Thursday, 28 February 2013

Next Chelsea Manager

I noticed that Ladbrokes allegedly went 7/2 Mourinho to be next Chelsea manager yesterday, not long after the " Rafa rant". The price, if it was ever available, was totally unsustainable as other bookmakers had been trading this market before Ladbrokes and the average price of the Portuguese was consistently around the even-money mark. Predictably Oddschecker today published the moves at Ladbrokes: 5/2, 6/4, Evens, 8/11.

Of course my interest in this market can be seen near the top of my 2013 c/f bets list:

Just over two years ago (on 22/02/11) I recommended three points @ 16/1 that Chelsea would be Mourinho's next English club managed. The bet is with legendary (non-) layer Victor Chandler, with whom my account has been closed for some time as, contrary to his image, he doesn't tolerate punters that back winners.

The timing could be right for Chelsea as Mourinho looks like he will be free in the summer. This would be terrific if it came off but there are a lot of ifs and buts as yet.

But how sweet it would be to cop another 48 points from the "great" (non-) layer!

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Kempton profits

A good day at the races to finish the month of February on a high. Three winning days at the all-weather gaf: W 11/4, W3/1 and W16/1 for 11+ points profit overall.

Looking forward even more to the start of the turf season at the end of March. Bring it on!

7f Kempton 2

Perfect shite drifting like a barge, currently 12.0 on betfair. Doesn't look very promising. 

17:30 race looking slightly better prospect...

One final small bet in 19:00:

19:00K 0.5pts ew The Happy Hammer @ 16/1 Betfred BOG

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Kempton 7f

19:00K 1.5pts ew Perfect Mission @ 8/1 Coral BOG

Three points invested, six points on the day so far.

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Kempton 6f

First bet  today:

17:30K 2pts win 1pt place Kaylee @ 8/1 Skybet

Bet to follow in 19:00 race.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Kempton 6f/7f

Two relatively short-priced selections today:

18:00K 2pts win Desert Donkey @ 9/4 William Hill BOG

21:00K 2pts win Byroness @ 3/1 William Hill BOG

Four points invested

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Monday, 25 February 2013

All-weather 3

Last bets of the afternoon:

17:20K 2pts win Athletic @ 11/4 William Hill BOG
17:20K 0.5pts ew Yalding Dancer @ 20/1 William Hill BOG

Disappointing run from Avonvalley, having taken 18/1, finished fifth at just 7/1. Terrific value loser!

Total three points 17:20 race and therefore six points invested on the day.

All-weather 2

Small play in the 14:30W as follows:

14:30W 0.5pts ew Ingleby Star @ 40/1 William Hill BOG

I may have a bet in the last at Kempton (17:20) but may not post the information until 16:00 or later. Been a move for today's first selection (Avonvalley) from 18/1 > 12/1 so hopeful of a place at least.


Good news from the Oscars. Some all-weather bets today starting with:

15:20K 1pt ew Avonvalley @ 18/1 William Hill BOG

More later.

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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Oscar result

Overnight we will learn whether or not Argo has won Best Picture. I recommended just two points @ 9/2 since when the price has contracted to around 1/5. If you have just had the equivalent of two points to win I don't think it is worth hedging. However if you topped up when I blogged that it was being heavily backed (at that time reducing to around 5/2) you could consider recovering your stakes by laying Argo at the current 1.22 price on Betfair.

However I am not officially recommending a covering bet so the decision whether or not to lay anything I will leave to the reader. Let's hope it wins!

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Saturday, 23 February 2013

Bradford v Swansea - Sunday

Predictably Swansea are heavy favourites but a bit too heavy in my view. Think Bradford should be around 3/1 to lift the trophy whereas you can get close to 5/1 about this outcome. My wagers are as follows:

1.5pts Bradford to lift the trophy @ 6.2 Betfair (plenty of liquidity at time of writing)
1pt draw at 90 minutes @ 4/1 (General price)
0.5pts Bradford to win in 90 mins @ 17/2 Bet365
0.5pts Bradford to win on penalties @ 17/1 Paddy Power

3.5pts staked.

No luck yesterday. Late non-runner reduced the first of our two races to seven runners. The selection finished third of seven of course (@20/1) having cut out most of the running.

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Friday, 22 February 2013

Wolverhampton today

No joy yesterday despite some serious value prices obtained: 25/1 > 9/1 SP and 33/1 > 10/1 SP.

Small interests at Wolverhampton as follows:

18:30W 0.75pts ew Sophies Beau @ 16/1 Paddy Power BOG

20:30W 0.75pts ew Perlachy @ 11/1 William Hill BOG

Three points staked.

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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kempton 3

Rose Madder all the rage in 17:30, now 16/1 best but as low as 8/1 (Coral, Tote, Betfred). Value secured. 

