No strong views at Nottingham yesterday. Might play at Hamilton but will watch the first race before deciding whether to bet. Meanwhile having a mug punter bet on a big upset in one of the 10am matches. Taking on the unreliable Sam:
Well two ill-advised tennis match bets - both selections going down comfortably in straight sets.
NI La looked good and remains 14/1 to win the title which looks reasonable value as she is in the opposite half of the draw to Serena. Li would not meet Pova until the semi-final. I backed the Chinese in January at today's price! 7/1 to reach the final looks value.
Interesting match coming up after the Tsonga match. Laura Robson versus Caroline Wozniacki. I couldn't believe it when the bookmakers opened with Laura around 4/6 favourite to beat the former number one. The market has now moved the other way however and Woza is 4/5 favourite to beat the British number one as the match approaches. I won't be betting on the match but it should be an intriguing affair.
Despite the choice of horse racing fixtures today I don't plan to have a horse bet. I am though having a couple of small wagers on tennis matches taking place this morning.
The first is against my long-term pick for the ladies' title Li Na. She has not played well recently with defeats to Madison Keys and Jankovic. What's more today's opponent is not a great match-up. Medina Garrigues holds a 3-1 HTH over the Chinese and that single loss was a retirement. The Spanish player had a seesaw match with SW in Madrid recently taking the middle set 6-0!
I have had:
3pts M-Garrigues to beat Li Na @ 9/2 Paddy Power
The other match where I am opposing an even hotter favourite is as follows:
1pt Peer to beat A Radwanska @ 8/1 Paddy Power
Peer is 3-4 HTH but has won both encounters on clay.
Both matches are scheduled for a 10am start. One will be shown on ITV, the other on ITV4.
One horse winner only today - 12/1 r4 5p - not enough to recoup the stakes laid out, in fact producing a loss of 6.4 points. With regard to the tennis, just a small bet as follows:
2pts win T Berdych to win third quarter men's singles @ 4/1 Coral
Berdych has a potentially tricky first round against Mon Fils but he has been playing really well this season and looks the danger to DF winning this quarter. Should be some good viewing over the next fortnight.
According to the latest betting there is a solid chance of Fed v Ferrer semi. Fed is 4/9 to reach the last four whereas DF is around evens. One outsider who could go well in Fed's quarter is Juan Monaco. He has bounced back from a first-round defeat (against Paire) in Rome to win the final of a modest tournament in Dusseldorf today. I have had a small play as follows:
0.75pts Juan Monaco to win fourth quarter @ 22/1 Paddy Power
0.5pts ew Juan Monaco to win men's singles @ 300/1 Betfred (1/3 odds 1,2)
It's a good idea to have the latter bet with Fred because if Monaco wins the tourney without dropping a set you'll be paid at 900/1! Far more likely to be dispatched in the first round of course.
Total 1.75pts. Some thoughts on the third quarter later today.
Off to Hay Festival tomorrow. When I was there last year there didn't seem to be much wi-fi about so it may be a bit difficult for me to place bets and, of course, write my thoughts on the blog. I may have a couple of small bets at Haydock and Goodwood first thing in the morning before I set off. They will be small though, following the lack of success at these two gaffs today.
The French Open draws will be announced mid-morning which is horribly inconvenient as I won't be able to scramble about for the best prices. However one cannot be a slave to this game and a serious injection of culture can only be a good thing. Looking forward to various events including music from Rokia Traore and then Christy Moore who I saw a few years ago at the Hay gig.
Meanwhile I have just had another small bet in the ladies' French Open tournament on a player who has played ok here in the past and what's more has shown a return to form in recent weeks.
0.75pts ew Jelena Jankovic to win French Open ladies' singles @ 100/1 William Hill (1/2 odds 1,2).
VC have cut Ferrer from 33s to 25s. Boylesports have lengthened Ferrer from 28/1 to 33/1. There is a catch with the latter however as they have reduced their place terms to 1/3. So it's now 11/1 instead of 14/1 with Boyles for the place part of the recommended bet. Best ew price for Ferrer right now is with nosporting bet - 40/1 (1/3 1,2).
Thinking about the projected semi-final draw again it can be one of two options:
Djoko 1 v Nadal 3 and Ferrer 4 v Federer 2 or
Djoko 1 v Ferrer 4 and Nadal 3 v Federer 2 No other combinations.
Nadal and Djoko represent over 90% of the win market - 4/6 and 2/1. There is a 50% chance that they could end up in the same half after the seedings and draws are announced on Friday. If this happens you can forecast a radical change to the market and all the 1/2 odds ew betting would possibly disappear.
