Espionage is afoot, dear reader, and on Betfair to boot! Actually, that's not strictly true, as you may have guessed... but I was really struggling to think of a catchy way to introduce a product you're going to be hearing a lot about in the next week or so.
The guy behind Racing Secrets [Exposed], still one of my favourite laying manuals (aside from my own Laying System of course!), is about to launch his new guide. Kristian Jackman is his name, and RS[E] is a classic in my opinion. In fact, it's not even on sale at the moment - it's sold out.
But Kris has been working since the turn of the year on a new guide for betting exchange users. And it's called... you guessed it... Betfair Espionage. It's not available until midday next Tuesday, but I've managed to secure a copy early, and I've got one of my review team on the case between now and then.
Kevin, my reviewer, will track it's performance, and feed back ahead of the launch so that, when it's available - and if it's any good! - you can grab a copy should you so wish.
Basically, don't buy it until you've read the review here early next week.
Moving on, and one regular reader rightly pointed out that after my previous wailing and gnashing of teeth at the deceitful way Racing Post introduced their charging model, I had been very quiet on the actual costs.
Well, this is true. So let me put the record straight. As far as I am concerned, Racing Post offers the most comprehensive statistical and form database available anywhere for UK horse racing.
The changes they've introduced have misjudged the market somewhat, and their website has serious usability issues which are slowly being addressed.
However, I have no problem with them charging for their superior content, as long as the price was reasonable, and appropriate (i.e. you only pay for what you actually use).
I believe that with the different package offerings, RP have actually got it about right. Â£7.50 per month equates to 25p a day. Their daily paper costs Â£1.60 (I think - don't buy it as I use the online version). So it's hard to argue that they're overcharging.
Personally, I've signed up for the full package on an annual basis, as I use it in my business and it is a fundamental tool to which I refer every day.
So... yes, we've become accustomed to a good thing whereby we've had the best for no cost. As my dear dad often says, "You get nothing for nothing, and very little for sixpence". However, for Â£7.50 - in my opinion - you're getting a great deal of data for not a lot of folding.
Disaster struck on Wednesday, when my tip Convallaria fell on her way out of the parade ring, and almost certainly ran part of her race there and then. She did ok in the contest itself, but was never going to be able to challenge after expending that amount of nervous energy. She was very well backed, so presumably the rationale I presented was sound enough...
Today at Newbury, I'm going to be against Deloria in the 2.00 race. She's got a very tough draw to overcome, and there are any number of potentially decent fillies in opposition. Middle is the best place to be, and on that basis (as well as the stable) Transvaal Sky is a tentative pick.
It's a similar story in the 2.35, where Emerald Commander is well berthed to run a big race. I won't be taking 6/4 about him, but I won't be against him either.
Up to Hamilton tonight, and Blue Tomato, who was formerly smart, is now down in the selling division, but at eight years young he can still give these a run for their money. One slight worry though is that he does tend to get a bit outpaced early. He's got the right chap on board tonight though, and I reckon he'll win.
Best of luck to you with your fancies, and remember to keep an eye out for the review of Betfair Espionage early next week.