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   How to win the Betfred-Tote Ten-To-Follow Competition   
  
1.  What is the Totesport Ten To Follow?
2. How to enter the Ten To Follow.  And what it will cost.
3. Why is the TTF competition special?
    
4.  How many horses should you do, what are the odds, how to perm them?
5. Which horses should you do?
6. How many lines should you do?
    
7.  Importance of well-structured lines.
8. Easier than ever to win on the Flat (formerly).
  
 
Update 11.11.2012 - The former Racing Post-Totesport Ten-To-Follow competition became, for the 2012-13 Jumps season, the Racing Post Betfred-Tote ten-to-follow.  Some excellent changes have been made as a result of Betfred's involvement.  Most notably: the cost of entry is halved to the 5 per line it originally was in 1993 - for a guaranteed prize to the winner of 250,000; the complication of adding subs in February has been scrapped; monthly prizes have also been scrapped so as to boost the end pot; there will be an Xmas present of 5,000 for the leader at halfway (31st December); actual, not adjusted Tote-price points will be available for all winners and, brand new, for all placed runners as well; entry will no longer be available through coupons printed in the Racing Post, only either online at the superb www.tentofollow.com website (where rules and most-popular stats can also be seen) or by using the special ten-to-follow betting slips in any Betfred betting shop (phoning freefone Helpline 0800 666 160 first for the address of your nearest branch and verification they still have some slips and rules left); the competition kicks off on Friday 16th November (i.e. just before Paddy Power Gold Cup day) but 'late' entries or additional entries will be accepted at anytime up to midnight on 30th November (i.e. just before Hennessy Gold Cup day).  The only serious negative to the rule changes is the childish introduction of a 'Fantasy' element (viz. having to nominate a Star horse in each line which will earn double its Tote points each time it runs and wins or places).  That last point obviously detracts badly from the time-honoured skill-based tradition of the TTF competition.  That it's impact may ultimately prove to be relatively negligible come next April is the best that can be hoped for.  Otherwise, the changes seem excellent.  But do keep in mind the page below has not been updated to reflect any of the new changes.
 
              
  1. What is the Totesport Ten To Follow?

The TTF (Ten-To-Follow) is an exciting UK horseracing competition run jointly by Totesport (formerly the Tote) and the Racing Post newspaper.  Of all the big-money competitions around, this one is the nearest there is to being a game of skill rather than just pure chance.  From its earliest days, the competition was rightly dubbed the "thinking man's lottery".

Winning the competition definitely lends itself to a systematic approach and that is what these pages are all about - namely Capital Ratings' free online system for the Ten To Follow.  This particular page is a general guide to both the competition and some elements of the system, from an introductory, tactical and historical aspect.  If you want to get straight to the main system page, click the orange tab above labelled "Current...".  If you want to step back through the results' pages for previous years, click the orange tab labelled "Prvs TTF".  If you want to see a concise summary of what could have been won each year since 2001 - in fact, has been won in some cases - click the orange tab labelled "Start".

When the Racing Post first introduced the competition way back in 1993, it immediately proved so popular with the paper's readership, both home and overseas, that the competition has been run twice a year ever since.  There is one competition for the Flat season (which our  system is sometimes unable to cover), and another, more popular, and more valuable competition for the Jumps (which our system always covers).

From the TTF's early, tentative beginnings, it steadily matured in both finesse and popularity to a stage whereby the expected prize-money to the winner rose to levels of nearly 200,000 for the Flat and nearly 500,000 for the Jumps during the competition's heyday.

To take part, you need a good knowledge of horseracing yourself or you need one or more friends who are  knowledgeable to team up with you.  Without access to racing knowledge there is absolutely no point in entering.  You would stand no chance at all - this competition is not a mindless gambling game like the lottery, bingo, scratchcards or roulette machines.  It's on a separate level altogether.

Ten-To-Follow players are initially presented with a large master-list of eligible horses, published frequently in the Racing Post during April (Flat) and October/November (Jumps).  The master-list has progressively been reduced over the years.  It was once a massive 1,000 horses, then 500, then 250 for the Flat from 2009, and 400 for the Jumps from 2009-10.  Shrinking the list has made the competition much tighter i.e. harder.  This has shrivelled the wide winning margins our system frequently used to be able to stack up in some earlier years.  However, the smaller master-lists make it a lot easier for the organisers to administer the run-up to each competition, and the season-long monitoring of results, which is fair enough.

