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Darran

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Everything posted by Darran

  1. Some brief thoughts for the next 3 days. Not sure what the prices are now as not got time to check, but as usual a minimum price is added below AFC Rushden & Diamonds v St Ives (Southern League Central) St Ives in good form and Rushden have had Covid issues which might mean this game does get called off, but if it goes ahead St Ives will have a better chance than the odds suggest. Poole v Wimborne (Southern League South) Got to chance Wimborne again at a big price although I would still have Poole as favourites. Maidenhead v Wealdstone (National League) Good win for the home side on Tuesday which was their first for a while and Wealdstone have had Covid issues which has meant they haven't played since losing in the FA Trophy to Needham Market. Looks a good chance for Maidenhead to get back to back wins. Havant v Dorking (National League South) Granted the home side will want to do better than they did Boxing Day, but Dorking should be favs for this in my view. Slough v Oxford City (National League South) I mentioned on Tuesday that Oxford were fortunate to beat Slough on Boxing Day and then Slough won easily against Hampton for us. They are a big price again for Sunday's game. Kettering v Brackley (National League North) I really fancy Brackley here. They have lost just twice all season and Kettering have had Covid issues which hasn't seen them play since beating Leamington 4-0 on 18th December. Leamington had injury issues that day and prior to that Kettering weren't in great form. Shade of odds against looks a big price to me. St Ives 1pt @ 14/5 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 2/1) Wimborne 1pt @ 4/1 with Skybet, Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 9/4) Maidenhead 2pts @ 6/5 with William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes (take up to 4/5) Yeovil to beat Torquay 1pt @ 29/20 with Ladbrokes and Coral (take up to 5/4) Dorking 2pts 29/20 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Betfred (take up to 11/10) Slough 2pts @ 2/1 with Skybet, Paddy Power, Betfair, Betfred and BetVictor (9/4 available with Hills but will log 2/1 and take up to 5/4) Brackley 4pts @ 11/10 with William Hill (take up to 4/6) Halifax to beat Grimsby (Live on BT on Monday) 1pt @ 9/5 with Bet365, William Hill and Betfred (take up to 6/4)
  2. The Down Royal hunter chase on Boxing Day could well feature a leading Cheltenham contender in Vaucelet. You may remember he took the John Corbet Cup at Stratford back in May and although it was a small field he beat some decent horses. He has had two runs already this season and he has won them both landing a point before taking the first hunter chase of the season in Ireland at Fairyhouse. I thought he still looked pretty green and inexperienced at Fairyhouse which would concern me at this stage for Cheltenham, but he is clearly a progressive horse and I think there is more to come. Some people have wondered if the trip is on the short side for him, but to me he has a high cruising speed and there is every chance that this will be run at a much stronger pace than the Stratford race which should turn in it into a decent test at the trip. Therefore the trip doesn't concern me and I think it is his greenness which makes it look like he needs a test of stamina. When I look at his opposition I am not actually all that worried about it. Stand Up and Fight won this race in 2018, but for me he certainly needs a test of stamina now and he struggled to get involved in this contest last year when a keeping on 4th behind Billaway. On The Sod is a stablemate of the favourite, but his hunter chase efforts away from Downpatrick have left a bit to be desired on the whole and to me he is likely to set the race up for Vaucelet. The main danger might end up being Gordon Elliott's Its All Guesswork who seems in much better form this season than last, judged on his two pointing runs. First off he beat a good horse in Solomn Grundy by 15l and then he unseated last time at 3 out when still going well out in front. If he brings that form to this contest then he is a possible winner and it is no surprise that he has been backed this morning. David Christie has a 3rd runner in Some Man who also would be in with a chance of hitting the frame. These are unofficial tips and wont be included in the season stats, but I do think Vaucelet is a fair price at 7/4 as I think he should be around 5/4. Its All Guesswork has been well backed but I will be having a saver on him.
