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Showing posts from July, 2015

AFL Round 18 previews

Not long now until September and there's still plenty at stake for most clubs. It's the AFL Round 18 preview brought to you as always by the smart blokes at @AFLratings . --------------------- AFL Round 18 preview from , @aflratings There has been no round this year in which every favourite has won, with all favourites likely to start under $1.50 here are our thoughts for Round 18. Hawthorn 12-4 v Richmond 10-6 The Hawks are in season best form with a remarkable average winning margin of 99.7pts from their last three games, they will head in to this game with arguably their best line-up this year. Richmond are coming off a heart breaker against Fremantle last week after leading for almost 90% of game time, with a Top 4 spot still a genuine possibility for the Tigers this has turned in to a must win. Richmond have been solid starting as Underdogs this year with a 5-1 record, this will be their toughest test however but the +35.5 Richmond Betting Line

Sussex Stakes preview

It's Glorious Goodwood week and since Ascot, the stories have all been about the mouthwatering clash between star colt Gleneagles and the French star Solow. At least they were until Monday morning when the Coolmore brigade didn't accept with Gleneagles. It's still not a bad support cast taking on the French raider, nothing like the gap in class when Golden Horn defected from the King George. Taking on the challenge head first is regular contributor Jon da Silva, @creamontop . --------------------------- Sussex Stakes Glorious Goodwood One Mile, WFA Group 1, £1,000,000 1510 local 0010 AEST Despite relatively paltry prizemoney The Sussex has mostly been blessed with the best UK & Irish milers being the first three year olds v elders mile race of the season. Yet this year Coolmore have for reasons that from a distance boil down to no belief in their horse or fragile egos opted to duck a race most of us saw Gleneagles as ideally suited to. Even on ground that may h

Another 'sports investment fund' scam hits the press

This one has been highlighted on Twitter a few times, finally it has made the press. The Proton Investment Fund, utter fantasy stuff. Online gambling syndicate tries to recruit sports stars including AFL, NRL players, jockeys A GAMBLING syndicate that bets on the AFL and has tried to recruit players as members is under investigation. The Sydney-based Proton Trading Fund claims to have a $10 million pool to bet on the AFL, cricket, and horse racing on local Betfair exchanges and international markets. The trading fund has been seeking to recruit elite athletes, including AFL and NRL players and jockeys, to join the scheme, raising concerns about the potential for match or race fixing. Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna has written a letter to the AFL, alerting it to the scheme. The AFL declined to comment when contacted by the Herald Sun but sources close to the league said they had looked into the operation. ... The fund, which was advertised through an Instagram ­

AFL Round 17 Sunday preview

Completely overlooked this in my inbox on Thursday, so sorry, you've missed most of the games. But there are still three left for Sunday. As always, content courtesy of @AFLRatings . --------------------- AFL Round 17 Sunday games preview by via @AFLRatings Western Bulldogs 9-6 v Collingwood 8-7 The Bulldogs appeared to be quite fatigued in a loss to Geelong last week, clearly it was one of their poorer games of the season with a distinct inability to create running opportunities though the middle of the ground. Collingwood were lit up by the Bulldogs in the pre-season with this game style and will be coached accordingly this week to defend against it. The Bulldogs have scored only 71.3pts FOR from their last 4 games & Collingwood are without their 2 leading goal scorers this season, this could provide a low scoring game at Etihad Stadium. The Magpies have lost 4 straight games whilst being highly competitive against quality teams, there is every ch

Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes preview

All eyes on Ascot today with the running on the King George but with a questionable surface and a heavily odds-on favourite, perhaps it's best to look elsewhere. Early in the day, the Group racing starts with a tantalising sprint for the fillies. Dave Stevens, @DaveStevos , chips in with his shrewd analysis... --------------------- 14.05 PRINCESS MARGARET JUDDMONTE STAKES Group 3 for 3yo Fillies 6f, £50k This race has been a relatively successful hunting ground for favourites in recent years, with four obliging in the last ten runnings, including two of the last three. Richard Hannon supplied both of those winning favourites, and he is doubly represented today. There have only been two winners at double-figure odds in that time, with both of those being 25/1 shots. The trends would seem to suggest that sticking to the more fancied fillies is the way to go, but the fact that the ground is going to be soft and many of the fillies are unproven on such a surface means that there

AFL Round 16 preview

Thursday night football is over, its back to the standard Friday to Sunday schedule for the remaining rounds. With the preview for all the matches this weekend, it's the sharp blokes at @aflratings ---------------------------- AFL Round 16 Preview by via @aflratings Seven of nine favourites were successful in the AFL last week, 68.8% of favourites have won in 2015. The favourite win % has increased from the early part of the season as listed below. Rounds 1-6: 63.0% Rounds 7-12: 70.8% Rounds 13-15: 78.3% Here are our thoughts for Round 16 Nth Melbourne 7-7 v Essendon 5-9 Essendon have struggled to score in recent weeks, they have averaged only 59.2pts from their last six games winning just one. During the same period, the Bombers have a league worst -45.2pts differential with a poor 56.7%. Don’t be fooled by the win from Essendon last week as they won only one quarter, to follow that up the Bombers have won just four quarters from their last six gam

