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Showing posts from July, 2012

Tuesday swimming preview.. with a rant

Another successful night in the pool yesterday with Agnel, so the swimming ledger now stands at:

BETS: 6
TURNOVER: 8 units
PROFIT: +6.66 units

I like tonight's programme....

Mens 200 Fly

This is the event owned by Michael Phelps. Swimming doesn't have the statistical database of other sports but I can't find any record of him being beaten in this for a decade. He is going for three consecutive golds in this event, an achievement very few ever get into contention for, let alone complete. Phelps doesn't have the fastest heat/semi time going into the race, but that is irrelevant, he won his semi in a breeze, and has time up his sleeve. Matsuda swimming a faster time in prelims happens nearly every time, and then the greatest swimmer of all time comes out and blows him away in the final. It's a well-worn script and will happen again here.

4pts Phelps 1.73 Boyles, BlueSq, Sportingbet UK - (bet down to 1.5)

Womens 200 IM

Shiwen Ye biggest moral ever seen. She was alrea…

In-running advice for Glorious Goodwood

If you want in-running notes for UK racing, my former colleague now Racing UK pundit, Andy Richmond @bickley14, is one of the best in the business. Each day throughout the Glorious Goodwood and York Ebor festivals, he will be making his in-running notes available for free on the Patterns and Profiles website (registration required, no payment).

Even if you don't intend to bet in-running, gaining an understanding of how the pace of the race will work out must help with your analysis of the race.

Click here for Tuesday's features.

Goodwood - Lennox Stakes preview

Sam Preen, @sampreen, returns to the spotlight with his look at the Lennox Stakes.

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BET365 LENNOX STAKES (3:10 GLORIOUS GOODWOOD – TUESDAY)

A field of 7 runners line up for the Lennox Stakes, with Paul D’Arcy sending in William Hill Lincoln fourth Edinburgh Knight. He has been very unlucky this season so far, finishing second on his last two starts down in trip at Newmarket and Ascot respectably. He has a very pleasing record over 7 furlongs and with William Buick getting the leg up again, he could run a very big race.

William Haggas sends in Highclere’s Firebeam, who had a very impressive career aside from a blemish at Longchamp in June when he faded to eighth in Group 3 company. He went on to run a respectable race down in trip at Newbury but the heavy conditions combined with taking a keen hold soon sapped his stamina and he went on to finish second behind Soul. Ryan Moore gets the leg up for the first time and their one to be taken seriously.

Libranno‘s shown the …

Goodwood - Gordon Stakes preview

It's a fantastic time for sports lover with the Olympics now in full swing, and racing has one of its great weeks with Glorious Goodwood and the Galway Festival. Making his debut on the blog looking at the action down in Sussex is Mark Rowntree, @uptheirons007.

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Glorious Goodwood – Gordon Stakes Preview

One of the highlights of day one of Glorious Goodwood is the Bet365 Group 3 Gordon Stakes run over 1m4f for three year olds. The race first run in 1902 is named after Duke of Gordon, one of the dukedoms held by the Duke of Richmond (owner of Goodwood racecourse). Traditionally the race is seen as a trial for the St Leger, with the 2008 winner Conduit being the last horse to land both contests.

Analysis
Michelangelo provides an obvious starting point, with the Gosden team seemingly having a plethora of good three year olds this season, and multiple options for Doncaster’s St Leger. Michelangelo landed a four runner Listed contest over 11 furlongs at Goodwood in May …

Olympic swimming - Monday preview

Concerns about yesterday's card proved right, dropped one unit, so back to +4.17 units, from a turnover of five units (corrected). Now that the 400m races are out of the way, it makes the tipping schedule much easier to manage....

MONDAY

Men's 200m Freestyle

What a race this looks to be. Sun Yang won the 400m with a world record, Ryan Lochte started the week with a 400IM gold and is the current world champion,, Yannick Agnel swam a phenomenal final lap to claim gold for France in the 4x100 relay, and the winner of the first semi, Paul Biedermann, holds the world record (from the textile suit era).

