Tag Archive for: geegeez Gold

What to expect in 2024

The new year is well upon us now and, on this fourth day of January, a few resolutions may remain intact. Chocolate, biscuits, cakes (and especially chocolate biscuit cakes) and beer are largely off the agenda for a bit here - yes, life is currently very dull - but, on a much more interesting note, below are some words around what is on the 2024 agenda for geegeez.co.uk...

 

Racecard Small Changes

We'll start with a 'not very rock n'roll' update: a collection of small changes to the racecards. Although small, most of them are things many users repeat countless times while navigating the software in search of interesting horses.

22nd January Update

These changes are now live and you can see them in action in the video below - there's a timeline below the video:

00:00 Intro
00:31 Save Racecard Filters (desktop & mobile)
02:45 Actual Race Distance in form blocks
04:16 Full Form UK/Ire filter
05:25 'By Time' Racecard view now has time order dropdown
06:40 Asterisked notes
09:10 Run Style added to Full Result
11:00 Removed 'abandoned' meeting non-runners from Tracker
11:35 Outro

 

Editorial Explainer

First up is a racecard menu filters 'memory' - currently, a user must select parameters from the racecard menu filters section each time they close and open the cards menu page. If you use the same filters all the time, you have to reinstate them each time. Faff. We'll sort that.

[Incidentally, if you sometimes see there are no races displaying on the menu page, just hit the 'reset' button top right]

 

Next, an asterisk on the form row when you have a note saved for any/all of meeting, race or runner - to notify you that it's there.

 

Also, we'll be displaying the specific race distance and any distance amendments when you hover over the 'Race Conditions' on any form row:

 

And, if you choose to view the racecard menu page 'by time' you can view the race dropdown ordered by time.

 

If run style is of interest to you, we're adding each horse's early pace position to the full results:

 

We'll get those small, but perfectly formed, changes live later this month.

 

Betfair Data

One of the projects for later in the year is to incorporate Betfair data - Betfair Starting Price (BSP) as well as in-running high and low prices. We actually have these data in our system but adding them appropriately to results and into the tools will take a while. But it's on our to do list.

For a lot of readers who have been restricted, some of the BSP results are likely to make eye-opening reading, certainly when compared to SP.

 

Ratings Model

This is one of those dreaded rabbit holes into which I vowed we'd never delve. Well, we have already sunk a good few hours into the project and we've made some promising progress; but there is  much still to do. I'm at the point now where, for the first time, I do believe we can produce a set of ratings that a) finds a lot of winners and b) highlights some value.

The process involves creating separate models for separate groups of races, and if/when we get as far as publication, we'll do it piecemeal. That is, once we're happy with, for instance, our all-weather sprint handicap model, we'll publish numbers for all-weather sprint handicaps. And so on.

There are loads of ratings out there, many of which are very good at finding winners - but due to the fact they're published so widely they are significantly loss-making. Our Peter May ratings get close to break even at Betfair SP with their top rated picks every year, sometimes turning a small profit and sometimes a small loss. And we might not be able to fare better than that.

My main point is that, unless we find something of utility, as opposed to the somewhat ornamental numbers produced by the fashionable houses, we'll not publish.

 

Query Tool

QT is a powerful means of analysing large chunks of racing data and, once that's done, of saving specific 'QT Angles' to your own account and being notified of qualifiers each day. It's been unchanged for a few years now, and we've aborted a few attempts at an upgrade; but I have so many things I want to add to QT - a majority of them from your feedback and suggestions - and, once we've re-engineered a QT 2.0 engine, it will be relatively straightforward to deploy that extra functionality.

This WILL happen in 2024, it's been too long.

 

*

As you can see, apart from the small changes due for release this month, we've got a couple of pretty big 'how long is a piece of string' projects for later in the year. The Betfair element shouldn't be too onerous but I'd like to put some developer time into the modelling next. Very, very loose timeline would be aiming to get some flat rating models on stream for the start of the turf season; then perhaps pivoting to the Betfair and QT projects before reverting to the remaining race code ratings models.

There is a lot of scope for timelines to change, but these are the 2024 resolutions for geegeez. Let's hope they last longer than my personal attempts at self-improvement!

Matt

p.s. away from the bright lights of geegeez, there are a couple of other interesting projects on the go. One, a tote ticket builder, should hopefully be available very soon (I've been using it for a year!), and the other, TennisProfits.com, is a site for tennis traders that we're hoping to make more accessible for bettors, too. I'll share snippets on these from time to time as the year progresses. The tote ticket project especially is one that I think will be of great interest to many geegeez readers/racing punters.



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Pinball Wizard, Part 5: In-Running Aids and Hacks

Previously on… Pinball Wizard Betting… We looked at how I approach the In-Running Market and my strategy for winning, writes Russell Clarke. You can read that here. And earlier episodes are here: Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Along the way I have picked up some hacks that many of you will find useful, and also the use of some aids that often enable the hacks. The most important hack I can share is to spend five minutes at the end of each day’s trading to quickly summarise what you feel you did well, what you didn’t do well, and any mistakes you made.

My crib sheets are kept in a notebook and after each race I scribble the result and any immediate feeling I have: this takes no more than 30 seconds. Then, at the end of the day, I can read through those comments, and I make bullet points of ‘Lessons Learned’. I found them invaluable when starting out, and still do it today out of habit. I will go back and read them after I have had a poor day and they reaffirm learning points.

Look to use the options on your bet placement software that suit your style of trading. Whether you are using Bet Mover or Bet Angel you have tools and servants that will place your orders into the market to give you the best chance of being matched without sacrificing too much in terms of value.

For example, you can instruct the software to place your lay orders at x number of ticks above the current back price or vice versa for back bets. In fast moving markets this gives you the best chance of being matched with some protection from offering outlandish prices. If you are using a ladder, such an aid is not required. Fill or Kill is another option that is more than useful. This essentially cancels any unmatched bets within x seconds of placement. This is especially helpful if you are inexperienced and could forget to cancel an order. Offsets and Servants provide other options for you to explore. The bet placement software tools are excellent and you should use them to their fullest.

Your surroundings when trading in-running are vital. It obviously takes more concentration than pre-race betting and you need to concentrate fully. Ideally, you should have an office space that “ain’t got no distractions” as Mr Townshend might say. You will be using your eyes and ears and making split second decisions, so you need to have a clear strategy or plan that you do not deviate from or are distracted from.

You should be constantly honing your in-running skills. You can certainly make notes on jockey styles that catch your eye by watching replays. Picking up characteristics should pay dividends in identifying possible entries before others. I have to admit, this is an area I have neglected personally.

TPD (Total Performance Data) is essentially a quantitative analysis of what you can (and can’t) see on the live pictures. If you choose to use it, you should produce screen capture videos of races and your trading of the numbers. This analysis will quickly highlight scenarios that are advantageous, speeding up the learning process. The numbers are not infallible but they will help inform decision-making.

Be aware of the type of race you are trading. Handicaps involving horses with plenty of experience and form are unlikely to yield many clues pre-race. In contrast, in fields of inexperienced juveniles, the paddock and pre-race preliminaries can inform far more. These types of races are also more heavily influenced by what is happening live and so don’t hold on to pre-race expectations set by BSP as long as you might in a field of grizzled handicappers.

Remember that “everyone sees the obvious”. So, in general, don’t hit the lay button directly after a bad jump. The market initially overreacts as everyone does the same thing and then comes back to an equilibrium a few seconds later. You will just be left with an entry level way above the current level that could be costly to trade out of, if you need to do so later. The exception to this rule might be in a big field where the mistake has been hidden from view somewhat. Similarly, on the Flat, don’t be too keen to hit the lay button after a tardy start. The market typically overreacts and then comes back and you don’t want to be left holding the baby, especially if a slow start is typical of the horse. Of course, if it is atypical, then you might want to have a go at ‘fastest finger’.