The first task for all players is to whittle down the main master-list to a much more manageable shortlist of, say, two to three dozen worthwhile animals.  This whittling down is one of the key things our system does for followers.  Once a shortlist has been compiled, players then have to perm the horses into any number of different lines of ten horses, and submit their lines using either the postal entry forms provided in the Racing Post or via the Totesport website.  The newspaper, with the help of the Tote, tracks the performance of the tens of thousands of lines throughout the season, and prints a new leader-board twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays.  A horse is awarded a number of points every time it wins a race, the amount varying from 10 points up to 50 points, depending on the quality of the race won.  In addition, varying levels of bonus points will be added if the Tote odds of a winner are high.  The ten people whose lines amass the most points by the end of the competition's duration win big prizes.  The person with most points wins the bulk of the prize-money on offer.  In addition, there is a series of separate bonus prizes for the person who scores moist points each month [ranging from 10,000 to 20,000].  And there are two further 10,000 prizes for the leading points' scorers at two top class Flat meetings, at Royal Ascot and York's Ebor Meeting, and 25,000 at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival (10K prior to 2009).  So, even if you fall out of contention for the overall prizes early on, there are continuing opportunities for monthly and Festival prizes right through the season.

The prize money comes from the entry fees which competitors submit with their entries.  More on costs at the end of the next section.

2. How to enter the Tote Ten To Follow.  And what it will cost

Entry forms, rules and instructions are published in the Racing Post over the few weeks before a competition gets underway, and on the Totesport website.

The competition was originally entirely for postal entries.  Then telephone entries were allowed.  Finally online entries.

Nowadays, the competition is biased towards online entries.  Be aware, though, that some non-UK countries wisely ban international online gambling.  For example, in 2010, Totesport would reject or void any online entries from the USA, Netherlands and Switzerland.  For current restrictions, check out the https://ttf.totesport.com/HowToEnter.htm page during the run-up period.

An ability to enter by telephone was discontinued in 2009 due to a lack of take-up.

Postal entries are now charged more than online entrants.  This alienation, during a time of recession, was accompanied by a big collapse in the value of the first prizes for the Flat 2009 and the Flat 2010.  Similarly, there was a big collapse in the Jumps' first prize, down to 264K for 2009-10, and significantly down again to 212K for 2010-11.

Back in 2005, a new rule was introduced for the Jumps TTF which allowed two horses to be changed halfway through the season.  A great idea except, in that first year, it was only available to telephone and internet entrants.  That made it virtually essential to submit entries, for that season at least, by the internet (or telephone) or not at all.  That uneven playing field drove out so many former enthusiasts that the rule was quickly amended for the following 2006-7 Jumps season to permit substitutions for postal entries also.  From 2008, the substitutions rule was changed again, for Flat and Jumps, to allow players to add two horses for free (previously 5 per horse per line) without having to take two horses out, with the final best 10 from 12 counting.  That was a fabulous rule improvement because it took all the previous stress and cost out of substitution time.

From 2009, the cost of entering was 12 per line using a Racing Post postal entry form, or 10 using the Totesport's online submission pages.  So, to submit twelve lines by post would cost 144.  This may seem a lot but, when you consider that the said 12 lines will bring lots of fun, enjoyment, excitement and anticipation for the whole length of a racing season, for the weekly equivalent of one packet of twenty fags or one gallon of petrol, it is worth the cost whether you win or lose.  Just for the record, the costs in the past were: 1993 to 2001-2 5 per line; 2002 to 2008 10 per line; 2008-9 12 per line; 2009 either 12 postal or 10 online per line.

