Friday, 30 December 2011


Completed a 17-match winning streak when winning the London ATP finals in November. During that unbeaten run his service statistics were particularly impressive. His first serve % points won averaged 83.2%. His second service % points won during this streak was equally impressive at 58.0%. He held serve 93.1% of the time during this period. These are terrific numbers.

As we go into 2012 the question is can he continue this renaissance or will age finally catch up with him? I think he may have one good year left, despite not winning a GS in 2011.

The news that Nadal has a nagging shoulder injury, for which he will take several weeks off in February, has prompted me to lay out a few pounds on the Swiss from our November winnings as follows:

5pts Federer to win Australian Open @ 3/1 with Totesport
3pts Federer to win exactly two GS tourneys in 2012 @ 14/1 with William Hill
1pt Federer to win exactly three GS tourneys in 2012 @ 80/1 with William Hill
0.5pt Federer to win all four GS tourneys in 2012 @ 200/1 with William Hill

Total invested 9.5pts

Djoko is likely to be a huge threat in 2012 of course but Murray has yet to win a set in a GS final so should be discounted (I believe) for yet another year.

Monday, 26 December 2011

King George

Early disappointment in the big race as Diamond Harry has been pulled out leaving only seven runners. No rule4 deduction on our price but now only the first two places for our each-way bet.....

King George VI Chase 15:10 Kempton

The King George is a great race today for each-way bets as all bookmakers offer 1/4 odds 1,2,3 and only eight runners go to post. But which horse is the value?

I have taken a chance with Captain Chris who tackles 3m for the first time.

I have had 1pt ew Captain Chris @ 8/1 with Paddy Power (also available with Ladbrokes) both BOG; and with Coral (no BOG insurance).

Thursday, 22 December 2011


Other than a small ew bet on Strauss nearly a year ago I've not got involved in SPOTY on the blog. That bet was @ 33/1 and he is now 250/1 to win it! So perhaps not much of a chance of a return there. I see that the Racing Post recommended Strauss @ 35/1 for the top3 today and I would not argue with that although only 25/1 is available now as I write.

Cavendish looks a very short priced favourite to me - around the 4/11 mark. I don't think he will necessarily endear himself to the viewing public tonight. I have just laid him @1.43 on betfair - so getting close to 5/2 NOT to win SPOTY. I've even had a little lay bet @1.05 for the top3. That is 20/1 NOT to be in the top3.

I really don't have an opinion on who might win. However, I think it's ridiculous having three golfers in the final ten. Guys who stroll about in sweaters but never break into a sweat. I don't consider them sportsmen I'm afraid.

So these are my thoughts. No recommended bets although the best value is probably a lay on betfair of Cavendish around 1.43 or shorter.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers look like they are in real trouble now. The manager, Steve Kean, said that relegation was impossible just a few weeks ago. He then declared he was looking forward to three "nice" fixtures against fellow strugglers Sunderland, West Brom and Bolton. Well he's lost the first two of these matches - both 2-1 - and now faces a pivotal fixture against the bottom side Bolton tomorrow.

There are constant rumours that he will be sacked - win or lose - after tomorrow's match. The owners - Venky's - don't seem to know what they are doing either and the fans are against them too hence the atmosphere at the match could be very hostile tomorrow. Money is tight and apparently Barclays are seeking £10m to shore up the balance sheet.

Even if Blackburn don't lose tomorrow it will be a barren Xmas with away fixtures at Liverpool and Man Utd on the horizon. I'm going for Armageddon, starting with:

2pts win Bolton @ 11/4 to win at Blackburn tomorrow (Paddy P) - also available totesport, VC, betfred.

And also:

5pts win Blackburn to finish rock bottom in Prem League @ 3/1 with William Hill

Friday, 16 December 2011

UEFA League draws

Our 14/1 Bayern Munich for the Champions' League looks a decent bet given that they have drawn Basel in the round of 16 today. They are now a best priced 11/2. It would be a major shock if they failed to make the last eight, then it's down to the draw again.

In the Europa League, Udinese have been given a reasonable draw but the price we took to win the event is little changed, partly because of the Manchester teams parachuting into the contest.

I think that Valencia, who play Stoke in the next round, represent some value at 14/1 in the Europa League with skybet and VC. The latter will lay me nothing as they refuse to take my bets and skybet's permitted maximum stake was £1.79 win or each-way. The current betfair price is 15.5 so that is just below 14/1 when commission is deducted.

I therefore have had 2pts @ 14/1 Valencia with skybet for the Europa League. (The balance of my bet placed with betfair).

