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Showing posts from May, 2012

French Open previews

My regular Grand Slam previews have moved home this year, and can be found at TheShark.com.au.

I'm not that excited about the men's competition, nothing really stands out in the betting. But here's the preview of the men's draw.

I find the women's draw much more interesting for outright betting, and here is the preview.

Previews for this site will be written towards betting/trading on Betfair.

Eurovision Preview

If you love a bit of cheesy TV, then you'll be parked on the sofa tonight watching the bohemoth production that is Eurovision. Regular contributor James Jack spends far too much time watching this stuff! Follow him on @materialista27.

As you should all be aware, this Saturday night sees the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. If this is the first you're hearing about it, you've missed two cracking semi-finals, including most of the novelty acts who have now been sent home. Tuesday night saw ten qualifiers produced for Saturday as did Thursday night. These twenty acts will join the big 5 (UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany) and last year's winner and venue for the final, Azerbaijan, or as the host of the show will say, AZ-ER-BAI-JAN. The songs for the final have been drawn in a semi-random order and the order in which I preview them will be the order in which they will perform. The results will be provided by a 50:50 split between the public vote…

now is the time to get stuck in on Next Manager markets

As an update to the article linked under Popular Pages, I've written a lengthy article for BettingExpert about how to play the Next Manager Markets on Betfair.

Here's an excerpt:

Leave Backing To The Mugs, This Is All About Laying
These markets are all about rumours on Sky Sports News, Twitter, in the papers and any other remotely credible source. Mugs love the rumours, from the downright ridiculous to the tenuously credible. Bookies love stirring the market up by saying they've seen support from Bloke X and his price has crashed from 25/1 into 4s… probably with a whole fifty quid changing hands. Even better are the claims that they've suspended betting on someone because he's locked in for the job… meanwhile he's trading close to evens on Betfair.

Read the entire article here

long overdue industry update

Haven't written one of these for a while, so a lot to catch up on, and probably plenty I've missed!

News today that several big wagering companies have to pay back taxes in Spain. Nothing they've been asked for previously, but conveniently at the same the country is flat broke and are in the process of awarding new gaming licences. Purely above board of course, but I doubt the chances of any firm trying to acquire a licence are any better than 50/1 without paying a wad for their earlier business in Spain. Bwin and Sportingbet are the two firms in the news as having to cough up, expect Betfair and numerous others to be tied up in this.

The washup from the Racing NSW court win over Betfair (and subsequent decision by Racing Victoria to follow suit with a turnover-based fee for wagering operators) in Australia has forced Betfair to raise their commission rate for all codes of racing in Australia and New Zealand to be increased to 6.5%. I have also heard unofficially they ar…

Doomben Cup Day preview

It's another big day of racing in sunny Queensland, headlined by the Group 1 Doomben Cup. The team from @Priomha dissect the form in detail....

With Black Caviar at the consulate applying for a visa, the Carnival leaves South Australia and heads north to Queensland for the running of the Group 1 Doomben Cup over 2000m. It is the highlight of an 8-event card, seven of which are black type. With the weather predicted to be fine, the track conditions perfect we will look to steer you into a few winners as we preview the black type features. Doomben is a tight turning track so we will be looking for horses with inside barriers and who will settle on or near the pace. To add a bit more mystery to the day, this is the first time in a while that the track will not be wet - subsequently recent form might not count for anything. Laying the favourites might be the way to go.

R2: Bollinger Champagne Classic, 2yo Group 2 - 1200m (1245 AEST)
We tend to steer clear of 2yo races as there are t…

The Mount Gambier Cup

It might just be a $40k country cup to most people, but this is my home town Cup, the biggest day of the year for the South Australian city of Mount Gambier. It's not a bad little field either with the usual regional trainers leading the charge.