There are very few negatives about the top two players - Rafa has not played five sets since his return from injury. Djoko has a niggling ankle injury which could take some punishment over five sets for two weeks. In any event I have had a small top up on Federer hoping for the dream Djoko v Nadal projection on Friday!!
1pt ew R Federer to win French Open @ 16/1 Paddy Power (1/2 odds 1,2)
With Andy Murray's withdrawal there is an each-way bet to be had. We have been told by the French authorities that the seedings will follow the world rankings and that Rafa will receive no special treatment. Hence the top four seeds should now be announced as: 1 Djoko, 2 Federer, 3 Rafa, 4 Ferrer. Consequently, at this stage, (and with no further top four withdrawals) the only player guaranteed not to meet Rafa before the final is Ferrer. Given that Rafa is generally a 4/6 chance, being able to back a player ew at a decent price (who is guaranteed to be in the other half of the draw) is an opportunity not to be missed.
The downside of backing Ferrer is his poor record against the top players. Obviously if the above players reach their seeded positions in the draw, Ferrer will either play Djoko (5-10 HTH deficit but 3-1 ahead on clay) or Federer (disastrous 0-14 HTH) in the semi-final. We already have a small ew bet on Federer at 14/1 (now bigger) placed in February so that would get us our money back if they were to meet in the last four and Federer won for the fifteenth time.
I have had:
4pts ew David Ferrer to win French Open @ 28/1 Boylesports (1/2 odds 1,2)
If you can get on with non-layer Victor then do so as he is offering 33/1 Ferrer. Do not bet with nosportingbet at their 40/1, however, as they only offer 1/3 odds 1,2. So the odds to reach the final are better with both Boyles and Victor.
Federer played really poorly against Rafa yesterday and after two games it was clear he was not going to have a chance. Both favourites for the French Open (Rafa and SW) look really strong and it will not be worth having any further bets until the draws are known. Even then it may not be worth playing.
Tough couple of days with the horses - Hi There getting beaten narrowly yesterday was disappointing. Got a nice run up the rail but was too off the pace early on. However flat season still going well with 132 points profit to date:
15:40R 1.5pts ew Osteopathic Remedy @ 8/1 Bet365 BOG
Five points staked.
Federer plays the King Of Clay at 3pm UK time tomorrow. We have a chance - although Fed can be backed at 7/2 and I was expecting him to be a little shorter than that. Still it should be an enjoyable view and we have a decent bet to nothing.
The best price for Paire is with betfair at 7.4 as I write, which is 6/1 after 5% commission. There is a risk in backing him with betfair in that if there is a retirement in the first set the market is void. So you may prefer to take 5/1 with Lads or Coral which will both settle if a point has been played. In any event this bet should only be made if you have had the advised ew stake on Federer:
3pts win Paire to beat Federer @ 7.4 Betfair (6/1 after commission)
So total stakes on Rome ATP will be 17. If Paire wins today then the overall profit will be four. If Federer wins the match it will be a modest profit of 2.5pts but we will have a free hit on the final which would produce 36pts profit should Federer beat Nadal (or Berdych). He won't be much more than 2/1 if as expected he plays Nadal on Sunday.
Just now catching up with Friday's results. There was a fair start at Hamilton with (second choice) Coral Sands winning again, this time at a generous 7/1 (BOG). No gain on the rest of the card though with just Bronze Beau making the frame at 14/1 (BOG). All this means just a marginal profit of 0.75pts on the day's horses!
In Rome we just have Federer in the semis - 3pts ew 11/1. However we have laid out 14pts on the ew Rome strategy and there is a chance of coming away with nothing because Paire has ripped through the other bottom-half quarter, taking out my fancies Monaco and Del Potro. The (place) return for Fed is potentially 19.5pts for a modest 5.5pts profit on the tournament but with a further potential return of 36pts should he win the tournament. I am going to have to reinvest a chunk of that 5.5pts on Paire beating Fed and will look for the best strategy in the morning.
With regard to the horses, a couple of races at Thirsk and Doncaster will also need attention tomorrow.