A couple of interesting facts from the Olympic history books - nobody has ever won back-to-back golds in this event (no danger of that here with Phelps not entered) and at 23, Phelps is the oldest to have ever won the gold. Ryan Lochte is 27, so that's one down if you believe in form trends. Biedermann is 25, so he's pensioned off as well.

Agnel came from behind Lochte in …

Olympic hockey - Monday

Getting involved in the early game here, Korea vs New Zealand. The Black Sticks have undergone a bit of a resurgence in recent years and they are quite strong in both sexes. They mightn't be threatening the likes of Australia or the Netherlands, but against the next level teams - England/GB, Korea, Pakistan, Spain etc, they are very solid. They recently won Malaysia's Sultan Azlah Cup (they lost 1-0 to Korea in that event, but by that time they were safely into the final and had the option of resting players), and finished 4th in last year's Champions Trophy, well above Korea's 8th place.

The Kiwi men will be buoyed by the great start of their women's team yesterday, they should be favourites here instead of flip-a-coin.

1 unit New Zealand to beat Korea 2.37 Bet365 (bet down to 2.2)

Sunday swimming part II

Apologies for the delay, have been absolutely soaked at Olympic Park and baffled by the lack of big screens and live data in the venue. If you are boasting about selling everything out and charging people just to enter the park, how about televising the action? Very disappointing.

Anyhow, back to the pool. Two additional events to cover tonight.

Women's 400m Free

Becky Adlington is defending champ but only scraped into Lane 8. Camille Muffat is the clear favourite but I doubt it's that clear-cut. With the likes of Balmy and Pellegrini in the field, I wouldn't be taking odds-on. It's the Italian Pellegrini who is worth a look here. With a classy record over 200 and 400m at major events, she can't be written off and at each-way odds, I'll be taking an interest.

0.5pt each-way Pellegrini 6/1 or better (1/3 1,2 expected)

4x100 Men's Free Relay

Just a night to be patriotic for me, watch those Aussies get out there and smash them like guitars! (Look for …

Swimming Sunday part 1

Great start to the Olympics with Shiwen Ye smashing the world record in the 400IM. It gets us off to a great start : +5.17 units from three units staked.

Women's 100m Butterfly

This is a one-horse race. The American Dana Vollmer is lengths better than these and should give the world record a shake.

If you like backing the likes of Black Caviar and Frankel, then this is a bet for you at around 1.15. It's not for me though.

Men's 100m Breaststroke

Tricky race this. Kosuke Kitajima is going for three Olympic golds in a row in both of the breaststroke events but to be world best for eight years is a feat very rarely achieved. His pre-Games times in 2012 are best of the field, but is he susceptible to someone breaking through at the biggest event of them all?

Cameron van der Burgh set a PB and world best of 2012 in the semis, even beating his best performance from the textile suit era. What's left in the tank for him? The semis looked very tight on paper, so bu…

Swimming previews - day 1

Here we go, the real action begins! I'm an Aussie, swimming is our national sport and I love betting on it. But that doesn't mean I need to be patriotic, or religiously back favourites. Value is everything and be wary of bookies' limits on swimming - it won't be very high with most books.

Women's 400 IM

The first decent betting race comes in the big women's event of the night. Elizabeth Beisel set a textile suit world best in the heats, beating her time at US trials by 0.06 seconds. Therein lies a dilemma. It's the third occasion where she has swum a high 4.31 - Worlds 2011, US Trials 2012 and the heats here. Is that her ultimate level or does she have more left in the tank? Beisel had seen Phelps almost shoot himself in the foot and then the Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, beat her world-leading mark by 0.01 in the opening heat. The 400IM is the toughest race in swimming, having to race it twice in one day is hard so spending everything in the morning is not …

early swimming notes - Saturday

Bet recommendations for swimming will come after the heats and/or semis, I prefer to bet when the final fields are set. But here's some background information for the main events tomorrow. Come back mid-afternoon for the bets...

