Welcome, This page is where I share more about how I got hooked on horse race and betting from a very young age. It took a while to find the winning path! I switched to value betting in 2008 and have not looked back since then. Please do take a look at the video or interview in question and answer style below.
Best of Luck, Nicky
Q&A style Interview with Nicky Doyle, founder of the Bet Alchemist tipster service.
Q1. Tell us a bit about your background and how you’ve got to where you are now. When did you start betting and what drew you to horseracing?
Well, I am from a farming background however it was my Uncle not my father who kept horses and they were point to pointers & Hunters. During springtime my brothers and I would attend the local Bree P2P Meet in Wexford and that piped my interest in racing. I really enjoyed standing next to the fences and hearing/learning a host of new swear word from the Jockeys as the encouraged their Mounts to jump!
An Aunt of mine worked in Ladbrokes and she took my brothers and me to the racetrack in Wexford when on holidays most summers. Her Housing estate was built beside the track away from the stands. On Race day we were encouraged to jump a gate walk down the track to the stands and enter for free. If asked any questions we had an answer prepared “We were out walking the track as our Dad’s horse runs in the last!”
While my father avoided horses we did keep a few greyhounds and “Granny” on my mother’s side kept a good few racing dogs too! It was at Enniscorthy greyhound track that I placed my first bets and then rushed back over to my “Granny” who was always well placed at the wall beside the first bend. Money for betting and sweets was taken gratuitously from Granny and her friends at the first bend as well as heading up to the top of the stand where by Dad and his Pals hung out for fund top ups and better tips! I guess both sides of my family like the sport of racing horses and greyhounds as well as placing some small wagers.
In my teens my elder Brothers were racing fanatics both riding and watching and it was always a losing battle each Saturday to watch “Saint and Greavsie” instead of the racing. I grew to love the racing and competition between my Brothers and I to pick the winner in each race was fierce!
Later, I went to college in Dublin to study Agricultural Science but enjoyed the freedom of college which contrasted wildly from Boarding School greatly. Let’s say I had no issue getting up early to head to the bookies after a late night out but found I couldn’t do the same for college lectures! Late nights and morning hangovers guaranteed exam repeats each summer! Don’t know where the hell I got the money for the booze as I sure was not winning it from betting back then!
Without, going into my life story I spent 10 years socialising, jumping jobs and backing “shorties” whilst recovering from a hard night out most Weekends. A vicious circle but I did get away for a year to Australia in 1996 and have very fond memories of the Melbourne Cup meeting both Double Trigger and Vintage Crop in the saddling barns before they raced. When I turned 30 I decided to crack on and start betting for profit not just fun and improved my betting greatly into long term profitability. Happy days had come but first I had to pay off huge debts racked up from the previous 10 years.
Q2. When did you start the Bet Alchemist service? And why did you start it – what were your aims?
I started the Bet Alchemist betting service on Friday 7th December 2012. It was very exciting and I admit to feeling pressure and nerves both in equal measure. There were two main reasons I setup the service which remain true even today. Firstly, I knew my winning ways would not be tolerated by the bookies who employ a “no winners allowed” policy.
After years of throwing money at them they were very quick to start offering limited odds & stakes once their systems highlighted my account as a winning one. If I cannot get my stakes on what can I do with my knowledge and skill built up over the years?
The Solution was to sell my knowledge online. I had signed up and used the services of Mel Collier & Henry Rix both ex Racing Post pricewise tipsters in the past. Good services but impossible to get on at advised prices.
Secondly, the pain built up from loses in my early betting career and I use the word “pain” selectively has left me with a bitter regard for bookmakers and their like. A necessary evil are bookies but I am highly motivated to help as many punters as possible get away from their current pain and hurt from losing!
Yes, I enjoy making money but I am not driven to make vast amounts of money betting and get more enjoyment helping others to win and hopefully put something back into horse racing which is a fantastic sport.
The testimonials that I have received since Bet Alchemist went live are the best part of the business. The sheer joy as members come to realise that the golden grail of winning & profiting from betting is achievable makes me smile and that is enough for me.
Q3. Can you explain to our members who may not be familiar with your service what it actually involves and the types of tips you provide?
Ok, Bet Alchemist is a selective value betting service. That means we place about 40 to 50 bets each Month but mainly covering the weekend action and the major racing festivals.
Most bets are each way and that is because it limits testing long losing runs. Also, a fact which might surprise some is that each way betting is more profitable than win only using our advised bets! We bet and win backing horses each way priced away from the top of the market usually at double digit odds.
It’s a place where few punters are prepared to travel and that is where our winning edge lies. Bet Alchemist advises members to run their betting like a sports investment business. This involves strong cash flow control and discipline as well as recording all bets placed to provide a profit and loss tally which can be broken down by Week, Month or longer.
Of course Bet Alchemist does this on the website updating results from runners within 24 hours to the public. Nothing to hide on our website as we know our results are real and profitable.
Q4. How much money do you need to start betting and following Bet Alchemist?
A very good question and the first thing with betting is to reach break- even point. Bet Alchemist charges a normal Monthly fee of £30 with your initial Month half price at £15. The past 7 years has seen an average yearly profit of ~140 points which works out an average of over 11.5 points profit per Month.
