Thursday, 24 December 2009

Boxing Day Bets

Couple of quick Boxing Day Bets.

Boylesports are doing their bit to help us pay for Christmas, by offering 13/8 about Billy Sharp scoring anytime for Doncaster at Coventry. Ridiculous.

Coventry aren’t the best side defensively anyway, but they have a few injury problems at the back, including ex-pig centre half Richard Wood. On loan Blade Billy Sharp has scored nine goals in his last ten matches, including one in each of the last six games. The way Doncaster play suits him down to the ground and the probable return of midfielder (and probably Donny’s best player) Brian Stock will be a boost on the creativity front.

Odds against him scoring, despite his form? I’ll have some of that.

The other standout bet for me, is Newcastle. I’m not normally a fan of away sides at odds on, but this really will be buying money. Wednesday are in turmoil. There’s local rumours that they’re on the verge of going bust. Their joke of a chairman is still arguing with fans on internet forums, the caretaker manager played exactly the same side in his first game, as recently sacked Boss Hog Brian Laws played in his last game and they have failed to score, let alone get a point, in their last SIX matches, against such footballing giants as Doncaster and Reading.

Newcastle have only conceded twelve times this season and have kept five clean sheets in their last six matches. They score goals for fun and let’s face it, Wednesday are shit.

Newcastle could put the reserves out and win this by a couple. 8/11 widely available, 1.77 on the exchanges. Fill your boots, dip your bread, put the wife on it.

Have a good day tomorrow, ladies and gents.

Oh, Kauto Star will make history by winning his fourth consecutive King George, but is horrendous value at the price. Watch the race and enjoy a piece of history. I'm still in the Denman camp for the Gold Cup, mind.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Oaks Final on Sky Sports

It's the Oaks Final at Wimbledon live on Sky tonight. Two of the dogs that I selected before the first round have made it to the final - Cabra Exclusive and Slick Sioux are both still big prices and looks like the bookies have discounted them but I'm hopeful of getting the EW money.

Cabra Exclusive will likely lead the Final which will at least give me a little bit of excitement. However, Tyrur Liz has proved to be much better than I anticipated and looks the most likely winner from trap 6 - with the prices reflecting that at 4/6. I'll not back anything in this race and just hope one of mine can pull off the upset win. It does happen.

Sometimes I wish the greyhounds weren't on Sky as it makes me bet on every race for the sake of it and it's likely I'll do the same tomorrow unfortunately.

There isn't much I like at first glance with only T4 Yahoo Jamie in the 8:50 really making much appeal. It's 5/2 at first show and I expected it to be shorter after it ran 27:52 round the 460m in a trial last week. To put that into perspective, Eye onthe Storm (Derby favourite) ran 27:54 last week. However, trials and races are different and there is quite a bit of early in the race so I'll be keeping stakes small.

Also likely to back:

7:40 - T6 Rio Ventura 7/1
8:00 - T1 Blonde Dee 9/2
8:35 - T4 Kinda Easy 7/2

For those with monies, Platinumlancelot and Eye onthe Storm should piss their respective races but both odds on and double pays even money.


Saturday, 12 December 2009

UFC 107: Penn v. Sanchez

Sick night of action ahead from UFC 107 in Tennessee as my favourite fighter Diego Sanchez fights BJ Penn for the lightweight title. I think he has the tools to pull off the upset and will more than likely be acting accordingly and taking some of the 23/10 available. Might have a nibble on Sanchez to win in a certain round, they are all 16s or 18s.

Think I've picked out a stonking bit of value in Lucio Linhares who is 11/4 with bet365. This is simply a crazy price imo. This is a big step up in class for him but he is a dangerous fighter and his opponent Palhares is no world beater in my eyes. Linhares should use his substantial height and reach advantage on his way to victory.

Other prices of interest are below and I will probably end up throwing them all in some crazy combo:

Kongo in R1 @ 5/1
Guida @ 7/4
Johnson @ 21/10

Friday, 11 December 2009


Just reading some old blog posts to pass the time. Some amusing stories, great tips and spectacularly poor ones.

Stumbled across this in a Scott post:

I've had a ridiculous league winners combo bet: on Man Utd @ 11/4; WBA @ 6/1; Dundee @ 5/4; Rangers (Scottish Cup) @ 15/8; and Hibs (without big 2) @ 7/1. I'll be ridiculously rich if they all pull it off!

That looks a nice bet, just now. Placing the same accumulator now, you'd be looking at best prices of 2/1 Man Utd, 5/2 for WBA, 4/11 Dundee, 6/4 Hibs and Rangers is still 15/8.

Scott's bet returns £1,358.44 to a £1 stake. The current odds return just £102.91 to the same stake.

GO GO GO CAMBO! I expect a drink if that comes in.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Win It Back

Small loss last night on the Sky Dogs so I'm going to win it back on T3 Ron The Rat in the 9:25 @ Romford tonight.

And double it with T2 Bills Teddy in the 9:57.

But anyone reading this should 100% not touch these cos I seem to be on poor form.

EDIT: had a nosey at Harlow too.

Really like the look of T5 Negotiate in the 9:45. And also T6 Dainty County in the 8:45 race.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

William Hill Oaks @ Wimbledon

This competition starts tonight at Wimbledon and I don't really have much time to write up a preview but just back these and you'll have the winner. Remember and check the post below for tonight's Sky dogs.

William Hill Oaks

Ardbeg Kate @ 14/1
Slick Sioux @ 25/1
Cabra Fly @ 33/1
Cabra Exclusive @ 40/1

Ardbeg Kate absolutely crushes over the 380m at Crayford but this is over 480m and only time will tell if it'll be as effective. A recent trial over 460m at Wimbledon suggests it will. I probably like Cabra Fly the most out of the other 3 and it has some fast times over the 460m and 480m at Wimbledon as well as faster recent times than Kate over Crayford recently - 33/1 is very big, get on.

Romford Dogs on Sky Tonight

So I'm chasing a little bit. A couple of bad weeks with my dog betting, coupled with a terrible Saturday on the football have left me licking my wounds a bit so hopefully I can turn things around tonight. Also, yesterday at the uni poker I managed to dust off £33 at a £1 rebuy - not a large sum, but fairly comedic.

7:40 - The opening race is at 7:40 and I've went for T5 Foyle Mayor at a bit of a price. This dog does a fair bit of sprinting and when over 4 bends tends to show very good early as witnessed earlier this month at Romford when he clocked 24:07 when beating Deanridge Flash. I think it'll make all here at 5/1. Tempted to also back T1 at 12/1 as if Foyle Mayor gets hit with trouble then it could be value.

8:00 - I'm going to be backing another 5/1 shot in the 2nd race in the shape of T3 Droopys Kirbee. Greedy Bridie was very impressive on Sky last week coming a close 2nd to the classy Midway Skipper and is a shortish favourite here but I think Kirbee can be too fast for him. Kirbee usually displays decent early pace but has been slow away on his last two starts - if he gets out tonight then he'll be a great bet. Last month Droopys Kirbee actually beat Greedy Bridie over this same trip. gogogogo

8:15 - Freedom Man is an even price favourite for the hurdle race and I obviously can't back anything at that price so I've plumped for T5 Cats My Boy @ 12/1. Cats can show early and has some decent times over a number of tracks.

8:35 - I did my studying on Sunday I think and picked out T5 King Lee as my NAP and was praying we'd get some sort of price on it but no joy as it's 1/2 but has about 4 lengths on the best of the rest and will piss up.

8:50 - T5 Brickfield Dream won me a minor fortune last year when winning the Coral Essex Vase at a massive price but failed to make the final this year when losing out in the semi-finals. He's my favourite type of a dog, a dog with super early. This thing can fly out and has a recent time which is almost 3 lengths better than anything else in the race. Raving Black, as always, will be a danger but 10/3 for Dream will fill our pockets.

9:10 - I'm hoping T1 Me Buddy can be our friend in the 9:10 with a dominant display where I think he can make all at 5/2. His last two races have been fast and a similar display tonight will see us collecting. T6 Fire For Effect can go very fast but is far too unconvincing at the traps for me to be backing.

9:25 - T1 Melodys Comet has raced over the Romford 750m track on 5 occasions and has won 4 of those. Tonight he should make it 5 from 6 at a shortish 9/4. Lorrys Options looks like the nearest challenger but has only won one of it's last 11 races - not for me.

9:45 - The showcase race, the Coral Essex Vase Final. I've a really good feeling for T2 Bournes Masons and was hoping for around 4/1 but it's in as the 5/2 favourite. It's got a good draw on Go Big Hitter's left and it's excellent early coupled with fast recent times make it a big bet for me. gogogogogogogogogogogo

Friday, 27 November 2009

Tits to beat Tits

Bristol City: get on and get on fast.

I got to work today and saw that the Titties are 23/20 with William Hill to beat Sheffield United tomorrow, which surprised me. I’d have had them even money at best, so I was even more surprised to see in the RP that most high street bookies are going odds against, the biggest of which was Coral’s 11/8 and that our price was basically the worst on the high street! The 11/8 has now been clipped, but you can still get a best price of 13/10 from Coral and you should do so.

