Monday, 31 October 2011

Melbourne Cup - pace assessment and tips

Pace assessment:

Americain - gets caught wide midfield or has to drop further back. Sat 3W with cover from 11 last year with moderate pace to first turn. Probably needs them to go harder to enable him to get cover.

Jukebox Jury - will press forward but will he be quick enough to do so? The likes of Mourayan, Older Than Time and Glass Harmonium will come across from wide, taking their time and will press on. If he gets stretched to hold the lead, the 57kg will hurt towards the end. If something crosses him, then puts the brakes on, it will also go against him. Can't see him holding the lead.

Dunaden - Lemaire to ride now, can see him sitting midfield, three wide with cover. Just about perfect.

Drunken Sailor - slightly worse than midfield with plenty of cover. Can track the good horses through, just needs a little luck avoiding tired horses.

Glass Harmonium - can only go forward, assuming he doesn't get too stirred up in the pre-race activity. No need to cross early, can stay wide and then cross close to the winning post. Leads or sits outside the leader.

Manighar - can only go back from the draw, doesn't have the speed to go forward.

Unusual Suspect - see Drunken Sailor, but not sure he is quite as good.

Fox Hunt - de Sousa hasn't ridden here before and Johnston hasn't gone close in previous visits. Does he try to go forward and take a position? I think he will try, but then get caught wide without cover.

Lucas Cranach - three wide midfield, plenty of cover. That's where Americain was last year…

Mourayan - pushing forward, will take the lead then hand it over near the winning post the first time. Adaptable enough now to Aus conditions to handle the stop start. **LATE NEWS** Rumours of a vet inspection being required on race morning....

Precedence - midfield or slightly worse on the rail.

Red Cadeaux - will need the pace on early so he can get into a decent position midfield. Doesn't have the turn of foot to win from the back.

Hawk Island - mid-back wide, getting in the way of better chances.

Illo - better than midfield on the rail, big danger of getting caught behind tiring leaders.

Lost In The Moment - rail or just off, midfield. Needs to get off the rail at the 800 or will be copping backsides in the face.

Modun - if he can stay off the rail outside Lost In The Moment, then he is right in there with a chance. Needs luck to get clear tucked away like that.

At First Sight - maps beautifully behind Mourayan about three back, one off the rail.

Moyenne Corniche - can only see him going back, probably sits wide with cover.

Saptapadi - trainer says he'll go back which makes it very tough for him. Back wide, hoping for something to drag him into the race.

Shamrocker - drops back to last and prays for carnage up front.

The Verminator - in behind Jukebox Jury, inside At First Sight. Not good enough to win from perfect posse, could be the donkey hanging on to throw enormous value into First Fours.

Tullamore - right behind At First Sight, probably with horses outside him.

Niwot - toward the back with cover, will be able to make the early move with his light weight and ability to accelerate.

Older Than Time - reckon she crosses to lead, but again, taking plenty of time to do so.


My main play is exotics (mostly trifecta) on this race every year. You have to take some risks and leave some good horses out. No point spending $100, taking selections only from the top of the market and getting a return of $500. I'm chasing one that pays several grand. This usually means something like 1st - two horses, 2nd - nine horses, 3rd - 12 horses.

Americain - obvious class, will go close but prepared to risk - short price and poor record of topweights.

Jukebox Jury - will be laying for the top 10.

Dunaden - no Craig Williams will be a blow, but in my exotics for the place at least.

Drunken Sailor - knockout pick for the placings, will squeeze him in as high as I can.

Glass Harmonium - prepared to risk, just don't see him hanging on for a place.

Manighar - 3rd at best, but will probably leave out. The blinkers on move give me something to think about.

Unusual Suspect - 3rd at best.

Fox Hunt - 2nd and 3rd, for sure.

Lucas Cranach - definite chance of winning, will take him all the way through.

