A New Start?
Firstly, mainly as I like looking at it and thought you may too; above is a painting of Really Super I had commissioned as a 30th Bday/Xmas gift, from the excellent Chris Winch who’s resident at The National Stud in Newmarket. Quite brilliant, if you like that style. Moving on…
Firstly I hope you’ve been keeping safe and that lockdown hasn’t sent you too mad just yet. Now I’m back in Suffolk I’ve been escaping into the countryside on my bike/long walks and have thoroughly enjoyed my time away from ‘thinking horse’. I will be scheduling in more time like that. In saying that I’ve spent some time pondering the approach to content and still have plenty of thinking to do on that front, moving forward. But, I have the time. In years to come we will look back at the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ Covid blog and they may well be very different beasts. There will be some changes to how I do things, for the better. I’ve been re-reading Nick Mordin’s ‘Winning Without Thinking’ which is the sort of racing book that makes you realise you may have been doing plenty wrong for the last two years!
Secondly… a big thank you – I opened up the back end of my members software for the first time in a couple of weeks to see how many of you are still around – and it would appear not many of you have left, as yet 🙂 230 odd of you are still here – the majority of you are ‘early adopters’ and have been here for a good while – I will be sparking myself back into life to try and reward your loyalty. As I ponder the last 12-18 months there’s plenty that I could be doing better and large parts that have become stale. A thank you to all of you who post also – from the regulars to the not so regulars – while I play a deliberate part in creating an atmosphere that encourages engagement you still have to engage, and thankfully enough of you do – I think it’s fair to say that in recent months without the comments section, I may have been staring down the barrel as I don’t think my content has cut it, generally. (with some exceptions). What the landscape looks like in 6 months time, we shall see, but with any luck I produce content that is engaging, useful and profitable. I need to be far more contrarian in my thinking, while simplifying my ‘tipping’ approach.
Thirdly… until racing (UK/Ire) returns (and who knows when that will be, but i’d be surprised if it was before June, gulp) there will be no set structure to the week on here – there will be posts to absorb and read as and when (I will be taking weekends off!)… my short term plan…
- Today – a ‘Micro Monday’ piece that i’ve yet to start researching – but I want to have a look at Flat trainers and sires/dam-sires – i’m not sure if there will be sufficient data but there’s plenty of logic behind trainers knowing certain families etc and the impact on training methods. If there are any gems it’s also the sort of research that is not in the wider public domain/racing post etc. (you may start to sense a theme with such thinking – you can thank Mr Mordin, who’s books/ideas never seem to age even though this one was published in 2002 – some of the methods will have aged/no value any longer, but much to learn from how he thinks about the game. With that said… )
- ‘Winning Without Thinking’ – well i’ve been losing without thinking which is generally not the best approach I feel! I will type up some notes on my latest reflections based on this book / shape of things to come. I’ve still a few chapters to get through and some more thinking to do so that may be later this week/into next. As always a large thrust of anything I churn out is to give you something to ponder, that may improve your own punting etc. There are many things about racing that I think about, that could be flipped on their head, and thought about very differently.
- Festival Review – If I can stomach looking back at the week at all races that followed The Ultima (I can) I will produce some review posts, day by day, but trying to take a different approach from the generally tired review posts you read – ‘horses for the notebook’ etc- of course there will be some of those but it’s a good chance to research plenty that may help us into next jumps season. Thinking / ideas/ research that may go under the radar. I’ll look back at how the micros/trends performed, and touch on the obvious glaring errors made by my illogical tired mind/eyes. If I do a proper job these posts may stretch over a few weeks.
- Videos – just a note to say my recording software is on my desktop which is still up in Liverpool. I’ve handed my notice in and need to get up there at some point to clear the place – but in any case, i’ll try and buy some software for my mac which does the same thing – as just reading/writing copious amounts may get tedious in the weeks ahead, for you and me.
I think that’s it. To be honest i’m enjoying the lack of racing for now as it’s a welcome change to be setting my own timetable, not dictated by the racing calendar. It appears some relaxation is good for the mind. I was burnt out (which is my own fault for how I’ve done things on here/and in life in my pre Covid world) and while the general global situation is awful, it has at least given me the space to get my head into a better place. In terms of our racing bubble, we can only hope that the impacts are not too severe, but it’s hard to know at this stage. Racing and it’s finances had plenty of problems before this epidemic, as did smaller operations, and they will be exacerbated now. Our UK/IRE racing world may look very different in 12 months time but it’s hard to know how, and what changes /innovations may appear.
Right, time for me to stick my head into Horse Race Base. I’ll be back with something worth reading later today/tomorrow.
And again, for those of you still here, thank you. I’ve been testing your patience for too long and I’ll try and repay it in the coming months.