Kim Clijsters

I think Kimmy could shorten up significantly. We are already on @ 16/1 and that is no longer available. She is going to Australia next week to acclimatise before playing Brisbane (also Serena's preferred warm-up tournament). Then it's on to Melbourne for the defence of her title. She describes herself as fitter than ever. Let's hope so as I have just placed:-

1.5pts ew Kim Clijsters @ 14/1 for Australian Open with William Hill

Total 3pts invested.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Kempton 7f 18:30; 6f 17:30

Very strange market moves with our selection yesterday. Backed from 11/1 (r4) into 4/1 favourite. Then, close to the off, drifted rapidly on betfair back out to 10/1. Never put in the race/or seen with a chance.

Today my main bet is again in a 7f handicap. I like the look of Forks in 18:30 race. The Timeform top-rated four-year-old was a good winner at Lingfield last time out and the form is holding up well.

I have had 2.5pts win Forks @ 7/1 with William Hill (BOG)

In the Nursery (17:30) I have had 1pt win Sunrise Dance @ 12/1 with William Hill(BOG)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Kempton 7f 18:20

Just one bet today at Kempton:

2pts win Dunseverick @ 11/1 William Hill (BOG)

Monday, 12 December 2011

X-factor results

Another good result for us with Little Mix winning the final last night. From a betting perspective it has been a very profitable series for us. We had five blogged bets in total: W14/1, W13/2, W3/1, W10/11 and L14/1. Stakes 15.5pts; Returns 58.2pts; Profit 42.7pts.

The quality of acts was probably the worst ever. But this, of course, is of no consequence to us as we are only interested in making money on the event. In fact while the final was taking place I went to see a documentary film about the life and music of Joni Mitchell, an artist that has captivated me since hearing her first album in 1968. I think I can safely say that no-one will be listening to Little Mix in 43 years' time. I hesitate to say even in 43 weeks' time - because with Simon Cowell pulling the strings, they could still be conning the teen market this time next year.

As Paul Weller wrote: "the public gets what the public wants...".

Or do they? What makes the event such an attractive betting proposition is the way the contestants are manipulated by the producers. Everything including song choice, sound production, costumes, running order, judges comments and VT footage is carefully crafted to influence the voting public either negatively or positively. By following these signals one can often read the way the producers are thinking. In the case of the winners, it was clear from around halfway through the series that they would do whatever they could to get Little Mix to the final.


Friday, 9 December 2011

Kimmy is back!

Well perhaps. Been off the track since August and was unable to defend her US Open title as a consequence. Now she has had just one (exhibition) match in which she took out Woza in straight sets. Yes it was in Belgium, but it signals her return to fitness and an attempt on the horizon to defend her Aus Open title. Apparently her serve worked really well, which is crucial.

2012 has been confirmed as her last season and although she wants to do well in the Olympics and at Wimbledon you cannot rule out her defending her Aus title.

In any event I'm happy to get involved with Ladbrokes' 16/1 for the first GS.

I have had 3pts win @ 16/1 Clijsters to win Australian Open with Ladbrokes.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Kempton 6f 18:30; 19:00

Two selections in the last two races at Kempton tonight, both of which are dropped in class. The first, Taajub, actually finished runner-up in the 2009 Gimcrack. Drawn well and ridden by Seb Sanders, who seems to know how to trap fast in these sprints.

The second selection is Slatey Hen, the top weight in the lucky last. The bets are:

1pt win Taajub @ 8/1 with William Hill
1pt win Slatey Hen @ 8/1 with William Hill
0.5pt each way double above prices. All prices BOG.

(Both prices also available @ totesport)

Total 3pts staked.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Southwell 11f, 15:00

X-factor is shaping up well for us now after a poor start. My first selection never made the live stages but Little Mix has turned that around with the each-way bet landed as the final three has been decided. They are now 11/10 favourites to win the event on Sunday and we have a chance of 14/1 and 13/2 returns.

Misha finished fourth as we anticipated thus landing our 10/11 elimination wager.

The racing does not make a lot of appeal today, however I have invested 1pt win Ay Tay Tate @ 6/1 with William Hill (BOG) in the 15:00 Southwell.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Tiger Woods 2012

We made a few pounds when the man was on the way down. In fact the first ever bet recommended on the blog, on 8 December 2009, was 12pts on Tiger not to win a major in 2010, a winning start of course.

Now he looks very much as if he is on the way back so I've had a couple of bets in two 2012 majors as follows:

6pts win Tiger Woods to win the 2012 Masters @ 7/1 with Coral (also available with blue square/888)

6pts win Tiger Woods to win the 2012 Open Championship with Unibet @ 15.0

Total 12pts staked

X Factor elimination

According to reliable sources there will be no sing-off for the next elimination. Therefore you have to think that Misha B will go on Sunday as she has already been in the bottom two on three previous occasions before being saved by the judges. Clearly she is not popular with the voting public.

I have had 5.5pts Misha B to be next elimination @ 10/11 with Paddy Power (also available with Ladbrokes).