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Stat of the Day, 17th August 2019

Friday's pick was...

4.00 Newbury : Charlemaine @ 7/2 BOG non-runner (Reason: Going)

Saturday's pick runs in the...

3.55 Newmarket :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Dazzling Dan @ 10/3 or 3/1 BOG

...in a 9-runner, Class 2, Flat Handicap for 3yo over 6f on Good ground worth £28,012 to the winner...

Why?...

This 3 yr old gelding has had 8 runs to date, all over today's 6f trip and he he has made the frame 6 times, winning twice. He went down by just a length last time out, when beaten into third place over this course and distance in a much more valuable Class 2 handicap 37 days ago.

He has been placed on both previous runs over course and distance and was a winner on his only run on the Rowley Mile and has a win and a place from 3 rides under today's jockey David Probert. He also has a win and a place from 3 efforts at Class 2 and a win and a place from two starts on Good ground.

His trainer Pam Sly is another who doesn't break too many pots, but is very good in certain conditions and her speciality seems to be over shorter distances, as over the last three Flat seasons, her runners are 12 from 52 (23.1% SR) for 49.9pts (+95.9% ROI) over trips of 6 to 7.5 furlongs, including of relevance today...

  • 10/37 (27%) for 48.5pts (+131.1%) from May to August
  • 9/38 (23.7%) for 30pts (+79%) at 10-40 days since last run
  • 8/19 (42.1%) for 23.4pts (+123.4%) at 2/1 to 5/1
  • 7/19 (36.8%) for 20pts (+105.1%) after a top 3 finish LTO
  • 5/14 (35.7%) for 47.7pts (+340.9%) over a 6f trip
  • 4/13 (30.8%) for 33.1pts (+254.7%) from 3 yr olds
  • and 3/6 (50%) for 9.3pts (+155%) in August

...from which...those sent off at 2/1 to 5/1 during May to August some 10 to 40 days after a top 3 finish LTO are 6 from 7 (85.7% SR) for 28.5pts (+407.1% ROI) including 3/4 from 3 yr olds, 2/2 over 6f and 2/2 in August...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Dazzling Dan @ 10/3 or 3/1 BOG as was available from Bet365 & BetVictor respectively at 11.00pm on Friday. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 3.55 Newmarket

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 16th August 2019

Thursday's pick was...

2.10 Lingfield : Visionara @ 4/1 BOG WON at 11/4 (Pressed leader, led 2f out, ridden over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, driven out to win by a length and three quarters)

Friday's pick runs in the...

4.00 Newbury :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Charlemaine @ 7/2 BOG

...in an 8-runner, Class 4, Flat Nursery for 2yo over 5f on Good To Soft ground worth £5,208 to the winner...

Why?...

This 2 yr old colt has won two (his first & his last) of his four starts to date, with his two defeats coming in far better (C2 & listed) big-field contests. He did, however win LTO when making his handicap/nursery debut at Sandown 16 days ago, when he also wore the blinkers for the first time in public.

His trainer Paul Cole has got his horses going well enough without ripping up any trees, but 2 winners and 2 placers from 7 over the last week is a decent enough return and whilst he doesn't send many here to Newbury, once again he does well enough without reaching superstar status.

In fact over the last four seasons, Paul has only had 38 runners at this track, but 6 winners (15.8% SR) and 49.5pts (+130.2% ROI) is a good return for both him and his followers. Of those 38 runners and of relevance today...

  • 4/21 (19.1%) for 35.8pts (+170.6%) at Class 4
  • 4/16 (25%) for 25.8pts (+161.1%) at 12/1 and shorter
  • 4/10 (40%) for 50.8pts (+508%) in fields of 8-10 runners
  • 3/15 (20%) for 37pts (+246.9%) with 2 yr olds
  • 2/8 (25%) for 22.7pts (+283.3%) on Good to Soft
  • and 1/3 (33.3%) for 18.9pts (+630%) with David Probert in the saddle

...and a composite from the above? OK, 2/3 yr olds  + Classes 3-5 + 16/1 max SP = 5/10 (50% SR) for 55.58pts (+555.8% ROI) including 2 yr olds at 2/3 (66.6%) for 27.15pts (+905%).

Meanwhile, during that same last four seasons time frame, Paul Cole's LTO winners are 12 from 55 (21.8% SR) for 36.1pts (+65.6% ROI) when sent off at 2/1 or bigger in handicaps, including of note today...

  • 11/46 (23.9%) for 35.5pts (+77.2%) from male runners
  • 10/37 (27%) for 46.7pts (+126.3%) at trips of 5-8 furlongs
  • 8/21 (38.1%) for 38.6pts (+183.9%) from August to November
  • 7/22 (31.8%) for 28pts (+127.3%) at Class 4
  • 5/12 (41.7%) for 15.05pts (+125.4%) in fields of 7-8 runners
  • and 2/2 (100%) for 11.35pts (+567.5%) with 2 yr olds

...from which, you could consider males at 5-8 furlongs during August to November for 6 from 12 (50% SR) and 34.3pts (+285.5% ROI) profit...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Charlemaine @ 7/2 BOG as was available from Bet365 & SkyBet at 6.00pm on Thursday. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 4.00 Newbury

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Catching Up with David Probert: 22nd May 2019

The season is really ramping up now and I've been keeping very busy. I'm on 49 winners for 2019 just now and am obviously keen to tick off the 50 as soon as possible. It didn't happen at Wolves on Tuesday but I've some decent chances in the coming days so hopefully we'll be looking towards 100 before the weekend!

Perhaps the nicest one I've ridden since I last spoke to you is Raise You, a three-year-old Lope De Vega colt out of a Galileo mare. He won by six lengths in a Newbury maiden on his first run this season - and that form has worked out well with the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th all winning next time.

I got to sit on him on Saturday in a Listed race over ten furlongs at Newmarket. It's a very long straight mile and a quarter there, and Raise You likes to get on with things in front. He was a little keen early on which, because we weren't sure about the trip, probably wasn't ideal. But he saw it out really nicely and was well on top at the line. He's a free going sort so I tried to find a little space and get him to relax, which he did do. He's progressing really fast and might have a tilt at the French Derby next where he'll hopefully get his favoured soft ground. Who knows, perhaps he'll be able to dictate a steady gallop and lead all the way.

We also had a nice two-year-old winner the other day at Salisbury. Symbolize is by Starspangledbanner and he surprised us there with how forward he was. He'll probably go straight to Royal Ascot now, with the Coventry more likely than the Norfolk at this stage. There were solid whispers before the race for the second and third so he could be quite special.

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed I've been riding a few for Henry Candy recently. Our acquaintance actually goes back to 2014 when I rode for Henry a fair bit. And, since the unfortunate retirement of Fran Berry, Mr Candy has been using me once more. We've already teamed up for a couple of winners and I hope there are plenty more where they came from. He's a great man to ride for, never rushes his horses and knows exactly what he's got, so I'm lucky to be involved there again.

