Stat of the Day, 27th June 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 27th June 2013

Anglophile could never get going last night, and eventually finished in 7th place at 11/4, a good bit shorter than the advised 7/2.

Up to Scotland tonight for 'course horse' in the...

8.50 Hamilton

Today's selection is Barkston Ash, a Hamilton six furlong specialist. Indeed, this five year old has run five times at Hammy, winning once and placing on all five occasions. His full track record is 23122, and the last couple of defeats have been by less than a length each time, implying he's been a little unlucky.

Today it's a Class 4 race, as it was last time, and he has Hopes N Dreams to beat, as he did last time. Barkston is a pound better off with Hopes, and might be better drawn tonight. Jason Hart again takes the ride and, while he wins no points for style, he is quite an effective pilot, and knows our selection very well.

The racecard for this contest is here.

There is some 6/1 available, so we'll break with recent tradition and nominate an each way play at those odds, at Coral, Betfred and William Hill as I write. Fearless punters may like to play the Hopes N Dreams / Barkston Ash reverse exacta/forecast...

As always, do...

Click here for the latest betting on the 8.50 Hamilton

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Sunday Supplement: A Fine Whine…

Sunday Supplement

Sunday Supplement

Sunday supplement

By Tony Stafford

You get those weeks. The previous 14 days brought three winners for my boss: a nice confidence-boost for Lewisham at Kempton; a hard-won novice hurdle win at the same track for Fair Trade and above all a last-to-first York victory for Cousin Khee. All the travel, by car, one trip via Eurotunnel to Chantilly and rail to York went like clockwork. For this week, the clock (and Raymond, my guvnor’s luck) ran down.

It was pretty uneventful until Thursday morning. I got up extra early to swot up on Brian Meehan’s horses (especially Sheikh Hamdan’s tongue-twisters) before setting off at 4 a.m. for the regular drive to Manton work morning. The sausages and bacon were already inserting themselves into my over-active digestion.

I’d got no further than the first traffic lights when I realised I’d left my phone (two numbers one SIM, result of a trip home to Moscow by Mrs S last year) and good job I did. Restored to the full complement, it was back on counting the red traffic lights before Kings Cross (13 is my current record), but I’d only got stopped for the fourth time – Kingsland Road/Richmond Road, Dalston, before the Chinese counter to the early good luck set in. <They say, whatever the front, expect the back, or if you want fried rice, don’t be surprised if they bring boiled>.

Behind an irritating driver who took all day to set off after the interminable wait, I gently pressed on the gas. No gas. Come on, it’s 4.15 and I’m in the middle of a war zone. Within seconds my desperate glance across the road landed on a group of eight young men presumably returning from a club. Lucky I hadn’t listened to the news about Woolwich earlier in the day, or I’d have expired on the spot.

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I’m not a member of the AA (don’t drink, really), or anything else, but a call informed me that for an initial £147 I could expect to be seen within an hour and maybe (if he couldn’t remedy it on the spot), be taken to the nearest garage. A previous incident with unleaded where diesel was more appropriate at a less awkward time of day told me there’s few enough of those, and where there is one they work 9-5 if you’re lucky. I declined his kind offer, spent another three quid (plus extra for length of call) to 118500, asking to be put through to the police as I was in a dangerous spot where the road comes round a bend and straight onto the lights.

They kindly said call 101 – if you didn’t know before, that’s something you’ve got from this whine – and a nice lady answered at once. She and her pals apparently cover the whole Met Police area. While we talked, at least six police cars and vans screamed past over the minute of our conversation, sirens and lights at full power, making my “stuck in the road near the lights” problem sink into insignificance.

Quite seriously she replied to my request to be “pushed round the corner out of the way” with a, “we’re not insured for that in case of injury from pushing you”. Fair enough. I’d already had one slight scare, a guy asking me to wind down the window. “Do you have a cigarette?” I wished to God that those first ten smokes outside Central Foundation grammar school in 1958 had not put me off for life, but answered regretfully in the negative. He took a second look and said, “Shall I push you to the side?”  That achieved, I was slightly less vulnerable to attack by car, but the traffic flow was beginning to increase.

