Ante Post Focus uploaded - Cheltenham Festival Week 4 uploaded - Paul's Blog & Andy Richmond's Beating The Bias uploaded - Sunday Race Previews & General Sports uploaded - Saturday Race Previews uploaded - Friday Race Previews uploaded
A look ahead to September and this has to be the busiest month since I launched the website! In fact, this week marks the fifth anniversary of its birth. Where did that time go? Overall, I have to say that I couldn’t be much more pleased with the way everything has worked out, the results, and your loyal support. Long may it continue. Pressed for the racing highlights, Rule The World and Wings Of Eagles, the golden autumn of last season which I make reference to later below, the spring of 2019 from Cheltenham right through to the Bet365 Gold Cup, the O'Brien and Johnston trifectas and the extended run in big staying handicap chases throughout last winter.
Looking back to last month and it was a pleasing-in-the-main but still slightly frustrating August on the sports front with three of my ante-post positions all getting beaten in their respective finals (Kyren Wilson at 20/1, Inter Milan at 8/1 and Paris St Germain at effectively 12/1 in cross doubles including Sevilla to win the Europa League).
That said, Wilson was an each-way recommendation in my ‘Thought of the Day’ so a 10/1 payout and I recommended ‘saves’ to ensure a profit on Sevilla and Bayern Munich, plus Arsenal started the month off perfectly when winning the FA Cup final having been my 14/1 recommendation from back in the first week in January.
In addition, I was pleased to see that profits were garnered from recommendations on the two major sporting events in August as Paul Thompson’s highlight of the World Snooker Championship was advising Anthony McGill to win his quarter at 20/1 which he managed to do after a couple of last-frame deciders and Ciaran Meagher was also in the red after his USPGA Championship advices.
In addition, Ciaran showed a nice profit last night at the BMW Championship with a couple of winning recommendations on Cameron Smith (Top Australian at 5/1). Ciaran will be covering the Tour Championship this week plus the PGA Championship (Wentworth) the following week and then the second Major of the year, the US Open, which takes place between September 17-20. It’s therefore a busy month of golf ahead even without the Ryder Cup which has been postponed until next year.
The highlight on the racing front was the opening day of the York Ebor Meeting where I was keen on Pyledriver for the Great Voltigeur who won so well at 10/1 and I also found a couple of other nice winners on that Wednesday. Thursday and Friday were more or less level days before a winner-less Saturday. Those Saturdays on the final days of big, flat festivals are becoming increasingly difficult given they are now big-field-handicap driven for the benefit of bookmakers and betting turnover. I will be reviewing the meeting in the Horses to Follow column later this week.
The next big festivals that I am covering are the St Leger Meeting and Irish Champions Weekend which are both next week and I’ll be looking ahead to those in this week’s Ante Post Focus. As usual I will be covering the final three days of Doncaster (Thurs-Sat) as Day 1 on Wednesday is short on quality with just a Listed contest being its feature race and then both Leopardstown (Sat) and The Curragh (Sun) for a weekend chock full of Group 1s and competitive shoulder races.
The other meetings that I will cover on the Flat in the Race Previews section before the main thrust of the website of the Jumps Season restarts in October will be Arc Day and Champions Day and looking at the other races in Ante Post Focus. Another Waldgeist (16/1), Glass Slippers (20/1), One Master (12/1), Stratum (25/1), Donjuan Triumphant (33/1) finish to the season would be far too much to hope for but we’ll try!
It’s looking like the trio to head the betting for the St Leger will be Santiago, Pyledriver and Hukum and, given I recommended 8/1 about Santiago after he won at Royal Ascot, I won’t be displeased to see any rain next week to aid this guaranteed stayer’s chance whereas there has to be doubts about an extended 1m6f for his two main rivals if the ground turns soft. It’s a question mark for Pyledriver even if it remains good ground given the speed he shows in his races. Hopefully Santiago can become the 16th successful St Leger favourite in the last 29 years. I will be uploading Big Race Trends for the 12 leading races at the St Leger Meeting on Thursday.