Mourayan - Lloyd Williams absolutely singing his praises about how he has improved this campaign. But the 'mildly lame' report from Saturday….. um?!?! Dunno.

Precedence - no chance, and mug money pushing him way below his genuine price.

Red Cadeaux - had forgotten about Ed Dunlop's excellent travel record (Snow Fairy winning G1s in Japan and HK). Must go in for place, will keep running on despite being caught wide.

Hawk Island - no chance

Illo - don't think he's up to it, see Precedence re his price.

Lost In The Moment - in for the placings, Godolphin keep racking them up without winning.

Modun - see stablemate above. Might throw in a cheap separate ticket with him as the winner just in case..

At First Sight - has to go in from the top (i.e. for the win).

Moyenne Corniche - place best, maybe just third

Saptapadi - dropping back now puts a dampener on his chances. Way over the odds though, so mad to leave him out totally. Will pay for a new car if he runs third…

Shamrocker - no chance

The Verminator - might fluke third with perfect run, only goes in if I can afford him.

Tullamore - will be around there somewhere, in for the placings.

Niwot - getting short now but in the last 15 yrs, any Hotham/Saab/Lexus winner that is well backed for the Cup invariably runs well (Maluckyday - 2nd, Shocking - won, Maybe Better - 3rd, Brew - won, Maythehorsebewithu - 5th). Probably my third pick now, but can I afford to throw him in for the win? The other two have had interruptions to their campaigns, perhaps it's worth having the safe option.

Older Than Time - no chance.


So there we have it. I line them up like this

Lucas Cranach
At First Sight
Fox Hunt
and to round off the top 10, Americain.

Exactly how I'll stretch them, and others I've named, into the trifectas is the task of the next 16hrs.

Best of luck everyone!

the Melbourne Cup - the preview

The Melbourne Cup, the race that stops the nation. Here's my runner-by-runner look at the field.

For a formguide, look here

UPDATED for Lost In The Moment, At First Sight and direct link to the Ebor.

Americain - looking at least as good as last year when he won the race. 3.5kg more to carry, but is this a weaker or stronger race? I rate it slightly weaker, so he's right in this up to his ears. Won the Moonee Valley Cup in a canter, against the strong formalise of Tullamore. The record of topweights in this race though is terrible in recent times - the last five have been unplaced, and the only one to win in the last 30yrs was the supermare Makybe Diva. When you restrict it to foreign horses who were topweight, of the 14 who have tried since 1993 when Vintage Crop started the travelling trend, just one horse - Vinnie Roe, has been placed (2004) - although importantly, I don't think any of those visitors had a lead-up run as Americain has this year. Last race link, Moonee Valley Cup

Jukebox Jury - highly talented visitor from Johnston stable. I am concerned about his supposed pace. He leads in most of his European races and then grinds away, outstaying his rivals. Euro staying races start slow then build up, exposing the poor stayers. The Melbourne Cup is a mad charge to the first turn to take position, then it slows right down, then a charge home. You need tactical speed, and even the grumpy Yorkshire trainer has expressed concern about this. As a high quality horse, his exposure to big field racing has been limited. I doubt he will lead going past the post the first time, and if he does, something will try to take him on. I also think this race has been tacked onto his programme, rather than being set for it. Last race link, Prix Kergolay

Dunaden - another high quality French stayer who followed Americain's trend from last year of winning the Geelong Cup, a more relaxed 2400m race on a more spacious track than the far richer Caulfield Cup. Form of that race has stacked up well with Tanby winning the Bendigo Cup. Has been aimed at this race, so with that in mind, am prepared to discount the Prix Kergolay (won by Jukebox Jury at WFA) as it was after a 91 day break. His other two runs over 3000m+ have reaped a win and a second. Drama over who will ride with Craig Williams launching a desperate legal challenge to ride after his appeal against a 10-day suspension was dismissed on Friday. Gets 3.5kg off Americain, a big advantage over two miles. Christoph Lemaire on standby. Last run, Geelong Cup

Drunken Sailor - was a popular chance last year on his first visit, but was desperately unlucky in the Geelong Cup and didn't get in. This year he didn't have much luck in the Caulfield Cup after drawing wide. He has drawn perfectly in 8. Is he good enough? He beat Jukebox Jury and Redwood at Glorious Goodwood this year at level weights. Don't rule him out of contention. For the Goodwood replay - click here, search for Drunken Sailor and select the July 29 race.

