Professional Gamblers: Alex Bird Backed Mill Reef to Win £100K

Alex Bird Professional Gambler
The face of gambling has changed with technology. 

Take a look at https://www.sunbets.co.uk/racing/meetings/today/R to see the latest odds.

The old-style pro gambler plying his trade at racecourses across the country. Alex Bird, known as the original pro bettor, learned his trade from his bookmaker father. He decided it paid more to be on the other side of the counter. 

He needed to be at the course because one technique he used to beat the bookies was betting on photo-finishes. Even on today's betting exchanges, there is a market for those who have an opinion of any result. However, on course, in those days of old, there was plenty of time to bet while the photo was developed. 

Bird noticed that more often than not, the horse on the far side looked to have won. This was an optical illusion. 

It was reported he made 500 consecutive winning bets and in the process made a fortune. 

Such was his influence in the betting ring, that he could make false favourites. He employed an army of bettors who placed his money off course, sometimes betting up to 50K a time. As the on-course bookmakers set the SP price, he would often bet what seemed significant sums of money on another horse, followed by punters, making sure his 'original' fancy drifted in the betting. 

Bird used race times to find winners, similar to Phil Bull who was the founder of Timeform. 

He detailed how Mill Reef broke a track record on firm going but also won in the mud when winning the Gimcrack. He concurred this was the mark of a great horse and backed him at 4/6f. Bird placed his biggest bet £60K. Mill Reef trounced his rival by four lengths. 


Mill Reef Winning Epsom Derby 1971
The following year Bird backed Mill Reef to win the Epsom Derby in 1971. This son of Never Bend, trained by Ian Balding in the ownership of Paul Melon, won by two lengths. Alex Bird was reputed to have won £100K on this exceptional bay colt. 






Mill Reef Racing Record:

Winner of 12 of his 14 races. He was runner-up in those defeats. 

Coventry Stakes (1970)
Gimcrack Stakes (1970)
Dewhurst Stakes (1970)
Greenham Stakes (1970)
Epsom Derby (1971)
Eclipse Stakes (1971)
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1971)
Prix de l'Arc de Triompe (1971)
Prix Ganay (1971)
Coronation Cup (1972)

Mill Reef was retired at four after sustaining an injury but a noble stallion and sire.  

Bird was as studious in his later years as younger.  Just a year before he passed away, in 1990, he backed Final Shot to win the Ayr Gold Cup. The horse was backed form 40-1 - 10s. 

Alex Bird's Golden Rules to Making Your Betting Pay:

1) Hold your bets if there is a change in the going.  

2) Bird love each-way bets, especially maiden races with 8 - 10 runners with just a few noted form horses. Oppose the favourite and combine the second and third favourites in each-way doubles/trebles. 

3) A good 7lb apprentice is worth their weight in gold. 

4) Never bet on the first show - horses usually drift in price on the second or third show.  

5) Bird rarely bet on handicaps. 

6) Never bet on three-year-old maiden fillies. 

You may be interested in reading Alex Bird's: The Life and Secrets of a Professional Punter, published in 1986. [Written with Terry Manners]. It details his story covering almost four decades from 1946 - 1985. 

In this modern age of technology, it would have been interesting to see how Bird would have figured. In truth, such a man would have used betting exchanges to his advantage. Successful gambling is as much to do with the principles of working and discipline. When you consider how many modern-day pro gamblers work, they seem to lack by his lofty standards. 

10 Things A Professional Gambler Never Tells You

You gamble.

This day and age it seems like every man, woman and child are betting via one form or the other. 

But what makes the difference between an amateur and professional? In many ways, it's like a someone who does a little bit of DIY on the weekends to a master carpenter. What's the difference between to two: experience.  

The word experience covers many and varied traits. It is a wisdom which means they understand the majority of their work without thinking. Intuitive. 

So what are the 10 things a professional gambler never tells you:


  • Emotions play havoc with how they think (the enemy of the gambler)
  • They are either crazy gamblers, living on their wits or exceptionally calculated
  • The best and most successful gamblers will rarely tell you how much they bet or boast about winnings
  • In fact, most are more likely to tell you when they lose
  • They never stop working - trying to improve but frightened of ruining what they have achieved
  • They know a lot about their subject but little about much else
  • A pro gambler hates losing but appreciates at time you lose big
  • Betting isn't for fun and they don't like mixing business with pleasure
  • They will rarely tell people what they do for a living 
  • They don't talk to people unless they respect their opinion

The Best Winning Racing Tips

Steady Eddie's Free Horse Racing Tips
So you hear about horse racing tips. I mean, we hear about professional gamblers new and old. But what really makes for a free tips service that actually has some worth? Now there is a question. 

Have you heard of Steady Eddies' Free Horse Racing Tips

The good things about Steady Eddie is that it's free to join. I would say, join, review, see what you think, have a few bets or walk away. 

Like most tipsters, from my experience, he has his days but best to make your own mind up. 

I run a few free websites which may be of interest. 

Horse Trainer Directory:

Details just about every UK horse trainer website and social media link. Basically, it saves you time searching the net. It features trainer blogs and latest news which helps you find a few tips or info that the media hasn't picked up. It's 100% free to use and top-ranked on Google search engine for a good reason.

Racecourse Directory:

Yes, there is a theme going on here. Very similar to the above website this details racecourse websites, social media and YouTube videos of your favourite courses. In fact, it features courses from the UK and across the world. Why search the internet when this info can be found on one handy platform? 

Interested in buying a share in a racehorse, well we have connections with syndicates big and small. Another service which is free. 

Thanks for reading.