Avoiding the end of a race when you are starting in-running trading is a golden rule. Treat 3f or 2f out as the end of the race for your purposes (slightly further over Jumps). By that time, you should either be comfortable with your trade or have traded out for a green or red. The end of a race is chaotic in terms of the market and you are unlikely to have the experience to cope with the volatility. In addition you could be competing with people on-course and their time advantage is much more potent at the end of a race.

Finally, practice before you start. Use small stakes and develop the style that suits you best. That may be as a trader or a backer or a layer. You might prefer some degree of automation or manual trading. You may prefer one-click or the ladders. You might want to read the whole race, or just one or two horses. You might want to use numbers or just visuals. Or any combination of the above. But your practice time will allow you to try different methods without costing you too much in mistakes.

I hope this series of articles has been useful for both experienced and less experienced in-running players. Apologies for the painful The Who references. “I Can’t Explain”, and perhaps it is only “My Generation” who have picked them up. It remains a mystery how I failed to get “You Better You Bet” into the article!

- RC

 

p.s. Bonus Material! Below is an example Crib Sheet from a recent race meeting. These are the essence of how I make in-running betting work for me, so I hope you'll find the layout interesting and useful if you'd like to get started.

Ripon 22/07/23

2.46 5f Maiden

MUTASAWI (bsp 3.11)…Sire was 3/8/43 for 2yo’s, though he has a clear form chance.

CAST NO SHADOW (bsp 8.26)…Debut

TROPICAL ISLAND (bsp 2.91)…Debut

A tricky race to trade because I had 3 horses on the crib sheet and it was a 5f race, thus leaving little time for decisions. In these instances, I try and latch on to the one that looks weakest as early as possible.

In this instance, it was quite clearcut. Mutasawi was quickly away, but both of the debutants made poor starts and so I concentrated on them. Tropical Island had reasonable TPD (Total Performance Data) numbers as the race settled down. In contrast, Cast No Shadow had a very high cadence number in the very early stages and that is a little worrying for a 2yo on debut as it suggests over exuberance/greenness. All of this was established within the first furlong. I decided to concentrate on Cast No Shadow.

Of course, it was also possible that Cast No Shadow could be a very fast 2yo (as I had no racecourse evidence) and so my approach here is to look for visual confirmation of the  Crib Sheet and the numbers. He did look green, raced on the outside and then got carried further over. I laid him at this point at an average of 11. In fairness he ran well. It felt like a safe entry and I never needed to consider trading out.

3.20 6f Novice Stakes

MINACK….. slowly away in both runs to date. Negative pace/draw bias (0.28 PRB).

CAPITAL GUARANTEE….First run for new trainer whose record in such situations was 5/10/49.

Minack ended up with a bsp of 100 and Capital Guarantee was a non-runner. I watched the race in case I saw something, or the TPD numbers threw something up, but there was no trade.

 

3.56 10f Handicap

CASILLI (bsp 12.0)……. A negative pace/draw bias of 0.44

GAREEB (bsp 5.93)….Stable relatively out of form….Slowly away on 2 of his last 3 races….Sire record at this distance 9/24/104 compared with an overall 53/130/372 (which is a place percentage of 23% v 35%) and this is his first try at the trip.

In the race, Casilli did race 5 or 6 lengths off the pace and I considered a lay at around his bsp, but my eye was immediately taken by Gareeb who was rushed up from a moderate start (clearly to avoid being slowly away again) but then got trapped behind horses and started to pull. This was somewhat hidden on the pictures. My thought process was that, given the stamina doubts, pulling hard cannot be a good thing (ordinarily I don’t penalize horses pulling too much as I think it is oversold by the market). He traded below his bsp until well into the straight and I could (and probably should) have taken advantage of that. Instead, I was more cautious and waited for a real sign of weakness and then laid him heavily. I averaged just over 11 and didn’t need to trade as he was beaten very quickly. It was a profitable trade, but, in hindsight, I should have trusted my Crib Sheet and eyes earlier and looked to trade rather than waiting for a cast-iron lay.

4.30 12f Handicap

DARK JEDI (bsp 9.74)…….Trainer/Jockey combination have horrific numbers of 7/45/281 with IV and A/E figures of 0.34 and 0.23. However, in the past, he has won on this ground off this mark.

In the race itself, Dark Jedi had a very good cadence number in the early stages and I saw no visual clues until his price had gone way above his bsp. My eye was taken by Sir Rumi (bsp 11.18) who raced in last position off a relatively modest pace. He had poor TPD numbers and was having to be niggled along by his 7lb claimer and then hung throughout the straight. He was certainly a potential trade but never got close to his bsp and I didn’t get involved.

5.05 8f Handicap

WOBWOBWOB (bsp 13.37)….. A winner over 6/7f and there was a doubt about his stamina on soft ground at 8f.

INNSE GALL (bsp 19.2)….Negative Pace/Draw bias.

In the race itself, Wobwobwob unseated as he came out of the stalls. I was too slow to take advantage. Innse Gall was held up, but it was clear from the par charts that the race was truly run and so the negative pace bias wasn’t likely to pan out. Young Fire caught my eye in the race. He was trapped on the inside (arguably well placed) but wasn’t travelling with much fluency. His TPD numbers were poor and yet he was trading around his bsp. I entered the trade at an average of around 9.2 at the first sign he was under pressure. It wasn’t with maximum confidence and so I was poised to trade out. He didn’t pick up and again I didn’t have to trade out.

 

Overall, an uneventful day (which is always a good sign). Three profitable trades (none of which were traded) and, although the prices were a little higher than I would normally like, all were close enough to bsp for me to be confident I was getting a value entry. Gareeb was my most confident and most profitable trade of the day. But, it would also get the award for the least well executed trade. There's always more to learn and improve upon!



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Over To You, #1

In the first of a new and occasional - maybe very occasional if nobody else wants to share what they're doing! - series, we free up the stage for a Geegeez Gold subscriber 'show and tell'. This inaugural episode features Gold user Rob Bayliss talking about how he combines various elements of the service to find value bets.

Before I virtually hand over to Rob, could we showcase your Gold experiences? To appear in this slot on site, you'll need to record a video of between five and twenty minutes duration, with screen capture and clear audio. Free screen capture software (you press a button and it records your screen) is available here. (I use the paid version of this software)

Simply upload your video to the web (Screencast-o-Matic has a button to upload to their cloud servers) and send us a message with the video link and a line on what you do and why.

We can't guarantee to use all videos, but if you have an angle you're happy to share and can produce a short(ish) recording of how/why you do things the way you do, there's a great chance we'll be able to use it. And thanks in advance, really looking forward to seeing how you make Gold work for you!

Right, enough said, over to Rob...



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Gold Nuggets #13: Race Reviews, and Creating Tissues

In this extended double edition of Gold Nuggets, I cover two topics that I feel are super important for sharpening our understanding of value:

1. Result REviews: this is about looking back at the bigger priced winners on the day and trying to find snippets of form/data that gave the winner a chance. The objective is to a) better understand that every horse has some sort of chance, and b) start thinking more about that chance in terms of the odds available.

2. Creating a 'Tissue': That follows neatly into PREviewing a race and using the available information to rank horses in approximately order of their chance, and then to try to create a 'tissue' or odds line from the information you've aggregated. It's a great way of honing your skills and isolating value. Remember, we're comparing the tissue prices we come up with against the Starting Price market, not the early prices!