Men's 400m Individual Medley

This one is without doubt a race in two - Michael Phelps v Ryan Lochte. The fourteen-time gold medallist wasn't keen to race this event (didn't bother with it at 09 or 11 Worlds) but wanted to start his campaign on day one. He is retiring after the Olympics, is there enough left in the tank for the toughest pool event of them all? The guy's a superstar, the greatest we've ever seen in the pool so it's dangerous to over-analyse anything he did it at the US Trials or in the morning heats.

At the same time though, Lochte is the heir apparent with more then enough form on the board to challenge the great one. In the toughest event of them all, I lean to the younger Lochte. But for the betting, is it worth g…

Women's Olympic cycling preview

Here's @wheelie1977's look at the women's cycling programme...

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I wouldn't be getting overly carried away with women's racing as I don't follow it as much as I could. That said, some of the best racing out there on the track is in the women's events - there's a certain amount of pure hatred in it !

Track

Sprint & Keirin

I'll start off with Anna Meares versus Victoria Pendleton. This should be the most interesting of the events as there's no love lost. Some of you may have watched the recent documentary on Pendleton and she's quite a brittle character behind it all. However she's got the leading sports scientist returning to her team (also her fiancee) and the team behind her is stellar so she will be in the best form of her life going into the event. Everyone agrees that she is probably the best of them all when in form and that includes the Aussie Meares.

It stands to reason then that if you believe that she can get …

Olympic cycling - Men's Omnium preview

More from @wheelie1977, a former top Irish cyclist who now focuses on the betting side of professional cycling. He offers these tips for subscription first, and then makes them free a day or so later. His tips throughout recent months on the Giro D'Italia and the Tour de France have been outstanding. You can read more of his excellent work on his website - Wheeliebets.

Men's Omnium

A track event with a number of parts. This is to cycling what the decathlon is to running. The disciplines range from 1 kilometre timed sprints to elimination races to a 50 lap points race and in between there are individual pursuits and flying laps. It's a battle of endurance for these riders, a 6 event marathon and thankfully Ireland even has a representative in Martyn Irvine!

There is a worthy favourite in Glenn O'Shea who won at the World Championships with some ease yet there is some concern that his main focus will be on recapturing the Gold Medal in the Blue Riband Event , the Men&#…

Olympic cycling - Men's Time Trial preview

More from @wheelie1977, a former top Irish cyclist who now focuses on the betting side of professional cycling. He offers these tips for subscription first, and then makes them free a day or so later. His tips throughout recent months on the Giro D'Italia and the Tour de France have been outstanding. You can read more of his excellent work on his website - Wheeliebets.

Men's Individual Time Trial

I'm taking a hammering on this already as Tony Martin is all but a losing docket due to his crash in the Tour de France. I need to look at alternatives to the Grand Tour contenders and I'm surprised to see Taylor Phinney at 66/1 with a bookmaker paying 3 places at quarter the odds.

Phinney entered the Giro D'Italia as favourite to land the 2 time trials. He succeeded in the first shattering all others best times in a masterful display despite not having raced in a month leading up to the event. He subsequently crashed and messed up his leg yet continued in the first of o…

Olympic Track Cycling preview - Keirin

More from pro cycling punter @wheelie1977 as he dissects all the two-wheeled action of the Olympic Games. Next up, one from the track.

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Men's keirin

The Keirin is a sprint event on the track dominated in recent years by Sir Chris Hoy. You may not know much about the event, six riders settle in behind a motorised bike rider (derny) which gradually increases the speed lap after lap until eventually pulling to one side and letting the riders sprint. It's one of the more dangerous but exciting events in cycling and a huge gambling sport in Japan. Here's a video of the last World Championships.

The Olympics is unique in that only one rider from each country is able to compete. As many of the more experienced countries have at least one decent Keirin rider, straight away we can dismiss a host of names such as Jason Kenny and at least one big name from France, Germany and Australia. Great Britain have nominated odds-on favourite Chris Hoy but decisions over…

Olympic cycling - men's road race

Welcome to the stage @wheelie1977, a former top Irish cyclist who now focuses on the betting side of professional cycling. He offers these tips for subscription first, and then makes them free a day or so later. His tips throughout recent months on the Giro D'Italia and the Tour de France have been outstanding. You can read more of his excellent work on his website - Wheeliebets.

