It's a new year. Happy New Year!
Reasons to be cheerful in the wider world are that, while that pesky Omicron variant of the dreaded Covid virus is spreading like warm butter on hot toast, its implications are - so far - less brow-furrowing. That hopefully means we can crack on with life's more engaging head scratchers, such as solving racing sudokus.
And, to that end, allow me to share the plan for 2022, or at least the early part of it, here on geegeez.co.uk.
Did you miss me? 2021 was a big year for development and side projects, which meant I personally had far less time to spend researching and writing on these 'ere pages. Maybe that was a miss for you, perhaps/probably it wasn't. Either way, I'm committed to scribbling more this year. I'll be asking all sorts of questions related to the betting aspects of racing (in the main), and using whatever data I can get my hands on to answer them. And that will happen on a more structured schedule, too.
Plus we're going to introduce a midweek preview of a weekend or major Festival race: the betting markets are up for the major Saturday races from early in the week and there are some opportunities to get a flyer even though we'll not be in possession of all the facts - you know, like draw, going, who's actually running, that sort of thing! - at that nascent stage. Sam or I will usually be in charge of this segment, starting next week.
And we'll also be producing more content looking at the day's bread and butter racing through the prism of Geegeez Gold. The aim of these pieces - which will vary between blog and video posts - will be to demonstrate how Gold can be used to identify interesting races, interesting horses in those races, and interesting ways to potentially play those horses. That's on top of Chris's excellent and existing Racing Pointers daily series.
Finally, there's a metric tonne of great stuff in our daily emails. From course guides (just click the course name in the email), to highlighting races of the day, to latest news headlines, to our Feature of the Day, to - my personal favourite - an article from the archives (there is some genuine treasure in this section - check out this, this, this or this, already re-published this year if you don't believe me), there is something for every racing fan - and plenty for most.
If you're not yet receiving our daily emails, you are missing out. You can sign up on the in-page form here (it's big and yellow, you can't miss it) to start getting early morning intel.
Here's how our early 2022 editorial schedule will look:
Chris's Racing Insights, looking at a race each day from a value and Gold perspective. These can be found here.
Our Racing Bulletin, an on-site version of the daily email, which can be found here.
Latest news articles, syndicated from our friends at the Press Association. They can be found from the home page.
Tony Stafford's Monday Musings: thoughts of a life-long racing journalist, owner, punter, racing manager and editor.
Something to chew on: a data-driven article aimed at sharpening your betting focus in one area or another of the racing game. These will be written by either me, Dave Renham, or occasionally Jon Shenton or a guest contributor. And they will be good. Very good.
An eye to the future: an early look at either one of the weekend's big races or a major Festival contest with a view to nailing a fancy price about an intended runner with a squeak.
Panning with Gold: yes, I know that doesn't really make sense, but you get the drift. Thursdays will be for poring over the form via Geegeez Gold in search of little playable nuggets. Using different components from week to week, the aim is to land on a couple of good winners but, much more than that, to show you how to do the same.
This will generally be produced by me, but this is a spot where I'd hugely welcome contributions from our Gold user community: that might mean writing a piece about how you use Gold, rather than a preview of races. Such offerings are always hugely popular, so don't be shy.
Please do drop me a line if you fancy having a crack! [Don't worry overly about your writing style, I can tidy that up: we're much more interested in how you approach the puzzle using the Gold toolkit].
Weekend Pointers: Sam's aggregation of relevant blog posts, Andy's big race trends, and anything else we have to hand that might aid you in your quest for a wonderful weekend winner.
There is so much to engage and entertain in the above, I hope. And, of course, feel free to dip in and out of the bits of interest to you. There are only so many hours in the day, and it might just be possible to spend all of the waking ones on this site!
Alongside the written and spoken words, our number-crunching machines will be levelling up, too, bringing you more features and insights within Geegeez Gold. There are plenty of smaller changes, and a couple of bigger ones, already on the cook. Those I'm able/happy to reveal right now are as follows:
Coming Very Soon
Small changes including Proximity Form on racecard horse form, inline form on Profiler tab, 'My Races' feature on the cards menu page (to create 'your own' race meeting at the top of the page from those races that interest you), and a few other bits and pieces.
A new weapon in the toolkit, we'll be adding a bet calculator to the Tools section of the site. Win or each way, singles, accumulators and all of the most common multiple bets will soon be calculable right here.
Perhaps most excitingly, for me at least, we're about to commence development on a bigger piece to significantly upgrade Query Tool. This has been the one that got away for too long, and I'm stoked to think what extra power we'll be adding in this space. We will definitely be adding the ability to specify elements of a horse's previous race(s), as well as some new variables such as 'Days Since Last Run'.
Importantly, we need to ensure that any rewrite of Query Tool has zero impact on your existing QT Angles, and that, in fact, may be the most challenging component. We'll obviously test the heck out of things to ringfence your saved data, which is sacrosanct to us as well as you. [And, in the Armageddon scenario, we keep backups of everything!]
Depending on how progress goes, we'll be looking at a release around April time, I suspect: it'd be great to be able to offer those extra QT insights in time for the flat season kick off.
"There is always more to do", as I'm fond of relating to our brilliant database (++) man, Dave; and the development won't stop post-QT upgrade. I have a number of thoughts in mind, including broader odds comparison data, exchange price data, stride and cadence / sectional upgrade data, race trends pages and more. We have the data access and technical capability to bring any or all of these to life; it is simply a question of how desirable they are to you, our valued Gold subscriber. If you have a preference, or an alternative suggestion, please feel free to include it in the comments below.
So that's what happening hereabouts in the now and near future. We've continued to invest in making geegeez.co.uk the site you want it to be since the beginning, almost 14 years ago (crikey). And, as long as you still ask for more, we'll try to bring it.
Thank you, as always, for your support. We - I - value it immensely and never take it for granted.
Wishing you a Happy, Fun, Profitable - and most of all, HEALTHY - 2022.