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
It’s Ryder Cup week which I will be covering as it’s not Ciaran’s kind of thing. I will upload an overall preview early this week and then cover the event on a daily basis once the pairings and singles matches are known.
Three blogs back I made the case to back Europe. Since then I had a wobble at a time when some of the big European names were playing poorly which coincided with most of the American team playing well plus Jim Furyk making the right four wildcard choices, whereas I didn’t agree with two of Thomas Bjorn’s picks. However, I am pleased to see some of the European big names playing well again at the right time whilst some of America’s top guys have taken a downward spiral. I can see Phil Mickelson being a liability.
Staying with golf and good luck tonight if you followed Ciaran Meagher in with his pre-tournament Tour Championship recommendations of Tiger Woods (leads by 3 shots) at 14/1 and Rory McIlroy (tied-second with Justin Rose) at 9/1. They are now a best-priced 8/13 and 4/1 respectively. Ciaran’s first round leader recommendation of Rickie Fowler at 20/1 came up trumps when he was joint-leader after Thursday resulting in a 10/1 payout. His positions on Paul Casey for Top 10 and Hideki Matsuyama to be top Rest of the World are also in good shape so it has the potential to be a very big night for his followers.
It’s a funny/quiet time of year racing and sport-wise so, in the early part of this week, that gives me time to write my annual invitations to All-Inclusive Service members who subscribed or re-subscribed last autumn where I outline what is in store for the next 12 months. So expect an email over the coming days. One thing that won’t change is the annual membership contribution that will remain the same as since I launched the website three years ago this month.
I hope that you had a chance to check out the Q&A I conducted with our new columnist Graham Wheldon last week and especially took notice of the four bets he told us that he was having in the Peterborough United game yesterday as they included an 8/1 winner for Posh to score 4+ goals and 4/1 on Dembele in the anytime scorer market. A great start.
Hopefully Andy Richmond will be sufficiently rested after his operation to recommence his NFL column for Week 4 next weekend, especially after making a winning start in Week 1. His recent tweets suggest that he is on the mend. Mike Henderson returns midweek to give his outright preview of the Grand Prix Darts which starts in Dublin at the weekend - the double in and double out format. He will then be covering the week-long tournament on a round-by-basis. My Premier League Picks column has made a profit in four of the first five weekends and I’ll be back with that on Thursday rather than Friday so I can vegetate on the sofa watching The Ryder Cup grazing on maize-based snacks.
The Ante-Post Focus and Horses to Follow columns will also be returning this week with the next individual race day preview of the 30 I am covering for the flat season being for Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe card which, remarkably, I will be attending for the first time so it will be good to cross that one off the list. Typical it’s the year that sees the entry cost zoom from peanuts to £75 to help pay for Longchamp’s new grandstand! We're in quite a nice spot now with Waldgeist having recommended him at 33/1 each-way in June following his very good performance in winning the Prix Foy.
It’s Nicky Henderson’s open day for his owners today so expect the media to be reporting back running plans tomorrow. One of my members who is part of the Might Bite syndicate tells me that it’s the Betfair Chase for him (unless it’s a bog) before the King George and Gold Cup and that the plan for Terrefort is the graduation chase at Sandown that Henderson likes so much before a tilt at the Ladbrokes Gold Cup. I see him as a back-to-lay for that race at Newbury at current odds of 16/1 as reckon he’ll start favourite or second-fav on the day.
It’s that time of year when the jumps horses to follow books start to come out and I would recommend Paul Ferguson’s annual which is published by Weatherbys if you are looking for something to get you in the mood and to help jog your memory. Paul is also taking over the authorship of The Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide which I wrote for the first 16 years, having been written for the last three years by Matt Tombs, so I wish him every success with that. I’ve already warned him it’s a killer to put together!