Here’s why. United are playing like tits, that’s there for all to see. Last season we had the best away record in the league and the second best defence, but this year Blackwell’s lost the plot with a string of poor signings, coupled with terrible tactics and genuine bad luck in suspensions and injuries. Our form this year is shocking; we were bottom of the form table until we scraped a 1-0 win on Saturday to bottom of the league Peterborough. We weren’t great and if it weren’t for a crap penalty which Bunn saved, they’d have got a point. We are awful and you ought to be looking to lay us every single week until Blackwell (left) goes (more on this later).

Bristol City were also a bit ropey at the weekend, in losing 4-1 away at WBA. Overlooking that defeat to a decent side playing well, we have to go back to September 26th to get a defeat. They’ve held Newcastle to a goalless draw at St James’ Park in that time and in Nicky Maynard, they have a genuine goal threat. They’ve notched in eight of their last nine games (the one game being the 0-0 with Toon) and as we’re utterly awful, one goal is all they will need to score to see us off.

Historically we do okay against them, but only at home. We thumped them 3-0 not long back (but we had Beattie back then) but again, that was at the Lane. We haven’t beaten them at Ashton gate in the last eight attempts and you have to go back to 1971 to get a Blades win there and that was the year we won promotion to the old top flight (when we were actually pretty good).

We’ll likely be handing a debut to a new Goalkeeper (not good for an already shaky defence) and we’ve got some massive centre half in on loan from Fulham. If he plays, read as above. Our other central defensive options are the embarrassingly slow Jonathon Fortune and the embarrassingly awful Andrew Davies on loan from Stoke. I’m not sure if either of those will even be fit. Naysmith is still a couple of weeks away, Geary’s coming back from two years out injured and Kilgallon hasn’t been the same since the transfer rumours (and to be fair, he’s also carrying a knock).

If you pushed me for a correct score bet, I’d go 2-0 (9/1 widely available on the high street, better online) but that’s a little bit guessy and is more a gut feeling than anything else. The 13/10 about the win though, that’s just ridiculous. I can’t see how anyone can offer odds against, I really can’t. It just screams value. GET ON.

The other thing I’d like to draw your attention to is Victor Chandler’s “Next Manager To Leave Their Post” market. The atmosphere at the Lane is frosty and it’s getting to how it was under Robson, before the protests began. There have been a few minor protests already, though nothing serious. Blackwell is under huge pressure and rightly so, as he’s turned a side around from just missing out on automatic (and just missing out in a play-off final) to a side that look like they’ve never met each other but who now want to play hoofball. It is not sufficient to blame injuries, as he is the one who has sold all our fringe players (and some of our first team too) leaving us with a squad unable to cope with one or two absentees. It’s also him to blame for the ache in my neck, caused by watching horrendous hoofball. He has an excuse every week, which is not going down well with the fans, we'd rather see him man up and admit we're shit, before trying to set it right.

Still, there are other under-pressure managers out there, what’s so attractive about 7/4? Sturrock at 4/1 could be a better option? What swings it for me, is the takeover talk. There have been rumours now for months, that Red Bull were looking at taking us over. That could be dismissed easily enough, but Kevin McCabe has openly admitted that he is looking for outside investment and if you think about it, the goings on at the club over the last year really do point to a takeover. Why would a club with serious promotion aspirations, sell their best player to Spurs for four to six million pounds AND his ready made replacement for another two million? Why have we continued to sell the likes of Cotterill, bringing in loan players to replace them? The word “reprofiling” has been used from the day we lost in the play-off final. Why are spending money expanding the ground, when we won’t invest in the playing staff? We’re trying to make the club an attractive prospect for a buyer, by reducing the wage bill, getting the bank balance into the black, improving the ground and showing what a generally wonderful investment we are, with things like our World Cup 2018 stadium bid.

The clincher for this, is the appointment earlier this week of Trevor Birch (right). In case you don’t know who this chap is, he’s our new Chief Executive. What has he done in football? After a modest playing career, he got involved in accountancy and oversaw the Chelsea takeover (Abramovich), helped Leeds wipe their debt and prevented administration, before overseeing their takeover and was also lined up to appear on Southampton’s board, had their takeover gone through, which it didn’t. Can anyone see a theme here?

I guarantee our new Chairman, whoever it may be, will not want to watch ugly, losing football. That means the end of our favourite Keith Chegwin look-a-like. 7/4? Get on.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


I'm massively addicted to MMATycoon, a MMA Management Simulation game and this generally has taken up my entire life recently. Very addictive.

And I'm off work with a fucked back. Sigh.

Saturday Blog

It's fair to say this blog is dying. It could be a time for a re-think about contributors to give it a fresh injection, I don't know. Opinions?

The highlight of my year occurred last weekend when I attended UFC 105 in Manchester - it was simply incredible and I will be going to every UK-based event in the future. The atmosphere was tremendous and we got there just in time for the opening bout and all 11 fights were great. There was some great KOs and the most impressive fighter for me was Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson who won the most recent Ultimate Fighter. He destroyed an experienced Aaron Riley and the fight had to be stopped when he kneed a hole in Riley's face - Pearson could actually be the real deal. He was also 7/4 which was ridiculous. I had some multiples on which included Bisping (11/10); Hardy (7/4); Ozipczak (11/4!!!); and Taylor (2/1) - I only really put Taylor in there as he is amongst my favourite fighters but unfortunately he was the only guy to lose.

I have an accumulator running on from UFC 105 to 106 which is this weekend and Tito Ortiz looks a good bet in the main event against Forrest Griffin at 5/4. Ortiz will come back strong from his lay-off whilst Griffin looked an embarrassing mess against Anderson Silva. Ortiz by decision for me, which is 5/2 with Paddy Power.

Dom asked me the other day when the Betfred Eclipse was. I had no idea but decided to have a look to see if I can get a bet on. Turns out the first round is tonight at Nottingham and the final on Thursday I believe. The field is real class with many of the 18 dogs going to be amongst the favourites for the 2010 Derby.

The first heat (9:37) is a cracker with the favourite for the Derby, Eye onthe Storm, running from trap 1, as well as the delightful Bandicoot Tipoki in 3 and Wise Thought in 6. Storm is short at 6/4 for the heat and Tipoki is a ridiculous 5/1 at the moment - I've invested accordingly, as although Storm is a rightful favourite Tipoki is a great dog and has great pace between bends 1 and 2 so I hope he can make the best of an unfavourable draw.

Heat 2 (9:52) features my selection for the competition, Windy Millar. Windy Millar is a great dog and if not for a bit of bad luck would surely have made the final of the Derby. He's a little unpredictable from the traps but when he gets out in front you don't often see anything go past him. He is a middle seed which is massively in his favour in this competition as most of the favourites are railers - this means it is likely, as it is in this race, that traps 1-3 will be full of railers giving Millar a nice run up the middle. He has to contend with the great Fear Zafonic and Jordansolutions in this heat but should progress and is the value in the competition at 16/1 with Paddy Power. He's value at 11/2 for this heat too.

I fancy Romeo Maldini in heat 3 (10:07) - he's the best wide seed in the competition and I may have a nibble at 12s. He's 9/4 tonight and should only have Lenson Bolt to contend with but can pick him off late.

T3 Blonde Playboy (9/4) in the 9:07 is also worth a bet.

Betfred Eclipse

Windy Millar 16/1 Paddy Power

Romeo Maldini 12/1 Various

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

St Leger Final @ Wimbledon

Tonight's greyhounds on Sky come from Wimbledon where the St Leger Final is the main focus of the evening. Again, I should have had this up a few days in advance so that someone might read it before the card begins, but never mind.

My selections contain a large amount of speculation but the reward could be huge and in the Final I've went with T5 Fraziers Clone @ a tasty 10/1. IMO this should be about 5/1 at worst so a bit of value in backing it. It has ran 41:18 and 41:13 in it's last 2 races and the only dogs to have run faster are the ones in T4 and T6. Fraziers Clone should get first run on these out wide as it has better early. I certainly don't like the fav in T3 at a stupid price.

Keeping this brief, but I really like T1 Jolly Poacher in the 9:10 @ 4/1. Has incredible early and has form over most of these at Oxford. Last time out at Wimbledon it looked like it didn't break well but that can be excused due to it being the dog's first look.

I like T3 Forest May in the Sky opener as I think it can deny the jolly a run to the corner and win at a price. And Eye onthe Storm should be a banker in the 9:25.

7:40 - T3 Forest May 7/1
8:00 - T4 Pine Isle 5/2
8:15 - T6 Barnfield Chubby 5/2
8:35 - T3 Grayslands Tiger 10/1 - should lead, shouldn't hold on but 10/1
8:50 - T1 Gas Hawk 6/1
9:10 - T1 Jolly Poacher 4/1
9:25 - T1 Eye onthe Storm 13/8
9:45 - T5 Fraziers Clone 10/1

I've got some other stuff to blether about but I'll do that later in the week.


Thursday, 15 October 2009

Sunderland Dogs

I'll keep this relatively short as no one is likely to read it before the races. It's the Northern Puppy Derby Final night at Sunderland with the spectacle race running at 9:45. It's all live on Sky Sports Xtra from 7:30.

Most opinions narrow the final down to the two inside traps and they are priced 7/4 and 15/8, but I'm taking a chance on the 5 dog, Killieford Fire, at 6/1 with Skybet. It should have the best of the early on the outer and looks set for a solo. In the first round of the competition it ran 26:85 with a clear run and neither of the favourites have ran quite that fast. I think T5 is the value in this final.

