It's Easter so how about some Easter eggs? In the software community, an Easter egg is a hidden piece of functionality only known to insiders. Well, we're not quite so covert here at geegeez.co.uk, so in today's post, I've a couple of tasty morsels which are hopefully better for you - for your teeth at least - than a chocolate ovoid!
Specifically, I've recorded a video showing what's new and what's coming soon, including something about which I'm very excited. And I've a few words - mainly just for fun - on the Irish National. Let's start with the Geegeez Gold Easter Egg...
Now and Next on Geegeez Gold
00:00 Introductory waffle
00:30 Hcap/All filter on Draw tab
03:08 The first change to Instant Expert for a loooooong time
05:17 Query Tool: cosmetic enhancements
07:38 Query Tool: pictures!
08:55 Query Tool: Angles, a first look
10:25 QT Angles on the racecard
14:30 Query Tool: example Angle
19:10 Two-day and one-week Gold passes (non-recurring)
Irish National Thoughts
The following is at best half-baked, and is offered 'just for fun' on what is shaping up to be something of a washout day...
I would be slightly sweeter on the picks were it not for the white hot tussle for the Irish Trainers' Championship between Messrs Mullins and Elliott. That significant set to has seen no fewer than THIRTEEN entries from Cullentra House, and another four from Mullins' Closutton base. Whatever you think of that from a macro perspective, it makes for a very different race shape and, thus, trends - which have been strong in this contest down the years - may be torpedoed on this occasion.
No matter, for the trends have been strong, as I say. A low weight, and a commensurate lesser rating; a younger horse; a win over a trip of three miles or beyond; fairly unexposed over fences; and a recent run between two weeks and two months. Those criteria (perhaps excluding the weight/rating one) largely fit a lot of top table staying chases and so make sense.
In truth, it is the weight/rating element which I suspect may derail us this term, with so many classy contenders from the two aforementioned powerhouses. One thing you can be sure if you fancy one from Mullins' or Elliott's batallion is that they will have no idea which is most likely to win: jockey bookings and the like may be less of a pointer then, and prices may be artificially inflated down the batting order.
Enough of the flim flam, here are the ones I've backed:
My trendy shortlist was Arkwrisht, Squouateur, Sutton Manor and Champagne Harmony. The last named is a million chance on form and will take no more than the minimum stake on the machine as a flippant action bet. I have reservations about both S's, Squouateur and Sutton Manor, in a big field, though I've backed them both, at 25 and 40 on Betfair - both are now bigger (great, ahem).
The one I like most is Arkwisht, trained by Joseph O'Brien, and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
Surprisingly, Elliott and Mullins are collectively nought from 50! That must be odds-on to change this afternoon, but if not Arkwrisht ticks a lot of boxes - form in big fields, on heavy ground, and beyond three miles - though I do have a slight niggle about whether the eight-year-old German-bred can quite see out this 29 furlong slog. Still, each way at 28/1 with as many place concessions as you can snaffle should offer a run.
And I've taken a couple of other 'just for fun' swipes - well, you can't have enough swipes in a race like this, can you? - in the form of The Paparazzi Kid and Moulin A Vent.
The Paparazzi Kid would be a real story horse if he won. €270,000, the first prize, could well be more than the difference between Mullins and Elliott at the end of the season, so the fact that this chap is having his first start for Gordon, having previously been trained by Willie, would smart in the extreme for the incumbent champ!
He has a better form chance than 66/1 (160 on the exchange) implies as well, in spite of being a full on trends buster. He's eleven (too old), his winning form is all at two and a half miles (won't stay), and he's been chasing for five years (too long). The negatives out of the way, the case for the defence is thus: loves heavy ground (122114 lifetime), has very good form in big fields (20311244U in 16+ runner races), has slipped to a pound below his last winning mark, and has gone to a yard with an excellent record at winning first time after a trainer switch and off a layoff.
He'll be ridden for luck, which he very well might not get, and to get the trip, which he very well might not get; so caveat emptor. But he'll be fun to watch for a circuit and a bit at least.
Moulin A Vent has a more obvious claim, as one of the classier horses in the line up. This Graded performer drops into handicap company for the first time, though jockey bookings suggest he's the stable second string, Sean Flanagan jumping ship to Snow Falcon. He may live to regret that as his spurned former partner, on which he's sat every time that one has raced over an obstacle, sets up well against conditions.
Only six, Moulin A Vent has had 14 career starts, just six of which have been in chases. He's clearly unexposed - the corollary to which is that he's inexperienced - and a fast run stamina test might be just what he wants. Big fields and heavy ground hold no fears, but the fences do: this chap is a sticky jumper. Faller insurance may be a prudent play if you can find it, and the general 33/1 - nearer 40's on Betfair (no insurance) - is attractive.
There are loads of class horses in what is a really deep and competitive renewal, so take a few stabs, swot up on your Gigginstown cap colours, and strap yourself in for a fun ten minutes or so. Good luck!