JTC Racing Review – Betfan

JTC Racing is a new to market horse racing tipster service which is being launched by the Betfan group in conjunction with the tipster, James. They claim some incredible profits for the service, however, there are some questions about these in my eyes.

Introduction to JTC Racing

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at something from Betfan. But I can tell you straight away that it’s good to be back. Their services really are just a trip. Sometimes, this can be a very good thing, and other times… Well, not so much. But it’s always a fun ride getting to the end. Let’s start with the headline for JTC Racing. “GET READY TO RUMBLE THE BOOKIE! IT’S TIME TO TAKE WINNING SERIOUSLY”, the sales material literally screams at you. Meanwhile, if you were betting £100 a point, you’d have made £17,687. These are some bloody big numbers.

Well, you’d expect at this point that I’d be really eager to get into this and start talking about how great it is that you  could have made more in 6 months than some people could have made in a year. But if there is one thing that I know about Betfan from dealing with them as much as I have, there is usually a lot of “condition” to their claims. I’m going to forcibly stop myself here before I go down that rabbit hole. There is plenty of time in this review to talk about all of this later.

Now look, I know I’ve gone in hard here. I’m not usually so overwhelmingly negative in my introductions. And I will concede that Betfan are responsible for some of the most profitable tipster services that I have ever looked at. They really do put out some very good quality services as well as some that are… perhaps not quite as they seem. So, with all of my cards on the table, let’s get straight into this.

What Does JTC Racing Offer?

Betfan have been around the block, and they have put out a lot of different tipster services in their time. Some much wackier and more extreme than others. But JTC Racing is a surprisingly straight forward affair. And that is something that I genuinely mean in the best way possible. Because whilst this is ultimately relatively simple, there are elements that… Rather muddy the waters.

First things first, I want to talk logistics. Look, let’s not kid ourselves here. Betfan are one of the biggest names in terms of tipster stables because, simply put, they are very good at what they do. Irrespective of what I think of the services that they offer, they really do know how to market and manage a tipster service.

In the case of JTC Racing, this means selections being made available a multitude of ways. Firstly, you receive selections directly via email. This is pretty much standard these days. They are also uploaded to a member’s area on the website. Probably the best way to receive selections though is through the Betfan app. This gives you everything you need, directly to your phone. Which of course makes it pretty difficult to miss bets (a problem I have seen with other services before).

Selections are typically sent out on the morning of racing. This isn’t necessarily ideal for everybody. Firstly, there are those who are working a 9-5 and use betting to supplement their income. This may make for a bit of a struggle for you. It can also have an impact on getting the best possible odds. Ultimately though, this wouldn’t necessarily stop me buying into the service.

In terms of the bets, as you should probably expect from a horse racing tipster service, there isn’t a whole lot of variety. Generally speaking, you will exclusively be backing a horse to win, however, James does very occasionally seem to advise the odd each way bet as well. These have typically been on the bets that carry really long odds.

Whilst we’re on the subject of odds, this is an area where JTC Racing is very interesting. I won’t mince my words here. You are dealing with some very big bets indeed. Rarely, if ever, will James advise a horse with odds lower than 5.0. Meanwhile, the top end is well over 100.0. Whilst it is hard to calculate an average (and Betfan don’t provide this), I would say that a decent chunk of horses you will  be backing have odds that are in the double digits.

And when you look at that volume of bets that is pretty significant. November this year saw more than 120 bets. This isn’t a rare exception either with most months exceeding this number, and some even getting past 130 bets. Now on an average basis, that works out at about 4 bets per day, and that might not be too bad. But the staking plan for JTC Racing is… Significant.

On paper, James will typically advise backing a horse with stakes of anywhere from 1 point, all the way up to 5 points. But I can tell you now that you see way more bets at the top end of this scale than the bottom end. The vast majority of them are 3 point bets. As you can imagine, this can get incredibly expensive. Especially because you just don’t win very often here.

November had a strike rate of about 7%. The strongest month of September had a strike rate of about 9%. Somehow, August (which ended up being the worst performing month James had) ended up with a particularly strong strike rate of 15.6%. It’s all a bit everywhere, but the important takeaway here is that Betfan’s proofing demonstrates that you just won’t be winning all that often.

How Does JTC Racing Work?

So, there are a large number of… Concerns when it comes to JTC Racing. And a big part of this for me is that we don’t even get any insight into how James finds his selections. Don’t get me wrong, Betfan provide a little bit of information, but it certainly isn’t enough to help you to make an informed and qualified decision on JTC Racing.

All that are really told by Betfan are the few following statements. We are told that he has been “passionate about every aspect of racing and have way in excess of 4 decades of experience, a career of kind that has allowed me to expand in all areas of the sport”. We are also told that he has “taken the time to fine tune every necessary area of my private formulas and systems and now adopt some very strict rules that allow me to take winning and beating the bookie very seriously”.