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MEN'S ROAD RACE

I advised backing Cavendish back in early July and now his price has been swallowed right up so much so that it's almost impossible for the media to see an alternative. However it's short-sighted given the course and the distance and the lack of fire-power in any of the teams of 5 from each country. No doubt if Cavendish gets the run of the race and we see a sprint finish then it's a certainty, almost, that he'll win but if it turns into a Classics type battle, who else is there to look at?

For me the course and distance remind me of a cross between a To…

Olympic previews

The sun is shining in southern England, the athletes are all here, the city is abuzz with excitement, the opening ceremony is less than 36hrs away - get set for the greatest spectacle on Earth, the London Summer Olympics!

Across the fortnight my focus will be on swimming, athletics and hockey in the order of priority. Other sports no doubt will appear from me but count them as a bonus rather than my targets.

Just like with my guest previews for racing and Eurovision, I am throwing the blog open to anyone keen to write Olympic event betting previews. No worries if you overlap with my work, I'll just make sure they are clearly marked as I'll be keeping a personal P+L logged. And please make them more detailed than the Racing Post's liftout edition yesterday, that was lip service at best! To volunteer your writing services, contact me on Twitter or in the comments to this post.

I tend to bet late, after heats and semis, so don't expect to be knocking off early prices from…

when the Tax Office catches the whale, who suffers?

The big story in Australian betting circles in recent weeks has been the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) investigation of the world's biggest gambler, Zeljko Ranogajec and the members of his private betting club. Somehow, the 'club' managed to convince the ATO that their little club was just a bunch of guys taking risks and getting lucky, thus avoiding having to pay tax on their profits because they weren't a business. But details of their operation reveal that their group was anything but amateur.

The Gambler

Snippets from the article:

Born in Hobart, this 50-year-old son of Croatian immigrants controls an empire that wagers an astonishing $1 billion on racing each year.

The Australian Taxation Office is known to be once again looking into Ranogajec’s affairs and he told associates last year that it is demanding about $900 million for 10 years of back taxes, penalties and interest.

In his words, it was a “punters club” or just a “collection of individuals” who cam…

Irish Oaks preview

It looks like a heavy track at the headquarters of flat racing in Ireland, but tomorrow's feature event at The Curragh is still a top class affair. Sam Preen, @sampreen, examines the field.

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Irish Oaks

Seven runners line up for the Irish Oaks, with outsider Colliding Worlds heading the field. With only two starts to date and a massive step up in trip, she’s more then likely to struggle here. As will Coolmore’s Devotion, who will be taking up the usual pacemaking duties for the more fancied runners.

Market favourite Great Heavens heads here with a hat trick of wins, all resulting this year. She has won on this distance as well as the testing conditions (won on Soft and Heavy) and should take all the beating here. Another runner seeking to make it four wins in a row is Princess Highway, who was last seen bolting up at the Royal meeting on her first start over 12 furlongs, she’s likely to throw down the gauntlet for Great Heavens but may struggle on the going.

Epsom…

John Smith’s Cup Preview

The northern feature of the day is the time-honoured John Smith's Cup from York. Calum Madell, @calummadell pulls out the magnifying glass and has a close look at this very tricky race.

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The 53rd John Smith’s Cup

A tough handicap to dissect as ever especially with the ground being pretty testing

Mijhaar is well handicapped now trying a hood on his Wolferton run where he was very fresh and ran a cracker. He has regularly been in these types of handicaps but has yet to strike gold though he never seems much value again in what is a really competitive race as ever, though a hood could really help him. More rain would be a hindrance however.

