Sunday, March 25, 2007

Eurovision Song Contest - Switzerland - 8pts win - 8/1

I belive the Swiss have a great chance in this year's Euroviosn song contest in 2 months time. To win Eurovision, you need the following

- Memorable song/routine - Finland showed last year that with the increased number of entrants a memorable stage routine is strongly preferable. I also have looked for a strong chorus. What is certain is you can't win with a poor song (e.g UK).

The Swiss song has a strong chorus and a 'Vampire' based act which could adapt well for a stage show. N.B. It may be a little too similar to Finland's act last year 'Monsters of Rock'.

- Political voting - preference for countries part of Balctic or Scandanavian blocks - the Swiss fall down on this, but at least they are neutral (unlike the UK).

- English singing - this rules out a signficiant no. of acts, although some have attempted to overcome this by at leaset singing the chorus in English. The Swiss song is in English. N.B. Take care on this, some acts sing in qualifying in their country in the native language, only to switch to English in the semi finals/finals

- Semi-Final appearance - I believe the winner of the semifinal has gone on to win this event in the past 2 years... maybe the appearance helps to improve the act. What is certain is that the semi-final results are likley to be translated in final positions. N.B. The semi final resuilts are not released before the final.

Other possibilities at larger prices are Finland (great song) and Israel (memorable Novelty song).

The songs can be viewed at

8/1 is freely available on the Swiss - I missed the 10/1 yesterday :( - in fact, Bluesq. are going 9/1! (oops.)

Update: WillHill have moved the Swiss into 13/2.... I've had a further 4pts at Bluesq at 9/1 - I don't think Bluesq will be able to hold this price for much longer.

Next UK Chancellor - 2pts - 6/1 - Jack Straw - William Hill

Since his move to Leader of the House, Straw was worked closley with Gordon Brow. Today, Jack Straw has been asked by Gordon Brown to lead his campaign for next Labour Leader. This puts jime in a strong position for next Chancellor.

His 2 main rivals are Alistair Darling and Ed Balls. Ed Balls is the most likely of these, but due to his relative parliamentary inexperience (he only changed to an MP from adviser at the last election), I think Ed Balls will be made Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

I tried to have 10pts on this, but was restricted to 2pts! The market was then immediately taken down by Willian Hill. I am sure it will re-open soon.....not sure at what price though.

N.B. Not having a good time with getting bets on at present... tried to place 2opts on Dan Wheldon for IRL Championship at 3-1 with SportingOdds - no joy, however only succeeded in moving the price from 3/1 to 2/1... he won the 1st race last night.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Next Fench Presidential Election - 20pts win - 5/1 - Bayrou - William Hill

I have been closely following the Fench Presidentail polls over the past 4 weeks. The changes can be clearly seen on the following graph (from one of the major polling organisations).

This reslts of this poll have been confirmed by the another major polling organisations.

I believe that the bookies have seriously misjudged this market. Momemtum is a key element in politics and I am confident that Bayrou can attact enough votes from both the left (Royale) and right (Sarkozy) to make the top 2 - he is nearly there now! I then believe by nature of being the centre candidate he is highly likely to win the final 2 'man' runoff - there is no great liking for either Sarkozy or Royale.

N.B. William Hill have temporarily taken down this market, however I expect it to reappear (not sure what price he will then be). Bayrou is availible at 4-1 at - this is still at great price! (He is shorter on Betfair).

Lewis Hamilton - 10pts - Top 3 Season Finish - F1 - 5/1 (Boylesports)

Those of you who follow my blog will know that pre-season I have had 2 bets on F1 for 2007

Hamilton (25/1) - E/W
Kovalainen (33/1) - E/W

This prices are still availible and I would not put anyone off these bets. (I've also backed Lewis Hamilton at 25/1 for SPoTY!)

However, I have now found a even better bet - 5/1 at Boylesports on Hamilton to make the Top 3. Ferrai and Mclaren have been the strongest teams in winter testing. The Ferraris have been slightly stronger than the McLarens, however the difference is not great (approx. 0.3s). This could change as the cars progress over the season.

Hamilton's pace has been similar to Raikonnen in winter testing. He is a naturally gifted driver and I would rather take 5/1 on him for a top 3 finish than Raikonnen (2-1), Alsonso (9-4) or Massa (3-1) for the World Championship. There are so many changes in driver/team combinations and tyres (all now run on Bridgestones) that taking a short price is risky.

Extrabet also bet on this market and have cut the price from 9/2 to 5/2 for a Lewis Hamilton to 3 finish - this is a much more accurate price.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

10pts Win - Hilary Benn - Labour Deputy Leadership - 3/1

The field for the Labour deputy leadership election is not yet finalized, but I think that Hilary Benn is a first rate bet at 3/1. The reasons are as folllows (in order of importance):

- Has an approx. 10-15% lead in the latest YouGov deputy leadership poll. The results are as follows:

YouGov surveyed Labour Pary members and Union mebers, two of the three constituents of the leadership election (MPs are the other). N.B. A complication is that Union votes are not decideded by block vote, but I suspect that union leaders will influence how their members vote.

YouGov has a good record in these events and peformed well when predicting the Lid Dem and Conservative leadership elections.

- Hilary Benn has popular support amongst the general population, as indicated by the YouGov popularity Index where he has the highest ratings of the Labour politicians listed
- Unlike some of the other runners, has declared his intention to run
- His name recognition, being son of the iconic Tony Benn

Candidates need 44 MPs to support them to be able to stand, but I am confident that Hilary Benn will achieve this goal.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Oppose the favourites at Chletenham in the 'Big 4' Races.

I think that the favourites in the four Cheltenham Championship races are all vulnerable, namely:

Champion Hurdle: Detroit City
Queen Mother: Well Chief
World Hurdle: Black Jack Ketchum
Gold Cup: Kauto Star

I am especially against the chances of Black Jack Ketchum (ran an appalling trial) and Kauto Star (jumping issues, not a great record in a large field) with both not guaranteed to stay in their races, especially on soft ground.

Choosing horses to oppose them is more difficult. However, I have selected the following horses - prices all from William Hill:

Champion Hurdle: Sublimity (18-1)
Queen Mother: Dempsy (20-1)
World Hurdle: Kasblah Bliss (16-1)
Gold Cup: My Will (20-1)

I'm having 2pts win on each and a 0.5 pt Yankee (5.5 pts)