Tuesday, 31 March 2015


I think I have identified a bit of value in the 7f handicap at Kempton tomorrow night. Freemason was with Stoute last season but has switched to Garry Moore's stable. Still unexposed I can see him starting shorter than the 10/1 on offer with both William Hill and Ladbrokes as I write. My bets in this race are:

20:15K 2pts win Freemason @ 10/1 William Hill BOG
20:15K 1pt win Shingle @ 10/1 Paddy Power BOG

Three points staked.

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Irish Lincolnshire result

DeSousa strikes for home on Aussie Valentine but just gets caught!

My article here: Irish Lincoln

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Irish Lincoln

Having been on the plunge horse yesterday in the Lincoln (16/1>9/1, tailed off), I'm trying again today in the Irish equivalent. There has been heavy overnight rain at the Curragh and the ground has turned soft to heavy. I've backed a couple of easy ground performers to small stakes with a very small bookmaker:

16:55C 1pt EW Bold Thady Quill @ 25/1 Bet365 (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5) BOG
16:55C 0.5pts EW Aussie Valentine @ 33/1 Bet365 (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5) BOG

Three points staked

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Game changer?

Following Thursday's TV debate, the first poll shows Labour taking a 4-point lead over the Tories. This is significant I think and it provides the headline in today's Sunday Times. The poll was compiled by the much respected YouGov. I watched the debate and didn't think Miliband did particularly well. The consensus is therefore that Cameron performed worse and the margin of the poll could provide momentum for Labour as the campaigns really get underway. I've played the most seats market/majority as follows:

8pts Labour to win most seats in 2015 General Election @ 15/8 Coral

(Boyles are 2/1 but it will be for very small stakes I expect. Paddy Power and SJ also offer 15/8 but I anticipate the price to go in next hour - 6/4 shot perhaps later today?)

2pts Labour overall majority in 2015 General Election @ 16/1 Betfred

(Available several firms)

Ten points staked

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Lincoln

Forty years ago today (yes 40!) I backed the winner of the Lincoln at 100/1. Southwark Star was returned at 33s and won easily. Three or four of us were on and incredibly our success made the local paper! Since then the race has always been a favourite despite not backing a huge amount of Lincoln winners.

The big discussion is the draw and which side will be favoured. In fact it is usually one side or the other that prevails as they don't often win down the middle. The general consensus seems to be low draw is best in the soft (last two years trap three has won on soft ground) and high draw on good ground. It's good, good to soft in places at the moment and rain is not expected. Could therefore dry out to good all round by the time of the race. Despite this I've backed a low drawn runner for a couple of reasons. Firstly he's had a very good preparation with three warm up races in Meydan. The first of these was a win over today's trip and that was followed by two fair efforts over an unsuitable 10f (he's never won beyond a mile). 

The second factor is the eye-catching booking of Pat Smullen who has not ridden him previously. Pat was toiling away (two winners) at dreary Dundalk last night so I guess he must be flying over this morning for the ride. The selection can be a bit tardy at the start so I'm looking for Pat to sort that out. Anyway just a small interest as follows:

 15:45D 1pt EW Belgian Bill @ 16/1 Skybet (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5) BOG

Note SKYBET is one of few bookmakers offering five places EW betting.

Sent from my iPad 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Chelmsford City

Have opposed the market leaders in the 6f sprint tomorrow at the Essex venue. A bit speculative but this is how I have played it:

19:15C 2pts win Bertie Blu Boy @ 12/1 Betfred BOG
19:15C 1pt win Amenable @ 16/1 Betfred BOG

Three points staked.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Next Tory leader

Long time followers will know that I have backed Theresa May at 20/1 (in 2011) and again at 12/1 (in 2013) to be next Tory leader. She is currently second favourite at a best priced 9/2. Cameron speculated yesterday that there might be three candidates to replace him: Boris, Theresa and George. Boris is favourite in this market and too short for me to get involved. So I've had a couple of quid on George as follows:

2pts George Osborne to be next Tory party leader @ 12/1 Boylesports 

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Some respite

Ireland land the Six Nations on a roller coaster day. We certainly didn't have the value. Ireland was available at odds over 8.0 during the Wales match. In fact Wales traded as low as 1.22 for the championship in-running. I never thought they would be contenders on Saturday so I was completely wrong there as they racked up 61 points in Rome.

It was nice to at least get a winner on the board after a frustrating Cheltenham. Seeing Wicklow Brave trot up @ 25/1 having been on the gamble at Sandown when he missed the break didn't help. The final nail in the coffin was Ireland coming up one short in the Prestbury Cup with 13 rather than 14 winners. Of course in the fantasy world I live in the missing Irish-trained winner was Champagne Fever (NR) in the QMCC!