Glass Harmonium - impressive win on Saturday after getting fired up in the mounting yard pre-race. Cup Day is like no other - 110 thousand people on course. Last week in the Cox Plate he went crazy in the gates, in front of the big crowd, but apparently more due to the actions of a horse next to him in the barriers, after his hood was removed. Do you take this risk again? Never run this far before, only runs past 2000m landed a win (2200m) and a second to Tullamore (Brisbane Cup, 2400m). Drawn 23, so should enter the gates late. Plenty of time to go forward and cross, it's the only way this horse runs. Mackinnon replay

Manighar - genuine horse who won six of his first seven starts, and lots of 'nice' runs since then without the winners' cheque. Ran 7th last year, and then fourth in the Caulfield Cup. Has drawn the car park here in 21, will either be stuck wide or pulled back to last. Does have the services of top jockey Damien Oliver who is back in golden form, riding three winners on Derby Day. Last run - Caulfield Cup

Unusual Suspect - veteran of the field at eight (7yo by northern hemisphere time though). Ran home strongly in the Caulfield Cup, catching people's eye. Has won just once in his last 20 starts though, and was 10/1 in an eight-runner field that day at Hollywood Park. Drawn ideally, will be throwing him in the exotics for the placings. Winning the Hollywood Park Turf Cup

Fox Hunt - conundrum runner for me. I like the profile of this horse, has been carrying higher weights in the UK, 6.5kg more than Moyenne Corniche in the Ebor, beaten 3.5L after being stopped in his tracks in the straight, and beaten 0.6L in the Goodwood Cup (G2 WFA) against Opinion Poll. Then won the German St Leger easily and the German form is strong this year. But, trained by Mark Johnston who has failed numerous times in Australia and refuses to run in leadup races (only the freak Vintage Crop has won this race on more than a 20 day break since 1985). Also drawn 19 with a jockey who has never been here, so will probably ride him the UK way, four wide and comfortable rather than working hard to get cover. Winning the German St Leger

Lucas Cranach - got within five lengths of Arc winner Danedream in the Grosser Preis von Berlin, the strongest form around, and was much shorter in the betting that day. Had issues with a cracked heel in the lead-up to the Caulfield Cup, ran enormous coming 10-wide around the turn, and couldn't quite outrun those with easier runs. Balance that up with the Caulfield Cup supposedly being one of the weakest in recent memory. If he is 100% fit, he has a massive chance from gate 11. Winning the G2 Hansa Preis in June.

Mourayan - imported stayer now fully acclimatised. Class doubt but won the Bart Cummings in early October beating Niwot comfortably, and then a slashing run in the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday. Drops from 59kg at WFA to 53.5kg. Hugh Bowman will ride at his lightest weight in ages, big plus. Will race forward, and from the draw, should be able to take his time to move across before the first bend. Late information that he will wear a pair of bar plates in front - related to pulling up 'mildly lame' on Saturday. Last run replay

Precedence - ran eighth last year, awful this time in. If he wasn't trained by Bart Cummings, he'd be 100/1 at least. No hope. See Manighar and Mourayan for recent runs.

