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Darran

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Darran last won the day on January 17

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About Darran

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  • Birthday 08/26/1982

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  1. York and Havant losing was very costly ante post wise and Havant were in front twice but yet again dropped points at home. When I saw us play Kings Lynn back in September I said at the time how impressed I was with them and how I thought they looked play off contenders. Really wish I had backed them as they must have still been a big price back then. Got to say it is going to be very tough for York now. Having just finished watching Barrow v Bromley I was very impressed with the home side especially in the 2nd half. Like Kings Lynn I thought they would end up dropping away but they look the real deal and I struggle to see them getting caught now
  2. The fixture list has set up some huge clashes tomorrow. As mentioned above we have Kings Lynn v York which could well decide who wins the National League North title. In the National League we have Barrow v Bromley which for once is a great pick from BT Sport. In the National League South we have Havant v Wealdstone which could also go a fair way to deciding who wins that title. The top 2 in the BetVictor Northern Premier also play each other as Lancaster host South Shields. Finally in the BetVictor Southern Premier South 1st host 3rd as Truro play Chesham. To have so many top of the table clashes in day is staggering and the results will be fascinating.
  3. Wish I was going myself as it looks a hell of a game. I was tempted to put up York, but the price has come in a little and I am invested heavily in the outright market on them so if they did lose it would be a double blow. Couldn't put you off the draw though if you do want a bet, but I do think York are the better side although Kings Lynn are very impressive at home and are on a hell of a run
  4. On colossus a solo player took 90% of the pool by themselves after banking on the winner in the last race. Only staked 30 quid and I bet he can’t believe his luck!
  5. Once the 2 non-runners came out I was pretty confident we were going to get something back as I really didn't fancy the two outsiders, but we always get the odd race per season where we get something weird happening and we certainly got that. First thing to say is they went no pace at all which is backed up by the fact the winning time was a minute over standard and that certainly helped the winner. If they had gone a quicker pace I struggle to believe he would have been in contention as late into the race as he was as I can't believe he is in the same league as his rivals. He was beaten in a restricted last time so shouldn't really be winning a hunter chase like this even allowing for the luck he got. Chances are I will be more than happy to take him on next time out. As for the 3 who failed to finish it is hard to say exactly what would have happened if they had of stayed on their feet. My feeling is the favourite would have won and he was certainly looking the winner when he came down at 2 out. The problem now is that he will need to run in another two races to get qualified for Cheltenham which isn't exactly ideal for connections. Dieu Vivant had been pretty weak in the betting during the day, but he came in for money on track and was backed from 12/1 into 7/1. He travelled into the race well and wasn't done with at all when Arcala fell right in front of him. He was obviously very unfortunate, but could find an opening this season. Ballynagour was amazingly fresh considering he is 14. He clearly wanted to go quicker than they were going, but Alex gave him a very good ride up until he came down at 4 out. He was just started to get competitive and I wouldn't rule him out from winning one of these at some point. The next race is at Warwick on Wednesday and sadly there are only 6 entries although Bob And Co and Hazel Hill have both been entered along with Minella Rocco so it could be a really interesting race despite the small field.