I wouldn't even be betting this week if I didn't get a winning double on last week's Sky dogs. Bower Surfer was part of that double and looked a beast of a dog. I'm happy to back it again in the 9:25 and I think it has the beating of the favourite, Raving Black. The only negative is that it is it's first look at the track but that is the case for most in this race. It's currently available at 7/2.

Borderknockabout is an A1 dog at Sunderland but I think it has a great shout against these open racers in the 8:50. It has the excellent early to lead these out wide and in it's last outing it broke 27secs round here. It's 5/1 in most places, get on.

My last bet is Sniper Petra (T3) in the 8:35. It's the fastest dog in the race and as long as it can avoid T2 early on it should be oioioi @ 9/4.



Monday, 5 October 2009

November 9th - Scoop Troop meet up?

Alright folks?

As you may or may not know, November 5th is my birthday and I've got a week off just after it, so that I can come up to Dundee and enjoy my missus and some old mates. As you lot are more elusive than Jack The Ripper, I decided the only way I'd get to enjoy some of you was if there was some sort of event on, where I can catch you all at the same time. DUPS is a no-go for me that week, as I'm nipping over to Glasgow on the Tuesday to see Eddie Izzard with Laura, so I had a look at what race meetings are on in Scotland that week. Sadly, there are none.

Carlisle however, is ony a couple of hours on the train and there is a seven race National Hunt meeting, kicking off at 12.50 on Monday November 9th. With it being considerably further south than the likes of Kelso or Perth, it offers the opportunity for Tim to join the fun, should he so desire. The journey from York to Carlisle is comparable in terms of time, to that of Dundee to Carlisle. I realise this is all unlikely to happen anyway, because you poofters have no sense of adventure, but I'm throwing it out there for you to consider.

If you booked it now, you could arrange transport there and back for a shade over £30, with a combination of train and Megabus. That's Dundee to Carlisle and back, for Tim and Will I'm not sure what transport costs would be like. For parties of six or more you can get a few quid off your entry tickets to the course, but even without that, they're only £12 for the Grandstand anyway, meaning your costs would be around £40 - £45. A winning bet of £5 at 9/1 in the opener and you've only food and drink to worry about anyway...

Consider it please, chaps. Let me know soon-ish so we can crack on sorting it out. If this is a total no go, it'd be grand if someone could come up with something similar. Perhaps dogs or something Scott? I'm in Dundee from Saturday night (7th) until Tuesday afternoon (17th). The only night I'm busy so far is Tuesday 10th.

In other news, Sea The Stars is a machine.

Take it easy fellas.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


I haven't played poker online in a while, maybe 2 months.

Boo. I wish I was good!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Swansea vs Sheffield United

As you're probably all aware, I hate backing draws as I believe they're a poor long term bet, but I can't see any other result from United's trip to Wales today. I had a brief look at a few angles, including laying both sides, but I don't think laying either side represents any value.

There's no real head-to-head form with these teams. We drew in Swansea last time after playing terribly, with Morgan bailing us out at the death with a deft flick over the 'keeper that any striker would be pleased with and the Bramall Lane encounter was a better performance, though it was still tight; United winning 1-0 courtesy of a spot-kick. Prior to that, you're looking at league cup games and league matches from 25 years ago.

United had a hard match last time out, with the Steel City Derby as intense as ever and despite playing well enough to find themselves 3-0 up at half time, they sat back, invited Wednesday on and let them get back into the match, ensuring a frenetic and draining finish to the match.

Montgomery and Morgan, both absolutely crucial to United's campaign face late fitness tests and Kilgallon may still not be fully fit after his chest infection, which potentially leaves us with only on loan Andy Davies and just signed Jon Fortune as centre halves. It is this potential for disorder at the back which I believe will be our downfall today, as we discovered against Coventry the other week. With Kilgallon out, we had a defensive re-shuffle and despite scoring twice, stupid errors meant we shipped three goals for the first time in years and lost the game. I can see Swansea scoring from a set piece, coming about through our lack of organisation, rather than any brilliance on their part.

I can see us struggling for goals today. That may seem daft, as our record compares favourably with those in the division, but you simply have to factor in the opposition. Three against Wednesday included an own goal and a deflection off Henderson, Coventry are no great shakes and were comically bad defensively and a single goal saw off Derby, when we ought to have scored four. Jamie Ward's hamstring went in the Derby, so he'll be out for a few weeks and he's the only player who's looked like scoring of late. Based on this, I can't see us scoring more than one today.

Swansea's home record so far this term reads played four, drawn three. United have an excellent record on the road, one of the best in the league and I don't think we'll lose this game, I just question whether we've got the firepower to win it. I can see us scoring, missing countless chances and then allowing Swansea in, with Blackwell happy to take a point in what will be a tough encounter.

So although it's unlike me, I will be punting on the draw. Just a small stakes interest bet at a price that looks okay. 2.4 on Betfair and 9/4 with Coral are the best prices available. 1-1 (correct score) is only 6/1 on the exchanges, which seems a little stingy, so I can't really recommend it as it's no value, even though I reckon that will be the scoreline.

Swansea City vs Sheffield United
1 pt @ 2.4 (Betfair)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

UFC 103

UFC 103 is on ESPN tomorrow morning (3am I think) and I'll be setting my alarm for this. Had a few bets, nothing major.

None of Drew McFedries' last 9 fights have seen the 2nd round and I think tonight will be the same with McFedries winning. However, I can't find a round betting market for this fight so I'll just need to stick with the even money on offer at bet365.

Mirko Cro Cop is back in action tonight and the Pride veteran has some devastating striking and I'll be backing him to knock Dos Santos out in the 1st round with Paddy Power @ 5/1.

My final bet comes in the shape of Brit Paul Daley who is making his first appearance in the UFC and Affliction went busto. His fight with Kampmann could be a war and is an early contender for fight of the night. Daley is great value at 31/1o with Boyles.

Drew McFedries v. Tomas Drwal
Evens (bet365)

Mirko Cro Cop v. Junior Dos Santos
1st Round Victory
Paddy Power

Paul Daley v. Martin Kampmann

GL all,


Friday, 18 September 2009



Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

St Leger Preview

I haven't done a huge analysis of the race, but I have written a piece for some old work mates from my Texperts days, which can be viewed here. Well, it can't just yet as it has to be reviewed, but it'll probably be there Wednesday morning.

They've recently launched a new SMS based question answering service called Quext and their blog is still quite empty. If it's anything like Texperts, it'll be far better than the 118 people or AQA, but I haven't actually used it yet so I can't really comment. 82085 if you're interested, quid a chuck.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Weekend Football

The big game of the weekend in the EPL is of course the Man Utd - Arsenal clash at Old Trafford; with the bookies tending to slightly favour the home team over the free scoring Gunners. One to avoid for accumulator types, but tempting in a single / small stakes double is the draw, which is available for 11/5 with William Hills. Last season Arsenal took 4 points from the Champions, and I can see a share of the spoils being the result after 90 minutes tomorrow. If I was to stick my neck on the line I would predict a 1-1 scoreline. How contentious would an Eduardo penalty be to seal that one ?!

After giving the football betting a miss last Saturday after suffering from the usual "One result always lets you down" syndrom the week before. (Two trebles and a four-fold, all let down by my bankers; of course Villa at home to Wigan being one of them). I will however be enjoying a small tickler on the following tomorrow. Prices quoted are with William Hill. Short odds most of them, I realise; but I could really do with some points on the board rather than be too greedy !

Bolton - LIVERPOOL (8/15)
NEWCASTLE - Leicester (4/6)
BRADFORD - Torquay (EVS)

ABERDEEN - Motherwell (4/5)
Bristol City - MIDDLESBROUGH (13/10)
Colchester Utd - LEEDS (6/5)

Man Utd - Arsenal Draw (11/5)

Thanks for reading, and good luck all !
Mountain Man

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Terrible Night

Britania Flyer (advised @ 33/1) came 2nd in the Brighton Belle tonight. It led as expected but got picked off and lost by a length or so. Still a great run for our money in a 4 round competition.

Plus, a pretty torrid night on the Sky dogs with only one or two short priced winners. In the feature race, the selection Farloe Reason came 2nd with Windy Millar winning. Minor result in that I narrowed it down to those two and knew the favourites would struggle. Right read, wrong result.

Betfred Select Stakes @ Nottingham

The Betfred Select Stakes is one of the highlights of the greyhound racing year where six dogs are invited by the Greyhound Writers Association to run a one off race. The Stakes has been ran since 1952 and tonight's renewal at Nottingham, live on Sky Sports, looks to be a cracker. We have two Derby finalists in Fear Zafonic and Farloe Reason, as well as flying youngster Bandicoot Tipoki. The impressive Windy Millar, Cabra Boss and Crown Rover make up the six.

Bandicoot Tipoki (11/4) comes from trap 1 and has been flying recently winning 5 of his last 7 starts, including winning the Steel Cup at Sheffield. However, my worry has to be at the start with Tipoki as he has missed his last few breaks aswell as encountering trouble at the first. Granted he has still went on to win but this is a step up in class and he can't afford to give many of these a length or two at the start. Look out for Tipoki's pace between the first and second bend, very impressive.

