Bumper Monday ‘Post Pourri’

It's Monday, dear reader, and that means we're all coming to terms with the passing of another weekend and the arrival of another week. For many that equates to the drudgery of the office (or whichever shackles you're required to wear for five of the seven days), so let me try to momentarily lighten the load with a few observations from the weekend, a B-I-G question, and a look forward to what's coming up this week.

Firstly then, to the weekend. The racing in these isles offered three Group 1 affairs on Saturday, and what a contrast of definition they were! Consider that the winner of the Haydock Park Sprint Cup - surely the worst Group 1 in the calendar, and a cherry ripe candidate for downgrading - had previously only won a single Group contest and that a Group 3, in 29 starts prior to Saturday.

Now I don't want to take anything away from Markab, who won the race nicely and beat Starspangledbanner (and others) fair and square. But... no winner of this in at least the last eleven years now was a previous Group 1 winner. In other words, all of the last eleven winners were scoring for the first time in Group 1 company.

What does this rather curious stat mean? Well, I'm not entirely sure, because a fair amount of Group 1 winners have contested the race.  I think it means that no serious sprinter is ever aimed and fired at the Haydock Sprint Cup as its primary seasonal target. Markab is a seven year old. That's a venerable age to be winning a sprint Group 1, especially when you consider that many of his previous wins were over seven furlongs, and one victory was over a mile on heavy ground! So you'd hardly call him a late maturing speedball...

The second horse, Lady Of The Desert, is a three year old filly and she was dropping back in trip to some effect after contesting a French Classic race earlier in the season. She had won two Group races over six furlongs as a two year old, but still it would have been fairly difficult to envisage her winning, say, the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Compare and contrast that then with the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown ten minutes later, and the similarly graded Matron Stakes for ladies earlier on the card.

In the Matron Stakes, the first three home were all either previous winners or runners-up in Group 1 contests, as were the fifth and sixth placed fillies. Of the sextet that went to post, only Hen Night had failed to achieve that level of performance and recognition.

The Irish Champion Stakes is always a belter, and it is favoured by Aidan O'Brien as THE race in the Irish calendar to win, which is why he's now won six of the last eleven renewals.

Here, the first four home were all previous Group 1 winners, with the fifth being ultra-progressive (Sea Lord, having won six of his previous seven races), and the last placed horse, Famous Name, having been placed second in Group 1's multiple times.

The winner, Cape Blanco, demonstrated in no uncertain fashion that his best trip is a mile and a quarter. Despite having registered a victory in the Irish Derby earlier in the year, his Dante verdict over English Derby winner, Workforce, marked him out as a serious ten furlong animal.

On Saturday, he bulldozed a top class field, ambling to the front and just turning on the gas. Rip van Winkle, the odds on favourite, was - forgive me - caught napping, and couldn't catch the pigeon that was Cape Blanco this day. At the line, he had just two short heads to spare over Twice Over and Beethoven, with just a half length and a length back to the last two. CB won by five and a half lengths!

Most impressive and - even more pleasingly - Tony put the Blanco up as his Irish Big Race Trends value selection to beat RvW. 6/1 was a nice payoff for 'early adopters' of that service.

They'd have been even more delighted with the fact that the shortlists found the winners of the other three races as well. In the Matron Stakes, Lillie Langtry (7/2) was on a shortlist of four. Same applied for Await The Dawn (also 7/2). Cape Blanco was on a shortlist of two and, in the Autumn Fillies Handicap, 14/1 winner Vivacious Vivienne was one of a shortlisted trio (as was 9/1 third, La Chassotte).

Top tipping, Tony!

********

Your first 30 days for just £1

Moving on to Sunday, and the Group 1-fest continued with the Prix du Moulin, over a mile. Paco Boy was bidding to get back to winning ways after a two reversals, both at the hands of Goldikova (and also last time out by 2000 Guineas winner, Makfi). Here he didn't get his way and - needing a run at a vital time, he was just checked a while - I think we saw categorically that he is not suited to the French style of racing.