Don't forget, you can speed me up by clicking the little cog icon bottom right on the video, selecting 'Playback Speed' and then your choice from there - maybe 1.5x

 

Contents:

00:00 Introduction
01:40 Reviewing Results scene setter
03:15 Classy Al
11:45 Easy to find 20/1 winner (with Geegeez Gold!)
21:50 Point and shoot pace angle winner
25:15 Setting up your tissue on Geegeez Gold
26:15 Tissue overview: race helicopter view
30:50 Horse note taking
1:03:30 Converting notes into odds/probabilities
1:10:05 Comparing tissue with early prices
1:12:25 Summary: why we should do this from time to time

 

UPDATE: It's fair to say that I significantly under-estimated the chance of Love Your Work in the market. Incredibly, to my eye at least, he was sent off an odds-on shot. Regardless of the result (he was only fourth), I felt 4/6 was way too short - though I probably should have had him no bigger than 3/1 and just got it wrong, plain and simple.

Bookmark was extremely weak in the betting, presumably looking less than cherry ripe on his seasonal debut, but ran a very good race to be a closing third; he'll be an interesting one going forward. Swinton Noon was never going and ran as though something wonky, while Spantik was tenacious and stayed on well (as expected) in second (not expected) but just didn't have the pace to match Carrigillihy. Whatwouldyouknow and Quoteline Direct were fifth and sixth, pretty much in line with how I had them priced up.

The winner returned 5/1 and was 7/2 joint favourite on my tissue; second was 11/1 (7/1 on my tissue); and the third was 12/1 (7/2jf on my tissue). So a good race for me on this occasion but, it bears repeating, when the price disparity is as big as it was with Love Your Work (and Bookmark), it is more often than not the tissue compiler who has it wrong!

 



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Gold Nuggets #12: Choose Your Battles

In this episode of Gold Nuggets I consider a part of the puzzle that is often overlooked, and one that - if done even nearly correctly - gives us the very best chance of coming out in front. It is particularly relevant now that the longer days mean numerous evening meetings and a daily race count regularly north of forty. So, in the video that follows, I cover the crucial art of race selection.

In the video, I refer to a previous mini-series I produced called 'The Price Is Wrong', which you can look at here.

Contents:

00:00 Intro
00:40 "The Price is Wrong"
03:25 'Top down' Race Selection
05:20 How "My Races" helps
07:40 Quick Race Analysis Example
13:15 'Bottom Up' Race Selection
19:45 Summary



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NEW: ‘My Races’ Feature Added

Today we introduced another new feature, this time a relatively simple one called 'My Races'. The concept is merely to allow users to 'pin' races of interest to the top of what can often be a very long list of races, especially during the summer, and on Saturdays and Bank Holidays.

To select a race, just click the star to the left; and to deselect, click the same star a second time.

Here's a short three-minute video showing how you can use 'My Races' in conjunction with the racecard filters to rapidly whittle your idea of the wheat from the remaining chaff.



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Gold Nuggets #4: Using QT to Find Race Trends

In this week's Gold Nuggets, I show you how to use our awesome Query Tool to drill down into a race's history in search of profiles, patterns and, heck let's say it, trends! I've used the example of the Thyestes Chase, a high class extended three-mile handicap which often throws up a Grade 1 performer of the future. See what you think...



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My 2021 Betting P&L

It is with the usual trepidation that I share what follows, fully cognisant that not all receive such things in the spirit with which they are intended. However, regular readers will know how important I believe it is to 'walk the talk', which is why I have begun to share my betting P&L on an annual basis. You can review last year's here, for example, should you so wish.

In the video below you'll find a full rundown of the withdrawals from and deposits to my bank account in 2021. Before you look at that, though, a few important points:

  1. Plenty bet more than me, plenty bet less than me. So what?! This is not about absolute figures, it's about the art of the possible, and how fun and profit (whatever that figure looks like for you - after all, getting paid pennies for having fun is a great outcome) are not mutually exclusive.
  2. I'm not sharing this to show off (obviously) but, rather, to show off Geegeez Gold, which of course I use almost exclusively (along with odds comparison data).
  3. This is not turnover, which was much higher. Funds in accounts generally get played many times before withdrawals are made.
  4. I have LOTS of accounts, plenty of them now useless, and I use all of the ones where I can still bet more than £5! Taking 3/1 when 7/2 is available is just stupid if your bottom line is a key consideration: please don't do it.
  5. I had plenty of small losing accounts in 2021, and one big losing account (Betfair, which I often use to hedge pool bets) as well as a couple of good winning ones; that's a function of how I bet.
  6. Guessing on racing betting turnover is tricky but probably in the region of £80,000. So that's a moderate 3% or so ROI, which is a little shy of what I'd aspire to (around 5%).
  7. These figures are never life-changing, but to get paid a bit for having, like, weeks of fun is outlook-changing. I bought more bits of racehorses in lieu of being able to go away much. 🙂
  8. I have around £1,500 in account balances, and also some healthy looking ante post tickets - but similar was true last year, so those can find their place in the 2022 digest.
  9. It has become clear to me from the small debits on my bank statement that I drink too much posh café coffee... [There are worse vices, right?]

So here goes: a recording of me downloading 2021's bank transactions and removing the non-betting ones to leave just the betting entries.

Matt

p.s. How did YOU do? Not really interested in 'actual money' figures, but rather did you make a profit? Did you make a smaller loss (which is the single most important step any punter can take)? Or was 2021 tougher for you punting-wise? What worked for you, or not? Leave a comment below and share your experience.



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The Ultimate Guide to Betting on Horses and Using Geegeez Gold

This Q&A article is designed to highlight and explain possible betting angles in horse racing and different ways to get the best out of Geegeez Gold. This will be added to on a regular basis, answering questions from YOU, the readers. 

For all questions there will be answers from each of Matt Bisogno, Sam Darby and Chris Worrall. Everyone has a slightly different approach when it comes to betting on horses so you should expect differing answers from all three contributors.

If you have a question you’d like to ask the Geegeez panel, about horse racing in general or specifically their use of Geegeez Gold, please post your query in the comments section and we’ll do our best to include it in the next round of answers.

How do you approach looking for bets with Geegeez Gold?

 

Matt: I’ve a number of things I’m looking for, some situational and some more general. The first and most important thing, in my view, is to choose the right races. Race selection is under-rated and yet, if fishing in shallower pools, we have a much better chance of getting a result. Because of the nature of Geegeez Gold, which is geared much more towards form profiles, I tend to look for races where the horses have already run plenty of times (and therefore we know pretty much their level of ability).

In such races, it is rare that one suddenly steps forward significantly, and so it is often a case of finding the one best suited by the conditions. Tools like Instant Expert, the pace tab and, for flat races, draw tab all feature strongly in my analysis.

More specifically, some of the things I’m keen on marking up (because I believe they’re generally under-rated) are extremes of going (heavy, firm) or field size (very small or 16+ runner fields), specialist distances (5f, 9f, 2m2f+ on flat, 3m6f+ over jumps), first/second time scenarios (trainer records with first or second time in a handicap), change of trainer, distance move, and so on.

For those of you more experimental (and experienced), taking a keen interest in sectional data can be rewarding. Identifying horses with a likely similar pace scenario today from when they recorded a strong sectional figure can be very worthwhile. Our Fast Finishers report is valuable to that end, and comes into its own during the AW season in my view.

Ultimately, I’m looking for value by using bits of information others might not be. Choosing the right races is a big leg up, and then Geegeez Gold can help hugely thereafter.

