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Showing posts from February, 2013

New Zealand Derby preview

It's not only Australia and the UK which capture my attention with feature races - this weekend it's the blue riband 3yo classic of New Zealand. Taking the reins is another new recruit for the blog, NZ racing expert Corey Hyde, @chyde33 . TV3 NEW ZEALAND DERBY 2400M $750,000 A quality field of 14 colts & geldings and 4 fillies will engage over the 12 furlong journey at Ellerslie. Connections of the fillies will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Silent Achiever, who won the race in grand fashion 12 months ago, becoming the 1st filly to taste success since the victory of Popsy in 1993. In the midst of a drought in the upper North Island and no rain in sight, the track will certainly be in the good-to-firm range. Odds from NZ TAB Fixed Odds service. Runner-by-runner preview: #1 CHOICE BRO – BARRIER 14 – JOHN SARGENT – JONATHAN RIDDELL – $14 Has earned the #1 saddlecloth through his $316,630 in earnings, with major race wins coming in the G1 2YO Sires Produce Stak

Inter Dominion day preview

It's the biggest day in Australian harness racing on Sunday with the first running of the new revised Inter Dominion Championship, supported by a fantastic programme full of Group 1 races. Running a close eye over the feature events is one of Australia's leading harness experts, chief harness racing trader at Betstar , Ben Krahe - @benkrahe . ----------------- Preview for Menangle 3 Mar 2013 by Ben Krahe Race 3 – NSW Oaks – Group 1 race for 3yo Fillies . Very even race this year with no clear standout 1- I’m Smouldering – My tip in the race. Might be 3rd on the rails but this filly is flying at the moment and in a very open Oaks she is top pick for me 2- Glenferrie Shuffle – 2nd em - if she got a run would be a genuine contender who might roll to the lead and be very hard to beat 3- My Sunday Girl – 1st em - Kiwi with little chance 4- Bold Life – Ran career best race in heat but no chance here 5- All Starzzz Shark – Best chance is if they burn early and he runs home

FIFA making noise against match-fixing

Red cards being dished out left, right and centre by FIFA in the last couple of weeks, at anyone implicated in match-fixing in several parts of the world. Is this a serious crackdown by the game's ruling body or making a lot of noise about the easy pickings - the low-paid players/low-level clubs where it's nice to hear something is being done but nobody outside the local supporters are particularly bothered about it? A collection of articles from recent days - it's everywhere at the moment: Singapore widens soccer-fix probe . Singaporean authorities still won't arrest Dan Tan, but did help get one of his accomplices arrested in Milan last week. FIFA bans 74 for match-fixing in Italy, S.Korea No names mentioned, can only assume they weren't deemed to be newsworthy by anyone outside those leagues. National Super Cup suspected of match fixing " anonymous message was sent to some Vietnamese Professional Football officials just before the game saying t

another industry update

The month of February has been quite a busy one for the betting industry.... Sportingbet shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of accepting the William Hill/GVC offer to takeover the online gambling giant. What does this mean for the Sportingbet brand - will it disappear or just become a 'William Hill' company in the website credits? Hard to say. Certainly in Australia, I think they'd be mad to change the company names or how the businesses (Sportingbet + Centrebet) too much. They are long established brands with profitable customer bases (for the firm). Sportingbet UK left them to their own and they ended making the lion's share of the group's profits. As for the UK and the rest of the world, I'm not sure. Sportingbet isn't that big in the UK whereas Hills are huge. Step outside the UK though, and that polarity is reversed in certain regions. BetFred have announced they are at the submission stage of applying for an Australian wagering licence.