  3. I think it is going to be hard to be bullish about anything whilst Covid is disrupting football so much. I'm hoping that clubs are more likely to get out of league games than they were FA Trophy matches as there were some teams who kept Covid issues very quiet with Enfield only managed two subs against Eastleigh for example. The other issue we are going to have is that training will have been disrupted with those who have had Covid regardless of how ill they were. I have 8 bets over Sunday and Monday. Aldershot v Woking I'm always slightly wary of getting involved in a derby match especially one that is as big as this, but Woking have been off the boil for a while now and they couldn't even beat an understrength Yeovil side in the FA Trophy last week. Aldershot meanwhile have won 4 out of their last 5 in the league and although they were a bit fortunate to overcome Kingstonian in the Trophy last week it did at least keep the good run going. There isn't a huge amount in the price but I think there is enough to warrant a bet on the home side. Torquay v Yeovil I still don't really know how Torquay managed to beat Stockport in their last league game, but what I will say is they do seem to have stepped up their performances against the better sides in the division. This was backed up by the fact they went to Tonbridge and lost 2-1 in the FA Trophy despite the fact the victors had a weakened team out. As mentioned above Yeovil came from a goal down to beat Woking, in the league they are unbeaten in 7 and of course they have the FA Cup 3rd Round to look forward to. They haven't always been the best side in those games, but they keep getting results and I certainly think they are too big a price here as there isn't much between these two at all. AFC Telford v Chester (National League North) Steve Watson was announced as the new Chester manager on Thursday and I think he can get 3 points in his first match in charge. For me they are a better side than their hosts on paper and Telford haven't really improved for their new manager. They had a very winnable game at home to Guiesley on Tuesday and yet they were pretty poor in a 1-0 defeat. I'd make Chester slight favourites here so there is value in the price. Curzon Ashton v Southport (National League North) To be fair to the home side they are proving hard to beat having drawn 5 of their last 9 league games, but they have only won once in that spell, although it was against Fylde. As I wrote on Tuesday ahead of the called off game against Kettering, Southport are flying at the moment and although not as big value as they were on Tuesday they are value again to pick up another 3 points. Chelmsford v Braintree (National League South) An Essex derby between two of the poorer sides in the division, but there are certainly more signs of life in the away side at the moment and I don't see why they are such a big price. No league wins in 9 now for the home side and they have only managed to draw against two other sides around them in the table, Tonbridge and Billericay, in their last 2 games. Braintree have only lost to Havant in their last 4 league games, managing a win against Tonbridge and two draws in the time. I suspect it will probably be a game low on quality, but Braintree should certainly be much closer to Chelmsford in the betting and hopefully they can edge it for us. Horsham v Lewes (Isthmian Premier) The Horsham manager is one of the bosses to have come out and said how badly Covid has affected his side, but they want to play the games as they are desperate for the season not to be null and voided which is completely understandable. He mentioned he might be able to have a training session on Thursday, but that would only have 6 or 7 players and the players haven't kicked a ball since they played a County Cup game against Hastings on the 14th. As good form as they are in that is hardly ideal going into a tough game against a good side. Lewes can throw in the odd stinker as mentioned in the preview below, but they are a side who should end up in the play-offs and they hold the advantage here for me given Horsham's issues. Potters Bar v Hornchurch (Isthmian Premier) Hornchurch have been in good form in recent weeks having lost just two of their last 8 league games. They were against Worthing and Enfield as well so two of the toughest games in the division. They have crept into the play-off picture and I think they will have too much for their hosts who have mainly struggled of late. Potters Bar did manage to beat Lewes 5-1 recently although that was a game to forget for their opponents and I think their other 3 of their last 4 games shows where they are actually at right now. They lost those 3 games and in their last 2 they have conceded 4 both times. One of those defeats was to bottom side Leatherhead as well so it is the away side who are value to win this. Wimborne v Salisbury (Southern Premier South) Another example of how hard it is at the moment to fully know what is happening at each club is the fact the Salisbury, who of course was one of the bets last week, only had 12 available players for the game against Poole. The fact they led twice and then drew 2-2 is of great credit, but I also think it shows how Poole aren't in a strong position at the moment. Wimborne did us a huge favourite on the other-hand last week when they beat Gosport and it showed how much they are improving at the moment. This is potentially a tricker game for them, but the bookies have not surprisingly not caught up with the fact that Wimborne have strengthened and they are worth backing again for me. Aldershot 1pt @ 6/4 with Ladbrokes and Coral (take up to 5/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 13/5 with Bet365 (take up to 15/8) Chester 1pt @ 8/5 with Betfred (take up to 11/8) Southport 1pt @ 2/1 with William Hill, Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Braintree 1pt @ 9/4 with William Hill (take up to 7/4) Lewes 1pt @ 7/5 with William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair and Bet365 (take up to 11/8) Hornchurch 1pt @ 5/4 with William Hill and Bet365 Wimborne 1pt @ 21/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair
