We've moved in, dear reader, in a snowstorm. Despite the blizzard conditions outside, the fact that my office is next to my kitchen means there's tea aplenty and no sick days here..!
So, the first day in my new home here at WordPress (WordPress is a tool for writing blogs, like Blogger, the old home of Geegeez was) is blighted by... well, by the things that blight all people when they move into new homes.
Firstly, having been so snug at my bijou Blogger apartment, knowing where every switch and dial lived, it's quite scary here. This place is more akin to a country pile than the city flat I previously inhabited. And, due to the size of our new chunk of ethe-real estate (see what I did there?!), it is obviously going to take some time to unpack all the boxes, and furnish all the rooms.
Or, in horse punting layman's terms, to work out what the hell is what, and to add all the content to the pages that you see teasing you to the left of this 'ere post.
My plan is to bring online the all weather course information hopefully this week, and the remaining flat course information - including a veritable flurry (topical word) of draw bias information - ahead of the start of the flat season at the end of March.
It is also my intention to populate the horse racing systems section with content from previous reviews, and of course to start some fresh system reviews in due course.
Finally, the horse racing information section will be a living, breathing animal, and I'd like to make it interactive, with some sort of 'wiki' function. In case you don't know, a wiki (see for instance, Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page or Google's new rival, Knol, about which I think we'll be seeing a lot more in 2009, at http://knol.google.com/k) is a kind of community-driven online encyclopedia.
I would dearly love to have such a thing related to all things racing here on Geegeez and, if I can work out the technology, that's what we'll do. It is though a big challenge, and it comes fraught with many potential hazards. If Geegeez' new website is akin to a country house, then a wiki is the equivalent of a large holiday resort, where many people come and go generally adding to the value for everyone, but occasionally some uncharitable individual will soil the metaphorical bedsheets, with some spam or other.
In short, I need to work out the technology side of things (which I think will be the easier part), and then find a way to ensure the value that such a wiki would undoubtedly add, is not spoilt by people seeking to feather their own porn- or viagra-fuelled nests. I hope this makes some semblence of sense.
Enough already. We're here at Chez Geegeez, and you are all most welcome. I will be bringing the content online just as quick as I can research it, and I will be working with my developer man to establish a way to make it as interactive as possible.
I did consider a forum function but, to be honest, these have the same problems as wiki's but magnified many times.
Onwards, and I just wanted to clarify something that was mentioned in an email to me over the weekend, which - far from being offended by - I considered to be a fair point.
The emailer, a fine chap from New Zealand, where I imagine the weather is a degree (or ten) warmer than here, asked how I could present myself as an expert on horse racing when my tips were so often wide of the mark(!).
I pointed out to him, and am keen to remind you, my dear reader, that I have NEVER pretended to be an expert on horse racing form. Rather, I am two things:
- I am an expert at data analysis. I have a degree in research methods, and a logical brain that teeters on the brink of autism (according to my sister and my ex-girlfriend anyway!), which means I have an eye for weedling through data to seek out the meaningful elements and formulate racing systems that are supported by logic and consistency. This means they have a chance of sustaining their profitability into the future. It also means that the subjective part of my brain is not troubled when it comes to identifying winners, or losers. Both Trainer Track Stats and Laying System are testament to this. Both are profitable, neither are retirement funds. Which brings me onto my second point:
2. I am a realist, not an alchemist, and the job of this blog and this site is to inform and to educate, but most of all to entertain. Note that the education rarely comes directly from me but, rather, this site is a mouthpiece for the wisdom of others. My regular reader will have often heard me refer to such as Nick Mordin, James Willoughby, Alan Potts and their US counterparts like Andy Beyer. These are the experts.
Horse racing, and profitable racing systems, is/are about understanding the numerous and manifold principles that can be applied to equine performance, and finding those that you can best make sense of, then applying these to the best of your ability. For me, this generally involves looking at trends and statistics.
Obviously, rendering a series of finely honed physical athletes to a bunch of numbers is a somewhat abstract process. But it is the means by which I best understand racing, as opposed to say, collateral form, which remains the staple of most punters in the UK and Ireland. (By collateral form, I mean pounds and lengths. By pounds and lengths, I mean gauging horses by the distances they've won or lost, or by the weights they've lugged or are lugging).
So, I will continue to write here about horse racing and about systems, and I will continue to offer tips on the blog. But do bear in mind that the tips are just for fun, as I am not an expert on such things. I may occasionally post the selections from one of my researched premium systems (like the aforementioned TTS or Laying System) as well.
I hope that makes sense, and clarifies the objective of this blog. It's not intended as a whine, because I think Gordon's question may allude to a commonly held misconception about what my offering here is.
With that in mind, and also the fact that it's a Monday (where I very rarely bet more than 50p on anything!), I'll now offer the following thoughts on today's Wolverhampton card which, at the time of the writing, has survived the worst of the weather. Truly an all weather track!
In the 2.50, I'm setting myself up for a fall by nominating Fantastic Fred. He looks for all the world like he'll love the step up in trip, and I was surprised that 13/8 is available on betfair. He's racing off the same mark as last time (although he gets a 6lb penalty for the win), is up only notionally in grade, has won twice at the track, and has a strong jockey up.
The only niggle is that his stable, that of Jamie Osborne, generally doesn't leave a fancied runner unpunted. Which is to say that possibly they are not as sweet today as I am. No matter, I think Fred will win again.
In the 3.20, a selling race full of dodges and swerves, I'll be opposing the favourite, Parisian Gift. Morrissey may currently be waxing lyrical about how he's putting his arms around Paris (did anybody get this reference?!), but I shall be shunning him (Paris, not Morrissey) avec aplomb. Tonked over course and distance earlier in his career, albeit in better class, and a winner only at a shorter distance, and only once (from seven starts), 15/8 looks perfectly resistable.
Finally, in the 4.50, Prairie Hawk hosed up here when gambled from 16/1 into 7/4 favourite (!!!) in mid-December. He then ran a stinker at Southwell, where he might not have enjoyed the track, or he may have 'bounced' (i.e. felt the effects of a career best run last time), or he may have just not fancied it. Whatever, he's had a rest now, and is back to the scene of the previously referred bookie mugging. So, no excuses today... (that said, he's already drifted from 5/2 to 7/2 on betfair, which hardly inspires confidence. Given the wagering nature of connections, any further negative price movement will see me keep shekels in wallet).
Right, now where are my skis...?
Happy (snowy) Monday...