Riding The Tracks: Epsom

With the Oaks and Derby, as well as the Dash and all the rest of the Derby meeting races coming up in a couple of weeks, here are a few thoughts on riding the unique track at Epsom.

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The five furlong course is straight and downhill for the first three-and-a-half furlongs, but it's actually deceptively testing in the finish as the turf rises back up again in the last furlong. A high draw is an advantage in big fields as it enables you to get a position close to the stands rail where both the camber and the undulations are slightly less severe. As well as a fast horse you need a lucky one, and it's certainly an exciting trip to ride with things changing very quickly in the dying strides.

Six furlong races start on the crown of the home turn and if you're drawn inside you can sometimes get boxed in with nowhere to go. Ideally I'd like a middle draw as that gives the most options for how to ride the race depending on how things are panning out in front of me. If I've got a horse with gate speed, I'll use that to get him into a position and a nice rhythm, trying to keep him balanced on the downhill run into the straight. Plenty lug down the camber in the last half mile which again can make life difficult if you're holed up on the far rail.

Seven is probably the easiest trip to ride at Epsom. It's pretty straightforward, you can get yourself a position and - as with most ranges here - they get racing early enough. At seven, there's room to find a stride, get your horse on the right lead and it's probably a pretty fair test. In six and seven furlong races if you can get the fractions right on the front it does pay.

The longer races all start in the back straight and there's quite a climb there which can sap your energy if you get racing early on. When you get to the top of the hill, at about the six pole, you need to make sure you fill your horse up, get him balanced and on the right lead, so that when you're running back down the hill you're ready to quicken off the turn and into the straight, making sure that your horse doesn't hang down the camber.

On softer ground you'll generally see the jockeys make a beeline for the stands' rail. It's a little higher up there, and therefore tends to be drier than other parts of the track as the rain drains down the camber. When it's wet it can be a plus if you're drawn high because when the field passes the three and starts running downhill everyone is jostling for the favoured strip; those in the high stalls with good track position can get first dibs on that rail and a clear run through.

Overall it's a course that takes a bit of knowing, and you sometimes need to be lucky in terms of getting the run of things.

I hope there is something of use in these thoughts when you're next looking at an Epsom race!

Thanks for reading,

David Probert

 

Catching Up With David Probert: 20th March 2019

Hi, it's David here again. How was Cheltenham for you?

After a busy start to the year, I've had a few days off to recharge the batteries before the start of the flat turf season a week on Saturday. I actually managed to get in a bit of golf while visiting my family in Wales, playing at the Celtic Manor resort. I play off 16, which I suppose is reasonable, and I really enjoyed going round that championship course. I'd like to get better but just don't have enough time. That's my excuse anyway!

All Weather Season winding down, Flat Turf Season getting going

It's back to the grind now, though, looking to kick on from the 30 winners for the year I currently have. I can't catch Adam Kirby in the all-weather jockeys' title race but will try my best to hang on to second. I have 50 winners there, as the all weather season started on 23rd October and ends on 19th April (Good Friday, All Weather Finals Day).

With Easter being so late this year, the turf season starts about three weeks before Finals Day. It starts at Doncaster with the Lincoln, and I am hoping to be riding Owen Burrows' Mizaah. He was an incredibly easy winner at Chelmsford in a fair handicap when last seen and has had his winter break since then. I sat on him the other day and he might not just be quite ready in time. Still, we'll see.

There's also Andrew Balding's Zwayyan though I'm not sure if he'll want to using an apprentice so he can claim the weight allowance.

Failing that, I'm hoping Rampant Lion might sneak into the Lincoln, but he needs quite a few to come out in order to get a run so it's more likely he'll go in the Spring Mile consolation race. He's been progressive this winter and would have his chance off a light weight.

I was riding work at Andrew's this morning. He's got loads of horses in now, so that's good, and we were able to ride on the grass gallop today, which is also a positive. We're starting to step up the work now and it's time to roll on. Obviously, riding out before the season has started is a very exciting time where anything is possible, and we're all really excited about the year ahead. Last year's two-year-olds seem a lot stronger and have hopefully trained on.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2019

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For me, as I say, I'm very excited for 2019. I've had probably my best start to a year. I already have plenty of winners behind me, so I'm not trying to chase from scratch having been riding abroad as I have in recent years. The winter has also enabled me to make a few extra connections, where I've ridden for people for the first time, and hopefully that will bode well for the coming months.

I've got a few numerical targets in terms of number of winners but my main aim is to ride in more Group races and get a few more Group race winners. Horseplay was a Group 2 winner for me last year, and Tip Two Win ran that super race to be second in the 2000 Guineas. Hopefully I'll keep the ride on him this season: he's strengthened up since last year, where his form maybe tapered a little after being on the go pretty much all winter; and I hope he'll be a very good horse at around a mile.

Neil Allan, my agent, is doing a brilliant job for me and giving me lots of opportunities. Our job now is to try to get some quality mixed in with the number of rides, which is tricky when so many owners use retained riders. Still, I'll keep my head down, carry on doing my best and riding as many winners as I can, and we'll see what happens after that.

Riding Two-Year-Olds

One of the features of the early part of the turf season are two-year-old races. Clearly when I'm on a baby, especially on its first racecourse visit, I do things a little differently from when I'm riding an older handicapper. It's so important to give a juvenile a good experience of racing; it would be mainly hands and heels, with one or two flicks behind the saddle if you've a chance to win the race. It's all about that positive experience first time out and making sure they progress from it. Unfortunately, you see some of these two-year-olds, they get a hard race first time and that's it, it turns them sour to the game.

I think most trainers are keen for their babies to have a good experience and to progress from that. When I'm riding in a two-year-old race, I want to get my lad switched off on the way to the start; normally if there's a horse that's run before, the first-timers will follow that one down to post. I was always told to tell the colts and ask the fillies: what I mean by that is that the boys perhaps need to know who's boss a bit more, whereas I'd let a filly lead me as long as she wasn't being too errant.

Then we hope for a quiet time going into the stalls and an even break. After that, I'll try to get my lad settled in amongst horses and try to get him to finish off his race so that he's learned something from it.

As you can imagine, there's a lot that can go wrong for a young horse and plenty of them step forward a ton from first to second run. A horse can get worked up on the way to the start, or can miss the break, or can pull too hard and use its energy; but next time out there's a good chance it will have learned from that experience.

For all of the above, often a two-year-old just jumps and runs until its petrol gauge hits zero. But the ones that do it all very professionally that first day, you know you've probably got a classy horse in those cases.