Andy Richmond’s Beating The Bias column has been supplying a steady flow of winners in recent weeks and he will continue writing his weekly thoughts until the end of September by which time he will already be a couple of weeks into his NFL season coverage. The first game takes place on Thursday, September 10th and his overall-season preview with ante-post recommendations will be uploaded the day before.
As for Andy’s weekly match previews on Sundays, they will restart on September 13th and be uploaded by 1.00 p.m. ahead of live games kicking off at 6.00 p.m. and will take a different format this season as he would prefer to concentrate on the player performance markets rather than handicap match betting which is hard to make a profit on being 10/11 the pair game-in, game-out. They will still get an occasional airing though when he feels it is right to do so. There will also be more in-running recommendations in terms of the regular season divisional outcomes etc. The leading bookmakers will be betting on all those markets.
Premier League Picks returns next week with a midweek ante-post preview that went so well for the 2019/20 season being +22 points to the good (on top of the positive cup competitions results) and then the weekly coverage will restart the day before the season begins on September 12th. More of the same will do very nicely thank you very much. I might just go a little easy with initial ante-post recommendations and then look to extend them once the transfer window has expired on October 5th for the Premier League (11 days later for the EFL), being five weeks later this year, as that will be very important in some cases.
It’s an exceptionally busy month for tennis with not one but two Grand Slams set for September. Carl Redden’s US Open (starts today) preview was uploaded yesterday and he is hoping to back up his recommendation of Bianca Andreescu at 14/1 last year (and 25/1 e/w Thiem in the Austealian Open so is going for three profitable Grand Slams in succession) and he will then return to cover the French Open which begins on September 21st. Unfortunately the US Open is only on Amazon Prime again for UK Viewers but ITV will be covering the re-arranged French Open where Rafa Nadal is gunning for a 13th title and sits out the US Open in order to assist in his goal.
The Tour de France is now into its third stage but the odds haven’t changed much since I previewed the event on Friday. It’s a more mountainous route than usual this year which makes it even more interesting with the first day in the Pyrenees being this coming Saturday, after which the market will really start to move. I’ve booked the TV between 7-8pm for the next three weeks for the highlights on ITV4 and will be off Twitter all afternoons during that time!
After successfully recommending both Joe Biden at 2/1 to be the Democratic candidate and Kamala Harris (also at 2/1) to be his running mate, Adam Hewson has already written two Political Betting columns on the upcoming US Elections in November and given an initial recommendation, which he appeared to be very strong on. He’ll be back with a couple more columns in the coming weeks including with suggested bets on the Senate and Congress markets.
The first batch of catch-up Premier League Darts games took place last week and the second batch will finish the regular season this week. Mike Henderson will be back to cover Finals Night in early October with the top four playing off.
With regards to the Snooker coverage, we normally cover the three Triple Crown events of which the next is the UK Championship from York in November. Having taken more of an interest in the sport in the last 12 months including attending three events, as I enjoy it I am looking at the possibility of extending the snooker coverage, looking at more televised tournaments given that ITV4 have increased their output over the last two years. I think that there are angles to exploit.
There are 18 events to be played out in the Sporting Predictions Competition so plenty of points still up for grabs. Predicting the US Open golf winner alone accrues 10 points and there are 23 entries within that much of the lead so there is a long way to go yet finishing with the PDC World Darts Championship on January 3rd. I’m potentially looking at having 100 events for the 2021 competition (I have drawn up a list!) given that would last for 12 months rather than six and it’s a massive year for sport given at least four major events that have been postponed for a year; Euro 2020, Olympics, Ryder Cup, T20 World Cup.
I see that Eurovision have sold the rights to the US so there will be an AmericanVision involving all 50 states! Something new for me to try and get my head around for next year. My first instinct is that a country song may be favoured for the southern states to come together voting on (maybe like Greece/Cyprus?) but who knows?
As for Annual Membership renewals for those who initially joined up in the autumn (of any year), which is the vast majority of members, as usual I will get the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe out of the way before invitations are sent out with full details of what we will be covering between November 2020-October 2021. It will be an extremely busy 12 months that’s for sure and if you still with me after the first five years, hopefully we can all make it another five!