Daytona trading report 2013

No ego-stroking screenshot this year but it was a good result again, winning just under £100. The continued coverage on Premier Sports in the UK is a concern - matched volume on Betfair of just under £4k makes it hard work to get a serious win out of it. Had lays matched on 22 of 26 selections, and my lays + the corresponding backs made up just under 30% of the matched volume. Heaviest risk I had at any stage was 70 or 80 quid I think, and only ever briefly as I kept laying others. I don't have the time or concentration to trade for bigger stakes these days, and I didn't even get to see any of the race until the final 40-odd laps. But I'd offered prices during the week, kept putting them up during the race, with more than enough margin to cover me if anything happened. NASCAR racing, and particularly the restrictor plate racing of Daytona means that it's impossible to have an odds-on shot before the last couple of laps. Restrictor plates are a limitation on the top spe

Blue Diamond Stakes preview

Change of tempo here. The Blue Diamond Stakes (sort of sponsored by Patinack Farm but they've gone bust and don't have to pay the bill until afterwards so I won't acknowledge them as the title sponsor) is Melbourne's best 2yo race and is worth a cool million dollars (about £650k on this week's exchange rate). With juveniles often unexposed, sometimes it's better to cut to the chase and deal with the facts, rather than hypothesise about how much they can improve etc. Enter the team from @premiumpunting with a succinct analysis of this cracking race. If you haven't heard the story, the favourite Miracles Of Life is a real fairytale story in the making, tiny stable, female jockey who bides her time in the lesser lights of Adelaide and the filly has been very impressive to date, bolting in at each of her three starts. The bigger stables are hot on her heels though... ----------------- Blue Diamond Stakes preview TEMPO: Speed everywhere as expected with t

Futurity Stakes preview

Saturday's card at Caulfield is a cracker, three Group One races and a very good support programme. There's a 2yo feature for big bucks, a fantastic sprint handicap and a weight-for-age contest featuring some of the best in the land. Taking on the wfa contest is Tom Stewart, @tstewcav26 , returning after a successful stint in the spring carnival. --------------------- 2013 Futurity Stakes The Futurity Stakes is a Group 1 event over 1400m held under weight-for-age conditions. It is traditionally a springboard for middle-distance horses and staying horses heading to the likes of the Doncaster and the Australian Cup. Some of the all time greats have won this race including the champion Manikato who was able to win this race three years in a row along with other greats such as Vo Rogue and in recent times it was won by perhaps the greatest horse we have ever seen, Black Caviar. This year we will see the highly talented three year old All too hard taking on the older horses her

2013 World Club Challenge Preview

Freezing cold in Leeds tonight for the World Club Challenge, the regular showpiece match between the champion clubs of each hemisphere. Analysing the clash for the blog is regular contributor James Jack, @materialista27 , who may just have a slight bias against Leeds; I'll leave that one for you to decide. You can read more of his work on his blog although it seems an irregular stream of content... -------------------- 2013 World Club Challenge Preview Leeds Rhinos vs. Melbourne Storm Headingley Carnegie Stadium Friday, February 22nd 2013. 20:00 GMT It's that time of year again where League fans on the other side of the world huddle around their radios to listen to their Champions, having triumphed through the previous NRL season travel to the old country to take on Leeds. This year it's the turn of the Melbourne Storm, coming off their “first” Premiership in over 10 years, the Storm come seeking their “second” WCC title. This game is often referred to as Leeds v

damage control when trading goals

When trades go bad, some people will say cut your losses immediately, others will recommend having a bit of patience as events tend to level out (i.e. games with two goals in the first 10 mins never end up with 18 goals in 90 minutes). This is something I like to do on certain matches. Background: 1. You've backed Under 2.5 goals, trying to nick a few ticks at a time as the clock ticks. 2. You've been caught out by a goal. 3. The market has gone sharply against you. On this particular match from a couple of weeks ago, there was an early goal (sixth minute) before I got involved. The period immediately after an early goal regularly shows a sharp drop in the Under price, so I was trying to capitalise on that. But Watford then scored again after 14 minutes. The Back price I took (3.95) was now out to 12 - I could close out for a big loss (not my style) or wait and wait for the price to come back to somewhere I could close out for minimal damage. But at 2-0 after 15 minutes,