MEDIA HYPE has a great chance off his mark. He was a good winner here on his penultimate start and the ground did for him at Newmarket when last seen when it was pretty fast. That race was won by Area Fifty One who took it in convincing style. However the race seemed to fall into his hands slightly and whether he can get away wit…

July Cup preview

With thanks to the talented Sam Preen, @sampreen a man so dedicated to racing he has several racehorse tattoos! Read more of his excellent work on his blog, Soft In Places.

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July Cup

The big one we’re all looking forward to. Sadly, the race lost some of it’s sparkle when Black Caviar and co headed for home after her very lucky win at Royal Ascot and she was found to have suffered a minor injury and a summer holiday looks due for her. Thankfully, we still have unlucky but multiple Group runner Bated Breath, who was last seen finishing a very unlucky second behind Little Bridge at the Royal Meeting last time out. He’s not the best on Soft ground and has always been very unlucky in Group 1s, so it could pay to look elsewhere unless your confident he’ll finally get his head in front here.

Surprising Royal Ascot winner Dandy Boy proved the huge step down in trip was no problem when he ran on well in the final furlong to luckily get his head in front. He is a winner on …

Bunbury Cup preview

Big day of racing from around the UK today, and first cab off the rank is Calum Madell, @calummadell, with a look one of Newmarket's feature races. Please note, all today's previews were written last night, and prices/selections may be affected by non-runners as Britain's dismal 'summer' continues....

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32red Bunbury Cup

JAMESIE looks to have a big chance for David Marnane, a trainer that does so well in these races. He went very close at Ascot in the Buckingham Palace, leading his side home and he’s only 3lb higher here. The ground is fine and he has a great draw in 1 which should see him grab the rail.

Bonnie Brae has already come in for money and the soft ground looks to show her in the best light. She ran a great race in the Victoria Cup on her reappearance, the last time she ran on soft ground. She can go close.

Excellent Guest ran well in the Hunt Cup last time but is 4lb and now contests a career high mark on ground that he goes on but i…

2.25 Goldsmiths Handicap preview

Regular contributor Ronan Groome, @ronangroome20, takes on the tricky handicap.

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Goldsmiths Handicap

Once again we have a John Gosden-trained runner with three runs to his name occupying favouritism in a valuable handicap. Nabucco gives the Newmarket trainer another solid chance of course, and is another possible future Group race performer in a handicap, but the theory remains that you won’t get rich if you keep backing them.

The one I like is Royal Ascot winner Fennell Bay, who was able to win over a mile prior to his King George V Stakes triumph. He has been busy this season, this will be his 10th start of the campaign, but he is really consistent and there was so much like about his win at Ascot. He had to come over from a wide draw, got shuffled back just before the straight, was forced to come widest of all and showed plenty of guts to stick his head in front on the line. He went up another 5lb for that win but there could be more to come from him still given th…

Bahrain Trophy preview

Welcome to the blog Sam Evans, @samevans20, a talented young writer taking a look at today's opener.

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1.20 Bahrain Trophy

A race that has been kind to the more fancied horses in recent years, with only one of the last 10 winners being priced in the double figures and only one of the last 6 being bigger than 3/1. Unsurprisingly as a Group 3 contest for 3yo's over 1m5f this proves to be a good trial for the St Leger, with last year's winner of this race, Masked Marvel, going on to win the oldest Classic. Trainer of that horse John Gosden saddles Shantaram in here, who starts as favourite. There is surely a doubt of his participation though, as the soft ground was what was blamed for his more-than-workmanlike maiden victory here back in June, and with those conditions prevailing again today, that would surely be a huge concern.

Valiant still looked as green as grass when winning a York handicap under a superb ride from Ryan Moore. He should have learnt plenty fro…

Princess Of Wales' Goldsmiths Stakes preview

Quality racing this weekend kicks off with the start of the three-day Newmarket Festival. Newmarket hasn't been as rain affected as the rest of Britain.... yet. Steve Lines, @sjlone1, returns to preview one of the better races on Thursday's card.

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Princess Of Wales' Goldsmiths Stakes

All eyes will be on the Newmarket July Festival as the Tour De France fails to rid itself of the drug allegations. My Twitter timeline has dried up with the cycling tips as pundits/journalists ditch their mistaken belief cycling is going to ‘trend’. Racecourses fail to dry up.

