Looked like it was going to be a really poor day. Doncaster and Kempton producing nil returns.
Then the last two selections at Meydan won @ 7/2 and 11/2 to complete a 0.25pt win treble (with the first selection obliging @ 3/1). The return is 29.25 points on the multiple bet which means we are in front on the day.
I've not got a very strong view on tomorrow's race, however I do like the look of Gosden's lightly-raced progressive Lahaag. It's hard to come to any firm conclusions about the draw but the selection maybe OK in stall six. Soft ground should suit.
As the race is sponsored by William Hill they are likely to continue to offer the best prices about the market leaders. Unfortunately their each-way terms are currently 1/4 odds first four whereas PP and Sky offer first five. Consequently I have split my bet as follows:
15:05D 1.5 pts win Lahaag @ 9/1 William Hill BOG 15:05D 1pt each-way Lahaag @ 8/1 Paddy Power BOG (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5)
Yesterday I watched both Murray and Gasquet win their respective quarter-final matches in Miami. The Frenchman gave a most impressive performance in dismissing Berdych in straight sets. Murray and Gasquet have met seven times with the H2H score 4-3 in Murray's favour. Interestingly the only times they have met on a hard court (twice) the Frenchman has prevailed.
As well as the Scot is playing I think Gasquet's chance of beating Murray is better than the current 3/1 on offer.
I have had:
3pts win Gasquet to beat Murray Miami ATP @ 3/1 William Hill
1pt win Gasquet to win Miami ATP @ 9/1 William Hill
Having looked through the rest of the Dubai card, I have found that the horses I favour are all favourites or near-favourites. Which does not really give me an edge. However William Hill are either best price or close to best price for these selections. Plus, more importantly, they are BOG which other firms do not seem to offer just yet.
I have had 35 x 0.25 pt win trebles on the following selections:
30th Mar 2013 - Dubai World Cup: Animal Kingdom @ 11/2 William Hill BOG 30th Mar 2013 - Sheema Classic: St Nicholas Abbey @ 7/2 William Hill BOG
30th Mar 2013 - Dubai Duty Free: Ocean Park @ 11/2 William Hill BOG
30th Mar 2013 - Dubai Gold Cup: Imperial Monarch @ 9/4 William Hill BOG
30th Mar 2013 - Golden Shaheen: Mental @ 9/4 William Hill BOG
30th Mar 2013 - Godolphin Mile: Soft Falling Rain @ 3/1 William Hill BOG
30th Mar 2013 - UAE Derby: Secret Number @ 2/1 William Hill BOG
Total stakes 8.75 points. One winning treble at the three shortest prices taken will return just under eight points.
I am just back from Porterhouse Central having quaffed some superb Oyster Stout. One of the tracks on the video was the exceptional "The Living Years" by Mike & The Mechanics. One of the great songs of the 80s I think. However I can't remember it having an impact on me at the time but it has subsequently:
"Say it loud, say it clear You can listen as well as you hear It's too late when we die To admit we don't see eye to eye
So we open up a quarrel Between the present and the past We only sacrifice the future It's the bitterness that lasts...."
On another screen there was Tiger Woods closing in on a Florida tournament which I suspect he might seal tomorrow. Happy with my speculative TW majors' multiples.
Anyway off to the Irish Lincoln at the Curragh tomorrow (weather permitting).
I backed second, third and fourth when on-track last year and I am rowing in with the runner-up again. This time Ansaab is drawn one and the last time the race was run in really heavy ground the low berths dominated. So I have had:
16:30C 1.5pts win 1pt place Ansaab @ 10/1 William Hill BOG
(Available @ 11/1 with Stan Jokes if you can trade there.)
I note Pricewise has picked the horse drawn 15 and he may prove right as the pace could feasibly be with the high drawn runners. Let's hope the desperate ground means Ansaab is right in there from the one slot. Should be an interesting day.
Well here we are on the eve of the turf flat season. I said I would be keeping my powder dry for this but with some decent trading to date I find myself nicely in front in 2013. I'll be looking at the Doncaster card in the morning (if it's on). Meanwhile a small each-way in the 6f contest:
15:35D 0.75pts ew Threes Grand @ 25/1 Bet365 BOG
Total 1.5pts staked.
As for today's selection I was in a hurry so I forgot to nominate my bookmaker of choice. As it happens It didn't matter as we were on a loser.
Nice winner @ 5/1 today (by a head) provides seven points profit on the day.
Some consolation for the Polish Pusher's effort at Indian Wells last night. Didn't bother to watch the match but saw from the stats that Pova had 33 winners in the match against Woza's two. I thought that Woza had begun to attack more but obviously that is not the case. She can't win a grand slam as a pusher that's for sure.
Profit for year now tops 50% of turnover, which is great but cannot last of course....
