Ante Post Focus uploaded - Cheltenham Festival Week 4 uploaded - Paul's Blog & Andy Richmond's Beating The Bias uploaded - Sunday Race Previews & General Sports uploaded - Saturday Race Previews uploaded - Friday Race Previews uploaded
October signals the return of the jumps season in earnest (Put The Kettle On is set to return to action on Saturday in a race that Henry de Bromhead routinely targets as a comeback run for a stable star) and I will send out invitations to re-subscribe to All-Inclusive Service members whose membership runs out on November 1st (that’s 90% of current AI members) staggered over the week commencing October 11th.
Jumps Season Service only members from last season should have already received their invite. Of course new members are always welcome so if you are interested in joining up please drop me an email using the Get In Touch form on the website.
I will be re-starting the Jumps Race Previews with the first Cheltenham Meeting/Old Roan Chase at Aintree weekend beginning on October 22nd with Week 1 of the Cheltenham Ante-Post Service (17 weekly columns) that went exceptionally well last season with our best ever Festival commencing on October 26th. Weekend previews of the best of British and Irish racing will continue throughout the winter in addition to covering Friday’s racing for the six weeks leading up to Christmas and of course all races of the Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown Festivals and the best action from a very busy Christmas Week. Full details for the 12 months ahead will feature in the invitation.
In addition to covering the jumps season, we still have Arc Day and Champions Day to cover in October and The Breeders’ Cup (Saturday) in early November from Del Mar. All three days have been very kind to us in recent seasons with Glass Slippers (20/1), Waldgeist (16/1) and One Master (12/1) making it a memorable Arc Day in 2019, Donjuan Triumphant (33/1) and Librisa Breeze (12/1) have made the Champions Day Sprint one of my favourite races of late and we had a belting second day of The Breeders’ Cup last season courtesy of Audarya (14/1), Glass Slippers (8/1) and Tarnawa (3/1).
I will be uploading my Big Race Trends for Champions Day in the week leading up to that day and, next week, I will upload of my trends for the 20 top handicaps of the jumps season and continuing with the Ante Post Focus column for all four Wednesdays in October. Andy Richmond’s Beating The Bias column on the flat has three more weeks to run.
Looking back to September, my long-held view that USA would win the Ryder Cup with ease proved to be the case with a record 19-9 victory. I hope that you took the gift of 8/11 as highlighted a couple of blogs back having been generally 4/9 come the opening tee shots. I couldn’t have been much stronger that the USA were good things. With that young American team going to be the backbone of the next two Ryder Cups, heaven only help who the European captains will be. I didn’t think that Padraig Harrington excelled himself with some of his choices, not that it would have made any difference to the result. Zach Johnson is looking pretty much a shoo-in to be the next USA captain with Lee Westwood the front runner to lead the Christians to the lions in Rome in 2023.
Not such good news with my Sports Personality of the Year pick though as I argued that something from left field would have to come through to beat Tom Daley. How about a British qualifier aged 18 to win the US Open without losing a set at circa 200/1?? Left field enough for you? I think we got a bit unlucky there. I must admit that I didn’t see any of Emma Radacunu’s matches but she was No Offers for me to win SPOTY after that remarkable performance and doubtless some big hitters got stuck into 1/8 straight after her success at Flushing Meadows. Buying money, that.
Also lined up for October is Will Steele’s previews of Fury v Wilder III next week. Will was bang on the money with his Joshua-Usyk preview recommending Usyk to win on points at 4/1 so in next week’s preview he is gunning for a fourth profitable column in succession. I know that he has a strong view on this fight.
In other sport, the World Grand Prix Darts (moved from Dublin to Leicester this year) begins on Sunday and Mike Henderson will give his preview tomorrow. We’re three weeks into the NFL season and Andy Richmond’s pre-season pick have made a decent start winning two of their three games and he’ll be on hand to cover Sunday’s matches throughout the month.
It proved to be an unsatisfactory end to the England v India test series with the last match abandoned so if you had a bet on the series result, maybe check with your bookmaker. Paul Smith will return to cover the T20 World Cup which starts on October 26th. Well, the Super 12 section does after the group stages for the minnows has finished. With Australia still operating very tough Covid restrictions, the competition has moved to the UAE and Oman. I’m looking forward to it as it has been five years since the last one which was won by the West Indies.
Although we don’t cover Formula 1, I have to say that I have enjoyed watching some of the races this season as my son has taken a keen interest in the sport and the races have been far more exciting than usual. So, as for 2022, you never know he might be our next new columnist! If so it might need some heavy editing though! Lando Norris, what a star he is. Not being a petrol head, my knowledge of the sport isn’t strong but I have backed Max Verstappen at 4/6 in his head-to-head duel with Lewis Hamilton. From what I have seen he looks unfortunate not to be some points clear already and his new engine is expected to give him an advantage. Look at me writing as if I know what I'm talking about on this sport! What do they say? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Not many events to go now in the Sporting Predictions Competition and I will update the leaderboard on Sunday taking into account the Ryder Cup and T20 Blast.