Sean Bartholomew Pro Punter
Sean Bartholomew Protégé Of Sydney Bookie Warren Woodcock
Even though intuition still has an important role for a punter, many present day punters have shown the value of adopting new methods, particularly using the modern technology of the computer coupled with the Internet to supply an edge in making selections.
Sean Bartholomew is a leading advocate of this method, analysing huge amounts of subjective racing data in an attempt to minimize the role that emotion plays in selecting runners on which to wager.
He was an early adopter of this new idea and has for the past 20 years used the available tools and his network of commission agents placing his wagers to maintain for himself a low profile. This length of time would seem to imply that he is indeed on to something.
In The Beginning
Sean Bartholomew got his start as a punter in a way very similar to other punters.
He progressed to another level, however, and he was at one point a leading bookmaker in the electronic realm of wagering until he decided to sell his operation to sportsbet and return to a more traditional role as a punter. He still seems to have an influence on all the racing venues, even at remote bush tracks.
Sean Bartholomew was a protégé of Sydney bookmaker Warren Woodcock before taking up the role of commission agent. His methodology regarding betting would not necessarily be considered as anything radical other than for his use of technology to supplant functions that would otherwise rely on human recall and educated guessing, but he has incorporated elements that represent an abandonment of conventional thinking.
One of these is that he does not study video to assess form, preferring to rely on his statistical analysis. His focus is on most recent performance, whether he is assessing a horse, jockey or trainer as opposed to giving much consideration to long term career statistics.
For example, if he felt that a horse that had Hall of Fame worthy credentials over the course of his career, but had recently encountered a rough patch, he would be less likely to back it than he would if that same horse had been run recently and was living up to its reputation. Bartholomew readily admits to using an analytical matrix that takes 35 different criteria into consideration for any event in which he might be inclined to participate.
After all this is said and done, he has generally expressed a preference for backing favourites, feeling that they are favourites for good reason.
He is not in favour of wagering on exotics, considering the selection process too time consuming. He also seems to exhibit an affinity for the bigger events with quality fields that will have a large number of wagers and wagerers so that the betting volume is great enough to provide for a fair market.
Since Sean Bartholomew himself can place wagers large enough to influence a market, he often will bet large sums early, and then lay the bet closer to the post when odds firm lower, in keeping with his philosophy that many small wins will eventually provide him with a larger take than would hitting an infrequent longshot.
Like many other punters large and small, he often will back several horses in one race, wait for a favourite to move to evens or lower, and then use his connections at other venues to place his bets.
Off The Race-Track
Since he does most of his betting away from the track, it is well-nigh impossible to get an accurate gauge of his actual participation.
Sean Bartholomew does appear at the rails and place large bets, but it is generally felt that this represents only a small portion of the total action.
He employs a proprietary points system of sorts that lowers the probability of his making a selection if the horse in question is trying a new distance or its jockey has a recent string of poor results.
Sean Bartholomew and his brother Kingsley have been for some time significant factors in the Sydney market.
They are something of modern day Fred Angles, trying to maintain a low profile and deflect attention. Where they would rank compared to other big punters, past and present, is not so important as how their common sense approach to wagering can assist the common punter.