Only bet what you can afford to lose, says horse expert on Durban July

Matthew Stevens who is a Whisperer. Picture: Supplied

Matthew Stevens who is a Whisperer. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 30, 2023


Durban — Matthew Stevens, who is known as “The Whisperer” and is a racing analyst or tipster, said horse racing had always been big in South Africa, but it is not as big as it once was.

He said the sport in South Africa had a strong following, but it could not compare to the public interest in the UK and Australia.

Stevens said that on a positive note, certain aspects of horse racing and the way it was now being run had renewed some people’s interest in the sport and was starting to bring new blood into the game.

“Hollywoodbets, sponsors of the Durban July, have done so much for racing in the last few years, getting involved in many facets of the industry and helping keep it afloat.”

Talking about horse gambling, Stevens said there was a dark side to gambling in the fact that people could get addicted.

“Just like drinking, you have to be 18 years old to gamble, and as long as people manage it, it can be great fun and very profitable,” he said.

“It’s my business advising clients how and what to bet on, and giving them all the help I can. I don’t just send tips out every day, I try to be selective for my clients, advise them when to take it slow and be wary of certain horses and cards in general.

“I’ve been analysing form and tipping to clients for over 20 years now, and I’ve always believed that saving clients’ money on the bad days is just as important as making money on the good days, that’s how you make a profit from racing.”

Stevens added that he always advised his clients to practise responsible gambling, and only bet what they could afford to lose.

He said his role during the Hollywoodbets Durban July was to tip his clients on lots of winners. July day itself attracted a lot of “once a year” punters, who would play to have some fun on the big day, and there were regular punters who looked forward to this day as the highlight of their racing year.

“On my website, I have a July weekend special for clients that just want my help for the big day.”

Stevens said gambling in general had become a luxury for many people who didn’t have the disposable income they had before Covid-19 and load shedding. He said the economic changes had really hurt the industry.

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