Fear Zafonic (5/2), in trap 2, was the Derby favourite throughout but was caught on the line by Kinda Ready in the final. FZ much prefers trap 1 which was shown throughout his Derby campaign and he really struggles to dominate races from trap 2. This coupled with the fact that FZ has only had 4 solo races since May cast major doubts over his claims in my opinion.

Farloe Reason and Windy Millar come from T4 and T5 respectively and it is from these two that I see the winner coming. Readers of this blog, all 3 of you, will remember I tipped Farloe Reason for the Derby and he gave us a great run at 33/1 where he made the final to secure the e/w money. I can see Farloe Reason just getting the best of the early in this battle and I see him holding off Millar at the corner and once he gets in front he is very hard to pass. Farloe and Millar have both carded 30:05 over this trip in recent trials which is faster than both the favourites.

Crown Rover in trap 3 usually prefers a slightly longer trip and should be outpaced early whilst Cabra Boss in 6 is a good dog but has been carding times a good 4 lengths slower than the selection recently and I can't see him finding that tonight.

The rest of the card looks likely to be very enjoyable tonight with a sprinkling of class dogs. Gabba Gabba Hey, who I've tipped unsuccessfully in recent weeks, runs again and I'm giving him another chance as I think he is a classy type who likes to go past dogs on the longer trips. I seem to have picked alot of dogs from T6 so it may be an idea to look at the trap challenge but not sure we'll get a great price. I think I've found a piece of stonking value in the 9:10 race where Swift Blade can be backed at a massive 33/1. This is due to the excellent Wise Thought running but Swift Blade is a strong running type who finishes very strongly and is worth an e/w punt. He's 10/1 on Betfair without the favourite.

Here is my selections for every race live on Sky, with the best price currently available....

7:40 - T6 Droopys Taffy @ 7/4 Betfred
8:00 - T6 Mario Gomez @ 4/5 Betfred
8:15 - T6 Ten Large Down @ 9/4 Various
8:35 - T6 Gabba Gabba Hey @ 9/4 Various
8:50 - T4 Magna Flintoff @ 2/1 SkyBet
9:10 - T4 Swift Blade @ 33/1 SkyBet
9:25 - T3 Midway Skipper @ Evens Betfred
9:45 - T4 Farloe Reason @ 4/1 Various

GL all,


Monday, 24 August 2009

Coral Brighton Belle - Britania Flyer

Britania Flyer (advised @ 33/1) made it through to the final of the Brighton Belle at the weekend after finishing 2nd in its semi-final. The final is on Thursday where the live greyhounds are from Nottingham but hopefully they show this race too. Looks like it is going to be about a 7/1 shot in the final but I'll be hopeful it can lead and stay. All will be clearer when we see the draw but according to Oddschecker there are only 5 dogs remaining so something must have pulled out so this could have an effect on things.

Off work all this week but bills are crippling me so pretty skint therefore gambling will probably be kept to a minimum.


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Nunthorpe Preview

I couldn’t let York’s Ebor Festival pass without writing something, so I’ve decided to preview the feature race of the final day, the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. This looks a decent renewal, with three previous winners of the race lining up alongside the highly thought of winner of the Norfolk Stakes, Radiohead (above). The race is one of few opportunities for the two year olds to take on their older counterparts and it is Brian Meehan’s chestnut colt representing the young guns tomorrow, in a field of seventeen.

Taking my usual trend based approach, the first thing I notice is that Group form seems important, with eight of the last ten Nunthorpe winners having won a Group race, the other two having finished runner up. Mythical Border and Excellerator can be ruled out using this trend.

I should point out that I’ve excluded last year’s race for “last ten winners” purposes, as it was switched to Newmarket due to the flooding at York.

The age range of the last ten winners varies from two to nine years old, but Bahamian Pirate, the nine year old who took the Nunthorpe in 2004, is the only winner of the race older than six since the race was moved to York in 1980 and it could be argued that 2004 was a weak renewal anyway. There have only been a couple of winners in that same time period aged two and a couple more aged six. One of the six year olds was Borderlescott at Newmarket last year, which we are excluding anyway. So of the renewals run at York, 86% of winners were aged three to five, allowing us to chalk off Reverence, Tax Free, Benbaun, Borderlescott (above), Dandy Man, Mythical Flight, Moorhouse Lad and Radiohead.

Current form is also important, as half of the last ten Nunthorpe winners won their previous race, with a further three making the frame last time out. Using this trend, we can eliminate Equiano, Amour Propre, Look Busy, Ialysos and Art Connoisseur, leaving us with just two – Kingsgate Native and Captain Gerrard.

If I had to pick just one of these two, I would plump for Kingsgate Native (right). Admittedly it’s the favourite (best price 11/4, William Hill) and that might seem a little cowardly, but half of the last ten winners of the race have been favourites, with a further three coming from the front three of the market. The other two were priced 12/1 and 16/1 so it’s clearly not a race for shocks, which counts against 40/1 (Totesport) Captain Gerrard, but the other factor is the draw, as stalls 1-8 have provided seven of the last ten winners and the jolly is drawn in seven, whilst CG will break from 14.

However, I don’t have to pick just one. Quite a few times now I’ve written previews for the blog and whittled it down to two, before choosing the wrong one, much to my embarrassment. Captain Gerrard was only beaten a length last time out by Borderlescott, who won this race last year (admittedly at Newmarket) and has won over course and distance. 40/1 does seem to be too big, so tomorrow I’m going to back Kingsgate Native AND have an e/w saver on Captain Gerrard.

Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes
Thursday 21st August, 15:25
Kingsgate Native
3 pts win (11/4 William Hill)
Captain Gerrard
0.5 pts e/w (40/1 Totesport)

As you may be aware, I went to the first day of the festival with the missus and we had a good day out. As we had been in York for a few days before that, I'd not looked at any form whatsoever, so all stakes were kept to a minimum and we only had the one winner between us, when I backed Elusive Pimpernel at 4/1. Laura had a near miss with Hamish McGonagall, which she had backed each way at 6/1, but sadly there were no repeats of her 16/1 winner on her only previous race meeting. It wasn't about that though, I was there to watch Sea The Stars (we didn't bet in that race, obviously) who really is impressive and broke the course record in winning the Juddmonte International. Monster.

Nice to see the North beating the South in the football match that was organised in aid of the Injured Jockey's Fund. Dettori went from hero to villain, after opening the scoring for the South, but later missing what would have been the winning penalty in the shootout, as the North won 4-3 on penalties (3-3 in normal time). Great banter.

I do like York. I've been four times now and it's easily my favourite racecourse of the ten or so I've attended.

Apologies to Scott, who posted about an hour ago. Don't overlook his greyhounds post below this one.


Thursday innit

The greyhounds on Sky Sports switch from their more regular Tuesday for the Totesport Gold Collar Final at Belle Vue. It looks like a decent night's racing and I had a chance to read the RP on the trip back from Aberdeen today where I've been working. Not convinced I like Aberdeen too much and won't be rushing back after I finish there tomorrow.

Onto the racing, the final itself at 9:45 is a cracking race and picking the winner isn't easy despite a hot favourite in Crown Rover (2/1). Crown Rover comes from T2 and isn't guaranteed the best of it in the opening exchanges on the inside. There isn't much in it on the clock so if he faces trouble then he can easily be beaten. I'm going to take a chance on the sole wide seed coming from T6, Franks Lad. Franks Lad carded the fastest time of the competition in the semi finals and if quick away can win this. It surprises me that 5/1 is widely available so I'll be having a bit.

My NAP for this evening's card comes in the 9:10 679m race. Hillcross Legend comes from T5 and posted a fast time in a solo trial last week. That time is a good few lengths better than anything else in this in my opinion and with T4 and T6 not known for their trapping abilities we may see a nice clear run for Hillcross Legend. The 4/1 being offered should be enjoyed.

In the 9:25 Senga(T4) is currently 12/1 in a few places and I've got to have a bit of this because I believe it could win if it pings.

I've a few other fancies for Belle Vue and I also had a look at the Hove card and will be backing a good few for interest and hope to make a decent profit.

Belle Vue

8:35 - T1 Highview Rocket @ 5/1 Paddy Power - WON
9:10 - T5 Hillcross Legend @ 4/1 Ladbrokes - 4th
9:25 - T4 Senga @ 12/1 Stan James - 5th
9:45 - T6 Franks Lad @ 5/1 Ladbrokes - 4th

Hove with predicted prices

7:46 - T1 Move Closer @ 5/1 - WON @ 6/1 oi oi, some start
8:18 - T5 Greenacre Josh @ 2/1 - 5th
9:24 - T1 Mineola Alex @ 11/4 - 6th
9:41 - T5 Pacific Number @ 6/1 - 2nd
9:57 - T2 Linwood Whisper @ 6/4 - WON @ Evens
10:13 - T4 Festival Bound @ 6/4 - WON @ Evens
10:30 - T4 Sparklee Charlie @ 6/4 - 4th

GL all


Monday, 17 August 2009

Quick Dog Update

I've got Archaton Pine (125/1) left in the Irish Derby which I'm fairly happy with. It has pretty decent early and gets the trip. It won its 2nd round heat during the week so I'll be looking for it to go well in the 3rd round which is this week some time. Archaton Pine can't compete with the market leaders on the clock but with good draws and clear runs anything can happen. I had Wise Thought in this too but incredibly he was knocked out in a race where half a length covered the first 4 dogs and he carded a time that would have won most heats so that was a pretty much a bad beat.

