Biography: Clive Holt

Clive Holt had one of the most intriguing histories of any professional horse racing handicapper.

Holt was a complete novice with no understanding of bankroll management at the track, unlike many future winners who had a well-crafted plan.

Through sheer good fortune, he was able to transform his hobby into a lucrative career.

However, as successful as Holt was as a jockey, he was even more successful as an author and wagering expert.

Therefore, let’s continue discussing Holt’s tale, commencing with his early life, how he became a professional gambler, his legendary Fineform system, and his numerous publications.

Clive Holt’s Childhood

Little is known about the early years of Clive Holt. But before becoming a professional speculator, he labored at the Electricity Board in England.

His father introduced him to gambling, as he wagered on greyhounds in the 1960s. Holt began attending racetracks in the early 1960s, with moderate success for a novice.

In contrast to more tactical gamblers like Phil Bull, Holt was less prudent with his bankroll management and did not even maintain records. Later, Holt would acknowledge that he initially lacked a plan and instead wagered whatever was in his pocket.

Despite this, Holt continued to win, including sums of up to £1,000.

Gaining Experience in Financial Management

While Lady Luck may have been on Holt’s side in his early years of horse racing wagering, he eventually developed a keen understanding of the sport.

However, the same poor behaviors that afflicted Holt during his early wagering career persisted throughout the 1970s. In particular, he refused to maintain accurate records of his wagers, his only method of monitoring being the amount of money he brought to and departed the racetrack with.

After a series of lackluster outcomes, Holt decided to monitor his performance more closely.

Holt was able to determine which varieties of wagers were most profitable for him by utilizing analytics. This enabled him to manage his bankroll more effectively, endure losing streaks, and eventually become a long-term winner.

Clive Holt Turns Professional Gambler

Holt’s confidence in his abilities grew as he stopped showing up to the racetrack unprepared and wagering whatever cash he had on hand.

Midway through the 1970s, he experienced a robust run that earned him more money in a few weeks than he could earn in two years working for the Electricity Board.

This persuaded Holt to leave his day work and pursue a career in professional wagering. Years after first entering Haydock Park in Merseyside as an amateur, he was now wagering for a livelihood.

Long gone was the man who would wager everything he had at once in pursuit of large scores. Due to his disciplined approach and moderate wagers, Holt never won more than £1,000 at a time, even as a professional.

In 1978, William Hill and Coral terminated Holt’s accounts due to his excessive success in horse wagering.

It was common for British wagering businesses to terminate the accounts of winners. This, however, made it more difficult for Holt to locate action and compelled him to place the majority of his wagers at race courses.

A Life of Luxury Automobiles and Holidays

Perhaps more than any other gambler, Holt delighted in discussing the wealth of material possessions that his profession had afforded him.

He claimed to have purchased BMW, De Tomaso Pantera, Jaguar, and Lotus automobiles, among others.