This video post on Race Selection may help.

 

Sam: In most races I already have an idea of what I’m going to be backing as I’ll be guided by my tracker entries. The races in which my tracker horses are entered are those that initially interest me.

First of all I’ll remind myself of why they are in my tracker, by either checking my notes or checking the strength of their recent runs (in nearly every case I’ll have added them as they’ve run well in a ‘hot’ race). Then I’ll go through the other runners in the race and I’ll check how my tracked runners are likely to be advantaged or disadvantaged by the run of the race based on course pace and draw biases and the pace setup of the race, so heavy use of the draw and pace tabs. 

If there are unknowns about any of the runners, particularly ground or distance, I’ll often use the sire tab on the Profiler tool to check their likely suitability. I’ll use all this info to determine whether or not those runners are a bet and if they are, the strength of that bet.

There are also courses where I always have a quick look through to see if there are any in form front runners likely to get an easy lead. I only do this for front runner favouring courses. I use the pace maps to get a quick snapshot of the pace setup and then I check the form of any lone pace angles. If they have the form to be competitive I’ll look at the entire race in more detail before deciding if that front runner is a bet or not.

 

Chris: As many of you are already aware, I’m predominantly a stats-based bettor and I use the query tool and report suites to highlight runners that might interest me. I then weed out those in races I don’t like getting involved in, sticking mainly (but not exclusively) to handicaps, where there’s plenty of data to work with.

Trainers are generally pretty fixed in their ways and once they find an approach that works for them, they’re loathe to change and that’s why I follow the stats. If trainer xyz excels in staying handicaps on testing ground and he suddenly has one out, then I’ll take a look, then I use the toolkit to assess whether conditions will suit the horse, before moving to pace and where relevant, draw.

But, I should re-iterate what I’ve said elsewhere, lists of horses from statistical reports, either created by myself or by the Geegeez report suite are only ever an initial excuse/reason to look at a race, they’re not a list of bets.

What do you think is the most underrated angle/aspect of form study?

 

Matt: Two things spring to mind. First, run style - especially front runners from higher draws - can be a gold mine. And secondly, exposed horses (i.e. those that have run many times already and have few secrets from the formbook) in exposed handicaps. 

It is often said that such horses “take it in turns to win”. That is true, but the inference - that it is impossible to know which will have its turn today - is incorrect. A combination of a competitive (relative to personal history) handicap mark, favourable draw and/or run style, and the right track and trip normally see a horse in the mix. That will often be factored into its price, of course, but still quite often it is not.

 

Sam: I still think pace biases are generally underappreciated, both by punters and bookies. In terms of course biases, using Chester as an example, bookmakers are obviously well aware of the effect of the draw and in most 5f handicaps the first three in the betting will be drawn in the lowest stalls. They are strongly reacting to the likely effect of the draw - and rightly so.

However in these same races the odds rarely reflect the likely pace bias to the same degree. You’ll see runners likely to be held up in last heading the betting over something, with not too dissimilar form levels, that will be ridden prominently.

Chester is a pretty obvious one but there are loads of courses in the UK where front runners can be heavily favoured where in my opinion front runners are being allowed to go off at too big a price. So understanding these course biases is crucial for me and it’s obviously something I find Geegeez Gold helps me a lot with.

 

Chris: At the risk of following the herd, I’d have to agree with my colleagues here. Pace, tempo, race tactics, running styles, call it what you will, but that’s the thing I’ve found has helped the most over the last year since getting more switched on to it. Some tracks suit the front runner, some don’t. Some benefit those who get waited with.

I’d also contend that track layout/tightness of bends and proximity of the first and last bends to the starting/finishing post are often overlooked, as these can massively affect horses drawn closest to the bend. Those who follow F1 will know about racing lines and how approaching a bend from off the rail and almost “cutting the corner” can be the quickest way from a to b, even if it’s a slightly longer route.

How much time do you spend studying racing, outside of your Geegeez contributions, in an average week

 

Matt: It all depends on what’s happening. Life is busy (good busy, generally!) and I, like everyone else, have to work around that. But I’m able to get a really good feel for at least a few races in relatively short order using the race selection approach and then the Gold toolkit.

When I’m framing a Win 6 syndicate, I’ll spend a good couple of hours (or more) piecing everything together; if betting in a couple of races, it might only be 15-30 minutes.

Over the course of an average week, with say five betting days, I’d be in the form book six to eight hours, I guess.

A weird side note: I don’t generally bet ‘seriously’ on a Saturday. Most pro’s do, and I’m not a pro (though I have a profit expectation from betting, which I’ve realised most years), so fair enough; but I’ve always found it hyper competitive.

 

Sam: On average I’ll dedicate around 12 hours to form study and research. Obviously this varies depending on the racing, during big meetings such as Royal Ascot I’ll probably spend something closer to 3-4 hours each day but on poorer weeks I might only need an hour or less a day to get through the meetings.

My time spent on racing is split into two general parts. The first would be looking at future races, after the final decs are out, and the second part would be research into past races, looking for future winners and horses to add to my tracker. This second part usually takes a couple of hours a week during the early months of the flat season.

The vast majority of my bets are on flat racing and I tend to only get involved in the very biggest jumps races so I’m far less active/busy in the winter months, preferring to concentrate on the all weather action. This helps me switch off a bit from racing (as much as I can!) for a few months a year and keeps me fresh in time for the next flat season.

 

Chris: I'd probably say that I actually spend only about an hour a day max, because I do much of my study/research for the next day at the same time as I'm writing Racing Insights. RI is only a two/three minute read at best for most people, but I spend a good couple of hours pulling it together after I've considered other races/angles etc, so it's not an exact science. 

I struggle to compartmentalise how much time any specific task takes as I'm often doing two or three things at the same time, but I'd probably say I've got racecards & stats etc in front of my face for three hours a day, except Saturdays, when (a) I don't bet and (b) I tend to take most of the day off.

What is your go to report on Geegeez Gold?

 

Matt: I built them so it may be little surprise that I use most of them! I check Fast Finishers daily, and will always scan Trainer Snippets, 2yo 1st run, HC1 and Trainer Change. TJ Combo I’ll look at less than I used to, as typically I’ll get that intel from the jockey form icon on the racecard.

And then, of course, I’ll be all over my Report and QT Angles, which again I view within the racecard of the race I’m looking at. 

The inference from the above is that I’m usually a ‘bottom up’ form student, looking within a race for the snippets of interest to me. That’s as different from a ‘top down’ form student, who might go looking for a bet based on, for example, the best TJ combo record on a given day. 

There’s no right or wrong way, and I’ve flitted between the two approaches over time (and still do). But, more often than not, I’ll start with the race and work from there. Did I mention race selection is crucial? 😉

 

Sam: Anyone who has read any of my previous content might be expecting me to say the Hot Form Report - and it’s an excellent report - but most of my hot form research is done before we get to the final declarations and most of the runners I want to follow, because of hot form, are already in my tracker.

The report I get the most use out of is the Trainer Change Report. I’m never quite sure what to do when one of the horses I am tracking changes stable and this is when I’ll check the Trainer Change Report. I’m not only interested in win percentages, place percentages, PRB and so on but I also like to look at the list of qualifying runners, checking their odds, the field sizes they ran in, etc. I’ll use all of this data to make a judgement call on how likely I think they are to run to previous form - or even improve on it. These runners are often off the track for a while before making the stable debut so I’ll always check the trainer record after 60+ day breaks too.

Very recently this report played a crucial role in having a strong bet on Chillsea at Wolverhampton as Tom Ward had a strong record with runners making their debuts after a stable change.