The Scott Group Mt Gambier Cup 2400m

1. Hissing Sid
Did nothing in the Warrnambool Cup, a race he won last year, but did draw the outside with top weight, was wide the whole way with an average jockey aboard on a heavy track in a much tougher race, so plenty of reasons to forgive him. Carries top weight again, switches to a better jockey in Chad Lever but too many noughts in his recent form to think he can regain top form here.

2. Texan Warney
Second (as favourite) in the recent Millicent Cup held just up the road at Penola, a rather tight track, then bridesmaid again in the Listed Port Adelaide Cup at Morphettville last weekend. Meets the placegetters from Penola slightly worse off at the weights and has drawn the outside gate. Good strike…

Middleton Stakes preview

The Dante meeting at York sets the scene before Epsom and Royal Ascot in June. It's a big, spacious track where every horse should gets its chance - although straight races will be plagued by the inevitable draw bias discussion. James Jack, @materialista27, attacks one of Thursday's highlights, the Middleton Stakes.

Betfred Middleton Stakes

The Middleton Stakes is a Group 2 for fillies and mares aged four years or older. It is run over a distance of 1 mile, 2 furlongs and 88 yards (2,092 metres), previous winners include Oaks heroine Sariska and Midday for Sir Henry. Sir Michael Stoute has won the race three times, but luckily for punters, the rotund Barbadian does not have a runner this year. There is a 3lb penalty for a Group 2 win after 31st August 2011, and 5lb for a Group 1 win in the same period. £56,710 for the winner and £21,500 for the bridesmaid. And so, onto the field:

1. Sea Of Heartbreak (5yo)
James Doyle for Roger Charlton
9-1
Carries the extra 3lbs for her win i…

Chester Vase preview

The highlight of day two at Chester is the Vase for 3yo colts and geldings. It might be a small field but it's a classy one as we lead into the Derby. Making his blog debut is Jack Milner. You can read more of his excellent work on his blog or by following him @jjmsports.
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The Chester Vase is another one of the fine races in the Chester May festival, a Group 3 contest over the extended mile and a half, given the twists, turns and general undulations associated with Chester's track, it is a true test of a three-year-old thoroughbred colt, and as such, is seen as something of a Derby trail. Last year's winner, Treasure Beach, beat the eventual King George winner Nathaniel here, holding him comfortably, by a very flattered neck. He followed that up with a second in The Derby at Epsom behind Pour Moi, and winning The Irish Derby ahead of multiple bridesmaid Seville, as well as going onto Grade 1s in North America. This is a race for good horses.

Good looking ho…

Chester Cup preview

The flat season is now fully underway after Guineas weekend and now the first of the midweek festivals, the three-day Chester meeting. If you've never been to Chester during a race week, you are certainly missing out! Making his debut on the blog is Mark Charlton. You can read more of his work on his blog or follow him on Twitter, @oddspundit.
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The start of the flat season on the Roodee beckons with the Chester May Meeting getting underway on Wednesday. The showcase feature race on the opening day being the Stanjames.com Chester Cup where 16 runners this year will hustle and bustle their way around the track over a 2m 2f 147yd trip.

Ground conditions for this year’s renewal look set to be worse than recent years with good to soft ground expected. Over the past 20 years, only in 1997, 2004 and 2005 have conditions been similar, meaning the trends gurus will need to be very careful indeed when tackling this race from a betting perspective.

History suggests that an …

1000 Guineas preview

No volunteers to take on this preview so looks like it's my turn! Can only knock up a short one though.

3.15 1000 Guineas

Wonder filly Maybe is the obvious favourite, she's won five from five, progressing from Group 3 to Group 2 to the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, all over 7f. By Galileo, a mile should be the least of her worries. Beat all-comers last season, some say she could even be the best of her age group, male or female. By that logic, she should be an even shorter price than the impressive Camelot today, but is she facing a classier bunch of rivals?