  6. Kettering's late late winner was very welcome last Saturday to win at 5/1 and with Gainsborough and the 4pts Nap Havant also winning it was a profitable afternoon. Tuesday saw the only bet Stratford win to keep things ticking over. I have 6 bets across Step 2 and Step 3 this weekend. Southport v Boston (National League North) Southport's run towards the play-offs has hit the rails of late as they have lost 4 games on the bounce. Granted 2 of those were against Chester and one against York, but they have been very leaky at the back conceding 12 goals in that spell. Their wins in their last 10 games have come against some of the weaker sides in the division as well, Leamington, Kidderminster, Gloucester and Blyth so coming up against one of the better sides like Boston I expect it to be a task they aren't up to. Boston were a bit disappointing to only draw with Curzon last time out, but there only 3 defeats in their last 10 games have come against Kings Lynn twice and Spennymoor when they were in flying form. I think Boston should be favourites to win this so they look a good price. Slough v Dartford (National League South) When Steve King first took over at Dartford I mentioned on Twitter that it was a great appointment and they would soon be flying up the table. Why I didn't keep backing them I don't know, but I have hardly put them up for one reason and another yet the have won 6 of their last 7 games. They now look a play-off side and it is no surprise to me as Steve King is a fantastic manager especially at this level. Obviously Slough are flying as well, but they are 4 without a win and they were fortunate to get a point at Billericay last week as they went 2-1 up against the run of play. I don't think there is much at all between these two sides and Dartford are value at 12/5. Witton Albion v Atherton Collieries (BetVictor Northern Premier) I opposed Witton last week and they duly lost 3-1 to Gainsbororugh and I am happy to take them on again here. Atherton really co look a big price given they have only lost one of their last 7 league games. They gave Barrow a fright in the FA Trophy as well and have beaten Lancaster and Stalybridge in 2 of their last 3 league games. The slight concern is Atherton's away from as they have only won twice on the road, but I think that is factored into the price here given Witton are in woeful form at the moment. Stafford v Warrington Town (BetVictor Northern Premier) I am surprised Warringotn aren't odds on for this. Warrington have drawn 5 of their last 10 games, but have also only lost once in that spell as well. They won their first game in 7 last Saturday and hopefully they can kick on again. This game looks a perfect one to pick up another 3 points given how bad Stafford are. They have lost 9 of their last 10 games and look in a desperate shape. I think any odds against price is good value. Hendon v Gosport Borough (BetVictor Southern Premier South) I put up Hendon 4 games ago when they played Harrow and managed to find the game Harrow bounced back to form and they have gone unbeaten since after losing 5 games on the bounce. Hendon then lost to Chesham, but have had two good wins over Weston and Met Police in their last two games. Given they are at home, and 5 of their 6 league wins have been at home, I struggle to see why they should be over 2/1 to beat Gosport here. Gosport have lost their last 2 and have only won one of their last 7 games now. The 4 draws have been against some of the weaker sides in the league as well so they aren't in great form and for me this game is much closer than the bookies have it. Rushden & Diamonds v Stratford Town (BetVictor Southern Premier Central) Stratford's win against Redditch was their first away win of the season and obviously this is a risky bet, but as I wrote on Tuesday they look a much improved squad and they could be about to do a Leiston and go on a much improved run. They battered Redditch and should have scored more and did really well against Stourbridge last Saturday. Speaking of Leiston Rushden beat them 3-2 last week, but that was down to a late winner and I do think Stratford have a sporting chance of picking up another 3 points on the back of the Redditch win. Boston 2pts @ 19/10 with BetVictor (Betfred/Hills) Dartford 1pt @ 12/5 with Bet365, BetVictor and Betfred Atherton 1pt @ 12/5 with BetVictor (Marathon) Warrington 2pts @ 133/100 with Marathon Hendon 1pt @ 117/50 with Marathon Stratford 1pt @ 19/5 with Marathon
  7. He actually did well for Bradford and wasn't bad for us either. I think Solihull recalled him so we could take him on loan rather than Bradford sending him back. Interestingly he admitted to banning himself from all bookies on Twitter the other day as he had a gambling problem.