  4. These are the 3 of my original tips that still offer value. I too am on Chorley although they are marginal value now. Eastleigh v Aldershot On the face of it Aldershot look in good form, but I think a lot of that is down to the fact they have had the right fixtures to see them get points on the board. Their xG hasn't been overly impressive despite the fact they have won 3 and drawn 1 of their last 4 games and I think they face their toughest test of this run of fixtures. They blew a 2 goal lead against Altrincham last week and Eastleigh's home form has been very impressive with them winning 5 times and losing just once. The loss came in their opening home game of the season as well and they beat Notts County in their last home game. They also went to Dagenham and won in their last fixture. The slight concern is they haven't played since the 23rd November so they maybe a bit rusty, but that is factored into the price for me and they look a solid bet. Yeovil v Barnet A good win for Yeovil in the FA Cup last week over Stevenage which continued their strong run of form. They haven't lost in 7 league games now, but they have had a bit of fortune in that time and they did only draw against Dover recently. Barnet have done us a couple of good favours in the last few weeks and they look a big price to me here. They have deserved their last 3 wins over Torquay, Woking and Maidenhead and as I have mentioned Dean Brennan has transformed the sides fortunes. It's still a mystery as to why he hasn't been given the job on a full time basis. They are more than capable of picking up another 3 points here. Double I am really keen on both Notts County and Stockport County winning on Saturday so I am going to stick them both in a double. Notts County host Southend and they still look way off the pace. Their xG in the win over Altrincham was only 0.49 and Maidenhead had a slightly higher one than them in the draw on Tuesday night. They were pretty poor in the 2nd half and I think they are going to really struggle to get anything from a trip to Meadow Lane. Stockport meanwhile travel to Torquay and if Stockport continue to play as they have been then they will gain another 3 points. They were unlucky to lose to Rotherham in the FA Cup last week and they just look a different side under Challinor. They are creating plenty of chances and scoring goals and Torquay are just nowhere near the levels that they were at last season. They did deserve to beat Weymouth last week, but they have been struggling against the better sides in the division and Stockport are certainly one of those. Eastleigh 2pts @ 6/5 with William Hill (take up to 5/6) Barnet 1pt @ 5/2 with BetVictor (take up to 2/1) Notts County/Stockport County 2.5pts double @ 2.4/1 with Bet365 and Betfred (take up to 15/8)
  5. Dulwich Hamlet v Ebbsfleet 4th play 3rd here and I just can't have Dulwich as such big outsiders especially at home. Dulwich have only lost two of their last 10 and played well in a draw against Havant on Wednesday night. Ebbsfleet won 6 on the bounce, but have lost their last two in the league to Maidstone and Oxford City. I'd make Ebbsfleet marginal favourites still, but Dulwich are very much over priced in my view. Kettering v Boston Boston's away form in the league has been pretty awful, but they managed to win at Brackley in the FA Trophy last week which was a good effort and I am going to give them a chance of beating a Kettering side who have been woeful in their last 2 games. Gloucester beat them easily 3-0 in the Trophy last Saturday and then Hereford beat them by the same score line in the league on Tuesday night. Boston have the better team and I think they should be a bit shorter in the betting. Biggleswade v Alvechurch Alvechurch are having a great season and have only lost once in their last 10 league games. Last week they beat Peterborough Sports 1-0 and then on Tuesday night they thumped Stourbridge 5-1. They look true play-off contenders and they should be able to pick up another 3 points here. Biggleswade are a solid mid-table side, but they have only won once in their last 7 and I would have the away side shorter in the betting. Dulwich Hamet 1pt @ 5/2 with Bet365 and William Hill (take up to 15/8) Boston 1pt @ 13/8 with Skybet, Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 5/4) Alvechurch 3pts @ 7/5 with Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill (take up to 11/10)
  6. Salford v Chesterfield Salford have done well in the league since they beat Dagenham in the previous round, but they were really lucky to beat Dagenham that night as Dagenham were the better side. That gives me hope that Chesterfield can beat their hosts on Sunday teatime. We all know how well Tshimanga is doing and if Dagenham had him in their side I think they would have beaten Salford as they lacked that clinical finisher. He could easily be the difference here and I just don't think the prices should be as far apart as they are. Chesterfield 1pt @ 16/5 with Bet365
  7. Yeah I had tipped Halifax but the price had gone to put it up on here. They were very unlucky to lose to Wrexham on Tuesday and I have no idea how Wild has not been taken by a Football League side because I would say he is the best manager in the league at the moment.
  8. I didn't have time to write any previews today but a couple of my picks are still value. Bromley 1pt to beat Wrexham @ 11/4 with Betfred (take up to 2/1) Boreham Wood 1pt to beat Grimsby @ 23/10 with Skybet, William Hill, BetVictor and Betfred (take up to 15/8)
  9. I am going to add a couple of ante-post bets to the portfolio. Only Bet365 and Hills have Step 3 priced up so this are only available if you can get on with them. First of all as I mention above Hayes look set to win the Southern Premier South title and 365 still have them at 6/4 (11/10 with Hills). I think that price is too big and they ought to be odds on already. We already have Farnborough covered so hopefully they can pick up some place money, but backing Hayes now ought to cover the other bets. The other bet comes in the Southern Premier Central. To me this looks a 3 horse race with Coalville, Peterborough Sports and Banbury looking a step above the rest. We already have the first two covered so I am going to add Banbury whose price of 8/1 with Bet365 (7/1 with Hills 1/5 odds) makes little sense. They have played 13 league games and have won 11, drawn twice and obviously haven't been beaten yet. They are 1 point behind Sports who have played 14 games and 4 points behind leaders Coalville who have played 16 games. I just don't see how they can be available to back at an e/w price still and this comes after a great 4-0 win at Tamworth on Tuesday night. Coalville are 5/2 and Sports are 6/5 and in my view they should be around 5/2 as well. It would take a monumental drop off in form for them not to finish in the top 3 and at the very least the e/w part of the bet should show a profit. Hayes & Yeading 2pts @ 6/4 with Bet365 Banbury 1pt e/w @ 8/1 with Bet365
  10. There was nothing that I fancied strongly enough in the games. I backed Stockport in the first game, but they were lucky to get a draw as Bolton outplayed them so they are probably slightly over priced. Like I say though I don't fancy them enough to get involved.
