Nag3 2007 Review: We've Come A Long Long Way...
It acts as diary, catharsis and, as many of you know, marketing tool. It has become a key part of my weekly routine to 'blog' to you, my trusty band of occasional perusers, to the point where I probably enjoy jotting my bluster more than you enjoy reading it.
So, before I proceed, I'd like to record my heartfelt thanks for your support this year, and I truly hope that in the time you've been a spectator on this page, you've found one or two titbits of value, either in the racing stuff or some other peripheral tale that I may have expounded herein.
The racing year has two crescendo's, two seasons: the jumps and the flat, and Nag3 has been there for much of both this year.
It all started with something of a bang, on February 23rd this year, with a post entitled 'Grand National Thoughts'.
Regular readers will know that I look forward to the National like no other race, principally because my record in finding the winner in recent years has been exceptional (though I say so myself).
In that post, I reduced the 119 entries down to just 12. That 'dirty dozen' included 33/1 winner Silver Birch, who could have been backed at 100 on betfair at the time (and indeed was, by yours truly).
All about the Cheltenham Festival of course, and my bet of the meeting and one of my two bets of the year, was sunk when Well Chief capsized before the race was two fences old.
Man of the Meeting for me was Ferdy Murphy, who got me and many others out of jail with a couple of fat (FAT!) priced winners. L'Antartique at 20's and Joe's Edge at 50's (both available at double those odds on the exchange) saw Murphy continue his impressive form with chasers at the festival. Watch out for him in 2008!
The end of the jumps season proper, and the month of the Grand National, jewel in the crown of the Aintree Festival.
Silver Birch won me a couple of grand in the big race, and won a few others some nice dough too. He was heavily touted on these pages.
April also saw the start of the Flat season, and my alternative ten to follow. I presented ten nags who would not win big prizes but who might pay their way through the season.
The tale of the tape on those fellows at season end was thus:
8.5 points profit
21% strike rate
20% ROI at SP
No more jumping action to concern us, and the Flat season started to pick up with the first of the Classics.
2nd May saw my personal favourite (or should I say favour-wit) post, as I previewed the 2000 Guineas in the style of Elmer Fudd.
I didn't find the winner of the race (who did?!), but I tipped all to lay the life out of Teofilo, and suggested he'd probably run his last race. Alas, both projections proved spot on. It will be interesting to see how his progeny perform in a couple of years time.
May also saw the first of a number of product reviews, with the products actually being trialled on the blog in real time.
Aside from TrainerTrackStats (naturally), the first review is also my favourite product of those I've reviewed. It's called Racing Secrets [Exposed], and is the best laying system product available, in my opinion. You can read the review and see its performance here.
Derby and Oaks time, and Royal Ascot. My tribute to 'Sir' Henry Cecil (still not knighted, a travesty). He won the Oaks, his first Group 1 for a number of seasons, though with the 'wrong' filly. (The favourite is still running...)
In the Derby, Authorized won like a very good horse. As is the case with Derby winners, he then won only one of his subsequent three starts. The race that is the Classic Blue Riband seems to finish off an alarming number of top class animals and is, in my opinion at least, an utter anachronism.
I believe it should be re-defined as a contest run in high Summer at a less tumultuous track, to truly demonstrate the best three year old at a time when the colts have had a chance to properly mature, and when all animals have an equal chance on a literal level playing field.
Royal Ascot was probably brilliant. I say 'probably', because I was off sailing round the Croatian coast at the time, and contrived to miss the meeting for the second year running. I vow to be in UK in late June 2008, and to offer my thoughts to you, my dear reader, and my cash to betfair (which, by the wonders of person to person betting, may also be to you, my dear reader!).
Mid-summer and Flat racing galore. Also, an impromptu trip to Las Vegas, and the World Series of Poker. And, of course, le Tour de France.
My favourite sporting event of the year, and another of my personal favourite posts, was the preview for the 2007 Tour de France. In the end, I pretty much ruled them all out, but managed to make some money along the way, dodging the dirty doping cheats.
