Sinister Horses for Sinister Courses

Not quite as sinister as these chaps...

Not quite as sinister as these chaps...

SINISTER HORSES FOR SINISTER COURSES  (A gift for my GG buddies on my 70th Birthday 22 July)

Hi, my name is Ray Thompson, nicknamed Mondo because my idiot but loveable employees back in my shop-owning days refused to believe that the Thompson boys’ FULL given names were Ken, Eddie and Ray. No middle names, no lah-de-dah names, no extras whatsoever. Simples.

You may remember me from classics like “The Tortoise And The Hare” and “Placed To Win”. The first was a free (and profitable) Geegeez tipping service which evolved into the second, an improved but fee-paying service. Placed To Win was short-lived even though it was profit-making. The reason? I may have a degree in psychology, but I’d not factored in how many people don’t care about the occasional winners at 20/1, 25/1, 33/1 and 50/1+, they’d rather have a winner NOW, even if it’s odds-on!

I’d explained to Matt back in the day precisely how my system worked and he was so impressed with it that he agreed to publish it. The name Placed To Win was Matt’s suggestion, as there was also clear profit to be made by the many more placers than winners given, all at a minimum 5 on Betfair.

Hey, I’m just rabbiting on here. What I’d like to do for my birthday is give y’all some of the Essential Things You Should Know in the betting game. I don’t want your money, This is a big thank-you to Matt & Chris for their encouragement and help, their ability to give people faith in themselves, without condescension or beating around the bush (er... is that even legal these days?). As I’m sure you all know, Geegeez is the best thing that’s happened in this field for ...ummm... donkeys years!?

Some of you will say I’m stating the bleedin’ obvious at some of these steps, but bear with me and I think you just might be surprised at what you’ve missed, what’s hiding in plain sight. Actually, I will  start with the bleedin’ obvious: you want to make money. I want to make money. You want to make BIG money and you’re prepared to find your own system and improve it as you progress. So, whether that means following media tipsters, buying tips or systems from professionals or inventing your OWN system/method, then I want to help you.

My own system took a long time – many years of trial and error (and terror!) – to work satisfactorily, and here’s a thing: it keeps getting better! So, first rule – KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS. As Matt knows from some photos I once sent him, I started scribbling things down in a schoolbook type thing from around the mid-90s until I realised it was pointless. So I bought some sturdy hardback red ‘n’ blacks (they’re not expensive) and kept every single bet, one per line, with the date, the venue code (similar to airport codes, 3 letters per track, eg Ain, Asc, Ayr, Ban, Crl, Crt, Cat, Chl, Chp – you get the drift, found on every form page in the RP’s online service. All my record keeping is done online now of course.

Okay: Date, Course, Race Time, Selection, Industry price, Betfair price, Betfair place, result (again ISP), and BfSP Win after commission. A page one entry 5th Jan 2011 (first winner of that year) reads:

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5th  Sth  1440  Bromhead  12/1, 19.6, 6.  W11/2  +£93.60 (to my £5 stake post(5%)-commission)

That’s a start. I quickly learned that I also needed to record GOING, CLASS, TRIP and possibly one of the most important things you’ll ever learn about picking winners.  Ever noticed that when a nailed-on favourite that no tipster or punter can see beyond gets turned over, the shock waves resonate throughout Horseracingland? Tearful telly pundits go into meltdown and yes, even some trainers wonder wtf just happened. A Day Of Mourning is called and the talking heads have an emotional field day.

Well, I know why a large percentage get beat, and it’s to do with the horses mentioned at the top of this piece. Not those sinister horses of the Apocalypse. We know their jockeys are called Conquest, War, Famine and Death. But the horses themselves are more prosaically referred to as White, Red, Black and Pale (or in the Pagan/Christian mashup, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen). The Sinister, and their opposites, the Dexter are simply, like most animals, the left- or right-handed. And just a few are ambidextrous.

Lefties perform better and tend to win at left-handed tracks, righties perform better and... you get the gist.

So here’s the big (not so-) secret to improving your choices/selections: Make a note of whether the track is LH or RH before you select your contender, making sure that your choice is not only au fait with the distance, the class, the going, the jockey, the trainer, and the whatever other requirements you er, require, but also, and VERY importantly, it’s at a course that fits your pick's predilection in running.

During the last year and especially in the Jumps doldrums known as “summer” I’ve begun studying flat and all-weather systems, with a view to developing something equally profitable for the non-jumps season rather than wasting my time drinking cider and bourbon while topping up my tan on the sun-drenched beaches here in Cornwall while applauding the barely-clothed fillies who ... erm, I’ll pause there.  I’m also prepared to give freely of my jumps system picks along with brief reasons for the choices for the few Summer jump meetings until the NH season proper returns in the Autumn.



[NB You will need to be a Gold subscriber to access this content - subscription details are here if you need them]


Do remember to bet sensibly and, mainly, have fun!

- Mondo Ray


Quick Catch Up…

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 Pick4 Ticket Breakdown

The Pick4 Ticket Breakdown

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.

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In other syndicate news, The Geegeez Geegee, a syndicate horse, runs in the 4.50 race today at Taunton. Here's what I wrote to the syndicate members:

Hi all

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.

Best Regards,

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.

ideviceWe 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.

How to place bets in the Tip League

How to place bets in the Tip League

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. 🙂


Monday Mish Mash: 11th June 2012

Frankel and Henry expected at Royal Ascot next week

Frankel and Henry expected at Royal Ascot next week

A bit of a round up post today, to tell you about a few things coming up, in the absence of anything remotely resembling decent racing at the weekend (the days between Epsom and Royal Ascot are always poor).

