Today I am 40…

40th birthday trifle

40th birthday trifle: easier for my aging teeth!

[Published on October 18th 2011 - ARCHIVE POST]

Well, it's fair to say I didn't know whether or what to write to mark this occasion. So allow me a little self-indulgence if you will, for today, dear reader, I celebrate reaching the life milestone of being forty years old.

Yes, the big four-oh (or four-nil as I've been referring to it) has not so much crept up on me as leapt out from behind the sofa at me. Now at this point, I think back to when I was ten, fifteen, twenty years old. At that time, forty was just 'old'. It wasn't something to consider in any other terms aside from its numerical magnitude.

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But age gives us one thing that young people cannot have. Yes, it proffers forth that badge of honour, experience. And it is my belief that life should be measured not in years, but in experiences.

My life, like just about every other soul that ever laughed, cried, sniffed or farted, has been a vast catalogue of experiences, and these - I'm delighted to report - have, generally speaking, improved with age.

I've learned a lot about life, very little of which will be of utility to a readership who are generally more experienced than me (I MUCH prefer that turn of phrase, as opposed to 'who are generally older than me'). And, again like everybody else, I continue to learn... every... single... day.

So, please bear with me here, as I recount some experiences from my life:

- 1971: Born, at this time I had a bit of age, but wasn't even self-aware enough to know what an experience was. I'm confident the experiences of my parents in these early months were of noise (the loud, wailing-type) and smell (the brown, regular type) and occasionally of visual joy, as I perhaps once a week did something other than demand feeding or emptying.

- 1982: Passed 11+, and went to Bournemouth School, a grammar. Much lauding from the family tree, but an angry youth was about to smash his way out of the unsuspecting chrysalis of pre-pubescence.

- 1983 until a few years later: difficult and formative time when I tended to rail robustly against authority (read, I was a little sh!t). I had my own ideas. They were fiercely held, if a tad flimsy in terms of actually being thought through. In my first year in grammar school, I set a new record for the number of detentions served.

I was threatened with expulsion if my behaviour didn't improve. Despite this, some of my masters actually saw potential and tried to shield me (mainly from myself of course).

In my second year at grammar school, I was suspended. It was the first of three such 'holidays' from school I incurred, during my time there. Deep embarrassment precludes my sharing the finer points of the circumstances that led to those punishments, but I'm pleased to report that I learned from the lessons of my youth. For the most part, at least...

1987: Aged sixteen, I moved away from the family nest. More specifically, my family moved away from the nest and I wished to remain in Bournemouth, to finish my studies (haha) and be near my friends. My nuclear family had suffered the not uncommon nuclear fissure a couple of years earlier, which doubtless did little to improve my behaviour at that time, and with mother (and younger siblings) already out of the frame - and the county - my father moved to Portland where he'd bought a hotel. He is a self-made man, with a robust sense of what's right and a tireless work ethic, and that is a story I've told elsewhere with much fondness.

1988: Got my A-level grades: D in English Literature, U(ngraded) in Government and Political Studies, and D in Religious Studies. The piece of paper was telling me that I was a DUD! I decided it might be time to try something other than academia, which bored me to sleep.

Applied for a job as an intern at Bournemouth Evening Echo, the local newspaper. Didn't get it. I was crestfallen, and thought that my greatest ambition - to be a journalist - was dead. I indulged myself in a paddling pool of self-pity for many weeks afterwards, and wasn't very nice to those who were very nice to me at that time.

Some months later, I got a job, working in the Employment Service (Jobcentre to you and me), having spent six months the other side of the counter beforehand. I spent two and a half years taking signatures, sob stories, genuine hard luck stories, and occasional abuse from the general public, and I learned a lot.

Most of all I learned that life is hard. Not my life particularly, but those of a majority of the people I was meeting each day.