  11. Just to say that the Aussie season starts on August 1st and what you will usually find is that horses will run in the Spring and then again in the Autumn. So for example Warning has run just 3 times this prep. I don't have anything myself, but we should see Nature Strip hack up in the Sprint Classic and it will be interesting what Zaaki does in Mackinnon after he had to be scratched on the morning of the Cox Plate.
  12. AFC Sudbury v Colchester (Friday night BBC2) Colchester's recent record in the FA Cup is shocking as they haven't won a game in the competition for 5 seasons. Last year they were dumped out by Marine on penalties which was a fully deserved victory for the Step 4 side and I think there is a chance another Step 4 team could beat them here. Sudbury have only lost once in the league this season and although they lost 3-0 in the FA Trophy last weekend you can forgive them that given the importance of this game. Colchester aren't exactly doing well in the league either having won just 2 of their last 9 league matches. They did win last week although that was against bottom side Scunthorpe and I don't think they will fancy this at all especially given their recent FA Cup record. Hayes & Yeading v Sutton Hayes are having an incredible season so far having won 9 of their 10 league games whilst drawing the other. They have scored 29 goals and conceded just 7 which is seriously impressive. They are still in the FA Trophy and the League Cup so they haven't lost in any competition yet. Obviously this is their toughest test to date, but they also have a good recent FA Cup record and pushed Carlisle very close in the 1st round last season. Sutton are having a solid 1st season in the Football League, but they have lost 3 of their last 4 and the one victory was against bottom side Scunthorpe. Hayes are capable of causing an upset here. Lincoln v Bowers & Pitsea It was a big surprise when Bowers & Pitsea managed to beat Aldershot to get through to the 1st Round as although Aldershot are not having a good season, neither are Bowers and they are 2 leagues below them. That means they are 4 steps below their hosts here and Lincoln should really win this with ease. Lincoln are in reasonable form in League 1 having only lost 1 in their last 6 and odds against them covering the -2 handicap looks well worth taking. Yate v Yeovil Yate seem to be on fire at the moment. I thought they might be vulnerable on Tuesday against Salisbury, but they ended up running out very easy 5-2 winners. In the league they are now unbeaten in 5 and they have won 4 of them. They beat Dover in the previous round and although Yeovil are better than Dover I certainly think that Yate could well cause another upset. Yeovil's form has improved although I still remain a bit unconvinced by them and I think they have benefitted more from teams underperforming rather than them being so good themselves. I wouldn't want to chase the price down too much, but there is value in the home win given the form they are in at the moment. Banbury v Barrow (ITV4 Saturday 5.15pm) I mentioned Hayes who are unbeaten in the Southern Premier League South and Banbury are the same in the Southern Premier League Central. Again like Hayes they are unbeaten in all competitions as well (even when resting a lot of players in the League Cup on Tuesday night). They got through to the 1st Round last year but blew it after losing to Canvey Island. They are a better team this time around and in front of a big crowd on TV I think they have a real chance of causing an upset. Barrow haven't won in 5 league games now and I don't think they will fancy a game like this at all. Bolton v Stockport (Sunday 3pm) Dave Challinor will be looking to make an instant impact as Stockport manager as they travel to a Bolton side who aren't in good form in the league at the moment. They have only picked up one point in their last 5 games and as I mentioned on Saturday when backing them against Dover, Stockport have got a fantastic squad that have just been underperforming. They now have the right man in charge and I can see them pushing Bolton very close here especially with the added new manager boost. Dagenham & Redbridge v Salford (Monday 7.45pm ITV4) If this game had been played prior to Dagenham's last 6 matches they would have been much shorter for this game, but that just means we are getting better value in my view. They have lost 4 of those 6 matches, but they were much better against Chesterfield on Saturday, especially in the first half. Salford have lost 5 of their 6 away games in League 2 and if Dagenham are at their best I think they will win this. FA Cup Acca There are four games where I can't see an upset happening and so I will put them into an acca. Walsall to win at Kings Lynn, Carlisle to beat Horsham, AFC Wimbledon to beat Guiesely and Shrewsbury to win at Stratford in a game which is live on ITV4 at 3pm on Sunday. It pays nearly 5/1 with Skybet, but I will use the next best with the bigger bookies of 4.4/1 with Betfair to record it. AFC Sudbury 1pt @ 7/1 with Bet365 (take up to 5/1) Hayes & Yeading 1pt @ 8/1 with Bet365 (take up to 9/2) Lincoln -2 2pts @ 5/4 with Bet365 (take up to 4/5) Yate 1pt @ 17/4 with Skybet (7/2 with Bet365) (take up to 3/1) Banbury 1pt @ 11/2 with Bet365 (take up to 100/30) Stockport 1pt @ 9/2 with William Hill (4/1 with Bet365) (take up to 11/4) Dagenham & Redbridge 1pt @ 14/5 with Bet365 (take up to 2/1) Walsall/Carlisle/AFC Wimbledon/Shrewsbury 1pt @ 3.4/1 with Betfair (4/1 with Skybet and take up to 5/2)
  13. What a race and what a superb ride and performance from a magnificent mare. She is a top class racehorse who it would be great to see come over to Europe for the arc. 3 out of the first 4 home for the preview as well so it’s been a very profitable morning. Now time for some sleep.