19:50W 2pts win Jonnie Skull @ 13/2 Paddy Power BOG
You can get 7/1 with Skybet (without BOG protection) or Stan Jokes (if they will lay you a bet).
Possible further bet at the all-weather gaff later.
At Indian Wells Woza duly battled into the final having been a set and 2-0 down to Kerber. Place bet at 33/1 has been landed. Now she has an outside shot at the title against Pova tomorrow but will have to start a bit quicker against the Russian to have any chance at all. Maria leads the H2H 4-2.
We are already on Captain Chris (16/1) and Long Run (10/1) each-way for the Gold Cup. It looks like further rain could arrive to turn the ground to soft by around 3pm - in time for the feature race. Soft ground will definitely suit Long Run who should be running on when others have cried enough. I have had a further bet this morning on the former Gold Cup winner:
15:20C 2pts ew Long Run @ 6/1 Paddy Power BOG (1/4 odds 1,2,3)
Another contender that will appreciate soft ground is Cape Tribulation:
15:20C 0.5pts ew Cape Tribulation @ 16/1 William Hill BOG (1/4 odds 1,2,3)
I think, however, if the ground turns genuinely soft then Long Run will become the plunge horse and could start as short as 4/1. The rest of the card looks horrendously difficult so good luck if you play in the other races.
Total five points staked.
Whatever happens in the Gold Cup today it will have been a very profitable festival.
Not a bad day. Smad Place sneaked into third for an ew return @ 16/1 (SP 9/1). The Irish duly went over the nine-winner mark to land the 10pt bet. And then this evening the Wolverhampton selection went under by just 1/2-length @ 14/1 ew (SP 9/1). The full Cheltenham portfolio is showing over 70% profit with a couple of selections to run in the Gold Cup tomorrow. You can review the complete portfolio here:
I don't know at this stage whether I will be blogging further Cheltenham selections tomorrow.
Over at Indian Wells Vika, as expected, did not prove to be value as odds-on favourite for the tournament. In fact she withdrew this evening with a foot injury. When I suggested the big-priced ew bets on Wozniacki and Stosur I thought there was a possibility Vika might pull out. The irony is though that Stosur has also pulled out - with a calf injury! So we are just left with Wozniacki ew @ 33/1. She will be around 5/1 to win the tournament but has to get past Kerber for the ew return and a place in the final. You could of course hedge your bet on Kerber at around evens for the match.
Wozniacki will need to show her battling qualities against Kerber in their semi-final at Indian Wells.
At Cheltenham the Irish have trained seven winners, so we need a couple more over the next two days to ensure a certain profit at the festival. Today we have two running for us in the World Hurdle: Smad Place @ 16/1 ew - now down to 9/1 - and Bog Warrior who unfortunately won't have his preferred soft ground. In the Ryanair we have an outside chance of a place with Ghizao @33/1. Well Ruby rode a 25/1 winner yesterday so why not a 33/1 winner today!
Sizing Europe is clear second favourite for the QMCC and the obvious choice to chase home the favourite. Betfair sportsbook (please note this is not the exchange but their fixed-odds site) is offering money back (up to £100) if your horse finishes second. They also offer BOG.
I have therefore just had:
4pts win Sizing Europe @ 13/2 Betfair fixed odds (money refunded if horse finishes second) BOG
Obviously if something happens to the favourite we have a solid chance of the win.
Really felt for Nina in the first. She gave her horse a terrific ride. Amazingly it was done @ 1.01 on betfair in-running. Did not have a bet myself but would have liked to have seen her rewarded for her front-running exploits.
I am probably going to have one more play in the QMCC so will post a bit nearer the race.
Mona Barthel has gone out to Sam Stosur in three sets last night so we are down to one pre-tournament selection - Kvitova, in the bottom half of the draw, who is now no better than 9/2. She has a chance of reaching the final if it's not too hot when she plays her matches.
In the top half of the draw Azarenka, on a 17-0 winning streak, is too short a price to win the tournament - as low as 8/11.
Sam Stosur is usually not one to have on your side. She has won very few (singles) tournaments in her long career. These relatively slow hard courts with their high bounce suit her game though.
I have had:
1.5pts ew Sam Stosur @ 33/1 Boylesports (1/3 odds 1,2)
(28s elsewhere is OK)
Vika is scheduled to meet Woza next and the latter holds the winning H2H although they have not played for two years:
1pt ew Caroline Wozniaki @ 33/1 Boylesports (1/3 odds 1,2)
A good start to the festival with my 14/1 suggestion Champagne Fever leading all the way in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. The SP was just 5/1. Jezki finished third at the same price.
It's a shame that Zarkandar could only run fourth in the Champion Hurdle, upsetting the each-way bet with Paddy Power. At least Hurricane Fly won the race which means we get half our money back (four of the eight points staked) from Paddy.