I gave it up one October day. My appraisal was on the Friday lunchtime, and my boss told me I'd rot in the civil service awaiting 'dead man's shoes'. I applied through clearing to university and started on the Monday, less than three days later.

That decision, which - whilst ostensibly brave - was made out of a lack of alternatives: a classic Hobson's Choice which changed every single thing in my life. So there I was in...

1992: I am in Stratford, East London. I know nobody. Yesterday, I was in Bournemouth, East Dorset. I knew everybody. Today, I am alone in a strange and very scary place. I stayed in a grubby B&B those first few nights, and then moved into a house share with some grubby undergrads, three years my junior, and considerably 'less experienced' than me.

I was very lonely.

But then things started to happen. I met fellow students, drank beer, met a girl (or two), played football, played Football Manager, drank a couple more beers, periodically attended a lecture... and worked, first as a cashier and latterly as a seasonal manager, for William Hill.

My final year was notable for the fact that I spent more time in the William Hill next to Maryland Station (for those who might know the area) than I did in lectures or writing my dissertation. [I've since written 708,111 words in posts prior to this one, and frequently write more than 5,000 words in a post - no Twitter micro-blogging here! And yet the 10,000 words of that dissertation felt like they'd never end...]

But my real education was underway. That was when I knew that I'd be a career academic.... studying form!

1995: I furthered my studies with spells of employment at Satellite Information Services (SiS, the racing company), where I worked in the text room, relaying betting shows from the course to the betting shops; and, from time to time, I was allowed to write the three paragraph race reports that formed the teletext service. Heady stuff!

I was paid around £8,000 a year for full time employment, as a graduate. It seemed that it wasn't possible to do something you loved, and get paid for it. Hmm...

1997: So, having applied for what seemed like a million graduate positions in blue chip corporations (but what was probably about a dozen), I was invited to 'try out' at a selection centre for NatWest Bank.

I had a REALLY good drink the night before the selection day. If any of you are due to be interviewed in the near future, can I respectfully offer a small piece of advice? I would suggest NOT having a really good drink the night before. It is quite possible that the repercussions of said really good drink will impede your ability to perform optimally the next day. It is further possible that you will be slightly annoyed with yourself.

Long and short: I was still drunk when sailing through the 'aptitude' exercises in the morning - in fact, at one point I had to excuse myself to vomit.

The afternoon was comprised of interviews, and here I nearly blew it. Was lucky to get the job, they told me, and only because of my 'best in the intake' performance in the morning session. Interesting...

I spent nearly nine years at NatWest, and latterly RBS, moving from graduate trainee dogsbody to senior project and programme manager in the Group Technology department. I learnt a lot. I bet a lot. I drank a fair amount. And I met a lot of people.

My interpersonal skills, honed in that JobCentre, were a tremendous asset, despite my abject performance during the interviews (I've always been terrible in interviews - I think it goes back to that Echo failure for the journo gig).

Then, in 2006 or thereabouts.... enough! I packed it all in. Frustrated with the politicking of middle management, I turned my back on Corporate Britain to... well, I had no idea what to do next.

As fate would have it, I leapt from the frying pan of RBS into the fire of management consultancy, with a company called pipc. It was hard work. Too hard. Or, more correctly, not my kind of thing.

Not being one to enjoy towing the line, being hired out at an exorbitant rate (almost £1500 a day!) felt like the worst kind of whoring. I lasted six months. [Note I wasn't being paid anywhere near that, but pipc were invoicing my employers that]

2006: But, whilst I was at pipc, I'd started to muck about online. No, not that x-certificate kind of mucking about. This was much filthier. I started looking at betting systems, and I bought one (or two...)

I bought one called Trainer Trends - recognise that name from a certain weekly feature on geegeez now?! - and it was based on the premise that some flat trainers line up horses at certain tracks to profitable effect.

Now, these days that's as far from ground-breaking as announcing that a strong coffee will wake you up in the morning... or that six hits with the whip in the final furlong can be very expensive... But at the time, it was a 'eureka' moment for me.