 

Chris: Probably Horses for Courses and Head to Head from the horse form reports and Trainer Stats / TJC and trainer change from the trainer form reports.

H4C speaks for itself, some horses just go better at certain tracks. There's probably something else affecting the horse on that day, but some are suited by certain conditions. Head to head on its own doesn't tell me too much, but when you delve into that race and assess the margin of defeat, how they've both ran since and the change/swing in weight, it can be very helpful, even if only to rule a bet out.

Most of you have read my stat-based pieces, so my reasons for using Trainer Stats and TJC are pretty obvious, but the Trainer Change angle might not be. A fresh trainer/approach can invigorate a failing horse, but I'm not really just looking for horses that have switched yards. I want to see horses moving yards and then tackling races their previous handler(s) wouldn't have entered them in. 

For example a struggling two-mile hurdler moves to a yard with a good record with stayers, he's in the yard for a while and then comes back from a break to run over three miles. he's doing something he's never done, but for a yard successful in that type of race. It's a bit of a leap of faith sometimes, but you have to assume they'll have prepped well.

How do you determine when a bet is a bet when it comes to price?

 

Matt: This is tricky because for me it’s quite feel based. And, within that, there is no room for atom-splitting. That is, I need to feel like there’s a fair margin in my favour. If I see a horse with a combination of suitable pace setup, back class (i.e. has performed well against conditions historically but not necessarily recently), respectable trainer, and/or interesting change today (1st handicap, up/down in trip, equipment/surgery, trainer switch etc), then I want to know the price.

If I can only get a subset of those criteria boxes ticked, then I want more of a price to counter the decreased likelihood I perceive of the horse winning. 

Quite often it is true that if I find a horse with the combination of factors I’m seeking, in a race where many/most of its rivals are less obviously suited, the price is acceptable. This, I think, is because things like run style preference and back form are underrated in the early markets. Those components are typically subsumed into the price by off time but I’m not betting SP or even on the show generally, so that’s the opportunity to find my idea of value. And, of course, Geegeez Gold is set up specifically to isolate this type of runner!



Sam: This is a great question and is probably one of the key factors in separating the good punters from the bad.

I’ll often formulate my bet shortlists before I know what the prices are going to be, or when only William Hill have priced the races up and most will know how reliable those prices are! So there is always a bit of guesswork involved as to what price my intended bets will be. 

I’m drawn more to competitive handicaps so the vast majority of my shortlisted bets will be a fair enough price to back, but how do I decide that? I don’t price up the entire race as it would serve no purpose for me, I’m not looking to back or lay anything outside of my shortlisted bets. I will however have a rough price in my head for each runner and that obviously plays a huge roll in what I back and more importantly, how much I stake. The prices I assign to my shortlisted runners are based on how well handicapped I think a horse is, how likely it is to run its race and how deep the opposition is.

There are prices I expect a horse to be and prices I think they should be. These are related but not the same. I might think a runner should be around 6/1 but I expect to get around 10/1. I’d perhaps still have something on even if it was 4/1, but it would be a much smaller bet than intended. Sometimes these runners end up at say 14/1 and in that case I’d have a much bigger bet than expected. 

In most cases I expect the bookies to underestimate the horses I’m interested in so I’ll expect to get a bigger price than I think they should be. From there it’s rarely a case of having cut off points about backing them but more of a sliding scale depending on price. The shorter it is compared to what I think it should be, the smaller my stake, the bigger it is in comparison to my expectations, the bigger the stake. In most cases I’d stake more on a 10/1 shot than a 2/1 shot.



Chris: For me, a bet is a bet when the odds reflect an equal or better return compared with the chance I think the horse has of winning.

If I think the horse has a 1 in 3 chance of winning, then I want 9/4 or better. I’m not interested in strike rates, it has to be about profit/ROI and if you don’t get “value” on your bets, you’ll find it very hard to make profit.

Basically a coin toss is a 50/50 chance ie even money. The bookie will give you 10/11 at best, because he needs to make a profit, so conversely I want at least 11/10 on an evens chance.

I suppose the real question is how you decide what kind of chance you think a horse has and that’s where you then need to delve into recent results to see how the horse ran, how its opponents from previous races have fared and also how your horse has performed under similar race conditions previously. 

If a horse has recently completed a hat-trick on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton and then runs on Polytrack elsewhere, he’s likely to go off/be priced much shorter than he should be, unless he’s also proven on Poly. The market is often driven by the 5 or 6 results shown to the left of the name, but results with no context are worth very little.

What is your process for adding horses to your tracker?

 

Matt: Part 1: Identification - Exclusively from watching racing, or from sectional times. The key with tracker horses from watching races - or indeed from sectional times - is to look beyond the obvious. The one that flies home for second is missed by nobody; the one who made great late gains into a never nearer sixth and is bred for further is notebook/tracker material. Or the one to run well from the wrong side of the draw, or to only fade late after setting crazy fractions. 

Part 2: Documentation -  Adding a horse to a tracker requires context. Here’s a (convenient, of course) example from my own tracker of a horse that just won: 

30/12/21: HC1, close up before outpaced and then staying on well at the death, btn 2L. By Al Kazeem, a step up in trip should see him go close next time.

I usually add the trip/class/going it ran over. That race was over 9.5f at Wolves and today she won over 11f at Southwell; she needed every yard of the distance and will probably improve again for a further increase in trip.

Importantly, I would have let her beat me at shorter trips because I will only bet tracker horses in the circumstances I’ve identified. Obviously that doesn’t always pan out as I’d like, but it is very important discipline overall, and the key to tracker success.

Part 3: Housekeeping - Horses cannot and should not stay on the tracker indefinitely. At least every two to three months (depending on how much weeding your tracker needs - more entries equals more weeding!), have a look through and cull at least a small percentage. And beware the cliff horse: if you can’t bear to see it win unsupported, just cut your stakes back and understand where you are emotionally with the horse!!

 

Sam: Anyone who has read any of my content on Geegeez will know I’m a big fan of hot form and that is responsible for nearly all of the horses that are added to my tracker. 

Every couple of weeks, especially in the first four or five months of the flat season, I go through every single handicap race result. I normally try to stay two or three weeks behind to ensure a few runners have already come out of the races I am looking at. From there, using the brilliant Future Form tab on the race results pages on Geegeez, I either ignore the race if it’s not working out, bookmark the results page if there isn’t enough evidence yet about the strength of the form and if the race is working out I’ll add the most interesting runners to my tracker. 

I’ll revisit those bookmarks regularly and once there is enough subsequent form to make a judgement I’ll delete the bookmark, adding runners from the race if the form is working out or ignoring the race if the form hasn’t worked out. .

I probably only back about half of the runners on my tracker each day, if that. Some I’m extremely keen to be with next time and others I’m only interested in them in certain circumstances. They might be course specialists, runners that need a very strong pace to aim at, etc.



Chris: To be honest, I don’t use trackers as much as (a) you’d expect or (b) others do, but I’ll add horses to my tracker, if I feel they were “unlucky” in running or possibly didn’t get the best ride (yes, it happens). I’ll also add winners who just did enough to win, but looked like they had plenty in hand, but there’s no real science to that, it’s pure opinion formed from watching the races.

Once I start tracking a horse, I’ll only leave them there for a couple or three races, before revisiting them to see if they’re still worth keeping an eye on. Quite often, they’ll have won and have been weighted out of it by the handicapper or conversely, they’ve produced nothing and have gone backwards. With the latter, I tend to just remove them, with the former, I’ll often leave them on the tracker, but I’ll add a note about what mark/OR/class etc I’d like to see it drop back to.