Yesterday I tipped up Britania Flyer (33/1) for the Brighton Belle and I'm very happy with this bet as she won her heat in decent style to move into the semi-finals. Not entirely sure when the semis are but I'd be pretty confident she can make the final and then give me a good run for my money.

Planning on looking over all my selections in this blog and producing some records as I'm contemplating making up a staking plan which would allow me to increase stakes and dedicate more time to studying. I'm sure such records would show decent profits.


Sunday, 16 August 2009

Coral Brighton Belle @ Hove

This greyhound competition starts this afternoon and I have a small fancy. Although no one is likely to see this to get on in time it's good for me to record my bets.

I can never say no to an early paced dog and Britania Flyer has the best early in the entire competition. She has the early pace to grab a length lead over most in this and with a clear run she can run decent times. She's carded 30.04 around Hove recently which is quite decent. Not much in the competition can run sub-30secs so all things shape well for Britania Flyer. Special Liberty is the jolly in this competition and she flew round in 29.68 a few runs back but has proved to be expensive to back since for me - looks like she needs to lead to run. Britania Flyer is available at 33/1 with Stan James, but is as short as 12/1 in other places.

I've also had a nibble on Wintons Rubi @ 50/1 which is also with Stan James.

Oh, and sorry for posting the world's worst football selections yesterday, lol.


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Football, Football, Football

The top leagues in both Scotland and England kick off today after a break of nearly 3 months. Too long imo! My amateur season is also meant to start this afternoon but I've been hammered with a 4 match ban, furious!

I've had a ridiculous league winners combo bet: on Man Utd @ 11/4; WBA @ 6/1; Dundee @ 5/4; Rangers (Scottish Cup) @ 15/8; and Hibs (without big 2) @ 7/1. I'll be ridiculously rich if they all pull it off!

Onto today's action and I've started the season off with a number of selections which give us a decent amount of value. Hamilton visit Kilmarnock today and I have a feeling Kilmarnock will struggle this season. Hamilton performed well above expectation last season and despite losing star man, McCarthy, they will be looking to push on this season. They've strengthened a bit whereas Kilmarnock haven't spent a penny. I think Hamilton could be a stonking bet @ 16/5 with William Hill.

In the English Premiership, there is no way Blackburn are 14/5 (SkyBet) shots against Man City today and I'll be investing accordingly. Man City have a great squad now but I see them getting off to a slow start. Wolves also interest me at home to West Ham @ 17/10 with WH.

My other bet for today will be on Dundee away to Raith Rovers - Dundee are clear favourites for the 1st Division and should have far too much for recently promoted Rovers.

Kilmarnock v. Hamilton 16/5 WH
Blackburn v. Man City 14/5 SkyBet
Wolves v. West Ham 17/10 WH
Raith Rovers v. Dundee Evens Coral

GL all


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Wimbledon Dogs on Sky Sports Tonight

It is Puppy Derby Final night at Wimbledon and once again we are treated to live greyhound racing on Sky Sports. There simply isn't enough greyhound action on TV in my opinion. I have just given the card a look over and will be backing something in every race for interest. I've picked out a bit of value so all it takes is for one or two winners to guarantee profit.

In the Puppy Derby Final itself (9:45), Deanridge Rage leads the market and is as short as 6/4 in places but I can see it losing to Blood of Kings from T3. It has a length to find on the favourite but it should have the best of the early to gain an unassailable advantage over the rest. The 4/1 available with Boyles is value, I've got it a 5/2 shot.

I think my bet of the night comes in the 8:35 in the shape of Useful Asset from T5 @ 13/2 with Stan James. Brimardon Star is a fast dog, as shown by a track record at Sittingbourne last time out where it showed uncharacteristic early, but it often gives itself too much to do and 5/4 is far far too skinny. I see T5 and T1 (7/1) in the frame for this one.

Other bets I like are Exciting Ant (T6) @ 13/2 with Skybet for the opening race at 7:40 as well as T5 Monis Pet in the 8pm which can be backed at 4/1 with Stan James.

Here is what I'm backing tonight with the current best prices, good luck to anyone else who backs anything tonight...

7:40 - T6 Exciting Ant @ 13/2 (Skybet) - 4th
8:00 - T5 Monis Pet @ 4/1 (Stan James) - 1st @ 5/2
8:15 - T1 Shell to Sea @ 8/1 (Various) - 4th
8:35 - T5 Useful Asset @ 13/2 (Stan James) - 3rd (early trouble, great finish, vul)
8:50 - T6 Cranham Star @ 7/1 (Ladbrokes) - 1st @ 6/1
9:10 - T5 Bomber Bailey @ 11/4 (Stan James) - KO'd
9:25 - T4 Ardbeg Kate @ 3/1 (Will Hill) - 1st @ 2/1
9:45 - T3 Blood of Kings @ 4/1 (Boyles) - 2nd

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Irish Greyhound Derby, plus Sky Dogs Tonight

I'm sorry to bump Dom's excellent piece on this year's Coca-Cola Championship from the top but there is some decent greyhound action to talk about with the Steel City Cup final from Sheffield on Sky Sports at 9:45 tonight whilst the Irish Greyhound Derby starts tomorrow at Shelbourne.

The Irish version of the Derby is run over 550y which equates to a little over 500m meaning it is a slightly longer race than the English version. It's a finalist in the English Derby that I've turned to with my money. Wise Thought made the final in great fashion but couldn't succeed in the final. He's looked good in July when racing at Shelbourne with decent early sectionals and a fast 29.61 last time out. It's a bit short at 16/1 but as usual I think I've found some really good value in this competition. Archaton Pine is available at 125/1 with Stan James and if you fancy it on the nose you can have some of the 160 available on Betfair. The dog is a bit inconsistent but can be very fast out the traps and has the ability to post low times. It's the best value I can find and I'm sure it can go well in this competition. I've also had a nibble on Greenwell River @ 100/1 and Tyrur Bomber @ 100/1. Can get bigger for both on Betfair.

Onto tonight's greyhound action on Sky from Sheffield and I said last week in the comments box that I'd be looking to back Gabba Gabba Hey again and I get the chance tonight in the 8:35 race. Last week it just failed to get up when losing by a head but it'll come on for that run and this race is slightly longer so I think the 5/1 quoted is an excellent price. Get involved. I'm also going to back Magna Flintoff in the showpiece race at 9:45 because although Bandicoot Tipoki is a great dog it is too short at evens and Magna Flintoff can ping out and make all.


Irish Greyhound Derby

Wise Thought @ 16/1 (Various)
Greenwell River @ 100/1 (Various)
Tyrur Bomber @ 100/1 (Various)
Archaton Pine @ 125/1 (Stan James)

8:35 Sheffield 04/08/09

T3 Gabba Gabba Hey @ 5/1 (Ladbrokes)

9:45 Sheffield 04/08/09

T3 Magna Flintoff @ 10/3 (Stan James)

GL everyone,


Sunday, 2 August 2009

Championship Preview

I’m at a loose end and haven’t done any writing for a while, so here’s a Championship preview. It’s a tad epic, sorry.

Barnsley played a lot of good football last season and if Simon Davey had spent more time concentrating on matters footballing, rather than publicly mourning the loss of his star striker to injury, they would have stayed up far more easily than they did in the end. When they came to the Lane, they passed it about a lot and counter attacked well. In Campbell-Ryce they have a tricky, quick winger who’ll chip in with goals as well as creating them but they lack a real goal threat. Onome Sodje from York is not the answer and the loss of the statuesque German goalie Heinz Müller is a real blow. They’d achieve more under a more positive manager in my opinion.
Verdict: Relegation battle.

Blackpool are a poor side who, in my opinion at least, have only stayed up these last two seasons because there have been so many other poor sides in the division. Despite the appointment of Ian Holloway, who I like a lot, I really can’t see where the improvement is going to come from. Their only summer signing of note is the experienced Jason Euell, but you can’t see him being the difference between bottom half and top half of the table and he was hardly pulling up trees at Southampton. Only two Championship sides conceded more goals than Blackpool on their home patch last season, a record which will not be improved by the sale of Shaun Barker to Verdict: Relegation battle.

Bristol City look like being without want-away goalie Adriano Basso, who really impressed me last season. Dean Gerken has signed on a free, but he’s surely not the long term answer, although Lewin Nyatanga should be a useful addition to the City defence. The season before last, City rode the wave of their promotion and were on a high, reaching the play-off final, but last season they seemed to have been found out a little. This season, I can see envisage another backward step, unless they produce a quality ‘keeper from somewhere and add in a regular goalscorer. They will miss the physical presence of Adebola, who notched ten times last term to finish as their second top scorer.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

Cardiff City came to the Lane for a draw early last season and got it, in a physical, battling 0-0 draw. They looked solid and difficult to break down and they were nailed on for at least a play-off spot, before spontaneously combusting at the back of the campaign. With Heaton going back to Manchester United, they’ve signed the dodgy David Marshall from Norwich, who looked incredibly shaky for the Canaries at the Lane and who formed the backbone of the second worst defence in the league last year. Their other big signing so far this summer is Mark Hudson, the defender from Charlton, the side with the worst defensive record in the league last season! They have some talented attacking players, notably Ross McCormack and Michael Chopra who has made his loan permanent, but look ropey as anything at the back and I can see it being “as you were” for the Bluebirds.
Verdict: Play-off push.