I decided that this average product with a brilliant 'angle' would be something I'd look to replicate, over the jumps. TrainerTrackStats was born.

It was my first foray online, and I flogged about a dozen to fifteen through Google Adwords. Until they banned all gambling advertising.

I'd started my online venture, and within three weeks it was over. But, of the many things I am, I am NOT a quitter - at least not unless I'm beaten.

This is when I figured out that other people who did similar things to me online might be able to help me, meaning I could cut Google out completely.

TrainerTrackStats went on to sell £11,016 in around six months. Bits and bytes downloaded over the internet. It was amazing, and changed my life.

2007: In 2007, I started my first blog at NagNagNag, and I wrote all sorts of guff and gubbins there. A bit like I do here at geegeez. That was when I started understanding that I could have a relationship with you fine people, and that it should be a two way conversation.

But then something happened. Actually, it had been happening for a while. I had this really bad problem, where I was spending more money than I was earning. You see, eleven grand is ok from a part-time sideline venture - very good, in fact - but as a primary source of income with a large mortgage on a central London property, it didn't cut the mustard.

So, in September 2007, I went back to work. I did about a year at Lloyd's Register (shipping assurance) as a contract project manager. And, crucially, I persisted with the blog and the trainer-based products.

2008: This was the year it all came together. Working at LR put some good figures in the bank account, which meant I could try to make a go of it again. But I was offered a role working as a right hand man to one of Britain's most successful direct mail entrepreneurs, Tim Lowe. It was an offer I couldn't refuse, though I very nearly did.

The condition of the role was that I'd have to divest all of my business interests. That was, my blog at NagNagNag, and the TrainerFlatStats and TrainerTrackStats brand of products. I mulled it, I hummed and hawed, and I contacted my mate Gavin.

At that time, I could have probably sold the business for £25-£30k - it was making around that per year. But I didn't want to put my loyal readers into a world where it was impossible to predict if they'd be looked after by the buyer.

If that sounds unlikely, then you don't know me very well.

Gavin took over Nag3 and TTS, and has since introduced his own brand, Festival Trends. He does a fantastic job, and I know many of you follow his antics (and those of his brother, Gary).

Me? I lasted about two months with Tim - significant personality clash, though we remain good friends - and had to start again.

Gavin offered me the sites back. I point blank refused. Again, that's not how I work.

But I did help him with the product launch for TTS that September 2008, and I also launched my own new home, at geegeez. The TTS launch generated over £50,000 total product revenues from a launch that lasted a week or so, and both Gavin and I were stunned.

The other significant thing in 2008 was that I met Mrs Matt. I don't really want to write about that here, because it's more private. But suffice it to say that it was very important to me. 🙂

2009: My first full year in business, and turning a profit, and life is amazing. So much so that I spent the last two months touring California with Carole (Mrs Matt), and we lived in San Diego in a beach house for six weeks. Of course, I was still working - I love it and can't help myself - but there was plenty of time for fun as well.

Also, with 49 other intrepid readers, geegeez bought its first racehorse, a young lady called Obvious. Although she was a full sister to a horse called Blog, the only thing that quickly became Obvious was that she wasn't going to win! [She should have been called Oblivious...]

Having retired her, we bought another filly, called Always De One, and she was unlucky not to win for us, when 'murdered' in a three runner race at Wolverhampton, the Geegeez Racing Club's spiritual home. Always De One Pace, as she became known, finished 3rd and 4th a few times, but we eventually decided she had to be moved on.

2010: Her replacement, for the 2010/11 Racing Club, was a colt - who soon became a gelding (poor chap) - called Khajaaly. 'Charlie' showed much more relish for racing, though it must be said not straight away.

But after a break, he came back bouncing and Julia was bullish despite his 25/1 odds. Sure enough, he hacked up, and we all had a VERY nice day!

