Friday, December 29, 2006

Aus v Eng 5th Test - Man of the Match - Glen McGrath (7/1) 4pts (cover Shane Warne (5/1) 1pt)

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is the location for the 5th test in the Ashes. Given England's diamla record, I expect that an Australian player (most likely a bowler) will win MoM.

This is Glen McGrath and Shane Warne's last test and both have a reasonable record at the ground (which is 'spinner friendly'). I expect one of these 2 individuals to win the MoM. As SCG is Glen McGrath's home venue (and Shane Warne won the last MoM on his home ground), preference is for Glen McGrath, with a cover on Shane Warne.

My staking plan is as follows

4pts Glen McGrath - 7/1
1pt Shane Warne - 5/1

These prices are availible at Ladbrokes. Just missed the 10/1 at Blue Squeare, the other bookmaker who has opened on this market.... other bookies are running scared.

In Which Month Will Tony Blair Step Down From His Duties As Prime Minister?

William Hill have priced up 'In Which Month Will Tony Blair Step Down From His Duties As Prime Minister? '. I believe this market has been seriously mis-priced.

I think the most lilkely scenario is for Blair to stepdown from leadership of the Labour Party in May 2007, after the local elections and after 10 years in charge. He could at this point also step down as Prime Minister. The most likely scenario for this (simultaneous) resignation to happen is if their was a 'coronation' (of Brown).

However, a left wing MP has already indicated he will stand against Brown, and there is a possibility Reid will as well, triggering a leadership contest. Whilst a leadership contest takes place, I believe Blair will retain his position as Prime Minister. With an expected 8 weeks for the leadership contest, my thinking is that Blair will cease his duties as Prime Minister in July 07. This is confirmed by the (well connected) political correspondent of 'The Sun'.,,2-2006410396,00.html

A strict reading of the Labour Leadership rules would be that a resignation would be followed by an appointment at the Labour party conference in Sept. 07.

The prices they have are as follows (Month, Price) : May 1.57 April 4.00 March 8.00 June 15.00 February 17.00 July 26.00 September 34.00 October 34.00 January 34.00 August 51.00 Any Other 51.00

Therefore my staking plan is as follows:

6 pts - July - 25/1
1 pt - August - 50/1
1 pt - September -33/1

N.B (i) This market is very different from the Betfair market which is 'When will Tony Blair officially cease to be leader of the Labour Party?'
N.B (ii) The book closes at 5:30 p.m. today. (Although it may be re-opened)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Leonardo di Caprio (The Departed) - Golden Globe (20/1), Oscars (11/1)

The Golden Globe best actor nominations have been announced and they are as follows:

Forest Whitaker ( The Last King of Scotland )
Peter O`Toole ( Venus )
Will Smith ( The Pursuit of Happyness )
Leonardo Di Caprio ( The Departed )
Leonardo Di Caprio ( Blood Diamond )

Although being nominated for two films may be seen as a handicap, I stil think Leonardo Di Caprio is in with a chance against the (long odds on) favourite Forest Whittaker. Forest Whittaker has the critics backing at present, but the (low number) of Golden Globes judges have a record of choosing major stars for their award.

I'm having 1pt @ 20/1 (Victor Chandler).

If he wins this award, he will be much shorter for the forthcoming Oscars (for which the Golden Globes are a strong predictor), so consequently I'm also backing him at 12/1 for the Best Actor Oscar (Bet365/Sportsinteraction .... do they have the same odds compilers?)

Order of Merit - 2pts E/W - Voy Por Ustedes - 20/1 - Stan James

Kauto Star is justifiably a short priced favourite for the OoM. However, given his short price (4/9), there is E/W value to be had elsewhere. My preference is for Voy Por Ustedes, the favourite for the Quenn Mother.

Enroute to the Queen Mother, he is likely to take in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury which should be relatively straightforward (unless Kauto Star switches to this race from the Aon Chase).