  14. Good morning so far. Wil John was disappointing, but had the first two in the next, the winner in the 4th, 2nd and 3rd in the 5th and the winner in the 6th. Hopefully bodes well for an hours time.
  15. I've had a look at the other races on the card leading up to the Melbourne Cup if you are staying up like I am. These are the ones I will be backing to small stakes. R1 - Mainly 2yo newcomers so skipping this one R2 - Those of you who read my Australian jumping previews might remember a horse called Wil John who I was a huge fan of over after he really impressed me winning a maiden hurdle. He is a classy horse over hurdles, but has improved his flat form as well as he won a good race at Caulfield last month. This is tougher, but I think he can win again. R3 - This is a race just for grey horses and I will cover Excelman, Naval Envoy and Address Melbourne. R4 - Lord Vladivostok, Milton Park and a small e/w bet on the outsider Hang Man. R5 - The front two against the field for me, Frankie Pinot and Blondeau. R6 - Profiteer and Super Thief in the race before the big one.
  16. Racing TV are also showing it this year.
  17. This year sees just two horses from Europe head down for the race that stops a nation although there are plenty who started their careers over here. Due to that I don't think the race is as strong as it has been in recent years, but what we might see is one of the best horses to ever win the race with Incentivise a short price favourite to land the Cup. Here are my thoughts on every runner in race and just to note that Delphi and Future Score need to be cleared by the vet before 7.30am Australian time. Twilight Payment - It is very hard to win a Melbourne Cup from the front especially when you set a really strong gallop, but Twilight Payment did just that last year. No doubt he will try and do the same thing again and you have to say that he is in good form again as he won the Irish St Leger Trial in August and was then 2nd in the race itself a month later. The problem is he now has 12 more lbs to carry and no horse his age has ever won the Melbourne Cup. Given the depth to this isn't as strong as it usually is though he has a fair chance of hitting the frame again. Incentivise - Started his career just over a year ago finishing 9th at Ipswich and then had a break until March when he finished 6th and then a well beaten 8th at Toowoomba. I think it's fair to say no one saw him as a future Melbourne Cup winner at that stage. He has since won 9 races on the bounce as he has risen through the grades in Queensland and Melbourne. It is 3 Grade 1's on the bounce as well after impressive wins in the Makybe Diva, the Turnbull and the Caulfield Cup. It really was a devastating performance at Caulfield last time and he never looked in a moments danger. I have seen it suggested that he isn't bred to stay the trip and that he is bred to stay it so who knows what to believe on that front. He certainly wasn't stopping over 1m4f at Caulfield and although this is likely to be a strongly run 2m he looks like he might well stay. The fact this isn't a strong Melbourne Cup depth wise will help him as well and I certainly think he would have won the Cox Plate last week. The fact his trainer decided to wait for this suggests he thinks he will stay as well. He is set to start the shortest price favourite since Phar Lap in 1930, but he deserves to be the price he is on form. He was only given a 4lb penalty for winning at Caulfield and I think that was generous. It is hard to see how those who finished behind him at Caulfield can reverse the form and he will ultimately be very hard to beat. Spanish Mission - The only UK trained runner in the race and the only other horse to be in single figures in the betting. There certainly isn't any question marks about his stamina having won the Yorkshire Cup in May before finishing 3rd in the Gold Cup. After that he pushed Stradivarius close in the Lonsdale Cup and he clearly has the class to run very well in this. He has a great chance of hitting the frame I think, but he will need a strong pace so it turns into more of a staying contest as for me that will be his only chance of beating the favourite. Verry Elleegant - Last year's Caulfield Cup winner and the horse who has enjoyed some great battles with Addeybb in the last couple of years. She was disappointing when only 4th to Incentivise in the Turnbull, but she bounced back to finish 3rd in the Cox Plate last week. She had to come from a long way back that day and did it round the outside compared to the front two who were on the inside. I think you could easily argue that she was the best horse in the race and that 1m2f at Moonee Valley probably wouldn't see her at her best. She was 7th in this last year, but she was finishing to great effect having been 19th 4f out and 16th 2f out. She doesn't have a great draw in 19, but you would hope that James McDonald would be able to sit closer to the pace this time around. People think she needs soft ground to be at her best, but the track was a Good 3 last year as it is likely to be this year so that doesn't worry me at all. I'm not sure she will reverse form with Incentivise, but she is better than she showed that day and I think she has a great chance of hitting the frame. Explosive Jack - Won 3 derbies earlier in the year so stamina shouldn't be an issue and he also ran OK in the Turnbull, but he was awful in the Caulfield Cup last time so it is hard to give him much of a chance here. The Chosen One - Was a very good 4th in this last year after finishing 3rd in the Caulfield Cup, but this year he was only 14th at Caulfield. Damian Lane felt that wasn't his true running though and he does seem to do better on a better surface. He was a good 2nd to Delphi in the Herbert Power the time before and it could be he didn't handle the 7 day back up. The problem I have though is he didn't quite see