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Showing posts from December, 2012

Perth Cup preview

New Year's Day in Australia traditionally means a plethora of race meetings scattered across the country, and none starting too early for those bearing a mild hangover from the night before. Plus, we have the added bonus of plentiful sunshine, none of this ridiculous endless bloody rain we have in the UK at the moment (can you tell this weather is giving me the shits?) Perth Cup day is a massive one in the West, often with temps around the 40C mark, which gets a bit uncomfortable, especially with a packed, drunken crowd. This year it will only be 33C, perfect Perth drinking weather, just stay in the shade!

Drafted in for a preview of this special occasion is the blogger known as @BrisburghPhil. You can read more of his work on his racing blog, or football ratings on his A-League blog.

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PERTH CUP PREVIEW 2013

Always a great way to bring in the New Year for any self-respecting racing fan. Somewhat of a pity that we no longer get to see a 3200m marathon, for…

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl preview

Big night of College Bowl games. Here's another preview by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Saturday December 29th, 20:15 MST (03:15 GMT) Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona Texas Christian University Horned Frogs vs. Michigan State Spartans

The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl has been played since 1989, and since its inception, the game has been played in the state of Arizona, for the first ten years the game was played at Arizona Stadium, on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. In 2000, the bowl's organizers moved the game to Bank One Ballpark in downtown Phoenix. Finally, in 2006, the game moved to it's current location in Tempe to replace the Fiesta Bowl which had moved to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The game was known as the Copper Bowl from 1989 until 1996 when naming rights were purchased by Insight Enterprises. This year, Buffalo Wild Wings took ove…

Valero Alamo Bowl preview

Another College Bowl game, another drinking game and another preview by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Valero Alamo Bowl

Saturday December 29th, 17:45 CST (23:45 GMT)
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
(23)Texas Longhorns vs. (13)Oregon State Beavers

The Alamo Bowl is played in the 65,000-seat Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It matches the second choice team from the Pacific-12 Conference and the third choice team from the Big 12 Conference. This year, the PAC-12 representative is Oregon State, as Oregon have been selected to the BCS Fiesta Bowl as an at-large selection. Ironically they meet Kansas State from the Big-12, but more about that later. Traditionally, the Alamo Bowl has been played in December, however at the end of the 2009 season the game was played in January for the first time. The following season, the game moved back to December where it has remained since. In 2007, the Alamo Bowl announced a par…

Cheltenham Gold Cup Ante-post Preview

We're not even out of 2012 yet many are already looking ahead at Cheltenham. After a couple of big trials this week, regular blog contributor Jon da Silva (@creamontop) believes it's time to take a thorough look at the Gold Cup.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview

The Main Event

75 days to go but yesterday’s exciting finish to the Lexus means we can start contemplating the Cheltenham Gold Cup. There are still three major trial races to come The Irish Hennessy Gold Cup, Argento at Cheltenham and the three mile race at Newbury. However take the trial at Newbury last year won by Long Run giving weight yet the 2nd to 4th at Cheltenham reversed position. Trials are trials but the King George and Lexus are arguably targets and more formful. Hence I believe we have injuries excepted 90% of the on track info. Almost all horses at the top of the market will aim to run in the race.

Main Contenders

Bobs Worth 3/1 and a pretty solid favourite. Appears bullet proof and loves C…

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

Another College Bowl game, another drinking game and another preview by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Saturday December 29th, 13:00 PT (21:00 GMT)
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
Navy Midshipmen vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is played annually at AT&T Park, home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants. It was created as the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl in 2002. As of 2010, the bowl is sponsored by Kraft Foods you may know them from such brands as Dairylea, Vegemite and Kool-Aid. In November this year Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl officials and the San Francisco 49ers announced the bowl game will move to the new $1.5bn, 75,000 seater Santa Clara Stadium in Silicon Valley in 2014. The game is one of three college bowl games played in baseball-specific stadiums, alongside the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at Tropicana Field, and the Pinstripe B…

New Era Pinstripe Bowl preview

Another College Bowl game, another drinking game and another preview by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Saturday December 29th, 15:15 ET (20:15 GMT)
Yankee Stadium, New York, New York
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl has been held at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx since 2010. The game pairs the fourth-place team from the Big East Conference against the seventh-place team from the Big 12 Conference. In the event the Big 12 lacks an eligible team, Notre Dame will receive its invitation. However, this hasn't been a problem yet as both conferences have managed to fulfil their obligation to this Bowl. As you should know, New Era is a clothing company, their most visible product being their #swag baseball caps that you will probably have seen on the heads of rap musicians and your local scallies down the estate. Last year's game was a defensive scrap…

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Saturday December 29th, 10:45 CST (16:45 GMT)
Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
Rice Owls vs. Air Force Falcons

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl was inaugurated in 2003 as the Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl reflecting the sponsorship of Plains Capital Bank. In 2005, the game was without corporate sponsorship. In 2006, Fort Worth based Bell Helicopter Textron took over sponsorship, and thus it became officially known as the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl; and if you visit the Bell website, you can purchase all kinds of late Christmas presents, though unfortunately, no helicopters. Armed Forces Insurance is the official Insurance Partner of the Armed Forces Bowl and has sponsored the Great American Patriot Award, presented at half-time at the Bowl since 2008. The game is traditionally play…

Leopardstown G1 previews

There's top class racing at Leopardstown in Ireland today with soft going all round. The Lexus Chase has received all the attention with several potential Gold Cup horses in contention, but the Grade 1 Novice Chase is a quality contest too.