Podcast reviews

Been a bit lacking on the personal content of late, so I thought I'd try something different - reviewing all the podcasts I listen to regularly. Comedy No Such Thing As A Fish - if you enjoy QI, you'll love this. By the 'QI elves', a weekly podcast which delivers just four facts per episode, but then goes off on many tangents. Unlike everything else I listen to, the content is never dated, so you can go back to the start of the archive and catch up on 60+ episodes if it floats your boat. Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me (NPR) - an American comedy show delivered in front of a live audience. A mixture of celebrity guests and phone-in listeners (well vetted) being quizzed on the news of the week. Think Have I Got News For You (TV) and The Now Show (Radio4/podcast) from an American angle. Friday Night Comedy - the News Quiz or the Now Show, very funny. Radio4 Comedy of the Week - some gems, some duds in here. Personal tastes... Rhod Gilbert's Best Bits - edited

Prix Jean Prat preview

International racing focus heads to the picturesque plains of Chantilly for one of the feature races for the classic generation, the Prix Jean Prat. Racecalling prodigy and international form student Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke shares his preview. ------------------------ Prix Jean Prat Chantilly G1 3YO C&F 1m €430,000 1645 local 1545 BST 0045 AEST Form link 1 Full Mast (11/4) (France): A smart type obviously. Winner of his first two runs in smart, but green, fashion and then won the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, in the steward’s room. Now whether you think he would’ve won the race or not, the form has held up very good with Territories, 2nd in the Guineas, and Gleneagles, Dual Guineas winner and Royal Ascot win. He was turned over first-up in the G3 Prix Paul de Moussac over the C&D, main trial for this, where he was first-up from a setback. It was a bit disappointing that he was beaten but the form, for a race of that nature, has held up quite well since with

Superlative Stakes preview

More quality racing from Newmarket. This time it's the Superlative Stakes for 2yo, previewed by Dave Stephens, @davestevos . ------------------------ Superlative Stakes Group 2, 2yo £80k, 7f 1435 local, 2335 AEST Historically the late Henry Cecil was the trainer to follow in this race, and with nine wins to his name he is the most successful of all time. Times have changed though, and in recent seasons it has been the Hannon yard that has picked up the winning habit, and between Hannon Jr's first win last year and his Dad's previous four, they have provided five winners since Redback in 2001, including the likes of Estidhkaar and the brilliant Olympic Glory. Aidan O'Brien, who supplies the favourite, has a surprisingly poor record in the race, with only two successes and none since Fallon steered Horatio Nelson home back in 2005. Favourites do not have a great record in the race, with only three winning since 2005, but two of those came in the last three year

July Cup preview

The big race of the weekend is the Newmarket feature, the Darley July Cup. The star of the Commonwealth Cup steps up to open company, the international star who conceivably could have won with different tactics in the Diamond Jubilee, and several others who have won or gone close at the highest level. Cracking race, but is it easy as picking between the two favourites? Lining up for another crack at a blog preview is the shrewd @RightJudgeIAm . ------------------------ Darley July Cup Group 1, 6 furlongs £500k 1545 local, 0045 AEST Part of the Global Sprint Challenge series, high class and very high prestige race. Surprisingly, given how well overseas raiders have done at Royal Ascot, it is the home team that have dominated this race. The Betting Market The market is heavily skewed towards two horses that ran extremely well at Royal Ascot & it is 12/1 bar those two. Muhaarar is an extremely annoying horse for me. I don't know if you remember but we bet him on

John Smith's Cup preview

This weekend in July is traditionally the one when the tired old industry people moan the most about three decent meetings being on the same day - Ascot, Newmarket and York. It's an argument I really don't get. They are all at least two hours' drive from each other, they can cater for a wider audience. Who says when you pay your money to go into one track, you can only bet on the racing there? It's a ridiculous argument. It's the middle of summer, schools aren't out yet so most people outside the industry are still working a full week - racing on Saturdays simply must be of higher quality than during the week so the majority of people can bet on it. There's room for a few festivals, but as great as they are, they have to be the exception. The general public simply doesn't have the available time to bet on racing on weekdays 52 weeks of the year. If racetracks actually worked together and promoted cross-venue betting, rather than leaving it to the betti

AFL Round 15 Preview

Sorry, one day late. Still can't get my head around games being played on a Thursday night! Once again, it's the sharp guys at AFLRatings with the expertise. ------------------------------ AFL Round 15 Preview by via @aflratings A total of two favourites were defeated in the AFL last week, here are our thoughts for Round 15. Port Adelaide 5-8 v Collingwood 8-5 Collingwood have been very impressive in the last two weeks despite narrow losses, the Magpies were very competitive in games that they entered into as heavy underdogs. Collingwood are +6 vs the Betting Line this season and are generally a good travelling team, the Magpies are ranked third scoring 98.0pts per game this season and have hit 100pts or more in seven games which is tied second only to Hawthorn. Port Adelaide have had their struggles in 2015, they are all over the place providing periods of brilliance and at times and also a distinct inability to move the ball quickly in to their for

CONCACAF Gold Cup preview

Bit quiet on the blog of late, so how about a preview of North and Central America's big football tournament this summer, the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It started yesterday but it's not too late to get involved. Football Form Labs are the experts in football data and customised queries, covering a wide range of leagues around the world, including 17 summer leagues. To sign up for their great software by clicking here . ------------------------------------- CONCACAF GOLD CUP With the Copa America, Women’s World Cup, and U21 European Championships all reaching their conclusion this week, international football fans don’t have long to wait for the next instalment of summer competition as the CONCACAF Gold Cup begins on Tuesday 7th July. The tournament will be hosted in the USA, as has been the custom since the competition began in 1991, with two matches also being held in Canada for the first time. The winners of the tournament will qualify for a play-off match against the USA, th