it out last year so I find it hard to see him improving on that run this time around. Delphi - I was very impressed with his Herbert Power win, but he was very average in the Caulfield Cup a week later. He had the same run as Incentivise as well so there was no real excuse apart from he didn't handle the 7 day back up. I fancied him at Caulfield, but can't really have him here. Ocean Billy - Landed the Auckland Cup in March and ran OK in the Caulfield Cup when running on into 9th. He probably isn't good enough to win, but we know he stays the trip and he gets the ground enjoys here which he didn't at Caulfield. An unlikely winner, but if he finished in the top 6 it wouldn't be the biggest surprise. Selino - Won the Sydney Cup earlier in the year and ran OK in the Bert Cummings when 4th behind Grand Promenade. He wasn't so good in the Caulfield Cup last time though and he's hard to fancy. Johnny Get Angry - Won the Derby here a year ago, but has basically been hopeless since. Apparently did work well with all the gear he had been running in after being well beaten in the Geelong Cup, but even so its hard to make a case for him. Knights Order - Impressively won the Brisbane Cup earlier this year and likely to be up with the pace, but he's been pretty rubbish since was easily beaten by Great House on Saturday. Persan - Was a very good 5th in this on the back of a tough prep so reason to think he might be capable of better this time around now he has been aimed at the race. The problem is he had every chance in the Caulfield Cup last time and although he was 3rd you would be hard pushed to think he could reverse the form with the winner. He does enjoy Flemington though so can see another good performance. Carif - Would be a very surprising winner although does stay the trip. Master Of Wine - 3rd in the Bart Cummings stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of his form and he wouldn't be for me. Pondus - 2nd in the Curragh Cup on his last start in Ireland before moving to Australia permanently having had a couple of starts last year when still with Joseph O'Brien. Ran a really solid race 1st up in the Bart Cummings when 5th, but I was a bit disappointed with him in the Moonee Valley Cup last time albeit was a messy contest. This race might suit him better though and could hit the frame. Grand Promenade - Landed the Bart Cummings last time ahead of a few of these which saw him gain entry for this. He has a very good record at this track and does have a similar profile to his stablemate Persan. The question mark though is if he will be good enough as he has never been above G3 company yet and he is usually a front runner which could be tricky from his stall. He does have the right man on top though in Kerrin McEvoy so a bold showing wouldn't surprise although I would be a bit surprised if he was good enough to win. Miami Bound - Hard to make any case for her. Port Guillaume - An example of an European who has seemingly gone backwards since moving to Australia. Was lame after the Caulfield Cup so at least had some sort of excuse for the poor effort, but he hasn't done a great deal to think he will suddenly win this. She's Ideal - Didn't run too badly in the Caulfield Cup last time when 7th as she was probably racing in the worst of the ground. Did have a good win a over 10f 3 starts back in a G3 at Randwick and was 4th in the Sydney Cup when staying on well after missing the start. I can see her running a decent enough race, but I struggle to see her being good enough. Future Score - Was purchased from the very shrewd Horse Watchers after winning at Pontefract for them back in 2018 to run in this contest. Although he didn't make to this race before this year he was done pretty well over in Australia and he looks like he has been crying out for 2m. The problem is he doesn't look as good as he was and has been no more than average in his starts so far this prep. I'd love to see him run well as I've followed him closely since his move to Australia, but he just hasn't been running well enough to make me want to back him even at a huge price. Tralee Rose - Has been in good form so far this prep and was a good winner of the Geelong Cup last time after finishing 2nd to Grand Promenade in the Bart Cummings. Her only try over 2m was in the Adelaide Cup and she was 4th at odds on, but there is every chance she had enough for that prep and needed to spelled. The Geelong Cup wasn't a strong race this year, but she only has 8-0 to carry, has a very good record at Flemington and looks to be peaking at the right time. Floating Artist - Got up to a mark of 105 in the UK when with Richard Hannon, but I do think he has improved since moving to Australia and won his first 3 races in the country. He probably really ought to be unbeaten as he hasn't been given the best of rides the last twice especially in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup last time where he just failed to get up having got no sort of run. Usually that race doesn't stack up in this, but in a weaker than usual year he could well run well with no weight at all on his back. There is a slight query about the trip, but if he has improved from his UK form, which I think he has, then that might not be a problem. Great House - Has been very busy since coming to Australia, but has carried on improving and continues to run well. He was a good 5th in the Caulfield Cup and then was well on top at the line on Saturday in the Hotham, despite the small winning margin. That was not a strong race at all and although the double has been done before and Prince Of Arran was placed after winning the contest in 2018, its never an ideal prep. I think connections only ran on Saturday to make sure they got in this and ideally they would have skipped it. Even so he looks like the trip will be ideal and he has no weight so wouldn't be a shock winner. Sir Lucan - Northern Hemisphere 