Over the Channel, they tend to dawdle, then sprint. That was the case here, and it was the recalcitrant Fuisse (who unshipped pilot Stephane Pasquier en route to post) who prevailed in a driving finish.

Paco could do no better than fourth of six, with my punt, Lope De Vega, one place further back. This was Paco Boy's fourth defeat in five runs in France, which compares most unfavourably with his overall 52% win strike rate.

Lope De Vega, winner of the French 2000 Guineas and Derby (run over the shorter trip of 1m 2 1/2f), probably needs to front run to be seen at his best, and he seemed to sulk here when he didn't get his own way.

But the winner is a very good colt, having been second in the Prix du Jockey Club last year, and won three of his four starts prior to yesterday's return to winning ways. He'd be difficult to oppose over a mile at the Arc meeting.

Talking of which, Bekhabad is a certainty for the Arc...! 😉

********

Moving on, and there was sad news on Friday of the death of former super-two-year-old, Celtic Swing, in Italy where he was performing stallion duties (what a way to go!).

I couldn't find a video of his TWELVE length demolition job in the Racing Post Trophy as a juvenile, but here's a reprisal of the great 2000 Guineas scrap which he ultimately lost to Pennekamp, himself an awesome miler.

A good horse, that one...

********

Gambles, gambles. It's been a week of interesting wagers over the jumps. First we had Delyth Thomas (who?!) landing an almighty touch at Hereford, with a horse called Am I Blue. There was a late replacement jockey - none other than Richard Johnson - and the horse was the subject of much support (25/1 into 5/1) before easily winning.

Am I Blue had previously been beaten 88, 75 and 22 lengths respectively, and it was hard to see where the improvement came from. It was even harder to believe that trainer Thomas claimed 'astonishment' at the gamble... Something fishy maybe? (Or perhaps form students can put me right on this one).

Then yesterday, there was a Jonjo O'Neill horse, Another Trump, which had been beaten forever in his last several starts (60, 55, 48, 51, and 52 lengths), before winning at 3/1 (backed heavily from 8/1 on course).

Again, savvier form students may point to the horse having an obvious chance because of x or y. But to my eye, this radical improvement was difficult to understand.

I'm not saying all wasn't as it should be, and I actually think the occasional landed gamble makes for good news stories and therefore heightened interest in the sport. Of course, the flip side of that is accusations of crookedness which will undoubtedly hit betting turnover and the reputation of the game.

In summary, I imagine all will be cleared of any wrongdoing, but it is probably right and proper in these forensic days to have a 'thorough investigation' into the betting patterns and form lines of the beasts (horses, not connections!) in question.

********

And finally, I have a question for you. And, for me, this is a big question, and something that might forever change the face of Geegeez... For a long time, in fact since I've started online, I've resisted the temptation to have a forum. In case you don't know, forums are places where people can ask questions, share ideas, and generally engage on the forum subject.

Alas, all too often, they are also places where people bitch and moan, breach copyright laws, and try to spam other users. To keep a forum bitch and pitch free would require something close to full-time monitoring and moderation, and this is something I don't really have the time for (nor, if I'm completely honest do I have the inclination).

But... but... I know that you guys use forums. You told me this. In the last Geegeez survey, I was shocked to learn that more than 50% of respondents were already online in horse racing and betting forums. And, in terms of making Geegeez the place you'd like it to be, that is something I cannot ignore.

So, here is my question, which comes in three parts:

A. Would you like to see a racing and betting forum on Geegeez?

B. Would you contribute to the forum, or rather just read the stuff in there? (Not a trick question, either is fine!)

C. Would you have any interest in helping to moderate the forum? (That is, to keep the content 'pitch and bitch-free').

Leave a comment and let me know! And have a great Monday. I just read an awesome quote outside the British Library, which said, "Today is a gift. That's why they call it the present". Cheesy, but I liked it. 🙂

Matt

p.s. stay tuned this week, as I've got a number of racing and betting freebies to give away...

