Back in the day, in the late '90s to be precise, the interwebz was still in its formation and there wasn't the unending array of racing content that there is now. Print publications were still the main medium, with Odds On magazine a particular favourite.
For those of a (generally) more analytical bent, SmartSIG was the mag to have. A monthly printed newsletter running to most of 100 pages, it was mainly comprised of members' articles. The likes of Peter May (geegeez ratings), Steve Tilley (ARCHIE calculation, and HBF colleague of mine), among many others spilled their brains into this consistently thought-provoking periodical.
Well, guess what? Now you can download a large number of SmartSIG issues in pdf format. Despite beginning as far back as 1994, the content continues to retain relevance for a thinking punting audience. Concepts never go out of fashion and, though processing power has increased millionfold in the interim, much of the SmartSig content remains bankable.
Brinigng Smart thinking right up to date
For those who want a fresher perspective, allow me to introduce the grandson of SmartSig - and son of Smartersig - SmartSigger. Now curated by my friend and colleague, Michael Wilding, SmartSigger is a shorter read than its predecessors, and still consistently interesting.
Right now - this week in fact - Michael has a very special offer on, whereby if you sign up to SmartSigger (for as little as £5.75), you can get access to the entire back catalogue of SmartSigger magazines. That's over fifty editions, at around 11p each.
There are some really good articles in the 2017 draft alone, including around subjects such as National Hunt Flat races, weight for age in handicaps, bank management when withdrawing funds, horses trying something different (a theme to which I will return next week), first time in a handicap, and many many more.
Ricky Taylor - one of the original SmartSig contributors - and John Burke are perhaps the two most readable contributors (for me at least), and there are notable 'assists' from our own Andy Newton in terms of big race trends.
There's nothing I like more than dipping into articles such as these for inspiration and ideas for my own punting, and indeed my own writing, and I'm happy to have inspired a few of the articles within SmartSigger as well.
If you think about your betting - I mean at a deep 'how can I improve?' sort of level - then this will be an investment you probably want to take on, both in time terms and financially.
If you decide to sign up for a year, it works out at less than four quid a month (the same price it was in 1995, incidentally). Alternatively, if you're mainly interested in the 'value bundle', you can sign up on monthly for £5.75 and get the entire back catalogue. That's entirely up to you.
I read this every month, and I think you'll enjoy it too.
p.s. who else remembers SmartSig? Leave a comment, and tell me I'm not alone!!