NOT RIBOT, NOT SEABIRD, NOT PEINTRE CELEBRE, not Alleged, not even my personal favourite Hurricane Run nor Dancing Brave: none of these pantheons of the horse racing world have won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three years running, so why should this year’s odds-on favourite – Treve – be any different? The answer is, of course, in my opinion she shouldn’t, and however well Crittique Head has prepared her assault on Europe’s premier middle distance group one, and however much her possible opposition is swerving another showdown, this year she will be eclipsed by arguably France’s greatest trainer, the master that is Andre Fabre and his French Derby winner – NEW BAY. At a whopping 9/2 and fresh from an authoritative warm-up race over course and distance three weeks ago in the Prix Niel, New Bay is confidently predicted to triumph over France’s gallant super filly.
Please note that when writing this column today (September 24) I saw one bookmaker, but one bookmaker only, offering a price on the recent Irish St Leger winner, Order of St George, at a surprisingly short 10/1 on that horse lining up (needs to be supplemented but Ballydoyle have the money) and winning. As that company was Paddy Power and therefore Irish, do they know something that we don’t? What is not in doubt is that he is developing fast and could yet play a part.
Away from horse racing, the Rugby World Cup is now in full swing. Regular readers will know my original two picks of England and France are going well and I have no reason to jump ship. The one thing I have noticed is the effect of playing tournament in English autumnal, northern hemisphere conditions has brought the best out of the home nations and maybe not so in the southern hemisphere countries. That notwithstanding I still maintain that New Zealand will meet one of my two picks in the final. But anybody who has not thus far taken a price (5/1 and 20/1 respectively) may look to the Argentinians, who put up an impressive performance against the All Blacks in their opening pool match, and who will go in the bottom half of the draw as Group C runners-up to cause an upset at 66/1 (Ladbrokes). That’s 22/1 to reach the final! (All bookmakers are offering 1⁄3 first two). England though look as if everything has been prepared for a triumphant campaign.
Superleague is now reaching its zenith with St Helens, Wigan, Leeds and Huddersfield contesting the semi-finals. Semi-finals will be played this coming weekend (October 3-4) and at the prices I feel people have discounted the HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS as Grand Final winners. I have not, and at 4/1 represents excellent value (Coral and Hills).
The diluted Ryder Cup that is the President’s Cup which is contested between America and the Internationals, takes place in Korea next week and at the prices the 5/2 available for the INTERNATIONAL team looks particularly juicy. In their ranks are three top quality South Africans, the Japanese superstar Heidiki Matsuyama and the current best player on the planet in the New Zealander Jason Day. Under the captaincy of Nick Price who tends to pair countrymen together, I have a sneaking feeling that the next big thing – DANNY LEE – will partner Jason Day in the fourballs and foursomes. As they are both from New Zealand it does seem logical. Furthermore as the event is being held in Korea in warm, sunny conditions, players from the locality will surely be at an advantage. Whereas Jason Day is 7/2 to be top point scorer for the Internationals, Danny Lee is 14/1. Need I say any more?
As I mentioned in September’s column, this time of year is perfect for ante post wagers and October doesn’t fall far behind. So in conclusion let’s look at the Capital One Cup, the League Cup for those who remember. Now that we are down to the last 16, one thing became apparent in the Fourth Round and that was that the big guns didn’t use the competition to blood youngsters or rotate their squad but instead put out on the pitch fairly strong teams. Just look how Chelsea and Arsenal and Man United and especially Man City lined up. Among the starters for the Man City against Sunderland were Aguero, Toure, de Bruyne, Sterling and we should take note. The price on MAN CITY to win the Capital One Cup is a staggering 4/1. Take it now. Until next month good punting.
Bernie the Book