Bog Warrior has been declared for the World Hurdle and despite the fact that the ground may not be soft enough for him, I can't let him go unsupported as I have such a high opinion of him.
1.5pts win Bog Warrior, World Hurdle @ 8/1 Paddy Power BOG, NRNB
Whatever wins the last the bookmakers have done their brains today. Some of the concessions were incredible, particularly the five places on each-way bets in the Supreme offered by William Hill.
Despite the fact that the Supreme has cut up to just 12 runners, William Hill continues to offer 1/4 odds for the first five places on this race. This is a remarkable concession. Effectively it's really only a ten-runner race as the last two on the racecard are both available at 999/1 on betfair. Understandably Hills have shortened up the first five or six in their betting, however they also offer best odds guaranteed in this race so if you fancy anything each-way here it's worth investing with Hills and taking their price.
I'm hoping for a big run from Ruby on Champagne Fever which I suggested at 14/1 last Friday and is now generally half those odds and just 5/1 with WH.
I can't resist another small bet though because of the generous place terms still available:
1pt ew Cause Of Causes @ 25/1 William Hill (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5) BOG, NRNB
What's more if you place this bet through their mobile site and the selection finishes second, you will get the win stake back as a free bet for use on Wednesday!
If you have not already seen the offer, Coral is still offering evens Sprinter Sacre for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. It is generally a 1/4 chance. As you may know from my ten golden rules of betting (see website) I do not back horses at less than 2/1.
Sprinter has to be an exception, but of course your stake will be limited, in this case to a maximum of £20. It is available by phone or internet so you may get two bets if you have separate Coral accounts for phone and internet access.
I think SS will probably win ten lengths or more. If it doesn't win I think it will have been a faller. My plan is to have a combination forecast excluding the favourite on the day. The profitability of this blog is based on £5 a point (up £3,400+ since Dec 2009) - i.e. it is not really for punters that bet in thousands. Therefore I have had four points - representing £20 at evens - and will invest most of the potential winnings on a forecast on Wednesday:
Queen Mother Champion Chase 4pts win Sprinter Sacre @ Evens Coral special offer
Four points invested
The Irish did not do well last year with just five winners. However with the change in the going they should do much better this year. In fact I am rather annoyed I didn't take 3/1 soft or softer ground on day one with PP, now big odds-on. The C of C always is looking for good to soft but he will probably not get it on Tuesday.
I have just played Irish trained winners - nine or more - 10pts @ 11/10 Paddy Power
Let's hope they can get nearer the record total in 2011 of 13 winners!
Money for both the 4pter Zarkander and the 2pter Champagne Fever which is interesting and encouraging. In my haste this morning I forgot to post two bets, which have, of course, shortened in price. These were Ghizao @ 40/1 and Paul Nicholls top trainer at 10/1. Therefore I will post the bets at their current prices:
Ryanair Chase 0.75pts ew Ghizao @ 33/1 Coral NRNB 1.5pts Paul Nicholls top Cheltenham trainer @ 9/1 888.com
I notice Paddy Power has just gone 20/1 Bog Warrior for the Gold Cup. An extraordinary move as it has also been backed for the World Hurdle (generally 8/1). You can get 66s Bog Warrior for the Gold Cup with one firm. It's not jumped a fence for a while so it would be remarkable if it took its chance in the big one. No harm in having the following on a NRNB basis:
0.5pts ew Bog Warrior Gold Cup @ 50/1 Totesport NRNB (66/1 VC bet if you are a losing punter)
Will be having a couple of Cheltenham bets over the next couple of days. Tonight's is not terribly original, however I feel I have to take advantage of the PP concession of money back on losing selections if Hurricane Fly wins the Champion Hurdle. With only 10-runners and 1/4 odds 1,2,3 for ew bets, it's a toss up for me whether to back Zarkandar or Rock On Ruby. In the belief that there should be give in the ground I have gone for the former:
4pts ew Zarkandar, Champion Hurdle @ 4/1 Paddy Power (1/4 odds 1,2,3)
(Win stake refunded if Hurricane Fly wins the race.)
Just had my first bet for Cheltenham as WH are offering Jezki @ 7/1 for the Supreme. This is JP's second string but one I like from seeing it win in December at Fairyhouse (see LRC article on my website). Just a small interest because of the attractive price:
Cheltenham, Supreme Novices' Hurdle: 1pt ew Jezki @ 7/1 William Hill NRNB (1/4 odds 1,2,3)
Ladbrokes go 100/30 (1/5 odds 1,2,3) this one, not NRNB. How do they lay a bet? Oh, I forgot they do not lay bets they just run shabby high street arcades...
If you are staking £10 or more with Coral and are not a member of their Champions' Club, join the latter before betting £10+ and you will get a £5 free bet. This is increased to £10 if their horse Crew Cut is placed in this race and to £20 if their horse wins.