In November 2011, a shortish (three years) time into the geegeez.co.uk journey, we introduced a daily feature called Stat of the Day. The objective was to highlight, through the use of data and statistics, a horse whose chance we felt was under-valued by the market.
Since that fateful day almost nine years ago, we - mainly Chris, the current primary author - have published more than 2600 Stats of the Day. From those, we've recorded almost 550 points in profit at the advised Best Odds Guaranteed prices. Not surprisingly, then, SotD has grown a sizeable fan base.
But I feel the time has now come for us to retire the service. Over the last couple of years, the value game has changed somewhat, with overnight BOG being withdrawn by all but a tiny handful of bookmakers. We responded to this by moving the publication from the evening before to the morning of racing, but of course that doesn't suit everyone. As a consequence of these changes we've ended up somewhat between a rock and a hard place in terms of the optimal provision I would like us to offer.
So I have decided that the time has come for Stat of the Day to step back from frontline duties, and to enjoy a pick of grass away from the rigours of hard training, so to speak. The service will run to the end of this month, its final day being next Wednesday, 30th September.
Like I say, I'm acutely aware of Stat of the Day's fan base, and mindful that for some this will be an unpopular decision. The other main reason we're calling time on SotD is that I felt we have been painted into a corner a touch by daily circumstance. We have been obliged to put up a selection every day (Monday to Saturday) within a certain price parameter, even though some days there was nothing of interest and other days we might prefer to back something at a bigger price for pennies each way.
I've also personally always wanted SotD to be 'edutainment' rather than tipping: I want geegeez.co.uk to be a place where people can come to improve their betting, and I strongly feel that the content of Chris's posts provides bundles of angles for those taking notes to refer back to on other occasions.
Ultimately, though, it has been judged by the bottom line - our own fault to some degree, and not something we have ever shied away from in good times or bad. But that's not what I want this racing form subscription site to be about. I want to empower you as a geegeez user to be confident in finding value for yourself; and, while I'm happy for us to provide examples along the way, I no longer want us to state so unequivocally what we think the answer should be.
So I guess I'm sort of an anti-tipping evangelist, and I've called SotD an anti-tipping service for a long time; but it's never really been seen as such. Again, our fault as we have continued to publish results. Enough of the past and the present. What of the future?
In place of Stat of the Day will not be a gaping hole: rather, there will be a similar provision in many respects but it will be different in some key regards.
We will still offer a daily race preview Monday to Saturday, but:
* It will be available to all readers, not just Gold subscribers
* It will revert to an evening publication slot
* It will exclusively be based around one of the Gold races or features of the day
* It will not be a 'tracked service', as its primary purpose is to educate about race reading and the toolkit we have to facilitate that
* There will not always be a pick at the end of the preview and, where there is, it might be a win bet, each way, back to lay, lay or anything else.
In other words, the content will be similar but those looking for a horse to bet may find something missing.
Again, I know this won't be universally popular; but I am very happy to share Chris's (and the rest of the team's) excellent thought processes with a wider audience whilst at the same time being able to illustrate the brilliant range of tools we have at our disposal.
Stat of the Day has been an amazing part of geegeez.co.uk and Geegeez Gold. But as the form provision has grown, so the tipping element has felt increasingly incongruent. I hope that, from October, we'll be able to help you get to grips with what we have and how it can lead to a horse - or horses - which seem to represent value; and that the absence of a selection at the end of it will soon be an irrelevance.
Here's to Stat of the Day. And to the next chapter. Thanks for your continued support.
Matt and Chris