Back then the bookies didn't price up every race in the morning, but they had started pricing up a handful most days. I would go onto teletext and look at each of the sites of the main bookies and write down all the prices and then compare them. It would take me an hour to do this – to produce my own version of Oddschecker, or whatever you might use these days.
Had I lived in Shropshire as I do now, this would have been of no use to me. For we only have a Corals in our town (and even then they worked to the largest over-round). But back then I lived in Tooting, and I had a circular walk that allowed me to take in a load of shops – multiple Ladbrokes and Hills, plus The Tote, Paddy Power and several others long since gone.
So, I knew the prices available in the market place and was able to shop around for them. And that constituted a significant edge. And because my approach was unusual the bookmakers stood their prices for a lot longer than now. Their stand-out prices (and mistakes) weren't wiped out in a second by value hunters and arbers sat at their laptops in their underpants, armed only with Oddschecker and Betfair.
Sometimes technology makes things too easy for everyone. It levels the playing field.