Elsewhere my two selections, Juventus (28/1) and Athletico Madrid (16/1), are through to the last eight of the Champions' League. AM face RM and must have a chance as they have a reasonable record in the H2H. Juve have shortened in the market to 8/1 after their apparently good draw against outsiders Monaco.

Harry Kane's hat trick at WHL propelled him to the top of the Prem League scorer chart with 19 goals ahead of Costa (18) and Aguero (17). How the latter didn't score against 10-man W Brom I don't know. MC had 43 shots in the match! Costa could catch Kane at the top today of course but I'm hopeful of my 16/1 EW wager on Kane as he's now best price 6/4.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Playing with the tiddlers

Online bookmaker 666bet have had their operating licence suspended while the Gambling Commission undertake a review into the company.

You've probably seen their TV adverts featuring Harry Redknapp, Nicky Henderson and, if you are very observant, Statto (Angus Loughran).

My advice if you have money with them would be to withdraw it now just in case...

I find it very hard to get a decent bet these days - William Hill being the latest who have effectively closed my account -  but I have decided not to open accounts with the smaller firms like Betway, Winner, Betbright and Titan etc. These firms maybe OK. But then again they may not be...

I'd rather go without a bet.

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Six Nations

Don't often play rugby markets however we have an intriguing climax to the Six Nations today. England are odds on to win it. I think the value however is Ireland @ 9/5 with Spreadex (and Stan James if they lay you a bet). The points difference currently is in England's favour, +37 to +33 so Ireland will need to set England a big target in Scotland in the earlier match. We need France to play for some pride against England in the final match:

5pts Ireland to win Six Nations @ 9/5 Spreadex 

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Cliffe at Dinham

Visited the Cliffe at Dinham for the first time since its refurbishment over a year ago. They've made a good job of it too. Here, for example, is part of the dining area:

The hotel/restaurant is run by the team that used to manage the Clive.

I had the mackerel with beetroot & orange salsa and polenta chips. This was followed by a superb clotted cream and lemon curd mousse.

Well worth a visit and now in my top ten Ludlow restaurants!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Galway Farmer

"I worked my days on a Galway Farm
In the sun and rain and wind and storm
But once a year I'll chance my arm
And cross the sea to England
I'll scrimp and save 2,000 pounds
Spend the week in Cheltenham town
But the racing over always down
I come back poor from England."

I was at school with Phil Beer. He wouldn't know that though..

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Nothing to shout about..

Going to stick with bets already placed today. We've got Valseur Lido in the first which Pricewise has gone for, so inevitably that's shortened up a bit.

Double-handed in the World Hurdle: poor price taken on Zarkandar 5/1 now 11/2. But some support for Whisper, backed at 14/1 now generally 9/1. Let's hope for latter.

Elsewhere fields look impossible so will be cheering on the Irish contenders. GB still favourite for Prestbury Cup with Ireland 8-6 ahead.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Once bitten twice shy..

My selection for the QMCC Champagne Fever has been bitten by another horse in the yard and as a result is a non-runner today. Fortunately my bet was NRNB so no damage done.

The field is down to nine runners and with most bookmakers offering 1/4 odds 1,2,3 I've played one ew taking on the market leaders:

15:20C 0.75 pts ew Special Tiara @ 20/1 William Hill BOG (1/4 odds 1,2,3) 

(Free bet up to £25 if placed through mobile app and selection finishes 2nd)

Total 1.5 pts staked. That will suffice for today.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Prestbury Cup

Final bet (today) before racing gets underway.

Ireland to win the Prestbury Cup. That is to win 14 or more of the 27 races.

5pts Ireland to win Prestbury Cup @ 3/1 Coral 

God luck with your bets!

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Cheltenham - day one

All set for the opening day with the ground apparently good to soft, good in places. It may get close to good by the first race with the sun out and this should suit Jezki in the big one. Whether he can best Faugheen remains to be seen.

I may have one more bet today and if I do will blog it before 13:00.

Good luck - and a reminder to myself - remember you don't have to bet in every race!

Sent from my iPad

Monday, 9 March 2015

Premier League run-in

With just ten games to go for most Premiership teams which has the easiest run-in? 

The answer is West Ham with the average position of their league opponents of 12.8. The hardest? That's West Brom with an equivalent figure of 8.4.

Can analysing these figures throw up a value bet? Take for example the top four betting where I already have what looks increasingly like a losing bet of 6/1 on Southampton. Ignoring Chelsea and Man City, five teams are competing for the two remaining top four positions. Their run-in stats are:

Tottenham 12.3 (points accrued 50)
Southampton 11.8 (49)
Arsenal 10.3 (54)
Liverpool 9.4 (51)
Man Utd 8.8 (53)

Man Utd and Liverpool have the third and fifth worst run-ins respectively. Tottenham and Southampton have the second and third best. 

