Paul’s October Blog uploaded - NH Season Leading 20 Handicaps Big Race Trends uploaded - The Jumps Season Service 2023/24 will commence on Friday, October 27th.
With the spring drawing to a close we have a fantastic summer of sport to look forward to starting with the Epsom Derby Meeting and I’ll be covering the Derby in this week’s Ante-Post Focus on Wednesday attempting to follow up my Wings Of Eagles recommendation last season. It is likely that I will wait until the following week to cover the Oaks.
Then it’s onto Royal Ascot which takes place during the second week of the World Cup and I’ll continue to write ante-post columns on Mondays in the lead up to the event before previewing all races during the week itself. I will upload the trends for all 30 races for the meeting in Big Race Trends after the Derby Meeting once all the major guides have been run.
With regards to the World Cup, I have made a good start on my study and plan to upload the outright preview three days before it all kicks off on June 14th. I have made no secret of the fact that I fancy France whose squad is so strong that it had no place for Martial, Lacazette or Payet to give an indication of the talent reaching their peak at their disposal. They usually either go home early with disharmony in the camp or go a very long way in tournaments. With Benzema also not on the plane, for non-footballing reasons, they should have a very positive outlook, especially after receiving what looks like an easy route to the quarter finals so I don’t see them suffering a humiliating early exit. In that initial preview I will also cover the best bets in other markets and the opening phase of group games. I will then cover the second and third phase of group games as separate columns and then oversee the knockout stages on a round-by-round basis. As for today, hopefully my 7/1 F A Cup recommendation on ‘Thought of the Day’ before the third round commenced, Chelsea, can overcome Manchester United.
Remarkably, the World Cup final is set to clash with the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final which usually starts at 2.10p.m., as we are set for a 4.00 p.m. GMT kick off in Moscow on the same afternoon which doubtless the BBC are not best chuffed about. Before Wimbledon, however, we have the French Open from Roland Garros which starts on May 27th and Carl Redden will be covering the fortnight for us with an outright preview and round by round thereafter.
With regards to Cricket this summer, England host Pakistan in the first of only a two-match test series starting on Thursday. Therefore, in addition to Paul Smith overseeing the five-match test series versus India in August and September, rather than cover this early-season match up against Pakistan, we thought it would be more interesting to look at the five-game ODI series against Australia in June instead which is sure to have extra spice given the ball-tampering scandal.
Golf coverage continues on Tuesday as Ciaran Meagher takes a look ahead to the PGA Championship at Wentworth, an event where he nailed the 1-2 last year when Alex Noren beat Francesco Molinari. Good luck if you followed his recommendations for the Byron Nelson this week as Marc Leishman (25/1) leads at the half-way stage with Jimmy Walker in tied-fourth and Adam Scott in tied-seventh. Hopefully one of them can claim the title.
I will be having a night out at the Greyhound Derby for the quarter finals on Tuesday at Towcester. So far so good with my ‘Thought of the Day’ 20/1 recommendation, Bruisers Bullet, as heads into tonight’s third round as the top-priced 8/1 second-favourite after impressing in the second round. Still a long way to go yet.
With regards to my summer holiday plans, I will keep you updated but, like last year, I won’t be having a fortnight away as will be heading to America again in the autumn instead when it’s a quiet week on the racing and sport front. It is likely that I will have a few days off after Royal Ascot having previewed the World Cup matches for that week in advance.