Coventry City would be relegation material if it weren’t for their forward line. Leon Best, Freddie Eastwood and Clinton Morrison wouldn’t look out of place in any of the top sides in this league, but the rest of their side is just really poor. We drew with them early on last season despite having ten men for most of the game and conceding a penalty. They looked so poor, lacking a real cutting edge, despite the aforementioned names and they look even weaker this year, after releasing Mifsud and selling two key defenders, in Scott Dann and Daniel Fox. Similar to Blackpool, they just keep staying up because of the number of poor teams down the bottom end, but with the sides coming up looking a bit useful, they could really struggle this time out.
Verdict: Relegation battle.

Crystal Palace look to me as though they are going to struggle. They were not particularly impressive last season and Neil Warnock had to blood a lot of youngsters. You do wonder how much his heart is still in it, as he often spoke about retiring when he was still with United and a good few years have passed since then, with his side making no obvious progress on the field. Darren Ambrose should be a useful addition, though I’d rate outgoing winger Paul Ifill as better than Ambrose and in Stern John, they have a replacement for Kuqi, but again, I’d rate Kuqi higher than John. It’s going to take something special for them to improve on 15th place.
Verdict: Relegation battle.

Derby County are real dark horses this year. They struggled a bit last season, but they finished us off at their place when we were in our poor spell and when we beat them 4-2 at the lane, we never looked comfortable. How do you score four goals in a game and not feel certain to win? They played a mixed game, going long when needed but looking capable of passing it through you and that style of football is what gets you out of the Championship. I like Clough as a manager and with last season under his belt, his first full season in charge could ruffle a few feathers. With key players returning from injury and a couple of sensible additions this summer (Shaun Barker looks a good signing whilst Lee Croft gives them an extra attacking option) they have the makings of a top six side. They won’t win the league, but 25/1 is insulting and 8/1 for promotion, bearing in mind that includes finishing sixth and winning the play-offs, looks almost tempting.
Verdict: Play-off push.

Doncaster Rovers are a great little club. They really go about things the right way; they try to play good, passing football and I like to see them punching above their weight. In Wellens and Stock, they had a really good midfield pairing last season and if they’d got a 20 goal striker, they’d have been sniffing around the play-offs, I really believe that. They made us look like mugs at Bramall Lane, when we tried everything and couldn’t break them down, before resorting to hoofball – they made us look awful. The 2-0 win at their place flattered us too. The sale of Wellens will hurt them, but they’re never going to be able to turn that sort of money down. Unless they re-invest the money in a striker, the best they can hope for is to stay up again, but I can’t see them spending the sort of money required.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

Ipswich Town were no great shakes last season and I can’t see what all the fuss is about this term. To have them shorter than Sheffield United in the market is frankly bizarre, as they haven’t signed anyone of Earth-shattering proportion and if you look at the probable first eleven, it’s not going to strike fear into many people’s hearts, that’s for certain. The only striker they’ve got that I rate (Stead) wasn’t picked by Keane at Sunderland and their main strength is their solidity at the back, but big deal, many teams have that (including one Sheffield United). Bizarre. I think they’ll be one of a host of sides to flirt with the play-offs before finishing in an amazingly dull position, like 10th.
Verdict: Play-off push.

Leicester City look set to be the side that get promoted to the Championship and ride the wave, probably finishing in the lower reaches of the top half of the table. Their side is full of players with experience at this level, blended nicely with promising youngsters. N’Guessan is a real prospect and Hobbs has made his loan move from Liverpool permanent. Robbie Neilson and Richie Wellens are useful additions and crucially, they’ve held onto Matty Fryatt. On paper they look a better side than the likes of Coventry and Blackpool and it’s good to have them back at this level.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

Middlesbrough are too good for this division on paper, but it’s been a long time since they were at this level and you wonder how well they’ll adjust. Aliadiere, Tuncay and Mido are quality, but how will they respond to the lumps they’ll have kicked out of them, the fact that there’s far less time on the ball in this league and the trips to Plymouth and Scunthorpe on a cold, wet Tuesday night? I can see them struggling initially and I’m glad we’ve got them early doors while they’re still getting used to their new surroundings. If they win that opening game, they’ll walk this division. If they struggle and start slowly, questions may be asked, but I’m sure they’ll be winning games by September and I can’t see them finishing outside the top two.
Verdict: Promotion probables.

Newcastle United – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer club. If ever there was a blueprint for how not to run a club, it’s the barcodes. Stuck with a bunch of injury prone and past it mercenaries, with a wage bill the size of a pre-op Langham, they’re going to struggle to get started in this division. I’d back them to go down before I back them to go up and the odds of 6/1 for the title are hilariously short, but can you really see them outside the top ten in the division? Harper, Geremi, Martins… If they get to grips with the Championship, they ought to be running away with the title, but the pressure of expectation and a squad full of sulking prima donnas could spell disaster.
Verdict: Play-off push.

Nottingham Forest look as though they’re really going for it. They were poor last season, but they’ve chucked a few million at it this summer and are completely overhauling the side, bringing in no fewer than eight players. There’s a good blend of experienced Championship campaigners (Dele Adebola, Paul McKenna and Dexter Blackstock) and talented youngsters (Chris Gunter and David McGoldrick) but you can’t just piece together a side like that and expect it to click. They’ll stay up with ease having strengthened, but they might have to wait until next term to have a crack at the play-offs.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

Peterborough United are not a side I know a huge amount about, as they’ve won back to back promotions to get to this level. I hardly recognise any of the names in their squad and the ones they’ve brought in are mostly alien to me as well. The bookmakers have them priced similarly to the likes of Watford and Sheffield Wednesday, which suggests they have more than a chance of staying up, but they’re a complete unknown quantity, which will catch a few sides out with complacency. Will their players who have performed at the levels below the Championship be able to cut it on this stage? It’s difficult to say, anyone who gives a firm answer either way is basically guessing. I think he lack of experience at this level will be key, but in Ferguson, they have a forward thinking manager who is definitely going places.
Verdict: Relegation battle.

Plymouth Argyle were terribly inconsistent last time out, beating Coventry 4-0, drawing with promoted Birmingham 1-1 and yet losing 3-0 to Doncaster all in the last month of the season. To me, they look set for another struggle unless Sturrock can sort that out. The signing of Carl Fletcher and Bradley Wright-Phillips will improve their squad but the odds of 5/2 about the Pilgrims being relegated about right to me.
Verdict: Relegation battle.

Preston North End did well last season and they will have improved for that experience. They deserved their spot in the play-offs but being brutally honest, they were never going to trouble Sheffield United in that fixture and you would have expected any of the three play-off rivals to have comfortably brushed them aside. They will no doubt be sniffing around the play-offs again, but they have failed to strengthen this summer and have lost the influence of Paul McKenna, who played over 400 times for the club. You would feel that this season should be when they throw a bit of money at it and kick on, but they don’t seem to have done that and in standing still in this league, you’ll soon find you’re going backwards.
Verdict: Play-off push.

Queens Park Rangers were everyone’s favourites to go up last year, after the money men came in. It soon became apparent that they were totally awful and three of Billy Sharp’s tally of four for the season came in one game against them. Boy were they poor. Their side is full of average, journeyman players, such as Rowan Vine, Martin Rowlands, Mikele Leigertwood and Patrick Agyemang, while their new boss is also markedly average – Jim Magilton. They’ve just splashed £3.5 million on some Argentine kid that noone’s ever heard of and I’ll bet as much as you like that by the end of September, he’s fed up of Scunthorpe, Plymouth and Barnsley and he’ll be as much use to them as me.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

Reading are an interesting one, I don’t know what to make of them. They really pushed the self destruct button last season after a good time over the last few years under Coppell. He admitted himself he couldn’t work out was going wrong. Brendan Rodgers is a highly rated manager and it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on, as the pressure to succeed will be great. I used to be terrified of Reading but in beating them last season, we ended a very long run of poor results against them and I can honestly see the wheels coming off, they just don’t look that good on paper any more. They’re obviously going to be in the play-off hunt, but I don’t see them as the title contenders they once were.
Verdict: Play-off push.

Scunthorpe United will go down, I’m sure of that. They’ll get a few results here and there as anyone can beat anyone is this league, but looking at their side, there are only one or two left from their last campaign at this level and they don’t look any better for all the changes. Blades rejects Forte and Hurst are amongst their better players and League One really is about their level. It’s going to be a long hard slog for the Iron.
Verdict: Relegation battle.