3. Why is the 'tentofollow' Competition so special?

The great attraction of this particular racing competition is that skill, knowledge and experience count for everything.  If you are somebody with those things, or you know somebody else who is, and you can combine those attributes with inspired judgement, then it is quite feasible that you could be a future winner.  Over the years, the big prizes have been won by all levels of racing enthusiasts, from trainers' assistants to students, unemployed punters, doctors of science, betting shop managers, and golfers.  But, most important, there have been repeat winners, including people on our own team and readers following our system.  Which goes to show that skill, not just luck, is a significant factor.  In fact, one of our team won over 212,000 in prizes and, later, another of our team was well on course to collect a similar jackpot when a heartbreaking end-of-season run of eleven seconds in eleven races robbed him of outright victory - and he had to settle for a mere 9th-place prize of only 3,000 in the end.  That was all before we started to publish our system online in 2001.  Since then, the system has produced ever increasing chances of winning for a steadily growing band of followers, though none of them managed to capitalise on the opportunities until success for some finally came in 2007-8 with a share in the 10K prize for most points at Cheltenham, a share in the 10K prize for most points in March, and taking 3rd place overall, itself worth 35,000.  The best result was in 2009-10 when followers finished 1st overall (winning 265,000) and 6th overall (winning 9,000).  To have two different sets of followers finishing in the top ten in the same year was unbelievable.

4.  How many horses should you do, what are the odds, how to perm them?

One year, the competition was won by somebody who scribbled out just two lines covering twenty horses while sitting on the loo.  And another year by somebody who did three lines, also covering twenty horses.  However, twenty selections is simply not enough to provide a steady flow of runners in the critical races.  And, if you do not have runners in those races, when you can see the leaders do, then frustration, boredom and loss of interest soon sets in.  Our early experiences of the competition showed one needs nearer 40 horses than 20 to be confident of having a runner in virtually every critical race.  However, one also has to be aware that the chances of lining up any 10 from 40 is mathematically non-existent - it's an enormous 847 million to 1 against.  To put that in perspective, the odds of winning the UK National Lotto (6 numbers from 49) are 'only' 14 million to 1 (and only 1 a line, not 12!).  The strategy employed by our system is a compromise between having enough runners to maintain interest on the one hand while still hoping to be able to perm them to win on the other hand.  That goal is achieved by limiting the system's shortlist to never more than 36 horses, fewer whenever practicable, the lowest having been just 26 one year, with 32 having been commonplace in more recent years.  The odds of lining up any 10 from 36 achieves a 70% reduction in the odds, down to 254 million to 1.  Still a totally impossible number, however - so we further sub-divide the 36 horses into several smaller, separately permable subgroups, which brings the odds crashing down even further.  In fact, in the first few years we were posting the system online, we succeeded in reducing the initially horrendous odds down to a much more attractive 180,000 to 1 against lining up the best ten.  Unfortunately, though, later rule changes in the competition put the Flat version of our system out of action (from 2004 to 2007 and from 2009), and also forced us to widen the perming instructions for the Jumps' version in order to still be in with some sort of reasonable expectancy of trapping a winning combination somewhere in the list.  Consequently, the odds of perming any ten horses are now 4 million to 1 for the NH version (which has five subgroups), and would be 2 million to 1 for the Flat version (which has six subgroups).  Still frighteningly high but, at least, now better than the lottery and, as we have seen in practice, genuinely surmountable by followers.  That is because those odds represent the worst case scenario.  In practice, the system's odds are likely to be considerably lower - once, in fact, as low as double-figures.  That can happen in years when the form works out well, with the stronger fancied horses, and those starting favourite, all doing their stuff.  And/or in the years when our shortlists contain a lot more than just a bare ten scoring horses, as happened in all five recent seasons from 2005-6 to 2010-11.  The odds against anybody ever lining up a winning ten will always be very daunting, of course.  No point in pretending otherwise.  In fact, one year, our shortlist totally blew out (Jumps 2002-3).  And looked like it would do so again in 2009-10 for a couple of months.  The undeniable thing, though, win or lose, is that the odds are always going to be hundreds of millions of times better for the small number of people who know about our website than for the vast majority of other people who will be doing their own thing trying to pick lines of ten from the full master-list of horses and perming them ad hoc.  The odds of them pulling that off, from a master-list of 400 horses, are a staggering 25 million million million to 1 against.  Need we say more!

