Have you missed me, dear reader? I've sure missed you, and again I apologise for the lack of posting / punting action over the last three weeks. Reasons for this are numerous, and I'll share some of them with you now...
First up, I was skiing with my brother and two young nephews from January 3rd to 10th. Nothing grand, just a cheapie week away in Borovets (Bulgaria).
The snow was excellent. So excellent in fact that both our scheduled airport (Plovdiv) and next best (Sofia) were closed, which meant a diversion to the Black Sea coastal runways at Bourgas.
Comedy moments (with hindsight and a warm radiator beside me) ensued, as we were herded off the plane and into a tin shack to collect our luggage... eventually.
We were then piled into buses to head to a hotel for the night. Alas for the five busloads of people from all over the UK, the hotel we'd been taken to was as closed as could be. Not a light on in the place. Never mind, it was only 3am and -5C!
Long story short, we were able to land the following day, had a cracking ski all week, no broken bones, the nephews improved dramatically and loved it, and me and bro managed to fall out only once!
Since I've been back, I've been working on the development of geegeez into something not quite as all singing all dancing as, say, Liza Minelli. But perhaps a Lionel Blair of a multifunctional site. Well, it's a step up from a Les Dawson site, no?!
I can't say too much more at this stage, except that I hope it will be live by the end of the month, and that at least some of the planned content is there too.
This little bloggie will still be the centrepiece, but it will be joined by lots more information pages on subjects like racing and betting information / glossary; a live (ish) results feed; lots of systems pages (as ever, featuring the good, bad and downright ugly); and race course information, including - in due course - some in depth draw data for the flat tracks.
Like I say, I'm pretty excited about this (and also a little nervous), so watch this space...
Elsewhere, and I've been thinking hard about how best to approach the biz opps blog. This will also be making an appearance - probably in February, a little later than planned - soon enough. So those of you interested in such things will be pointed in that direction in due course (and those that are not will be left blissfully in peace).
I am planning to include a fair amount of basic getting started info on that blog, and will evolve the content over time.
Enough on that for now, as it's not really the time or the place here...
The racing (as well as the skiing) has been curtailed somewhat by recent weather patterns, and it looks like we're set for another difficult weekend ahead. Southwell and Sedgefield beat the wet and the cold today, and there are a few opportunities for minor investments amongst the runners.
At Southwell, the only remaining fibresand track and therefore a bit of a course specialists' circuit, there are one or two likely types.
Firstly, in the seller at 1.30, I'm not sure why Run Free is 20/1. He's won 2 from 10 on the AW (both over course and distance), and has been placed 50% of his AW starts. At Southwell over seven furlongs - today's trip - he's managed two wins and a 3rd place from 4 starts.
The oppo is decidedly middling, with Blue Charm a non-runner; Bobski (rated 20 lbs higher) having won only at Lingfield and Donny and not at all for two years; and Lethal also unlikely to appreciate the surface.
Hamaasy is a slow old monkey these days, and probably needs seven furlongs rather than the six he's spent most of his eight years running over, and looks likely to be in the mix. And Kingsmaite is seriously consistent, having been in the first five in 14 of his last 15 starts, including a number over various trips round here.
But Run Free looks robust each way material to this eye.
For 10p's, I'm almost tempted to suggest a combination forecast and tricast on Run Free with the bottom 3 on the card (Magical Song, Penel, and So Sublime), who are all previous CD winners and are priced at 20/1, 50/1 and 80/1 respectively.
In the 2.30, Mozayada looks worth a small bet. She's been the scourge of Laying System punters, winning five of her last six (often as one for us to oppose), and is tough and consistent. She's up in grade and that might find her out, but 8/1 is fair value.
Over at Sedgefielf, Fiendish Flame is a ferry fin (or very thin) price, which sets up the top one as value in my mind. Likely to wind up a match, the odds on favourite here was worried out of it by a rag last time, and may come up shy again here.
Letterpress, for Howard Johnson, has won on heavy going so the conditions today will be a stroll in the park (albeit a particularly muddy park), and 4/1 looks reasonable enough in a possible coin toss.
Finally, and although it's not Thursday, I was sent this and found it very funny...
Tickle Me Elmo:
There is a factory in
Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms.
and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 am.
The next day at 8:45 am there is a knock at the
Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and
begins to rant about the new employee..
He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is
backing up, putting the entire production line behind
The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so
the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get
there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me
Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really
beginning to pile up. At the end of the line stands
surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's.
She has a roll of plush red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles.
The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of
fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully
sew the little package between Elmo's legs.
The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several
minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and
'I'm sorry,' he says to her,
barely able to keep a straight face, 'but I think you
misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday...'
'Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles.
It's nice to be back. :o)