Monday, 31 December 2012

Oh, lucky you

I remember reading a few years ago that "experts" had declared the best year to have been born in the 20th century was 1948: financial, social and educational policies have worked very much in favour of our generation. Think state-funded university grants, growing up with the Beatles, the end of national service and the birth of the NHS; followed by final-salary pension schemes for many.

Here is a quote from an Ian McEwan novel written about a dozen years ago which, I believe, has even more relevance in today's austere times:

"How prosperous, how influential, how they had flourished under a government they had despised for almost 17 years. Talking 'bout my generation. Such energy, such luck. Nurtured in the post-war settlement with the State's own milk and juice, and then sustained by their parents' tentative, innocent prosperity, to come of age in full employment, new universities, bright paperback books, the Augustan age of rock and roll, affordable ideals. When the ladder crumbled behind them, when the State withdrew her tit and became a scold, they were already safe, they consolidated, and settled down to forming this or that - taste, opinion, fortunes." 

Ian McEwan was born on 21 June, 1948.

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Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 Review

A disappointing year for the blog which finished with a 3.5% deficit. Overall situation still very strong with 632 points profit or 17.3%:

Non-horse racing highlights were a bit thin on the ground. Best football bets were Reading for the Championship (W8/1) and B Munich ew C League (P14/1, 1/2 1,2). In tennis we had Pova at 12/1 for the French Open and Aggie at a huge price each-way for Wimbledon (P 100/1, 1/2 1,2). We even had Ernie for the golf @ 25/1 but some seriously misjudged bets on the Olympics led to the loss on sports betting.

The horse racing flat season (Mar -Nov) went well with 205 points profit or 16.8% profit on stakes. Winners at double figure prices were advised at 33/1, 22/1, 20/1 (twice), 16/1 (twice), 14/1 (twice), 12/1 (three times) and 10/1 (twice).

Best of luck for 2013.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

King George

Probably the last bet of 2012

A maximum of ten runners line up on Wednesday, ideal for an each-way bet. I see all bookmakers other than Ladbrokes are offering 1/4 odds 1,2,3. Ladbrokes currently only 1/5 odds.

I like the double figures about The Giant Bolster. Not disgraced on his seasonal reappearance, the Gold Cup runner-up should appreciate trip and ground. Will have the assistance of McCoy in the saddle. Missed the bigger price with PP earlier today so have had:

1.5pts ew The Giant Bolster @ 10/1 with Skybet (1/4 odds 1,2,3)

Three points staked.

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Monday, 17 December 2012

SPOTY result

A bad one.

Credit to BBC though as they tried as hard as they could to stitch-up the Wiggo vote by giving him the no. 1 draw, nearly two hours before the phone lines opened. This gave plenty of time for the casuals to forget about him. Other than the occasional glimpses of him standing in the audience, looking like the star of "Confessions of a Window Cleaner", nothing further was heard about him until the lines opened.

The Jess (and Mo) edits were, of course, very favourable but to no avail. Jess finished a distant second. Her form figures are now 332. Hard to get past the well organised cycling vote and I suspect that she is unlikely to win this in the future.

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

SPOTY poll

According to a YouGov poll published this morning, it's close between Wiggins and Ennis:

"OLYMPIC gold medallists Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis are neck and neck in the race for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, according to a Sunday Times/YouGov poll.

Wiggins, the time trial champion at London 2012 and the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France, and Ennis, who won gold in the heptathlon, both secured 19% in the poll of 1,794 adults last week. In third slot is Mo Farah, the first Briton to win the 5,000-metre and 10,000-metre races at the same Olympics. He received 15% in the poll."

The top five are as follows;

Wiggo 19%
Jess 19%
Mo 15%
Mugray 8%
Ellie 6%

Clearly we have the value play with 8/1 Jess. She is now clear second-favourite at a top-priced 11/2 (W Hill only 4/1). Let's hope she gets a good edit and favourable draw to edge the TdeF winner tonight.

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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Ba - TGS

Our man is going well with 11 goals, just one behind joint-leaders Michu and Van Persie. As the only ante-post football wager put up so far, prospects look good as he is 14/1 best from the 40/1 each-way taken. 

However we were in a similar promising position last Christmas before Cisse joined the team and Ba goals completely dried up (one goal scored in the league after Cisse joined during the window). 

Seemingly no danger from Cisse this season as he appears to have completely gone. In fact aside from Ba, Newcastle cannot score with our man responsible for the majority of goals in the league. The threat is of a different kind - Ba leaving the club in the window. Could work for us if he goes to Arsenal or Tottenham but obviously not if he goes overseas. 

If he leaves then Newcastle are potentially in real trouble. They are on 17 points just two points above the drop zone. I've just backed Newcastle to be relegated at 12.0 on betfair. Visits to Man U and Arsenal over the Xmas period are not going to be much good to them and they could find themselves in the bottom three come January 1st.

3pts Newcastle to be relegated from Premiership @ 12.0 betfair 

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Update 19:18 I see that 12.0 went soon after posting. Obviously some of you have stuck on. If you have missed out I would not put you off 10/1 with Lads or Boyles, which is only about half a point shorter after commission.  

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

SPOTY - additional bets

I am writing this from my sick bed as I have not been well for the last few days. However I have been able to use the Internet today to research the latest on SPOTY which of course takes place this Sunday. 

There is a strong rumour that the voting period is to be condensed into a 30-minute session at the end of the presentation of the individual VTs. This could make the result of the voting a little more random and lessen the impact of multi-voters (e.g. Wiggins' supporters). I think this also aids the chances of getting a surprise result in the top three - hopefully one of the rags (to be placed) that I flagged up in a previous post. 

It's possible the BBC may try and dampen the Wiggins' vote by giving him an early "draw". After all do they want a third cyclist winning in five years, given the Live-wrong furore? 

I have changed my mind about Mo and now think that Jess could be the main danger. She was of course the (BBC) face of the Olympics and is bound to be given a highly favourable VT. She is the only woman priced at under 80/1 and given the issues last year about an all male line-up I think she will end up a strong second-favourite before the show.

I have had a couple more bets today, first on Jess:

6pts win Jess Ennis to win SPOTY @ 8/1 Paddy Power 

With regard to Wiggins I have taken an outside punt by laying him for a top three finish @ 1.04. This has now moved to 1.05 to lay but given there are three cyclists in the final 12 I think this is worth a play:

Lay Wiggins @ 1.05 for top three finish to lose 5pts with betfair. (Potential winnings 100 points less commission)

There is the potential with the lay bet to trade out for a profit if, for example, Wiggins should turn up in a D Clarke-style shiny suit!

Total invested today 11 points.

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Saturday, 8 December 2012

John Durkan Memorial Chase

Recently back from Fairyhouse where we saw some top class action at the two-day meeting. 

One of the most interesting runners we saw was Bog Warrior who was put back over hurdles following disappointing recent runs over fences. He absolutely trotted up at even money under a big weight in an 18-runner handicap. His shrewd trainer must think the horse has got his confidence back as he returns to the bigger obstacles against the highest company tomorrow.

However I am only taking a small interest as he is, quite rightly, the outsider of the four runners:-

14:00 Punchestown 1pt win Bog Warrior @ 10/1 Bet365 BOG

If you are having a bet check betdaq first as there is a bit of 14.0 available as I write.

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