Since then, Khajaaly has won two more races for us, and will hopefully perform with merit on Thursday, when he again tries to conquer all at Wolverhampton.

2011: My fortieth year. I take on some help with the blog - and other sites which form the Summum Bonum Ltd portfolio. First Paul and now Chris do massive amounts behind the scenes to assist; some high class writers are recruited to add high class content to geegeez; excellent reviewers help the community by trialing betting systems and services; and an odds comparison tool is added to geegeez.

Times are tougher than ever since I started, and yet I've invested more than ever into the business. It's my intention to continue to plough profits back into the portfolio, so that you - readers and friends - get as much value as possible.

It is truly a jungle out there, and I want geegeez (and, and, and, and, and, and, and!) to be places that you can trust to play with a straight bat.

On the personal front, I've just returned from a three week stint in France, and more recently from a trip to Champions Day (brilliant), and I consider myself very, very lucky to have enjoyed such a wealth of experiences, especially in the last five years since I first wrote some stuff and posted it to the inter-ether-cyber-webbie-space.

I've made some great friends through this, both readers and other vendors, and I've even managed to show a few other fine souls - Gavin, Kieren and John most recently, to name a few - how to get started online. That, believe me, is a treat. 😀

And I've finally laid the ghost of that interview at the Evening Echo to rest. I get paid to write about horse racing, and there can't be many things in life better than that!

So, yes, experience is a wonderful thing. Far better than age, in my opinion. And I'm looking forward to the next chapter of experiences, many of them shared on these here virtual pages.

Thank you for allowing me to take this journey, and for reading all the way down to here! I promise to write something horse-y related when next you visit. 😉

If you've any pearls of wisdom, or anecdotes from your experiences, feel free to post them on here as a crutch for me, as I finally move into 'real adulthood'... and hopefully, a hatful more great experiences, many of which, as I said, will be shared here with you.

Best Regards,

Matt (older, more experienced, but still a racing nut)

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92 replies
  1. Rod
    Rod says:

    Congratulations….and I thought you were celebrating by giving us a sure fire
    thing for today?

    Does the bookie always win in the end?


  2. Jim
    Jim says:

    Happy birthday Old Boy!!

    As a more experienced individual, the one thing I can say is that you never stop learning. Or if you do, you will keep making the same mistakes….

    here’s to the next 40 years – just think you’re only 40% through your life.

    Best wishes to Carole


  3. roy
    roy says:

    So you have joined the lucky people of 40 plus when life begins.I feel so sorry for these young people. Have a great day and a few beers (and winners) enjoy yourself.


    Hi Matt
    Many happy returns old timer, I reached the grand old age of 60 this year and I can tell you this racing game seems to be getting harder, but I still enjoy it. Keep up the good work.You certainly haven’t led a dull life up to now apart from suffering being a bournemouth supporter!!!!
    c’mon you spurs.
    Have a great day enjoy!!!!

  5. JMurphy
    JMurphy says:

    Happy birthday. As a fugitive from Dorset (and Wimborne Grammar although several years before you) I often remember the fondness we had for the local derby game between the two schools (rugby that is).


  6. Bhisma Bhurtun
    Bhisma Bhurtun says:

    Happy Birthday Matt.

    What a great insight on your journey up to now. I wish you all the best and continue with the great work.

    Cheers and will have one for you tonight.

  7. Paul M
    Paul M says:

    Have a good day – or two- Matt.
    Hope it’s nicely rounded off with a good performance from Khajaaly on Thursday.
    I enjoyed learning more about your background and how you got to this point.
    May I wish you more success, fun and enjoyment along the way!

  8. Muriel Elder
    Muriel Elder says:

    I wish you a very happy birthday Matt,I always read what you are saying and enjoy your blog.You are good. Have the best of days. I am 68, so I know that being 40 is very very good.xx

  9. Ian
    Ian says:

    Happy Birthday Matt – ENJOY – I can honestly say that life begins at 50!!!!!!!!! – so enjoy your 40’s the best is still to come!