Accenture World Matchplay preview

A rare treat this week with a preview of one of the World Golf Championship events, a rare venture into matchplay. @smartgolfbets , owner of the excellent resource Smart Golf Bets , has gone right through the draw in detail and come up with this shrewd advice. -------------- Accenture World Matchplay Championship The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona, USA 20-24 Feb 2013 Introduction & Course This WGC event is designed to bring together the top 64 players in the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings) in a matchplay format. There are four brackets, each containing 16 players, with each bracket producing two quarter-finalists. The design is flawed because it uses the OWGRs to rank the competitors and those rankings are determined by form over the preceding two years. Thus it’s inevitable that some in-form players will be grouped together and, likewise, some out-of-form players. The Gary Player bracket, for example, contains a number of out-of-form Europeans. The c

players shouldn't cop all the blame for match-fixing

Great article here from AFP demonstrating just how easy it is for a footballer to fall into the trap of a match-fixer. When employers do what they say in the contract - i.e. pay their players on time each month, then they should have nothing to fear. But when clubs are purchased as an ego-scratch for a wealthy owner, often someone with short-term success rather than decades of wealth, then the guarantee of caring for the players doesn't add up to much. For all the Lampards, Gerrards and Van Persies out there on their megabucks, there are thousands of professional sportsmen just trying to squeeze out a decent living and provide for their families. Screw them over by not paying them on time and some might be tempted into alternative ways to pay their bills. Football authorities looking to crack down on players who get caught up in match-fixing ought to be strengthening the financial regulations around owning a club. UEFA are attempting it at the top end re playing in the Champions

Sky Sports News appearance

The football match-fixing scandal reared its ugly head again on Monday this week, and Sky Sports News were desperate for someone to interview. They obviously couldn't track down Declan Hill (I believe they spoke to him on Wednesday), author of The Fix, so my phone kept ringing until I said yes. Via this blog, I've been interviewed/quoted by BBC Radio 4, AFP, Sports Illustrated and France 24, all on the subject of match-fixing.... and paid sweet FA by the way, but it all helps the profile! Probably a bit naughty to post the clip publicly on YouTube so please allow me the ego scratch of a couple of snapshots instead. The full interview was about six minutes at 5.30, the hourly rotation clip was edited down to about a minute. What did I say? Mostly that it wasn't surprising at all and that despite the man in the street thinking a fix is usually a shock result like Blackburn winning at Old Trafford, it's far more likely to be a favoured team winning well. Think a

Compiling Tissue on difficult races

One of the most common questions novice punters ask is 'how I do I price up my own markets?'. There's not an easy answer. It takes time, practice and sweat & tears. And every race is different. Some, like a Group 1 race, the form is out there for all to see. Other times, you are dealing with unexposed horses, or even worse, inconsistent beasts who it is very hard to take a line on - what do you do? Professional punter Declan Meagher likes to share the odd nugget of wisdom on his blog , here's how he assesses a tricky race. ------------------ Compiling your own Tissue Prices - How to deal with hard to price horses. by Declan Meagher Compiling your own tissue prices can be a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, but it’s a skill you really need to acquire if you want to make money betting on horses, or any sport for that matter. I’m going to describe a method that shows easy ways to deal with horses, which for various reasons, are very hard to put a

Super Bowl XLVII Preview - 49ers v Ravens

And then there were two. It all comes down to this. Four hours of pomp and ceremony, 60 minutes of actual play. Lots of ridiculously expensive ads, at least for viewers in the US, which for many of the once-a-year fans are the highlight of the event. And then there's Beyonce at half-time. Get on with the game! The beauty of NFL games at this end of the season is the vast array of markets available. Regular contributor and NFL tragic Ian Steven, @deevo82 , analyses Super Bowl XLVII from a props betting perspective. --------------------- Super Bowl Preview – San Francisco 49ers vs Baltimore Ravens To say there are a lot of similarities between San Francisco and Baltimore is an understatement. The respective head coaches, Jim and John, share the same parents. Both teams were the bridesmaids last year, losing out to the Patriots and the Giants respectively in the Conference Championship games. Quarterbacks Joe Flacco (Delaware) and Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) are from small school