What a drag it has been for many today, dear reader, as - after a protracted bout of R&R (involving all or a subset of over-eating, over-drinking, and over-TV watching) - the masses headed back to their respective places of work to clock in for day one of the new working decade. A collective sigh of deafening proportions could be heard every half hour from 6 to 8.30 this morning, as alarm clocks up and down the country signaled the end of the holidays and the start of the salaried grind.
But for some, me included, the work has already begun. And for a fortunate few, the notion of work is challenged by the enjoyment derived from the '9 to 5'. Professional footballers (and indeed all pro sportspeople), TV stars, pop/rock artists... and bloggers... all mostly enjoy their travails. But I digress...
Cutting (back) to the chase, I've been a busy bunny over the Christmas and New Year period, finishing off a new site dedicated mainly - though definitely not exclusively - to our friends across the Irish Sea, who love their racing as much (and more) as we Brits do. The site will contain everything you've come to expect from Geegeez, just with a strong leaning towards the Irish racing scene.
There will be big race previews pretty much every weekend; news digests of the major happenings each week; and system tests will generally take a sideways view on the product or service, by applying it to Irish racing (despite the fact it may not be explicitly designed for that purpose).
It will be predominantly written by me, but I'll also be supported by some guest writers, most of whom are far better qualified to scribble on their subjects due to their enhanced geographic proximity, and their primary interest being on that there racing.
To kick things off, I've added some old reviews in order to give a bit of 'ballast' to an otherwise empty skeleton website.
But, much more importantly, there's some great fresh content, including a look at the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the first race of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, where I've found a couple of lively alternatives to the very short-priced favourite, at odds of 25/1 and 33/1. (I'll be hoping they go the same way as other ante-post recommendations, Go Native (33's to 9/2 in places) and Petit Robin (33's to 9's in a place, though I've laid my stake back on this one, due to the trainer making noises about skipping the race - you might want to do likewise if you followed me in).
And there's also a preview of a liability (i.e. less scary on the downside) laying service that has been performing impressively in recent months, and that will be tracked for the rest of the month on the site. This is atypical for the site going forwards, as it's focus will be on Irish racing, but nevertheless I think it's well worth keeping tabs on.
If you're interested in Irish racing, or just want a nice weekly summary of what's happening in that sphere, I'd encourage you to register for updates. These will consist of one or two emails a week - certainly no more - notifying you of the content that's been added since last time. (There's a readily identifiable registration box on the right hand side, into which you can add your details should you so wish).
Oh yes... I'd better tell you where the site lives! 😉
Cue drum roll...
The New Home of Irish Racing is....
Please bear in mind that it's a brand new site, and not everything is working quite as I'd like it to at this stage. However, the most recent posts can be found very easily by scrolling down the home page there (and this will always be the case).
Feel free to leave a comment on the site with your thoughts, which are most welcome, whether they're favourable or not. At this time, I'm very keen to understand what you think is missing, as well as what you like, so don't hold back!
That's it for today. Welcome back to work (sorry), welcome to 2010, and... welcome to Horse-Racing.ie!