That definitely sounds impressive, but you don’t have to be particularly astute to realise that it doesn’t really tell us anything. Nor does the fact that we are told James uses his “advanced knowledge” to spend between 3 and 5 hours per day completing his selection process for JTC Racing. Sure, it sounds good, and dare I say adds some air of legitimacy, but it isn’t really offering insight.

About the only thing that you can really say is good here is that Betfan do provide comprehensive proofing for JTC Racing. This goes all the way back to June of this year, however, I do think it is worth noting that it isn’t the most user friendly thing. Nonetheless, if you are willing to put in the patience, you can get at least some idea of the “ebb and flow” of James’ tips.  

What is the Initial Investment?

There are a lot of options available if you want to sign up to JTC Racing, and if I’m honest, they do offer a degree of flexibility in terms of outlay and value. Firstly, there is a weekly subscription which is pried at £7 (plus VAT) per week. Next, you can sign up for James’ tips on a “monthly” basis. This is priced at £21 (plus VAT), however, it is billed every 28 days. This means that you will pay this out 13 times per year.

Next, there is a quarterly subscription offering. This is price at £59 plus VAT) and gives 90 days of access to JTC Racing. By far and away the best value comes from signing up for 6 months. This does have the highest outlay with a cost of £100 (plus VAT), however, it works out at some £20 per month once you’ve included the cost of VAT.

As is typical for products from Betfan, there isn’t really any money back guarantee in place for JTC Racing. They say the following in their terms and conditions: “Subscriptions are generally non refundable and you accept this when subscribing to any Betfan Ltd managed service. However we will review every refund request and if we feel a refund is warranted it shall be granted.”.

What is the Rate of Return?

I know that I’ve already touched on the profits for JTC Racing, but let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture for a minute here. The overall profit at the time of writing sits at a shade over 256 points. That all sounds well and good, however this isn’t consistent profit. There was one losing month in August that saw James’ selections lose more than 100 points. That is a massive amount.

Now, to be fair to him, this was immediately turned around with almost 140 points of profit in the next month. It’s a hell of a feat to achieve, but let’s not forget, in that month, using the £100 stakes Betfan mentioned, you’d be down £10,000. Not many people I know can afford that.

Furthermore, it would be naïve to ignore the fact that the stakes have a drastic impact on these numbers. Even giving a very generous average stake of 3 points for November, you’d have staked 360 points. All to see returns of 40.12 points. That isn’t a huge amount by any stretch of the imagination.

Conclusion for JTC Racing

In theory, it is really easy to look at something like JTC Racing and get caught up in the results. 256 points in 6 and a bit months is a bloody good result and is somewhere in line with what I would want to see over the course of a year from a respectable tipster. But that would also be to level stakes. And with that in mind, when you put James’ result into context, I just don’t think it is that great.

And context is something that I think is ultimately very important here. There is no ignoring the fact that the results are based of multiple point stakes. That might make sense on a selective tipster service, but when you’re placing well in excess of 100 bets per month… Well, I find it questionable as to how much of this is needed and how much is because it makes the results look better.

Keeping with the idea of context, let’s not ignore that massive dip that exists in the results. This is a little bit interesting, because (and full credit to James for this) it was a loss of more than 100 points, that was immediately turned around into a profit. Sure, ups and downs are just a part of betting, but that is a particularly massive loss to incur. Furthermore, there are just no guarantees that if it happens again, you will see that same turnaround.

But with all of that said, I still kind of find myself seeing some appeal to JTC Racing. Now, let me qualify this statement entirely. If you are looking to actively make money through betting, I just don’t see this as being one of the better options on the market. The fact of the matter is that once you have to start framing your results in a certain light to make them look good… Well, they’re just not that good.

Now picture this though. You only want to stick a few quid on a horse because you fancy making the racing more interesting. Let’s say, for example, £2 per point. And because you are mostly betting for entertainment, you like those longer odds bets. So that when a big winner comes in, you’re off down the pub to spend it. Well, then JTC Racing starts to look interesting.

Betting just £2 per point  would mean £513 of profit generated. A number that more than covers your subs so far (which really aren’t that expensive for a tipster service). During those particularly bad runs, you’ll be at most a few hundred quid down. Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination but… Well, it isn’t a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things is it?

So, for some people, there might be some value to JTC Racing. But I really don’t see this being the case for most people. The fact of the matter is that probably the best thing that I can definitively say here is that it really isn’t expensive compared to some services on the market. But that is a long way from a reason to buy a subscription to a tipster.

Bringing all of this together, I just don’t think that I could really bring myself to recommend JTC Racing. There is an argument to be made that it has a place, but that doesn’t in and of itself mean that it is worth the investment of your time and money. Because for anybody who takes their betting seriously, there are simply much better options on the market. You might pay a little more, but for a product that doesn’t involve quite as much risk, that may ultimately prove a small price to pay.

 

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From: Simon Roberts