Your first 30 days for just £1
67 replies
  1. Avatar
    stephen says:

    Would you like to see a racing and betting forum on Geegeez? yes
    B. Would you contribute to the forum, or rather just read the stuff in there? (Not a trick question, either is fine!) yes
    C. Would you have any interest in helping to moderate the forum? (That is, to keep the content ‘pitch and bitch-free’). like to but i not got a lot of time

  2. Avatar
    Norman says:

    Hi Matt,
    Re your questions on a forum:-

    A) No

    B) Wouldn’t contribute, and probably wouldn’t read it either.

    C) No.

    Hope this helps?

  3. Avatar
    john says:

    If im honest i like forums i think its a good idea especially the big raceing meetings i like to see other peoples ideas on who is gonna win a particular race and why i rarely contribute unless i feel strongly about certain horses winning.

    Also it would be less maintainence if you just had a link to facebook under discussions.
    I notice alot of other forums do it this way also i might not always log on to certain websites all the time but i ll always log into facebook and nobody misses out then.
    Only my opinion.

    john.

  4. Avatar
    Ronnie Nicolson says:

    I do not use betting forums for the very reason you do not like them so would not favour a geegez forum.

  5. Avatar
    Eddie Lloyd says:

    Hi Matt,

    Brilliant read as always.

    I would vote yes for a forum and would also be interested in moderating it. I think you are right in your reservations as all forums are rife with “opiniated and irrational” people who tend to rant and therefore create sometimes “tension”. I feel though that these people can be weeded out with a little diplomacy and down to earth reasoning!!
    If you would want a sort of C.V!! then you’ll find my regular musings over at Horse Racing Experts.

    Ed

  6. Avatar
    Tim Shea says:

    I have used the betfair forum in the past, but recently have spent more time studying the Racing Post .
    I would welcome joining your Forum and would hope to make a contribution.
    Good Luck

  7. Avatar
    dave foster says:

    use only one forum,o.l.b.g.,so dont know first hand how others work,from what a load of our members say.they left.the betfair one because it gets full of tossers,and thats being polite.would look in with interest if you start one,but the moderation seems to be key to controling the freaks that appear on good and bad sites,always get one day spammers,and the mods struggle to keep up with removal.from what i gather from the more experienced members of our forum,that is why goodies join olbg.if you get positve response from your readers.i suggest you try olbg,to get why it is successful,over a million members and climbing,check the rules,there is plenty,some common sense,some,to protect the forum owners,and some i dont agree with,but thats life,
    am i blue had 2 pieces of form early in career to suggest it HAD achance,if getting back to it.looks like a good old fashioned punt to me,but i only spotted it at 16/1.,not many improve a vaughan nag,was what made me catch on.
    tother one johnjo.says it all,you know they gonna get you,only not when,never even tried to suss that one,think the racing board have given up trying to pin him also.so many jps nags plus other owners,he is too big a fish to take on,thats my opinion to be honest,dave
    ps this is second time trying,cant seem to get it out

  8. Avatar
    Brian says:

    Hi Matt

    I think there are enough forums already, including Horse Racing Experts, and I wouldn’t have time to read any more. Stick to your guns and resist the temptation.

    Brian

  9. Avatar
    Elaine Cullum says:

    Hello Matt

    The forum is a great idea if it is kept free from spam, spurious links, insults etc. I am online daily for the racing and would contribute where possible and would be happy to assist with any moderating.

    Thanks for the interesting blogs and posts,

    Elaine

  10. Avatar
    Steve says:

    A forum would be interesting Matt – I visit and contribute to numerous online forums myself.

    I’d certainly be interested if you created one and would make an effort to contribute on it, but I doubt I have the time to be able to help moderate though, and I can guess how much time is needed for such work!

