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
Well that’s that for another domestic jumps season though I will be covering all five days of Punchestown this week the evening before each day’s racing after which The Jumps Season Service comes to a close and will restart for The Open Meeting at November in Cheltenham. Congratulations to Richard Johnson, Gigginstown House Stud, Craig Nichol and Paul Nicholls, and I hope some of you had a dabble at odds-against on the latter when I suggested that Mullins was the wrong favourite for the Trainers’ Championship in mid-January. Given what he has at his disposal, Colin Tizzard was the British-based trainer of the season for me by a country mile.
The highlight for us of course has to be Rule The World winning the Grand National after being-recommended ten days earlier at 50/1 with Vicente, Annacotty (x2) and the trifecta in the Ryanair also very satisfying results. Big-race successes are important but more crucial is overall consistency and, although the Cheltenham Festival could have gone better with too much crossbar hitting, I thought that we fared consistently well at the weekends especially in the first seven weeks up to Christmas and fared particularly well at the big meetings and have also made a very good start to the Flat Season. I covered the 2000 Guineas a couple of weeks ago so it will be the 1000 Guineas in Wednesday's Big Race Focus.
Gioia Di Vita (recommended each-way) almost gave us the perfect ending to the British jumps season in the finale finishing second at 16/1. That’s the second year running that Richard Newland has supplied the runner-up at big odds in that big-field handicap hurdle having not raced since the autumn so that will be firmly in my thoughts for the same contest next year. Last season it was Gran Maestro who then went on to win the Summer Hurdle (Listed) at Market Rasen in July so Gioia Di Vita might be one for your horse tracker.
Talking of Horses to Follow, that section of the website started up last week as it concentrates on the Flat Season and the first horse to run since, Sir Roderic, won at 3/1. We made a nice profit the last time that I ran an ongoing horses to follow feature and that was a good start to hopefully replicate that.
As it’s such a busy summer of sport to cover as part of the All-Inclusive Service (also covers the leading 30 days of the Flat, Royal Ascot Ante-Post for 6 weeks, Big Race Focus and Horses to Follow from a horseracing perspective) I’m not taking a fortnight away in July-August as usual. Therefore the end of The Jumps Season Service also signals the start of my holiday so there will be nothing uploaded for a week between May 1-8 whilst I am in Las Vegas. Then it’s time to get the golf clubs out!
It’s the Alvarez-Khan fight whilst I am out there so it would be rude not to wouldn’t it? I managed to sort some tickets so that will be my first experience of attending a proper big fight night. Amir Khan has it all to do stepping up two weight divisions to middleweight to take on the Mexican who has lost once in 48 fights (32 wins by KO), and that was to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, and he is now ranked the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world by BoxRec. I’m starting to think that even 7/2 might be too short about Khan in what is going to be a match up of speed versus power. Being a massive Prince fan having seen him around a dozen times, I’ll also have to take in the Purple Reign show whilst out there. That was a real shock.
In terms of Sport coverage this week, Carl Redden returns with his weekly look at the Clay Season tournaments in the run up to the French Open and Mike Henderson’s next preview of the Premier League Darts will be uploaded on Thursday morning as usual. We’ve just got our noses in front in the World Snooker Championship and I’ll give another update before the Quarter Finals stage. I hope to have my opening Eurovision musings uploaded by the end of the week. I quite like a 50/1 shot to outperform their odds.