Saturday, 31 March 2012

William Hill Spring Mile

First race of the new flat season. Difficult to judge how the draw might play out but this race may give an indication for the Lincoln at 15:15.

I have taken a small interest in the horse drawn 22 of 22 who may be running on for his new trainer when others have had enough.

1 pt each-way Weapon Of Choice @ 22/1 with bet365 (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5)

Sent from my iPad

Kempton 16:40, 6f

Farlow looks the one to be on today. Attracting a bit of cash too this morning.

3pts win @ 8/1 Farlow with Ladbrokes BOG

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Next Chelsea Manager

No time to go through rationale of yesterday's bets. Only time to report that the Hanagan price is still available but the V Williams price has been cut by Boylesports from 40/1 to 25/1. Bet Victor is 33s if you are allowed to bet there and have missed the 40/1.

Today I have had a bet on Laurent Blanc becoming the next Chelsea manager, having read various newspaper reports. We are already on Mourinho @ 16/1 through our "next Prem club to manage" market wager. He remains the favourite but may prove too difficult to recruit. Blanc is out of contract at the end of season so no huge compensation payments would need to be made.

I have had 3 pts @ 7/1 Blanc to be next Chelsea manager with William Hill

Monday, 26 March 2012

Betting in Ireland

Blogging from Dublin having enjoyed a fantastic weekend here in the sunshine. A sharp contrast to my last visit when it rained every day. We were down in Gowran Park Saturday where I backed a few good priced winners. Not the case yesterday at the Curragh but a winning weekend overall.

Have been looking at the markets this morning to see if there were any cash betting opportunities with some of the firms who don't lay me much on the net. I came up with two Boylesports wagers which if either is successful would justify a return trip in July or November to collect!!

I may go into more explanation tomorrow but for the record I note them below and can confirm they are still available at the time of this post:-

12 pts win Paul Hanagan UK Flat Jockeys' Championship 2012 @ 7/1 Boylesports

3 pts win Venus Williams to win Ladies' Wimbledon @ 40/1 Boylesports

Total 15 pts invested

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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Kempton 19:00, 7f - second post

Having looked through the race again I cannot ignore the chances of Big Bay each-way.

I have had 1 pt ew Big Bay @ 25/1 with Stan James (1/5th 1,2,3)

Kempton 19:00, 7f

No luck at Kempton this week so one last throw of the dice in the 19:00 race. Off to Ireland then to enjoy some punting on the tote at Gowran Park and the Curragh. Not been to Gowran since 2000 so looking forward to that in particular. Missed advising the earlier 9/2 on this selection but had a pressing tennis engagement!

I have had 4 pts win Mister Green @ 4/1 with William Hill 19:00 Kempton BOG

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Kempton 17:55, 7f

I think we have to give another chance to Chambles in the 17:55 race. We were on last time at 13/2 when it was backed down to 4/1 and finished second to Clodhopper.

2 pts win @ 13/2 Chambles Stan James 17:55 Kempton

Possiblly "available" @ 7/1 with Sportingbet if you are allowed to bet there.

Kempton 19:25, 6f

Kempton three days in a row - is this a festival?

One bet (so far) tonight:

3 pts win Overwhelm @ 10/3 William Hill BOG 19:25 Kempton

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Kempton 17:40, 7f

Just one bet today as follows:

3 pts win Ereka @ 7/1 with Stan James, 17:40 Kempton

Monday, 19 March 2012

Kempton; 17:50, 18:50

Two selections on the all-weather this afternoon:

2 pts win Crown Counsel @ 13/2 Skybet 15:50 Kempton

2 pts win 1 pt place Kyllachy Storm @ 12/1 P Power 16:50 Kempton BOG

Five points invested.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Wimbledon 2012

Wimbledon still seems a long way off. We had a small bet on Berdych @ 80/1 in January and he is now trading around half those odds. I'm going to add John Isner @ 66/1 following his three set win over Djokovic at Indian Wells. The five-set game is very different of course but Isner at least knows plenty about long matches at Wimbledon! He will enter the top ten next week. Plays Federer in the Indian Wells' final today.

