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
The autumn has arrived (bar one hot week did we have a summer?) and with it what should be a fascinating conclusion to what I think has been one of the more interesting Flat Seasons in recent years.
Andrew Balding leading the Trainers’ Championship by £400,000+ from Charlie Appleby which tells us that alone with the Gosden’s (with no serious 3yos) about £50K further back in third and Aidan O’Brien in fourth another £200K adrift with just nine winners in Britain this season. They may have also won the 1000 Guineas but, St Mark’s Basilica and Snowfall aside, it’s been a disappointing season for Ballydoyle by their standards, especially with their older horses, and with the exception of Point Lonsdale where are their two-year-olds? It prompted me to take a look at the betting, only to discover that no firm has priced it up. They are missing a trick here.
Once we get the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe out of the way on October 3rd, ahead of the Jumps Season starting in earnest (my first jumps race previews will be for Cheltenham on the weekend of October 22nd/23rd), I will send out staggered invitations to re-subscribe to Annual Membership during that week for the 90%+ of you who joined the service in the autumn. The first Cheltenham Festival Ante Post Column will follow the Tuesday after that weekend.
I had someone yesterday morning asking who I fancied for the Ladbrokes Trophy?! A bit early to try and get my head around that but you know the jumps is getting close when Paul Nicholls starts to drip feed videos of his string easing back into training. Gordon Elliott’s suspension ends a week today.
The highlight last month was saving the best until the final day of the York Ebor Meeting with five of my preferences in the final summaries winning seven of the races including Sonnyboyliston in the eponymous race of the meeting.
Onto September where I will be covering both days of Irish Champions Weekend and feature the best of the St Leger Meeting between the Ante Post Focus and Big Race Trends columns. I have uploaded the trends for the dozen biggest races of the meeting this morning. I’ve already given recommendations for the St Leger and Cesarewitch in the last two Ante Post Focus columns and will soon turn my attention to the Arc, Breeders’ Cup, Champions Day and other big autumn prizes. Andy Richmond’s Beating The Bias column will continue through to mid-October.
The highlight of September for me though will be the Ryder Cup after being postponed for a year. In fact, I might even head off to Spain for a long weekend and catch it out there (not Covid!). It is fair to say that my golf column hasn’t gone as I have wanted this season but hopefully we can end on a high with the Tour Championship this weekend and a repeat of my Ryder Cup results three years ago will do very nicely thank you, though that is probably asking too much.
The NFL season starts on Thursday when the Super Bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccanners, host the Dallas Cowboys before the Sunday games and Andy Richmond will once again be covering the action on a weekly basis with his Sunday columns. His overall season preview was uploaded yesterday including a double-figure-priced recommendation as his sole pre-season pick.
The US Open Tennis is already underway as we enter Day 5 and so far three of Carl Redden’s four recommendations are still standing. Being on Amazon Prime, I’ve not watched any of it.
My Premier League preview was uploaded last month. Since then I have added in a Thought of the Day that I have had a Yankee on Chelsea (Premier League), Fulham (Championship), Sunderland (League 1) and Notts County (National League). With the Champions League group stage draw sorted out last week, I will preview that competition ahead of the opening games which take place on September 14th. Manchester City usually get a virtual bye to the knockout stages but facing PSG with Messi, Mbappe and Neymar will at least make their group games interesting for a change.
With regards to other sports, due to the pandemic Will Steele has had no big fights to cover since Fury v Wilder II back in February 2020 but he will return this month to preview Antony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk which takes place on September 25th at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Hopefully he can make it three profitable bouts on the spin for us with 4/1 and Evens winning recommendations in his last two.
The next darts that Mike Henderson is covering after a profitable World Matchplay is the World Grand Prix (Oct 3-9). This is the double-in and double-out format that usually takes place in Dublin but due to Covid it has been switched to Leicester this year. Living 45 minutes away, I think I’ll try and get some tickets for one of the nights.
I can confirm that after speaking with George Weyham recently that he will be covering the eight biggest events of the Snooker season for us again, the first of which being the Champions of Champions in mid-November.
I must admit that the England-India Test Series hasn’t really grabbed my attention but at 1-1 and two matches to go it’s all to play for and I have more time on my hands in September than August so will endeavour to catch plenty of it in the background. Similarly, La Vuelta, though Primoz Roglic looks to have that sewn up entering the final week.
There are just 15 events to be played out in the Sporting Predictions Competition for the rest of the year which is now starting to look like a head to head between Carl Redden and David Beddy.