Clear, concise, comprehensive horseracing analysis and insight from Paul Jones, former author of the Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide, concentrating on jump racing in addition to the best of the Flat and leading Sports events.
  • Cheltenham Festival Week 11 uploaded - Andy Richmond's Beating The Bias uploaded - General Sports (Sun) uploaded - Weekend Race Previews uploaded - Ante Post Focus (Thyestes) uploaded - Cheltenham Festival Week 10 uploaded

Happy New Year

1/1/21

Happy New Year and let’s hope that we can all get back to as near to normal by Easter.

My (probably ambitious) plan for Easter weekend is to be on the Costa Blanca treating dear old mum to a few days away, then pack her off back to Luton Airport whilst I extend my trip for a combined Aintree/Masters puntathon and golf lads’ trip! How do you bet?

Looking back at the last month, A Plus Tard winning the Savills Chase after being recommended in Ante-Post Focus at 16/1 was the highlight and those who also took the 66/1 advice for the Cheltenham Gold Cup have something to look forward to come March. I’d much rather he went straight there rather than taking in the Irish Gold Cup en route, especially given the dodgy ground at the Dublin Racing Festival for the last two years which Henry de Bromhead most of all seems to have taken exception to.

I will look back at that race and all the other major action of the festive period in Week 8 of the Cheltenham Festival columns on Tuesday. It will be a biggie with so much to look back on so you might want to get the tipple of your choice ready.

The World Darts Championship comes to a conclusion on Sunday and hopefully Mike Henderson’s pre-tournament 11/2 recommendation, Gerwyn Price, can be crowned the champion. Like everything else without crowds, it’s been a funny old event with plenty of surprises….and so many last-leg deciders so it hasn't been short on drama.

The next major sporting event that we are covering is The Masters Snooker from Alexandra Palace starting next weekend and featuring the top 16 players in the world which will be covered extensively by the BBC being one of the three major Triple Crown events.

Having been moved into Tier 4 earlier this week, there will be no usual short, early-January, mid-season, European city break for me this year so it looks like I will be watching even more of The Masters than usual between January 10-17th. Given its elite field, George Weyham will be covering all 15 matches for us on a round-by-round basis. Of all the snooker events on the calendar, this is the one where players feed most off the audience so maybe another big sporting tournament of upsets awaits?

When I attended a day at Ally Pally last year I encountered a rather bizarre experience as Hatchet Harry (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) approached me in the bar from nowhere just to express his concern about Joe Perry’s bridging action!

Hatchet Harry: “You must be Eddie, J.D’s son.”

Eddie: “Yeah. You must be Harry. Sorry, didn’t know your father.”

Hatchet Harry: “Never mind son, you just might meet him if you can carry on like that.”

If you’ve not seen it, do yourself a favour.

The Sporting Predictions Competition 2021 events and rules are now uploaded and can be accessed at the bottom of the right-hand menu on the home page. The competition deadline for entries is January 8th just before the first of the 50 sporting events (The Masters Snooker) is about to begin and it’s just a tenner to enter, one person one entry. I say 50 sporting events but there are also 1 point bonuses awarded for predicting the outcome of another 14 events where the number of potential winners is very small.

Congratulations to Martin Moore for winning the Sporting Predictions Competition 2020 (from June onwards) and the £540 first prize for his £10 entry beating 79 other players. Second and third place prize money are still up for grabs this weekend. With just the outcome of the NFC Number 1 seed for the Playoffs and World Darts Championship to be played out, he can’t now be caught. Predicting Love to win both the 1000 Guineas and Oaks was his winning move. Talking about winning moves, check out The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, especially if you like chess. Top drawer.

As for the rest of January, just now a case of me getting my head down really with the weekend Race Previews plus the weekly Cheltenham Festival and Ante Post Focus columns and to make a start on the Big Race Trends for the Festival, though next week I’ll be attempting to follow up my Arsenal recommendation from last year with my thoughts of the FA Cup and Andy Richmond will be on top of the NFL Playoffs all the way to the Super Bowl. 

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