Only Hamilton of interest today. First bet is in the mile handicap in which we had the 25/1 winner at the last meeting. That winner, Coral Sands, runs again and will probably merit a saver. The main selection however is:
18:50H 2pts ew High Resolution @ 10/1 Paddy Power BOG
My initial strategy is not working out too well with three of my rags beaten in the first round. I am convinced there is still an ew angle here so having seen the well-being of the following players in their opening matches I have stepped in again:
3pts ew Roger Federer to win ATP Rome @ 11/1 Betfred (1/2 odds 1,2)
1pt ew JM Del Potro to win ATP Rome @ 14/1 Betfred (1/2 odds 1,2)
Eight points staked. Play starts in the men's matches in about 40 minutes time.
All at sea the last two days, very disappointed in particular with the Doncaster selections on Monday, should have done a lot better there. Not much today but will be looking to Cathy Gannon to steady the ship on this one making its handicap debut:
20:10Ba 3pts win Harbour Captain @ 100/30 Paddy Power BOG
Elsewhere no recent news on Mourhino taking over again at Chelsea. You probably know that you can lay him at around 1/5 (just laid him for a few quid at 1.21) on betfair. This is not a specific recommendation but if you have the 16/1 about him going back to Stamford Bridge you might like to at least save your stake.
A very interesting draw for the Rome ATP which is just getting underway. Incredibly Nadal and Djoko are in the same half of the draw. Thus a huge percentage of the market is taken up by these two top players and with most bookmakers offering 1/2 odds to reach the final there are some interesting ew prospects in the other half of the draw. Of course this contains Mugray and the Fed. The former went down tamely to Berdych in Madrid having only just got past Simon - a player he had beaten on the previous ten consecutive occasions - in a final set tie break. As for Fed he looked very rusty in his defeat by Nishikori. I have therefore had a number of ew small bets as follows:
1pt ew Del Potro @ 18/1 Skybet (1/3 odds 1,2)
0.5pt ew Monaco @ 200/1 Boylesport (1/2 odds 1,2)
0.25pt ew Nishikori @ 100/1 Betfred (1/2 odds 1,2)
0.75pt ew Dimitrov @ 66/1 Betfred (1/2 odds 1,2)
0.25pt ew Janovicz @ 250/1 Paddy Power (1/2 odds 1,2)
0.25pt ew Haas @ 100/1 Betfred (1/2 odds 1,2)
Remember that better prices could be available with bookmakers who refuse to take my bets (eg Victor). These bets are reliant on Mugray and Fed not performing well, however these courts are much slower than Madrid and that will be against them. A portfolio of six players should give me an interest for a day or two.....
Kept on the right side today with the Head Turner obliging on Noble Gift at 10/1 (SP only 5/1).
Hopefully, if you played the ew selections in the Victoria Cup, you took my advice and bet with a bookmaker who offered the first five places. If you didn't you will not have a return as Dream Tune, having run all over the track, finally ended up in fifth place to reward (some) each-way backers.
Today was a good illustration of the need to obtain the best prices and concessions available. Without that fifth place it would have been a losing day. As it was a small profit on the day was achieved.
No bets tomorrow so the next action likely to be on Monday.
A busy day yesterday with 22.5 points staked across five meetings. Thanks to Yeeoow winning at 8/1 at Ascot plus a placed horse I came out with a profit of around five points. Could have been much better though as we had two narrow runner-ups at 10/1 and 5/1. There was a big distraction in the evening with the start of the Ludlow Spring (beer) Festival when I was forced to choose from the 180 beers on offer!
As for today I am going to invest yesterday's winnings in the Victoria Cup as follows:
15:50A 1.5pts ew Dream Tune @ 14/1 Bet365 (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5) BOG
15:50A 1pt ew Solar Diety @ 22/1 Bet365 (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5) BOG
Make sure you bet on this race with one of the firms that offers fist five.
After a poor day yesterday back with a bang today (to relatively modest stakes unfortunately!). Two races: two winners. Aye Aye Digby obliges at 13/2 (SP 6/1) and then shortly afterwards Effie B wins at 20/1 (a Rule4 deduction means our price was reduced to 16/1). SP just 12/1. Profit on the day 39.5 points.
No luck in the Chester race, main selection more or less left in the stalls.
Kempton not looking attractive so I have been looking at the Newcastle card. Have had a couple of small ew bets in the 18:00 race. Favourite looks very short. Whether I have any bets after this race I'll decide after the result:
With regard to the tennis, VC has also put up 33/1 Dimitrov for Madrid this morning but significantly go 1/2 odds to reach the final, so have your outright Madrid bets there if the prices are comparable and of course you have an open account.
