Although we still have the remainder of this week before August rains itself out, this post is dedicated to September. August is geegeez' birth month - six this year - and as we frolic into a seventh year online, there are some big things happening.
Firstly, geegeez will be having a nip and a tuck: a bit of cosmetic surgery. It's had a few looks down the years, each one an improvement on the previous, and I hope that the late 2014 iteration will be the best yet. You, of course, will be the judge of that.
Before I show you a mock up, let's take a trip down memory lane, and gawp at some of the fashion faux pas' of geegeez days gone by...
Geegeez.co.uk - December 2008
Geegeez.co.uk - October 2009
Geegeez.co.uk - November 2010
Geegeez.co.uk - July 2011
Geegeez.co.uk - October 2012
This will be geegeez' sixth 'skin', almost as many as Doctor Who (did you enjoy Peter Capaldi's Doctor last weekend? Not enough swearing for my tastes!), and hopefully it will be its best.
Still very much a work in progress, here is an artist's impression of how it might look... (click the image to open it full size in a new window)
For those of you who look in on geegeez.co.ukthrough a mobile device - phone or tablet - you'll be delighted to learn that the new site will be what they call 'responsive'. In plain English, it won't look like something you trod in that a dog left behind when you try to view it on the move...
Ignore the top two banners, both of which will never appear in the same view - me and a clever person were just mucking about with style stuff.
As you can see, it's got a cleaner look, with a bit more 'white space'. That is to address the (perceived?) problem that everything's just a bit, well, cluttered on the site at the moment.
There is a lot to showcase, what with blogs, news, tips, racecards, results, system trials, tipping league, and so on. But it's important not to overwhelm the visitor... or so I'm told, anyway. And who am I to argue with such clever people?
The site will hopefully be faster - I didn't need any clever people to tell me that things often run too slow on geegeez at the moment - and that will of course be a huge benefit to all.
We're hoping to have this in place by the middle of the month. But, as Mr Bull is fond of saying on Peppa Pig, "It will take as long as it takes". [Can you tell what my morning routine has been for the past year and a half...?]
If that's a cosmetic change, then the other change is the introduction of a much requested new feature. I've long wanted to introduce a set of ratings to the geegeez racecards but, as with most things worth anything, it was not as simple as that.
The challenge was to find a set of ratings that were:
- Affordable, so that I could subsume their cost within the current subscription model
- Under the radar, so that the inherent value wasn't already absorbed by the market
- Effective, linked to the point above and offering the best chance of helping to isolate profit
The problem with a rating like, for instance, Timeform's, is that it is both expensive and already factored into the betting market. That means that while strike rate might be higher, it's quite difficult to make a profit backing Timeform top rated picks.
Indeed, it's very difficult to make a profit backing top-rated picks from any service religiously. Many other ratings services out there are either ineffective, or only work in certain circumstances.
But not this one... This one actually made a profit on the flat (turf and all weather) over the past two completed years (2012 and 2013) of 670 points to Betfair SP. That is from backing the top rated selection in every flat race. All 13,000+ of them.
Now, of course, I'm not suggesting that's the smart way to use these numbers, and nor is their creator - more on him on Thursday. But I just wanted to whet your appetite as regards what is possible with this affordable, under the radar, and highly effective set of numbers that I've secured for Gold subscribers.
I'm currently having a play with them on my test site, and they'll be unleashed on Monday to all Gold subscribers. I'll have more details on Thursday about them but, for now, here's a sneaky snapshot of how they'll look on the card (again, click the image to view full screen)...
York was the last big meeting of the summer, and as we head into the season finales, there is much on the track to look forward to. Before that, though, followers of the geegeez trainer pair were on excellent terms with themselves by Saturday evening.
Willie Haggas was nominated with all of his runners, and David O'Meara solely with his 12/1 or shorter entries. It was Haggas who did all the heavy lifting in the end, his three winners and three placers from fourteen runners worth a profit at SP of £290 to £10 stakes. At Betfair SP, that rose to £354.40.
O'Meara made a £5 loss at SP for his one winner from seven 12/1 or shorter runners. That converted to a £5.80 profit at Betfair SP, with neither figure being anything other than a break even position.
The four days of previews showed a £66.50 profit, again to £10 stakes at SP. A number of second places (Move In Time 8/1, The Grey Gatsby 12/1, Top Notch Tonto 16/1, Arabian Comet 9/2, Extremity 7/2, Jungle Cat 9/2) were frustrating, but the win of Vent de Force at 16/1 (from 22/1 early) in the Melrose Handicap on Saturday justified the approach, and ensured a winning week for yours truly and, judging by the comments section, for some of you too. Good-oh!
That was then, this is now. Or rather next.
Next up is a new show on the end of season calendar, Irish Champions Weekend, on 13th and 14th September. It promises to be an excellent weekend, hosted across two days and two racecourses, and showcased by the Irish Champion Stakes and Irish St Leger.
Confirmed runners for that pair of Group 1's include Australia and Leading Light, and there are another three Group 1's across the weekend. There will also be five supporting Group 2 and 3 races in a very high class sixteen race Festival meeting.
I'll be heading over there, and will be offering my thoughts on the lot. Really, really looking forward to it!
Barely three weeks after that, nose slightly askance from its proximity to the Gaelic interloper, is the Gallic establishment that is Arc weekend. It will be interesting to see which of the Brits head to Paris and which head to Dublin, and that may depend on their subsequent destinations.
For those planning to take in Champions Day at Ascot on 18th October (my birthday, in case you want to send me a card 😉 ), it will more likely be Ireland; for those with eyes on a Breeders' Cup prize (31st October and 1st November), Paris may fit the bill more squarely.
It looks as though I'll be lucky enough to attend all four of these glamorous meetings - and I never forget how lucky I am that that is even a remote possibility, let alone a fair probability - and I will be reporting here fully on each.
So yes, September is looking like a cracking month for geegeez readers... and writers!