My Rides This Weekend

Changing tack, I'm back in the saddle on Friday and have a few promising rides between then and Monday. I'm on Tony Carroll's Prominna at Lingfield over five furlongs. He's got a nice inside draw and they'll hopefully go a good lick before coming back to him. Tony's putting cheek pieces on for the first time which might just perk him up a little. He was second last time when he reared up as the stalls opened, so we're looking to go one better if he breaks better and the race pans out for us.

Bequest runs at Lingfield on Saturday over a mile. She's run a couple of nice races over six furlongs and could show up well over this longer trip. And then I'm away to Kempton for the evening meeting where Crossing The Line looks to have a fair chance. She'd been very consistent before trying to make all last time and, while it might be a hot little race, she goes there with solid prospects. I also ride Gabriel Laura who leapt forward from first to second start to be a close second over seven at the track; the extra furlong should suit and I hope she'll go close.

I'm looking forward to Nice To Sea of Olly Murphy's on Monday. He's been pretty unlucky the last twice, one way and another, and hopefully it'll be third time lucky for us this time.

That's all for now - speak again in a couple of weeks.

- David Probert

Catching up with David Probert

Since May 2016, top jockey David Probert has been sporting the geegeez.co.uk livery on racetracks around the country. And today, in the first of a fortnightly series, he shares his thoughts on a variety of racing subjects, from long days to long haul, keeping sane to Kempton sand, and plenty more besides. Let's get started...

2018: Special Agent and India

Before the 2018 flat season, I changed agents to Neil Allan and he's done a fantastic job for me. He's very much on the ball, if there's any spare rides he's always right on it snapping them up. And he gets on with the trainers so well, which is a massive plus in racing. As a result he's opened up so many new doors and I've been riding for so many more trainers, and I hope that can continue in 2019.

This time last year I was in India, riding around Chennai, Madras, and Kolkata. It was an experience, to say the least! I learned a fair bit, it's a totally different work ethic: I was sitting on the horses seven days a week. They only race Thursday and Sunday in Mumbai, and the trainer I was riding for, Pesi Shroff, he's basically the main trainer in Mumbai and he's probably got around 60 horses in training. He'd always have horses entered up in Group 1 races throughout the racing calendar there.

Sadly, the year I was out there he probably didn't have as many good horses as he usually does. It still worked out pretty well. I managed to ride a Group 1 winner over there, Manifold, in the Indian Oaks. The standard is competitive but it's not quite at the level here in the UK: you've probably got a Group 1 horse if you're rated the equivalent of 90 here. So yes, it wasn't a Group 1 in the UK, but a Group 1's a Group 1!

I've been offered the chance to go back this year for the two day Derby Festival at the beginning of February, but the problem is the visa. Trying to sort out the paperwork to get over there is just a nightmare. But still, if I can get everything sorted out, I may go back for that two day period.

2018: Centurion

Last year, because I was in India and Qatar, I didn't get back riding in Britain until March, so I was delighted to finish the season with 102 winners. It was a slightly slow start for the first couple of weeks but riding the 50/1 winner of the Spring Mile at Doncaster (High Acclaim, trained by Roger Teal) got the ball rolling for me. That opened up a lot of doors for me, and I ended up getting some nice rides throughout the summer, and it just kept ticking along through the autumn and into the winter. 102 winners to finish off the year was a massive achievement for me.

A Day in the life...

On a typical day, from Spring onwards, I'd be in to ride work at Andrew Balding's from 6.30am, but at the moment the two-year-olds are only just coming in, so it's pretty quiet. First thing would be Racing Post when I get up, mark off my rides, go through the form and see what chance I've got for the day. Then, depending on where I am I get in the car and drive between one and two hours to the racecourse. When I get to the track I check for any further non-runners and take a slightly longer look at the form where time allows.

When I'm looking at the form, the first thing I'll look for is where I'm drawn. Then I'll check to see where the pace is in the race, then look to see what the horse's trip has been in his last few starts - whether it's been the same or different - and then I'd check to see what mark it last won off. The idea is to see how it was ridden when it was last in a bit of form and look to ride it similarly.

In the main season, with afternoon and evening meetings, I'll be out from about 6.30am and sometimes finishing off about 10.30pm depending on where I'm riding. And we can be doing six of those a week, depending on how many rides I can get and where.

 

Staying Hungry

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Neil keeps me as busy as I want to be, but it can be pretty frustrating, especially when you're riding a series of losers. If you're going racing for six or seven rides and they all lose, it doesn't put your mind in a great place. But once you do get that winner it completely changes: you just want more and more and more. So the hunger is there! I had a double at Wolverhampton the other day, and it puts your head in a great spot; I can't wait to go racing again and try to get our head back in front.

There are so many highs and lows. Each horse is different, some are very relaxed, others really keen, so it's a different challenge each time you go out there. That keeps your mind in check to some degree, thinking about the next one. If it doesn't work out, that's racing. If I have six rides and none of them win, I've got to look forward: it's then about the next six.

But there's more to it than just the riding. It's very important to keep the owners and trainers happy. As long as they're happy that you've done everything within your powers to do as well as you can then you can't do any more.

2019: "One down, 149 to go..."

When I got my first winner this year, on Temur Khan at Southwell (3rd January), I was speaking to Neil and he said, "only 149 winners to go", so he's obviously looking for another fifty! But, realistically, I'll take every day as it comes. As long as the rides keep coming and the winners keep coming I'll try for 50, then I'll try for 100, and if we're still going then I definitely won't be stopping.

The first thing is to stay healthy, and if I can do that, and if I can keep my owners and trainers happy, then everything is possible.

Riding the tracks: Kempton

Generally speaking, it's a straightforward track. But the five furlong and mile and a quarter races are both run on the tight inside bend, and the impact of the draw is most pronounced there: you definitely benefit from a low draw and being close to the pace, because you're on the turn a fair bit and you need to keep your horse balanced before a home straight of less than two furlongs. It's very difficult to come from off the pace at those two distances.

Kempton All Weather Course Map

If you're drawn wide on the inner loop, you need a horse with gate speed in order to get the best break you possibly can. Obviously in novice or non-handicap races there may be inexperienced or slow horses inside you, but in handicaps it's difficult to overcome a wide draw. The best bet then is to try to drop in halfway and hope that they go too quick up front so you can pick them up. It's worth marking up horses that win or run well from wide draws in handicaps at Kempton.

On the outer loop you can normally ride more of a race: you can be drawn outside, drop in, and it seems like you can win from off the pace there at the minute. Whether it's because of the lack of rain and maybe that's making it a little slower, I don't know, but it seems fairer just now. Also on the outer loop, jockeys tend to stay two or three lanes off the inside rail going past the cutaway because it seems a bit quicker further out, and horses just seem to finish a bit better there.

One other thing to note, with Kempton being the only right-handed track is that some horses act better there than at the other all weather courses most likely due to a preference for racing in that direction.

