It seems like ages since I've written a bit of a catch up post on the blog. Almost certainly because it has been ages... Anyway, in this round up piece, I'll cover Gold update progress, a geegeez syndicate horse running today, a geegeez betting syndicate, and the latest Cheltenham antepost betting previews.
Let's start with this week's Pick 4 betting syndicate...
Over 40 readers joined me in a mission to take down a huge pool which eventually rounded out at £913,000. To win a share of that pot, 'all' players had to do was correctly predict the scores in four matches, starting on Sunday night with Barcelona vs Villareal.
Our syndicate contribution amounted to £1,734, and we had all sorts of possibilities in the first game, R1 on the tickets, as follows:
The tickets were staked differently with ticket 1 staked to £4 lines, 2-4 at £2 per line, and the rest were £1 lines. As you can see from the above, our main hope in the Barcelona game was that the home side would cut loose against an inferior Villareal, albeit one that had been in belligerent form (unbeaten in 18).
Long story short, it finished 3-2, the same score as it was after 55 minutes. A further goal - 4-2 - would have rendered it AOH (Any Other Home) and we'd have been into leg two with six tickets standing, including three big ones.
3-2 was a 28/1 shot with the bookies, and gave us just Ticket 5 going forwards. However, it also reduced the ticket pool from £913,000 to about £34,000.
Legs 2 and 3 were ManU - Cambridge and Fulham - Sunderland respectively, and they were due off concurrently at 7.45pm Tuesday night. Alas, traffic problems intervened meaning the United game kicked off 20 minutes late.
That was hugely material, as I'd emailed the syndicate pre-match explaining that we'd look to 'cash in' our stake money at half time if we could. With the delay, there was no concurrent pause in play and, thus, no cash in opportunity.
The half time scores were 1-0 Fulham and 2-0 Man U. In other words, both target scores for us, which would have enabled the cash out and left us with circa 60-70% of our ticket riding as a free bet.
No matter, we were still in a strong position. And even when Man U went 3-0 up, we looked fine. In the Fulham game, however, things spun on their head. First, the Flum cat lobbed the ball into his own net on the hour. 1-1.
Then the entire Flum defence watched Alvarez' dancing feet (and great finish) put the Black Cats in front. But the soft penalty in the 93rd minute of the match, duly despatched, was a killer. 3-0 and 1-2 scores on the night would have given us three bullets at between £15,000 and £23,000 in the Bolton-Liverpool game last night (0-1, 0-2, 1-2). Sure enough, it finished on the best of the three, 1-2, meaning we'd have been shooting for £23,000.
That Sunderland penalty meant we got nothing.
Out in the most galling of manners.
It was a real confluence of misfortune Tuesday night, and I couldn't believe what happened. But that's sport, and our bad luck will have been someone else's good luck. Next time it might be our turn...
Speaking of which, we'll probably have another cut at the HDA15 on Saturday week.
In other syndicate news, The Geegeez Geegee, a geegeez.co.uk syndicate horse, runs in the 4.50 race today at Taunton. Here's what I wrote to the syndicate members:
So, 40 days on from his last novice hurdle run, The Geegeez Geegee is scheduled to run tomorrow in his first handicap hurdle.
We're moving him up to three miles, which we think will suit him better than the shorter trips over which he's run to date. And, importantly, there are no Cheltenham Festival entries in this race, which there have been in his recent races.
It's a Class 5 event and the going is soft, which is probably slower than ideal, but Anthony feels he'll cope with it.
So, the big question: do we think he has a winning chance? And the short answer is yes, he has a chance.
The likes of Gilzean, Olympian Boy and Ballyegan are aged nine and up, but have been in excellent form recently. Also, two of them get plenty of weight from TGG, who has to carry top weight of 11-12.
As well as those established players, it might be fair to expect Riversbridge and Exmoor Challenge - both also having their first runs in handicaps - to improve on what they've shown so far.
And Sophie Leech, married to an ex-official BHA handicapper, has three in the race, any of which could be 'trying'.
What I'm trying to say is that it is not a penalty kick - far from it - and our boy has to prove he stays three miles (we're pretty sure he does), and also that he can go in the ground (we think he'll be all right). Personally, given he's not the biggest horse, I'm interested to see how he copes with 11-12 on his back, the most weight he'll have carried to date.
I'm having an each way bet, assuming the odds allow, and I'm planning to be in attendance.
Please let me know if you need a badge for tomorrow.
So now you know as much as we do! Fingers firmly crossed for a safe, and hopefully prominent, display.
A quick Geegeez Gold development update now.
The forum is going great guns, despite my absence for a week or so. In fact, while I've been labouring on other projects, I'd say it's thrived, which is great news. If you're a Gold subscriber, do check it out - you can access it from the main menu. Or from here.
Elsewhere with the development, we've run into some issues with the first group of reports. Nothing terminal, but we need (obviously) to work through everything and ensure all is as it should be before publishing on site. So, please bear with us. I'm hoping that first tranche will be online in the next fortnight, but don't hold me to that.
We have also fixed the iDevice report selector issue, which is actually a 'feature' of iDevices rather than a problem with our code. Anyway, Apple fans can click the new arrow next to their selected report in the Report Selector dropdown to get to that report.
We've also introduced a few fixes, such as report filters are now all remembered (one was 'forgotten' previously, i.e. not stored for the user's next visit); and the addition of Class 7 races to the Instant Expert.
The new reports - Trainer Switch, and Trainer First Run in a [this race code] Handicap - should, as I say, be online in the next fortnight.
And there's a pile more to follow that, soon.
Whether you're a Gold subscriber or not, you've a chance to win £100 each month by putting your tipping skills to the test in our monthly Tipping League. It's completely free to enter, and you can make your selections right in the race card. You need to be a registered free user - register here if you need to - and then simply click the 'TIP' icon against the horse you like.
Enter your stake, and check 'each way' if you want to bet that way. Then click 'Bet'. Bingo!
And finally today, a reminder of the current ante-post preview portfolio for the Cheltenham Festival. So far, I've combed through the trends and form for the Arkle, Ryanair, World Hurdle and Gold Cup, and they're all to be found in the Cheltenham Festival Race Previews section.
The most recent - the Ryanair - is especially noteworthy because my fancies haven't moved in price despite the news yesterday that Dynaste - ante post favourite for the race - has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Next on the agenda is... well, I'm not 100% sure yet. I don't think there's any point in previewing the Champion Hurdle, because it looks between the top three - and, to my mind, actually only Faugheen and Jezki.
I don't think anyone should be betting in the Champion Chase, because there are just too many imponderables to consider. Even on the day, I very much doubt I'll play that one. So, almost by default, I'll most likely take a look at the RSA Chase next, because allied to the above, the Supreme also looks likely to be a race where the market is right. That said, I may take a closer look at it..!
That much thinking aloud means it'll either be the Supreme Novices' Hurdle or the RSA Chase.
Right, that's it from me. Cheer on TGG this afternoon, please. 🙂