It was an interesting and exciting weekend, dear reader, as I tested out a new idea with a 'new kid on the block', Tony Mac.
We'd been exchanging emails over a period of time and he'd been sending me his views on various big Irish meetings. I was pretty impressed with the detail he'd unearthed and I couldn't see this stuff anywhere else, so I thought it would probably be of interest to those who bet on the major Irish races.
Of course, what I think and what is the case are often at odds with each other, so I tested the idea out over the weekend. Tony and I produced a report covering six races at the Irish Oaks meeting from the Curragh. Although it's of little use now, except to get a feel for what we were doing, you can download it here.
As I say, we covered six races, and broke each race down into what I called primary and secondary trends. By doing this, we were able to identify a shortlist after the primary trends from which we believed the winner would come. Using the secondary trends, we could then narrow the field further and come up with a selection (or two).
Moreover, for each race, we gave an indication - via a traffic light system - of the historical strength of the trends available.
So, how did it fare? Well, pretty well really. We covered just the one race on Saturday with a green status (i.e. strong trends), the Minstrel Stakes, and had three on the shortlist: Duff, Free Judgment, Air Chief Marshal.
In the final reckoning, I foolishly ignored the trends which pointed squarely to Air Chief Marshal, and plumped for Free Judgment. The result? 5/1 Air Chief Marshal beat 14/1 Duff. Straight forecast Â£75.31. Lesson learned.
Onto Sunday, where we'd reviewed five races. The Anglesey Stakes had an amber status - that is, we weren't hugely confident about the trends - and my selection, Rudolf Valentino, finished 3rd of 4, albeit as the 12/1 outsider in the race.
Next up came the Kilboy Estate Stakes, a green race, and a race where the shortlist after the primary trends consisted of one horse (from a field of seventeen!).
The secondary information also pointed to the same horse, and I noted in my commentary:
"One horse stands out with a perfect trends profile. Latin Love has twice finished second over this somewhat specialist distance, including in this race last year behind Sheâ€™s Our Mark, and has been placed all three times sheâ€™s tried the trip.
Having had four runs this season, her last being three weeks ago, and with requisite official and Racing Post ratings, Ryan Moore looks a â€˜jobâ€™ booking.
Despite a bumper field of 18 runners [one non-runner], Latin Love looks sure to go close and is a confident each way selection."
Ryan Moore gave her a brilliant ride, getting a great position, pushing her clear over a furlong out, and she was never in trouble, winning by one and a quarter lengths at odds of 9/1 (Betfair SP 12.0).
I had a decent bet, and I hope some of you did too.
Moving on, and the Irish Oaks was next. Another green status race, the shortlist consisted of four horses: Hibaayeb, Meeznah, Rosanara, and Snow Fairy.
With the absence of Rosanara, that left three, and again I plumped for the wrong one in the final reckoning, siding with Hibaayeb, who hated the ground (which changed to soggy overnight).
As you probably know, Snow Fairy annihilated the field in the style of a very smart filly, winning by EIGHT lengths and with the rest of the field strung out all over County Kildare.
Again, I'd found it difficult to narrow the field, as the secondary trends pointed to the exact quartet (reduced to a trio by the non-runner) as the primary stats. I wrote:
"Whilst Iâ€™m confident that the winner is in those four, Hibaayeb is no more than a tentative selection after her authoritative win in the Ribblesdale last time out."
(Tony was actually much sweeter on the Epsom Oaks value than I was, and he was right.)
We then had an amber and a red race to finish with, the first a ladies' handicap. The trends left us with a none too short shortlist, and we plumped for the favourite Park Ranger, who couldn't quicken in the ground and was well beaten.
Tony also produced some interesting jockey stats that pointed in the direction of a couple of lasses I'd not heard of in Miss A Foley and Miss P Ryan.
I backed them both each way, and nearly nailed it when Miss A Foley's mount, Taralga (12/1) went on a furlong out. Alas, she was caught by an 11/1 shot close home. Miss P Ryan, meanwhile, finished a never nearer third on Zarinava (11/2) landing two place wagers.
Most would not have got these, but the info was there!
The last race - a red on the history-ometer - was a competitive event, and the shortlist was two from the eleven starters: Luisant and last year's winner, Just For Mary.
I sided with Luisant and, in a thrilling finish where five or six came there with a chance, Luisant was just touched off by a head to finish second at 8/1.
A great day's sport and a couple of winners, including the lovely Latin Love which, alongside copping the placepot at Market Rasen on Saturday to the tune of Â£325, made a nice punting weekend.
If you liked the Oaks report, or if you missed out but are interested in the future, Tony is currently working on a report for the Galway race meeting which starts next Monday. It's a marathon seven day meeting, and we'll be focusing on quality not quantity, with no more than three races each day covered.
I'll have more info later in the week, if that floats your betting boat.
News from Julia Feilden's stable now, and firstly I'm delighted to report that the last of the shares for Khajaaly was sold over the weekend, so we're full up and all systems go.
Khajaaly is well, despite suffering the unkindest cut of all. Yes, when he arrived at Julia's he was in possession of all his faculties. Alas for him, he is now a couple of elements short and won't have to concern himself with the latter career as a stallion...
He's in full work and we hope he'll make his debut for us in early August.
Baggsy and Always De One, previous club horses, are out of training at the moment. Baggsy will go to the sales on 4th August, and Always is in a field prior to coming back into training in August.
Night Orbit, in whom I also have a share, is fit and ready to run, but needs the ground to soften a little before being let loose.
A couple of things you may have noticed on the blog recently, and can expect to notice going forwards:
- More news. Each day, there are two or three major news stories covered, to give a bit more depth to the racing coverage here. It's not intended that Geegeez will become a rival to sportinglife or racingpost, but for those of you who are regular visitors, you'll always find fresh content even when I've not rambled or pontificated in my bloggies!
- More system trials and reviews. You asked for them, so I'm bringing them. The Full Circle and On Course For Profits are currently being reviewed, and they're set to be joined by two or three more this week. The trials will be performed by guest reviewers, so a) please bear with them while they find their feet, and b) you can be sure the trials are 100% independent (not that they wouldn't have been if I was doing them, but you know what I mean..!)
So what's upÂ this week? Well, it's all about the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes from Ascot, which is the centrepiece race of their three day meeting.
In truth, it's a very disappointing turnout with just eight entries at the five day stage. But this is all about quality over quantity, as the octet includes Derby heroes, Workforce (Epsom) and Cape Blanco (Irish), as well as crack older horses, Harbinger, Youmzain, Dar Re Mi, and Daryakana.
If the race is truly run, and Sir Michael Stoute has three in there, presumably with a view to (Work?) forcing it somewhat, then this could be a thriller despite the shortage of beasts.
Personally, I'd love to see Workforce win with the same panache he demonstrated at Epsom, but this is altogether tougher, and I suspect that one of the older brigade may pop his balloon. Time will tell.
How was the weekend for you? Did you back (m)any winners? Did you use the Irish report? Any good? Got a system you'd like reviewed?
Leave a comment and let me / everyone else know!