By using our shortlist, you can, in theory, greatly improve the odds by using the stronger fancies from the shortlist in more lines than the more speculative fancies.  For instance, most sections of the system's shortlist are built around blocks of four horses.  In fact, the first Jumps block (which is for 2m Champion Hurdle types) always includes exactly four selections.

Sometimes the blocks in the shortlist may contain a blank space (e.g. only three named horses in a block instead of four).  The blanks are what help to bring the overall total down from 36 horses to, say, only 32.  But, under the rules, each blank space still has to be permed into your lines pro-rata with its position in a block.  The blank then serves to be filled with a name later, as a wildcard entry from somewhere in the list.

The top (strongest) horse in a block of four should typically go in twice as many lines as the bottom (weakest) horse (or four-times as many in a block of 8).  And the horses or blank(s) in between, pro-rata.  So, if horse A was, say, in six of your lines overall, horse B might be in five lines, a blank space (wildcard) in four lines and horse D in three lines.  So the truncated coverage might look something like this...
1.  Horse   A A A A A A      
2. Horse   B B B       B B  
3. Blank         w w   w   w
4. Horse             D   D D
...where the four instances of a W (a blank 'wildcard' space) could be horses A, B & D again, from the same block, thus perming the three named horses more tightly, or the Ws could be upto four different horses from anywhere else in the entire shortlist (like a full wildcard), or a mix of both.  The above block is only a small example with only a few lines, but it shows how to weight the horses and blank spaces according to their positions within a block.  Suggested weightings are included in the system but they really are only suggestions, generally market-driven.  Infuriatingly, horses do not necessarily play accordingly - so never be afraid to overrule our weighting suggestions if your own judgement tells you to do so.

By repeating the above style of weighting for each other block in the shortlist, the theoretical odds can be significantly swung in your favour in years when the form works out as it should.  This tactic helps to make it perfectly feasible to cover 36 selections in a relatively small number of lines with a high expectation of success - until, that is, the competition actually gets underway, and the horses decide not to play ball!

In our perming illustration above, we have used a block of two from four which, admittedly, is easy to cover fairly tightly.  Where it gets harder is in some of the other blocks in the system's shortlist which involve either two from eight or (over Jumps) one case of three from twelve.  There is no way those blocks can be permed tightly within themselves - let alone with the other blocks.  It would take 6 million lines (costing 72m) to cover every possible combination.  But, whenever the stronger horses do the business and/or an excess of scoring horses occur within the eight and twelve horse blocks, which is often what does occur in our shortlists, then the chance of success will often have been there for the taking.

If, as we have advised elsewhere, you do about twelve lines each year (cost 144 for postal entries), we recommend you should, in your first four lines, cover all 36 selections, using a mix in each of those lines of stronger horses with more speculative horses.  By covering every horse at least once, you will, at least, enjoy a steady flow of runners to keep your interest up, right through the season, with many of those runners in the crucial key races.  Also, by the end of December, in the Jumps competition, if there are, say, ten or more winning horses somewhere in the shortlist, you will be guaranteed to have every one of them at least once somewhere in one of those first four lines.  Of course, Sod's Law dictates the ten scorers would fall uselessly e.g. 3 3 2 2 across those four lines (that always happens to us!).  But, if they fell...  cont. in RH col.
  Item 4 continued from LH col.

right for you, and it's always a possibility, then you would have a line high up on the leader-board at the halfway stage, with some very good horses in it.  Hence you could be in with a chance of winning the bonus prize for most points in December [20K, up from 10K prior to 2010].  The December prize has actually been one of the easiest opportunities of winning something with our system because the shortlist provided multiple winning lines in each of three of the four Decembers from 2004 to 2007.  And, as an extra tease, from 2010, there was a new 10K prize for the overall leader at the end of November.

If you do a dozen or so lines, then, after covering all 36 horses in the first four lines, you should, for the remaining lines, start applying some serious weighting to the horses (i.e. covering some horses more than others, and whittling some out altogether).  Mix them about a bit, using 50% skilled judgement and, just as important, 50% imaginative intuition - giving it your very best shot to try to bring the eventual best-scoring ten from the shortlist together in one of your lines.

