Six Nations (outright) in General Spots uploaded - NFL Divisional Playoffs Part 2 & Sunday Race Previews uploaded - NFL Divisional Playoffs Part 1 uploaded - Saturday Race Previews uploaded - Ante Post Focus uploaded - Cheltenham Festival Week 10 & Australian Open uploaded
I can’t say that I am too disappointed that Christmas and New Year is over as it’s the busiest week or so of the year for writing copy for the website. Don’t get me wrong though, I love top class jumping, but there’s an awful lot to keep on top from December 3rd to January 1st.
In all I racked up over 30,000 words just on the horse racing alone, plus the football in addition to the cricket, nfl and darts covered by Paul, Andy and Mike and Mark Ball’s latest Variety Pack. Therefore I am now well and truly in need of my usual mid-season mini break and to rest those eyeballs. I am afraid that age has now caught up with me as for the first time I have been prescribed reading and screen work glasses!
As such I will heading off to Budapest from Monday to Thursday next week so I will pre-set Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Week 8 to go live as usual at 7.00 p.m. on Monday 24 hours beforehand. Before then I will cover the Race Previews weekend action on Friday as usual. We had a very good Ascot just before Christmas and Anibale Fly was the highlight over the festive period winning the Paddy Power Chase amongst a set of results that had many form students scratching their heads.
I hope that Mike Henderson’s previews enhanced your enjoyment of the World Darts Championships where his selections came out more or less level over the fortnight after a good start. I have put it to him that his best angle is in the opening couple of rounds of tournaments which features less well-known faces so that gives him the edge over the layers. I’m not sure that there’s anything he, we or the bookmakers don’t know when it comes to evaluating two big guns facing each other in the closing rounds. As such, the way I will be playing his recommendations from now on is to stake the equivalent of 1pt in the first two rounds and then drop my stake to 0.5pts for the business end of the tournament. Mike will be returning for the Premier League Darts that starts in February.
I’ve taken that above paragraph from a chapter of my punting theories book From Soba To Moldova, that I am still cracking on with. Apologies that it is taking longer than anticipated. I can tell you that half of the chapters are now totally finished and I am three-quarters of the way through the other half, so the latest ETA on your doorstep is mid-February. If you have changed your postal address since becoming a member, please let me know. Now that I am not writing a preview of Friday’s racing as was the case up to Christmas, I have an extra day in my week to crack on with it.
Later this month Carl Redden will be returning to cover the Australian Open Tennis. He’s actually going to be in Melbourne for the first week so I’m hoping for a few extra insights from court side if he is still compos mentis after a couple of weeks in Thailand first.
With regards to Golf, I’m delighted to say that Ciaran Meagher will be returning in February and, between him and myself, we will be covering 20 tournaments this year. The full schedule for 2018 is now uploaded in the dedicated golf section. We are now into the knockout phase of the NFL and Andy Richmond will be continuing with weekly copy up until the Super Bowl and I’ll keep badgering away on Premier League Picks. We had a decent Christmas with three winners out of four on the main page at 7/2, 12/5 and 6/5 by opposing three of the Big Six.
I thought that we got really unlucky on Sports Personality of the Year with my Jonathan Rea without Anthony Joshua 12/1 suggestion. We may have picked up on the also-recommended 5/2 about a Top 3 finish as both the Superbikes fans and Northern Irish got right behind him as I hoped, but when he was announced as runner-up with no mention yet of the heavy odds-on AJ, I thought we had it in the bag! What made it even more frustrating was that he only lost by around 3000 votes and, in the dullest possible show that the BBC put on, the only light relief for 2hrs+ was Mo Farah’s kid playing up in the live video link interviewed. I think his son won it for him! Ah well, the thinking behind the bet was sound so better luck next year.