Red Cadeaux - beaten only 1L in the Irish St Leger behind Jukebox Jury at level weights. But that was a field of six, nothing like this style of racing. Would need to put the pressure on from about the 1000m if his stamina was to prove superior. Has led before in races, but not regularly. Local jockey with previous success in the race will help. No race for more than 50 days will not. Irish St Leger replay

Hawk Island - Sydney-trained horse who fell at only previous attempt at the distance in the Sydney Cup. Should have no issue with the distance, just isn't up to this class. Would shorten up dramatically if it bucketed down, but no hope on the dry. Needs a lot of luck from 18. Metropolitan replay (ran 2nd)

Illo - mystery German horse trained by the master Bart Cummings. But he hanse;t had long enough to make his stamp on this horse and it has done nowhere near the miles he claims are vital to have a winning chance. Can't see any overlap in the form with either Lucas Cranach, Fox Hunt or Danedream so have to think he's not in the same class. The horse he beat by a short head in his last race, Oriental Fox, is still a maiden after four starts and Elle Thunder who beat him at his previous start hasn't won in three starts since, and was well back in the Prix de L'Opera in 2010. Barrier 1 is extremely difficult to win from. Should improve from first run in Australia but can't see him getting into the placings. See Americain for a replay of his last run.

Lost In The Moment - Godolphin runner who drops markedly in weight from his races in the UK, usually at set weights. He was beaten a head one of Europe's best stayers Opinion Poll in the Goodwood Cup (just ahead of Fox Hunt) but then was 3/4 of a length behind the same horse in the Ebor, receiving 5 lb (also 1.5L behind Modun, 1L behind Saptapadi). Drawn 3, will get back, to be ridden by William Buick, a top jockey who rode a double on Arc Day at Longchamp, but won't have seen Flemington before. Can only think he will be locked away and get caught behind tiring horses - they don't fan out here like they do at York. Up to it with a bit of luck but won't have raced for a month. Ebor replay here or click here, search for Lost In The Moment for other runs.

Modun - my preference of the foreign raiders. Just the eight starts with only one bad run (soft track at Royal Ascot). Has big field form - 2nd in the John Smith's Cup at York, 2nd in a big handicap at Goodwood, then 4th in the Ebor, all fields of 18+ runners - vital for this race. Still improving, showed a great turn of foot in his last race at Kempton. Has the important jockey appointment of Kerrin McEvoy. Should get a nice sit one-off the rail back in the field. For most of his replays - click here, search by horse for Modun, or see Lost In The Moment for the Ebor.

At First Sight - second in the Epsom Derby as pacemaker, then bought by Lloyd Williams. Impressed in his two runs in September over shorter distances, then had a minor hoof injury, putting a cloud on his campaign. Last week he went to Bendigo for the Cup and stormed home late from last to run second, proving his fitness for this race. Ignore the fact this race has never been a pointer to the Melb Cup, it has always been scheduled later in November, this is the first time it has ever been staged as a lead-up race. Just one win from 11 starts is a concern but he was raced by Coolmore and they regularly sacrifice very good horses for those they think are potential champions. Has shown enough in Australia to see he is genuine. Can a horse with an interrupted campaign win the Cup? Bendigo Cup replay.

Moyenne Corniche - two wins from 26 starts but gets in having won the Ebor Handicap at York, surging through late to win with a light weight. Formline through Tanby is similar to At First Sight comparing distances beaten, luck and relative weights. Will prefer bigger track, drops back from the draw and then runs on late. Must have a chance but trainer still prefers the stablemate. Last run replay.

Saptapadi - trainer was very dirty on Caulfield Cup ride, wanted him to go forward instead of lost in the pack. Three wide no cover all the way in the Herbert Power before that. Symons takes the ride, doesn't mind a bit of aggression and will have no choice but to go forward from gate 22. Three time the price of Moyenne Corniche whereas in the Ebor, this one started 15/2, Moyenne 25/1. One to throw in the exotics. Ebor replay

Shamrocker - AJC Derby and Australian Guineas winner (beating the boys both times) who is lucky to be in this field. Has done nothing this time in, drawn the extreme outside. Here's what she can do at her best - AJC Derby win back in April

