A quick round up this morning, featuring two things: wind surgery notifications, and a brilliant prize tipping competition...
Wind Surgery Notifications
First, as you may have heard/seen already, horses having their first run since a wind surgery procedure will be denoted as such on racecards from today. Our own notation will be as follows:
We will further have W2, W3, W4, and W5+ to denote that a procedure was carried out two, three, four or five-plus starts back. And if a horse has a further procedure subsequently, that will 'reset the clock' to W1 again.
The horses in question today are:
Dancing Amy 1.45 Musselburgh
Alberobello 3.20 Chepstow
Dr Hooves 4.00 Musselburgh
Wimpole 4.00 Musselburgh
And we'll also be storing that info in our database so, down the line, you'll be able to learn about trainers and sires who a) invoke such a procedure most frequently and b) have more or less success with that approach.
Another thing to say on wind surgery notifications, which I hope will be obvious. This is NOT going to be a silver bullet for punters: quite apart from anything else, if it was then the edge would last for all of five minutes before the odds line moved to incorporate it.
No, happily, it will be the sort of thing that the clued in - that is, geegeez visitors and the like - will benefit from by understanding the nuances just beneath the surface. I'm sure we'll cover the implications of this information in six months or so's time.
Finally, I'd like to tip my hat to Horseracing Bettors' Forum, on which I sit, for making this happen. HBF surveyed the betting public over a year ago and the number one requested new data item was notification of wind operations. We've worked with the BHA - who deserve huge credit for pushing this through against a backdrop of extreme reluctance from trainers, owners and breeders - to get it delivered.
No change happens fast in the world of horseracing, and very little change has happened period under previous administrations. The current setup seems more go ahead, has more buy in from its tripartite stakeholders, and is quietly achieving a lot in spite of the occasional own goal along the way.
Win VIP Tickets to Chelt-ing-ham!
As you may have noticed, we've begun to step up our coverage of the Cheltenham Festival 2018 this week. As well as the first antepost preview - for the Champion Hurdle, here - there's also a microsite (that is, a page from which you can click to other Chelto-related content).
The Cheltenham microsite is here, and a link to it can be found in the main menu.
One of the great things about the Fez is that bookmakers see it as THE shop window for horseracing. Unlike the Nash (Fez, Nash... must stop these nasty bastardizations of convenience!), which attracts millions of once-a-year punters whose repeat business cannot be relied upon, the Cheltenham Festival is seen by both the sport and those who take bets on it as an opportunity to bring new fans to our great game.
That's why the bookies dangle carrots at this time like no other period in the year. Already we're seeing Non Runner No Bet concessions in place, even in races which look as though they'll cut up dramatically. Why? Bookies want your money in their satchel. It's a win-win.
Anyway, a few savvy operators are engaging punters further out than normal and offering some excellent reasons to get involved. One such is racebets, who have a brilliant 'Chase To Cheltenham' tipping competition running between now and the Festival in mid-March.
The prizes include VIP tickets to the Festival as well as hundreds of quids in free bets.
Specifically, the top TWELVE players will win a VIP package for two on Champion Hurdle day worth £1,000. Whoooop! Yoot! Toot!
That prize includes:
- Club Admission Ticket
- Complimentary Bar
- Morning Coffee and Biscuits
- Betting Service
- TV Racing Coverage
- £/€10 free bet for each race
- Official Racecard
- Car Parking
- Preview of each race from RaceBets expert odds compiler
But that's not all. The next 100 players, i.e. positions 13-112 in the tipping competition, will each win a £50 betting bank to use at the Cheltenham Festival. Sweet-o! Neat-o!
And wait, there's more! In each round - there are 17 left to play, you need to play at least five to have a chance of the big prizes - there is a £50 prize for the top points scorer. [A round consists of six races where you have to predict the winner].
Still there's more... if you don't win the round but you do beat the bookie's round score, you'll get a £10 free bet to use. You could finish second last as long as the bookie's score is last, and you'll get a £10 free bet!
So, as you can see, it's worth playing.
How to enter?
To enter you need to read the details on this page, and familiarize yourself with the rules. To qualify for the game, players must bet £10 across the six races in the round. This could be a single £10 bet on one race, or 6 x £1.70, or whatever.
Additionally, if you don't currently have a racebets account, as well as a 100% first deposit match (up to £50, enter code WELCOME when you sign up), you'll also be entered into a draw to win one of three more sets of VIP tickets for Day One of the Cheltenham Festival. Click here to register an account and get entered into the draw.
There are some really excellent prizes on offer, which may not take a huge amount of winning... so get involved!