First Favourite

Name: First Favourite

How to Contact: Mel Gee via website or email: [email protected]

Price: £47 per month (plus VAT in UK)

Guarantee? Yes- 60 days unconditional refund offered

Service Summary: Win betting advice for horse racing. Strike rate over 55% in last 4 years. Also offers trends betting advice for major meetings.

Bank/Staking Advice: 10 point bank advised for main service with 1 point progressive ratchet staking. Trends service suggests 25 points with individual stakes advised with selections

Time Input Needed: Minutes daily. No bets Sundays.

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BBR Status: Recommended

Review: I have been following this service since 2015 in itself an unusual feat as many services do not even last their first year. The author developed a personal betting niche which identified potential winners and having tested it thoroughly he has been running subscription options since 2012. The stand out feature is the high consistent strike rate at around 55% but on top of that the attention to detail given and the over-riding philosophy that as much of the guesswork that can be seen in racing is eliminated from the process here.

On signing up you will receive a welcome email with details of how staking is recommended and access to the members area of the website which should cover the occasional days when emails do not arrive as intended. The author also adds his thoughts on most days racing via his Facebook page.

The main service looks to find horses that have the best chance of winning and odds in excess of 1.50. Any selections are advised by 9.30am daily (never anything on Sundays) and the intention is that you place the bet with a BOG bookmaker. The emphasis is on winning bets rather than quantity and past results are shown on the site and also proofed independently to Best Tipping. If you are restricted on the BOG front a betting exchange should work for you but a drift in odds would not be reflected in your winnings. A betting bank of 10 points is advised with 1 point progressive ratchet staking – should a selection lose you maintain the stake at the level of the previous bet. When there is a winner re-calculate your stake at 10% of the bank. The bank is re-started each month after withdrawing any profit or topping up if needed.

As a consequence of a change in the number of certain race types the main service has seen fewer selections and to compensate his subscribers Mel has introduced an additional facet called Trends Bonus Bets. This is where advice is offered on the top class racing events through the year which have history of 10 years or more allowing in depth analysis of the potential. Full analysis of races is provided by email and betting is advised both to win and each way with individual staking detailed using a separate betting bank of 25 points. Again the emphasis is on caution with selections graded in 3 tiers, the top 2 only actually recommending bets.

Before I get to the service performance a general thought about the way in which services results are reported. There is a tendency to use the number of points profit as the headline figure and this leads to many services using inflated staking plans to try and make it seem they are doing well. For example a service which stakes 5 points per selection may be showing a profit of 100 points compared to another staking at 1 point with an overall 23 points gain. If the number of bets to achieve these results were the same then the 1 point service is performing better but the headlines may not make this appear to be the case. So we always use the Return on Stakes Invested as the key indicator and you should also look at the capital growth achieved. Here a 10 point profit may not sound much but it is actually a doubling of your starting bank!

The selective nature of the main service can be seen from the total selections over 4 years being just 318 of which 173 have been successful – strike rate of 55%. This has achieved a capital growth of 259.28% at an ROI of 7.51% with the average odds being all but 2.1.Mel will be the first to agree that recently the performance has tailed off mainly a result of the lack of suitable races which is reflected in the significantly lower number of selections seen. Doubtless the author will be making some fine adjustments to his process but I have no doubt that he will not be sacrificing his core principles which might be summarised as “never bet for the sake of it”.

As for the trends they are also showing overall profits with the majority of bets being each way recommendations. In all 69 bets have returned cash to the bank from 184 runners. A capital profit of 37% has been made at an ROI of 5.09%. There was a period of 3 weeks recently where no bets could be found again reflecting the cautious nature of the advice offered by this highly professional tipster.

I regard the service as the type that should be a corner stone of any betting portfolio. It is focused on the long term and does not take undue risks with subscribers cash. The consistent strike rate over such an extended period is a strong feature indicating that any downturn is likely to be overcome without undue pain. We will continue to monitor and update performance for the long term to underpin the recommended status of the service.

Update June 2020: As you would expect from an honest and open service the minute racing was suspended in March subscriptions were suspended by Mel and appropriate refunds given. He has now considered how racing will be operating in the short term and concluded that it is not appropriate to re-start the service for at least the rest of 2020. A principled decision which others might have been better to follow.

We shall of course be ready should the service re-start.

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