The Verminator - questionable whether he should be in the field, but has won several races this year including the Wyong Cup (Listed) and the Metropolitan, a (questionable) Group 1 in Sydney. Worst run of his career on Saturday when beaten 14 lengths in the Mackinnon. Not a WFA horse so can forgive him a few lengths, but not that many - he was 13L behind Mourayan who gives him only 1.5kg here. Metropolitan replay

Tullamore - will perch in the front half of the field and keep on running. Failed in the Metrop but then third in the Caulfield Cup and second in the Moonee Valley Cup. Had plenty of racing lately but will be running on at the end. Likely to be unders because he is trained by Gai Waterhouse. Gets 5kg advantage from Americain after being beaten 2.3L at Moonee Valley, although the winner looked to have a bit in hand. See Americain or Manighar for replays.

Niwot - not one of my favoured horses but an objective look at his form puts him right in the race. On Saturday, he flogged them (3L, but rider sat up with 100m to go) in the Lexus Stks, and drops 4kg here. Maluckyday won that race last year (ran 2nd in Cup), Shocking the year before (won), then nothing of note until Brew (won Cup) back in 2000. His Flemington record is outstanding : five runs for three wins, a second and a close-up fourth over 1400m when first-up after 600 days. Not much luck at other runs this campaign either. Rider Dean Yendall is not a Group 1 jockey by any stretch of the imagination but he has an affinity with the horse, being on board for seven of his past eight runs, including all Flemington wins. Lexus replay

Older Than Time - beaten out of sight in the race that Niwot won on Saturday and simply shouldn't be here. Ran 2nd in the Sydney Cup, a much, much weaker race on a swamp track. Waterhouse factor only thing preventing her from being the rank outsider of the world. Previous run replay

On the big races, I'm mostly an exotics punter, chasing the big pools with so much money invested from the once-a-year punters. I'll be back tomorrow with my final assessment...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

greatest raceday in the world

I'll qualify that statement by adding the word 'domestic' to it - meetings like Arc Day, the new British Champions Day, Hong Kong International Day etc are all set up to welcome the best in the world. Victoria Derby Day at Flemington isn't programmed for that, but a few will arrive anyway with the vast riches available.

UK punters will be amazed to learn that fields and barriers for Saturday's racing is available already, as are full formguides from various outlets, including important information such as running position and sectional times - information dismissed as worthless in the UK. When you have a spectacle meeting, give punters every opportunity to do the form properly so they can spend their money! 24hr declarations for Cheltenham for example are an utter joke.

Fields link

Full form link

There's a guaranteed $4 million pool for the Quaddie (pick winner of last four races), so time to do my homework......

Thursday, 20 October 2011

the secret list of suspicious tennis players

According to Swedish website,, this is the list of players the Tennis Integrity Unit keep a close eye on, due to previous matches of interest....

The Black List
Philipp Kohlschreiber
Potito Starace
Andreas Seppi
Fabio Fognini
Janko Tipsarevic
Michael Llodra
Nikolay Davydenko
Teymuraz Gabashvili
Victor Crivoi
Christophe Rochus
Oscar Hernandez
Yevgeny Korolev
Filippo Volandri
Wayne Odesnik
Victoria Azarenka
Agnieszka Radwanska
Francesca Schiavone
Sara Errani
Maria Kirilenko
Kateryna Bondarenko

... And 21 on the warning list: Brian Dabul, Eduardo Scwhank, Jeremy Chardy, Simone Bolelli, Lukasz Kubot *, Carlos Berlocq, Igor Kunitsyn, Andrei Golubev *, Alex Bogomolov, Somdev Devvar-man *, Steve Darcis, Marin Cilic, Flavio Cipolla, Ivo Karlovic, Viktor Troicki, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci, Virginie Razzano, Romina Oprandi, Dominika Cibulkova, Eleni Daniilidou. * Participating in this year's Stockholm Open

For the full article, run this link through Google Translate - 41 tennis names on blacklist

The explanation of match-fixing is rather simplistic, and doesn't include the far more common habit of sharing sets in order to capitalise on in-play betting fluctuations.

