Phew, it's been a while. How have you been? I've been all over the place - well, Wales, Epsom and the London Stadium... and, while I've been gallivanting, stuff has happened. Ignoring for a moment that truly awful stuff in Smokey, and the General Election, there is a raft of bobbins on which to update you.
In this post, then, I've ratings news, a possible Arc bet, tipping league update, end of season footy admin, and some 'coming soon to Geegeez Gold' updates. Phew indeed!
Let's start with the racing, naturally enough, and the Epsom meeting just past. As of today, the British Horseracing Authority has decided to publish its 'performance ratings' for Group races. Historically, BHA handicappers have only published handicap ratings, but have taken the step to share their thinking on top class events in the public interest.
Here is how the big three races - Coronation Cup, Oaks, and Derby, all run over the same course and distance - stack up:
Highland Reel - Coronation Cup - 121
Enable - Oaks - 122
Wings Of Eagles - Derby - 119
[The ratings can be found within the result on the BHA site]
Those numbers compare with Timeform, Racing Post and Peter May/Geegeez figures as per below. I've included the Prix du Jockey Club where published ratings exist for that.
|Derby||Wings Of Eagles||122||119||124p||121|
So what does that tell us? Well, looking forward to the big end of season twelve furlong shermozzle, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, there might be a bet. Almanzor is currently favourite but, while undoubtedly a monster over ten furlongs last season, he has yet to race over further. He also has to show he's as good this season - true, he could be better - and...
...bear in mind that in the Arc a three-year-old filly like Enable receives three pounds in weight from colts of the same age, and a whopping eleven pounds from older males (eight pounds from older females). In that context, it may be less of a surprise that five of the last six Arc winners were of the fairer sex.
Now, it should be pointed out that only two of that quintet represented the Classic generation; but, allied to Zarkava's 2008 victory in the same context, it is a compelling reason to take a chance at this stage.
I'm actually going to suggest not one but two, perhaps even three, small bets in the race off this angle. The first is the most obvious: Enable beat the form horse and odds-on favourite, Rhododendron, and beat her out of sight. Notwithstanding that the 1000 Guineas runner up likely didn't quite stay, the winning margins of five lengths, six lengths, and ~four lengths attest to what was a blitzkrieg of a performance. The time backs that perception up, too.
This was only Enable's fourth run, so there is every chance of more to come. She was 14/1 straight after the race, at which point a slightly inebriated incarnation of this scribe blustered the following into the twittersphere:
Enable a huge price for the Arc. Derby is dog poo (5xJG, 6xAPOB, 3xSbS, hoping they have derby horse between them). 14/1 way too big.
— Matt Bisogno (@MattBisogno) June 2, 2017
The Derby was, if not quite "dog poo", a sub-standard-looking renewal, with the first seven home all within the distance Enable had between herself and the second filly in the Oaks. Less than sixteen lengths separated the first sixteen home in the Derby; fifteen lengths covered the first four home in the Oaks.
The 14/1 has gone now, but there is still a last sliver of 12's - if you can get on with Boyle (most can't, sadly). Failing that, the general 10/1 remains a reasonable enough play.
Backing Enable up are a couple of very interesting contenders for the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) on Sunday week. The favourite there, quoted at odds on with British bookies, is Shutter Speed. She actually beat Enable in a ten furlong conditions race before following up in convincing fashion in the Musidora Stakes at York. The Diane is a shade longer than a mile and a quarter, and I have a suspicion that Shutter Speed may not quite see out the extra distance of the Arc. But, if she wins the Diane, the middle distance championship of Europe becomes the obvious end of season target. The worry about trip - and the fact that Johnny G may not run there - is more than accommodated in her current 33/1 (Coral, bet365) quote. Win only is the suggestion.
Second favourite for the Prix de Diane is Freddy Head's peerlessly-bred, Terrakova. By Galileo out of superstar miler, Goldikova, this filly has regal genes. She is unbeatean in two, a conditions race last backend and the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre a fortnight ago; and, if she is able to lower Shutter Speed's colours, she will be around 10/1 for the Arc subsequently. She too is 33/1 (Hills, Victor), and a small win bet is again the suggestion.