Then I had a brainwave. On all my trips by road to France, I’d never needed to employ the customary kit for driving in that country, but now I got out the pristine, still in plastic, safety triangle and braving the outside, placed it – after some hesitant construction – ten yards behind the car.

No wonder the French are so particular with regard to safety. The first car to come round hove into view in my mirror and seemed to have taken the wrong course, right behind despite the evidence of the triangle and full hazard lights. An Addison Lee taxi, he went right over it; obliterated it and then sheepishly got the wreckage out from under his wheels and handed it back to me.

Then two police cars arrived simultaneously, one clearly on “push” duties, the other presumably on insurance injury watch, but the man and girl, backs to the car pushed me down the slight slope and I steered the car round into a safer spot. Met Police 1, AA 0.

I’d already been onto my man Michael from the garage where Raymond gets his cars, knowing he’s an early riser and more importantly, drives somewhere near my place of distress towards Fulham every day. After half a dozen ten-minute spaced frustrations, he answered at 5.45, dutifully arrived at 6.20 and having got a negative to his “have you a tow-rope?” turned up replete with said accessory.

“Sounds and looks like a fuel pump,” he announced and then attached the rope in preparation of pulling me through the middle of town with the dual requirement of my not smashing into the back of him from five feet away, and getting in and more importantly out of the Congestion Zone by 7 a.m. We got to the key place with literally two minutes to spare, but that elation was tempered by an incident passing Chelsea Bridge. Did you know the kerb sticks out there? Well it does, but I couldn’t see it behind the towing car and I hit it. Needless to say it was Michael that changed the wheel, taking less time than a Mercedes pit stop for fuel at Monaco today. Ask that other Michael, whose colours won yesterday’s Irish 2,000 Guineas in Ireland, who’ll be watching the Grand Prix today from the harbour.

We got to Fulham and the car “went on the machine” whatever that means and soon proved the roadside diagnosis correct. Michael’s smile was akin to my own face in the tipping days when I’d both selected and backed a Grand National winner – had a few of those.

All we needed now was the delivery of and replacing of pump and tyre. I was ready to go at 1.15 – the AA would have been a load of use – a full five hours after Ruth at Brian Meehan’s had called to enquire about my very unusual absence. “We over-ordered breakfast” was said part in fun, part in mild rebuke, but my stomach growled back in answer with only the remnants of a Greggs bacon roll and tea (only about £2.80 the lot), no wonder they issued a profits warning.

So I limped home, settled down to watch racing. Brian had a couple of fancied ones at Sandown, but neither hit the score sheet. Great day all round!

Friday was much better. Home this time, and watched Red Lady improve the customary 40 lengths from the debut run by winning for Brian by four lengths at Haydock and Sefaat running a fine third in the same race which had apparently contained half a dozen well-fancied (Hills’s best, Beckett’s can’t lose, Varian’s and Dascombe’s very good) fillies. Royal Ascot here we come and maybe also with the Dynaformer colt, Eshtiaal, who sluiced home at Yarmouth to only minimal praise from the At the Races tipster, a Timeform man who’d fancied the Mark Johnston top-weight.

The week ended with the “back” to last week’s “front”. Cousin Khee was in at Goodwood, just 2lb higher than York. In the event, he was only fifth, but not too discredited in face of ground “too soft”, track “too undulating”, jockey “Barzalona not the same as Ryan Moore”, and trainer Hughie “possibly too soon after York” putting the tin lid on a day that started with a four-hour ordeal via Hammersmith Bridge – unpassable – M4, ditto, M25 snail’s pace, M3 jammed. It’s probably a pity that the final leg along the M27 (an extra 60 mile trip in all) was clear or else we’d have turned round and gone home. You win some, you lose a lot more. Clever fellows, those Chinese.

