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To The Cappers
A Message to Users of The Capper - June 25, 2004

Tips On Using The Capper

The Importance of the Charts When Using Spot Plays

I just now am getting to the point where I have an entire year's data on some of The Capper's spot plays. It's very interesting because I’m now seeing confirmed the streakiness of even the best handicapping methods. Take a look at this year-long chart of one of my favorite spot play/subcategories, Last Chance Bomb Getter/Route:

I bet this spot play starting last July, with a few periods off because of downturns on the chart, right through January of this year. It was a great ride during that period from July through January. Then for the next three months (January, February and March) Last Chance Bomb Getter/Route went into a holding pattern in which it just broke even. Most of this time, because of the way I play the charts, I was not betting it. Then, starting around April 1st, this play went into a tailspin for three months (April, May and June) which only now is giving signs of turning around. Because I generally don’t play a chart that is below its 2-Week Moving Average, I was out of this play pretty much all of this period.

I think that a lot of handicapping success for any given handicapping method is season-specific. It’s going to be interesting to see if over the next 12 months this pattern repeats itself for Last Chance Bomb Getter/Route: upward movement through most of the summer and fall, treading water through the winter, and moving downward in the spring and early summer.

The point is, if you’re going to use spot plays, you really should be looking at the spot play charts. Otherwise you plow blindly through the hot streaks and losing streaks that are part of any handicapping method. If you took a sample of this method during the spring, you would have thought it was junk.  Only by looking at the chart do you get an idea of how and when you can really expect it to perform.

To recap, here’s my method for playing the spot play charts:

1. The red Profit/Loss line hits the lower Bollinger Band. This is the initial signal. Note the initial dollar level on the left axis when this happens. If the line continues to trend down and hits the lower Bollinger Band again, the most recent time it hits it is the initial dollar level.

2. The next day that the Profit/Loss line goes anywhere above the initial dollar level, that's the secondary signal. That's when you start betting the method.

3. At this point, if the line goes below the initial dollar level, you stop playing. If it stays above the initial dollar level, you bet the method. If it hits the lower Bollinger Band again, the pattern starts over.

4. If the Profit/Loss line goes above the 2 Week Moving Average, the rules change. You keep betting as long as the line is above the 2 Week Moving Average. If it goes below the 2 Week Moving Average, you stop betting. If it then comes back above the average, you start betting again. This continues until the Profit/Loss line hits the lower Bollinger Band again, at which time a new pattern begins.

Here are the settings I use to generate my PQ Spot Plays report:

My settings are geared towards long-term profitable situations. I demand at least 1000 bets. If your database is smaller than mine, you might reduce that number until horses start showing up in your report. You can always increase it later as your database gets larger.

Some Capper users have talked about focusing on the short-term rather than the long-term. For instance, they might require a Short Term minimum bets of 30 with a Short Term ROI of 1.50 and a Minimum Short Term Profit of B (for Best). That seems like a good possibility, too, but I haven’t had time to research it yet.

Quick Recap: To generate a PQ Spot Plays report, handicap the races for a day, then go to the General Reports dialog, click on the PQ Spot Plays tab, highlight the correct date in the calendar, press the button, then press the “Print This Report” button to get a print-out of it.

When I run the PQ Spot Plays report for a day’s races , I look at each spot play/subcategory’s chart in the Spot Play Charting tab. If that spot play/subcategory has a positive chart pattern as described above, I highlight those horses in my PQ Spot Plays printout. Those are the horses I play.

Hot Charts: one of the situations that I’ve been playing lately is the Wicked V2/PF Rank: 1 spot play/subcategory:


Capper Talk Forums

There's now a public Capper Talk forum in the Grandstand message board as well as the private Capper Talk Forum.  If you're a user of The Capper and you don't have access to the private Capper Talk forum, go to The Grandstand and click on the Register Your Free Account link to register an account with ezBoard. When you're done with that process, email me your username. I'll add you to the list of people who can access the Capper Talk forum. Then, when you want to access it, just go to The Grandstand and login using that username.

Talk to you later,
Gordon Pine

Copyright ©2004 NetCapper Inc. All rights reserved.

Tech Tips: Using The Capper

•You can enlarge a certain area of the Spot Play Charts by dragging your mouse pointer over the area you want enlarged in an "L" pattern.  Be sure to hold down your left mouse button while dragging the L pattern.  To bring the chart back to full size, drag a backwards L pattern.

•You can set the performance qualifiers in the Qualified Spot Plays tab of the Setup dialog to B for Best.  For instance, if you set the Minimum LT Flat ROI to B, a qualifying spot play will only display if it is from the subcategory with the best long-term Return On Investment.  If, for the Fundamental Contenders spot play, MSW is the subcategory with the highest LT ROI, then a Fundamental Contender spot play will only show up in the Performance Qualified Spot Play report for MSW races.

•To keep The Capper running as fast as possible, keep your database lean and mean.  The best way to do this is to delete your race data as soon as possible.  After you've downloaded, imported and recalculated the binary charts for a particular day, you can delete the old race data from that day.  Here's what I do: every day, before I download yesterday's binaries and today's race files, I go into the Delete Race Data tab of the Utilities dialog and use the calendar to delete all race data from the day before yesterday and before.  Then I quit The Capper, start the Database Utility and hit the Compact/Repair button.  That compacts the database and helps speed it up significantly.  Then, when I download and Import, Recalculate and Print New Races, everything goes really fast.  With a relatively new computer, each race file will generally import in about half a second.  Also, note that I pretty much never delete model data (using the Delete Model Data tab) -- only race data.

•If you have a reasonably fast computer, it's a good idea to download all 1 Month Surface Model files whenever you're downloading race files.  That way, when you import and recalculate, the TSDs (Track/Surface/Distance adjustments) will be as current as possible.  A good alternative is just to download the 1 Month Surface Model files for the tracks you're handicapping each day, and then, once a week or so, download all the tracks.  This will ensure that shippers from tracks you don't normally handicapped will be judged properly by The Capper.

Copyright ©2004 NetCapper Inc. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.

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