this WeeKend WiLL cOincide With the fourth week of the regular season signifying a quarter of the 16 matches played. But regular readers of this column will have noticed my Facebook entry on the eve of this season’s action, so I don’t want anyone to feel I’m getting on the bandwagon as I fancy strongly the La raMs to be victorious in Atlanta next February. The regular season is all about qualifying for the knockouts and winning your division ensuring a better passage with the No 1 and No 2 seedings having a week off, home field advantage and a lower seeded opponent. The Rams should win comfortably the NFC West from my dark horses, the 49-ers and if there is any 10/1 still available it needs to be snapped up ASAP.
In the AFC, it really could be a inseltown derby as the La chargers (now settled from their move from San Diego) could make it a case of extra planes from LAX to ATL (home of this season’s Superbowl) and they are readily available at between 16 and 20/1. But please remember I was the first tipster to highlight the chances of the JacKsOnviLLe Jaguars back in June and it could come down to the Rams versus the Jags. As highlighted in September’s issue, the first Sunday in October is Arc Sunday at Paris Longchamp. And look to the weather because if it comes up soft, or there is a mention of soft in the forecast, then please back cracKsMan to sweep all before him.
Sure, Enable looked supremely impressive in the September stakes at Kempton, but I think Cracksman is the one for Johnny G. My other tip is Andre Fabre’s hugely impressive winner of one of the main Arc trials, WaLdgeist, who won the Prix Foy recently. Fabre is the master and as sure as eggs is eggs, he will outrun his price of 10/1. My other headline tip from September, and I’m reminding you now as you read this and you realise that the event is in play, is aMerica to lift/retain the Ryder Cup this weekend. The basis of my confidence has not been diminished by Justin Rose getting to be the world’s No 1 golfer but by Americans dominating the top 10 and the top 20. With 28 points available I think the score will be somewhere near 16-12 to the States which at the time of writing is a 10/1 shot. But that is only for small stakes, as is top points scorer as it is so dependent on concessions, captain’s picks and matches played and against which opposition.
But America at 17/20 to lift the trophy is a must for big hitters (especially Dustin!!). Onto football, and this week saw the round of 16 in what I know as the League Cup and what most people correctly refer to as the EFL Cup. One thing is for certain: the days of this lesser cup being contested by mid-ranking Premier League teams are long gone and even though the Big Six might put in a line-up that isn’t their strongest, the strength in depth of their glittering squads is eyewatering.
Added to that, a bit of silverware in late February adds to the wellbeing of a team and on that basis I think Pep’s continuing assault on any competition entered can’t be ignored so I would hoover up any last vestiges of 7/2 now, assuming Oxford United haven’t turned Manchester city over as this column is written prior to that game). As it’s now October, Christmas is just around the corner (surely not) but in any event the autumnal pre- Christmas Saturday night variety shows are pulling in their millions and on the assumption that you are one of them, then markets are open on the next glitterball champion of Strictly.
Bear in mind it is rarely won by the best dancer, although you need to be able to dance, but more by how familiar your face is…the only trouble this year is that the celebrities are hardly household names. However, the BBC axis usually throws up a winner and that is why I would have a tentative bet on Eastenders’ actor Lee ryan at 20/1. Far more interesting is the betting for who will be the next James Bond, with the franchise soon to announce the successor to Daniel Craig. Isn’t it about time that the Connery/Moore/Dalton image of the upper class white public school product needs updating and what better statement in our 21st Century physche than casting idris eLba in the title role at a