To win the OoM, Voy Por Ustedes will need Kauto Star to not complete for the rest of the year (not an impossibility given Kauto Star's jumping). However, to get placed in the OoM Voy Por Ustedes will just need to put in some solid performances. The 2m divison looks realtively week this year - his competitors in the OoM are mainly hurdelers (which seems a much more competitive divison).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

King George VI Preview

Kauto Star is too short at 4/7 for this event. His jumping is not perfect, and will be fully tested around Kempton. There is also a doubt as to the nature of his Haydock and Sandsown performences - are they really the special performances that most believe?

Racing Demon also has jumping issues. Monet's Garden is much the best bet of the favoured horse, however he will need to improve a little to take this race and his reluctantly passed oer at 4-1.

Instead my two bets are as follows:

Monkehostin - 4pts win, 20-1 (Betfair). I think he has a reasonable chance of reversing form with Racing Demon on their last running - last year Monkerhostin reserved his best for Kempton (i the King George) when he was narrowly beaten by Kicking King.

Ollie Magern, - 1pt win, 40-1 (Betfair) - a front running horse (a charactersitic that suits Kempton), need to return to form to take a part, but it wouldn't be the greatest suprise ever if he took a major part in this race.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

2006 Review - 49.79 % Profit

The headline figure of 49.79 % tells the story of my first year. I was aiming for 40%, so I am more than happy with this figure. (This includes all bets I have placed - if you only select all post placed on this blog before the event, this figure drops to 37.69 %). The reason for the discrepancy is that I sometimes see 'last minute' bets e.g Rail Link on the PMU in the Arc.

Whichever figure we use, I am happy with my performance. I'd be interested if anyone knows of any blog that can beat either these figures (or get close to them!) ... I want to read it! I would any wish those in the print/new media listed % profits (or losses) it would make it so much easier to know who to read! (i.e. whose judgement to trust)

Previously, I've been asked to post my results - I've an .xls with these, filtered by 'settled bets' and ordered by sport. Comments much appreciated! If you'd like a copy, email me at for a copy (unless someone can tell me how to place an attachment on a blog. other than an image!)

Finally, thanks to for giving me an metion on his blog - it made my day!

'More of a tipping blog than a Betfair trading one, but one I like to read anyway, is Kicking Bets written by a guy called Chris. Been going for a nearly a year. Can't find the latest results but I think he's showing a 40 something or other per cent ROI. Perhaps not the biggest from a trading perspective but I think you'll be hard pressed to find an out and out tipster with better results'.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Aus v Eng 4th Test - Man of the Match - Shane Warne - 4pts @ 6-1 (William Hill)

Australia are strong favoutrites to win this match, meaning an Australina player is likely to win Man of the Match. The ground is very much a 'home ground' for Shan Warene and he has a good bowling record here.

In addition, with Shane Warne announcing his imminent retirement frm test cricket, there will also be sentimental reasons to giuve him the award.

'Level Out' on Matt Dawson for SCD - lock in minimum 30 pts profit.

I'm going to lay Mark Ramprakash to take an (approximately) neutral position and lock in a (minimum) 30 pts. profit. Having backed Mark at 16-1, I would read the outocme this Saturday as a 'toss of the coin' job. Mark and Matt have been recently consistently 1 and 2 in the public vote (the only vote that will count this week) and the only time we have been certain of the order they finished in the public vote, it was Matt above Mark.Mark has not been consistent the best with his dancing, so he may not get the judges highest ratings (not that this will have a huge impact). Zoe Ball (last series) and Emma Bunton (this series) has showed the consistency of pro/anti voting for individulas, irrespective of their performance.I appreciate the polls have Mark a clear leader, I think they may be wrong.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Update on Presidential Betting 2008 - New Bets (Guiliani 16-1, Gore 33-1)

As you can see from the above poll, the polling figures have changed a little since my last review one month ago. The key moves are as follows:

Republican Candidate - It looks increasingly certain that Rice will not stand for the Republican candicacy. Guiliani has moved from 28% to 29%, McCain drops from 26% to 24% and Gingrich moves up from 7% to 13%.

I think Guiliani is great value at 16/1 for the Presidency, and I've had a further 6pts at 16-1 at William Hill.