  10. Paul R -
    Paul R - says:

    Happy Birthday Matt,
    Hard to believe the amount you’ve crammed in over the last 5 years particularly. Makes me realise how lucky I’ve been with WRT too.

    Bottoms up mate.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Wow, thank you everybody! That’s really an amazing wave of goodwill which has managed to drown my feelings of negativity about the age now starting with a 4 when yesterday it began with a 3.

      Sincerely, thank you all for your kind words, and I’m thrilled you enjoy the blog. 😀 😀 😀


  11. peter x
    peter x says:

    Well I did not pass my 11+ in 1954,

    what life begins @ 40/50/60/ well I am 70 next year, still pole vaulting over the Thai ladies, lucky souls

  12. denismcgrath
    denismcgrath says:

    happy birthday mat i shallraise a pint of the black stuff to your continued good health slainte denis

  13. Eric
    Eric says:

    Happy birthday Matt. I always read your musings with great interest.
    In 20 years time, 40 will seem “young”.
    Thanks for the enjoyment you give to all your readers, many friends you haven’t met.

  14. Cecil
    Cecil says:

    Congratulations Matt, but you are only a lad about half my age,you are right about experience as you get older,I have certainly had a few, some I like to remember, but a damn lot I would rather forget, its always the bad ones that stick in your mind. Anyway Happy Birthday and may you have many more.

    All the best. Cecil King

  15. Dave S
    Dave S says:

    Only 40 eh? Still a long way to go- have a great day and assume we will hear again from you after the hangover subsides

  16. John
    John says:

    Hi Matt, Happy birthday. Not quite as old as me I shall be 69 (I still remember what one of those was like) On Thursday. Regards John.

  17. aidan
    aidan says:

    happy birthday young man, last time i saw 40 was on one of those red london buses or was it liverpool lol. i turned 40 abt 5 years ago and on the day a lovely elderly gent here in cork city said to me ‘son, u dont get any wiser getting old, u just get slower and slower!’ enjoy the day matt and keep putting one foot in front of the other. god bless u and yours. aidan p.s thank be to god the nh season has began!

  18. Pat
    Pat says:

    Hi Matt , Happy Birthday , have a good day and enjoy yourself . As it happens it is also my birthday and I have just been asked out for a few pints by my younger bro, so it is going to be a long day !!! Happy Birthday again !!

  19. don harrison
    don harrison says:

    hi matt nice to get a background to you makes it more personal.
    happy birthday time soon flashes by pity the horses dont do the same.


    Happy Birthday Matt, please keep on writing in the style that obviously makes us all laugh!!!, and keep throwing in one or two winners as well and we will continue to read and support you

  21. Steve
    Steve says:

    Happy Birthday Matt.

    It is about now that you will find yourself walking down the street and saying “ooh , that’s a nice cardigan in the shop window”

  22. John Shuff
    John Shuff says:

    Congrat’s Matt, from someone 3/4’s older (clever eh … who’s gonna bother checking that out!) you’ve done well and you’ve a hell of a lot more to look forward to mate. Keep the info and help coming… have a great day Matt…

  23. Darrin Clark
    Darrin Clark says:

    HI Matt

    Judging by the number of comments you are a very poular bloke and add my own congratulations on your 40th. Mine was 4 years ago and I feel younger now than in my twenties.

    It’s amazing how the desperate feeling of failure spurs people on to greater success and hope yours goes from strength to strength.

    I haven’t finished my grind on the treadmill yet which has something to do with three teenage daughters, but in truth still enjoy my job most of the time. I do intend doing something else though and have been fascinated with the idea of that something being online as highlighted by your blogs and the freedom to do it anywhere in the world is now an attainable dream.

    Have a great day and enjoy all the compliments.