I watched an extraordinary match tonight: Dimitrov beating Djokovic in three sets. The young Bulgarian played some incredible stuff to beat the world number one. The match lasted over three hours with the underdog cramping badly at the end of the second set. He recovered to take the third set in what was an incident packed match.
I have had an each-way interest on Dimitrov for the title. The problem is he may struggle to recover from tonight's exertions. However if he does then the way he is playing at the moment he has a shot at making the final. He is in the opposite half of the draw to both the odds-on favourite Nadal and Federer (who is second best in the market now). Dimitrov will probably play Fat Stan next and then Tsonga if the seedings work out. His potential semi-final opponent is Murray, who although winning in straight sets, did not impress me today. So a speculative wager as follows:
1.5pts ew G Dimitrov to win ATP Madrid Open @ 33/1 Boylesports (1/3 odds 1,2)
Only a couple of points down on the day despite a large outlay and no winners. Places at 22/1 and 20/1 (BOG) rewarded the ew bets. The best chance of a winner was Blue Noodles which went down by a short-head to the Head Turner. SP was an incredible 11/2 so somewhat unfortunate result. But I guess when one is backing mainly in sprint handicaps the margins are going to be small a lot of the time.
But before that we have an interest in tonight's football because should Wigan beat Swansea our sole relegation wager (3pts Newcastle @ 11/1 placed in December) would look more promising as Newcastle would slip into the bottom three...
Laura takes out world no4 with some ease at the Madrid Open yesterday. Obviously getting ready to land our 200/1 Wimbledon poke! (Now best price 80/1).
She is 200/1 to win the Madrid Open and 250/1 to win the French Open. If, like me, you like long shots and you can find a friendly bookmaker to lay you a few pence ew then I wouldn't discourage you......
17:00Be 2pts win 1pt place Art Mistress @ 9/1 William Hill BOG (VC 10/1) 17:00Be 1pt win 0.5pt place Jordonstown @ 10/1 William Hill BOG 17:30Be 2pts win 1pt place Morocco @ 10/1 William Hill BOG (11/1 VC) 17:30Be 1.5pts win Majestic Dream @ 6/1 Spreadex fixed odds 17:45Ba 0.75ew Chester'slittlegem @ 28/1 888.com 17:45Ba 0.75ew Nafa @16/1 Coral BOG
Weekend winners at 25/1, 7/1 and 2/1 for 70pts horse racing profit in two days. Why do I bother with football - or even worse snooker? Should be focusing solely on the flat tracks. Will be looking at Bath, Beveley and Kempton today. So far, I don't like anything!
No luck with the lower league play-offs with just one draw from the four matches.
A good day though despite the Trump exit in the snooker. Winners at 7/1 and 2/1 at Thirsk and Goodwood respectively. So 26pts profit on the horses today is a welcome return, as I have one more crack at the stalemates in the play-offs as follows:
9 May 3pts Leicester v Watford draw @ 5/2 Skybet
10 May 3pts Crystal Palace v Brighton @ 12/5 Skybet
I will be concentrating on Thirsk, Goodwood and Doncaster tomorrow. However there is also the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket which I know nothing about. Other than the fact I was at the Curragh when Dawn Approach won its first race. A friend who was with me that day fancies an outsider here so I am happy to go along with that recommendation. It's Hannon's second string which is as low as 14/1 in places:
15:50N 1.5pts ew Van Der Neer @ 22/1 Skybet (1/4 odds 1,2,3)
(slightly higher price in betfair's win market at the time of writing.)
Going to swerve the horses today and have a mug punter bet on the snooker. Ronnie, allegedly, doesn't want to be there and Trump is playing well winning the last three frames yesterday. I doubt whether the Rocket will enjoy today's 10:00am start so this morning's session could give Trump the opportunity to edge ahead.
6pts win Trump to beat O'Sullivan @ 6/4 Paddy Power
Had a brief further look at the Chepstow card without coming to any firm conclusions. It's too hot to think about it just now, I will come back around six if I am going to have any more horse racing bets. Meanwhile a top up, looking for the all-square in both this evening's play-off matches, as follows:
1pt win double draw at Bradford and draw at Northampton @ 5/2 & 12/5 Bet365
Mourinho is apparently closing in on the Chelsea job which would earn us a nice 16/1 winner if it comes off (bet placed with VC Feb 2011). If it doesn't come off where will he go? As an attempted hedge I have had a small bet with Coral:
Mourinho's next club to be PSG 2pts @ 11/2 Coral
Bet is really only of any value if you have had the 16/1 Chelsea, which is currently as low as a 1/8 chance.