It's Christmas, dear reader, and it will soon be the turn of the year. So, in the spirit of the season and as a form of retrospective, below are the most popular geegeez posts of 2013... plus a bit of an 'old but gold' addendum, sure to illuminate a dull day over the holiday season.
The Best of 2013 (in chronological order)
Stat of the Day monthly results: ongoing
Back in November 2011, I broke a vow that I made to myself for geegeez: that the site would never have daily tipping. In order to do that, the feature had to be according to my punting ethos. It had to be a logical approach; it had to be selective; and it had to be based around the principle of value.
Stat of the Day has celebrated two consecutive years in profit, and is a free service. Although perhaps not the most interesting post here (I hope not, anyway!), it does highlight the highs and lows that even successful services have to journey through.
Chris (the current author) and I are very proud of what we've achieved both with Stat of the Day and its little sister, Double Dutch, which is also showing a small profit after a shocking start.
Compiling a Race Tissue: 16/1/13
Tony Keenan's Punting Confessional developed a strong following on both sides of the Irish Sea, and his sharp eye - and even sharper quill - will be missed in 2014. In this post he takes readers through how he personally creates a 'tissue': a betting forecast. This is useful for identifying where value lies across the entire field in a race, and Tony's examples bring the exercise to life.
Way Forward for British Racing: 8/2/13
This is quite a lengthy post. It's one I wanted to write for a long time and, as the readers long on stamina will discover, I didn't quite get to the end of my subject matter. Nevertheless, a couple of high profile areas are covered, and suggestions put forward as to how to address the issues. See what you think.
Royal Ascot 2013: Bankers/Blowouts: 14/6/13
We have extensive coverage of most of the big meetings here at geegeez. Alongside stats galore, trainer angles and more, there are also ante-post thoughts and comprehensive daily previews. We get plenty of winners, many at big prices, and - of course - we have lots of losers too. That, after all, is the game, and it cannot be any other way. The key is to ensure the winners pay for the losers and leave a bit over for beer and chips.
This post was an example of when it all goes right. That's infrequent, but lovely when it does happen. Five out of five this day.
Summer was a bittersweet time for myself and other members of a syndicate I formed which ran in the geegeez.co.uk colours, and I blogged about our experience in this post, which resonated with many part-owners up and down the land. It's quite a good yarn too...
Bumper Profits: NHF Trainers: 11/11/13
A year at geegeez wouldn't be the same without a bit of micro-system loveliness, and this first of three recent posts highlighted a few Bumper trainers to follow. These six mainly 'no name' trainers have been profitable to follow for years, though naturally enough have failed to fire with their historical fervour since their nomination in this virtual volume. After a bad run, expect a good run, the saying goes, and so keep the bumper boys onside in the coming weeks/months.
"Any fool can pick 30% winners": 27/11/13
Ah, the value post. This is a good one. In my opinion, it's a very good one. The title comes from the fact that those who crave winner after winner are likely doomed to failure, because squeezing value from the top of the market is a game for arb-grinders and profit fantasists. Value can lurk in favouritesville, but it generally hangs out a bit lower down the lists. And in other places altogether, as you'll discover here.
A New Beginning for geegeez? 16/12/13
This post may be my last major one on geegeez.co.uk. And it may not, for all sorts of reasons. Time will tell on that. Suffice it to say that there are interested parties in buying the site, and I've already had some promising preliminary meetings with people you might know, and - importantly - people I'd trust to take things forward with a healthy regard to the current way of management.
In any case, if you didn't read that post - which outlines my reasons for seeking a change, for both me and the site - then you can do so from the title link.
How to Bet Better: 22/12/2011
Stepping back in time two years, this post is as fresh now as the day it was written. The content applies every day, and I regularly re-read it to keep myself in the right space with my punting. I think it will help you, whether you've read it before or not.
This is a video post... and the video runs to 93 minutes! It's about how to read form, and how to create betting systems. It's probably more interesting than some of the televised games on over Christmas and New Year (West Ham vs West Brom anyone?), and you might learn more too. Then again, if you're a Hammer or a Baggie, you'll probably want to watch the Sky game.
Up the Cherries!
Handicap Ratings in UK Racing: 16/1/12
Lastly but not leastly, some questions and some answers on the matter of weight and ratings in British racing. Matters are exemplified with a lot of numbers, some of which are not as legible as I'd hoped, though that doesn't detract from the substance of the piece. There are some interesting - and possibly counter-intuitive - findings.
And that's your lot.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and yours the very best of the season, and I'll be back on Boxing Day.