Hope the other Michael gets back in time to see one of his, John’s and Derrick’s Coolmore contingent make life uncomfortable for Dawn Approach in the Derby on Saturday.

- Tony


Sorry! 6 series?!

Six series? Really?!

Sorry. I've been so head down in the Winning Trainers launch and working with new subscribers to get them up and running that I haven't scribbled anything on here for a few days.

Luckily, that doesn't mean there hasn't been top content galore posted by the rest of the team, and regular visitors to the site will have hopefully enjoyed at least some of the following fine fare:

- An excellent article by Tony Keenan on the value of bad favourites

- A nice winner (coupled with a non-runner) from Chris on the Daily Dabble yesterday

- An 11/2 winner for Chris on Stat of the Day on Monday

- Plus daily infusions of statistics aimed at finding winners from magical Mal Boyle...

...and pithy news editorial from Ian Sutherland as well.

So, yes, with luck, I've not been missed at all, thanks to the excellent contributions of the rest of the team. Good chaps!


So what of Winning Trainers 2.0, this thing which has been commanding my energies? Well, it's been a strange beginning, to say the least. It was a bit of a roller coaster on both sides of the counter.

On the setup side, I had a disastrous day. First, for some reason, the pdf downloads were not working and were instead redirecting poor suffering subscribers to that annoying bloody video of me!! It took me and a techie an hour to work that out, and I finally nailed it: we had to remove the www. from in front of the download web addresses.

Yes, sometimes it’s not nearly as complicated as you first think…

Then, without so much as time for a cup of tea and a pat on the back, an absolute howler was detected. Right on 200 sign ups into the launch (half way), I realised that the payment processing hadn’t happened and that, whilst everything seemed fine, nobody had actually paid!

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Sure, invoices were sent out, and the system was behaving perfectly… except for one minor issuette. *GULP*

I had to delete all the user accounts – having first emailed them and explained what had happened (if that was you, thank you so much for re-signing up and I’m really sorry for the aggravation) – and then I had to deal with my affiliate partners, many of whom are personal friends.

Luckily, the guys I choose to work with are good eggs, and they understand from their own efforts that sometimes bad stuff which shouldn’t happen, happens.

Anyway, long and short, we are now – finally – where we need to be. Phew, indeed.


So, to the horses. We had three main service bets, one at 5/1 and a couple of shortish favourites. As is sometimes the way, the longest-priced won and the other two were a little disappointing.

The first didn’t just win. It absolutely romped home.

On the bonus angles side, there were two of interest. The first, a Claimer King from the free report I gave away last week, was Elusive Hawk. He duly obliged at odds of 6/1, which was nice if you were betting yesterday, and still reassuring if you weren't.

The other, an ‘After A Break’ horse, again from the free report last week, was Atlantis City. He ran a scorcher in a field of fourteen to be a half length second at 8/1.


A curate's egg of a day and, with subscriptions now filling up (correctly!), I'm looking forward to spending plenty of time working with the Winning Trainers 2.0 guys. If you'd like to join me/them, there are still spots available (thanks to my idiot cock up yesterday), and you can read all about it here:

Read about Winning Trainers 2.0 here.


What else is new? Well, nothing and quite a lot, actually. What I mean by that is there's very little to the naked eye which is new. But, behind the scenes, things are happening... Pretty soon - hopefully in the next fortnight - we'll have a tipping league in situ with free bet prizes up for grabs.

This will be a lot better than the previous competitions where you had to leave a comment with your pick for a specific race nominated by me, and I had to manually 'settle' the bets.

Now, you'll be able to bet win or each way on any horse in any UK/Irish race you like, and to whatever stake you wish (within your allocated budget). So rather than see who is best at picking races of my choosing, we'll see who the best tipsters are on their own terms. Can't wait to share that with you!


Also very nearly ready are live odds on the racecards. The new super-fast racecards are here. And in the next couple of days you'll be able to review the recent form of the runners and then, when you're ready, click straight through from the odds to place your bet.

