What a few days it's been, dear reader, and what a week we have coming up. From Scotland to Ireland; from David Peat to James Fitzmaurice; and from Pall Mall to Wolverhampton; it's a veritable mixed bag in today's post...
So let's get to it.
Firstly, a quick gloat about the big race on Saturday, the Scottish Grand National. My choices were highlighted here earlier in the week for all to see (and aligned remarkably with a number of other sources of online goodness, notably Gavin's Festival Trends).
Thirty runners and four miles of racing later, Merigo stayed on well to repel all challengers, principally last year's runner up, Gone To Lunch. In so doing, they managed a 1-2 for my trio against the field (the other, Auroras Encore, ignominiously parting company with the jock at the very first fence).
18/1 was the price of the winner; or 24/1 on the tote; or 26.71/1 Betfair SP.
For those adventurous enough to play the forecast (that certainly wasn't me!), the exacta paid Â£207.70. Nice.
OK, gloat over. Onwards and downwards!
Now then, unless you've not signed up to a single email list in your life (and if you're reading this, it probably means you have), you will have received one or more mail notes regarding a certain James Fitzmaurice, who runs the website at bettingsystemtruths.com.
Whilst I don't know James personally, I have followed his progress online (as I do with many others), and I've been impressed with the niche he's carved for himself.
As far as I can tell, James started out with some questionable ideas a few years back, but has since had a sort of online epiphany and become a straight talker, and someone who tries to steer systems buyers towards the good products.
Clearly, in so doing, he will upset some product owners. That's the nature of his approach.
However, the email that was sent out - upon which I've no desire to dwell - had at best tenuous and circumstantial evidence within it, and at worst libelous acerbic invention.
It's not my job to defend James (he's big enough to do that for himself), but it could just have easily have been me that was the subject of such an attack (and indeed I don't rule out the possibility of that happening despite my stainless reputation, such is the seemingly arbitrary nature of these emails).
Anyway, my point is that in my opinion James is a decent bloke trying to do right, and I was surprised and disappointed at the lengths that this anonymous (naturally) spammer had gone to.
Changing the tone completely, I've got a new poll up where I'm trying to learn something about you wonderful people, as a whole. It's a demographic question, oh yes.
I want to know in which decade you were born. The whole thing is completely anonymous, so don't fret about being 'outed' as ten years older or younger than you typically present yourself 😉
Anyway, it's also optional so if you don't want to share, then don't. If you don't mind though, it helps me understand to whom I'm writing. (And, of course, helps to better write to you and for you).
Thanks a lot in advance.
Next up, it's the Punchestown Festival this week: a five day puntathon that will test the mettle (as well as the wallet and the liver) of even the hardiest wagerers.
I did some research for the Irish Field around favourite performance, and came up with some interesting findings, depending on whether the horses had run at Cheltenham's Festival or not.
You can find those finding on my horse-racing.ie site here: Punchestown Festival 2010 Pointers.
Good luck if you're going to Punchestown, or simply punting on it.
You'll note that this is a shortish post today, despite the breadth of subject matter. The reason for this is of course the big live events this Thursday and Friday, on London's Pall Mall.
I'll be hosting two days of instruction, with fun and sandwiches to boot.
I finished my presentation materials yesterday, and now I'm really excited about the events themselves, which will be the springboard for twenty or so new players in the market over the course of the next year. You're sure to hear about many of them here in coming months.
It does however mean I will be heavily distracted this week, so if you don't get a reply to your email in the normal time frame, please bear with me. And if there isn't much going on here on the blog this week, please bear with me.
I've promised to give my undivided attention to my Platinum group, and that is exactly what I am committed to doing.
Normal service will resume here in a week or so's time. Thanks for bearing with me between now and then.
Also this week, the Geegeez geegees return to the track!
Tomorrow, Always De One has an engagement in the 4.45 at Wolverhampton and, whilst she's almost top weight in what (according to the handicap range at least) is a moderate contest, she might struggle against some unexposed types.
There are four runners (from a field of thirteen) who have had the obligatory three maiden starts to get a handicap rating. Often these horses leave their previous level of form behind when they hit handicap company.
The one that might be 'darkest' is Lucky Traveller, who was outpaced in his three starts... over five and six furlongs. He now races over a mile and quarter! Hmmm... He might be just a poor horse, or he could improve considerably for the extra half a mile! Time will tell.
That said, on known form in the book, Always has a decent chance. She's second best on speed figures, sixth best on Racing Post Ratings, and third best on official ratings.
The application of cheek pieces will hopefully keep her focused, as she can run a little lazily in spots, and she's well enough drawn.
Finally, the fact that I cannot attend tomorrow (for reasons already highlighted) give her an excellent chance. Despite owning bits of winning race horses through this century, the last time I was actually present at the track when one of my interests won was...
21st February 2001Â !!!!
I'll be backing her each way and hoping for a bold show.
Later in the week, on Saturday to be precise, Baggsy is entered in a fillies' race at the same venue. She's towards the bottom of the ratings bracket for the race, so may or may not get a run. We can forget her last race (as she was in season), and she'll be ready to give a good account of herself. I've yet to see the entries so can't say whether she might trouble the judge at this stage.
Finally, Night Orbit is now in fast work. He'll have a run or two on the flat when the ground eases, and then we'll plan a summer novice chasing campaign with him. As a 124 rated hurdler, he'd have a chance of winning one or two little races before the big boys come out to play in October/ November. Early days but a lot to look forward to there.
Finally, did you get hold of David Peat's free systems compendium yet? If so, I hope you liked it.
If not, you can grab it from the link below. You can also sign up for his bang in form Horse Profiles services which, as I explained on Friday, is excellent value at around Â£8 a month (Â£57 one time payment).
That's all for today. If you backed the winner in the Scottish National, or if you took a look at David's stuff, or if you have a fancy at Punchy this week, or if you know James or have a view on 'that' email, or if you've anything else you'd like to mention...
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