Mashoora is the highly-rated French raider to be ridden by Christophe Soumillon. Her win in the G3 Prix Impudence at Maisons-Laffite recently was simply arrogant. She has form through Elusive Kate last year, enough to label her a big chance here,

Moonstone Magic is the new filly on the scene, not having raced as a 2yo but has bolted in her two starts this season at Leicester and Newbury. Still improving and none of her ri…

5.35 Newmarket preview

And to conclude Sunday's programme is another handicap, again analysed by Dan Kelly, @muffinmannhc.
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Guineas weekend ends with a typically competitive looking 3yo handicap, and here's my two against the field.

Mubaraza was campaigned with a 3yo season in mind when running in his maidens. Backed on debut from 100s into 16s, he stayed on well from the side which was at a disadvantage from the off and looked as though the experience would bring him on. It duly did, but even though stepped up in trip he looked like he needed another at least, plus cover wouldn't have gone a miss as he was seeing daylight throughout. Final run of the season was on the back of a 68 day break, which looked to be enforced as he did miss an engagement in September, and again he showed more than enough that a trip in excess of 8f was needed and also a winter would bring him on as he wasn't knocked about in any of his 3 runs. Today stepped up to 10f is a plus, as is…

2.05 Newmarket preview

Sunday's card at Newmarket opens with quite a tricky handicap, just the sort of puzzle which Dan Kelly, @muffinmannhc, lives for...
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A race which has been bereft of quality until Times Up win last year, this year's running looks a far sharper renewal.

If there's one good thing about the Shergar Cup then it's surely the inability of some jockeys to ride the round course, and Yutaka Take is a prime example of such, the good thing you wonder is the fact that Rock A Doodle Doo comes here after a fall in the weights. Then again I am being harsh on Take, as he wasn't the only jockey to give him a poor ride last year, Makin did also at York, whether that was due to possible stamina doubts or not, he made too much use of RADD in the home straight and was spent in closing stages. Back over his favoured 12f trip, he is overpriced at 16s+.

Of the shorter priced runners, I am keen on seeing how Sandusky goes this year. Late on the scene as a 2yo he ran behind A…

The 2000 Guineas preview

The highlight of the weekend in British racing is undoubtedly Saturday's 2000 Guineas. There's no Frankel in the line-up this year, is the hotpot from Ballydoyle ready to do better than stablemate St Nicholas Abbey who arrived with similar wraps? Dan Kelly assesses the field in the first classic of 2012. Follow him on Twitter @muffinmannhc.

The 204th running of this race will have to go some to beat the spectacle that was the 203rd, or simply Frankel's Guineas, but where last year had one phenomenon, this year could very well house a number of stars.

First of all, let's separate the wheat from the chaff in racecard order; Boomerang Bob, Bronterre, Coupe De Ville, Ptolemaic, Redact and Talwar. Culmination of not good enough, sprinters on breeding, poor preparation comfortably explains their exclusion.

Now to pick out those finer grains.

Abtaal
Related to a Grade 1 winner in the States over 1m+, he was given a very easy time of it on seasonal debut in the Prix Djebel…

Makti Suffolk Stakes preview

Handicap expert Dan Kelly, @muffinmannhc, dissects the form of the opening race of the Newmarket weekend.

1400 Newmarket Makti Suffolk Stakes

This race saw the beginnings of an incredible rise through the ranks by Green Destiny last season, resulting in dual Group 3 success and a far from disgraced 6th in the Champion Stakes at Ascot, however I very much doubt this years renewal has a lurker of that potential.

Fury is currently heading the market and I can understand why. Gelded in the summer he has returned to some semblance of the form that saw him win the sales race here back in Oct 10 on similar going, and backers will be hoping he holds his form much longer into the season than last. Yet with such doubts, and also the fact he's racing here 5lbs higher for the nk defeat at hands of Captain Bertie were he never once looked at getting past, I'd be surprised if there wasn't one lower in the weights that will put it up to him.

Danadana has seen some money in the early m…