I have had 1 pt each way John Isner to win Wimbledon @ 66/1 with Paddy Power (who bet NRNB). 66/1 is also available at Ladbrokes and he is 100/1 with the ludicrous bodog operation if you can get on.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Indian Wells

Poor run continues at Cheltenham. Realistically only a win for Midnight Chase in the Gold Cup will save us from a festival loss.

Later tonight World No1 Azarenka plays the fast improving Kerber in the first semi final at Indian Wells. They have never met before and Azarenka's unbeaten run should be set to continue. Kerber showed how much she is improving though with a straight sets win over Li Na, a player with whom she held a 0-3 HTH prior to this week. Kerber's stats in her last three matches have been impressive and her lefty serve (70% first serve here) may trouble the Belarusian. I thought Kerber might be around 4/1 to win this match. However she is more than twice that price.

I have had 2 pts win Kerber to beat Aza @ 9/1 with bet365

If, like me, bet365 will only lay you insultingly small bets you will find Kerber trading around 10.5 on betfair which roughly equates to the same price after commission.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Kempton 19:20, 6f

Five sprint races at Kempton tonight (over 6f or shorter). I think the pick of the night is Bond Fastrac in the 19:20.

I have staked 3pts win @ 6/1 Bond Fastrac with William Hill BOG

Back to the tennis!

Cheltenham is not going well for the Irish or indeed for this (half-) Irishman! I can't really complain as it's such a difficult place to win and I have done very well here over the last few years.

What about Indian Wells? Our ew pick in the lower half of the draw - Sharapova - is going well and I am hopeful she will make it to the final. Who will she meet there? The betting tells you Azarenka who is on a 20-0 winning run. However Li Na looks like she is finding a bit of form again. She beat Zakopalova for the loss of just one game in the last round - a player that has caused her problems in the past. Next up is Kerber with whom she holds a 3-0 HTH. After that it will almost certainly be Aza in the semi. Li Na is 4-3 H2H but has lost the last two including a three set loss in Sydney.

However I think Li Na offers a bit of ew value in the top half of the draw @ 8/1 with Boylesports.

I have had 3 pts ew Li Na to win Indian Wells @ 8/1 with Boylesports (1/3 odds 1,2)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Arkle Chase - PP offer

Having already lost on this race with Peddlers Cross I am a bit reluctant to go in again. However the field has cut up and should Sprinter Sacre not get round I could not see past Ruby Walsh on second favourite Al Ferof. Paddy Power will refund stakes on other runners in the race (up to £100) if Sprinter Sacre wins. Therefore I have had:

10 pts win Al Ferof @ 11/4 with PP BOG with stakes refunded if Sprinter Sacre wins race.

How far?

The most popular spread betting market at Cheltenham is the winning distances. Sporting Index quote 112-120 for the meeting and I had considered going low. One of the problems with that is that one of at least five horses which could start odds on could easily win by a big margin. The biggest winning margin in an individual race looks a more interesting play.

Over the last four festivals the biggest race margins have been 24 (Junior last year), 9, 16 and 21. Sporting Index quote 17.5 -19 this time.  Coral bet 7/4 over 17 lengths, so if you'd obtained the Coral price you would have won at two of the last four festivals. Surely the higher number of "good things" this year increases the chances of an 18+ length win? I have had:

12 pts win @ 7/4 biggest winning distance at Cheltenham is over 17 lengths with Coral

Can the Irish do as well as last year or just better than average?

Last year 13 of 27 Cheltenham races were won by Irish trained horses which was a record. Over the last ten years Ireland has won 32% of festival races which would equate to winning 8.64 races this week. The Irish look to have plenty of ammunition this time including the hot pots Hurricane Fly, Sizing Europe and Quevega which could all start odds on.