Therefore, it is possible to turn a good profit even to £10 stakes (10 x 11.5 points =£115 Profit minus subscription cost of £30 = £85). Bet Alchemist recommends a minimum betting bank of 50 points so £500 (50 x £10) is your starting bank.
As profits come in your betting bank will increase and then stakes can be raised. Of course if you a £1000 betting bank then your stakes will be £20 and your profits greater so on so forth.
Q5. Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out betting and betting on horses in particular?
The best tip is to “never chase your losses”. If you suffer a loss take it and wait patiently for the next good betting opportunity. This is quite a hard skill to learn as betting for most is an emotional experience.
Sometimes, to avoid throwing good money after bad just get out of the place you are whether that be in your local bookies, on your smartphone or looking at a PC! Racing is relentless and there will always be more races the next day or week to win your money back under full control of your emotions.
Q6. This is a question many of us ask: “Why would anyone offer tipping services, as if the selections are so good they should be able to make enough from them alone.” What is your opinion/answer to this?
Yes, a fair question but like I mentioned above the bookies quickly turn down bets from winning punters refusing their bets completely or offering a fraction of the desired stakes.
It becomes impossible to get on with them and as I like to bet each-way the betting exchanges like Betfair & Betdaq have poor place market liquidity. Bet Alchemist bets still return a very healthy profit to Betfair SP win only and that is where my betting is been forced to go quicker than I prefer.
Q7. Your service hit the headlines recently, with news that your tips were copied by Bet Richard. What were your feelings about that when you found out about it?
Honestly, I was disgusted but not surprised! Like everything in life there are unscrupulous people that try and take advantage. As I put a heck of a lot of effort into form study and race watching the feeling was that of someone getting a job done and then refusing to pay for that work. My work is no different from getting a wall built in your garden by a stonemason. He deserves to get paid for his labour and I feel entitled to the same. Thankfully, some of my members were good enough to let us know what was happening. That set the “dog after the hare” for sure on a long difficult chase.
Q8. There are a lot of betting scams out there. What kind of thing would you say to people to beware of? And what can you say about your service to show readers that it is safe and legitimate?
Yes, there are so many scammers on the web it can be difficult to spot the good from the bad! My advice is to be aware of paying for a product/service that you as the buyer have little understanding of as that leaves you wide open. A registered tax number, business name, email addresses, postal address, landline are all good signs of a legitimate business.
Bet Alchemist has info and support email addresses available but more importantly is that I reply to every email so the public know that a real person exists on the other side. As a value tipping service I differentiate my service from the scammers by posting all advised bets and results online within 24hrs of the race ending.
It’s surprising how few of the so called very successful betting websites publish all their results online for the public to view. On top of that I proof my selections to Race Advisor & Racing-Index.com. The Bet Alchemist service is managed under the business name Big Wheel Turning Ltd, so yes I do pay corporation rates & taxes!
Some fun questions to finish on…
Q9. Can you remember the first bet you ever placed?
I cannot remember the first bet as it was way back when I was 5 or 6! Yes, the laws were quite relaxed then but I do know it was at Enniscorthy Greyhound Track. Most likely 10 pence win on number 2 which was my favourite number at that time.lol
Q10. What’s the most memorable bet you’ve ever placed.
This is much easier to recollect and might surprise some in that it is not 66/1 shot Son of Flicka at the Cheltenham festival. The reason being I couldn’t get enough on that horse!
My most memorable bet from so many has to be Rajdhani Express winner of the last race on Day 1 of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival. A few factors made that winning ride by Sam Whaley-Cohen very special.
For starters my Bet Alchemist service was just into its 4th Month live and I admit to feeling the pressure mounting as we had not even nailed a place in the earlier races that day. My phone was hoping with angry punter emails in my pocket but I ignored it and went to the lawn in front of the main stand at Cheltenham and close to the finishing post.
Rajdhani Express had been on my radar since romping to victory on Boxing Day at Kempton.
Since then he had put in a poor run at Cheltenham which allowed him to be readily available at 25/1 that morning and days before. I had placed double my normal stake on him at 25’s. I can honestly say emotions took completely over as he sailed over the last and fought off a persistent challenger all the way to the line.
A massive pressure release as a big priced winner was nailed and at double my normal stake meant the profit was substantial. Oh, the amount of back tracking emails that came following that winner going in was funny and proof that one winner can change a hell of a lot in the mind of “the punter”.
Q11. What’s next for Bet Alchemist – any plans?
Plans are always in the pipeline and it’s just a matter of finding the time to fully implement them. During 2019, I had the website redeveloped which was a bigger undertaking than anticipaged. New memberhip software was installed on a higher specification web hosting package. The good news is that the uptime and speed of the website has improved significantly.
A new service called the 1kto5k betting challenge has proven popular due to the low entry point cost involved. The aim is to grow a starting bank to £1,000 to £5,000 wihtin 12 months!
Finally, I aim to work harder than ever to combine a very profitable National Hunt and Flat season in the same year. The goal is to break the highest points profit achieved over the past 8 years of 223.5 points profit. Like Tony McCoy records are there to be broken and to beat that number backing mainly ½ point each way would be special to all Bet Alchemist new and existing members.
Thanks for Reading,
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The Bet Alchemist