FIRSTLY SOME APOLOGIES AS WE GOT TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS at Cheltenham, and whether it was the change of going or some fancies not running up to expectations or probably a mixture of the two, the net result was abject misery. But that’s no reason not to try to recoup our losses in April.
Firstly on to the Grand National on April 8th where I feel Brian Ellison’s DEFINITELY RED is primed for glory at a very respectable 16/1. It absolutely sluiced in last time out at Doncaster in a noted Grand National trial and the further he went the better he travelled. A sound jumper and because the weights for the Grand National were framed in early March, Definitely Red has incurred no penalty.
He is my main fancy but I should also mention my second choice which is CAUSE OF CAUSES at 25/1. He broke the stranglehold of Enda Bolger at Cheltenham in the Cross Country and I believe that he can also run a mighty race at Aintree. A word of caution, wait for the day or until you get a price with non runner no bet as he is yet to be confirmed. Highlight this month for fight fans is the eagerly anticipated World Title fight between the next big thing, ANTHONY JOSHUA and the previously undefeated (until Fury) heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. For so long unbeatable, a bit like Apollo Creed, Wlad the Man was sensationally floored by Tyson Fury when last he fought 18 months ago.
Was this a glitch or the portents of time catching up with him? As is common in boxing it is rare for a fighter to retire at the top and I think this is one last pay day. In fact AJ is a warm favourite at 2/5 with most of the bookies which makes it an unattractive price for a working man and much better is to take AJ to win by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification at a healthy 8/11 at Ladbrokes.
would certainly advocate a sizeable bet at this price. The fight takes place at the back end of April and I’m sure by midApril there will be a raft of markets available and I would seriously look out for a knockout within the first six or seven rounds, my personal favourite would be a stoppage in Round 5 but prices are not out yet. So apart from FA Cup semifinals, the business end of the European cup competitions what else have we got to look forward to? Simple, the Masters. Each year the golfing world turns up at Augusta National and sets the scene for the coming year.
Joint favourites this year will be/are Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson but at 7/1 their prices offer no great appeal. As the Masters is invariably won by competitors who have experienced the rigours of Amen Corner, on numerous occasions it is common for past champions to do well. Therefore don’t be surprised to see the likes of Freddie Couples turn back the clock, Phil Mickelson in the thick of things and even gentle Ben Crenshaw to appear on the leader board at some point. Clearly to win at Augusta you need course form, course history and blood coursing through your veins. My two against the field are HIDEKI MATSUYAMA and JUSTIN THOMAS.
Hideki is a top priced 18/1 for the Masters and that price just simply has to be taken. Over the last 12 months his rise to dine at golfing’s top table has been staggering and he has all the attributes to compete well this year, notably he has length off the tee, enjoyed a good debut last year and has a ice cold attitude to pressure. My second pick is Justin Thomas who has started the year in buoyant form winning twice in Hawaii before keeping his game in good shape going into the spring. It must be galling for Justin as his best pal is one of the new breed of Augusta greats in Jordan Speith who won at Augusta two years ago and imploded last year letting in Danny Willett at the death.
Again Justin Thomas is long off the tee and like Jordan Spieth is a streak putter and when they start going in they keep going in. Available at 25/1 with Hills and Paddy Power this price simply has to be taken. Quickly just to remind everyone my tips for the World Snooker are BARRY HAWKINS and STUART BINGHAM at 20/1 and 25/1 respectively. Until next month, good punting.