We're working hard on this part of the site, and will very soon be adding a full results service, plus some special reports, including a pretty cool pace analysis report which I've not seen anywhere else, and which is working out pretty well in tests here.

We're able (and you'll be able) to see, at a glance, races where there's a sole front runner who has a chance of getting his own way and nicking the race; and races where it looks like there will be a pace burn up, and horses can be opposed in favour of a midfield or closing type. Powerful stuff. And all free to geegeez subscribers.

So I'll look forward to sharing that soon.


There are a couple of other irons in the fire, designed to make your racing experience more seamless, engaging and fun, and I'll tell you about those closer to the time when they're ready. Lots to look forward to. 🙂


Talking of that pace report, King Of The Danes might make all in the 2.35 Goodwood; there might be a burn up in the three mile chase (4.30 Wetherby) and a hold up type like Lost Glory, De Boitron or Pigeon Island might swoop late (sorry for pigeon swooping pun, awful); and Achalas might be interesting off the front in the staying handicap at Salisbury tonight (7.45) for a shrewd trainer and decent jockey.

Don't blame me if they all get beaten - that's just what the report is telling me!

Again, sorry for recent radio silence, and I hope to bring you more site enhancements very soon.


Introducing the Instant Expert…

In today's video, I'd like to introduce you to what I firmly believe is the single greatest form study innovation of the last decade. As bold a statement as that is, I invite you to view the short presentation and see for yourself how it might be able to help you make better bets in far less time.

By the way, you can watch the video full screen by clicking the video and then clicking on the 'square box' icon bottom right of the video panel.


Sign up for your free trial of Geegeez Gold here




















Sunday Supplement: Great Goals…

Tony Stafford's Sunday Supplement

Tony Stafford's Sunday Supplement

Sunday supplement

by Tony Stafford

What is there about the name Ferguson? Twice on Saturday afternoon, the two best-known exponents of that surname got out of jail in the unlikeliest manner. First at Chepstow, Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock man John stepped up for a first Grade 1 jumps win as a trainer when Ruacana took advantage of Swynmor’s unlikely and unlucky last-flight  fall at Chepstow.

Then, a few hours later, Sir Alex of that ilk, got yet another dividend of his investment in Robin van Persie when the Dutchman scored possibly the best goal I’ve ever seen to clinch an FA Cup draw at West Ham.

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The Scottish Fergie never seems to suffer much in the way of bad luck, although he must have been fuming 24 hours earlier during an unusual winter excursion to Lingfield to watch his odds-on shot I’m Fraam Govan run in the first part of the bumper.

I was there too, but believe it or not, I never saw Sir Alex, such were my powers of observation and indeed interest in the sports. At the time I would have seen him in the paddock, I was consuming what proved to be a shock investment: fish and chips for four quid! I didn’t see the price but was vaguely aware that the lady on the counter gave me a tenner and a fiver plus some splash for my twenty.

Nice enough, too, and by the time I’d finished it, the field was at the start. I did spot George Baker – wonder what he’s saying on his entertaining blog – earlier in the afternoon, but not dreaming the owner would be there, didn’t ask about it.

Weight of money forced the previously unbeaten gelding to shorten to 4-9, but he could finish only fifth. When I got home, Sky Sports News had pictures of Fergie in the paddock pre-race alongside his (and my) good mate Sotirios Hassiakis of Les Ambassadeurs, along with the story that he’d got lost on the way. Not sure I’d trust Sotirios with navigation.

Racing has been odd, not least that since Christmas so little has been lost to the unrelenting rainfall, but for jumping at least, there has been a diet of almost unremitting slow-motion finishes. One exception came at Sandown when the German import Lord of House sprinted up the hill for a ten-length win that could have been greatly extended if his rider had wished.

Charlie Mann can still train them when he gets a good one, and this Lord of England gelding looks the type to be a mainstay of the re-structured Mann yard in Lambourn in the coming months. The only downside for dapper Charlie is that Lord of House will be nearer 140 for his next start than Saturday’s 118.

