Sunday, February 24, 2008

Top Cheltenham Jockey - Sam Thomas - 12-1 - 4pts

Looking back over historic records, to win the Top Jockey trophy you will probably need to ride 3-4 winners (especially now the Festival is over 4 days).

Paul Nicholls is likely to have a strong festival. Ruby Walsh is a short price for this (approximately even money) as he is Paul Nicholl's No.1 Jockey. However, in each of the Gold Cup and Champion Chase Nicholls has two short price horses (which are not significantly different in price). Therefore the Nicholl's No.2 Jockey Sam Thomas has a good chance of riding winners in these races. The added bonus is if he rides these winners, this will stop Walsh from winning the races!

In other Cheltenham races Walsh will obviously be riding the more fancied Nicholl's horses, however Thomas is likley to pick up plenty of decent rides during the week. I've therefore had 4pts @ 12-1 on Sam Thomas at William Hill.

Result: Sam Thomas had one winner (unplaced as Top Chelt. Jockey) -4pts

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Clinton to be Vice President - 25-1 - Victor Chandler - 4pts

Each week the Democratic nomination process continues (and hence the closer the race is), the likelihood of a 'dream ticket' increases. As Obama is the most likley candidate for the nomination (and presidency), this makes a Clinton Vice Presidency a real possibility. If the race went as far as the DNC, I believe he would certainly be under pressure to offer it to her. They complement each other in so many ways e.g 'change' versus 'experience' (which is why the race for the Democratic candidature is so close).

The question is would she take it? I am far from certain she would (she may wish to stay in the Senate). However, she may see it as an ideal may to propel her to the Democratic Candidature in 2016.

There have been may close races for the party nomination (Kennedy v Johnson 1960, Reagan v Bush 1980) where 'dream tickets' have happened - at 25/1 I'm prepared to take a chance. Paddypower go a very short 2/1 on this happening.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Going neutral on Clinton for US Presidency

Following recent Obama victories, Clinton has now weakened to 9-2. I have therefore placed 10pts on her for the US Presidency to ensure I'm neutral in th event of a Clinton comeback. This is possible if she secures strong victories in Ohio and Texas in early March 08 - it will then all be down to the Super Delegates.

Together with my previous bets on on Obama (16-1) and MccAin (20-1), I'm sitting in a fairly healthy position!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Grand National Preview

I am a great fan of the Gerand National (from a betting perspective) as it is a race which follows trends strongly. Thius makes ist relatively easy narrrow the number of possible winners down to a handful of runners (despite the likely 40 entries). Following these trends, my two against the field are Slim Pickings (20-1) - 2pts win and Point Barrow (20-1) - 2pts win.

Interestingly, following these trends, a substantional number of the horses that have leading chance are Irish. I've therfore had 1 pt at 50-1 (Ladbrokes) on Irish having a 1-2-3. These bets are in additional to the 20-1 I have on Cloudy Lane (now a 12-1 chance) whcih, after studying the trends, I am actually not that keen on!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Milan v Siena (Serie A) - Siena to win - 9/1 - 2pts

Milan are decimnated by injuries - it looks like a great time to get with Siena for a shock away win. Milan do not have the strongest home form this season (2-5-2) (weak for a team in 5th) whilst Siens'a away form is respectable (2-2-6). Siena's overall form seems to have picked up recently with two wins out of last three, including a suprise 3-0 hone win against AS Roma in the last match.

Result: Siena Lost -2pts

McCain Grand National Specials (Paddy Power)

Paddy Power have two specials on the Grand National that have appeal:

McCain to train winner of the National (20-1)
McCain to train winner of the National and Liverpool to win FA Cup - (100-1)

The 20-1 on McCain having the Grand National winner appeals. Cloudy Lane is McCain's leading chance - he is an approximately 14-1 chance, one of the current favourites. He put up an impressive display yesterday at Ayr and he has one more scheduled run before the National. I can seem him starting 8-1 favourite. You also get Idle Talk and Bannister Lane as possible runners. Idle Talk could well run (but would not be a short price, 33-1?), but Bannister Lane is unlikley to make the race.

Liverpool are an approximate 4-1 chance for the FA Cup, so I've backed the 100-1 on the double as well. For both bets I've had the max allowed (1.5 pts).

David Beckham to reach 100 caps - 20pts - 1-2 (Corals)

David Beckham is on 99 England Caps. Capello left him out of his first squad because of fitness (the US football season hasn't started yet). However, he has strongly indicated that when Beckham is back match fit, he will play him.,19528,11095_3126331,00.html

"Surely he will have played friendly matches [referring to the MLS pre-season games]and those will be important. If he is fit and ready to play then he will be part of my team."

I think Capello will be keen to play Beckham (as a minimum a substitute) to avoid the '99 caps' becoming an issuse that is raised every game and becomes a distraction. (By dropping him for the Switzerland game, he has made the point that he is not swayed by emotion).

The 100th Cap could come as early as the match against France on 23.03.08. If not, there would still be opportunities in the World Cup qualifiers starting in 09.08. I'm putting my winnings from Gerrard being the captain against Switzerland on Beckham getting his 100th Cap - with Capello's recent commenst, I'd make it a 1-4 chance.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Totesport Trophy Preview

The key trial for this race is the Brightwells Handicap Hurlde at Cheletehnam on 26.01.08. Five Dream ran an impressive trial and is rightly one of the leading horses for this race. However, at 4-1, I do not think he is value. Instead, I have bakced the second horse in the race Mohayer at 25-1 at William Hill (5 pts win). He is weighted to reverse form with Five Dream and has the additional benefit of a 7lb claimer. (He has just crept into the race off bottom weight). Mohayer is a very consistent horse and trainer McCain is in execellent form.

Update: He is now been backed into 20-1 but this is still value - I'd make hime a 8-1 chance.

I also can't resist a bet on Caracciola from the Nick Henderson stable. Henderson has a great record in this race. With the withdrawl of Jack the Giant and Amarretto Rose, Caracciola is Henderson's leading hope. He is claearly suited by the race, as illustrated by a fine 4th last year. A 2nd in the Cesarewitch in the autumn shows he still resains his form. From a 'trends' perspective (e.g. age) he is all wrong, but so was the Henderson trained Geos when he won at 20-1. I've had 2pts win on Caracciola at 25-1 (Coral).

Update: Caracciola has been backed into 14-1 - probably a fair price now.

Result : Mohayer 4th -5pts
Result : Caracciola Unplaced -2pts