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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Irish Derby at the Curragh

Morning folks, it's a good weekend of sport with the Irish Derby at the Curragh, Dublin hurlers v Kilkenny and the Dublin footballers v Kildare.

The Irish Derby is a hard one to call. Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World is the one to beat on form but he's just a little short in the betting for my liking. Could be a cracking race though - here's today's Irish Independent article:

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Today's Irish Independent article:

Mount Athos, which is situated in an autonomous region within Greece, is inhabited by 1,800 monks and has no less than 20 monasteries scattered throughout.  Interestingly, no women or children are allowed to visit the holy mountain and the number of daily male visitors is strictly limited. As much as we all love our women and kids, I reckon a male-only mountain like Mount Athos would prove extremely popular in Ireland although it would have to have a boozer and bookies if it were to catch on. While I don't have a mountain to go up, I do have my own little sanctuary in the shape of my local bar and on my way up this afternoon, I'll be sure to stop into the bookies and back the Luca Cumani trained horse named after the Greek mountain which seems a cracking bet at 5/2 for the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot (3.05). I stuck Mount Athos in my notebook following a trio of victories last year including a Group Three at Newbury but he went off my radar when they sent him off to finish the season in Australia and Japan. Unfortunately, I somehow missed his return to British racing last month when he won a six-runner Group Three at Chester at 11/8, beating Aidan O'Brien's 6/5 favourite Memphis Tennessee in the process. It wasn't the strongest race in the world but he was impressive nonetheless considering the ground was less than ideal being on the softer side of good. Around four furlongs out, he asserted his authority by quickening up and forging clear and his manner of victory suggests he's well capable of stepping up in class and taking a Group Two. The fact that connections have entered him in the Group One King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in late July should be taken as a hint as to how good he might be and I'll be extremely surprised if he's not a major player today. Of the rest, Sir John Hawkwood is worth a second look considering Sir Michael Stoute's excellent record in this race; while Roger Varian's Ektihaam is expected to give a good account of himself following a career best when winning the Listed Buckhounds Stakes here back in May. Later on the same card, the James Fanshawe  trained Society Rock is very hard to oppose at 3/1 in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes (3.45). He was particularly impressive when wining a Group Two at York last time considering he was under a penalty for his Sprint Cup win. Given a patient ride by Kieren Fallon, he showed a fantastic turn of foot to take the lead in the final furlong and while at one stage it looked like Lethal Force was going to chin him at the line, the selection dug deep and showed some true class. Lethal Force re-opposes today but there's no real reason to believe he'll reverse the placings. Another one that's expected to go well is Gordon Lord Byron which is trained in Ireland by Tom Hogan. He was third behind Society Rock and Lethal Force in that race at York but he seems to be enjoying his racing this year and there could be room for improvement.  


MASTER Carpenter's odds of 12/1 offer some nice each-way value in the opening Listed Chesham Stakes at Ascot (2.30). A son of multiple Group One winner Mastercraftsman, the colt enjoyed the step up in trip to 6f when landing his second win from three races at Pontefract recently and the extra furlong today should be within his range. Training assistant James Millman reckons he'll get a mile over time and the two-year-old is described as one of the best juveniles they've had for a while.


League relegation to Division 1B following defeat to Clare was a big blow for Cork, and the huge amount of work put in at underage level in the Banner County is paying off. The two sides face each other again at the Gaelic Grounds in the Munster SHC semi-final tomorrow afternoon in what should be a fiercely fought battle - but Clare look the up-and-coming team in the Championship and can be backed with a good degree of confidence at 10/11.
MECCA'S Angel looked promising when fourth in a very tight finish on her debut at Thirsk last month. The Michael Dods trained filly is related to a number of winners and connections are expecting her to come on for that run as she tackles five rivals in the Rita Ora Here On 9th August Maiden Stakes at Haydock, priced around even-money. 

Today's selections
2.30 Ascot: Master Carpenter (e/w)
3.00 Ayr: My Propeller
3.05 Ascot: Mount Athos
3.45 Ascot: Society Rock
4.25 Ascot: Rex Imperator
6.50 Haydock: Mecca's Angel

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot

Morning all,

Just a quick hello as I haven't been posting much lately. I've been extremely busy with a few things and am in the final stages of writing my book so apologies for the lack of blogs.

Done a few bets at Royal Ascot but nothing too big. Was delighted to see Dawn Approach get back to winning ways in the St James's Palace Stakes. I lost quite a bit backing him in the Derby so it was good to get a couple of quid back.

Just having a look at the Gold Cup at Ascot today (3.45) - can't make up my mind between Estimate and Simenon. I might just dutch the two of them which offers an overall price of around 3/1. You don't see too many Willie Mullins horses on the flat and Simenon was a decent hurdler in his day.

I'm a bit conflicted with Estimate as he comes up as a place lay selection for my site  (recently given a re-vamp and now focuses on place lays). I've began proofing them to Racing Index from today so hopefully that will drive some traffic if they continue to produce profit.

Those place lays have been going extremely well this year and show a nice profit of 186pts to Betfair's place SP.

While they are profitable on their own, I'm trying to come up with a way of trading them in-running to reduce the risks. I'll have a play around with them over the next few weeks to see what I can come up with.

I suppose I'll make a decision on the Gold Cup based on prices as the race approaches.