I think they could do better than average this year without hitting last years' heights. I have had:

8 pts @ 6/4 Ireland to train more than nine winners with William Hill

2 pts @ 11/4 Ireland to train more than ten winners with

Total ten points invested.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Cheltenham - my portfolio

Undoubtedly the best value bet we have is the 14/1 Zarkandar for the Champion Hurdle. But here is a full list of the wagers together with the current best bookmaker odds:

Bet date     Selection                      Race                           Bet details                          Current
19.03.11     Zarkandar                  C Hurdle      8 pts win @ 14/1                                      7/1
28.02.12     Peddlers Cross              Arkle             NR - Loser  (6 pts)                                N/A
02.03.12     Tetlami                     Supreme        2pts win 1 pt place 16/1                          14/1
03.03.12     Midnight Chase         Gold Cup        3 pts ew 16/1                                         12/1
06.03.12     Oscar Whisky            W Hurdle       4 pts ew 6/1                                            4/1
07.03.12     Make Your Mark       Neptune          3pts win 1 pt place 16/1                           10/1
08.03.12     Thousand Stars         C Hurdle          NRNB - stakes refunded                          N/A
10.03.12      Realt Dubh                 QMCC            3pts ew 25/1                                       25/1

Good luck for a successful festival!


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Indian Wells outright

Bookmakers have four players under 10/1 to win the ladies' event outright: Azarenka, Kvitova, Sharapova and Radwanska. Three of these four are in the top half of the draw, Sharapova being the exception. As a consequence Pova looks the each-way poke to reach the final from the lower half of the draw. if she progresses she could meet Wozniacki or Bartoli in the semis.

Therefore I have staked 2pts ew Sharapova @5/1 with Will Hill (1/2 odds 1,2)

Four points invested.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Nice winner for us with Jankovic not retiring but being thoroughly outplayed by Hampton in two straight sets tonight. Commentators now referring to the match as the first major upset of the tourney thanks in part to Janko's jet lag. Apparently the Serb described herself as being "lost in space" during the match.

On to Cheltenham again. I'd been looking to back something in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Lovely each-way contest with just 10 declared runners and Sizing Europe set to go off around even money. Latter will probably win again - as it did last year when we were on @ 14/1. But have to look for the value elsewhere of course because of the price. We may even see the field down to eight with one or two (including Somersby) running elsewhere.

News is coming through from Ireland that Noel Meade is saying Realt Dubh is "absolutely flying" and is almost certain to run in the QMCC.

This one is likely to shorten up a bit in the morning so I have had:

3 pts each-way Realt Dubh @ 25/1 for QMCC with Totesport (1/4 odd 1,2,3) NRNB

Six points invested.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic plays her first match today at Indian Wells having made the long journey from Kuala Lumpar. That's a 20+ hour flight or 10,000+ miles if you prefer. I understand from reports that she arrived very jet lagged. Two of her three matches in Malaysia went to a final set tie-break so she did not have it easy in ultimately losing in the semi-final there.

Today her opponent is the American Jamie Hampton who is ranked just inside the top hundred. Certainly the crowd will be with her today but normally you would not expect her to beat the former world number one. I wonder whether Jelena will be up for this though. Hampton can be backed at 7/2 for the match but I have had a bet with Ladbrokes, giving up half a point, as they settle on the match winner should there be a retirement at any stage in the match.

I have had 5 pts win Hampton @ 3/1 to beat Jankovic with Ladbrokes

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Champion Hurdle

Although we have a nice bet on Zarkandar @ 14/1 (placed shortly after his Triumph Hurdle last year) the bet is win only. The race is shaping up to be an attractive each-way market with the favourite now universally odds-on and just 12 declarations.

I think Mullins will run Thousand Stars here rather than in the World Hurdle even though he will be taking on his stable companion Hurricane Fly. All bookmakers are NRNB so we will have our stakes retuned on the grey should he wait for the longer race. He ran a good race in finishing fourth last year despite being bumped a couple of times two/three out.

I have had 2.5 pts each-way Thousand Stars @ 20/1 for Champion Hurdle with W Hill NRNB


The Football League has provided Portsmouth with funds which may be sufficient for the club to complete their season. It is unlikely therefore that clubs who have won points against the side will lose them.

However since suggesting Reading @ 8/1 for the Championship they have won both their league matches - away to Millwall and, ironically, at home to Portsmouth. Their Championship rivals West Ham and Southampton have both failed to win their latest home fixtures. This has resulted in Reading contracting in the market to a top priced 4/1. So we have a shot at the title whatever happens at Fratton Park.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Make Your Mark

Looks like the intended race for Willie Mullins' impressive novice hurdler is going to be the Neptune rather than the Supreme or the Albert Bartlett. We have already come unstuck with Peddlers Cross making a race switch but the betfair markets seem to support the Neptune as the target, as a huge price is on offer about MYM winning either of the other two races.