    Good luck if you do go that route – I’ll certainly look out for it if you do go for it!

    Cheers,
    Steve

  11. Avatar
    David says:

    I’m ambivalent towards a forum for reasons you outline. If only the drivel can be kept to minimum then it would be worth reading.

    If it did exist I would probably only read it, not contribute.

    I wouldn’t want to be the poor sod who has to maintain/moderate it.

  12. Avatar
    Jez says:

    Hi Matt,
    I use the Betfair forum, very occasionally, and only for specific reasons (participating in the surveys etc.) and also generally avoid them for the same reasons as you (flame wars, dubious link spamming etc., etc.). So, whilst I may read a topic that interested me, I’d probably not contribute, thus my response to your 3 parter is:
    A. Indifferent.
    B. Probably read on an irregular basis only.
    C. Unfortunately, probably not.

    Jez

  13. Avatar
    Martyn says:

    Yes A forum would be a brill idea? If you could find a way to keep the idiots who spoil it for others off Matt.

  14. Avatar
    Bob says:

    Forum – if enough people interested then yes
    Read rather than paricipate
    Definitely not interested in moderation!
    happy to go along wiht whateve you decide
    Good luck
    bob

  15. Avatar
    John says:

    Hi Matt,

    I don’t use Forums for the reasons you specified

    1. Don’t see the need for a forum

    2. Would maybe read occasionally

    3. Might consider it.

  16. Avatar
    David Wilkinson says:

    I am not a big fan of forums (in fact not a fan at all). I find that after one good question or comment and one good answer, they tend to stray from the subject. They tend to become full of txt spk (lol). When I do find a thead that may be of interest I often find that the last post was in 2008 and the whole thing is no longer relevant. DON’T DO IT!

  17. Avatar
    geordie says:

    Matt if my better half had read this she would say give it a go. If it fails or you realy find its to much to much time consuming then at least you tried. For me I would just pop into the site to read what others have wrote. I have tried blogging on very rare occasions and found I was crap at it. Kind regards geordie.
    ps.Well done on saturday cape blanco.

  18. Avatar
    rcfraser says:

    1. Not particularly, but would read the comments as the site has an excellent pedigree.
    2. Maybe, but unlikely.
    3. See above.

  19. Avatar
    Joanne Jones says:

    Hi Matt

    My opinions
    A) Not particularly interested in a forum, especially for the same queries you have
    B) I would probably read it but not contribute
    C) Not interested nor expert enough for this.

  20. Avatar
    Chris says:

    Hi Matt,

    Another Trump winning was no surprise as it was a TTS summer horse as was Morestead which also won 12/1 and 8/1 respectively. Kensington Oval made up the third in my trixie. Had that won I’d have been over £3000 richer.

  21. Avatar
    Graham E says:

    Hi Matt,

    My answers to your questions are NO,NO and NO.

    I peruse (and use) the Betfair forum,so my replies are based on most of the content therein.My time is precious,and really can’t afford to waste it reading/contributing to any more forums.

    Regards,
    GE.

  22. Avatar
    William says:

    Hi Matt
    I would prefer if this site remained as it was, very good and interesting. Correct me if I am wrong but you do have the forum on your Horse Racing Experts site already so surely you could allow those that want to, even for a small fee(more perks for you,sorry a joke) access to this site as I am sure a lot of us already belong to that as well. Allowing new members to that would then cover all aspects for anyone that requires it.
    All the best
    William.

  23. Avatar
    Roy says:

    Matt

    Answer to your questions
    No
    No
    No

    I am more interested in form and decent information
    keep the trends – forget the forums
    Its all a question of using time to best effect
    Regards
    Roy

  24. Avatar
    Ross says:

    Hi Matt,
    Answers to your questions;
    No
    No
    No
    I like the site as it is,and people can always email questions and/or opinions.
    Cheers Ross.