Sheffield United were unlucky not to go up last year really, but sadly we choked on the big stage as we so often do. The truth is, if we’d been more clinical in just one or two games over the course of the season, the play-offs wouldn’t have been necessary anyway. Losing Naughton is a major blow, but the money has allowed us to invest in Lee Williamson and Ched Evans (whose stats don’t make great reading, I will wait and see before I proclaim him the new messiah as some Blades fans have done) and in Kyel Reid and Andy Taylor, we’ve added pace and attacking ability to our left hand side, which has been weak for some years now. These are young lads with potential to develop, which I’m happy with. Ryan France and Glen Little will give us further central midfield and right hand side options, assuming they can overcome their injury problems. Judging by the signings, we’re almost certainly going to play the dynamic 4-5-1 that served us so well last season, as we’ve hardly got any strikers but now have two wingers on each side, with Quinn and France able to play either wide or centrally, and Williamson, Montgomery, Howard and Hendrie all offering different options in the middle. Our strength last year was at the back, but that could be compromised with the sale of Naughton on the right, Naysmith missing the first three months injured and Paddy Kenny facing a ban of up to two years for failing a drugs test. For all the strengthening we’ve done in midfield (which was needed) I feel we’ve gone backwards in other areas and another play-off campaign sounds about right for us.
Verdict: Play-off push.

Sheffield Wednesday are not in the greatest shape. Brian Laws must be praised for the job he’s doing there, as they are punching well above their weight with their resources. They’re skint and their squad isn’t great, but they keep plugging on, threatening to make a late bid for the play-offs and never looking in danger of going down. Hell, they even beat us twice last season, though they were more than just a tad fortunate in the first of those two contests and Tudgay’s winner at the Lane was worthy of winning any match. In Grant, they have a quality young ‘keeper and Wood, Beevers and Spurr are great prospects at the back. The addition of Purse looks a sensible one and if Esajas, Jeffers and Sodje can stay fit, they might surprise a few. But the reality is they won’t - they must be the three most injury prone players in the division. They are going to be very lucky to hang onto all of their best players this side of January as they’re broke and if they don’t get a good start, they could be in trouble.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

Swansea City were over-hyped last season. Yes they pass it around and play pretty football, but how effective were they really? We were poor against them at their place and not much better at ours, but we had four points off them. They’re a wet dream for the purist, but realists like me need a bit of substance too and just five wins away from home is a shocking return for a side with genuine play-off aspirations. They’ll miss Scotland’s goals and new boss Paolo Sousa is inexperienced, hardly making much of an impact at Millionaire’s Playground FC before being sacked, so I’ve no reason to believe they’ll do anything much at all this season.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

Watford used to be a real bogey side for us, but now they’re more like our feeder club and I have no fear of them whatsoever. They are rubbish and their negative approach to their time in the Premier League was a real wasted opportunity. They’ve invested nothing in the playing staff over the last couple of years and they play in a crumbling rust bucket of a ground. I’m not sure why we keep signing their players to be honest, because they look for all the world like a struggling Championship side They look certain to lose Tommy Smith too, which would be a major blow to them, as I wouldn’t have a clue where their goals would come from if he left. If he leaves, I can see them going down, but if he stays, they’ll have a nothing season.
Verdict: Mid-table mediocrity.

West Bromwich Albion look the side best equipped to make an immediate return to the top flight after relegation. A sensibly run club, they would have been preparing for this season’s promotion push for the best part of a year. I would have fancied their chances more under Mowbray, as continuity is important and I question whether Di Matteo has the experience to get a side out of what is a very difficult and competitive league. Sure, he did well in his short time at the well-bankrolled MK Dons, but pretty football and money don’t get you out of the Championship. That said, they’ve kept their squad together and they look strong enough to mount a promotion push, with experience at this level (and higher) throughout the side.
Verdict: Promotion probables.

Here's my predicted table. I look forward to seeing how wrong this is come May.

Sheffield United
Newcastle United
Derby County
Cardiff City
Ispwich Town
Preston North End
Swansea City
Leicester City
Nottingham Forest
Bristol City
Sheffield Wednesday
Doncaster Rovers
Coventry City
Peterborough United
Plymouth Argyle
Crystal Palace
Scunthorpe United

Weight Loss Bet Results

Well after just short of 3 weeks the weight loss bet has ended and resulted in me winning! Wooooo. Thinner and richer. Managed to lose 13lbs and I do feel better for it. Gav and Budge didn't really seem to try and pretty much just gave up, easy monies!

Was a friend's stag yesterday and we went clay pigeon shooting followed by a messy drinking session. I managed to fall over and smash my face.

The Irish Greyhound Derby starts this week so look out for a preview on Tuesday probably.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Hove Greyhounds on Sky Sports Tonight

I'm really looking forward to tonight's greyhound action on Sky Sports tonight. Hopefully I can pick a few winners too. I really want to bet on every race and I've picked something for every race but it's just not the profitable thing to do so I've limited myself to only 3 selections today.

8:15 - T5 Loyal Rebel 11/2

Ballymac Well is the short priced favourite in this race at 8/13 but I think Loyal Rebel represents good value in this race. It was two lengths down on Ballymac Well last week but I think it can improve on it's second look at the track. Loyal Rebel will get a nice run as the only middle seed in the race whereas Ballymac Well could see trouble if it doesn't get a flyer!

8:50 - T3 Special Liberty 2/1 NB

A repeat of last week's run would see Special Liberty have 3-4 lengths on anything else on this race. He got a clear run that day and I don't see any reason why that won't happen again as traps one and two don't pack much early. Really though it was going to be 5/4ish when I checked the prices.

9:10 - T6 Gabba Gabba Hey 7/2 NAP

Don't expect to see GGH pinging the lids but this thing will be finishing like a train and is my bet of the night. Brimardon Star is the favourite at about 5/2 and is a dog I like but without doubt GGH can win here. Slight negative in that it has had a reasonably long lay off but Gabba broke the track record over a similar distance at Belle Vue only 3 runs ago.

GL all,


Glorious Goodwood

As it’s the opening day of Glorious Goodwood today, I thought I’d preview a couple of the races that will kick off the five days of festivities on the Sussex Downs. Sadly, I haven’t had time to do as much as I’d have liked and I have to go to work shortly, but here’s a quick look at the feature race, the Group Two Lennox Stakes (a.k.a Betfair Cup).

The contest will feature a mouth watering rematch between the July Cup second and third, Sir Michael Stoute’s Main Aim and the South African talent J J The Jet Plane. As ever, I’ve tried to come at it from a trends point of view, though it is important to note that this race has only been contested nine times, so the trends may not be completely reliable anyway.

The strongest trend is related to the distance, as eight times out of nine, the winner had already scored over 7f. The market trends send out a mixed message, as only one favourite has won, yet seven times out of nine the winner has come from the front three in the betting, suggesting we shouldn’t be looking too far away from the main players, even if heading the betting appears to be a negative.

The lowest official rating of a winner to date is 108, with the next lowest at 110. I’m quite happy to rule out Express Wish and Regal Parade based on their 107 ratings and I’m crossing off Finjaan, as the colt is yet to score over 7f.

One trend I expected to crop up, failed to materialise – only two winners had previously won over Goodwood’s quirky undulations and that figure includes Nayyir, who won the race back to back in 2002 and 2003. Last time out form doesn’t appear hugely important either, with only three from nine scoring on their previous outing.

All previous winners have been aged three to five, so it doesn’t bode well for the older horses, allowing me to rule out the six year olds (Balthazaar’s Gift and Asset, who appears unlikely to run anyway).

The only other thing I spotted, was that six of the nine had previously won a Group race. I’m ruling out Dream Eater based on that, as the grey doesn’t look classy enough to win today.

This whittles the field down to the front three in the market, which fits quite well with the aforementioned market trends and means I’m simply going to have to oppose the favourite, Main Aim. Stoute’s team are in good form, as displayed by the recent 1-2-3 finish in the King George and Main Aim did beat JJTJP (pictured, above) in the July Cup by half a length, but I think the Stoute colt gets 6f better than JJTJP and the return to 7f is going to favour the South African, who was doing his best work that day in the closing stages. These two should finish ahead of Ouqba on the form at least, so I’ll be backing J J The Jet Plane at a shade over 4/1 on the exchanges.

15:25 Goodwood
J J The Jet Plane
1 pt @ 4/1 (Sporting Bet)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday @ Hove

Most likely heading down to the Gala this afternoon to play in the £30 double chance tournament. I think Kenny and Gav will also be coming so should be good. Thought I'd have a look at one of the dog cards for today to keep me occupied and I'll mostly be backing these today.....

12.42 - T6 Nearest The Jack 3/1 NAP - 4th slow away, and bumped at 1st, blah
12.58 - T6 Rylance Classic 3/1 - NR
1.27 - T5 Fivestar Motel 3/1 - 2nd blah
1.44 - T5 English Rose 7/2 - shoot me
2.12 - T1 Quick Temper 5/2

I've made NTJ my main selection today as I think the race is set up perfect. T3 has unbelievable early pace and should deny the inside runners a decent run but it never gets the trip. The selection, T6, should break on at least level terms with the rest and has the recent times to beat anything in this.

GL all,


Saturday, 25 July 2009


Will the football season please hurry up!

Good write up on the King George from Will below. I'll take your advice and have some on Conduit but 2/1 too short for a single for me so going to stick it in some combos with this lot below. No early prices, so prices are just RP predictions....