The kickback has improved recently. As with all of the all weather tracks, the more rain we have it tightens up quite well, but sometimes if they harrow it quite deep it can be fairly gruelling in behind. Overall though, it's one of the better tracks for the kickback.

Three interesting horses

It's been a quiet enough start, quality wise, to 2019. But three nice horses I've ridden are...

Flaming Marvel: James Fanshawe-trained, he won over a mile and a half, and he's definitely improving. He quickened well off a slow pace, especially as we wanted to drop him in as he's quite a keen going horse. He got the job done quite nicely in the end even though he only won a neck. I think he'll improve and in time he'll definitely stay further as well. Come the summer we'll probably see him over two miles. Even though he's five now he's only had six runs and I'm sure there is more to come from him.

Blood Eagle: Everything went wrong for him at Chelmsford the other day. A mile and a quarter was probably sharp enough round there too. He was slowly away, ran in snatches, got trapped on heels a couple of times. But he's a horse who's going to improve a lot for that first experience and a mile and a half will be his trip. He's finished his race off quite nicely even though he was too green to make any sort of impact on the front end.

His home work had been pretty good and we were expecting him to run well the other day; I imagine he'll probably run again quite soon before backing off him while he has a little break ahead of the turf season. He's an exciting horse, by Sea The Stars, who holds a Derby entry and he's definitely a nice horse to follow for the season.

Blame Culture: George Margarson trains this one. He'd been a little coltish and had been running over longer trips previously, and he was stepping back to seven furlongs on his first start after a gelding operation. George told me that his home work had been good since being gelded - that his mind had probably been on other things before that! - and that he was expecting a big run.

He half missed the break and he's been quite keen in the past, so I just tried to get him settled and into a rhythm down the back. The race was pretty messy with quite a bit of pace on early and a few moderate horses in front of me in midfield and they all dropped back into me. One of them gave my lad a bit of a bump, so it wasn't straightforward, but Blame Culture was still able to pick up in the straight and put that race to bed quite nicely. Seven furlongs was sharp enough for him and we'll probably see him over a mile next time. Hopefully I'll keep the ride!

That's all for this time, I hope you like it. Look forward to speaking to you again in a fortnight.

- David Probert was speaking to Matt Bisogno

Stat of the Day, 5th July 2018

Wednesday's Pick was...

4.40 Worcester : Three Colours Red @ 5/2 BOG WON at 9/4 (Chased leaders, closed after 4 out, 2nd before next, led flat, driven out for a relatively comfortable win by 2.5 lengths)

Thursday's pick goes in the...

7.00 Epsom :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Baron Bolt @ 11/4 BOG

In a 5-runner, Class 3 Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 6f on Good To Firm ground worth £8715 to the winner... 

Why?

It's fair to say that this 5 yr old gelding was disappointing last time when when well beaten at Newmarket. it's quite possible that a third run inside five weeks was a step too far after nearly 7 months off the track, so I'm prepared to overlook that run, especially as he's finished as a runner-up in his previous four contests, all at a better standard than today's race.

He's now had nearly four weeks to recuperate from his latest effort and I'd expect a return to past form, especially as in Flat handicaps he has...

  • 3 wins from 10 (30%) for 0.23pts (+2.3%) plus four placed finishes in cheekpieces
  • 4/7 (57.1%) for 9.03pts (+179%) at odds of 2/1 to 4/1
  • 4/7 (57.1) for 7.03pts (+100.4%) in fields of 8 runners or less, plus 2 places.
  • 3 from 3 (100%) for 7.23pts (+241%) in July/August
  • and 2/3 (66.6%) for 2.82pts (+94%) going left handed.

Today's jockey, David Probert, is red hot right now having won 7 of 19 rides (36.8% SR) over the past 5 days, whilst here at Epsom, he has an overall strike rate of 17% over 10 seasons (22/129).

And finally, to the trainer Paul Cole. Admittedly quiet so far this season, but the record books show that July-September are his better months for winning Flat handicaps, whilst since the start of the 2015 season, his 6/7 furlong runners are 26/162 (16.1% SR) for 168pts (+103.7% ROI), including of relevance today...

  • in handicaps : 17/92 (18.5%) for 60.6pts (+65.9%)
  • within 30 days of their last run : 14/90 (15.6%) for 81.6pts (+90.7%)
  • in July : 9/32 (28.1%) for 102.3pts (+319.8%)
  • ridden by David Probert : 3/8 (37.5%) for 24.4pts (+305%)
  • and here at Epsom @ 2/4 950%) for 19.3pts (+481.8%)

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Baron Bolt @ 11/4 BOGwhich was available from Betfair & Paddy Power at 5.50pm on Wednesday evening, whilst Bet365 ( (the first to break cover) were going at 7/2 BOG for those able to get on. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 7.00 Epsom

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 5th September 2017

Monday's Result :

5.00 Brighton : Black Caesar @ 11/2 BOG (3.85/1 after 30p R4)- WON at 7/2 : Led early, chased leader, switched right 2f out, led entering final furlong, soon clear, comfortably home by 6 lengths...

Tuesday's pick goes in the...

3.15 Goodwood :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Golden Salute @ 5/2 BOG

Why?

A fourth start for this progressive-looking filly, who is 2 from 2 after finishing 7th on debut earlier in "the summer" (as some people still like to call the middle part of the year!), more is needed on handicap/nursery debut of course, but the signs are good, for...

...trainer Andrew Balding's late season 2 yr olds are something I look out for. Well, more specifically, I look for runners to fulfil the following criteria...

...2009-17 / Flat / Class 1 to 4 / 5 to 7 furlongs / July to October / just 0-3 career runs to date - this sounds quite restrictive, but it's a nice little micro good for around 35 bets a season and to date stands at 39/303 (12.9% SR) for 38.2pts (+126.1% ROI) profit.

Those numbers are then backed up by Mr Balding's record since 2010 with 2 to 4 yr olds making a handicap debut after at least one career win and such beasts are 24/113 (21.2% SR) for 46.5pts (+41.2% ROI) in the 6/4 to 12/1 broad odds range, with today's jockey, Geegeez-sponsored, David Probert riding 14 of those of 24 winners from just 41 attempts (34.2% SR) for profits of 45.4pts (+110.8% ROI).

Lucky pants?

Lucky pants?

So, if the "lucky Geegeez pants" work their magic again today...

...we're well set with... a 1pt win bet on Golden Salute @ 5/2 BOG, which was widely available at 8.30pm on Monday: the choice is yours! For what it's worth, I'm on with Sky again. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 3.15 Goodwood

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 9th June 2017

Thursday's Result :

7.35 Sandown : Hold Sway @ 3/1 BOG 3rd at 9/4 Tracked leader, ridden to lead over 2f out, soon headed, kept on but lost 2nd inside final furlong.