    Darrin (a fellow Cherries fan)

  24. Peter Colledge
    Peter Colledge says:

    Very happy birthday Matt, and congratulations to Carole for her forebearance. Behind every great man….

  25. Susan
    Susan says:

    I really enjoyed reading that Matt, especially as we have some Bournemouth/Poole family connections. I especially loved the description of the angry boy bursting forth … I’m a teacher, I may use that in some of my reports as we certainly have a few of those!
    Happy birthday!

  26. John
    John says:

    Have a great birthday: Dont leave any tips for tomorrow at 40 you should be too groggy to read form
    Best Wishes

    John age 67

  27. John
    John says:

    Gongrats on reaching the big FOUR O here’s to the next 40 which will seem to pass a lot quicker than the first 40.
    Cheers John.

  28. Frank
    Frank says:

    My oh My what it’s like to be popular! That’s what being honest and sincere does for you Matt.I have enjoyed your blogs to date, and hopefully they will continue.Enjoy the rest of your day,which leaves me to say Happy Birthday!

  29. Mark B
    Mark B says:

    Happy Birthday Matt
    I suppose being a Bournemouth supporter, you have to celebrate anything that comes your way, including dodgy refs giving dodgy penalties (I’m a Rochdale fan}. Sorry about that, I’m only jealous, I wish I was 40 again. Have a brilliant day and keep up the cracking job you are doing. I spent my 40th in Amsterdam, it was reported in our local paper that I had a good time……..I honestly can’t remember

  30. Arthur Judge
    Arthur Judge says:

    Many Happy returns Matt, only one way to celebrate your 40th mate, with a very large malt whiskey, and an equally large cigar, have a great day buddy.

  31. Don Sykes
    Don Sykes says:

    Happy Birthday Matt,
    Enjoyed your blog, mainly because you have obviously taken a fairly light hearted view of life’s experiences. Certainly agree that life is about experience and learning from it. Don”t worry about the numbers, I tell people I am 47 – read in reverse for the correct version! Trouble is that in a bout 2 years time that will not work until I hit the next high number but then I will be even younger!
    Keep smiling, a smile goes a long way.

  32. Liam
    Liam says:

    I sent you an e-mail a special Birthday one But just in case This the start of your Life. so Happy Birthday Matt.

  33. M.Bowen
    M.Bowen says:

    Trifle looks great! I’ve been making trifle for my family for twenty odd years here in Madrid. Perhaps we should swap recipes………………Also your article seems somewhat autobiographiclal for me, no A levels but I work in 3 universities here in Madrid so there are ways. Finally, just to add that at the time you were born I was ” sticking on ” for Chummy Gaventa etc in the South of England so I have been knocking around physically and virtually for quite a long time ( much probably wasted ). AnywayI wish you the best and don’t forget the trifle offer. MB

  34. Steve
    Steve says:

    Happy Birthday Matt!

    Just turned 40 this year as well so you’re in good company! 😉

    It was good to read up on how you got to here and what you’ve been through over recent years – keep up the good work.


  35. Norm
    Norm says:

    Have a great day Matt! Got back from California yesterday, so instantly understood ,as I read your autobiog. this morning,why you and Carole didn’t rush away from San Diego! I love the place.
    Life is always beginning no matter what the decade! Enjoy it all – and keep on writing! (I am really intrigued to know what you wrote 10,000 words on for your dissertation.)

  36. M.Bowen
    M.Bowen says:

    I forgot to say that it’s obviously correct that the cream gets to the top , just look at the case of “trifle”. MB

  37. Bill
    Bill says:

    Hi Matt, I enjoyed your life story as i am a POOLE boy and my lovely wife was a sales rep at the Daily Echo. She thinks it was your good fortune not working for the paper as they do not appreciate talent. ( well it is your birthday ) My 40th was spent between my then two pub’s The Talbot at Winton and the Branksome Railway at Parkstone, that night I can only tell you about over a pint or two one day?
    I’ll have a pint for you tonight on Poole Quay.
    Forty and wiser ? No I don’t think so ? The head will still be thumping in the morning!!
    Enjoy Bill ex- landlord

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Bill

      I’m pleased to say I’ve drunk in both those pubs, but only been drunk in the Branksome Railway (lived for a while on Surrey Road).