3yos have a good recent record in this contest and although he wouldn't appear to be as good as those two winners he doesn't have to carry as much weight as they did. He was awful in the St Leger last time, but the ground was pretty bad that day and every chance he didn't enjoy that. The rest of his form certainly gives him a chance off a weight like this. Verdict - I have it down to 9 horses who I think are capable of running into the first 4, Twilight Payment, Incentivise, Spanish Mission, Verry Elleegant, Pondus, Tralee Rose, Floating Artist, Great House and Sir Lucan. As for the winner, quite simply if Incentivise sees out the trip then I don't see anything beating him and he has to be the main selection. I'm very surprised that Verry Elleegant seems to have been overlooked by everyone and no one seems to fancy her, but she ran a huge race last year and in the weaker renewal I think she can hit the frame. Her trainer has come out and said it is a myth she needs a wet track and I agree with him. Floating Artist could easily be coming into this looking for a 6th consecutive win and I'm pretty certain he has improved since going to Australia. He has no weight and looks a decent chance. Tralee Rose just misses out as I am going to make Sir Lucan the 4th pick. The record of 3yos from the UK and Ireland has been strong and as I mention in the preview he's not as good as the two winners, but his weight reflects that and connections have been very happy with him since he arrived in Australia. 1st Incentivise @ 2/1 with William Hill and Betfred 2nd Verry Ellegant e/w @ 16/1 with William Hill (5 places) or 14/1 with Paddy Power for 6 places 3rd Floating Artist e/w @ 12/1 with Boylesports (6 places) and same price with bookies who are 5 places 4th Sir Lucan e/w @ 20/1 with Betfred (5 places) or 16/1 with Paddy Power for 6 places NB If placing your bet with Bet365 they use Australian place terms so they are only the first 3. As per usual they do have a UK book to 4 places and it is well hidden. If you go to International on the horse racing page and then click on Tuesday the UK place terms market is there.
  18. Sadly beneficio only beat one home and didn’t show the usual her fight in the finish but the jockey reported she didn’t let herself down on the quick ground so at least there was a reason behind the effort. She is certainly better than she was able to show. Not sure she would have beaten the front two anyway who look very useful especially the winner.
  19. I will be up with a Melbourne Cup preview at some point tomorrow, but the horse I have a share in, Beneficio, runs in the first race at Ballarat on Monday morning. Race is due off at 2am and will be on Racing.com. Here are the 4 runners I think have a winning chance. Nice For What - This time last year she made her debut in a G3 at Flemington and finished 2nd. She was spelled after that and ran a couple of times in Sydney to finish 4th in a Listed contest and 7th in a G2. She was spelled again and returned in a maiden at Cranbourne in September where she was beaten into 2nd place. She was upped to group company again later that month in a G3 at Moonee Valley, but she was caught 4 wide and it was a forgive run. She has clearly dropped down again into maiden company to try and win a race, but its not the easiest maiden they could have found. She has an outside draw as well so it will be interesting to see if they push on with her again as they did at The Valley or just settle her in behind. Clearly has ability and already won a fair bit of prize money despite still yet to win a race. Sistine Explorer - Showed promise in her first prep as a 2yo when flying home late to finish 2nd at Geelong on debut over 1140m and then went to Flemington where she was hampered leaving the start and it seemed to light her up as she was then very keen. Even so it was a very solid 4th. That was back in June and she had a jump out, which she won, on the 25th to set her up for this. The 1000m trip could be a query given how well she finished on debut, but that could also have been greenness and she clearly has a good level of ability. Whywhywhydelilah - Has just had the one jumpout at Flemington so far, but she showed good speed and has already shortened in the market for this. The problem is she has the widest draw of all and she will have to be pretty smart to win this which to be fair she might well be. Beneficio - Clearly given the speed she has the drop down to 1000m is going to be right up her street and although a draw of 8 is a little higher then ideal, I expect her to be able to break sharply and be able to get across and lead them. This is a stronger race than I would have liked as clearly we have one horse who has performed with credit in group races, one who has run well in the city and a debutant who clearly has ability. What I will say though is I saw some footage of her in the week and she looked in really good shape. She hasn't had an issue since her last race and she has come on again for it. The form of her debut 4th was boosted when the 3rd went and won a maiden on her next start and the time of the race last time was very good. I think she has run against horses who have a lot of potential and although this won't be easy I think she could be hard to catch in front. Verdict - If pushed for a likely winner I would probably go with Sistine Explorer, but I think Beneficio is the one who is over priced in the market and I fancy her to finish in at least the first 3 again, but dropping down to a 1000m I think she will have a good chance of lasting home this time. The winner is likely to come from one of those four mentioned although De Long Star wouldn't be a total shock. Beneficio e/w 15/2 with Betfred
  20. Yeah Aldershot could have grabbed a point but it wouldn’t have been deserved as Barnet were the better team overall. A cracking day after some tough results in recent weeks.