Thursday's pick goes in the...

8.50 Goodwood...

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Zambesi Queen11/4 BOG

Why?

A very comfortable winner by some 5 lengths over this 6f trip when last seen five weeks ago. She was ridden by today's jockey, David Probert that day as she scored on her handicap debut despite being off the track for 5 months, so she could well have more to give.

Trainer Paul Cole's handicappers with less than 4 handicap runs under their belts are 16/95 (16.8% SR) for 41.8pts (+44% ROI) over the last two years, which is very impressive indeed and under today's conditions, they are...

  • 12/67 (17.9%) for 32.25pts (+48.1%), 6 to 60 days since their last run
  • 11/58 (19%) for 23.1pts (+39.8%) on Turf
  • 3 yr olds are 10/57 (17.5%) for 42.9pts (+75.2%)
  • 6/32 (18.75%) for 41.7pts (+130.5%) at Class 5
  • females are 4/22 (18.2%) for 29.7pts (+135%)
  • 5/15 (33.3%) for 51.5pts (+343.2%) over 6f
  • those with 1 previous hcp win are 4/13 (30.8%) for 20pts (+153.9%)
  • and those ridden by David Probert  are 3/5 (60%) for 30.95pts (+618.9%)

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Zambesi Queen11/4 BOG which was offered by both Betfair & Paddy Power at 5.40pm on Thursday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 8.50 Goodwood

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats are to Betfair SP, as (i) I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you and (ii) although inferior to the BOG odds we secure, BFSP is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns quoted.

Stat of the Day, 8th March 2017

Tuesday's Result :

2.00 Southwell : Crosse Fire @ 11/4 BOG 3rd at 9/4 Prominent, ridden over 1f out, every chance inside final furlong, stayed on, beaten by just over half a length.

Wednesday's pick goes in the...

4.30 Lingfield...

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Make Music13/2 BOG

Why?

Well, on another day that's hardly brimming with decent statistical options, I'm going to keep it fairly simple with a 4yr old who has 3 wins and a place from just 5 visits to Lingfield (2 wins from 3 on the A/W) and has a 2 from 6 record under today's jockey David Probert.

She's trained by Andrew Balding whose runners have won 48 of their 280 A/W races here at Lingfield since the start of 2013 and that 17.1% strike rate is good for level stakes profits of 76.1pts at an ROI of 27.2%. These are decent enough figures to base a bet on, especially when I feel the horse is overpriced at as high as 7/1 (she was actually 12's at one point!).

More confidence is gained from breaking the trainer's record down into components of today's race, because those 280 Andrew Balding Lingfield runners have achieved the following under today's conditions...

  • over 6f to 1m : 27/170 (15.9%) for 115.6pts (+68%)
  • running 16-30 days after last run : 18/97 (18.6%) for 123pts (+126.8%)
  • ridden by David Probert : 19/96 (19.8%) for 73.3pts (+76.4%)
  • 4 yr olds are 14/50 (28%) for 35.5pts (+71%)
  • and at Class 4 : 8/26 (30.8%) for 28.8pts (+110.6%)

...providing...a 1pt win bet on Make Music 13/2 BOG which was available with Hills, Betbright, BetVictor and/or Coral at 6.35pm on Tuesday, but if you can, DO take the 7/1 BOG-plus on offer from Betway. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 4.30 Lingfield

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all returns quoted are to Betfair SP, as (i) I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you and (ii) although inferior to the BOG odds we secure, BFSP is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns quoted.

Stat of the Day, 4th February 2017

Friday's Result :

3.20 Catterick : Actinpieces @ 4/1 BOG WON at 5/1 Held up in touch in last pair, steady headway tracking leaders 4 out, 3rd next, ridden and went 2nd last, stayed on to lead final 110 yards to win by 3.25 lengths.

Saturday's pick goes in the...

2.30 Lingfield :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Verne Castle @ 9/2 BOG

Why?

This 4yr old gelding has won three of his last four, over over this 5f trip on the A/W and was 5th last time out 30 days ago, when probably needing the run after 15 weeks off the track.

To date, he's 3/5 on standard, 3/5 @ 5f, 3/5 going left handed, 3/4 in a hood and 3/3 within 30 days of his last run, so he's certainly got optimum conditions here.

The Andrew Balding / David Probert / Lingfield AW handicap angle is a good one, as since 2009 with runners priced at 14/1 or shorter, they are 12/60 (20% SR) for 14.2pts (+23.6% ROI) profit, including...

  • 3-5 yr olds : 12/53 (22.6%) for 21.2pts (+40%)
  • 6-30 days since last run : 8/39 (20.5%) for 12.2pts (+31.3%)
  • and at Class 4 : 4/13 (30.8%) for 22.9pts (+175.8%)

In addition to the above, there's another angle suggesting a good run today, as since 2008, Andrew Balding / Class 4&5 handicappers / only 1 previous run in the past 90 days = 52/290 (17.9% SR) for 118.7pts (+40.9% ROI), with the following of interest/relevance...

  • 6-30 dslr : 42/206 (20.4%) for 140.7pts (+68.3%)
  • on the A/W : 21/109 (19.3%) for 31.5pts (+28.9%)
  • 4 yr olds are 16/70 (22.9%) for 46.1pts (+65.8%)
  • at Lingfield : 10/39 (25.6%) for 24.1pts (+61.9%)
  • and over the minimum 5f trip : 3/10 (30%) for 2.23pts (+22.3%)

...so for Saturday...a 1pt win bet on Verne Castle @ 9/2 BOG which was pretty widely available at 7.00pm on Friday To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 2.30 Lingfield

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

Geegeez Jockeys and Horses (shares available)

One of the great things about the geegeez community is that it is now starting to have more of a direct impact in the sport we all love. Having begun from very humble beginnings, we have developed relationships with all parts of the sport, whilst retaining the personal touch in all dealings with our readers and subscribers.

In recent times, I've been keen for us to extend our 'brand presence' (yuk!) on the track. Put in more palatable terms, I think what we're doing at geegeez is pretty cool and I'd love for more people to know about us. As well as you lovely guys and girls sharing your experiences, it is important for us to try to force the name into the wider racing consciousness. We do this in a number of ways:

Racehorse Syndication

Geegeez syndicates a number of horses at any given time. Currently we have three in training with Anthony Honeyball - The Geegeez Geegee, Dragoon Guard and East Wing - as well as a yearling in his care. The Geegeez Geegee is a three-time winner who will be back on track in the coming weeks; Dragoon Guard has finished in the frame in three of his last four starts. East Wing is a full brother to the decent pair, Coeur Blimey and Just Get Cracking, and he should be making his debut in the four to six weeks, all being well.