In any year when there are vacancies (blank spaces) in the shortlist they must be included in your first four lines, and then pro-rata in all additional lines in accordance with their standing in their respective blocks.  Each vacancy serves as a wildcard as per the system's wildcard rule.  Do not bypass including the vacant slots as they provide a powerful last-minute fine-tuning opportunity.  Similarly, do not abuse a wildcard opportunity at the November stage by bringing in personal fancies from outside the shortlist.  It may not seem like it to you, but the extra horses would mean you would, effectively, be trying to cover more than 36 selections.  And that would dilute your entry and, ultimately, seriously reduce, not enhance, your chances of finding a winning line if there were any in the system's original shortlist.

36 selections can only ever be permed loosely, never tightly.  That means many of your lines will always completely miss the target.  But that is part and parcel of the system strategy.  The ultimate aim is that a solitary line will come through one year and hit the target.  And just one is all it takes to win a prize.  If that ever happens it should never be thought of as lucky - as that was the objective.  On the other hand, if all your lines keep missing the target every year, like ours keep doing, then that is definitely a case of atrocious bad luck.  At least, that's the way we look at it!

We are occasionally asked are we not spoiling our own chances of ever winning the competition again by publishing our shortlist and rules for all-and-sundry to see.  But it's not a problem.  The more people who do the competition, the bigger the pot for everyone to aim at.  And, in any case, the chances of two different people entering identical winning lists of 10 horses from the same shortlist of 36 selections is, at 10 or 12 per line, financially non-existent.

The end of February is substitution time.  By then, the majority of everybody's lines will probably be out of the running for the overall Jumps' prize.  However, every single line entered by everybody resumes from scratch (zero points) for a crack at winning the Cheltenham 25K bonus prize.  So, you may find, with the aid of two additional horses per line come February, that you can create some lines which will have an extremely good chance (on paper at least) of winning one of the two bonus prizes in March [changed, from 2011, to 25K in March for most points at Cheltenham and, a great innovation, a new 10K consolation prize for most points in April (i.e. at Aintree) - thus allowing everybody to dream of a last-ditch consolation prize].

5.  Which horses should you do?

Horses have to be chosen from a master list printed in the Racing Post newspaper.  So they are actually giving you the winning list to start off with.  It is definitely in there somewhere - all you have to do is fathom out where, using knowledge and judgement.  Easier said than done, true, but perfectly feasible, and always immensely enjoyable just trying.  However, our own carefully prepared shortlist, published here on this website each season since 2001, is as good a starting point as you could possibly hope to find.

One big tip, when reading any media articles about your fancies, is not to be sucked in by glowing reports about the stars of last year (which any fool can write).  All too often, it will turn out that it was last year you needed many of them, not the coming year.  A preponderance of past stars regularly fail to shine again in the following season to anything like the same degree as before.  Inevitably, though, the four or five 'names' which do score highly again are almost always vital to a winning entry.  So, a balance between horses of established class with horses potentially high class, combined with an expectation for every selection used to achieve 75 points on average, based on the type of race you expect it to be targeted at, is what should dictate the actual horses you do.

6.  How many lines should you do?

As we said earlier, the competition has been won by people doing as few as two or three lines.  But that was unusual.  Most winners have usually made a much more determined attempt to win than that.  In fact, a lot of entrants form small syndicates with friends and family in order to spread the cost of entering a reasonable number of lines.  If you were to cover up to 36 horses, as we tend to do, you need to enter at least a dozen lines, more if you can afford it - but do not go over the top because Martin's rule on lotteries says "Doing too many lines does not increase your chances of winning - it increases your chances of losing more."  Try not to lose sight of this simple but little understood law of improbability.

Having said that, there are have been several really big hitters in the competition since 2009, who think nothing of doing a thousand lines or more (that's 10,000+) if necessary.  They have systems of their own (they never used ours, unfortunately - we wish they had!) which basically consist of covering as many top horses as possible in fairly tight perms, sometimes changing only one horse per line at a time.  An extremely expensive strategy at 10 a line.  Some of those players have had no return on their outlay so far.  The best known big hitter is Thebuzzword from Warrington, but some excruciating near-misses have meant his wins to date are not quite covering his outlay.  And, by 2011/12, he had been overshadowed by the in-form Haleemab from the same neck of the woods, Stoke, who couldn't put a foot wrong.