There had been a clear pointer to his chance a couple of hours earlier. On his English debut – after more than a year’s absence – Lord of House had finished within ten lengths of the smart Gevrey Chambertin – Grands Crus’ full-brother – in an Aintree novice, and when the Pipe horse bolted up off 130 at Wincanton on Saturday, the inference was clear. How then did Lord of House, a winner since at Folkestone, start at 12-1 carrying 9-9?

I hope you’ll excuse me for penning a shortened version this week, but I’ll conclude with some selfish offerings from my boss’s string. All four jumpers will be in action, touch wood, in the coming weeks, although two are set for runs on the level.

Cousin Khee, who won at Kempton’s jumping bumper card, reverts to proper, albeit Polytrack Flat racing on Friday at Lingfield for a mile and a half maiden. John Gosden and William Knight are among trainers with authentic candidates, while Gary Moore, who turned over a 1-3 shot at Sandown, is trying to rekindle the talented Megastar’s enthusiasm. Hughie Morrison thinks we’ll go well.

Two days later Alan King is thinking of Fakenham on Sunday for Fair Trade, whose Newbury third looks less glossy after the unexpected defeat at Musselburgh of runner-up Veloce and even more emphatic fall from grace of the Newbury winner Poet when put up in grade in the Tolworth Hurdle. It’s often best to remember jockeys’ post-race analysis. I recall Choc Thornton looking across at Poet after he’d out-slogged us saying: “I’d still rather have ours”. I think so, too.

His stable-mate Nelson’s Bay, all schooled-up but waiting for ground, missed Wolverhampton on Friday owing to a nail in a hoof after twisting a shoe on the gallops, but should soon find another race. The best news, though, concerns Punjabi. Raymond’s former Champion Hurdle hero came out of his Christmas Hurdle return after 32 months in great style. Nicky Henderson told me on Saturday. “We go straight to Newbury!” so five years after finishing second in the great race, he’s to have another crack. See you there.

New Year Video Message

Here's my New Year's Geegeez message to all readers. There's a lot to come this year, and I'm glad you'll be here to enjoy it. Click play on the video to learn more!

Happy New Year!


Quick Social Media Survey

Social media?

Do you use social media?

Six quick questions relating to 'social media' today if I may. As we use t'internet more, so we're getting more immersive in our usage. In simple terms, we're doing - and sharing - more stuff online.

But I don't want to know about 'we', I'm only interested in 'you'. So, six simple questions on that subject, which should take no more than sixty seconds to complete.

Your time starts now...

[Note, if you see the bars on the first question, that's because you already answered it. No need to reply again to that one, but do answer the others below it if you wouldn't mind. Thanks.

Just choose your answer, and click 'vote' after each selection. You'll then see the combined results in real time. Woohoo, very slick! ;)]

1. [poll id="33"]

2. [poll id="34"]

3. [poll id="35"]

4. [poll id="36"]

5. [poll id="37"]

6. [poll id="38"]

Thanks a lot - as always, I don't ask questions for academic research purposes. Rather, they inform the way the blog is shaped and help me to provide you with more of what you want, and less of what you don't.

I'll let you know the results next week!


p.s. in the meantime, feel free to 'like' this post! 😉

Geegeez Towers (Before and After)

As promised many months ago, dear reader, I've finally got round to shooting a quick one take video of the house after the builder's moved out. It's not quite finished yet - still a few bits and pieces, like a dining table and chairs! - missing. But we're nearly there...

So, nothing to do with racing and possibly of absolutely zero interest to you (apologies if that's the case - feel free to check out some betting reviews here), here is the 'before' video, closely followed by the 'after' video.

Back to work for me...


The end of the line for

End of the line for

End of the line for

It is no exaggeration, dear reader, to say that I'm considering giving it up.

It's not that I don't enjoy it any more. On the contrary, I enjoy it more than ever, and have been looking forward to 2011 like no other in my short online history.