  25. Avatar
    james says:

    0nly in it for the investment don’t have one eyeota of emotion – would watch maybe the Grand National thats all – these advised systems 99% fall down in longevity – don’t trust any now unless I can give them a good run for FREE and I mean FREE not one jot/penny – have no stored knowledge about horses or racing – any investment I do is purley on stats; from Racing Post Web site – finally in my expereince A LOT OF CONMEN OUT THERE IN CYBER SPACE hey I am entitled as in 67 year cheers

  26. Avatar
    Paul says:

    No No and No

    Usually full of idiots either moaning (often falsely) about some product/website or service or just promoting again falsely their own rubbish or even giving false reviews – No I think it is a bad idea and there are also enough forums aren’t there ?

  27. Avatar
    Gordon says:

    NO NO & NO Don,t do it Matt you may lose your edge on the things that REALLY matter.

  28. Avatar
    Tim says:

    A. No.
    B. No.
    C. No.

    I am not really interested in other peoples opinions or views, at the end of the day it is mine
    that matter and will be reflected in my betting bank !! Snobbish ? Pompous ? maybe….
    honest though. I am very selective with what I read on the net….NTF being one of the few along
    with this one…..

    Above based on most of the bullshit and abuse that turns up in the Racing Post’s comments

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Wow – thanks a lot for the comment everyone.

      They are really enlightening and, I am not ashamed to admit, I’m absolutely thrilled that you majoratively DON’T want a forum on Geegeez. 🙂

      I will ponder a little longer, but the strong likelihood now is that we will continue here ‘as is’.

      However, as Bill mentioned, I do have a pitch and bitch free forum on Horse Racing Experts, and I’ll consider selectively opening that up a little for those that want. Need to work out how to do that first!

      Thanks again and do keep the comments coming…
      Matt

  29. Avatar
    Sanny says:

    A great big NO from me for all reasons you have given. I fear it would attract all sorts of self-important,self-promoting clowns. Status quo please

  30. Avatar
    Phil says:

    Hi Matt
    The great thing about your site and the services you provide is that you are credible and accountable. You have shown and are showing others the way to conduct their business on line.
    You do NOT have to be a follower – continue LEADING in your approach and content and resist the urge to ‘do what others do’
    Your only reason for starting a forum should be ‘does it add value to what I already do?’ Judging by quite a few of the replies already , the feeling is it probably will not – and of course adding a forum could backfire somewhat and alienate many of your loyal followers.
    Continue to do what you do and do it well and leave the platform for the opinionated and egotistical to other sites, whilst you continue to develope the profitable angles that some of us already benefit from.
    I hope that these thoughts help

  31. Avatar
    Rob says:

    Matt, don’t waste your time by starting a forum. It will dilute and distract you away from other duties.

    It’s 3 no’s from me!

  32. Avatar
    Stu Hazelwood says:

    1..No
    2..No
    3..No

    There are/were some excellent forums but most seem to have died a slow death through apathy/bitching or general infighting amongst the posters.
    Think it would be a total waste of time and effort.

    Stu

  33. Avatar
    gordon says:

    Hi Matt,
    I leave the vote to those who can spare the time to get involved so answers are:-
    a) Probably good idea for those with the time.
    b) No time for perusing or discussion.
    c)No-follows on from b.

  34. Avatar
    David says:

    Hi Matt,

    I think this is the marmite syndrome love it or hate it coming out. I personally see the positives and negatives of forums, the positives being the online community sharing ideas, systems, views, and on some forums the competitions make a fun environment to be a part of. On the downside is the constant bitching and negative attitude of a few individuals that dampen the spirit of others, although a public forum should, i suppose expect this, as individual opinions are of course encouraged and a good debate every now and then can be a great thing.

    To give an answer to your question, i am with the majority and would like to see this site stay as is, there is something about this place that stands out from the croud and i suspect that is why it is so popular. If you like quotes this is the best i have found regarding betting anyhow,

    “It is a fine thing to get a peck or a bushel of gold by betting for it, the tremulous rapture of mingled hope and fear is almost compensation enough even if one loses. Next to the pleasure of winning is the pleasure of losing; only stagnation is unendurable”.