  8. Slightly surprising that having had 3 entries in the race that David Maxwell does not have a runner in the 2nd Hunter Chase of the season at Ludlow. The other 7 of the 10 original entries do stand their ground though. Alcala is the obvious place to start. You would imagine that the trainer sees him as one of his possible Foxhunter horses although you wouldn't be fully certain of him staying that trip. 3m round here on soft ground shouldn't be an issue though given he is a course and distance winner and he has won on heavy ground. His biggest win was the Summer Plate at Market Rasen in 2017 off a mark of 147 and a performance anywhere near that would be good enough for this. The last time he was seen was in the same race the following year when he was only 6th but it was still a decent effort in the context of this race. You would imagine Nicholls will have got him fit enough after his long lay-off and he has Angus Cheleda on top who is a very good jockey and the fact he is able to claim 7lbs is huge. I can see him riding plenty of winners this season both in hunter chases and points. He is clearly the one they all have to beat. 3 runs back Alcala was a 23L 4th behind Cut The Corner at Newton Abbot and at these weights based on that running there wouldn't be a great deal between them. The problem is Cut The Corner looks firmly on the downgrade and the trip and ground both look a big question mark for me. Adam O'Shea has only ever had 4 rides under rules and interestingly Alex Edwards is riding something else in the race given he has ridden him plenty of times in the past including his last two runs. Alex is on former Cheltenham Festival winner (Byrne Group Plate in 2014) Ballynagour who hasn't won a race since landing a Grade 2 at Auteuil in May 2015. In fairness he raced in Graded races in most of his races since then and he ran with credit on a few occasions. In his last 6 races under rules though he only completed once and that was in the 2017 Grand National. His last run under rules he burst a blood vessel which is always a concern, but he was given plenty of time to get over that as he was off for nearly 2 years when reappearing at Larkhill in December. He fell at 3 out that day, but he was still in front at the time. My feeling was having watched the video that he was beginning to get tired, but given Earth Leader ended up being the winner it was still a top effort after so long off. He then was done for a bit of toe late on at Cottenham at the end of last month behind Art Mauresque. He won't have any worries about the ground and the jockey change from his inexperienced trainer to Alex Edwards is a big plus. 7L in front of Ballynagour at Cottenham was Bletchley Castle who did us a good turn when he won in handicap company at Southwell back in June. That was a really poor Class 5 heat though and he was well handicapped off a mark of 99. He is a keen sort who is likely to front run and although that Southwell race was over 3m I have always thought he is better over a shorter trip. The other thing to note is he hasn't gone near soft ground apart from when he was massively outclassed at Galway in August. I think a combination of testing ground and 3m will catch him out here and I can see Ballynagour reversing the form. The only other one to mention is Dieu Vivant. On the pick of his French form he would have a chance of at least hitting the frame in this, but he struggled in two starts over here last year. His last one in May at Uttoxeter he did briefly make a good looking effort, before dropping out. No surprise that the tongue-tie goes on here as he could well have a breathing issue although I am a little surprised he hasn't had a wind op. I think it is hard to see Alcala not winning this. He is surely going to be fit and we know he will handle the ground and he is a course and distance winner. With his very good jockey taking 7lbs off as well it just adds to his already strong case. The problem is the price as a best of 8/15 is too short for me so I am looking at a forecast. I really do struggle to see Cut The Corner or Bletchley Castle being able to finish 2nd as the trip in the conditions look against both of them. With the two outsiders having little chance that leaves us with Ballynagour and Dieu Vivant. Ballynagour will enjoy the ground and the jockey switch is a huge plus. He has run two solid races so far this season in good heats and with a more experienced jockey on I can see him finishing 2nd. I am going to have a small saver on Dieu Vivant though. If the tongue-tie helps him get back to his French form then he will be capable of following the favourite home as well especially as he will clearly enjoy the ground. Alcala to beat Ballynagour 1.5pts f/c Alcala to beat Dieu Vivant 0.5pts f/c
  9. Redditch v Stratford I was close to putting up Stratford anyway, but I have made them a bet now because of the signings they made at the weekend. These two sides are rubbish, but Stratford have got Dan Sweeney in on loan from Solihull and he has done well when on loan in the National League North this season. He is going to be the best player on the pitch in this game and to be fair apart from the 5-0 hammering against Banbury they have only lost by 1 goal in their last 6 games. Redditch have conceded 32 goals in their last 10 games losing them all and scoring just 6. Stratford have only picked up 2 points on their travels, but they will know this is a must win tonight and I struggle to think they will be cautious. I really do think Stratford are the better side and at 8/5 with Betway I am happy to back them. This game is on a 3G pitch so it should get the go ahead. Stratford 1pt @ 8/5 with Betway
