Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Thunder Road

"Well I got this guitar 
And I learned how to make it talk 
And my car's out back 
If you're ready to take that long walk 
From your front porch to my front seat 
The door's open but the ride it ain't free 
And I know you're lonely 
For words that I ain't spoken 
But tonight we'll be free 
All the promises'll be broken 
There were ghosts in the eyes 
Of all the boys you sent away 
They haunt this dusty beach road 
In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets 
They scream your name at night in the street 
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet 
And in the lonely cool before dawn 
You hear their engines roaring on 
But when you get to the porch they're gone 
On the wind so Mary climb in 
It's town full of losers 
And I'm pulling out of here to win"

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Monday, 28 April 2014

Man U gig

Giggs has contracted to around 6/1 for the permanent manager role so no damage at the moment in speculating at 10/1. LVG remains the favourite at a prohibitive 1/3 on betfair. Although LVG is said to be a done deal in some quarters I have my doubts. I'm having just one more small interest and then will let the scenarios unfold:  

1pt Carlo Ancelotti to be next permanent manager of MU @ 33/1 Paddy Power

(Also available with Betfred and Skybet)

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Giggs to get the gig?

According to newspaper reports this morning LVG has agreed a deal to manage MU. The reports have been played down by MU who have said they have not signed a new manager (which means of course that LVG could certainly be in talks with them). LVG also has an offer from Spurs.

MU could do very well in their last four fixtures under RG all which look winnable. One problem for Giggs is that Slur Alex has said he should get the gig full-time (see Moyes etc). LVG is 1/5 and Giggsy is around 10/1. The latter price is with WH and SJ and I have had an interest.

2pts R Giggs to be next permanent manager of MU @ 10/1 William Hill

It's a very volatile market but as I write 10/1 is available in two places and 9/1 in several places.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014


Suffering from jet lag and then injured during the first set, she battled well to get back to one set all. Was blown away by a solid Pennetta in the decider.

That's it, will have to hope Liverpool can land the Premiership to improve the 2014 profit line.

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Monday, 21 April 2014

WTA Stuttgart

Stuttgart is underway and I've played an inform German at an attractive price. This is an indoor clay court event. Petkovic won the recent Charleston event on (American) clay before taking out Stosur in the Fed Cup down-under. 

She has a potentially tough first round against Pennetta and if successful has possible match-ups with Jankovic and Kvitova. She has winning HTH stats against all three girls, hence I think she is worth the following small investment: 

1pt ew A Petkovic to win Stuttgart @ 20/1 Betfred (1/2 odds 1,2)

Pova, A-Rad and the inform Kerber are in the other half of the draw. 

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

French Open update

Stan has contracted to a best price 12/1 for the Paris gig which starts in five weeks' time. I believe that price (available with Spreadex) is worth taking if you missed yesterday's 16/1. Another reason for his price reduction, other than his defeat of Ferrer, is the injury to Djoko's wrist. The latter is as short as 5/4 to win the French Open despite the need to be out of the game for sometime which puts his participation in the second grand slam in some doubt.

Can we exploit the market given Djoko's short price? Whoever wins the Monte Carlo final today will be ranked the Swiss number one and hence the world number three. I think it's unlikely that the two Swiss players will be ranked anything other than three and four at the start of the French. Djoko is not really a value lay on betfair as he has already drifted to 4.4 and could of course recover.

Therefore I think it is worth taking Federer each-way too in the belief that either he and/or Stan is extremely likely to be drawn in the opposite half to Nadal. I have had:

1pt ew Roger Federer to win French Open @ 18/1 Spreadex (1/2 odds 1/2)

If you cannot access 18/1 I would take 16/1 available in several places.

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

French Open

Could Stan win the second grand slam as well as the first? After some moderate results immediately after his Australian Open triumph he is playing well again. He took care of David Ferrer in straights sets today (Monte Carlo). Ferrer had been playing well too and surprisingly beat Nadal here - the first time he has beaten him on clay for something like ten years. 

I've had:

2pts ew Stan Wawrinka to win French Open @ 16/1 Paddy Power (1/2 odds 1,2 NRNB)

Four points staked.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Charlton Arms

Today I had my first visit to The Charlton Arms (Ludlow) since the new owner has been in situ. It's now owned by Cedric Bossi whose brother Claude owned Ludlow's Hibiscus restaurant (a two-star Michelin establishment) which relocated to London in 2010.

The place has certainly been smartened up since the last time I was here. Chose a restaurant seat with a lovely view overlooking the river.

