It's almost time for the Cheltenham Festival 2014. Almost. And in the midst of the marketing melee it pays to keep a clear(ish) head.
In today's post, I'll outline what geegeez will be doing to support your Cheltenham success; and also what you can do to get the best from it. Below, I'll be covering more new stuff on the racecards; more previews; and, bookie silly season.
First, if you're not already a Gold subscriber, then we've added one more reason to give it a whirl. Actually, there's (sort of) three more reasons. Let me explain...
As mentioned last week, Stat of the Day and the Race Analysis Reports are now inside the premium area. It's my opinion that each of these is comfortably worth the £12 a month subscription fee alone. When added together, along with the growing number of other components of that Gold sub, I feel it's exceptional value.
To remind you, we already had overview horse, trainer, profile and head to head reports. We also already had unique pace analysis not available on any other popular racecards; and, a horse/trainer/jockey search and tracker tool.
And last week we added inline trainer and jockey form on the main cards; head to head information; expert comments; and, breeding summaries. We also added a simple icon bar to the top of the card which enables users to open/close all instances of that icon on the page.
For instance, if you want to read the comments, click the speech bubble at the top and all comments will open. Click it again to close. Nice!
And today I'm pleased to introduce the five day view, showing the declarations as they come in for the next five days. Do note that this is 'work in progress'. I really wanted to get this future view online ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, but there was a problem because my web developer is away skiing this week!
So, he built the web 'front end' code before the database 'back end' code was in place, and we 'hoped' they would line up. Luckily, in the main, they have. I guess it's a bit like when they drilled the Channel Tunnel from both ends, and hoped they'd meet in the middle. Sort of...!
As well as the racecards, you'll get Stat of the Day, free systems and trainer stable tours on the Gold page, and plenty more besides. We're always looking for ways to add more value to the package, so if you've any suggestions, do leave a comment below.
If you're not yet a Gold subscriber, you can trial it for 17 days for free, and if you'd like to continue your subscription, it's 40p per day.
If you currently have a free subscription, you can upgrade here.
If you're not currently subscribed at all, you can register here.
More on the Cheltenham Festival now, and I'm trying to preview as many big races as I can before the tapes rise on the first day. So far, I've covered the Ryanair, the Champion Chase, the Arkle, the Cross Country Chase, the RSA Chase, and yesterday I added the World Hurdle.
You can view them all, plus other related Cheltenham content, on geegez' special Cheltenham Festival page.
I'll be adding more previews every day this week, and won't necessarily be able to email you each time to notify you. So, either check back to http://www.geegeez.co.uk/cheltenham-festival/ regularly, or follow @geegeez_uk on twitter.
If you're not on twitter because you don't like that sort of thing, you can simply use it as a sort of online diary, to be notified of things of interest as they happen. All geegeez posts, including Stat of the Day, Double Dutch and The Shortlist, are immediately flagged on twitter thanks to a clever auto-publish-thingummyjig gromit.
As well as the previews, I've started to pull together a 'Best Bookie Offers' page for the Festival. We all know that bookmakers are half-killing themselves to get us to bet with them during Cheltenham. And some of the offers and concessions they dream up present excellent opportunities for punters.
I'll try to flag the best of them as I become aware of them, so again, this is a page you might want to bookmark and check back on regularly. Here's the skeleton 'Best Cheltenham Festival Bookie Offers' page.
The top two at the moment are both from Paddy: new customers can get 12/1 on Quevega (currently 8/11) to win the Mares' Hurdle in a double with Sire de Grugy (currently 2/1) to win the Champion Chase. The actual double odds are a little over 4/1, so 12/1 is clearly a very strong offer. That one is for new customers only, and you can view it here.
If, like me and many others, you already have a Paddy account, you can still profit from the 'money back if your horse finishing 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the Supreme Hurdle' offer. This is a cracking concession, and it gives you the standard one chance to win, but couples it with three opportunities to get your cash back.
For sure, the Supreme is a competitive race - as ever - but getting three 'draw no bet' places behind the win slot is a lot of power to the punter's elbow. I haven't been through the Supreme form yet, but when I have, I WILL be using the Paddy offer. It's plain daft not to!
Here's that Best Cheltenham Bookie Offers link again - remember, I'll be updating it as often as I get new information which we can hopefully all benefit from.
The previews come thick and fast this week, with Champion Hurdle and Mares' Hurdle today; Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Foxhunters' Chase tomorrow; and the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Wednesday.
I'm hoping to get the Neptune and Albert Bartlett completed on Thursday, and the JLT Novices' Chase on Friday. The Triumph Hurdle will be sorted on Saturday most likely, which will 'just' leave the handicaps.
It's my intention this year not to focus too much on the handicaps. I've found through great cost and bitter experience that I lose plenty on these races - Cross Country Chase aside - and I intend to 'penny play' them this year. I do have a couple of angles for them, which I'll be sharing, but if you want to bet on these you'd be better off making your own picks, or signing up to something like the Cleeve Racing Festival package.
All my previews can be seen on the Cheltenham Festival page.