Now then, some competition admin if I may. Last month, May, the tipping league had awesome extra prizes for the winner and the runner up. On top of the usual £100 to the winner, there was also an international programme bundle up for grabs, including Champions Day, Arc weekend and Breeders' Cup. The runner up was also to receive a set of programmes.
Winning May's competition, and not for the first time I might add, was andykqpr. Very well done, Andy. I'll be mailing your bundle today - if the Hackney monsoon subsides before the Post Office closes! Likewise, runner up, jpolockus - well done.
The June Tipping League is open, and the early trailblazer is slacksafc. His 100% record courtesy of a sole tip on 25/1 winner, Caspian Prince, won't yet qualify for the prize, as players must place at least 20 tips across the month. Of course, there are still 25 days to go... which means there is ample time for YOU to get involved and scoop the cash. Go here to play the tipping league.
Meanwhile, the footy season has ended, so there are a couple of loose ends to tie up there. Firstly, Fantasy Football, and the winner of the Geegeez Super League was Michael Simms, whose Show Me The Mané scored an impressive 2349 points, good enough for a top 1% placing out of four and a half million global entries. It was also good enough for a free Annual Subscription to Geegeez Gold. Whoop!
There was a pretty big Whoop! here in Geegeez HQ recently as well after the main suggested wager landed in emphatic style. Back on 12th August 2016, I flagged my bets for the season. My main play, as has become traditional, was a perm trixie taking in a relegation fancy from the Premier League, a Championship promotion bet, and two darts in League Two for promotion.
Long story short, Sunderland (3/1), Newcastle (3/5), Portsmouth (Evens), and Plymouth (11/4) all obliged, netting a tasty return on a fairly chunky bet. Allow me to gloat, before hastily adding that I hope some long-term readers were on board with me for a couple of quid.
And finally, as they say, some 'Coming Soon to Geegeez Gold' news...
We feel we're starting to get to a position of diminishing returns now with Gold development. What I mean is that we are now moving towards creating features which are fairly niche in their appeal and yet quite expensive to develop. For example, allowing users to add their ratings to runners and races is something that a small percentage of subscribers would very much welcome. 95% and more of Gold users will not be interested in that, however, and the build cost is quite high in that context.
Despite that, we may still do it. We will likely also add some further variables to the Query Tool. And we have a few more tricks up our sleeves as well. Those are for another day. But coming this week, or maybe next, are the following usability enhancements:
One issue when grouping by, for example jockey, is that some 100% one-out-of-one search results clutter up the top of the table. Here's an example of that:
But not any more. We've taken our existing report filters, and added them to QT! We've also added a new button to clear the filters.
We're also adding that 'CLEAR' button to the reports. It's a bit of a faff having to click on each dropdown individually to reset the report filters, but very soon that will be a thing of the past. I'm personally looking forward to this quite a bit!
Another thing that is a tad labour intensive within the reports is opening up each row individually. When I've applied my filters to a report and I've got, say, eight rows to look at, it's a bit of a bind to have to click on each row individually to reveal the runners against that report entry.
So we're adding an Expand/Collapse All button. It's a small change but will save a lot of clicking and a few precious seconds each day.
Inline Trainer Snippets
Personally, I look at the inline trainer snippets in any race where I'm planning on having a bet. For me, they're almost the most important factor of all. But there's one thing missing. Compare the below Sire Snippets content (bottom highlighted box) with the Trainer Snippets content (top highlighted box).
Notice that 'All' line? That's really useful when looking at sire data, to compare today's conditions against the sire's overall performance. In this example, we can see that Casamento progeny have done notably better in sprints than overall. The 'All' line offers context for the specific sire, whereas A/E and IV offer a peer and/or market comparison.
Well, this data is no less useful for trainers, and I've long hankered after it. So I asked my clever techie chaps to go to work, and they're close to incorporating this into the inline Trainer Snippets. Result!
At this point, I'm duty-bound to mention that Geegeez Gold is great and that it will make you more attractive (to your betting ledger at least) and so on and so forth. Consider that done. And, if you're not yet a Gold'er, here's the link you need. If you've never tried Gold before, you can get a month trial for a pound.
Right, that's me for now. I hope this round up post finds you well, and good luck with your bets today. It's wet wet wet, so remember to use the going dropdowns on the main cards tab to reflect the latest going!