  38. john doland
    john doland says:

    Happy Birthday Matt keep up the good work you are a breath of fresh air and long may it

  39. Tuzzy
    Tuzzy says:

    Happy Birthday Love trifle so hope you intend putting it safely into a container and posting it on to me.

  40. rigambler
    rigambler says:

    Be happy you lucky stiff. You have more of a future with computers, etc. We had crap when I was 40. Be thankful.
    How would you like to be 74?

  41. David
    David says:

    Congratulations Matt ,but unfortunately the second 40 goes quicker so continue to enjoy your life and friends.

    Are you going to Wolverhampton on Thurs ?

    Best Wishes


    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Thanks David – yes, I’ll be at Wolves on Thursday. Paul Hanagan is scheduled to ride. I know he’s the champion jockey, but I hope he gives our boy a better steer than the favourite in the opener at Yarmouth. I think he must have dropped his whip and lost the reigns… handicap plot? Maybe, I’ve made a note of Aniseed, that’s for sure!


  42. Joe Quirke
    Joe Quirke says:

    Congrats on reaching the big 4-nil Matt. I really enjoyed your article detailing your journey thus far and a lot of your experiences were very similar to some of mine! Its obvious from all the well wishers that you have accumulated a lot more friends than enemies over the years which says it all really! The work you do for us Punters is well and truly appreciated. Hope to get the chance to buy you a birthday pint in Wolverhampton on Thursday!

  43. kamal
    kamal says:

    Dear Matt, heartiest congratulations on your 40th birthday! it was lovely to read your lifestory so far. an old lady once said to a young man of 40, may God grant you a very long life, and the young man replied, maam please pray for a wide life for me as it is not the length but the width( how much you put into it) which makes it really meaningful. Best of luck to u and mrs Matt. ENJOY!!

  44. chris
    chris says:

    Happy birthday, Matt. Mine was last week – not my 40th alas. Chalk up another Guinness to the countless others I owe you – not least for my unforgettable trainer track stat Yankee in March 2009, which delighted you almost as much as it delighted me.

    I really will have to meet you in person one day soon, even if it’s only to buy you that well deserved drink.

    Enjoy your day,


    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Thanks Chris – that was one amazing wager. (For the benefit of those who don’t know, Chris scooped up… fifty-odd grand? is that right?… for a £22 bet, following the TrainerTrackStats horses that year. Brilliant!

      As for the beer, I’ll look forward to it. 🙂


    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Nice to get a comment from the ‘author’ of the trifle, my little sis, Kelly. Thanks Kel! 😉 x

  45. Joyce
    Joyce says:



    jOYCE x.

  46. dave w
    dave w says:

    happy 40th birthday matt!.

    having read your story you deserve your success with the website and all that’s come with it.
    you’re a popular, well liked guy, that’s obvious just reading all of the good wishes.
    a man of “principle”.

    respect!! 😉 (now there’s a trendy signoff from someone even older than you) lol

  47. david R
    david R says:

    All the best Matt,
    but to be honest, life does’nt really start until your 54, …………………..or at least it did’nt for me,
    Look what you’ve got to look forward to mate!

  48. David
    David says:

    All the best,

    soon to be my 40th November 8th…also a horse racing nut…definitely haven’t acheived as much as your good self regarding betting and the freedom of your career.

    However, after starting reading your blogs nearly 2 years ago…with some sceptism I remain an observer and follower

    Happy Birthday

  49. Gary
    Gary says:

    Have a great day Matt, my love of horse racing never diminishes, in fact it seems to increase with age, (coming up to 64 myself). But when people say to me ” how old ” I reply, ah yes but I have made it this far, will you…. may the winners continue. regards Gary.