One more small bet:

18:30K 0.5pts ew Fantastic Smartie @ 33/1 William Hill BOG

Makes a total of six points on the day.

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Kempton 2

William Hill are certainly keeping on the right side of Rose Madder, having opened @ 16/1 (shortest) they have now gone 12/1. Totesport/Betfred 25/1 > 16/1 but Bet365 remain 25/1. Two more bets in the 17:30 including small top-up:

17:30K 0.25pt ew Rose Madder @ 25/1 Bet365 BOG
17:30K 1.5pts win Blue Noodles @ 4/1 William Hill BOG (9/2 (un)- available VC Bet)

Further two points staked.

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Kempton - Thursday

Some plays at Kempton again today:

21:00K 1pt win The Guru Of Gloom @ 5/1 Coral BOG
21:00K 1pt win Master Mylo @ 17/2 William Hill BOG

17:30K 0.5pt ew Rose Madder @ 25/1 Bet365 BOG

Three points so far, more to follow.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Reading the market

Something that is very difficult to do and my conclusion is do not read too much into it! Just have the confidence to take prices that you think are value. Monday we had a massive drifter - from around 6/1 out to 17.5 on betfair. Ran a reasonable race in finishing a close up fifth.

Today with Crew Cut it looked like things might go the same way. We took 8/1 (R4) yesterday and despite the field being reduced from 12 to nine runners, the selection drifted to around 15/1 on betfair shortly before the racecourse show. But this time the scenario was different it opened at 14/1 on-course and was supported back into 8/1. I couldn't resist topping up at 12/1 each-way.*

Well the first-time blinkers did the trick and the selection ran on strongly to land the spoils at a welcome 8/1 SP (BOG).

*I tend not to take racecourse shows but this is another "system" if you like called the market chaos theory. If you are going to take a price, take the first shortening show (in this case 12/1 following the move in from 14/1). Once a horse has shortened in the market it is more likely to shorten again than revert to a larger price. Follow a few racecourse shows and you will see what I mean.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Kempton 6f - Wednesday

Slowly away, so I have missed the value on this one which was 12/1 early. Blinkered for the first time, looks like someone is going for a touch as 8/1 is the best price as I write:

19:30K 2pts win 1pt place Crew Cut @ 8/1 William Hill BOG

Three points staked.

My Wolverhampton selection yesterday was not fancied at all and traded as high as 17.5 on betfair pre-race. Let's hope for a better outcome with this gamble at Kempton.

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Monday, 18 February 2013

Wolverhampton 5f

Sewn Up has won twice over 6f at the all-weather venue this season. Drops back to the minimum trip today. May need luck in running as tends to be held up:

17:55W 2.5pts win Sewn Up @ 13/2 Coral BOG

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Friday, 15 February 2013


Two bets at the all-weather venue:

17:00W 0.75pts ew Whiteflats @ 16/1 Skybet

17:30W 2pts win Cadmium Loch @ 4/1 William Hill BOG

3.5pts staked.

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Nadal v Berlocq

Nadal duly beat Souza with just one break of serve in each set. The Spaniard did not look at his best however. He may have a tougher time with his opponent in the quarter-final who is ranked 78 as against Souza's 140.

I think it's worth one more point to take Nadal on again. Berlocq is currently 11/1 with Pinnacle to win the match. Or you can lay Nadal on betfair at around 1/11 for a similar potential return. Both bookmakers require one set to be played for bets to stand.

1pt win Berlocq to beat Nadal, Brasil Open @ 11/1 Pinnacle

The match is scheduled to be last of the quarter-finals at around 22:00 UK time.

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FA Cup

I like the look of two draws at the weekend in the FA Cup as follows:

16 Feb 15:00 4 pts MK Dons v Barnsley Draw @ 12/5 Totesport

17 Feb 15:55 4 pts Huddersfield v Wigan Draw @ 5/2 Totesport

Plus one point double above two draws 12/5 & 5/2

Total nine points staked.

Possible bet or two from Wolverhampton Friday.

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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Kempton 17:00

Not the most prolific winner, however I have had:

17:00K 1pt ew Blue Noodles @ 11/1 Paddy Power BOG 

You may get a slightly higher price with a bookmaker who does not take my bets.

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Nadal - Brasil Open

Nadal withdrew from the doubles in Sao Paulo at the last minute last night claiming "knee overuse". He is due to start his singles campaign around 22:00 UK time today. 

I have had a very speculative bet on his first round singles match with Coral. Unlike yesterday's bookmaker, Coral will settle the match on the player advancing to the next round provided the umpire has announced "play". Of course Nadal would normally cruise past an opponent ranked 140 so, as I have said, this is a very speculative bet:

1pt win Souza to beat Nadal, Brasil Open @ 22/1 Coral

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Halep retirement

Unfortunately Halep was forced to retire from her match after the first set. Stakes are refunded whether you placed a bet with Bet365 (or indeed at the slightly better odds offered by VC).