Despite any remaining uncertainty I have taken a chance with William Hill as they offer a stand out 16/1 MYM but without the protection of NRNB. I have jumped in with both feet and had the following:

3 pts win 1 pt place Make Your Mark @ 16/1 to win Neptune Novice Hurdle with W Hill

Four points invested

Kempton 19:00, 6f

It's about time we had another winner at Kempton so I will be calling for Joe Le Taxi in the 6f contest at 19:00 tonight. It's only available at our minimum price of 2/1 but BOG terms apply with William Hill.

I have had 5pts win @ 2/1 Joe Le Taxi with William Hill BOG

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Birmingham v Chelsea - FA Cup

A very interesting match this evening is the FA Cup replay at Birmingham. There is usually a "bounce" in performance when a new manager takes charge - although Kevin Pullein will tell you that this typically lasts for one match! However can Di Matteo be considered a new manager? He is of course just a stand in and not a high calibre one. He was sacked from West Brom as they thought he may not be able to keep them in the Premiership. Witness the improvement under Roy H since he has taken charge at the Hawthorns.

It's all about how the "senior" players react after AVB's departure. They may play well. I'm going to take a chance that Chelsea is still in turmoil and have:

2 pts @ 11/2 Birmingham to beat Chelsea in 90 minutes with Boylesports 

Oscar Whisky - World Hurdle

William Hill special offer this morning. Going 6/1 Oscar Whisky against Big B from 8.30am for limited period.

You will not get a lot on as it's generally a 4/1 shot but the following was laid to me:

4pts ew Oscar Whisky @ 6/1 with William Hill (1/4 odds 1,2,3)

In addition it's NRNB and the third favourite in the market, Thousand Stars, may yet be switched to the Champion Hurdle. This has to be a value each-way bet.

Eight points invested.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Rory McIlroy

I am having a golf bet today which is a rare event. Rory McIlroy holds a two shot lead going into the final round of the Honda Classic in Florida today. There is added pressure in that if he wins he will replace Luke Donald as world number one. There are thunderstorms and winds of up to 25mph forecast in Florida. The start times have been brought forward because of the weather forecast. Of course Rory is used to such conditions in N. Ireland but the weather conditions could add to the uncertainty of the outcome.

Even though the players in very close contention are not ranked high, I think Rory is a lay given the weather forecast and the world status pressure. There is a very solid market on betfair with Rory odds on at 1.61-1.62 as I write.

I have therefore laid McIlroy @ 1.62 to lose six points.

As a consequence if Rory wins the tournament I lose six points whereas if he loses I win a fraction over nine points allowing for the maximum 5% betfair commission to be applied.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Last year I backed Midnight Chase for the Gold Cup at 33/1 and was very disappointed when he never really got in the shake up. I've not given up on the course specialist however and I see William Hill are offering an attractive 16/1 which includes the NRNB clause.

I have had 3 pts ew @ 16/1 Midnight Chase for the Gold Cup with W Hill (NRNB)

Six points invested

Friday, 2 March 2012

Portsmouth relegation

There is an interesting situation developing in the Championship. Portsmouth's administrator has revealed that the financial situation is so severe that the club may not be able to fulfil their fixtures. West Ham would be the biggest losers near the top of the table if this happened as they would lose the six points accrued in their two victories over the club. Reading would jump into second place in these circumstances.

Reading are on a roll having won their last five matches without conceding a goal. I think they are worth an each way punt with Coral at 8/1:

I have had 5pts ew @ 8/1 Reading for the Championship with Coral (1/5 odds 1,2,3)

Ten points staked

Supreme Novices Hurdle

Another bet at Cheltenham. A selection in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the contest that opens the festival.

Not many bookmakers are offering NRNB yet, however Ladbrokes is one of the few that is offering this concession on this race.

 They also happen to be top price about the one I am interested in. I have therefore had:

2 pts win 1pt place Tetlami @ 16/1 with Ladbrokes NRNB

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Kempton 6f, 17:40

Like the look of the top weight in what looks a poor race at 17:40 Kempton. I have had:

4 pts @ 11/2 Hambleton 17:40 Kempton with Coral 

Next best prices 5/1 WH and PP which are both BOG