In contrast, the two sets of followers of our system who finished in the top ten in 2009-10 submitted 25 lines each.  So, maybe there's a message in that.  Though even that relatively small number of lines costs a lot of money (250) - and is certainly a top limit we would care to risk on the competition ourselves.  That is because, at the end of the day, only an elite few can ever make it onto the final leaderboard, and only a decimated fraction of them can finish in the top ten.

In any competition there must, by definition, always be a great many more losers than winners.  But this particular competition is, without doubt, as we said at the top of this page, the "thinking man's lottery".  So, make entering it every Jumps season, with a comfortable number of lines, a regular part of the rest of your life.  And, of course, use our system when doing so as, who knows, you might be the one to pull it off next time.

7.  Well-structured lines are so important

To give yourself any chance of winning the competition, you require a well-structured entry of only the right kind of horses.  Failure to observe good line structure is what destroys the vast bulk of entries.  By using our perming rules, the structuring of lines is taken care of automatically.

A well-structured entry for the Jumps is one where every line entered contains horses, in appropriate proportions, which will run in bonus races like the Paddy Power Gold Cup, Hennessy and King George, or in other valuable prep-races en route to ultimately contending championship races like the Champion Hurdle, Arkle, Champion Chase, RSA chase, World Hurdle and Gold Cup.  If you would like to see how our structuring strategy was applied, with enormous potential, in past Jumps seasons, click back through the "Prvs TTFs" tab at the top of our pages.

A well-structured entry for the Flat is one where every line entered contains horses, in appropriate proportions, that will be contending all the top-class Flat races throughout the season, from sprint distances, through the Classic distances, to the Cup (staying) races.

8.  Easier than ever to win on the Flat

We included that prophetic heading in the first-ever posting of this page at the start of the 2001 Flat competition.  The prediction held true over the following three Flat seasons of 2001, 2 & 3.  In 2004, however, a change was made to the official competition rules which rendered the Flat version of our system unviable.  That remained the case for the four years 2004, 5, 6 & 7.

That 'Easier than ever...' heading had been prompted by some excellent rule changes to the competition in 2001.  The new changes came after an actual survey of entrants' opinions the year before - which showed they favoured a later closing date for entries, at the end of May (i.e. pre-Derby), not as before at the end of April (pre-Guineas).  The later closing date prevailed for the said three years after which the rule was, unfortunately, changed back to the original, earlier closing date in 2004.  That rule change put the Flat version of our system out of action. That remained the situation for four more Flat seasons until, in 2008, in an effort to stem the dwindling support for the Flat competition, the organisers restored the later starting date.  Accordingly, we resurrected the Flat version of our system for the 2008 season, though only as a wait-and-see blank template version which users could use to write in horses of their own choosing.  However, the rule was unfortunately changed back to an early start from 2009.

Purely for the historical record, the reason the Flat TTF became easier for somebody to win in 2001, and much fairer for absolutely everybody, was actually fourfold: (i) most important, of course, was that the start of the competition was deferred by a month, to the beginning of June, just before the English Oaks and Derby, instead of at the beginning of May (just before the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas) - the later start meant there was some current Classic, and major trials' form to go on when selecting horses, (ii) which Godolphin horses would come to Britain to race had previously been a dire guessing game but were now much more likely to be known, (iii) the number of horses to choose from for the Flat was halved, from 1,000 down to only 500, (iv) the number of 50-point bonus races was nearly doubled - from only 9 in 1999 to as many as 16 in 2001, with all the new ones being top-class conditions races, as opposed to handicaps, thus making the type of horse to concentrate on even simpler.