First up, I and a number of others were in Newmarket on Friday for the Geegeez Racing Club Day. Desperate weather did its damnedest to make it an unpleasant affair, but we're a hardy old bunch and had a great time anyway.

Highlights were the stable visit to Julia Feilden's yard, and seeing our boy, Khajaaly, looking happy and well on his way to a full recovery after an operation to remove a lump from his leg.

The vet, and all the stable staff, are delighted with his progress, and he seemed on really good terms with himself, even sharing his box with about twenty of us! I wish I'd taken a picture but I was too busy enjoying the moment and clean forgot. Doh. [Stop press: Gavin has just come up trumps with a snap he took at the yard. You can see for yourself how well he's looking (Khajaaly, not Gavin!) ]

Khajaaly in his box last Friday

Khajaaly in his box last Friday

Then it was off to the National Stud to see some new recruits who will be strutting their stuff on a racecourse in 2014. We were able to see one foal up close with his mummy, and Dave B was so enamoured that he nearly lost a finger to the hungry little munchkin. More care next time, Dave!

Finally, we headed across the car park from the National Stud to the July course at Newmarket. Now, it's called the July course because racing normally takes place there in (and around) July, the highlight of which is the Group 1 July Cup.

Alas, on a miserable early June day, when a minor hurricane blew in to ensure the rain came sideways at spectators, it was hard going. Add in the inexplicable 35 minutes between races, and the complete absence of seating inside (great for pregnant women and the elderly...), and you have yet another abominable show from Jockey Club Racecourses.

Group 4 Security, who have the gig of providing security, followed up their pathetic effort at Epsom (allowing scrappers to carry on drinking, rather than ejecting them) by being preposterously 'jobsworth' about a 'yellow step'.

There were about six people on that part of the grandstand, and I was asked to move literally eight inches so as not to be on the yellow step. I mean, come on, get a grip!!

Then there was the full bin which blew over in the wind. Group 4 righted it. It blew over again. Group 4 righted it again. It blew over again. Group 4 still didn't think to move it out of the wind.

They are a perfect match for Jockey Club Racecourses, and I'm afraid both need to raise their games for the oncoming Royal Ascot meeting next week.

Speaking of which, I am lucky enough to be heading there on Tuesday for the Queen Anne Stakes and so on. Three Group 1's to start the meeting, including a possible sighting of Frankel in the opener. Lovely.

If you're in or around London, and fancy getting your card marked, or just doing some celeb spotting, then this Thursday's London Racing Club Royal Ascot preview night promises to be a cracker.

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The panel has confirmed Nick Luck, Lydia Hislop, Paul Bittar (chief executive of the BHA, and an Aussie preying for a Black Caviar win), and Simon Clare from Coral, who will no doubt be offering concessions not available anywhere else.

The evening starts at 7.30pm, on Thursday 14th June, and it's held at the Holiday Inn, Kensington Forum, which is behind Gloucester Road tube station. I'm really looking forward to it, so do come up and say hello if you see me there.


Next up, if you've watched my 'back story' video, thanks a lot for your comments on that. If not, you can catch it here.

I'll be releasing the second in that series in the next few days, and I hope that will whet some of your appetites for what is to follow. I'm certainly excited about sharing more details in the coming days. 🙂

Also upcoming, here on Geegeez, is something I've been toying with for a while. I've finally decided that now is the time, and I hope many of you will embrace the opportunity to interact with the site more. Yes, Geegeez is getting its own forum!

Initially, we'll just be focused on the main event - horse racing - and, if there's interest/demand, we'll expand from there. So if you fancy yourself as a writer, or think you're as opinionated as me (surely not!), then do join the debate.

Chris and I are still working out all of the configuration bits and bobs, but we very much hope to have things up and running ahead of Royal Ascot next week. Stay tuned!


And finally, just a quick reminder of the daily content on the site. Tortoise and the Hare has made an extremely impressive start to its trial, with over sixty points profit in the bag at the last update (5th June). That's here.

Now that was an over-performance to some degree, and this week has seen some fall back from the position, but nevertheless Tortoise and the Hare looks set to have a bright future.

Other notable tipping performances came from Andy Newton, whose bonus Curragh Trends, nailed 14/1 winner Kateeva (22.68 Betfair SP) amongst others.

One reader tweeted that he'd got the placepot up at the Curragh on the back of Andy's trends. Good stuff!

And of course, Stat of the Day keeps ticking away. It's been a bit of a chiselling week in truth, with placed selection after placed selection. But they're pretty much all running well enough, and most are contributing bits and pieces of profit to the pot.

Stat of the Day is here.

Finally, Ian continues to engage and entertain with his sideways look at the latest racing news, so do look out for those pieces.

Tomorrow, we'll have Mal's excellent Well I Declare feature, and Wednesday sees the return of The Punting Confessional, which grows more popular by the week. Thursday features the latest trainer stats and trends from Andy Newton, and each Saturday you can get the TV trends from the same author/researcher.

Hopefully, there's something for everyone. As you know, we don't email about everything on the site (we couldn't possibly), so do remember to check back each day, for your daily dose of Geegeez goodness. It's especially fortifying on a miserable Monday such as this one! 😀

Do look out for the new stuff in a day or two, and in the meantime, have a great start to the week.