    Regards
    David

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Excellent quote David – very poignant. Hubert Howe Bancroft (who?!), Google informs me.

      It’s most resonant.

      Matt

  35. Avatar
    Robert says:

    Hi Matt,

    I Thought this was a kind of forum!

    What do you need another medium for? All the topics and tips can be discussed at length on here already.

    So to answer your question properly old bean…………………
    No, No & No. But Thanks for asking.

    Keep up the good work.

    Robert.

  36. Avatar
    Dunc says:

    A forum would be a good idea, however, like most people here, it needs to be kept free from people who thinks its funny to have topics about all manner of things. My suggestion would be a systems only forum where people could post their thoughts and system rules and their selections. I would be more than happy to contribute

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      I’ll not be tinkering with HRE, David. As someone said a few comments back, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

      Matt

  37. Avatar
    Nick says:

    Hi Matt

    Can’t make lingfield tomorrow but when we catch up next I will let u no about I am blue race

    Answers to ur questions is a no to all

  38. Avatar
    Dave says:

    Matt virtualy impossible to keep clean although I would’t contribute would read what others had to say<<<<<<<< Dave…

  39. Avatar
    Ged says:

    Hi Matt,
    1st time I’ve posted, but been an avid follower of Geegeez for the last 6 months – thanks for some great reading! Like things just the way they are, but only my opinion.

  40. Avatar
    Peter Moran says:

    I would be interested in a forum here, mostly for reading and learning, and probably make occasional contributions, but not in the daily chat style that some people seem to thrive on.

  41. Avatar
    tommy b says:

    Hi Matt, i like ur geegees just the way it is, forums, as quite rightly said, attract the whiners, forum not required.

  42. Avatar
    Gordon says:

    Hi Matt.
    A Forum? NO, NO, NO, and No again! If people want forums, let them go somewhere else, as I do myself. Lets keep Geegez forum free.

    Cheers,
    Gordon

  43. Avatar
    Gordon says:

    Great column as usual. My response is
    a) Not particularly it seems good as it is. I agree that too many forums spend too long knocking around things that aren’t important and moaning. If it was a place for people to share decent information then ok

    b) Probably just read unless I had something worth sharing

    c) No. Although I am out of work at the moment I am spending a lot of time trying to get some!!!

    Cheers

    Gordon

  44. Avatar
    Richard Noy says:

    Re- The Big Question, Matt. I’d probably take a look occasionally but would be unlikely to contribute due to time constraints and the belief, as I get older, that “less is more”!! Still love what you currently do and the style you do it with!

  45. Avatar
    Darrin says:

    Hi Matt

    Happy to go along with the vast majority and say a big NO to the forum idea. Not only do they attract the whingers, but the show offs as well that that are happy to tell you about their winning bets and how they selected them, but forget to mention their many losers!

    It would not add anything positive to your excellent service. Please steer well clear!

    Cheers

    Darrin

  46. Avatar
    Terry says:

    Hi Matt!
    When we have a perfectly 1st class site with you, why do we need a talking shop? Your reviews are indespensable in my view and is like no other site. Please keep it this way – I’m sure that that is all any punter would wish for. By the way, would you like to review a product called the Betting Champ – claiming a 97% strike rate?

    Best wishes

    Terry

  47. Avatar
    Graeme says:

    As others have said “if it aint broke etc etc”. I never bother with forums as most are just not really places of wisdom and knowledge. Why would anyone use a forum during race day??. Traders are busy trading and layers are busy sorting their lays etc (or they should be) so don’t have the time for such frivolity.

    Anyway arter a while forums stop working when members drop away. If you want a forum and adding more work for yourself knock yourself out but i won’t be here to read the dross.

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