December 24, 2011 at 14:50 #20600
Are any of his publications from the late forties still worth reading ?December 24, 2011 at 18:55 #383995GeorgeJParticipant
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Some were also published in the early/mid 1950s.
Marvex (Paul Selby) was a very able man, an accountant before he set up a rating service which was widely advertised in the Sporting Life in the late 1940s/early 1950s and, he repeatedly stressed, NOT a tipster. Some of his specifics are now outdated, but his views generally seem to me to be as relevant in 2011 as sixty years ago.
One paragraph in particular I have found to be profoundly true:
"The form book is a record of the past and properly read is a guide to the future – very seldom does the result of a race so confound the form student that he tears his hair; he may be surprised by a result but he has only to get out his form books to find substantiation therein in 99 cases out of a 100" (fifth para. of "Judgement of Form", 1950).
Much in the three of four booklets Selby published of which I have copies is education in how to "properly read" the form book.December 25, 2011 at 01:05 #384038
There are three of his books on offer for £20 so I’ll probably stick in an order after Christmas. Can you give me any further insights into his methods for form study, i.e. does he make great play on collateral form, etc ?December 25, 2011 at 08:33 #384052GeorgeJParticipant
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The three booklets (if I am right in thinking you are thinking of purchasing "Betting For Profit", "Judgement Of Form" and "Assessment of Form") are NOT three parts of a systematic manual of how to read the form book. Rather, taken together, they cover a range of topics relevant to reading the form book: in Marvex’s own, quite modest, description of one of them "it will be the aim of this little book to open the form book and to show you a little of the wealth of truth that lies therein".
He makes the important distinction between class and form – obvious once one is aware of it – and discusses ways of thinking about both. He identifies the type of races in which to bet and sets out in some detail his way of unravelling handicaps (this bit is out of date because when writing there was not a centralised handicapping system but the way he tackled the problem offers a basis for addressing essentially the same issue today). He certainly discusses what assumptions to make when one horse has beaten another, but not I suspect through what you probably mean by collateral form.
All I can say is that the Marvex (and Van der Wheil) booklets have provided me with the bases for developing my own approach to addressing the problem that they addressed in, respectively, the 1940s/1950s and 1970s/1980s – turning backing horses from speculation to investment – in the current era, when of course it is so much easier.
But do not buy the booklets if you are looking for a ready-made profitable system. They offer no such thing and I can easily imagine that many purchasers, having read through the 120 or so pages in total, feeling disappointed. Rather, the booklets offer the insights of an undoubtedly clever man which, hopefully, will add to your understanding of how to bet successfully.December 26, 2011 at 13:15 #384135
Thanks GeorgeJ for taking the time out to reply at length.
I’ve never been interested in systems but rather in people’s methods of form study, the way in which they manage to narrow down a race to a handful of live contenders. As such the Marvex should still be of interest to me.
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