Crayford 12.39 - T1 Glenthorn Lass 7/2
Crayford 12.57 - T5 Newlawn Chloe 5/2 - WON
Romford 12.17 - T5 Fridays Jewel 5/2
Romford 1.04 - T6 Slieve Rain 9/2
Romford 1.49 - T3 Compliance Spark 5/2 - WON

GL all,


EDIT: 9 or 10 days into the weight loss prop bet. This is the healthiest I've felt for a long time. Still fat but I've probably dropped a pound or two. I'm getting mixed reports about the other two - I think they are trying to bluff me with reports of pizza and ice cream eating whereas others are saying they are looking slimmer. Going to push on this week and hopefully lose 3 or 4 pounds total.

Friday, 24 July 2009

King George Preview

This years renewal of the famous King George takes place at Ascot tomorrow. This midsummer event has been won by some of the greats in recent years with Montjeu and Galileo leading the list of previous winners. Last year saw an epic battle with Duke of Marmalade pipping the Sir Michael Stoute trained Papal Bull by a small margin. Whilst this years race is very competitive some would argue that the quality of the race is below the standard. However with the roll of honour of this year’s field including a St Leger, an Irish Derby, a Breeders Cup Turf and an Oaks then this would suggest this race is of the highest standard.

The betting is headed by one of a trio of runners for Sir Michael Stoute, Conduit. This horse improved rapidly towards the backend of last year and graduated from an early season Epsom handicap win to a famous St Leger and Breeders Cup double. He posted a solid comeback run behind Cima de Triomphe at Sandown and then followed this up with another solid run when 3rd to Sea the Stars in the Eclipse. There is nothing of the calibre of Sea the Stars today and he looks a worthy favourite to follow in the footsteps of the owners Golan and claim this prize.

The same stable is also responsible for the second favourite in the shape of 2008 Epsom Derby runner up Tartan Bearer. This one scraped home on his seasonable reappearance before a highly creditable showing when third to Vision D’etat at Ascot. He looks sure to benefit for the step back up in trip but he doesn’t have a great win ratio and appears to lack the top class form normally required to win this race.

The Stoute trio is completed by Ask. He proved a revelation when stepped up to staying distances in the Yorkshire Cup back in May and proved the step back to 1m4f to be of no concern when getting the better of Youmzain and Look here in a classic Coronation Cup finish. The form of that race is already looking suspect though with both the aforementioned running poor races in their subsequent outings and prior to his Epsom win he had looked out of his depth at Group 1 Level.

Look Here was behind Ask at Epsom but that was her comeback run and improvement would be expected. That was not the case at the Curragh though where she ran a poor race, admittedly on bad ground, in the Pretty Polly. The return to better ground and step back up in trip will likely help her but it is a tall order for a filly or mare to win this race.

Aidan O’Brien took this prize last year and attempts to follow up with Golden Sword and Frozen Fire. Golden Sword was a shock winner at Chester and has since ran good races in the English and Irish Derby. He already looks exposed though and it is concerning to see his stablemate Masterofthehorse whose form ties in closely with him has been sold from the stable this week. At the current price he looks very short for a horse who has won just 2 out of 8 races contested. The other stable runner Frozen Fire won last years Irish Derby in fine style but has shown little form of note since. If he bounced back his best he has the potential to trouble the market leaders but he doesn’t look a horse to have much faith in and therefore would not be one to place the kids inheritance on.

The other runners all look out of their depth and it would be a massive surprise to see them troubling the judge.

This does look a fine opportunity for Conduit to add a third group one to his trophy cabinet. After writing this one off with no chance of winning last years St Leger he has proved me wrong and his Breeders Cup win showed him to be a colt of the highest order. Whilst he was put in his place in the Eclipse that was over a trip short of his best and back to his optimum trip it would be no surprise to see him land this famous prize. Of those at bigger prices it may be worth giving Frozen Fire one last chance in the hope he can recover his early 3 year old form. For the layers out there I would suggest a lay of Golden Sword in the place market.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Quiet Month (Again !)

It's not very often I look camp, so I thought I would treat you to this lovely photo !!!

I've had very little going on in the gambling / gaming world, so I'm afraid this post will be a quick "life update" ! However, the footie season is around the corner (in fact I believe it's only a fortnight until the opening English Football League season kicks off, someone correct me if I am wrong), so I may have a bit of a punt on some promotion / relegation candidates after the final comings and goings have occurred in the transfer market.

The main reason I haven't been punting has been a lack of disposable income, owing to a plethora of holidays and trips away. With a holiday in the Lake District, closely followed by a weeks racing in the Isle of Man and in a fortnights time a week in Scotland, I've had little time to draw breath ! I've also tucked away a years supply of barbecues and beer in less than a month, to the extent I've become sick of them ... I'm sure that will change soon enough though !

I'll be in Dundee on Wednesday 12th August (the glorious twelfth !) if any fellow troopers fancy drinking ? I mentioned the prospect of a cash game to Kenny, but apparently issues with venues make this an almost non-starter. As my accommodation that week will be at the Hilton, I'm sure it would be rude not to call into the Gala Casino of an evening !

Hope to catch some of you up there soon, guys !

Thanks for reading,

Mountain Man

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Happy memories from last Saturday night

Remember this?! 1:11 the important part!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

moDtheGod's Midlands Meanderings

Managed to score a couple of consecutive days off for the first time in a while and as I’m not cripplingly skint for a change, I decided to go racing for the first time since Hamilton last month, when I went with fellow Troopers Kenny and Will. The nearest meeting today was Uttoxeter, which is a lot closer than I ever realised, being an exactly an hour away on the train from Chesterfield, including a 15 minute change at Derby. To darkest Staffordshire it would be, then.

Sadly, I had worked from 9.00 until 21.30 yesterday, and in a different shop to usual, so my head was a little bit fried and I did exactly zero form studying when I got home, opting to keep stakes to the minimum and simply enjoy the day out. Sadly, this was reflected in my betting performance, as I didn’t find a single winner. I only had two e/w bets place, at 9/1 and 11/2.

I did a little placepot as an interest bet; 24 ten pence lines and the dividend was £310-ish. Frustratingly, the only race I didn’t get any selections to place in was the fifth, where one of my picks came fourth by a length. Had that one snatched third (or had it remained first four for the place – quite a lot of horses pulled out) I’d have had four lines up and assuming a similar dividend I’d have been scooping about £130 for my £2.40 outlay. Gah!

The course itself is great. It is literally right next to the train station, which is perfect for me; no fannying about with shuttle buses and it’s about three minutes in all, from stepping off the train to the turnstiles. I paid for the Grandstand (£16) which was more than adequate for me, with access to the winners enclosure and good views of the final furlong, whilst still being able to walk up the grass to get up close to the fences. The bars were big and spacious and I was served quickly, same for the food, but that was grotesquely overpriced. The beer wasn’t cheap at £3.20 for John Smiths, but that’s no different than any other track and as the meeting was Beer Festival themed, there were quality real ales on sale in the beer tent at three quid a pop, which is actually not bad at all. I rather enjoyed Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA. The Premier Enclosure didn’t look as though it offered much else, but then it was only £4 dearer to get in. The cheap seats looked alright; a large area in the centre, which looked as though it offered similar views, but for just £8, though it didn’t seem from where I was to have much in the way of catering or betting facilities.

Unlike some courses, I did have access to a cash machine (take note, silly Beverley people) and the only negative I could find, was unfortunately quite a sizeable one – no big screen! What use is it at a National Hunt venue, when you can only see the last few furlongs? You can’t see how your horses are jumping for the vast majority of each race! I enjoyed the AW meeting at Southwell despite the absence of a screen, but you can get away with it in a five furlong sprint. That said, I’d still score Uttoxeter quite highly and I will try and get back in future, probably for the big meeting, the Midlands National in March.

Got to see some real heroes of mine in action today, in the shape of A P McCoy and Timmy Murphy, neither of whom enjoyed any success. The champion jockey actually had five rides today and failed to fire in a winner. What a top bloke though, after getting beat on the hot favourite in the last, rounding off a dismal meeting for him, he found time to banter with a couple of lasses and pose for a picture. Had any of you lot been with me, I'd have gone and pestered him for a picture too, he's a legend. Noone to take my pic :(

I’m absolutely shattered as I didn’t get a proper lie in today and I've worked the last seven days in a row. I’ve also been on my feet all day today and could really use some sleep. However, there’s racing at Leicester tomorrow and I can get there direct from Chesterfield, in just 45 minutes. Honestly I’m really tempted and if I don’t oversleep, I think I’ll probably go. Once again I’ve studied no form, as I haven’t had chance, but it’ll be another decent day out!

Here’s another of my little videos, this time of some random Uttoxeter stuffs.

Good luck to those competing in the weight loss prop. Take it easy folks.

The Three Fatties: Prop Bet

During the cash game at the weekend Gav discussed wanting to lose weight so I offered some sort of bet to encourage him cos I'm always fat. We couldn't really agree on the details because I wanted the bet to run to the end of August but he wanted something short term which I wasn't overly delighted with because this means it's more of a starvation thing imo, I could be wrong. I would have been happy to bet a larger amount over the longer period but in the end we decided on a small monetary bet to keep it friendly. Budge ( ) is in on it too, making it a three way battle. See the current weights in the photo attached to the bottom of the post.


Start Date: 15/07/09
Finish Date: 01/08/09
Rules: Person who loses the biggest percentage of their body weight wins. Winner receives £25 from each of the two losers.