Incidentally, and to add a touch of currency to this retrospectacle (sic, with thanks to Thomas Dolby), you may have noted with sadness that Phil O'Donnell passed away whilst playing football for Motherwell last weekend.
He is the latest of a number of footballers who have suffered heart failure while playing (Marc-Vivien Foe perhaps the most high profile).
Now, whilst I need to be careful what I say here, I strongly believe that more and more footballers are using steroids and, more worryingly, engaging in the same blood doping activities that have claimed the lives of many, many (very) young cyclists.
Of course I cannot prove a link, but if you search for Operacion Puerto (or view the Wikipedia link), you will see what I am getting at.
In the big business of sport, this is a most worrying development, which has been conveniently swept under the carpet. It would not surprise me one jot to see this become the biggest story in sport in 2008...
On a lighter note, joke of the month was,
A young jockey and his stable lass girlfriend make the decision to get married. Everything is planned and the couple intend to honeymoon in
I also introduced some US betting concepts which may be new to UK punters, and which are very interesting at least, and the foundation for profitable punting at best...
An august end to the summer, indeed, dear reader, and a look forwards to both the start of the footy season (with some predictions), and the beginning of TTS 07/8.
My Premier League top scorer selections have been, let's face it, woeful. Darren Bent remains a brilliant striker but, like many of his team mates, he is suffering a serious crisis of confidence and is also now fourth choice in the dreaded squad rotation policy.
Eduardo is now scoring goals, and is proving what a natural finisher he is, but he's only getting games because the first choice Robin van Persie is injured. He has only two in the League though, and will not trouble the judge this season for sure.
My division accumulator still has a prayer, though perhaps little more:
Premier Man Utd (11/8)
Championship Watford (9/1), Sheffield United (9/1)
League One Nottingham Forest (4/1), Luton (16/1)
League Two Peterborough (7/2), Darlington (14/1)
(8 x £5 lodged at the start of the season)
The start of the TrainerTrackStats season, and a good start to boot. September was also the month that saw Nag3 become more of a travelogue than a blog.
TTS returned around ten points profit on the month (using betfair, as ever), and about the same again on the place parts.
Personally, I had a trip to Thailand as the highlight. My first venture to Asia was more eye popping than eye opening, and I have to concede to not having enjoyed all that I witnessed there.
Another fine month for TTS, and another fine month for my travelogue / blog. This time I managed to get to the Breeders' Cup, which - alas for me - saw my second 'bet of the year' washed away on the false turf of Monmouth Park.
Dylan Thomas, racing on the anniversary of the acclaimed Welsh author's birthday, was never in the race, and my brains were done in grand fashion.
TTS place punters collected a lovely £457 for £20 stakes, and win punters said 'ta very much' to a more modest £203 for the same units.
Last month provided yet more gallivanting for your humble scribe, with Paris, Piraeus and Heligenhaus (near Dusseldorf) on the itinery this time.
Alas, it was also a month when the wheels fell off the TTS wagon in unholy manner. A brutal -50 points for the win bets, and -15 points for the place elements undid all of the preceding good work.
Fear not, though, for faith was to be rewarded...
And so to December. The end of the year is a time for reflection, for lessons to be considered and for all men (and women) to reaffirm their commitments in life.
An excellent month for TTS has just finished, with the pain of November now a fading memory, and monthly P/L showing +£642 on the place and +£956 for the win (a lovely total of £1,598 for £20 e/w stakes).
Thus, the half time statement is:
Placed in 1st 3 53.56%
Win Profit £320 to £20
Place Profit £998 to £20
Total Profit £1,318 to £20
To 2008, and look out for a special 'mid season sale' offer in your inbox very soon.
Between now and then though, all that remains for me is to thank you again most sincerely for both your patronage and your time in reading this page.
If you've purchased my products (or others recommended on this page), I hope you've found the honesty around them refreshing, and the product rewarding.
If you've merely read my regular ramblings, I trust that this has brought a smile and the odd guffaw to your features, and that you will continue to enjoy the verbiage here posted.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and those around you a lucrative and, much more importantly, a healthy and happy New Year.
Until next year...