The Ashes uploaded - Sunday Race Previews, NFL Week 13 & UK Snooker Final (in General Sports) uploaded - UK Snooker Semi Finals & Saturday Race Previews uploaded - Friday Race Previews - Cheltenham Festival Week 4 uploaded - Ante Post Focus uploaded
Before a look ahead to what is planned for the website in June, a look back at May first where my personal highlight was finding Italy to win the Eurovision Song Contest as highlighted in the end-of-March blog at 9/1 and then the suggested top up at 6/1 in the following blog, so hopefully you were on board early as they went off around 7/4 favourites. Two of my four on-the-night bets also won at 5/2 and 7/4.
On-the-night favourites have now won nine times since 2009 (plus two seconds and 15th), hence the early advice which is key to making a good profit on the event. And once again the on-the-night market was unerringly accurate from top to bottom. It was also the 17th year running that a song performed from tenth onwards won.
Other points that I took going forward were, sad to say but predictable, underlining how badly black artists fared on the televote compared to the jury vote, especially in Eastern Europe which is not factored into the betting enough, the two most arty songs finished 1-2 in the Jury Vote (which some firms do bet on) and the rock entry obviously did very well with Italy winning but Finland were also up there (especially on televoting) with at last their fan base having been starved of something decent to vote for after years of dross entries. I also thought it was amusing that to stave off the booing in the arena for the guaranteed 12 points from Greece to Cyprus that that they stuck up a 10-year-old kid to the deliver the votes!
Roll on next year and also the first ever Americavision involving all 50 states, though the timing couldn’t be much worse with acts being asked to make themselves available for a month up to Grand National Day and Masters weekend! As if I don’t already have enough on my plate then with Cheltenham and listening to Eurovision songs early.
May started well when my Kentucky Derby fancy, Medina Spirit, won the Run for the Roses at 12/1. How was I to know that he was drugged up to the eyeballs! Well, not that I’m an expert in these matters, but a minor infringement anyway as the substance found is allowed in other states but not Kentucky. At least we got paid out before he was eventually disqualified around a month later. No good in the European Classics though (all the various Guineas) but I’m hoping for better fortune in the Oaks and Derby this weekend.
Mark Selby was a very good result in the World Snooker Championship being George Weyham’s only outright recommendation at 17/2 (and he was also my fancy in an earlier blog) and, to top off a very good month on the sporting and specials front, my 18/1 Europa League recommendation, Villareal, from my football column back on Christmas Eve, beat Manchester United in the final on penalties 11-10.
The main focus of June is Royal Ascot and Euro 2020 but we also have the US Open golf and start of Wimbledon at the backend so there is loads going on.
We are five of the six weeks into my weekly Royal Ascot service which will continue with daily race previews over the five days to be uploaded the day before each day’s racing. I am looking forward to it being just about my favourite meeting of the year with less pressure on than for Cheltenham. With 10,000 people allowed in each day, we should at least have an atmosphere. My Big Race Trends for all 35 races will be uploaded next week.
The Ante Post Focus column will continue weekly on Wednesday lunchtimes throughout June with the exception of Royal Ascot week (like always for big festival weeks so I can concentrate on that) and I have covered the upcoming Oaks and Derby in the latest two editions.
Andy Richmond’s Beating The Bias column on Tuesdays is continuing to find the winners with Rohaan the undoubted star so far winning at 25/1 and 33/1 since he was noted in that horses to follow column.
Euro 2020 starts on June 11th and I hope to have my preview uploaded on Monday. That’s the aim anyway. I have found a bet that would have been profitable for all ten championships since the finals were raised from four teams to eight in 1980. Now it is 24 teams but I fancy that it can come up trumps again. I will write eight columns throughout the month-long tournament; (1) outright preview, (2) first rubber of group matches, (3) second rubber of group matches, (4) third rubber of group matches, (5) last 16 stage; (6) quarter-finals, (7) semi-finals and (9) final.
Whilst Royal Ascot is taking place we also have the third golfing major of the season with the US Open hosted at Torrey Pines, San Diego, which is Phil Mickelson’s home town. He hadn’t initially qualified such was his drop off in form since turning 50 when he received a special invite but he is now eligible for all majors for the next five years after his surprise return to form to win the USPGA Championship. Obviously he will carry a massive ‘home’ support attempting to win his first US Open having been runner-up on no less than six occasions! Looking at the final leaderboard at the USPGA, four of the first five had won the British Open and the other had won four other major tournaments. Unfortunately for me though it was back-to-back losing majors so I am hoping to remedy that in a little over a fortnight’s time.
The French Open tennis is still in the first week and Carl Redden gave his outright preview at the weekend and is going for six profitable Grands Slams in a row for us. If that is to happen it will have to come from the ladies’ event with his sole men’s recommendation unfortunately falling at the first hurdle. Carl will return with his Wimbledon preview towards the end of June.
Like Wimbledon, beginning towards the end of June with the bulk of the action taking place in July, I will also be overseeing the Tour de France - one of my top five favourite sporting events of the year being a keen cyclist myself. The Slovenian 1-2 of last year of Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic dominate the market with the 2019 winner and recent Giro d'Italia winner, Egan Bernal, resting up but the 2018 winner, Geraint Thomas, looks like he is peaking at the right time in the Dauphine.
Regards Rugby Union, Paul Matthew will be covering the Lions Tour of South Africa next month. The Gallagher Premiership is drawing to a finish and hopefully Bristol can hang on as it’s now getting tight after their loss to Sale at the weekend. Paul’s 25/1 pre-season regular season recommendation have now had their lead cut to three points with two matches remaining.
Onto Cricket and England and New Zealand began the first of their two test match series yesterday. It’s all a bit low key to be honest so Paul Smith will wait to cover the main action of the summer when crowds return in full, which is the five test match series against India and then the T20 World Cup in the autumn.
The Sporting Predictions Competition leaderboard was updated on Monday taking into account nine outcomes since the previous update.