They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, and maybe that's true. I mean, even the family expects you to wash up afterwards on Sunday afternoon!
But, in betting, there are plenty of free concessions. Now, clearly, they're designed to tempt you into spending money. After all, that is the fundamental premise of business. But that doesn't mean you have to splash any cash.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
Firstly, our friends at BetVictor are doing another of their 'impossible to resist' (for me at least) offers. Having already presented us with non-runner free bet for the whole of the last National Hunt season on the Cheltenham Festival (and they're offering it again - right now - on next year's Festival); and non-runner free bet on the Grand National, as well as paying five places (again, this offer is available right now for next year's race); and then offering punters who backed the Guineas winner a free bet to the same stake on that horse to win the Derby... BetVictor have put their head above the parapet once more.
Basically, as far as I can tell, they cannot win in the short term with this offer, which means it's what's known in the trade as a loss leader. That is, they expect to get new business to the offer and hope to convert that into profitable business down the line. They may, or may not, achieve that.
What is certain is that it's a cast iron offer, and I'm in. Here's what they've got:
They offering non-runner money back, AND they’ll refund all losing bets as a free bet (up to £50) if Dawn Approach wins. Yikes!
Terms and conditions apply, but they’re pretty straightforward. Max £50. Refunds as a free bet (promo cash). Offer applies to win and each way bets. Full T’s and C’s are below.
If you already have a BetVictor account, this is a cracking offer, and well worth grabbing. If you haven’t, how many more reasons do you need to get one?! [In all seriousness, I promote BetVictor more than other bookie on geegeez.co.uk. The reason is simple: they offer the best concessions].
I’ve backed Ocovango each way, for what it’s worth!
So that's the nearly free offer. Now for a free offer. Again it's a loss leader, this time in the form of a free trial for a service which has been doing remarkably well for a long time. Like any service, it has losing runs. But overall, it's a whopping £2,586.20 up from £10 bets.
Now, I should add that this is a greyhound betting service, which might not be for everyone. But the guy who's behind it rarely puts up more than two picks a day, and you can try it out for nothing. You never know, you might like it!
I'll have full details of this later in the week. Plus, I hope to be able to bring you another free trial offer tomorrow, with any luck.
Elsewhere on geegeez.co.uk at the moment, there is the usual dazzling array of editorial. I always worry that some of the better stuff gets missed, and so I'd like to draw your attention to a piece which I believe is well worth a read, if you've got ten minutes.
It's an interview with the Clerk of the Course at Ffos Las racecourse, where he talks about the challenges of getting the ground right for a course which sits on top of a former coal mine (!), and how he enjoys getting a bollocking off trainer Richard Lee. It's very interesting, and can be read here.
Another free thing, which is great fun, is the QIPCO Champions Series Fantasy Racing League. Last year, the Geegeez Super League finished second in the overall League of Leagues. And this year we've started well again... in second place!
When I previously emailed about this, I got the league code wrong, and it was very late in the day in any case. (Typical me).
But if you're already in the Fantasy Racing League, and want to join the Geegeez League (racing books bundle prize for the winner!), you can do so by selecting the league code 8030726 and league name, Geegeez Super League.
The link to the Fantasy Racing competition, which you can still enter despite missing the first couple of races, is here. There are monthly prizes, so there's still plenty to play for.
And finally, not free at all as you have to invest to win (and you might very well lose - gasp!), are my meeting previews and placepot perms. Yesterday was a good'un, as a combination of some decent picking on my part (my nap won cosily, and well backed from 11/4 into 7/4) and some bad-jumping jollies led to a dividend of £250.40, parts or all of which a number of readers had.
One fellow - Ravi - copped £100.16 for £3.20 (see first ticket image), and another guy staked £4 on the A picks, changing the last leg to Master Wells when mine was a non-runner, and he scored £500.80 for £4!!!
I also claimed £300.48 for a £25 total investment, with this £4.80 ticket. (I promoted the #1 horse (Dune Shine) to my A tickets and added #8 (Master Wells) to my B's).
Now, clearly, that means lots more people will try today, and we'll go down on the first leg. Such is the nature of Law of Sod. But let's have a pop anyway!
Today we'll have a crack at Nottingham, with its early 1.30 start.
Leg 1: 1.30 - We start with a race reduced to seven runners, due to the good to soft ground (changed from good to firm), and just two places to aim at. There's a strong favourite in Iftaar, and he should take a lot of beating after getting the hang of it late over a fast ground six furlongs at Newbury. This softer ground is an unknown and, as his dad, Bushranger, is a first season sire, there are few clues in his progeny statistics. He has to go on A at the price, but I'm not making him banker material.