Democrat Candidate - Clinton has strengthed her position, her support moving from 31% to 37%. Obama has dropped back from 19% to 15% and Gore has moved from 9% to 15%, now tying with Obama.

I've looked closely at Gore's position on the Presidency and he does not rule this out (although he isn't 'planning to stand', and easy get out). He has kept his profile very high with his enviromental campaigning and has the funds to mount a successful Candidature / Presidential campaigns. Clinton is clearly the most likely to be the Democratic Candidate, but 33-1 on Gore for President in 2008 is a great bet in my opinion.

I am having 6pts win at 33/1 on Gore for the Presidency (William Hill).

If Clinton does take the Democratic nomination, I think that either Guiliani (or McCain) willl be a very strong challenger. Guiliani's positions on social matters will win over potential Democratic voters (while not dropping to many Republican vites as they have nowhere to go). In contrast, it is unlikley that Clinton will take many Republican votes due to the fact she so strongly polarises opinion.

Complete Record of US bets.

10 pts Guiliani Next US President 16-1 (still availible, Willian Hill)
6 pts Gore Next US President 33-1 (still availible, William Hill)
5 pts Obama Democratic Nominee 8-1 (top price now 5-1, Ladbrokes)
4pts Obama Next US President 16-1 (top price now 9-1, William Hill)

2007 Sports Personality of the Year Preview - Lewis Hamilton - 4pts Win - 25-1

Most of my success this year has been in long term/antepost markets (especially in 'specialist' markets). With my recent win in the SPOTY 2006, I thought I'd take a look at SPOTY 2007.

Preview of the 2007 SPOTY.

Looking at past trends, the most likely winners of this event are as follows (in order of significance):

- Athletic Champions out Olynpics/World Championships
- England Football peformance (e.g World Cup/Qualifying)
- Winner/Runner Up in F1 World Chamionship
- Tennis Grand Slam Winner/Runner Up

There are other possibilities if:
1. The individual dominates their sport e.g. Nick Faldo (1989), Steve Davis (1988)
2. The individual plays a key part of a team performance (Wilkinson (2003) - Rugby World Cup, Flintoff (2005), Botham (1981), both Ashes).
3. Special reasons (Philips (2006)) - Royalty

Lets consider these trends in turn for 2007

Athletic Champions (e.g at 2007 World Chamionships in Osaka)
Winning the event is a must. (Winning) success has been limited in major chamionships recently. Difficult to call at this point, probably best to wait until the events has happened (or just before). Would need to be a realtively high profile event. The most obvious candidate in Paula Radcliffe. N.B. For Ante Post betting 9 months ahead, injuries are always a problem.

England Football peformance (e.g World Cup/Qualifying)
Unlikely to provide winner in 2007 - this rules out a signficant no. of the field! Footballers have only a likely chance in World Cup/European Championship years.

Winner/Runner Up in F1 World Chamionship
The only likley possibilities are Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

Tennis Grand Slam Winner/Runner Up
Andrew Murray is the most likely although there is a small chance of Tim Henman making an impact at Wimbledon.

Outside of these key areas, there are

- Golf - Major winners (my be enough in a weak year, especially given the length of time when a British player last won a Major). Would probably be easier to back this individual has they came into contention in the last few holes (or after they have won the tournament)
- Cricket - Ashes - if we win/retain the Ashes (unlikely), there could be a heroic performance, especially by Monty Panesar who the public have taken a liking to.
- Boxing - Boxers have had a previously good record, but that has fallen off recently - Audley Harrison is a possibility of he wins the Heavy Weight Championship at end 2007.
- Rugby - World Cup 2007 - the weak England Performance will likely count against a winner in this category. In addition, you would need pick a single indiviudal from the team, always tricky.


At this point, I woudl suggest that the only clear candidates are as follows:

Andrew Murray (8-1)
Paula Radcliffe (16-1)
Jenson Button (16-1)
Lewis Hamilton (25-1)

As per a previous post, I predict that Lewis Hamilton will do well in F1 this year - he is already testing impressively for McClaren, one of the three leading F1 teams. The upside is the fact he does not need to win F1, a 2nd place would probably be enough. The only downside is the possibility of split F1 votes with Jenson Button - unlikely, unless Jenson Button is also challenging for the championship.

