Ante Post Focus uploaded - Cheltenham Festival 'Wash Up' Days 1 & 2 uploaded - Ryder Cup Ante Post uploaded - Ante Post Focus on Tingle Creek & King George VI Chase uploaded - Naas Monday (start of Irish Flat Turf Season) uploaded - Paul's Blog uploaded
A look forward to what’s on the agenda in August but first a look back at a busy July of sport.
I am pleased to report that Ciaran Meagher and Paul Smith recommendations returned profits at The Open, Irish Open and Cricket World Cup.
However, Carl Redden was out of luck at Wimbledon as was Mike Henderson at the World Matchplay Darts. So was Roger Federer. How did he lose from two consecutive match points on his own serve (traded at 1.01 on Betfair) with 95% of the crowd pulling for him? The answer is simple. Although he was the better player, Djokovic played the important points better and has had the Indian sign over him for the last four years. Carl will return for the US Open in September.
I was watching the Men’s Singles Final and World Cup Cricket Final simultaneously in what was a stupendous afternoon of sport. I read in The Racing Post the next morning that one internet firm (I can’t recall which) was offering 4/6 about the England one-day cricket team winning Team of the Year at the Sports Personality of the Year. I’d have thought that 1/6 was nearer the mark winning one of the country’s most traditional sports for the first time ever plus on home soil and in the most dramatic and exciting circumstances. Ben Stokes looks a skinny-priced 13/8 favourite to me though for the outright prize. Not that I can offer an alternative at present, mind you.
The final round of The Open was a bit of a boring watch to be honest. Shane Lowry was simply too good winning by six shots and was never threatened so the afternoon lacked intensity and excitement. It was also frustrating to see my (and Ciaran’s) outright fancies fall out of the top ten on the final day so losing on those each-way bets but Ciaran’s second and third strongest advices of the week came up trumps with Tony Finau (3rd) securing a Top 20 at 7/2 and Lowry being Top Irish Player at 5/1. Ciaran will now turn his attention to the FedEx Cup tournaments and the PGA at Wentworth to close out the season and I’ll cover The President’s Cup later in the year.
My Tour de France recommendations came up short. It transpired that Mitchelton Scott chose the wrong Yates twin to be their team leader so therefore I chose the wrong brother in the outright market in Adam. Had Simon been team leader and ridden with the overall general classification in mind, I think that he would have gone close. Egan Bernal was a worthy winner and, aged 22, it’s not hard seeing him win this 5+ times.
Paul Smith will return to cover The Ashes series tomorrow or Wednesday morning and all five test matches individually with the action against the old enemy kicking off on Thursday. I hope that you enjoyed his thorough coverage of the Cricket World Cup which showed a small profit. Such a shame for us that David Warner fell short by one single run in the Leading Runs Scorer market given he was the headline selection in that market at 12/1.
I can’t believe that the Premier League restarts a week on Friday!!! Are you kidding me? Hasn’t the 2018/19 season not long finished?! Therefore after Goodwood week I’ll be putting together my pre-season ante-post preview which have made a profit in two of the three years (3/3 if including the Champions League) before tackling the weekend action throughout the season.
Andy Richmond will continue with his weekly Beating The Bias columns up until the first week in September after which he will turn his attentions to the NFL season and weekly content which restarts on September 5th and he informs that he is well into his research after numerous coach/player moves over the close season.
As for the racing, Alan Potts' racecourse notes have been producing some nice winners and what a fantastic King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes was served up by Enable and Crystal Ocean. I wasn’t around for Grundy and Bustino but have long questioned why that was named the Race of the Century. Dancing Brave’s Arc for one puts that notion to bed. Hopefully they will have the rematch in this season’s Arc.
It was a tough Newmarket July Meeting for punters (certainly on the opening day of big-priced winners) where if you didn’t find a horse whose jockey grabbed a stands’ rail position and a prominent pitch, then you were struggling for half of the races. I ended up with four winners, all for Godolphin, but it was still a disappointing meeting for them with many of their best hopes failing to fire.
We had a decent Glorious Goodwood last season so hopefully can do so again this week at a meeting where luck in running is crucial and many jockeys will take the decision to ride for luck in many races. A couple of weeks after the action from the Sussex Downs, I will return for the four-day York Ebor Meeting.
A little advance notice that in between those two festivals I will be taking a long weekend away (Aug 16-19 where I will be camping for the first time in over 25 years - god help my back) at TribFest, a Glastonbury for tribute acts in Yorkshire over various stages which strikes me as being rather amusing! As such, that will be a dry weekend on the website front, though not on the campsite!