How much importance do you place on watching races back when looking through form, as opposed to relying on in running comments?

 

Matt: I don’t have time to watch a lot of race replays, so it’s one of those things where I know - and advocate - that reviewing races will improve the selection process; but I, like everyone, have to find an optimum approach that fits with everything else I do. 

The advantage I have over many is that I do watch a lot of racing live whilst working, so I’m able to add to my tracker; and, furthermore, I review sectional times so I’m not just relying on the ol’ peepers, which can deceive us sometimes.

 

Sam: I wasn’t a massive race re watcher until a couple of years ago, preferring to go almost 100% off form lines and in running comments, however in recent years I have started to watch replays and I’ve found it has helped massively.

The main reason I watch a race replay is to make my own judgements about horses that suffered trouble in running, were having their first runs after a break or may benefit from a change in distance.

I find that in running comments often do a poor job of describing how much traffic some horses encounter and even more so how much running they have left at the finish. I can usually make a much better judgement after watching a reply.

A not so great run after a break can mean a lot of things, and I’m no expert at deducing how much a horse is likely to come on for the run, but you can usually get an idea about if it was just race fitness they were lacking or if they’ve lost their ability. If I’m taking a positive view about something it will usually be because the horse has traveled well until a furlong or so out but just weaked more than most in the final 200 yards. 

It’s a similar feeling with horses changing trips. Just because a horse finishes well it doesn’t mean they need to go up in trip (I’m normally looking for something that was outpaced a couple of furlongs out). Likewise a horse that fades doesn’t necessarily want to go down in trip. Replays are more useful than in running comments when sussing these out.



Chris: In-running comments can only give you a brief overview of one other person’s opinion and to take them at face value is akin to following the selections made by a newspaper “tipster” on a Saturday, where he’ll select a horse from every race. He hasn’t time to do that selection process properly, just as the in-running person doesn’t really have the time (and probably inclination) to do a thorough job. 

That said, I do look at in-running comments from a couple of sources initially to see if there’s a common suggestion as to why/how a horse ran like it did and then I’ll go back and look at the race for myself, with half an eye out for something I’m already expecting to happen.

How do you quantify what mark a horse can run to because of differing race conditions (ground, distance, etc)?

 

Matt: This is not really my thing because, basically, I am very bad at the ratings side of the game. I’ve always felt that, especially in exposed form handicaps (i.e. where they’ve all run a hundred times already), it is the horse best suited to conditions that makes the best bet. 

In other words, I’m trusting the handicapper to have pegged the approximate ability level of a horse by the time it has run, say, six or eight times; and thereafter I can use the evidence of the form book to see how it stacks up against the race class. 

I wouldn’t back the best horse in a race (in form terms) if it didn’t have the best fit from a draw, pace, ground, class, field size perspective. In fact, that sort of fella makes the market for the less obvious (ostensibly, at least) one I do want to back!

When it comes to such as novice races, nurseries and early season three-year-old handicaps, I defer to others, or to the MO of the trainer or any pedigree hints. Generally, I avoid those races because I don’t know enough - and there are too many capable of leaping forward from what they’ve shown so far.

 

Sam: When it comes to race conditions I tend to be a bit more black and white rather than trying to assign precise marks horses can win off. Instead I initially concentrate more on drawing up a shortlist of those that I think will run to form and are capable of being competitive. If conditions (going, distance, pace and draw mainly) are suitable they’ll probably run to form and my judgement on how competitive they’ll be is largely based on the strength of their recent form, by looking at the subsequent runs of those who finished around them previously (looking for hot or cold form).

If I need to decide which runner from a shortlist of two or three is the ‘one’, I still won’t necessarily assign a value of how well in, in terms of pounds, the runners might be. Instead I’ll usually consider how much improvement they might have if they are lightly raced (based on trainer, breeding, visuals) and also a lot may come down to how well positioned they should be based on how the race will be run. For more exposed runners I’ll consider previous marks they’ve run well off in similar conditions. That’s not to say if they’ve won off 88 and are rated 80 today I’ll assume they are 8lbs well in, more so that they should have some wiggle room off their current mark.

The one time I really do tend to assign a more precise ‘potential’ rating, rather than just working off ‘well handicapped in conditions’ v ‘not well handicapped in conditions’, is when evaluating some hot form lines. If the winner of a race has subsequently rated 16lbs higher and the 3rd has rated 12lbs higher, it’s often safe to assume the runner up can rate around 14lbs higher. There are a lot of other factors involved in evaluating that but it’s a simplistic example.

 

Chris: Ah, ratings! Personally, I find them quite unreliable : just look around, there are hundreds of ratings available for every race and they rarely agree with each other. Ratings tend not to take into consideration race conditions and those along with pace/draw are more important factors, as are horse/trainer/jockey form.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for ratings as a guide, but as an example a horse running to a mark of 80 over 5f on good ground at Brighton probably won’t run to that mark over 6f on good to soft ground at Haydock, where good to soft generally means soft! So the horse may be rated at 80 under optimum conditions, but does he get 6f? can he handle mud? If his past form suggests he can do 6f on softer ground, then you could rate him at 82+ and so on.

Horses are given a mark based on what they’ve already done and so that weights for their next race can be allotted. Our job is to work out how they’ll actually run in the future under different race conditions and mentally adjust their official mark.


If you have any questions for the panel please post them below in the comments section.

 

 

 



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Introducing “Bet Finder”

As longer term readers/subscribers will know, we're constantly investing in improving geegeez.co.uk and, in particular, the toolkit that is Geegeez Gold. In the past year and a half, we've added a new metric (Percentage of Rivals Beaten), the Profiler tab in the cards, a more mobile friendly version of the entire site, new reports for 1st time headgear and sectional fast finishers, and a whole host of smaller changes.

Many of those changes were perhaps geared towards more dedicated or experienced bettors; mindful of that, we wanted to do something that would have broader appeal and, arguably, would be more accessible to our army of casual/time-pressed players. And so, I'd like to introduce you to Bet Finder, the sixth tool in the Geegeez Gold kit bag, and free to all registered users for the remainder of September.

To help you get up and running straight away, there is a video below where I put Bet Finder through its paces and, after that, some words and pictures about the new tool for those who prefer to read than to listen.

What exactly is Bet Finder?

Bet Finder is a tool that allows the quick filtering of the hundreds of horses entered each day down to a handful of interest to you. It is literally push button easy to use.

Consisting of two tabs - Filters and Qualifiers - we begin on the Filters view, which looks like this:

 

Above is the 'fully open' view, and users can hide or show all sections with the '+' and '-' buttons top left:

 

 

Clicking on any blue header block will open that specific section. Here I've opened the 'Basic Filters' section:

 

There are buttons top right for 'Today' and 'Tomorrow', and to 'Reset' the filters.

[Note that when looking at the 'Tomorrow' data, some ratings do not get published until the evening.]

 

Selecting a filter will highlight it and reduce the value in brackets  on the Qualifiers tab button - the number of qualifying horses satisfying the selected criteria.

 

In the example above, I've selected 'Beaten Favourite last time out' and 'Up in Class'. The Qualifiers tab tells me there are three horses matching those criteria.

Clicking the 'Qualifiers' button displays them:

 

The qualifier table can be sorted by any of the column headings, and clicking on the race time will take you to the race in question for further analysis if you're that way inclined.

There is a green 'CSV' button top right in the 'Qualifiers' view from which users may download the filtered list of qualifiers.