I've therefore had 4pts win on Lewis Hamilton at 25-1.

I'll be keeping a careful watch on:
- Any Bristish golfer winning a Major (or looking likely to)
- England progress in the Rugby World Cup 2007 (especilly if an indiviual is is playing a 'starring role)
- Grand Slam progress of Murray/Henman

Most importantly, any Gold medals in high profile events at the World Athletic Chamionships - this is probably the key event. I will add any of this classification of World Athletic Championship winners to my 'portfolio'.

The key to getting value on this market (as all markets) is to react quickly if a player in one of the above key categories wins (or looks likely to win). Typically the SPOTY market first lags a little, then overreacts. The market 'overshoot' can be seen by the number of SPOTY 2006 runners who traded at (very) short prices 1 day after they had won their event.

Lay Alan Pardew - 4pts - Next West Ham Manager

One of my least inspired bets... I've watched many 'Next Manager' Markets and there are freuently several likely cnadidates that trade at approx 2.0 - 3.0. Not worked in this case though!

N.B. This post is after the event, just trying to kep this log an accurate reflection of my betting, so I have an accurate record.

Full analysis of my betting to follow over Christmas!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

4pts win Arsenal to beat Chelsea 6-1 (Betfair)

Asrenal are overpriced at 6-1 top beat Chelsea. Chelsea have a great record at home and Arsenal are missing Henry, Gallas and Toure, but should still not be 6-1. Much will depend on whether Chelsea set out to attack Arsenal - if this happens, Asrenal have the ability to hit Chelsea on the counter attack.

Arsenal's weak away form this year has been against physical temas such as Bolton - if Chelsea adopt this approach, they are likely to have more success.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

3.10 - Arcalis - Cheltenham - 1pt win 33-1

With a small field, and soft ground, a surprise could happen in this race. I think that Detroit City is overrated, so there is value in the other runners. The 5-2 on Hardy Eustace has disapperaed, so I'm backing Arcalis at 33-1. He showed signs of come back to form in his last race, and, on this form, he is not many lbs behind Hardy Eustace and Detroit City.

2.40 - Tikram - 2pts win - Cheltenham (22-1, Betfair)

After an excellent 2nd to Dempsey in Jan 06, Tikram's form tailed off last year. Tikram has changed trainers over the summer to Alan King and I belive this in-form trainer can revitalise him. Tikram won't want the ground too soft, but can go well off a relatively low handicap mark (previoulsy won off this mark) . He has solid Cheltenham form (won the Mildmay of Flete in 2004 and 2nd in this race the same year), always expecially important for Cheltenham. The trip (2m 5f)will also hold no worries and has won fisrt time out in the past

A big danger is Reveillez (in terms of 'trends' he has all the 'tickes' in the boxes, but I am going to stick to one bet, Tikram).

Saturday, December 02, 2006

2pts E/W - 25-1 - Lewis Hamilton - 2007 F1 Championship

Lewis Hamilton has the chance to be one of the oustanding drivers of this generation. He succefully won the GP2 championship last yesr, a clear indication of his ability. He partners F1 Champion Alonso at the Mclaren this year. Hamilton is 25-1 and Alonso 2-1, too bigger price discrepancy in my opinion.

Full details on Hamilton can be seen on Wikipedia.

I've now 2 drivers against the field (Lewis Hamilton, 25-1 and Kouvalainen, 33-1).

2pts Win - Steve Davis Premier League 20-1

Ronnie O'Sullivan is a worthy favourite for this, but at a best priced 1.4 (Betfair) he makes no appeal. Instead, I've sided with Steve Davis to win the tournament. He is in great form at present and, with the added advantage of playing on Behalf of Paul Hunter, will be motivated. He plays Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Semi Final.... however, Ronnie O'Sullian could potentially turn up in the wrong frame (sorry!) of mind. The added bonus is that I think that Jimmy White has a chance in the other semifinal (against Dott).