Alex Hammond of Sky Sports offers a service which is extremely simple and, even better, completely free!
I couldn’t help wondering whether her daily service represented a deceptively simple option... perhaps here was a winning tipster, hiding in plain sight.
Welcome then to my trial of Alex Hammond’s Free Tips service!
Alex Hammond has been a regular face on Sky Sports since 2003. The Sky Sports website describes her as: “a born-and-bred horse racing fan who began her working life as an assistant in the pedigree department of one of the top thoroughbred studs in the UK”.
All of which makes you think she probably knows her stuff.
And it’s a simple enough business to follow her for free, as Alex’s daily selection appears on the Sky Sports website every morning – though not, it seems, always on the same page.
I tend to find the easiest way to locate it is simply to Google "Alex Hammond Tip of the Day". This is because Sky post her selections in a blog style, with a daily article. For example, the post for 30th January 2018 is here.
There is no guidance given with respect to bank or stake size so I am going to back at level 1 point stakes and use a 50 point bank.
I have often mentioned that I generally find no correlation between the price of tipster services and their quality. So it follows I would be unsurprised if Alex’s free selections make as much money as any commercial service.
I’m going to stick with my usual minimum of 200 selections, which means this one-bet-a-day trial is going to take me a shade over six months to complete.
I’ll be back in late February with my first progress report.
Update: 28th February 2017
What shall we say about Alex Hammond?
I was excited about this free service. Sky Sports’s tipster offers anyone and everyone one free horse racing selection a day. And you don’t have to sign up to a mailing list or follow anybody’s Twittering in order to get it.
So... could profitable betting really be this easy?
Well... unfortunately, the trial has made a terrible start.
We’ve had just two winners out of 30 selections which translates into the following eye-watering performance figures:
|Alex Hammond Tips – 1st Trial Month||Price taken||Betfair SP|
|Profit||(£ 475.00)||(£ 488.94)|
|New Bank||£ 525.00||£ 511.06|
|%age bank Growth||-47.50%||-48.89%|
|Wins(races w/ profit)||2||2|
|Strike rate(races w/ profit)||6.67%||6.67%|
I really don’t wish to be unkind but I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about those statistics.
This report is the betting equivalent of car-crash TV. The results are appalling but, equally, it’s hard to take your eyes off them. I have lost over half my betting bank in just thirty bets!
Now, to be fair, Alex’s tips don’t come up with a recommended bank size but still: I’d allowed fifty points and expected it to last significantly longer than this. No fewer than 40% of the selections have been at Betfair SP’s of below 4, so this is hardly a service that goes after longshots.
These low prices also mean that it’s very unlikely my trial will ever recover from its disastrous start, unless, I suppose, the strike rate now leaps from its current sub-7% level to something quite improbable.
So: I’m going to give the service until 100 bets before I write another report. If, at that point, there are still signs of life, I will push on to my usual 200 bet target.
If, of course, in the meantime, the bank balance is blown altogether, I’ll be back to close the whole thing down.
Honestly, what an anti-climax.
Update: 30th April 2017
It’s barely been three months since I started testing Alex Hammond’s free tipster service on Sky Sports.
Alex provides a single daily horse racing selection to anyone who’s interested. It doesn’t cost a bean and you don’t even have to provide an email address to get it.
Instead, you just drop into Sky’s site sometime in the morning – preferably, late morning as publishing times can vary quite a bit – pick up your selection and away you go.
So, in short, it all sounds great. There was, in fact, just one hitch.
After my first month’s testing, I’d lost almost 24 points!
So... was this just a particularly bad case of the New Triallist’s Curse? Or a sign of worse to come?
Sadly, things have continued in the same vein. Indeed, as of Sunday night, 16th April, I’d completely blown my £1,000 Betfair SP bank. This equated to a loss of over 50 points as I’d been betting at £20 a point.
The full performance statistics tell the whole sorry tale:
|Alex Hammond – Free Horse Racing Tips||Price taken||Betfair SP|
|Profit||(£ 995.00)||(£ 1,022.98)|
|New Bank||£ 5.00||(£ 22.98)|
|%age bank Growth||-99.50%||-102.30%|
|Wins(races w/ profit)||6||6|
|Strike rate(races w/ profit)||8.57%||8.57%|
As you can see, my "Price Taken" bank, based on the odds I managed to secure in the live market, has also been decimated. And as it has been reduced to just £5, I am unable to put on any further bets with it either.
It follows that the trial has had to close as I am clean out of money.
If you’d like to read the full results log (and, trust me, it isn’t for the faint-hearted), you can do so here.
This has been an unusual trial in a number of ways.
In particular, there is no guidance as to bank or stake size. So I set my starting balance to 50 points and put on a single point per bet. You could argue that my bank would not have been blown if I had used a different arbitrary sum.
However, I am sticking to my decision to close the trial. A loss of 50 points in just 70 bets, when only placing a single point on each one, is almost unbelievably bad.
As I have a zeroised bank balance, I get to play the Surfaris’ Wipeout theme tune on my site once again. Partly to highlight what a rare event it is to lose an entire betting bank, but mainly because it’s a brilliant song:
Shocking tipster and woman who is also a affliate for Skybet so they love all her losing selections.Blocks anyone on Twitter who questions her true motives, i bet 1000,000 blocked so far!
Her ‘Daily Double’ selections are shocking too. Don’t follow her loss % but she must be well down
Wow! That is truly awful from a so called expert. Six wins from 70 takes some doing as many are quite short. However it could be just a bad run I suppose. Hugh Taylor has racked up 40+ losing streaks and no-one would say he was a bad tipster, quite the opposite but of course getting the prices is another story.
I don’t think it’s a bad run, I’ve tested her a couple of months ago and I had very similar results. (Two winners in a month if I recall) I wouldn’t even dare to lay her tips though. It’s like she just picks some nice looking horse.
The problem I found with laying her selections was that finding what they were was a bit hit and miss at times, when it came to when and where they were listed.
Sorry Lucy if outside links are not allowed with the second one, so please feel free to delete if not.
Any chance of going over results to see if laying works.
I will have a quick look over the weekend but I think we can be confident that the outturn would have been positive when laying. However, this would still be a whole different trial and it doesn’t mean that Alex’s tips could be used for laying either.
For a start, I only managed 70 bets before my 50 point bank was wiped out. But I wouldn’t be happy with a 70 bet laying trial. It seems counter-intuitive but an under-performing service is quite capable of being a losing proposition for both backers and layers. In effect, the outcome becomes similar to random betting, which of course we wouldn’t expect to deliver profit.
A quick update… if we had been able to lay all 70 selections at Betfair SP for £20 stakes, we would have won £924.40 at an ROI of 13.2%.
However, as I said before, I, personally, wouldn’t consider laying these selections any more than I would consider laying randomly and for the same reasons. Namely that, demonstrably poor choices do not make a sound basis for a good system.
Wow – what a difference! This is probably where I’ve gone wrong with all the tipsters I’ve followed – should have done the opposite of what they advised 🙂
Must be worth considering using her tips for laying purposes, I know it doesn’t always work out that way but still a 91% strike rate is appealing.
March and April are particularly notorious for strange racing results so she may pick up in the summer, will just monitor for now I reckon.