Beneath the Bet Finder tool itself is an explanation of what the filters are. Here, for example, are the explainers for 'Advanced Trainer Form Positive':

 

Where can I find the Bet Finder tool?

Bet Finder can be found from the Tools page here, or from the Tools menu anywhere on site.

 

Do I have access to Bet Finder?

If you want it, yes! From now until the end of September, Bet Finder is free to all registered users. From October onwards, it will move into the premium Geegeez Gold service.

If you're not already a registered subscriber, you can register here. If you are, and/or you're a Gold subscriber, just make sure you're logged in and go to the Bet Finder page.

 

I very much hope you'll find this new tool useful, and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do share them in the 'replies' space below.

And if you're enjoying some success with a particular combination of filters and are happy to share, please do!

Thanks, and Good Luck!

Matt



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Geegeez Gold: May 2021 Upgrades

Another month, another set of new features within Geegeez Gold designed to help you know more than other people about a race.

Before we start...

Request Geegeez Desktop Site

Did you know?

Mobile users hankering after the good old bad old days of pinch and swipe to expand the desktop view on a phone...

...can still do that!

Within the Chrome browser, tap the three dots menu option top right and then scroll down to "Desktop Site" and tap the check box. (See image)

Hey presto - it's back to the future!

If you use non-Android type of mobile device, this google search will likely find the right answer.

I hope that's helpful for anyone still struggling to come to terms with our slightly different mobile layout.

 

Right, back in the room. What's new in this release?

Fast Finishers report

The first of two new reports is the long-awaited Fast Finishers report. It is based on our sectional timing database and highlights horses that may have performed better - or may be capable of performing better - than first met the eye. These are typically horses that expended their energy sub-optimally for one reason or another, the contention being that with a more even distribution of their effort they could improve.

The report highlights horses which have completed the closing section of their race notably faster (2.5% or more) than the race finishing speed.

The report looks like this:

The race tempo - three coloured and labelled blocks - is included so users may compare with the pace projection in the PACE tab for today’s race.

The report can be filtered by finishing position in the ‘Fast Finisher’ race (FF Pos), number of runs since the FF race, the race finishing speed percentage (FSP), the horse FSP, and/or the sectional upgrade (Sec Upg) earned.

HINT: Look for either a recent run, or an older run where conditions match today’s. Also, importantly, consider whether the race today is likely to be run at a similar tempo to the one where the fast finish was achieved.

 

1st Time Headgear / Surgery Report

Also new in this release is something we're calling HS1 - no relation to the high speed rail link whose implementation polarising opinion almost as much as the two parts of the country it is slated to unite!

This view displays the two-year record of trainers running horses for the first time in specific headgear, or since undergoing publicly recorded surgery. It's a similar layout - the same, in fact - to Trainer and Sire Snippets, but naturally with different content.

Here's how it looks:

The 'All' tab is a rollup of the content from the individual headgear and surgery views, and may be the handiest digest on a daily basis.

It is worth saying that, in the main, the application of headgear should not be seen as a positive and, as such, most trainers have negative records. In the same vein, though to a lesser extent, surgical interventions imply a degree of dissatisfaction with prior track performance.

Note: horses gelded or having had wind surgery prior to their first start are excluded from the report, as are horses with a first time headgear combination (e.g. blinkers and tongue tie).

 

Fast Results Course Dropdown

Sometimes we just want to know the results from a single meeting, say for example when we've made a placepot bet or the like. On busier racing days it can be difficult to isolate those races of interest from the swathe of results... until now. We've added a handy course dropdown so you can get just the results from the meeting you're interested in.

It lives in the top block, here:

...and has very few surprises. In the below example, I've selected Lingfield on Saturday (where geegeez-sponsored rider Marco Ghiani recorded a near 153/1 double - go Marco!)...

Fast Results Course Dropdown

Fast Results Course Dropdown

Show / hide odds toggle on racecard

Some people like to assess races blind - that is, without knowing the market - and we encourage users to try this at least from time to time as a barometer of race reading skill. To facilitate that, we already have an option on your My Geegeez page to show/hide odds.

But now we've made it even simpler to hide (and then display) the odds with a toggle button right in the race details bar. It can be found in the blue bar, and looks like this:

Odds toggle

Odds toggle

 

 

Minor fixes / amendments

As well as the above, we've made a few bug fixes and small changes, as follows:

Removed the odds requirement when rating a race

Up until now, if you wanted to add comments or ratings into the racecard option behind the 'calculator' icon, you needed to include an estimate of odds. Now you don't if you don't want to. It's still reasonable practice to do that, in order to see how close to 100% (ish) book you can get, but it should be your choice. It is now.

 

By time racecard sortation fix

We recently introduced a bug to the sortation of the 'by time' view of today's races - a very useful feature, for me at least. That's fixed in this release.

 

CSV export on Report Angles

In line with other reports, we now have a csv export function on the Report Angles report. It's the green button top right.

 

**

As always with new stuff, there is scope for issues to arise, either with the new stuff itself or, very occasionally, breaking something existing. If you spot anything we've missed, please do drop us a line to let us know. We'll get it sorted pronto.

Hope you like these new components. There are no game changers this time, but a good deal more helpful insight for your horseracing betting.

Matt



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Geegeez Upgrades: 26th April 2021

If you logged into the geegeez racecards this morning and were surprised or confused by what you saw, sorry about that, and let me explain.

The video below highlights the four small (but highly visible) changes made, as do the words and pictures beneath the video - if you prefer to read than to watch.

 

Four small changes

  1. Expandable / collapsible race meetings

We've tidied up the racecard menu page further by hiding all races behind their meeting header bar, as you can see below.

Clicking on a blue bar, for example, Naas, opens the races for that meeting:

Clicking the '+' or '-' buttons top left will expand all or collapse all meetings. Nice and tidy.

 

2. Added Irish racecourse info links

We've also added links to our Irish racecourse information pages. These are packed full of intel regarding course layout, draw or run style biases, top trainers and jockeys, upcoming races, recent results, latest news and more.

We now have these in place for all courses and I encourage you to check them out if you haven't already, especially for courses you're maybe less familiar with.

 

3. Mobile card menu tweaks

We've streamlined the mobile menu to provide more space in your device's 'viewport' for the actual race you're looking at. To do that, we simply removed some of the date buttons and placed them behind a dropdown.

As you can see below, things are a bit slicker now.

 

4. Added Race Conditions data

The sole 'new data' upgrade is the addition of race conditions information. This is found in the blue race bar on the right hand side. Clicking on that link reveals, inline, the conditions for the race. This is especially useful in non-handicap races where the weights horses carry are often a little confusing without such insight.

 

There is, as ever, more coming soon, so stay tuned!

Matt



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Watch This! Geegeez Mobile Coming This Week

I'm excited to share that, later this week, we'll be introducing the new mobile version of the Geegeez Gold racecards and form tools. There will be little to no change to the desktop cards and tools, but users on tablet and mobile will see a quite distinctive new style. In the video below, I walk through how things will be in the new 'better mobile' world.

NOTE: This is change. Humans don't like change. Some things will require a little getting used to. Stick with it, please. I have, and I can tell you I now find the new mobile cards miles better than they were (and miles better than any others out there 😉  ). But, of course, I would say that, wouldn't I?!

Here's the vid...



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Sneak Preview: Geegeez is going Mobile

Not before time, in fact long after time is probably fairer to say, we're moving our services into the mobile world. The truth is that this has been something I've considered, and subsequently deferred, multiple times annually for the past five years.

The reason? It's really difficult to fit all of the racecard content you know and love into a smartphone screen (called a 'viewport').