Halep v Ivanovic

Have taken an interest in this match as I was so impressed with Halep's first round win. She is a compact player with tremendous ground strokes and when she is on song can cause problems for higher ranked players. She is ranked 49, Ivanovic 13.

Ivanovic beat Paszek in the first round. The latter is a shadow of the player she was in early summer when she had a terrific run which lead to the Eastbourne crown. Now she just hits everything long. Prior to this match Ivanovic lost to Morita in the first round in Pattaya. I have had:

2pts win Halep to beat Ivanovic @ 7/2 Bet365 (4.6 with old Vic if you are allowed a bet)

The match is scheduled for around 14:00 UK this afternoon.

Hopefully you got a little bet on Mona OR advised @ 6:56am. The price change did not come until 8:48am.

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Mona 2

Paddy Power quotes Barthel @ 50/1 to win Doha this morning and at that price she has to be worth a small bet:

1pt each-way M Barthel to win Doha WTA @ 50/1 Paddy Power (1/2 odds 1,2)

Will probably have a match bet from this tournament later today.

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Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Terrific win tonight for Barthel. Totally demolished world no.6 Kerber in 62 minutes, 6-1 6-2. So impressive. With such a high class field here (Serena, Pova, Vika) she should be a decent price to win Doha. Strangely, she was not quoted in the Oddschecker long list (to win the tournament) yesterday. Now she has suddenly popped up as low as 14/1!

Mona is still quoted at 100/1 for the French Open with several firms at the time of writing.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Brasil Open

Nadal moves on to the Brasil Open today. The bookmakers rate him a 1/2 shot to win the tournament which opens up the prospect of an ew bet in the other half of the draw. Almagro is the obvious choice having shown how well he can play when nearly taking out Ferrer at the Aus Open. Almagro is not a great price - I missed the 11/2 available earlier. I've been down to the Betfred shop and had the following:

2pts ew Almagro Brasil Open @ 9/2 Betfred (1/3 odds 1,2)

0.5pt ew Zaballos Brasil Open @ 40/1 Betfred (1/3 odds 1,2)

0.5pt win Chardy Brasil Open @ 40/1 Betfred (1/3 odds 1,2)

Zaballos was of course Nadal's conqueror last night and may well blow up in the first round given his exertions! However 40s is big. Chardy is in Rafa's half, hence win only bet placed.

5.5 points staked

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French Open

Nadal lost both the final of the singles and doubles in Chile last night. This has not as yet had any impact on the French Open market. I watched the whole of the singles match and did not think Rafa looked great. After all he lost to a player ranked 73, the first time has lost to someone outside the top fifty on clay since 2004. Who knows what the prognosis for his knee will be?

Djoko is too short to play for the second grand slam. Instead I've had a small interest in Federer at the 14/1 with Coral for now:

1.5pts each-way Roger Federer to win French Open @ 14/1 Coral (1/2 odds 1,2).

Three points staked.

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Every cloud

...has a silver lining. Rained from dawn to dusk here. So no tennis possible for the first Sunday afternoon this year. Forced to stay indoors and find something to bet on!

Given the weather in Dublin the "professional" bet was to play the unders in the points market with the line having been set around 36 points. That was a comfortable winner of course.

However rugby is not really my sport so I was happy to play the low-stake nerve racking no try 14/1 option!

The rain did bring some reward then with 14 points added to profits.


Horrible day, constantly raining. In Dublin too apparently. Worth speculating one point on no try scorer in Ireland /England match:

1pt win no try scorer Ire v Eng Six Nations @ 14/1 Totesport

Saturday, 9 February 2013


As you may know I do not follow any professional tipsters. I do however take note of the selections of certain tipsters as they can influence a market in which I am planning to have a bet, particularly if they are on a successful run and/or are high profile. Two such examples are the Racing Post "Pricewise" column and Raceclear.

The perils of following a high-profile tipster should be all too evident. When said tipster is on a winning run it will be extremely difficult for you to obtain the recommended prices to your normal stakes. Conversely when a poor run comes along it will take nerves of steel - combined with blind faith - to continue following with any confidence. In other words it's an unsustainable process. (You won't have such problems if you choose to follow some of my bets as very few people read this blog!)

The current incumbent in the Pricewise hot seat,Tom Segal, is going through a horrid sequence. He has given 25 RP tips in 2013 and only one has obliged. This sequence culminated in three losing selections in the Betfair Hurdle today (two ante-post, one on the day). Earlier in the week he surprisingly selected Darlan at 11/10, the shortest price I can ever remember being recommended in the Pricewise horse-racing column. Tom's long term strike-rate is around 11% so he needs double-figure winners to popup every now and again to remain in profit.