  21. Barnet v Aldershot (Live on BT Sport) Barnet were played off the park by Wrexham last Saturday and then went and beat Stockport on Tuesday night whilst Wrexham lost to Maidenhead. Proof that football will always throw up seemingly random results. That was Barnet's worse performance since Dean Brennan took over as manager though and I think it was just unfortunate it came against a Wrexham side who were at their best. I think they have a decent chance of beating an Aldershot side who are struggling for wins even if they do seem to be improving. They were heavily backed to beat Weymouth on Tuesday night and although the price ended up way too short I could see why people thought they would win as the Weymouth manager complained about how tired his players were after the draw against Wealdstone last Saturday. For Aldershot to fail to score against them wasn't great and their xG was low as well. What I will say is they have lost all 6 home league games now and they have performed better away from home, but even so there is no way they should be favourites for this game and Barnet are a massive price. Weymouth v Kings Lynn Although Weymouth have only won once at home against Maidenhead their 2 defeats came against Boreham Wood and Stockport and they have managed a draw against Notts County as well. I mentioned above that they were looking tired last Saturday, but they rested some key players on Tuesday night so they were able to freshen some players up whilst also managing to win. I think they should be slightly shorter in the betting here. Amazingly Kings Lynn have had more possession in 10 of their 12 league games, but their problem is they often don't have enough quality in the final 3rd to take advantage of seeing so much of the ball. They had nearly 70% of the ball against Boreham Wood on Tuesday night yet could only manage an xG of 0.9 compared to Wood's 1.79 and they lost 1-0. Only 3 times this season has their xG been higher than their opponents and that for me puts things in Weymouth's favour here. Hungerford v Maidstone (National League South) Just the one bet at Step 2 this weekend and I think the home side are overpriced here. I put Maidstone up last week and they lost 2-0 to Dorking and after a 0-0 draw at Dulwich on Tuesday night that meant they haven't scored in their last 3 league games now. You just get the sense they are in a bit of a sticky patch and this will be a tough game. Hungerford were having a cracking season last time around and they have been able to pretty much carry that into this one as well. 3 of their 4 league wins have come against the weaker sides in the league, but they have beaten Dorking and drew against Havant on Tuesday night. At home I just can't make them anywhere near as big as they are to win this and look fair value. Barnet 2pts @ 2/1 with Skybet and BetVictor (take up to 11/10) Weymouth 1pt @ 8/5 with Bet365 and William Hill (take up to 5/4) Hungerford 2pts @ 11/5 with Betfair, Paddy Power and William Hill (take up to 6/4)
  22. No time for any write ups but I have bets in 4 races at Rosehill and day 1 of the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington. Rosehill R6 - Masked Crusader, Gytrash R7 - I'm Thunderstruck, Ellsberg, Maximal Flemington R2 - Great House R6 - Forget You
  23. Yates had said prior to the game that it would be the youth team playing as they had already been knocked out.
  24. Slough v Bath (National League South) I don't really understand the prices here as Bath have been very poor in the league of late and have conceded 20 goals in their last 7 league games having lost 6 of them. Granted Slough have been just as bad and their only victory until Saturday had come on the opening day of the season. That win on Saturday though was a good one against Havant and it was a good performance. They had lost to Billericay in their previous game and they were probably a bit unlucky to do so. With performances on the improve I think that they can beat a Bath side who are really lacking in confidence right now given they are conceding goals for fun and only scored more than 1 goal once in the league. Slough should be favourites. Biggleswade v Leiston (Southern League Premier Central) You have to wonder how Biggleswade managed to score 7 goals in consecutive games because in the following three games they haven't managed one and in the three games prior they also didn't score one. Leiston are having a very good season and have only lost twice in their last 8 games. One of those was against unbeaten Banbury and they had a very good win over Tamworth on Saturday. I think they should be odds on to win this as they are a much better side. Harrow v Gosport (Southern League Premier South) I think Harrow are a shade of value here against Gosport. They should have scored more than 2 on Saturday against bottom side Wimborne. They have won 6 of their last 7 and I think they can pick up another victory here. Gosport did win on Saturday at Truro, but they were a bit fortunate and that came on the back of two defeats. I would make the home side clear favourites so there is a spot of value in the price. Slough 2pts @ 7/5 with Paddy Power, William Hill and Betfair (take up to 5/4) Leiston 2.5pts @ 23/20 with Betfred, William Hill and BetVictor (take up to 4/5) Harrow 1pt @ 9/5 with BetVictor (take up to 5/4)
  25. Horsham v Bishops Stortford (Isthmian Premier) Horsham were another of the sides who you wouldn't have fancied to win in the FA Cup last weekend and they actually beat a decent side in Woking. They have only won once in the league and they have been pretty awful although I should point out they got a couple of draws against Lewes and Bognor which were good efforts. Like Bowers they also lost on Tuesday night, 2-0 to Cheshunt and they are now also playing a team bang in form. Only Worthing have beaten Bishops Stortford in their last 8 league games and they are a decent side who should be around the play-offs. Again on current league performances the away side should really be odds on. Southern Premier League South treble Not often will I stick odds on shots in a treble, but Salisbury, Farnborough and Harrow all stood out as they face Beaconsfield, Dorchester and Wimborne and they really all ought to win. The treble pays 1.79/1. Bishops Stortford 2.5pts @ 17/10 with Bet365 (take up to 5/6) Salisbury/Farnborough/Harrow 1pt treble @ 1.79/1 with William Hill, Bet365 and Betfred (take up to 6/4)
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