It's that time of year, dear reader, when before looking forwards we look back at the passing year.
2014 was a huge one for geegeez.co.uk, mainly as it transitioned to a place where UK and Irish racing fans could find incisive data-driven information (let's call it knowledge!) to assist betting decisions.
But there was still much to chew over in the editorial ranks, and this post reprises my pick of the pile in the last twelve months, oldest to newest.
It covers topical issues, like field sizes and TV viewing figures; handicapping insights; the obligatory value betting offering; your betting habits; ongoing free stuff; and, bit and bobs of political comment.
All are worth a look - in my admittedly biased opinion - so if you have time do peruse my favourites from the closing year.
Oh, and there's a short thank you at the bottom of this post, too. 🙂
Matt's Top Ten Posts of 2014
Are Field Sizes in Terminal Decline?
Suddenly topical again recently, this subject has vexed the beaks for years, and I set about it with a set square and a database early in the year.
Finding Value in Markets
Value is about the combination of the frequency of winners and their average odds, as opposed to the 'winner at all costs' approach. Value is also the ONLY way to profit from betting in the long run. This post looks at the 'easy' part of the job of finding value: markets.
Pace in UK Horse Racing
Pace is something that most UK punters find hard to get to grips with. This is mainly because of a total lack of information on the subject, both in terms of data and methodology. This post, introducing a facet of Geegeez Gold, touches on both.
Are TV Viewing Figures in Terminal Decline?
Another seemingly pessimistic post title, again using the phrase 'terminal decline'. And as with the field size issue/post, I offer some candidate solutions as well as flagging what I believe to be at the root of the problem.
Every year or so, I create a survey and invite geegeez.co.uk readers to respond. You are collectively good enough to contribute to a meaningful level, such that I always have a handle on what you want to see on the site, and the approach you take to your betting. Here is the summary of the 2014 survey.
The Lynch Mob
In the middle of this year, Fergal Lynch received a license from the UK regulators for the first time since 2008. The reasons - race fixing - are expounded upon in this post.
Jim Best's 'Sore Thumb' Handicap Plots
Jim Best likes to land a touch. At the time of this post, there was much wailing about Best's antics. But, as I demonstrated, young Jim was working to the exact same blueprint he'd used six times previously. I even flag a couple I think are being readied as the next in the production line.
Using Contrast to Find Good Bets
When betting, I like to find a material difference in today's conditions against those a horse has recently been encountering, especially when that's combined with proven historical affection for those conditions. This post explores that further.
Giving in The Season of Giving
geegeez.co.uk has always prided itself on the amount of top class free content it offers punters. And, even with the change of style on site to a more data-driven content model, there is still much of value for no charge, as this post highlights.
How to Spot a Handicap Plot
The last in my personal top ten of 2014 is this one, which builds on the Jim Best post, and answers the question, "How can I spot a handicap plot?". In it, I name names, but the real value lies in the approach, which can be used by readers to widen their own searches and to unearth impending attempted coups. Good luck!
And that was 2014 from my perspective. I have hugely enjoyed the year, and the challenges it has brought. Looking back from a year ago, when I was exhausted and geegeez.co.uk was for sale, we've come a hell of a long way in twelve short months.
That couldn't happen without the dedication of the great team of talents, both writing and technical. And, most importantly of all, it couldn't happen without the dedication of an amazing readership. There's much fluff and hot air penned and spoken about community, but in the midst of all that faux bonhomie, the good spiritedness of geegeez.co.uk readers continues to be the single element of the 'job' that I love the most.
You are genuinely a fantastic bunch, and many of you have been reading my guff (and that of the other contributors) for over eight years now. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
On this last post before the turkeys are carved, may I wish you a very merry Christmas, and, when that time comes, a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Matt, and all of the team at geegeez.co.uk
p.s. what was your favourite racing moment of the last year? Leave a comment and share...
p.p.s. click on the video below for an old but gold seasonal greeting from friend of geegeez, Chinelope. 😉