My prognosis is that Tom will need to have a good Cheltenham otherwise I can see him stepping down (or being relieved of his duties) prior to the start of the 2013 turf season at the end of March.

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Bog cough

Bog Warrior is coughing (I know how he feels!) and will miss the Hennessy today. A shame as it would have been interesting to see how he performed against a couple of big names.

Let's hope he recovers in time for Cheltenham as he deserves a tilt at one of the big races.

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Hennessy Gold Cup

What an intriguing race at Leopardstown this afternoon. Our old friend Bog Warrior turns out to take on the second and fifth favourites for the Gold Cup in this five-runner race. 

Bog Warrior has not run in a chase since falling at the last back in November when beaten. Since then he has won three consecutive hurdle races in a canter. He has his ground today as it has rained overnight and is currently officially soft, heavy in places. You can see him setting off and trying to make all. He could come down and hence revert to his most likely Cheltenham target - the World Hurdle - for which he is a solid 10/1 chance.

Should he win the Hennessy he will no longer be a 66/1 chance for the Gold Cup! 

Small interest is warranted at the 10/1 on offer for today's race. Interestingly Paddy P are only 7/1.

15:20L 1.5pts win Bog Warrior @ 10/1 Betfred BOG

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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Early profits in 2013

Thanks to Sunday's results (Mona w12/1 and another ANC draw w11/5) my figures for 2013 are looking respectable, 28 points profit (29.3%):-

A long way to go of course. 

Mona Barthel was very impressive in winning the Paris indoor. Unseeded, she beat Vinci (world ranked 16) and Bartoli (10) on the way to the final. She beat world number seven, Errani, in the final in straight sets. Interesting that the markets were very keen on her throughout the tournament. She had a few wobbles in the final though and admittedly I laid her for a few quid at 1/10 when she was a set and a break up. Is she the new Steffi Graf? I don't think so - but these German ladies develop relatively late. She is 22 whereas Goerges (19) is 24 and Kerber (6) is 25. Mona is now ranked 28 and could make top ten this year.

Having collected my Mona notes from Betfred (I have to go retail as bets accepted online are minimal), I have invested a couple of quid on Mona for the next two grand slams as follows:

0.5pts each-way M Barthel French Open  @ 100/1 Betfred 1/2 odds 1,2

0.5pts each-way M Barthel Wimbledon @ 125/1 William Hill 1/2 odds 1,2

Please take note of the size of these wagers. Three figure odds will not be landed very often! The only bets advised to date that came close were Aggie for Wimbledon 2012 each-way 100/1 (place paid at 50/1) and Vinci 100/1 for 2012 US Open semi-final (reached quarter-final allowing hedging bet). Keep your stakes to a minimum is my advice.

Two points staked.

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Saturday, 2 February 2013

(Almost) a risk-free Sunday

The French teenager wasn't good enough to take out Mona Barthel. No damage done though. Stakes on WTA Paris: ten points, return guaranteed: ten points. Free hit running of two points @ 12/1 Mona for the title (now generally a 4/7 chance to beat the No.1 seed Sara Errani).

With regard to the four draw bets on the ANC, the second match has just finished 1-1 after 90 minutes for a return of 19.5 points (6pts @ 9/4).Total invested on ANC: 20 points, return so far: 19.5 points. Two matches tomorrow, if there is no drawn match we will lose half-a-point on the tournament.

So for a winning Sunday we need either a Mona win or a drawn ANC quarter-final match - otherwise we drop half-a-point!

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WTA Paris 2

Funny old game, tennis. Confidence plays a huge part. Kvitova, the best player indoors over the last 2-3 years, is woefully short of it at the moment. She couldn't cope with the young Mladenovic's confident power hitting.

We have a guaranteed finalist thanks to yesterday's results. Our worst result is +2 points minimum profit (Barthel losing in the final). I think we have a chance of getting Mladdy through to the final so I am re-investing that two points with Pinnacle on the match with the girl in the nightie as follows:

2pts win Mladenovic to beat Barthel @ 3.1 Pinnacle

The home crowd will be right behind our player - maybe the line judges will be too! (No Hawkeye here!)

Friday, 1 February 2013

WTA Paris

Two outright bets for the time being with Betfred:

2pts ew Mladenovic @ 20/1 Betfred 1/3 odds 1,2

2pts ew Barthel @ 12/1 Betfred 1/3 odds 1,2

Eight points staked

African Nations Cup 2

Have played the draws in Sunday's matches too as follows:

03/02/2013 15:00 4pts Nigeria v Ivory Coast to draw @ 5/2 Paddy Power

03/02/2013 18:30 5pts Burkino Faso v Togo to draw @ 11/5 Betfred

Nine points staked.

Tennis bet likely prior to 13:00 today.

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