With the previews, it's aspiring commentator Will Bowler, @willbowler2k12. You can read more of his excellent writing on his blog.

TOPAZ NOVICE CHASE (2.25 Leopardstown):

Back in Focus is a high class horse in heavy ground, and the ground is soft here, but may not as bad as he would like. He does jump well and if he gets an easy lead, he will be hard to catch.

Dedigout is a high class horse who only found the bold front runner Arvika Ligeonneire too good. The form has since been franked, and has a big chance here under the Irish Champion Davy Russell.

Of the others, I like the each way chances of both Aupcharlie and Jenari. The former is ridden by the excellent Andrew Lynch, and has been crying out for three miles. He is a huge horse, wh…

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Friday December 28th, 20:00 CST (02:00 GMT)
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, was held for the first time in 2006 in Houston, Texas. The bowl replaced the now-defunct Houston Bowl, which was played from 2000 to 2005. The first bowl game in Houston was the Bluebonnet Bowl, played from 1959 through 1987. On December 31, 2011, Texas A&M defeated Northwestern by a score of 33-22. The Bowl of Texas features teams from two of America's power conferences, however it's only the 6th best teams in both the Big-Ten and the Big-12.

Minnesota started the season 4-0, but slumped to 6-6, including dropping their last two to Nebraska and Michigan State. Minnesota’s offense is not especially great, ranking 114th in th…

Russell Athletic Bowl preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Russell Athletic Bowl

Friday December 28th, 17:30 ET (22:30 GMT)
Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

The Russell Athletic Bowl is played annually at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, so no Mickey Mouse characters here. The bowl is operated by Florida Citrus Sports, which also organizes the Capital One Bowl and Florida Classic. The bowl was founded in 1990 by Raycom and was originally played at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami where it was known originally as the Blockbuster Bowl. On June 18, 2012, naming rights were purchased by Russell Athletic for the 2012-2015 games. This game pits the 3rd team from the ACC against the 2nd team from the Big East. Unlike some of the other bowls, the Russell Athletic bowl usually has no problem producing it's conference tie-in teams. Last year's …

Independence Bowl preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

Friday December 28th, 13:00 CST (19:00 GMT)
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks vs. Ohio Bobcats

The Independence Bowl has been played annually at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Independence Bowl got its name because it was inaugurated in the United States bicentennial year, 1976. It was announced that in 2012, the Mountain West Conference team would be replaced by the tenth selection from the Southeastern Conference, however even the SEC couldn't muster that many bowl-eligible teams, and so we have two at-large teams, from the Sun Belt conference and the MAC. Last year's game was a bit funny, as we had an ACC team going against a then-Big12 team that was on its way to the SEC.

The Warhawks finished 8-4 and were just a game behind Arka…

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Thursday December 27th, 18:45 PT (02:45 GMT)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

(17)UCLA Bruins vs. Baylor Bears

The Holiday Bowl has been played annually at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, since 1978. Since 2010 the bowl has been known as the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl after Bridgepoint Education signed on to sponsor the game and put up the $2,000,000 payout made to each of the participants. Bridgepoint Education is a publicly held, for-profit education services holding company which owns online and land-based Ashford University and University of the Rockies. And they’ve been very naughty boys. Previous sponsors have included SeaWorld, Thrifty Car Rental, Plymouth, and Culligan.

The bowl pits a team from the Big-12 against a team from the PAC-12. Previously the WA…

Belk Bowl preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Belk Bowl

Thursday December 27th, 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils

The Belk Bowl has been played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, since 2002, it was inaugurated by the NCAA as the Queen City Bowl went by the name of several different sponsors before Belk acquired the title sponsorship in 2011. Who are Belk? Well I'm glad you asked, Belk is a chain of department stores created in Monroe, North Carolina in 1888. Over the years it has grown to host stores at over 300 locations across the South, it's crowning glory being the 330,000 square feet flagship store in Charlotte a mere 20 minute drive from BoA Stadium.

Anyway, back to the game.

It currently features a match-up between the fifth best team in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) a…

Military Bowl preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Military Bowl - Presented by Northrop Grumman

Thursday December 27th, 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT)

RFK Stadium, Washington DC

(24)San Jose State Spartans vs. Bowling Green Falcons

The Military Bowl has been played annually at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C. since 2008. The game is sponsored by Northrop Grumman, one of the world's leading defense contractors, and we're all expecting plenty of run-and-gun offense and a proper shootout. Lol, I'm here all week. (And there's a lot worse to come) The bowl game usually features a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and either a team from Conference USA (C-USA) or one of the service academies. This year however that scheduling idea has been thrown out as we have a team from the WAC and a team from the MAC. As is stands, the Army academy ha…

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl preview

Another game in the NCAA Bowl series previewed by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Wednesday December 26th, 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (known as the Motor City Bowl until 2009) is played at 65,000 seat Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Ford played host to Super Bowl XL.

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl features a team from the Mid-American Conference (the MAC Champions, although that team is not required to accept the bid; as this year the top 5 teams in the MAC have much better bowls to play in) playing a team from the Big Ten Conference. If the Big Ten does not have an eligible team, the game will feature a team from the Sun Belt that meets the NCAA requirement of at least six wins. In the event that the Sun Belt does not have an available team, an at-large team …