  50. Francis
    Francis says:

    Very best wishes and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I very much enjoy reading your insights.
    The Trifle looks good! is that Blueberries? Have a good drink as well,you deserve it!
    Interesting how you got into Racing, I live on the far west coast of Ireland and quite a few
    people around here own Racehorses. A guy just over a mile from where I live had horses
    with Aiden O’Brien,sadly he passed away a couple of years ago.
    Matt enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. tony
    tony says:


    I think i have been one of those who has followed your site since the early days and i have always been impressed with the quality of your products and the honesty in which you write. I fear that if you had gone down the traditional route with the bournemouth echo then we would not have had the benefit of your insight.
    Hope you have/had a great birthday and i look forward to following your sites for many more years to come, well at least until the festival in March.


  52. paul
    paul says:

    Sounds like you went to the same educational establishmenrt as me if you where in stratford. Or the uni of the far east as we called it. Have a great day 40 thats when things start to get interesting.
    Cheers Paul

  53. Martin
    Martin says:

    Congratulations Matt, you seem like a really genuine guy and thanks for all the good advice and tips that you put up on your site.
    Oh yes, and I can confirm like many other posters that life truly does begin at 40……… The more years that go past, the more you appreciate each day that’s given to you. Carpe diem.

  54. peter new
    peter new says:

    Happy birthday Matt,
    Sorry it’s a bit late in the day but the sentiments are sincere.
    Hope you had a great day and can remember most things that happened. Here’s
    to many more.
    Good luck & best wishes & thanks for all the blogs.


  55. James
    James says:

    Beat wishes Matt,

    Geegeez is a great site and continues to get better and grow as it ages. Just like your goodself, growing in status though as you probably wont get any taller now.


  56. andy munroe
    andy munroe says:

    Hi Matt
    have a great day you deserve it pal,
    looking forward to the next forty years

  57. Tom
    Tom says:

    Happy Birthday Matt – 40 is a watersed alright and life shouldn’t begin just there, but if its any comfort, I began the best ten years of my hectic life on that same day. On my 40th I woke up in bed on a greek island between two beautiful Norwgian girls singing in stereo in my ears “Happy birthday to….” in norwegian. I had a satchel full of US $100 bills that I had acquired a few days previously in a shady deal with a rich old crook who was trying to exploit a singular ‘skill’ I had and he paid me more than a years income just to pick my brains over dinner.
    I gave 5k to the fellow who introduced us and went down the Greek islands and spent like like I was Niarchos for the several weeks. I then did an even more lucrative deal that got me into awful trouble but the rest of the decade was a blast. May your fourth decade years be as much fun as mine was. Good luck!
    All those flash times ran out in the past five years and I’m now as poor as a church mouse but still have a good time. I have a small punt every day – usually £15/20 only but still live in the, perhaps vain, belief that Lady Luck is going to smile at me again. Alas she doesn’t seem to much care for us old codgers nearly thirty years past our ‘life-begins-at’ date.

  58. Tom
    Tom says:

    sorry to mention this but as my computer screen locked when I sent you that greeting and has just freed itself I thought up a salutory ditty whilst boiling my duckegg and it goes:-
    Life begins at forty – but ends at forty-one
    It’s a brief time in the sunshine
    So, get out and have some fun
    For soon your spreading midriff
    coupled with your thinning pate
    Will demonstrate future prospects
    Are not that bloody great!
    (I could go on and on but kindness, on your special day, forbids me)

    JAMES LOWRY says:


  60. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the invitation for last night, unfortunately couldn’t make it as was out of town.

    Hope you had a great time at the Pub, congratulations and keep up the good work.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Thanks Jonathan – yes, very good night. Bit soreheaded today, but that’s the game! Good to see you at Ascot, and catch up soon, probably at London Racing Club.


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