  10. Don Poli and Hazel Hill were both in action over the weekend and both were victorious as well. Let's deal with Don Poli first who won at Alnwick on Saturday. As per his previous win I wasn't really that impressed. Again he had to be niggled on the odd occasion to keep him interested and he made harder work of beating Killer Crow than he should have done. Connections will be pleased as he is now qualified for Cheltenham and they have got it out of the way nice and early in the easiest way possible. I suspect we won't see him until March now and I am sure Nick has left a bit to work on, but on the bare form of his two pointing wins there is no way he should be a 16/1 shot for me. I would make him around double that price myself and I still think once you get him in a big field in a strongly run race (Saturday's race was run at a slow gallop again) he is more likely to drop himself out and lose interest. Hazel Hill firmed at head of the market after winning at Sheriff Hutton on Sunday. His jumping was a tad sketchy in the early stages, but as the race warmed up so did his jumping and he ran out an easy 15L winner in the end. The victory reminded me of his seasonal return last season where he was solid but unspectacular in victory, but it was the perfect reappearance really. We may see him next at Warwick at the end of the month which was the race he won last year although they might leave it a little longer given his first run was later this season. I certainly think we will see him again before he goes to Cheltenham though. We have seen a few horses win this twice in recent years and at this stage he fully deserves his position as favourite to become another one. Mighty Stowaway has been added to the market today after winning yesterday. Shark Hanlon trains him and he has won three points and finished 2nd to Down Royal winner Dylrow in between. The horse has recently been purchased by Philip Reynolds who is Presenting Percy's owner and was running in his colours for the first time on Sunday. Reading some quotes from Shark after his win he mentioned that the horse didn't handle the track in his defeat and that the jockey came in and said to ignore the run. He won comfortably on Sunday and is being aimed at Cheltenham and Aintree. The last time he ran under rules was at Southwell in August and he was stuffed off a mark of 133, but he has had a wind op since and Shark feels he has improved for it. He would have to prove he stayed as far as 3m2f and there is the concern that the Irish don't look to be that strong, but he could be one of the leading Irish contenders. It is a shame that if he does run again before Cheltenham it will be in another point as it would have been nice to see him run at Naas to see how he fared, but that does mean he might sneak under the radar a little. Caid Du Berlais has been entered in points on Saturday and Sunday.
  11. Not that many games this mid-week but I like 3 bets in the BetVictor Southern Premier Central over the next two nights. Hitchin v Leiston This game is tonight (Monday) and I am backing Leiston again here as I have done a few times of late. I thought they were on the short side for Saturday's game against AFC Rushden & Diamonds and they ended up losing 3-2 although they were 2-1 and only lost it in the 90th minute. It was another good performance though and it was more proof that they have improved a hell of a lot in the last 2/3 months. Hitchin should have won on Saturday as their opponents, Needham Market, goalkeeper was given man of the match as the game ended 0-0. I don't think there is much between these two sides at all and Leiston have been the better of late for me. Bet365's 21/10 about an away win looks value for me. AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Needham Market In a strange twist of fate the two teams who played the teams in the above bet also play each other this week and I like the home side here. Granted Needham have drawn 5 of their last 10 games, but they have only won twice and as I mention above they ought to have lost on Saturday. In their previous game they only beat Stratford 1-0 and they have picked up only 1 point in their last 9 games. Rushden have won their last 3 and have only failed to win in 3 of their last 10 games. I would make them a shade of odds on myself so 5/4 with Bet365 looks good. Alvechurch v Kings Langley This division has got some poor sides in it this season who have been losing plenty of games which is one of the reasons why it has been a profitable section for me this term. The home side are one of those sides having lost 8 of their last 9 games with the win a 3-2 victory over bottom of the table Redditch. Langley are in good form only losing 1 of their last 6 and they played really well on Saturday in a 2-2 with Peterborough Sports. They look a good price at 5/4 with Bet365. Leiston 1pt @ 21/10 with Bet365 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2.5pts @ 5/4 with Bet365 Kings Langley 2pts @ 5/4 with Bet365
  12. Dulwich now as big as 11/2 so I certainly suggest cashing out and placing at the bigger price.
  13. Dover have been poor at home on the whole although they did beat Bromley on Boxing Day. Can see where you are coming from though for sure
  14. Asian punters want to back Weymouth that’s all. Just means we get even better value