It's not that people have stopped reading or responding. On the contrary, I've got more regular readers - and comments of a higher standard - than I've ever had.

It's not that I have gone skint. Now whilst I can't say 'on the contrary' here, because times are harder for everyone - including me, I'm still chiseling out a living from my online endeavours (and considering myself a million times blessed that I'm able to do that, so absolutely zero sympathy required!).

No, it's none of the reasons a business should fold.

In fact, it's the most annoying, frustrating, disappointing, downright stupid set of reasons you can imagine.

Firstly, PayPal have decided not to accept more than half of the instalments to the Geegeez Racing Club (and another of my services). This is down to the fact that they don't like recurring billing payments, and seem to reject them for a variety of reasons known only to them. Suspected reason: because I deal with gambling-related products, despite that being entirely legal in UK.

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Secondly, despite having an impeccable trading history for four and a half years, and a commensurately pristine relationship with my bank and my relationship manager, I'm having extreme difficulties in procuring a merchant account - which is a means of taking payment without troubling PayPal (who have grown into a monster with zero customer service, and have the power to stop a business dead in its tracks...). The reason for my difficulties in securing alternative processing options: because I deal with gambling-related products, despite that being entirely legal in UK, and despite my bank being happy to accept the transactions into the account.

Thirdly, and what might be the final nail in the coffin, my email sending company have decided to close down parts of my account (to be closely followed, presumably, by the rest of the account), including the 'Geegeez' list. The reason: because I deal with gambling-related products, despite that being entirely legal in UK.

In other words, despite not doing anything illegal; and despite being at continued pains to try to do my bit to tidy up an otherwise dirty arena; and despite having a readership that recognises and embraces that (thank you, thank you, thank you); I am not allowed by the fundamental building blocks of any business, to conduct business.

It is against the terms of service of my payment processor to process transactions for betting-related products. It is against the terms of the service of my emailing service to send emails for betting-related websites.

To put it another way, it's like being shut down by your finance and marketing departments! And, frankly, I don't really have a leg to stand on.

You see, it IS against those company's terms of service, despite what I might consider ethical and know to be legal. So ultimately I can have no complaints.

For the record, aweber - an email sending service of similar size and repute to getresponse, who are closing me down - explicitly state that so long as betting is legal in my country (which, of course, it is), they would welcome my business.

And that's where I'm headed, with some of you too. I will lose somewhere between 60 and 70% of my subscriber list in the process, which is actually a mixed blessing. [Those emails I sent before Christmas asking people to unsubscribe if they didn't read the messages... the trouble is lots of people don't even open the messages or don't use that mailbox any more or whatever. So this way, if you didn't read the message and take action, you wouldn't be signed up on the new list]

As you can probably tell from the self-indulgent rant above, I'm properly hacked off. Fed up. Gutted. I spent a long time building this place for us, and I am seriously attached to it in a very personal way. For large corporations to essentially shut me down despite me doing nothing wrong in the eyes of the law of my own country is ridiculous. And deeply upsetting.

Which is why I'm seriously considering the end of the line.

Ultimately, I'm pretty sure that we'll get over this, and that there will still be a Geegeez.

But right now, it feels a bit like losing a child. Or at least a well-loved pet. [Apologies to those who have lost children. I can't begin to imagine what that feels like.]

Anyway, not much else for me to say today, except I'm working hard to move things across. I'll probably bugger one or two things up along the way, because - as you all know by now - I'm a bit of a techno-clunker. So please bear with me on that.

And if you'd like to continue to receive Geegeez emails, please add your name to the box top right of this page. THIS WILL LIKELY BE THE LAST EMAIL I'M PERMITTED TO SEND FROM MY CURRENT EMAIL COMPANY.

Feel free to leave a message or comment of support for Geegeez below if you'd like. I'd love to have something to email to the faceless bureaucrats!!! 😉

And feel free to pass this message to other people, and encourage them to sign up to Geegeez, as we'll be a tad 'scarce' for a while, alas...