Table Manners wins - at 25/1 - at Newcastle earlier this month

Table Manners wins - at 25/1 - at Newcastle earlier this month

We also have a filly called Table Manners in training with Wilf Storey. She easily won her most recent start, at Newcastle... at 25/1! She's being aimed at another race at the track towards the end of the month: it will be a step up in grade but she's earnt it with the manner of her recent win. Until recently, we had another lad with Wilf, called Nonagon. You may have read about his very sad demise in this post, and he was a horse who, when conditions came right for him, looked a good bit classier than the bare numbers. He won two for us and was in the process of winning again when injury struck.

 

 

I've just taken an option on 75% of a two-year-old filly with Wilf, half of which is syndicated already to myself and a couple of regular syndicateers, Jim and Pete. That means there are three 1/8th shares available.

Here's the deal in case it might be of interest to you...

The filly is well bred, by Dutch Art out of winning sprinter, Catfish, and is available on a free lease. That means there is no 'up front' payment, but it also means that if she turns out to be very good, there will be no sale dividend at the end of her racing career. The balance of probabilities is that we are getting the best of that proposition.

She was owned, like Nonagon and Table Manners before her, by Raymond Tooth and, like that pair, was considered not good enough to stay in training for her previous trainer, in this case, Mark Johnston. He has to fill his boxes with his next crop of expensive yearlings, and some need to make way. In the case of the two before her, it was simply immaturity that precluded their winning on the track: most horses are not bred to be precocious enough to win at two.

Catskill has had sore shins in training this season, often a sign of being asked to do too much too soon. But what it does mean is that she's been broken, ridden, has done stalls work and gallops: in other words, she's quite close to a run. Her shins have settled down fine and we're not expecting any recurrence of the growing pains she endured earlier in the year.

According to Wilf, who is enough (and more) of a gent not to offer me a horse he doesn't think can cut it on the track - he has 100% winners to runners on the two he's sent our way so far - she's pretty nippy and she's almost ready for a run. He feels she'll be on the track at Newcastle before the turn of the year.

This then is a 'no money down' lease opportunity in a filly who will be racing within four to six weeks for a very affordable £135/month, plus racing expenses. "Racing expenses" are such as race entry and jockey riding fees, and amount to something in the region of £200 per race. So if the filly ran once a month, it would work out at £25 per syndicateer in racing expenses and £160/month all done. That's a pretty good budgetary mark from which to work.

You would obviously be eligible for 1/8th of any and all prize money won. You'll also have owners' badges each time she runs, affording you a more pleasurable experience as befits your status as owner! The initial syndicate term would be for one year, with an option to continue at the end of that time.

This will suit readers who live in the north of England, or possibly the south of Scotland as, for the time being at least, most of the opportunities will be at Newcastle. Obviously that will change when the flat turf season returns but, again, she's likely to race in the north of England and in Scotland almost exclusively.

If this might be of interest, please drop me a line. But be quick as there are only three places available 🙂

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Trainer and Jockey Sponsorship

Another thing I've been keen to do since the emergence of Geegeez Gold is to support trainers and jockeys. Geegeez is delighted and proud to sponsor Anthony Honeyball Racing, with the vast majority of his horses carrying the geegeez.co.uk logo across the chest on the silks of their jockeys.

Geegeez also sponsors two jockeys now. The first name on our sponsorship roster was the excellent, and somewhat under-rated, David Probert. He joined forces with us early in the flat season and, though injury - a broken wrist - curtailed his year by two months, he is now back in the saddle, as evidenced by this snap when on duty at Lingfield for the boys in blue earlier in the week.

David Probert riding for Godolphin at Lingfield
Your first 30 days for just £1

David Probert riding for Godolphin at Lingfield

Mitch Godwin has joined the geegeez.co.uk sponsored jockey ranks

Mitch Godwin has joined the geegeez.co.uk sponsored jockey ranks

 

 

In addition to David, I'm delighted to welcome Mitch Godwin to the geegeez.co.uk fold.

Mitch will be a new name to many of you, but he's ridden 24 winners in 2016 so far. Attached to the Silvester Kirk yard, Mitch is hoping to have a good crack at the apprentice title in 2017 and, while that might be a tad ambitious, it's good to aim high. Who knows? With a solid work ethic and some breaks along the way, he has a shot.

He's already ridden out his seven pound allowance but still offers trainers a handy five pound concession when legging up on their horses.

Here's Mitch in his catalogue pose modelling the geegeez.co.uk breeches and under-vest.

Both Mitch and David have sloped off for a bit of sun - Mitch to Santa Anita for a week, David to a jockeys' challenge in Barbados - but both will be back soon to boot home winners through the winter.

Keep an eye out for these two jockeys if you're going/watching racing on the all weather in the coming months, and cheer on those lucky pants!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Freddy Tylicki and Injured Jockeys Fund

One of the side effects of sponsoring jockeys, particularly a jockey who had a nasty fall earlier in the season, is a keener appreciation of the dangers they face on a race to race basis.

As punters it is easy for us to forget, ignore or otherwise overlook that daily peril - perhaps because the consequences can be too grisly with which to wrestle in our leisure time.

But we were all forced to put aside any preference to deny the existence of danger in the aftermath of the terrible injuries suffered by Freddy Tylicki in a fall at Kempton recently. He has serious paralysis and the prognosis, physically, is not good.

Thanks to you, we were able to help Freddy - and the Injured Jockeys' Fund - in a small but significant way by sending a donation of £3,015 representing 75% of the revenues from my recent Breeders' Cup Compendium report (the remaining 25% will cover some of the associated VAT, tax, payment processor and affiliate fees that are incurred in selling stuff online).

On behalf of geegeez readers, for your kindness I received this short message of thanks from the IJF:

freddy_ijf_note

 

Since receiving that note a couple of days ago, Freddy has left intensive care and has transferred to the general spinal unit at the hospital. That is good news, though the road ahead is no less fraught for him and his family.

I don't really want to write anything more about this, because - in truth - aside from being a kindred compassionate soul like so many of you, it's none of my business. I know we all wish Freddy and his family every strength.

****

Why am I writing all of this? Well, apart from the horse syndicate opportunity above - let me ASAP please if you're interested - no major reason, except that a) you might be wondering why you've seen geegeez.co.uk on a jockey's kit - or might want to look out for them in future, and b) to demonstrate, in a variety of different ways, the commitment that geegeez.co.uk makes to putting back into the sport.

Your Geegeez Gold subscriptions are re-invested into the development of new tools and features - some quite big news coming soon on that score - and, beyond that, to telling people about us whilst helping individuals like David, Mitch and Anthony. And, of course, being able to facilitate a sizeable charitable donation on behalf of our community is my privilege.

geegeez.co.uk has no shareholders, we are still a small team (but growing), and we remain commited to both your enjoyment and to the sport we all love. Which is pretty cool!