Richard Hannon has a second time out Legend Rising, and it's impossible to fathom what he achieved in a five length second of three at Donny, again on good to firm. We at least know his 'old man', Tamayuz, has thrown winners on good to soft, and juvenile sprint winners too. He is A too.
A - 2 (Iftaar), 4 (Legend Rising)
Leg 2: 2.00 - More non-runners bringing this field down to six as I write, so again just two places. I love David Barron sprinters on softish ground, and have a system based on that angle. So the jolly here, Jofranka is a banka. She gets a stone off Noel Quinlan's distance dropper, Seven of Clubs, and that's enough for me, despite the latter being backed by shrewd connections.
A - 8 (Jofranka)
Leg 3: 2.30 - Wide. Open. Four non-runners brings us down to ten, but they still bet 5/1 the field! Those who have acted best to date with cut are Celtic Sixpence, Ambitious Icarus, and Two Turtle Doves. The last named has been in the first three in 21 of his 53 turf races, including the last three. He's won off today's mark and looks a fair bet to make the frame again. A.
Celtic Sixpence has won off as high as 73, and both her wins were on good to soft. She's rated 67 now, and can run well after a couple of only fair efforts on quicker.
Ambitious Icarus won his only race here over five, but has beaten very few horses in eight runs this year. That said, he's not been beaten far in a few of those, and he's dropped back to his last winning mark.
Common Cents, a son of soft ground sire, Pivotal, has had less tries than most of these, and is trained by Ron Harris, a top man with sprinters. There's been money for this chap this morning, and it's easy to see why. Could improve for the softish six, and a small field might be material too.
On balance, I'd be against Point North here (will probably win now), and also Dana's Present, who surely wants further (probably dead heat with Point North!).
A - 5 (Celtic Sixpence), 10 (Two Turtle Doves)
B - 2 (Common Cents), 9 (Ambitious Icarus)
Leg 4: 3.00 - Division two of the previous sprint handicap, and twelve left in after two defections. It's 5/1 the field again, so plenty of tickets will go west here. Big Wave is a bit of a weak finisher but her best trip is six furlongs and a bit of cut might be ideal. Her trainer, Alison Hutchinson, has started well (7 winners from 48 runners, +£40.50) and this course-and-distance-winning lassie might go close.
Divertimenti and Parisian Pyramid are other options at the top of the market in a very trappy race.
A couple of course, distance and going winners at big prices which might return to form are Reginald Claude and Kings 'N Dreams.
A - 2 (Parisian Pyramid), 4 (Big Wave), 7 (Divertimenti)
B - 11 (Reginald Claude), 14 (Kings 'N Dreams)
Leg 5: 3.30 - A non-runner here means it's win only with just four going to post. Questioning and Moonstone Magic have both won in Group company, with the latter considered good enough to run in the 1000 Guineas last year. I think Moonstone Magic's fitness edge might just sway it for her on softish ground, but I wouldn't be betting on it.
I doubt if the other two are good enough, even in a tactical affair.
A - 4 (Questioning), 5 (Moonstone Magic)
Leg 6: 4.05 - Six runners in a 3yo fillies' handicap. Again, not my idea of a punting proposition, but we've got to deal with it if we're to crack the 'pot (assuming we're still running, of course).
All On Red won on debut last year, and showed her best form on softer ground too. Whether she quite stays this far remains to be seen, but she's a fair price with a fair chance: perfect placepot material.
Favourite, Sharqawiyah, might want further but first time in a handicap for Luca Cumani demands attention and this is an A cert. But it's interesting that Kieren Fallon rides Brian Meehan's Give Way Nelson rather than the Cumani horse, and I'd expect he had the choice. A too.
I don't really get the money for Kevin Ryan's Lady Of The House. Of course, she could win, but there's nothing in the form book, nor are they different race conditions today, which suggest she might do the biz. Not for me, though she'll probably lead and could get first run as a consequence.
And Tosca has an interesting history: won on debut in Baden Baden; then beaten in a Listed race in Cologne, and a Group 3 at Maisons-Lafitte. Clearly she was thought capable previously and, while it wouldn't be a huge shock if she won in this much lower company, I'd like to watch her today.
A - 1 (Give Way Nelson), 5 (Sharqawiya)
B - 3 (All On Red)
Just A's - 2 x 1 x 2 x 3 x 2 x 2 = 48 bets
All picks - 2 x 1 x 4 x 5 x 2 x 3 = 240 bets
Ticket builder optimized perm - see below.
Readers can use the ticket builder at www.geegeez.co.uk/ppot/ to create their own part perms.
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