I'm surprised at most of the female names up there, and suspect they are missing several more names on the men's side....

With thanks to @ne0genic and @tenniscrocks for the link.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Dig deep and strike hard when corruption's around

A couple of big cases in racing around the world this week. Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr has received a 10 year ban in the state of New York for repeated drug offences. It sounds harsh, but this is a trainer who has moved from state to state over the years, copping a lot of positive drug tests.

Dutrow receives ten-year suspension in New York

by Frank Angst

New York regulators have had it with trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

After determining two violations occurred late last year and citing a long list of previous violations, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (NYSRWB) suspended Dutrow’s license for ten years at its meeting on Wednesday.

“As far as I’m concerned, game over,” said NYSRWB Chairman John Sabini. “Let this be a lesson to other people in the business who have had repeated, repeated violations.”

Dutrow’s most recent problems followed a positive drug test for the pain-killing drug butorphanol in Fastus Cactus after he won the third race on November 20 at Aqueduct and the November 3 discovery of three syringes containing Xylazine, an analgesic and tranquilizer, in his desk drawer. He was fined $25,000 for each of those infractions.

While the board determined Dutrow had violated rules in both of the November 2010 incidents, it also considered Dutrow’s past violations before determining sanctions. Board member Charles Diamond said those past violations included infractions that resulted in 64 sanctions in nine states at 50 racetracks.

There is no room in the racing industry for crooks like this. It's only ever about winning, not the welfare of horses. His supporters can moan all they like about the process and his image for the sport... blah, blah, blah. Whether this process was not perfect is barely relevant - the guy should have been given the boot long ago, the message that he was breaking the rules obviously hasn't sunk in. The fact he has been able to continue training after so many infractions just shows how divided and dysfunctional US racing can be. Penalties should add up - every repeat offence gets slightly more severe, so that by the time they are looking at infringement no. 10, the penalty is getting very harsh, and penalties should be nationwide. There is no rule that other US states have to comply with the New York ruling, although it is believed that some will.

In Australia, the corruption in NSW harness racing case just keeps getting bigger and bigger.....For those unaware of Fine Cotton, read the Wikipedia page, it's an interesting tale of rank amateurism and corruption in racing. For background on the case, read an older blog post.

Corruption probe to dwarf Fine Cotton

THE ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in harness racing is set to dwarf the scale of the Fine Cotton affair of the 1980s, involving hundreds of races going back years.

Reid Sanders, the regulatory boss of Harness Racing NSW and the man in charge of a new three-man industry panel investigating the allegations, has told The Daily Telegraph the scale of the investigation was "unprecedented" in racing history.

"In my knowledge, there has never been an investigation of this nature and scale in any racing code in Australia and the world," he said.

"Fine Cotton was one race. We are dealing with allegations that some stewards were corrupt, and as a result of that there are an infinite number of people that could have been involved."

Sanders said the panel was investigating multiple races, but it was not yet aware of the full magnitude of the alleged corruption: "I can't tell you if it's one race or 500 races."

He admitted that the sheer weight of documents gathered had taken him by surprise. "I always knew it wasn't going to be small," he said. "(But) the volume of evidence we're collecting is huge. The paperwork alone would stand two filing cabinets high."

Meanwhile In the UK, the latest investigation into jockeys linked with people laying slow horses is scheduled this month but all that has been forgotten amongst all the hyperbole about the new whip rules. Spare me, it has been three days and it is not the end of the bloody world....

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

clanger from Australian bookmaker

I reckon they might declare 'palpable error' on this one. It (Facile Tigre) won the last race at Caulfield overnight.

Cheers to @atthepicnics for sending that one through.

