inclined to believe that there is something to this. It seems reasonable to suggest that a tipster who has been operational since the 90’s has contacts.
What is the Initial Investment?
One of the biggest factors bar none is the costs that are involved with Isiris. The Mainline service is priced at £1,895 for 2019 (although there is seemingly an option to receive a “very special deal” by sending out an email). Mark Your Card is currently being sold at a cost of £245 to receive selections until April 1st.
After this, I would expect to see a significant increase in costs (at one point, Isiris was asking £2,995 for Mark Your Card). There are also premium rate numbers for Mark Your Cards and the Losers Line. These are priced at £1.50 per minute.
What is the Rate of Return?
In terms of the results for Isiris, there are some hugely different results depending on where you look. On the website, it is claimed that Mainline has produced over £50,000 seemingly between April 2017 and June 2018.
Looking at the results from Best Tipping however, you are looking at £44,982 profit to £100 stakes over some 6-7 years. Mark Your Card has supposedly made £640,000 since launching in 2002 with £40,000 since October 2017. There is no knowing when the Isiris website was last updated in this regard so that number is pretty meaningless in my opinion.
Once again, I want to turn to Best Tipping results which shows a profit of £18,000 to £100 stakes going back a bit over a year. It is important to note that all of these numbers appear to be based around prices from Isiris (which is a point that I will definitely be picking up later).
Conclusion on Isiris
It is always interesting to me when I sit down to look at something like Isiris. I won’t lie, it was all a bit before my time, however I do think that there is something of a romanticism to the pre internet days of horse racing (probably because I wasn’t actually there for it).
The important thing to take away from this is that I don’t doubt that at one point, Isiris probably was exactly as popular and profitable as it was claimed to be. For some people.
Moving into now and the 21st century, Isiris looks a little different to me.
I believe that the tipster market is one that is much more competitive and that ultimately benefits everybody in a lot of ways. Arguably the main one however, is that as a punter, you get much more for your money. £1895 over the courses of a year is a very respectable portfolio if you are willing to shop around.
Will these bets necessarily be the same quality as Isiris is claimed to be? Who knows, but what I can say is that things like proofing are very openly provided elsewhere. I believe that there are genuine reasons for this, but it is also hard to ignore their absence. Once again, I am forced to come back to the idea of times changing.
Here’s the thing, in my books, at least. If you want to talk about how you can make a lot of money, then you have to be willing to really back that up.
If I can be blunt, having an ad in the Racing Post doesn’t mean that a service instantly warrants my attention and respect. Nor does it mean that I instantly buy into their profit and loss claims. This doesn’t mean that I necessarily think that Isiris is somehow trying to present itself in a better light than it should be.
Because of all this, I just don’t see how there is any real value for money to be had in Isiris. As such, this is a service that I would give a miss to, despite some decent theoretical potential.