THE CLOCKS HAvE gONE bACK, IT’S NOW DARK AT 5pm and no more summer sports.
What have we left to brighten up our winter evenings? Well there’s boxing for one. And not just any old boxing match, but heavyweight, world championship, belts on the line, and this December (and printed here because of deadlines and I want you all to have the opportunity of backing my advice) on December 1st is the heavyweight battle in America of Deontay Wilder and the resurgent Tyson Fury. With the winner likely to meet AJ in a unification match-up, everything is up for grabs.
Now you might hate his views and you might hate his behaviour but one thing is certain, Tyson Fury is box office. Remember, Fury defeated Klitchco in his own backyard of Germany and at a time when he was still at his pomp, not on one last pay day against Joshua. And even then he gave Joshua a huge fright. So Fury can not only talk the talk but walk the walk and good judges that I respect over the months have consistently told me that the best heavyweight on the planet is Fury.
It is slightly surprising that in only his third comeback fight since his problems with drugs, weight and general bad-boy reputation that he is surprisingly short in the outright market at a shade over 6/4. I think this is a reflection on the quality of the opposition who nevertheless should not be underestimated as every layer in town believes Joshua is the rightful number one. I disagree, I believe Wilder would beat Joshua if they fought, but think the 6/4 about Tyson Fury just has to be taken. Away from boxing and coming up on Tuesday morning, November 6th at about 4am UK time is the race that stops a nation – The Melbourne Cup in Australia. Still no British trained trainers and runners have won the cup but several, most notably Luca Cumani, who has been agonisingly close in the last decade have managed to come away with the ultimate prize.
The Melbourne Cup is now seen from the UK as a major prize whereas before it was always an add-on to the flat season and partly due to this, and partly due to a higher quality of horse, I thinkthis year the Melbourne Cup is up for total european domination. My mine fancy though is yet again with the Irish and LATRObE who is currently trading at 14/1, trained by the legendary Aiden O’Brien’s soon to be legendary talented son, Joseph O’Brien. He is clearly gifted and in only his third season of training managed to secure the Group One Irish Derby with Latrobe and I think he will have too much class for the opposition.
Away from more immediate targets, most observers were blown away with the performance of Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst (the most important two-year-old race of the season last month. Yes he was impressive but the scribes are talking about a new Frankel, which he clearly isn’t. However, I have been very impressed with the emergence of QuORTO in the Godolphin blue and I think the 8/1 about next year’s 2000 Guineas has to be taken now. 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… Well I hope you took my advice as the above excerpt from October’s issue verifying that prior to a ball being kicked in the NFL, I strongly fancied the LA Rams to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Pre-season (and when I informed you) the Rams were 11/1, now they are trading at a shade over 3/1. Yes, there is still over half of the season to run but at this time they are looking a magnificient bet. Until next month when we will be looking at early Cheltenham bets good punting…
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
I Hope my readers Dipped THeir Toe in The water with my headline nap for the National (above) and I hope you also got the 16/1 that I secured antepost. Meanwhile, the jump season has officially ended and Cheltenham, Aintree, Punchestown and, indeed, Sandown, saw the last meaningful exchanges for another season and we now welcome in the flat.
Next weekend sees the first two classics of the season, the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and my headline nap for the 2,000 Guineas is VERBAL DEXTERITY, trained in Ireland by the master trainer, Jim Bolger. Reports are encouraging and the price is certainly lip-smacking at a general 20/1 to your money. Highly touted as a twoyear-old, Verbal Dexterity won the Group One National Stakes at the Currah and went straight to the Dewhurst (the leading trial for the following season’s 2,000 Guineas) but performed not as well as expected and ultimately ran fourth to Guinea’s favourite, Saxon Warrior, trained by his padawan – Aiden O’Brien. Expect him to perform better on the big stage this time around. The following day’s 1,000 Guineas is dominated by Ballydoyle with the first three in the betting all trained by King Aiden.
Shortest price is Clemmie at around 2/1 but she suffered a setback last autumn and has not yet been the subject of specially promising reports in the racing press. Both Happily and September are evenly matched, with preference given to SePTemBer at a general 10/1. Finally on a horse racing note, the 2,000 Guineas takes place on the same day as America’s favourite race – the Kentucky Derby. Anyone seeing how menDelSSoHn trounced the opposition on World Cup night in Dubai will know the following: he acts on dirt (admittedly not the same exact surface as Churchill Downs, he has won in America on Breeders’ Cup Night last year and so is used to the environment, he acts on lasix as the majority of horses run on in the States and perhaps more pertinently, he will almost certainly have Ryan Moore aboard him.
This is a tip in itself, so look out for the declarations and it is as much as a tip for the Kentucky Derby as it is not a tip for Saxon Warrior on 2,000 Guineas’ Day. Link to a tasty price of 5/1, back him now for Kentucky Derby glory. In April’s column I mentioned the forthcoming World Cup in Russia in June. Although slightly whimsical on that occasion, I feel there are two teams against the field that should be backed. My main bet is the Samba Boys of Brazil. My second bet is England – no, not really but what about a team that is the England Premier League XI? I am talking about Belgium who can call upon De Bruyne, Hazard, Kompany, Fellaini, Lukaku, Vertongen. Vermaelen and Dembele.
At 16/1 they will also give you a good run for your money. And so finally to Sheffield and the Crucible and the World Snooker Championship. Culminating on May Bank Holiday and over two weeks before, the event will have already started by the time you read this but this column was written in early April so hopefully it is still in date. Let me say at the outset that if Ronnie turns up, Ronnie wins but I just think his frailties don’t make 2/1 a good bet and therefore, regretfully, he won’t be having any of my dough on him. This means of course that others have a slightly inflated price.
To win at Sheffield you not only need to be playing well, but also know how to win over longer distances of first to ten and first to 13 and then first to 15! And that’s before you reach the final. So you need mental strength in spades and my two against the field are marco Fu at 100/1 (obviously each way at half the first two) and secondly, and my main fancy, mark allen at 28/1. Now showing the maturity for his undoubted promise he can’t be ignored. So let’s pot black. Good punting.