Quest for legality

Even more Sportingbet activity in the news since my recent post. Seems I put the mockers on the deal with Ladbrokes, that collapsed the next day. Meanwhile, Sportingbet are ditching their Greek activity, at least via Centrebet, with notices to affiliates of upcoming blocks on players residing in Europe's most broken economy. And then today, news on the wires that Sportingbet is back in acquisition mode, buying two small Danish sportsbooks ahead of the introduction of a regulated sports betting industry in the country.

The lawyers and finance chiefs are being kept very busy....

Monday, 10 October 2011

Match-fixing update

You'd have to have been living in a cave for the past week not to have heard about the Scottish football betting scam involving some of Wayne Rooney's family. This game was suspicious from the outset and was highlighted here back in December.

The match-fixing investigation into Turkish football is experiencing some resistance. The 'holier than thou' officials implicated in the scandal want the prosecutor removed from the case because he doesn't believe their lame excuses! Typical reaction of remorseless, self-indulgent megalomaniacs who believe they are above the law.

(Note, this section has been edited since original post to correct a few things)

In cricket this week, the big story has been the trial of the Pakistan spot-fixing handler, Mazhar Majeed. The accused is wrapped up in his own ego, continually dropping names of his supposed friends and contacts, and raving on about how much power he holds over certain players. The evidence against him is damning, there is no doubting that, so he is going down grabbing as many headlines as he can. Today's highlight from the secret recordings - accusing Australian cricketers of being heavily involved in spot-fixing. Does he have any facts to back up his accusations or just spinning bullshit in private to suck someone into paying for his next Ferrari? Dustbin Cricket posted an article about the unlikelihood of it, but one can't be totally naive about it. I think the guy is just a Grade 1 bullshit artist with a major grudge against Australia (and England - he has stated he had several English players in his pocket as well), but I'm not that one-eyed to believe it is completely impossible. He won't be held accountable for his outlandish statements, he is only answering to the charges at hand - so expect to hear loads more bullshit from his fantasy world. He has complete freedom to make up as much baseless crap as he likes with no fear of retribution.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sportingbet in the news

It's been a busy year for Sportingbet - purchasing Australian online betting pioneer Centrebet, sponsoring the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham and hunting for a merger/buyer to expand the business.

With keen interest from the extra cautious Ladbrokes, Sportingbet have sought to offload a key part of their business which operates on shaky legal ground - Turkey. A buyer appears to have been found, with GVC ready to complete the paperwork after a few months of negotiations.

Meanwhile, with the Ladbrokes deal still progressing, Sportingbet have made moves back into America with a casino deal ahead of forecasted relaxation of sports betting bans.

And the Aussie site,, has yet another new look, abandoning the black which was despised in the UK office, and falling more into line with the company colour scheme.

Rugby league sting has day in court

Ryan Tandy gets a mere slap on the wrist for his part in the NRL betting scandal of 2010, with the brains behind the rort yet to face the music.

Leading Sydney rugby league writer, Peter Fitzsimons has a well-deserved attack on the NRL for its reliance on gambling to survive.

Tandy's behaviour odds-on in sport that thrives on gambling

REPORTING live from the Centrebet Stadium at Penrith, we'll get back to you shortly about how wrong it is to bring in legislation to protect problem gamblers from themselves … as right now, in news brought to you by SportsTAB - wall to wall on your TV and radio coverage and even in your newspapers - we have to leave the Centrebet Panthers and Centrebet Sea Eagles, to deliver some breaking news.

Canterbury forward Ryan Tandy has been found guilty of conspiring to gain a financial advantage for others by manipulating the first scoring play in a rugby league match last year between the Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys.

I KNOW, I know, horrifying! And so unexpected!

Who would have thought that in a game where every moving part is covered in the names of gambling companies, where from sun-up to sundown and on into the night - just one more press on this Queen of the Nile pokie and I'll be done - gambling money flows into its coffers, an individual rugby league player would get it into his head to try to get some of the action for himself?