In the years prior to 2001, before our system was online, when the competition had an early, pre-Guineas start, missing out on more than one of the four early Classic winners had been like the kiss of death for the rest of the Flat season.  But, thanks to the later start in 2001, and the extra bonus races, the need to bias one's entry around a lot of mainly unknown, underexposed 3yo milers (for the two Guineas races) was completely eliminated.  It was because we were so confident in our prediction that we decided, in 2001, to post our Ten To Follow system here on the internet for all to see for the first time.  Our system managed a line that first year online which could have won the Flat first prize, worth 116,000.  But, inevitably, there were few if any online readers that first year and, in fact, because there was no Google in those days, it took a number of years for our website to gain enough believing readers for some actual winners to emerge.]

The following year (2002) saw two more official rule changes.  This time, done without canvassing players' opinions.  One unfortunate change was the promotion of three Breeders' Cup races from 25-point races to 50-point bonus-status (idea thankfully abandoned in subsequent years).  The other unfortunate change was the doubling of the cost of entries from £5 per line to £10 per line.  These new changes sadly resulted in around 25% of people then dropping out of the Flat competition, or having to reduce their number of lines.  But the first-prize for the Flat that year, nevertheless, rose hugely from £116,000 in 2001 to £166,000 in 2002.  A very nice touch for the winner.  [Our system managed a line that year which could have won 2nd prize, worth 23,740.]

The next year (2003) fortunately saw the removal of the Breeders' Cup meeting from the TTF competition.  But the cost of entry unfortunately remained at the new level of 10 per line.  Our system was back on full form that year, managing a line which could have won the 1st prize, worth 180,000.

After that, the 2004 Flat competition's rules sadly reverted to the original, early closing date in April i.e. before any trials or the Guineas had even been run.  The extra bonus races still meant, at least, that missing more than one Classic winner would not necessarily be the kiss of death it had been before.  Nevertheless, it was obvious the Flat competition was being made impossibly difficult for our systematic approach.  And so it was that, after our system enjoyed remarkable online performances in the three Flat seasons of 2001, 2 & 3 when, ironically, there were hardly any real followers, we had to discontinue posting any Flat shortlists as from 2004.

In 2008, a later start was restored to the Flat competition, and substitutions could be made for free.  These were both very good rule changes.  The later start also meant we were able to resurrect the Flat version of our system after its enforced 4-year layoff.  However, we chose only to post the raw method - no horses' names, just suitably updated rules, though we did also provide a downloadable blank template which followers could use to enter in their own choice of horses.

From 2009, the Flat competition changed back to a pre-Guineas start in an attempt to gain more support (as the prize money had eroded badly compared with the NH competition).  However, people showed their disapproval by dropping out in their droves, and the prize-money to the winner collapsed almost down to the inaugural level of 1993.  It also meant, of course, that the Flat version of our system was rendered unviable once more.  We couldn't even post a blank template.

What next?

The NH version of our system has continued to pack in some outstanding performances in the years since 2001 - though mostly with exemplary lines which somehow tend to completely eluded followers and ourselves.  However, a good many followers have enjoyed seeing their names on the overall leaderboard - some when using the system for the first time after years in the wilderness trying to do their own thing.  And there has been a catalogue of heart-breaking 'if only' near-misses.  Whilst a few followers have actually been in the money, winnings including a share of a 25,000 bonus prize, a share of a 10,000 monthly prize, a 3rd place overall for 35,000, a 1st place for 264,000, and a 6th place for 9,000.  But, ironically, nothing more for our own team here, not even close, not once since we began posting the system online!

We would like to end by saying if, at your first attempt at the Jumps competition with our system, you do not succeed, do not give up.  Try again the following season.  And remember that just seeing your name on the leader board is a very major achievement in its own right in this competition.  To actually win some money will, frustratingly, always elude virtually everybody, with or without the help of our system.  But enabling people to finish higher than they have ever managed before, often with their names in the paper, is something our system has helped plenty of people to do.

If you have any comments or queries, click the Contact button below to email us.  If you do write but do not get any kind of acknowledgement from us, either by email or a mention on the 'Current...' webpage, not even after a while, it will mean your e-mail unfortunately never got to us.  If that happens, don't hold it us against us as we're nice guys really.

Cheers everybody, and good luck if you do go in for the TTF.

Go to page for current TTF
 



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  First posting May 2001    Last amended 8.7.2012 (dmy)  
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