My take has always been that it's better not to do something at all than to make a token effort at it, and so we've always shied from a mobile version of Geegeez Gold. Until now.

A further admission is that the reason we are working hard on a mobile version right now is that our hand has been forced somewhat. Google, who are a major source of new users discovering geegeez.co.uk, have since the start of 2021 introduced a 'mobile first' ranking policy. In plain English, if your site doesn't work well on a mobile device, you cannot expect to appear anywhere near the top of the search results. Bummer.

Anyway, that's the back story to how we've been working hard to bring the racecards and form tools fully into the mobile-iverse. And in the remainder of this article, I want to share where we've got to. As you'll see, we're not there yet; and as you'll also see we have had to make some concessions because of space constraints. It's my view that the more dedicated users will always prefer a desktop (or laptop) device to undertake their form study; but I also feel increasingly that we can offer a hefty subset of the most popular components on the smart device in your pocket. And tablet users may find their experience matches that of desktop/laptop.

IMPORTANT: THE DESKTOP VERSION YOU'RE USED TO WILL NOT CHANGE!

We're still working on the racecards and results tabs - they are the most complicated because they have the most features and functions - but the remainder of the racecards have been mobile-ized, as follows...

 

Cards Menu

The first page you land on when looking at a day's racing is the menu page. Desktop looks like this:

The new mobile version looks like this. The date buttons, plus search and tracker, have been neatly added at the top, with the dropdowns for all races and reports still available.

Below that, as you can see, part of the race titles cannot be seen, but these are visible by dragging across with your finger. The mobile version uses something called 'horizontal scroll' to enable users to easily view data at the right hand end of tables, and the first instance of that is on the cards menu.

Geegeez mobile racecard menu page

Geegeez mobile racecard menu page

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Full Form

Desktop Full Form looks like this and, of course, that is a LOT of content to fit into a mobile window, especially in portrait (i.e. how we normally hold our phones: taller and thinner, rather than the shorter wider phone-on-its-side 'landscape') view.

The mobile Full Form also uses horizontal scroll in the data areas (second image below). We've recreated everything from the desktop version, including the 'show/hide' ability for Filters, Race Record, Race Entries and Race Form. These are how the Filters display on mobile.

Full Form race filters have been faithfully replicated on mobile

Full Form race filters have been faithfully replicated on mobile

And here is the data content area:

Full Form data uses horizontal scroll to incorporate all information on a mobile viewport

Full Form data uses horizontal scroll to incorporate all information on a mobile viewport

In the above image, I've scrolled across a little so both the start and end of the table data are out of sight. Having been playing for a few days, this is a surprisingly useful way of displaying more information than there is room for on screen. [Of course, more is visible in landscape mode, i.e. if you rotate your phone 90 degrees; and tablet presents a fantastic - probably better even than desktop - experience].

 

Profiler

Profiler is also a complete and faithful replication of the desktop version, again using horizontal scroll to display the elements at the right hand end of tables. In this tab, most users are interested in the left hand side of the cyan highlighted rows and so this will work 'as is' for them.

Profiler works pretty much *native* on mobile

Profiler works pretty much *native* on mobile

 

Instant Expert

Instant Expert has presented a lot of challenges, for two reasons. Firstly, it is our most popular view and so absolutely has to be the best it can be. Secondly, there is a huge amount of intel crammed into the view. Alas, those two elements are not especially compatible, so we've designed different views for portrait and landscape.

Portrait View

Looking at your phone in portrait (tall, thin) mode will display a basic overview of Instant Expert:

Instant Expert in portrait is a basic overview of the relevant form credentials of the field

Instant Expert in portrait is a basic overview of the relevant form credentials of the field

We've retained 'win/place', 'all/hcap' and the date range filters, as well as the horse/trainer/jockey/sire and race code dropdown options. But we were unable to include the ratings column or the range dropdowns (e.g. going from soft to heavy, etc) in this view.

You'll also notice that the columns have gone from three colour blocks to one - again due to space limitations. The numbers in the blocks are 'runs' (for instance, Al Ozzdi has had three runs on today's going, the 'Go' column) and column sortation is done on the basis of percentages. While that is confusing on the face of it, it enables the retention of two key pieces of information: first, sorting by the horse with the best performance in percentage terms; and second, understanding how many runs that percentage was achieved against (i.e. not discounting a horse who has failed only once against a given criterion and, equally, not marking up a horse too much for going well just once against a given criterion).

Hopefully that all makes sense: the summary is that we've distilled all we can in terms of the available space. And I'm pretty happy with what we've achieved here.

Landscape View

In landscape - with your phone viewed on its side - you will see a much more familiar Instant Expert. Indeed, you'll see everything as you'd expect, including the inline form when tapping on a colour block.

Landscape Instant Expert is very close to the existing desktop version

Landscape Instant Expert is very close to the existing desktop version

All sortation of columns etc works as you know and love, and I'm delighted we've been able to exactly replicate the existing Instant Expert on mobile devices. It was a lot more fiddly than might first appear!

 

Pace

The pace tab is another that fits perfectly on your phone when viewed in landscape (side on), and we again use horizontal scroll to allow you to see everything in the more natural portrait mode. Here's portrait:

Pace tab is replicated faithfully and uses horizontal scroll for its portrait mode

Pace tab is replicated faithfully and uses horizontal scroll for its portrait mode

Again, I've found this to be highly user-friendly even in portrait mode, and a big step up on the current messing around with pinch and zoom involved when out and about.

 

Draw

Draw is a clean experience even in portrait, the two slight changes being horizontal scroll to access the right hand columns in the tables; and the charts being a little more 'square' than is the case on desktop.

Top section of mobile draw tap in portrait mode

Top section of mobile draw tap in portrait mode

I've scrolled across to the right of the table in the above screenshot. As you can see, there are a lot of data in there, so we've added faint grey divider lines to break it up a touch. Still, it is a dense forest of numbers, I grant you.

Below is the heat map in mobile portrait view.

Draw Pace Heat Map in portrait mode

Draw Pace Heat Map in portrait mode

 

Odds

The odds view is a simple one and, though we've moved the form and 'best' columns, I don't think we've lost any of the value of this quick digest of the market.

Mobile odds tab view

Mobile odds tab view

 

Next Steps

So that's where we're at with the development. Right now, we're working on the card and results tabs, which will not include all current features I'm afraid - at least not in portrait mode - simply because of space constraints. Indeed, they will likely look more different than any of the other tabs (except portrait Instant Expert). After that, I'll need to go over everything to ensure it all 'hangs together' as it should. We will be working through the report suite and form tools as well in due course, but the main focus at this time has been on the racecards.

It's always a kiss of death to put release date timescales on these things, so what follows is assuming no major dramas manifest in the coming days: I hope we'll have the mobile cards live before the end of the month. *crosses fingers - and, indeed, legs*

This has been a thorny technical challenge because we didn't build 'from the ground up' but, rather, repurposed our existing content into a mobile format. But we're building it intuitively and to add as much value as possible while you're away from your desk. I promise, bathroom break form study will have never felt so good!

Matt

p.s. we are also working on sectional 'fast finishers' features which ought to be on stream in March. So much to follow in 2021: we're always re-investing in your Geegeez 🏆



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Live Now: New Card / Full Form Components

Our first upgrades of 2021 are now live!

We've added:

- Dam data

- PRB by Race Code on Full Form

- Prize Money (win and total)

- Season Date search on Full Form (due imminently)

All of these can be seen in the five minute video below; and they are, of course, explained in more detail in our comprehensive User Guide (click here for that).

I very much hope you'll find them useful!

Matt

 



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