The AFL have told firms they want to roll back the live advertising on its games while the AFL and NRL are fighting hard against the Federal Government's plans to limit access to poker machines - something NRL clubs in particular have relied upon for income for decades. These sports take a heavy stance when it comes to morality of players in the public eye - so why won't they do the same when it comes to money?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

No-name tennis player banned for attempted match-fixing

Anyone ever heard of David Savic? Must admit I hadn't, he was a player who plied his trade almost exclusively in the bottom tiers of the professional circuit in Futures and Challenger events, with a career-best ranking of 363.

The Tennis Integrity Unit found him guilty of trying to fix matches, being the link man between the betting syndicate and players. They must have had some pretty damning evidence to suspend him for life with a fine on top of US$100k - more money than he'd have made in his entire career.

David Savic Anti-Corruption Disciplinary Hearing

Player banned for life and fined US$100,000 for three violations under the Uniform Tennis Anti-Corruption Program

Serbian tennis player David Savic has been banned from the sport for life and fined US$100,000 after being found guilty of offenses under the Uniform Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.

Mr Savic was found guilty of three charges under Article D of the 2010 Uniform Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, namely:

Contriving or attempting to contrive the outcome of an Event; Soliciting or facilitating a Player not to use his or her best efforts in an Event; and; Soliciting, offering or providing money, benefit or Consideration to any other covered person with the intention of negatively influencing a Player’s best efforts in any Event

The three violations of the Uniform Tennis Anti-Corruption Program for which he has been disciplined occurred in October 2010.

If you are 26 years old and still hacking around on the Futures circuit, then you've probably found a source of income from somewhere else to keep you going. ost players will be taking buses wherever they can go, sharing hotel rooms etc. Question is - where did the corruption actually take place? It couldn't have been at one of the crappy events he was playing in, the potential to earn from a fixed match at that level isn't worth it. The player denies the charges and will appeal.

Aidan O'Brien - genius or fool?

There’s no denying that champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is good at his trade, you only have to look at his record to recognise that. But then again, if you were looking after a never-ending production line of bluebloods bought or bred by some of the wealthiest men in Europe, wouldn’t you fancy yourself to win a few decent races?

This is a guy who never has to worry about grinding out winners in the bottom tier of racing, just to put food on the table or hang onto some owners. He never has to fight against owners who want to move to a bigger stable promising fame and fortune, or don’t agree with his methods. Just imagine how long O’Brien would last if he was trainer for Nathan Tinkler and Patinack Farm?

He has a bottomless pit of resources, and it matters little if one of his promising horses doesn’t quite measure up – they’ll just be lined as pacemaking fodder for the next potential superstar in the stable. It’s all about producing stallions for them – a friend of mine bought a close relation to one of their stallion prospects last year at auction, with the intention to go jumping with it and win a race at Cheltenham. Any mention of jumping on the family tree is deemed to slash millions from potential earnings in a stud career. The Coolmore production line couldn’t allow that to happen and made the syndicate an offer they couldn’t refuse, within hours of the auction.

O’Brien has waxed lyrical about So You Think throughout the year, possibly the best he’s ever had, nothing can keep up with him at home, what a beast of a horse etc.. But for two poor sets of tactics, he should probably be undefeated in Europe. In the Prince of Wales at Royal Ascot, he was slaughtered by Ryan Moore by a stupid pacemaker which went way too far in front, causing Moore to fire the champ up way too early in pursuit and get nabbed on the line by the ill-fated Rewilding.

I travelled over to Paris for the world’s finest race, the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, with an Aussie flag in my backpack ready to fly it proudly when he streeted clear in the final 200m. Hell, the nude run up the straight wearing the flag as a cape was not a million to one if the dream came true. With any decent luck, I had him coming out on top after crossing to take a sit near the pace – the way he always races!

For the full article, visit Tote Tasmania's blog.