So, in case I haven't said it for a week or two, THANK YOU very much for your continued support.

Best Regards,
Matt

Geegeez Roundup: Lucky Pants, the Guard, Gold stuff

Gosh, it's been a while. Ten days in fact. What's new with you? Ignoring the dominant headlines of the past week - on both front and back pages - here at geegeez.co.uk, there are a few noteworthy, if largely inconsequential in the grand scheme, updates.

First up, a massive well done to Geegeez-sponsored jockey, David Probert, who had a tremendous day yesterday at Brighton. He won the first race of the afternoon aboard 6/1 chance, Assertive Agent, and then followed that up with 14/1 Curious Fox in race two. That was just the start, though, as Probert rattled off the hat-trick with a patient ride aboard Fashion Parade, an 8/1 shot, to register a 944/1 treble.

 

Three further rides passed as the elusive quest for a first ever career four-timer looked to be slipping away... but, on his last of seven mounts at the seaside track, Ron Harris' Noverre To Go proved just the steed for a little personal history-making.

Their victory at 15/2 rounded out a staggering 8,031.5/1 quad, and made for a very happy Davy P. I texted David last night to congratulate him and suggest it was all down to his lucky Geegeez pants, to which he replied, "Thanks Matt. Yes, they're still working! Hope it keeps going."

So do we, David, so do we!

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Elsewhere, and as I mentioned in my last round up post - which you can look back on here - we have a number of horses in training syndicated through geegeez.co.uk. Nonagon was well touted in that post and ran out a 10/1 winner for us a few days later. He's since run second when stepped up to two miles before failing to get the run of the race in a pedestrian heat at Redcar. They can't go quickly enough for him from the gate with his relentless gallop a real asset when the early pace is sizzling.

Whilst I don't have the same confidence in Dragoon Guard at this stage, he's shaping nicely and ran well last time when third at Fontwell. He runs again this afternoon and, though the rain will make Worcester's two and a half mile trip feel more like three, we'd be hopeful of another good spin IF he can see it out.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Table Manners, another of our syndicate horses, received an opening handicap mark of 56 (which, of course, counts her out of 0-55 races), and I'd expect she'll be competitive sooner rather than later in that grade. Her debut run was very good and, though she's not backed that up yet, she will find life easier in handicap company. Keep her on side.

The Geegeez Geegee is on his summer break, and will come back to handicap chasing in the late summer/early autumn. And we have East Wing, an unraced bumper horse - full brother to Listed bumper winner, Coeur Blimey - who has needed a bit more time, to look forward to later in the year, as well.

Hopefully Dragoon Guard will be able to go very close to winning this afternoon if he lasts home in what could be pretty testing conditions.

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Meanwhile, development continues on Geegeez Gold, as always, and we have a few additional snippets up our sleeves for our next release: snippets being the operative word.

We recently introduced the Sire Snippets report, and we're now working on making the content of that report contextual within the racecard for Gold subscribers. "What within the what?!" Contextual within the racecard... here's what I mean.

 

Clicking on the breeding icon in the racecard will, for Gold users and on Races of the Day for free users, soon also reveal the sire's two year overall performance. Further, you'll be able to see how that sire has fared with horses in the relevant age range, race type (flat turf, AW, hurdle, chase, NHF), and race distance bracket.

This will be especially handy for horses with limited form - for instance, maidens, novice hurdles and National Hunt Flat races.

It represents part of a wider piece around sires. In the same upcoming release we'll be adding sire search functionality, and you'll be able to add sires to your Tracker as well.

These pieces will be available within a fortnight or so.

In due course, though not this next release, we'll have similar two-year contextual snippets for trainers as well. These will incorporate, for example, the trainer's record with first time handicap runners (when he/she is running a horse in a handicap for the first time); with today's jockey; with horses switching to his/her stable (on yard debut); with two-year-olds first time out (when running a 2yo debutant); and so on.

I think it will be a super-cool addition, and it should be online before the end of August.

We have much more in the pipeline, including extra bookmakers in the odds comparison tab; the long-awaited draw/pace content; and an upgraded pace tab that includes historical performance data by run style for races at the course and distance of the race you are looking at. Here's what I mean:

The new improved Pace tab, coming soon...

The new improved Pace tab, coming soon...

 

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We've got plenty of exciting geegeez.co.uk-related stuff happening at the moment, and I'm very happy that you're an ongoing part of it. Thanks for reading!

Matt

A Chat with David Probert

Last week, jockey David Probert began wearing some new 'lucky pants'. Actually, they're breeches adorned with the geegeez.co.uk logo and, so far, they've proved four-tuitous for the Welsh rider, who has since accrued four wins in six days.

David was kind enough to take time to chat with me about various things, amongst them his career to date, influences, and horses, trainers and jockeys to look out.

His introduction to horses came via his father, who had point-to-pointers and ponies, and David started out in pony races. Then, as a fresh-faced 16-year-old he travelled to the British Racing School to undertake a nine week pre-apprenticeship course. From there, he was dealt the plum hand of an apprenticeship at Andrew Balding's Kingsclere stables.

Kingsclere has an exceptional - and thoroughly deserved - reputation for schooling young jockeys, under the diligent tutelage of Andrew and father, Ian. And it is a yard from which Probert has formed a robust allegiance that has lasted close to a decade thus far.

David's first ride under rules was in December 2006, when he partnered Tiny Tim, a 20/1 shot, to fifth of twelve at Lingfield. In an age where persistence seems rather unfashionable, it is sobering to consider that a year (less a few days) and forty further rides elapsed before Probert's maiden victory.

That was aboard Bernard Llewellyn's Mountain Pass in early December 2007.

And then the fun started...

Your first 30 days for just £1

In 2008, this no-name seven pound bug jockey scaled the saddle for 458 rides, winning on exactly fifty of them. That half-century was enough for a half-share of the Apprentice Championship, the other half going to William Buick - remarkably also riding out of the Kingsclere stable.

Recalling that year brings a broad smile to the now relative veteran of the weighing room. "It was pretty special. We got on very well, we've always been very good friends and we just bounced off each other that year".

Probert is keen to acknowledge the setup at Kingsclere, and the variety of terrain at the horses' - and riders' - disposal. "It's such a great facility, with different types of gallops to suit pretty much every horse. It improves your riding so much. Riding different horses on different gallops prepares you physically and mentally for race riding".

He also had praise for the work that Balding, Snr., puts in with the young lads. "Ian always takes time to go over the races after the apprentices have finished their rides, to help them. He's always riding out in the mornings telling them what they're doing right and wrong and so on. He's very good".

Currently starring in Kingsclere's version of The Apprentice are Rob Hornby, Ed Greatrex, and a couple of younger pilots in Will Cox and Josh Bryan. While the latter pair have had just three rides apiece to date, Bryan unlucky to get chinned on the line at Salisbury last week, Greatrex and Hornby are steaming ahead.