To start I went for the prawns with chorizo, garlic, white wine and chilli. Served with bread in a skillet. Pipping hot (temperature) and plenty of flavour. To follow I selected the Welsh sea bass served with new potatoes. The fish was cooked perfectly.

Found it a little odd that I was not offered the wine list. However this may well have been because I was already enjoying an excellent pint of Hobson's Best (tasty but moderate strength - 3.8%).

Other than a slight hiccup with the bill it was an excellent lunch, one that I would recommend and hope to repeat soon.

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

US Masters

Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar are the bookmakers' market leaders as the final round of the US Masters approaches. Yet I believe there are reasons to oppose both. Bubba was five strokes clear of the field after an eagle at the second yesterday. Now he is joint leader. Despite having God on his side you could argue that he has already blown up. His driving could keep him in contention today - although his putting on the quickening greens could let him down. 

Matt Kuchar, although in great form, has been over par in his last four final rounds on tour and that could happen again today as he is in contention.

I've gone for a four-man portfolio in what is a very open affair:

1pt win Rickie Fowler @ 12/1 Paddy Power

1pt win Jonas Blixt @ 12/1 Paddy Power

0.5pt ew Fred Couples @ 80/1 Paddy Power (1/4 odds 1,2,3)

1.5pts win Jordan Spieth @ 5.9 Betfair Exchange (5.655 after commission)

4.5pts staked.

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Monday, 7 April 2014

Champions' League

I thought Chelsea were a bit unlucky to concede three times in Paris last week. I think they could still come through their tie at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. Certainly if anyone can turn it around it is Mourinho. He is not blessed with the greatest strikers - Torres (no goal in last seven matches), Eto'o and Demba Ba - but maybe Schurrle or Hazard can score. 

Anyway I have had the following small investment:

1pt Chelsea to win 2-0 @ 8/1 Coral

0.5pt Chelsea to win 3-1 @ 16/1 Coral

0.5pt Chelsea to win 3-0 @ 18.5 (16.6/1 after commission) Betfair Exchange

Two points invested.  

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Davis Cup update

My two selections have reached the semi-finals, which are:

France (9/2 ew) v Czech Republic

Switzerland v Italy (33/1 ew)

The ties take place in September. With home advantage France are probably slight favourites ahead of the Czechs to reach the final. (Depending as always on who is fit of course).

Italy have a tough task in Switzerland though - I doubt that the Swiss will be choosing clay! However we have seen that Stan can be vulnerable, although not vulnerable enough yesterday for my bet against him.

Profit figures updated this morning:


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Davis Cup

Switzerland are in a perilous position in their tie trailing Kazakhstan 1-2. 

This is a huge surprise as they were expected to come through comfortably. Wawrinka lost his opening singles on Friday and then teamed up with Federer to lose the doubles yesterday. So that's six hours play in two days' losing matches. 

He takes to the court again at 12:30 to play Kukushkin who was not involved in the doubles yesterday. On rankings alone it should be a stroll. World ranking number three plays number 56. However Stan has looked nervous in front of his home crowd and of course should he lose the Kazakhs go through.

The H2H could be seen as irrelevant as they have not met for four years and Stan has improved so much in recent times. They last played in 2010. Stan won comfortably at the US Open. Then a couple of weeks later they played in the Davis Cup. Kukushkin won in five. Very speculatively I have had:

2pts Kukushkin to beat Wawrinka @ 11/2 Bet365

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Saturday, 5 April 2014

French Open portfolio addition

Petkovic could end up as the Charleston winner this weekend. On the comeback trail big time although has had some lucky breaks in the draw here:

0.5pts ew Petkovic to win French Open @ 150/1 Paddy Power (1/2 odds 1,2)

She is 300/1 with Sportingbet as I write.

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Second GN bet

This one is certain to be backed because of the name but in any event has solid claims. Has the excellent Wayne Hutchinson in the saddle and is best price with Betfred right now who is offering first six ew betting:

0.75pts ew Walkon to win Grand National @ 50/1 Betfred (1/4 odds 123456) NRNB

1.5pts staked.

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Grand National - not a Shu-in

Intending to have a couple of bets in the big one. The first bet I have had is on Big Shu. Ran a creditable race in the cross country at Cheltenham. Stays extreme distances, his three wins coming over 3m, 3m 7f and 4m 1f. If still on his feet, he could be staying on when others have had enough. The ground is currently G to S but any further rain would help his cause. The 33/1 has gone but 25/1 and five places looks worth an interest:-

1pt ew Big Shu to win Grand National @ 25/1 Skybet (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5) BOG, NRNB

Most bookmakers offer NRNB but Sky are already offering BOG for this market.

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