With regards to the financial trading, Bernanke's comments saw the markets drop. The Fed think the economy is improving so they are talking about moving away from quantative easing. What will happen over the next few weeks remains to be seen but it remains an intersting one for traders trying to figure out which way to go. In the much shorter term, there's a decent gap between this morning's price and last night's close which I'm going to try and trade.

Best of luck at Ascot if you are having a bet,


S&P500 15min. chart:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Back to basics

 A few days ago, I was playing around with a few quid trading on Betfair - nothing serious, just a basic weight of movement (WOM) strategy that I used to use years back. To be honest, I thought that there was no money to be made any more using WOM and book percentages but to my surprise, I made a profit in seven of the eight races I traded. 

It's funny, sometimes going back to basics and keeping things simple can work.

Perhaps I hit a lucky streak so to test it out and understand it better I'm going to spend the day solely trading WOM and see what happens. Sometimes it's worth re-visiting old strategies and see if anything can be done. 

Below is today's Irish Independent article - unfortunately the main tip is a non-runner. Have a good one,



THERE’S a fair bit of tumbleweed blowing around the racing world this weekend with all the good flat horses kept under wraps for Royal Ascot, which kicks off on Tuesday. We’ve some exciting races in store throughout the week but the mood ahead of this year’s meeting is understandably melancholic as the racing world mourns the death of Sir Henry Cecil, one of the most successful trainers at the festival. Cecil saddled Parthenon to win the Queen Alexandra Stakes way back in 1970, the first of 75 Royal Ascot winners. A true gent, the ten-time champion trainer kept us enthralled with the sport; even right up to last year with the likes of Frankel, appropriately described by Clare Balding as Cecil’s crowning glory. But the world keeps on turning and for now, the training licence at Warren Place has been transferred to his widow Lady Jane, who is “determined to keep the flag flying”. Indeed it didn’t take long for the Warren Place flag to be raised once again and a couple of winners have already gone down in the record books next to Lady Jane’s name including Frankel’s half-brother Morpheus on Thursday at Nottingham. Five days at Ascot in June brings out the best of the best; and as such, the form usually stands up very well. Punters have been giving the bookmakers a proper fight in recent times and in the past ten years, for example, a healthy profit of 26pts would have been made by blindly backing the favourite in all Group races at the festival (includes joint and co-favourites). While it’s always a good idea to try find value, the main message going into next week is that if you are opposing the market leader in one of the top races, you had better have a darn good reason to do so. As mentioned earlier, today is quiet enough being so close to Ascot but we’ve a couple of listed races across the cards which may give the coffers a boost ahead of Tuesday. At Sandown, Smoothtalkinrascal makes plenty of appeal if he goes off anywhere near his forecast price of 11/4 in the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Scurry Stakes (2.55) in what will be his sixth race for current trainer David O’Meara. This one caught my eye when winning a couple of minor events at York and Leicester earlier this season but he really stood out last time when finishing a neck behind Duke Of Firenze in the competitive Epsom Dash on 1st June. It was a considerable achievement to take the runner-up spot when you take into account that fact that he was the only three-year-old in a field of 17. To see him pick up strongly and storm home in the closing stages suggests he’s acquired a nice level of maturity which not all competitors are likely to possess in this afternoon. Today’s contest is restricted to three-year-olds and the selection’s big-field experience against some older horses can only help his cause. Likely dangers include
Morawij and Sound Of Guns. The former was beaten by a head in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood and also won a listed race last year. He gets the best draw in stall one and is sure to make it a competitive contest. The latter has some decent juvenile form under the belt and is respected although it's fair to say her two starts this year have been somewhat disappointing.

* Last week's main bet, Lucky Numbers, won at 8/1.

HAIRY Rocket was placed in the Group Two Queen Mary at Ascot last year and came back to form last time out when fourth in a very tight finish at Leicester. Dropped 4lbs in the weights, she may just sneak a place in the Macmillan Charity Sprint Trophy (3.50 York) at a nice double-figure price. 

GAELIC FOOTBALL: WHILE Meath are worthy favourites for this evening’s Leinster SFC quarter-final against Wicklow, their win odds of 1/3 look a little skinny. Royal County manager Mick O’Dowd admits the Aughrim venue could prove advantageous for the Garden County and this could be a tighter game than the market suggests. Back Wicklow +4pts in the handicap markets at even-money (Paddy Power).
RACING: LILBOURNE Lass has a decent pedigree and got off to a perfect start over today's course and distance on her debut last month. She improved further when second to Saayerr in a novice race at Windsor last time and should have what it takes to keep the likes of Mr Dandy Man at bay in this afternoon's Festival Racing British Stallion Studs E.B.F. Novice Stakes at bath (3.05), priced around 8/13.

2.55 Sandown:
3.05 Bath: Lilbourne Lass
3.15 York: Questioning
3.50 York: Hairy Rocket (e/w)
4.35 Sandown: Herod The Great

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Epsom Derby betting 2013

Morning folks, I'm up early to take advantage of Ladbrokes' offer of 7/4 about Dawn Approach. I think it's a great deal but if a few other bookmakers oppose him, it will be interesting to see what price he goes off at 4.00pm. Will he get the distance? It's not certain with his dam's side but he is, after all, by New Approach which won the Derby himself. I don't think a mile and-a-half is will be his ideal trip but I reckon his class will see him through. Today's Indo column: