I have to confess that in my interview with Hugh for my book, The Newmarket Wizards, it did not occur to me that I should ask such a question. What would be useful to know is does Hugh ever skip breakfast, as knowing which days he skips breakfast might be more valuable than any other variable we could choose to look at. Eating or not eating breakfast may also be something you might wish to consider from your own betting and indeed health perspective.
I have recently investigated the blood glucose (bare with me I will get on to betting) effect of various breakfast meals on myself.
The results astonished me and made me realize that breakfast is the one meal we all tend to adopt habits around. In other words it is the easiest meal of the day to control and yet it could be the most damaging. Research shows we are all most insulin resistant in the morning and yet it is breakfast when we carb’ load. Breakfast is also a meal which naturally breaks a perfect opportunity to fast for around 18 hours and the research around fasting and longevity is pretty well bullet proof.
But what if all this health talk does not motivate you to skip those cereal killers or at least replace them with low glycemic alternatives like eggs. Maybe appealing to your punting instincts will do the trick.
Always gamble on an empty stomach. Sounds ridiculous and certainly the exact opposite to what most people do and yet a research team from Utrecht in 2014 looked at this very phenomena. They took two groups of University students and fed half a decent breakfast whilst the other half had no breakfast. They were set a standard well know risk assessment test known as the Iowa Gambling Task.
The task involves picking cards from four piles of cards with each pile having varying reward and risk. The task was to see if the myth that suggests that when we are hungry we take bigger risks and have poor grasp of risk/reward was actually true. This idea is derived from the fact that when we are hungry we seek food more irrationaly and when we are sexually aroused we take bigger risks seeking sex.
The results were inf act the exact opposite. Fasting members were significantly better at the task in terms of evaluating risk/reward than those who ate breakfast. Their decision making skills were more finally honed even when allowing for other factors. We bet in a world where Betfair offers us less than 2% over-round and therefore slight gains and edges can push us into profit. Skipping breakfast before making those betting selections just might be one of them. Does Hugh Taylor eat breakfast ?, I don’t know but he would do well to stay away from the fridge after issuing a ‘possibly one more bet’ message.