That gives me a tiny bit of hope for my Southampton bet however they are not in form whereas Tottenham are. Liverpool are now inconvenienced by a FA Cup replay at Blackburn and have to face Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea in the league (latter two away). Man Utd will play Tottenham, Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their closing fixtures. Arsenal or Man Utd will have the distraction of the semi-final of the FA Cup. 

How do they bet? Best prices: 2/9 Arsenal, 10/11 Man Utd, 5/4 Liverpool, 6/1 Tottenham and 8/1 Southampton. Man Utd and Liverpool look poor value when compared to 6/1 Tottenham so I've had:

4pts Tottenham to finish in top four @ 6/1 Bet365 

(Also available with Ladbrokes)

And what of the relegation battle? You could consider West Brom at 20/1+ but they may have just done enough sitting now on 30 points. Hull are three points lower - currently 15th - five points above the drop zone. Hull have the second most difficult run-in (8.6 factor) facing Chelsea, Southampton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man Utd in their ten remaining fixtures! I've had: 

2pts Hull to be relegated @ 7/2 Coral (generally available)

Total six points staked.

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Saturday, 7 March 2015


Imperial Cup day at Sandown and I can't resist getting involved to small stakes with the carrot of five places being offered for each-way bets:

15:10S 1pt EW Wicklow Brave @ 16/1 William Hill BOG (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5)
15:10S 0.75pt EW Chieftain's Choice @ 18/1 Coral BOG (1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5)

Total 3.5 points staked.

Good luck if you get involved in this very difficult handicap.

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Quigley's eight-and-a-half

If I do well at Cheltenham I shall celebrate in style. If I do my cash it will be the soup kitchen for me.

So in case it's the latter (quite likely) what better time to prepare with some value soup for the freezer! Yes, the 8.5p per person lunch is back:

Here's how. First go to http://www.newcoventgardensoup.com/ and print a £1 off voucher (one per email address). Then go to Tesco where their Covent Garden soups are currently half-price: that's £1.17 per 700 gram carton reduced from £2.34. Enough for lunch for two. Hand your voucher to the cashier with your selected soup and you will be charged just 17p.

That's lunch for 8.5p each!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

LRC Cheltenham preview night

An excellent panel for last night's very well attended Cheltenham preview night. There was no owner, trainer or jockey on the panel, which was a positive for me. You may know from my ten rules of betting that I take no notice of their opinions. That's because they are invariably biased towards the horses they own, train or ride.

I'd estimate over 200 attended and it was good to catch up with friends I'd not seen (in some cases) for many years.

In terms of Cheltenham bets my portfolio to date is quite small. I've listed below the bets I've had since my return from London. I've been fortunate to profit from the last couple of festivals so here's hoping for at least a couple of winners:

First of all, not a lot of value in the 'specials' that I can see. Last year I took 3/1 12 or more Irish trained winners (there were 12). This year it's evens the same bet. I've just played one in the jockey championship against the very likely winner Ruby Walsh:

2pts Barry Geraghty to be Cheltenham top jockey @ 8/1 Coral

Here are my other bets which are a combination of my views and those of the panel:


Supreme Novices Hurdle 1pt ew Qewy @ 14/1 William Hill (concessions if unplaced) 1/4 odd 1,2,3

Arkle 0.5pts ew Three Kingdoms @ 20/1 Betfred 1/4 odds 1,2,3

Mares 1.5pts ew Polly Peachum @ 9/1 Paddy Power 1/4 odds 1,2,3


RSA Chase 2pts win The Young Master @ 7/1 Betfred

Fred Winter 2pts win Zarib @ 12/1 Betfred


World Hurdle 2pts win Zarkandar @ 5/1 William Hill
World Hurdle 2pts win Whisper @ 14/1 Betfred

JLT 2pts win Valseur LIdo @ 6/1 Betfred


Triumph 2pts win Petite Parisienne @ 9/1 Betfred

A Bartlett 2pts win Blacklion @ 12/1 Betfred

Finally in the GC:

Gold Cup 5pts win Djakadam @ 11/1 William Hill
Gold Cup 1pt ew Boston Bob @ 25/1 Paddy Power 

Please note ALL of the above bets are NRNB - be careful which bookmaker you choose because not all firms offer this concession at the time of writing.

Good luck if you get involved. But remember these races are hugely competitive and there is a very good chance we may draw a blank.

Total stake 29 points.