The more experienced duo have notched 107 wins between them, Hornby claiming the lion's share to date, with 65. Of the younger pair, Probert likes what he's seen, noting that "Josh is very talented and is definitely one to keep an eye on, while Will is up-and-coming too".

Looking at the bigger picture, Probert's model jockey is Kieren Fallon. "I think Kieren's a great rider. I follow him quite a bit. He was always very good when I was an apprentice as well, helping me to understand things I could do better. Ryan [Moore] is also very good, as are all the senior lads really. They're always willing to give help to the young lads".

As well as the physical attributes - a lot of strength and agility summoned from not a lot of body mass - jockeys need mental strength, too. In response to my question about whether riding was a confidence game, Probert nods. "Yes, I think it has a lot to do with it. When you're riding winners, it definitely helps you mentally, perhaps reading races a bit better. Race riding involves a lot of split second decisions, and when you're riding with a lot of confidence less things seem to go wrong."

The Kingsclere model clearly imbues riders with confidence, the trainer happy for his jockeys to use their racing brains when Plan A goes west for whatever reason.

With the season now well underway, what, I wondered, was David's target for 2016. Unsurprisingly, he is keen to "just keep riding winners". After a short pause, he added, "I rode a hundred winners two years ago, and I'd love to do that again. If I could achieve that, that'd be perfect."

Probert rides for lots of outside stables - that is, besides Kingsclere - and, when pushed to nominate a couple for whom he has done especially well, he flagged the yards of Michael Blanshard and Philip McBride. "Michael hasn't got many horses, but he seems to place them very well, and his horses are always fit. The same is true with Philip".

McBride has a very nice filly, called Squash, on which David was second in the Nell Gwyn Stakes, and about which the form book attests to Probert's assertion that she is an "exciting filly for the season".

It was my intention not to ask about specific horses but, despite myself, I couldn't resist fishing to see if there was one in the yard that might be worth following through the year. On David's behalf, I'd like to scream caveat emptor and, in that spirit and by way of closing, offer his two word answer. "Dark Shot".

- Matt

 

Geegeez Sponsors David Probert: Jockey off to a flyer!

On Wednesday of this week, geegeez.co.uk took its latest step towards extending its 'brand presence' (i.e. trying to tell more people that we exist!) with the commencement of a sponsorship deal with top flat jockey, David Probert.

As many will know, Probert is a consistent top 20 jockey who rides primarily for Andrew Balding's Kingsclere stables. This season, he will hope to be partnering 100+ rated performers such as Absolutely So, Blond Me, Highland Colori, Passover, Storm Rock, and Squash, as well as the rising stars from this season's three-year-old crop.

David rose to prominence when tying with William Buick for the apprentice championship of 2008. He has ridden a total of 613 British winners to the end of the 2015 season and, since returning from a stint riding in Dubai in early 2016, the 27-year-old is currently on the 14 winner mark this term (as at 12th May 2016).

We're thrilled to add David to our team for 2016. His progress through the jockey ranks reflects geegeez' own upward trajectory, and this is a tremendous first foray into flat sponsorship for us. We look forward to being a small part of David's continued success in the saddle this year.

David is expected to ride in more than 500 races on the turf and all weather before the end of the season, and has already scored three victories in his new breeches - in the first two days!

In fact, his very first ride sporting the geegeez.co.uk kit resulted in a win, aboard Gay Kelleway's Ubla at Lingfield on Wednesday.

Your first 30 days for just £1

 

David Probert off to a flyer

David Probert off to a flyer

 

Then, yesterday at Salisbury, he notched a double for his boss. The first was Bohemian Flame, who was making his debut for Kennett Valley Racing, and looks a very nice prospect.

 

Bohemian Flame came from last to first to win the novice stakes

Bohemian Flame came from last to first to win the novice stakes, for trainer Andrew Balding

 

And a couple of hours later, Dancing Star clung on in the first division of the sprint handicap, giving Probert another chance to show off his new red, white and blue livery.

 

Dancing Star rounded out a double on the day for David Probert

Dancing Star rounded out a double on the day for David Probert

 

It is still early in the season, and who knows how things will unfold, but this is an exciting way for us to project 'Brand Geegeez' on British racetracks, and I'm really pleased to have a top young jockey (and man) like David Probert as part of the team.

Matt

Stat of the Day, 31st August 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 31st August 2015

Jockey Joe Doyle and horse Tom Sawyer did absolutely nothing wrong at Beverley and looked to have timed their run to the line to perfection, but we were all undone by a flying finisher who pipped us in the shadow of the post.

There's something reassuring about backing a 4/1 runner-up at 7/1 BOG and coming within a neck of pulling off a bit of a gamble, but near misses don't pay cash! August (and Mondays in particular) has been good to us and whatever happens today, we'll finish with a handsome profit from the month.

I would, however, like to bow out with one more winner via the...

4.45 Epsom :

Your first 30 days for just £1

But before I give you the selection, a quick update on my schedule that you might find useful. As you know I'm away on holiday at present, but I've now a daily routine established.

If SotD isn't now posted between 6.30pm & 7.00pm in the evening, it will appear between 8.30am & 9.00am on the day of the race. There are also instant notifications on our Facebook page / Twitter feed.

And a 5/2 BOG bet on Passover in this 8-runner, Class 3 handicap over 1m2f on soft ground with a horse in great form of late.

In the last 7 seasons, trainer Andrew Balding is 30/163 (18.4% SR) for 107pts (+65.7% ROI) profit here at Epsom. From that record, jockey David Probert is 13/64 (20.3% SR) for 33.7pts (+52.6% ROI)

Passover is 3/5 on the Flat, but 3 from 3 since stepping up to today's 1m2f trip and was a course and distance winner by 7 lengths here two starts ago and won by the same margin at Sandown last time out, 25 days ago.

In the last 3 seasons, Andrew Balding's runners returning to the scene of a course and distance win off the back of a win (anywhere) last time out are 12/28 (42.9% SR) for 25.4pts (+90.7% ROI).

Those runners running at the same trip as last time are 11/27 (40.7% SR) for 24.6pts (+91.2% ROI) with those priced below 7/2 winning 9 of 17 (52.9% SR) for 8.4pts (+49.4% ROI).

All 3 wins for Passover to date share many of the factors that will be at play today, namely...

  • all over 1m2f
  • all in races of 7 to 11 runners
  • all within 30 days of his last run
  • all wearing a hood
  • all wearing a tongue tie
  • and all below 7/2

I've taken my 5/2 BOG about Passover from Coral, as they'll refund a defeat by a head, but with several other firms offering the same price, you should...

...click here for the betting on the 4.45 Epsom

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day,

just click here for more details.

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard.