STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM, GLASS OF PIMMS, SETTLE DOWN on Murray’s Mound and watch the world’s favourite tennis tournament. What could be better? Well, picking the winner of the men’s singles for one! And get on early because it’s time for NOVAK DJOKOVIC to reclaim the Wimbledon crown. And what a juicy price as the headline alludes to, because at Tom Mix (6/1) you have to simply lump on. But why? Quite simply there are doubts (as there are doubts about him) as to all the leading runners and riders this year and secondly maybe, just maybe, he is awaking from his slumber. As to the first, let’s look at this in some detail.
I can’t believe the Fed Express is favourite! Rolling back the years in Melbourne is not the same as rolling back the years in SW19. At his pomp, he was untouchable but go back three or four years and he was struggling against Father Time then and it was a surprise that he competed so well at the highest level. The same can be said about King Rafa who on clay is supreme but on grass is not as dominant. And then we’ve got the age and the desire. And of Andy, it seems to me he expended so much energy getting to No. 1 that he can’t motivate himself to continue at that level, and while he will go deep into the tournament I can see a quarter final exit for the Scot. The young guns are onedimensional, apart from Alexander Zverev who is my second choice at a tasty 25/1, shop early and you can get double carpet in a place. His stock is high but this could be his breakthrough year.
And what of the women? How can you have Wimbledon without Serena? It’s like having your Pimms without the fruit, but someone is going to step up and having observed at the incredulous nature of KAROLINA PILSKOVA at the French, bemoaning how well she was doing on a surface she loathes and equally looking forward to the pristine grass of Centre Court, I think that time has come for a new champion and at an industry wide 7/1 she is well worth a punt.
Bernie the Book JULY 2017 73 THE BERNIE THE BOOK COLUMN TOM MIX!! YOU’VE GOT TO BE DJOKING Away from the tennis, July also sees the Open, the only true Major (according to the R&A) and this year it returns to Birkdale after some years, and if you look closely enough you might see me on the practice day. Birkdale might be in Southport, which is known locally as the land of the rising sun (not really) but it is a convenient lead into my favourite golfer, and one who I continually tip up in this column, the legend who is number two in the world, HIDEKI MATSUYAMA and the time has come to go large at an attractive 20/1. My other two against the field are Sergio Garcia (great links player) also at 20/1 and the boy who would be king, Rickie Fowler (especially if it blows) at 25/1.
Away from summer sport, I can’t believe that in a few short weeks the 201718 football season will be upon us. In the next issue we will look at the leagues in more detail but for now my first bet of the new campaign is unfortunately on who will fill bottom of the pile in the Premiership. Readers might remember that in last July’s issue I headlined Sunderland to be relegated and finish bottom at a healthy 4/1 and 10/1 and this year it is unfortunate that I alienate all those readers from the south coast as BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION are a great price to finish bottom of the pile at 11/2. Only sadists or Amex masochists need take up this price.
And so finally, are you politicked out? Probably. However, it is not going to go away and we will see in the news over the coming months a variety of markets such as next general election, next leader of individual parties and more urgently, next Prime Minister. Theresa May will probably last until the party congress season and it will be dependent on whether anybody is going to rock the boat further and oust her. The political climate at the moment is heading towards Labour and therefore MPs are likely, especially in key marginals, to look after their back first. But it’s well worth an interest on next Tory leader to be DAMIAN GREEN at 33/1.