The going holds the key to the Princess Of Wales Stakes. Harris Tweed has the form figures 1, 1, 2, 1 with any going description including the word soft; not at best at York or the AW his other runs have yet to see him out of the first 3. The likely front runner, although Quest For Peace can be a spoiler, he will be suited by any worsening of conditions.

Sea Of Heartbreak has been kept clear of soft…

1000 posts, woo-hoo!

Just noticed a big milestone in my stats over the weekend, I've just clocked up 1000 posts on the blog since I started way back in January 2008. Considering the number of blogs which die off within a matter of weeks, I reckon that's pretty special :)

Big thanks to everyone who has visited the site over the years, commented on posts, linked to my site on other places such as forums, or most recently, written guest previews for me. I have had media from America, Asia and Europe contact me, usually re match-fixing, as a direct result of this blog, plus a few analysts when the Betfair float was imminent.

And to celebrate, I'm pleased to announce that my Olympic previews will now be free and published here. I did have plans to run a subscription service via sites I have worked with before but we have decided against it. Swimming, athletics and hockey will be my specialties, in that order, and I hope to stretch a bit wider if time permits. Anyone who used the PuntingAce forum…

match-fixing tip-off causes Norwegian FA to postpone game

The Norwegian Football Association made the bold step today of postponing a match in the Adeccoliga (Div 1) between Ull/Kisa and Ham Kam on the suspicion of match-fixing. Read the TV2 article below.

Adecco match cancelled on suspicion of match-fixing (translated from Norwegian)

Interestingly, there's little evidence to suggest a fix was in place - the Betfair market shows nothing untoward and other firms spoken to knew nothing either. It is believed the FA were tipped off about an approach being made and took steps to ensure it couldn't go ahead.

In response, my old friend Ragnar Liaskar (@raeggi) from TV2's sports betting programme Sport og Spill (the programme I appeared on as a guest - it was my profile pic) was interviewed:

Match-fixing in Norway (translated)

The Norwegian FA will hold a press conference this afternoon where more will be revealed. At the very least, it's bravo to Norway for reporting such an approach and bravo to their FA for acting swiftly to p…

The Coral Challenge

Previewing one of Saturday's feature races, the Coral Challenge, is the talented Ronan Groome. You'll find him on Twitter, @ronangroome20

Sandown 2.40 – Coral Challenge Handicap

This is a typically competitive Saturday handicap race and if the 17 runners hold up for the each-way terms, the form is worth getting stuck into. I like to take on horses like Trade Commissioner in these kind of contests because they are often priced up so short because of the connections and breeding aspects. Trade Commissioner looked good previously and with just four runs, is progressive, but is he really a 5/2 shot? I’m not so sure.

The two horses I like are Spa’s Dancer and Captain Bertie. The former is a Sandown specialist of sorts, handles soft ground and comes here off the back of a career best run at the Curragh last time. However Ed de Giles’s gelding is up 13lbs since his last win and the handicapper might just have caught him.

Captain Bertie is my preference at around 10/1. Charles Hills…

the Betfair/BHA Levy deal

So Betfair and the BHA have struck a five-year deal which should deliver 'at least' £40m in funding to the British racing industry. The deal has been struck at 10.75% of revenues from British residents wagering on UK racing, effectively locking in the rate they already pay as a voluntary figure, since Betfair are now baed in Gibraltar.

A few comments:
1. Well played to both sides on getting in early. Getting the lawyers in only makes those leaches richer and does nothing for forging stronger relationships.

2. This deal sets an example for other firms as the industry tries to phase out the Levy scheme.

3. The deal doesn't go far enough in that whether someone is based in Britain or not should be irrelevant - if they bet on British racing, then they should be supporting British racing. But since this group have seemingly abandoned Australian racing, will they start paying UK revenue if they move further into British racing?

4. Critics of Betfair will say this doesn't…