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Darran

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  1. Like
    Darran got a reaction from yossa6133 in Non-league predictions - 11th November   
    Aldershot v Kidderminster I did have a look at Aldershot being a possible upset last week, but left it alone in the end so whilst I wasn't completely surprised that they did beat Swindon I certainly wasn't expecting them to score 7. Some of the defending left a lot to be desired though and Aldershot took the chances that came their way. Back to league action and I am surprised they aren't odds on for this. They are in the play-offs, have only lost once at home and are playing the side currently bottom of the table. Aldershot were a bit disappointing in their last league game against Dorking, but they have been in very good form otherwise and they should have too much for Kidderminster.   Boston v Hereford I am slightly worried about Hereford's away from and that Boston's home form is much better than their away form, but Hereford are doing much better overall at the moment and I think a price of over 2/1 offers value. They gave it a good go against Gillingham in the FA Cup last week, especially in the 2nd half, and they did win their last away game at Chorley. Overall they have only lost once in their last 6 league games and that was at Alfreton who are 4th. Like I say Boston have some good results at home, but they did lost to Banbury, only beat Gloucester 1-0 and I watched the 1-1 draw against Scunthorpe and Scunthorpe put in a shocking performance that night. That leads me to think that if Hereford play well they will come out on top and are certainly the value play.   Scunthorpe v Gloucester City City are terrible this season and I am pretty much resigned to the fact we will be relegated already. We've changed the manager and seen little improvement and I just don't see where the performances to keep us up are going to come from. What we don't need is a trip to a Scunthorpe side who have the best team in the divison and one that have really shown their dominance at home. Apart from the 3-0 defeat against Buxton (the replayed game and came at a time where they might have gone out of business) they have been superb. They put 3 past Southport, 4 past Darlington and Scarborough and 6 past Spennymoor and Bishops Stortford in their last 2 home games. I just don't see how we can keep them out and given we have only scored 13 goals I don't how we score either. Odds against on the -1 looks a huge price and really it should be another 3/4 goals at least.   Eastbourne v Braintree On the face of it Braintree's away form doesn't look great given they have only won once, but the 3 losses on their travels have come at Taunton, Torquay and Yeovil which are all pretty tough assignments and they have got a draw at 2nd place Aveley. The loss at Yeovil is their only defeat in their last 10 league games and they are doing really well at the moment having put 4 past Havant and St Albans in their last two games. Eastbourne are having a shocking season given they invested a fair bit of money and went full time. It has been a bit of a failure and every chance they will be in a relegation battle all season. I'd make Braintree slight favourites here.   Bradford Park Avenue v Matlock (Northern Premier) Really keen on Matlock here whose season has turned around on the signing of Jonathon Margetts and he scored all 4 goals as they beat Radcliffe 4-0 last week having scored both goals in their 2-0 win against Basford the Tuesday before. Bradford have not done well since being relegated and have only won 3 league games all season. They finally sacked the manager this week as well. I can't believe that Margetts won't add to his tally here.   Folkestone v Billericay (Isthmian Premier) I do think Billericay will find it hard to catch Hornchurch who have looked really good all season, but they have got themselves up to 2nd place and are performing much better than they were. They have won 4 of their last 5 including beating Chatham 2-0 on Tuesday night. The head to a Folkestone side who have lost their last 3 games 3-0 (Kingstonian), 4-2 (Hornchurch) and 3-1 (Carshalton). Odds against looks a decent bet to me.
    Prices from Thursday 9pm   Aldershot 3pts @ 5/4 with Bet365 (take up to 5/6) Hereford 1pt @ 11/5 with Skybet and Bet365 (take up to 7/4) Scunthorpe -1 3pts @ 21/20 with Skybet (take up to 4/5) Braintree 1pt @ 7/4 with William Hill and Betfred (take up to 11/8) Matlock 2pts @ 6/5 with Betfred, Skybet and Bet365 (take up to 5/6) Billericay 3pts @ 23/20 with Skybet, Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred (take up to 4/5)  
  2. Like
    Darran got a reaction from The Equaliser in RACING CHAT SATURDAY 11th NOVEMBER   
    Saturday sees the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington with 3 really strong Group 1's on the card. Here are my thoughts on them.   Race 6 - Darley Champions Sprint My initial thinking was that Imperatriz was going to be a good thing here. She has been really impressive in winning her last 4 starts all at Moonee Valley and last time out she became the first horse to win all 3 G1 sprints at that venue when landing the Manikato to add to her wins in the William Reid and Moir. She could hardly have won them any easier, but this will be a very different test. For a start she will be having her first start on a straight course and it has to be said that the G1 sprints at Moonee Valley don't tend to be the strongest now the top sprinters seem to target The Everest. At the same time she hasn't been beating total rubbish so there is every chance she could be the best sprinter in Australia right now.    At the prices though I am happy to look elsewhere and will take a chance that the Everest form is going to hold up here. Whereas we don't know how Imperatriz will handle a straight track, we don't have those concerns with In Secret who is 2/2 over course and distance which includes winning the G1 Coolmore a year ago and the G1 Newmarket back in March. She hasn't won since, but she ran a huge race in the Everest. She was drawn widest of all and settled in last place, indeed passing the 400m marker she was still in last place and she only really got going 100m out and ended up finishing 4th. Back to Flemington I think she is the one who could possibly beat Imperatriz.   In Secret @ 3/1 with Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill   R7 - Champions Mile Just the 7 here but 4 of them ran in the Cox Plate last time including the 2nd and 3rd Mr Brightside and Alligator Blood. The latter won this race last year and the former finished 1.25L behind him in 3rd. Both ran very well in the Cox Plate, both have been in good form this prep and both are at their best over 1600m. Either are more than capable of winning, but I am going to back the 7th home in the Cox Plate, Fangirl. I put her up for the Cox Plate on the back of a superb win in the King Charles III where she beat Mr Brightside by 2.75L. She had to settle near the back at Moonee Valley which is never ideal and passing the 800m she was in last place. Her jockey decided to ride for luck on the inside and she just never got the gaps. She wasn't the only totally unlucky horse in the race, but I felt she was the one who got the worst luck and she should have gone much closer. Victoria Road has left Aiden O'Brien now after finishing 9th in the Cox Plate. It was a reasonable run, but I wasn't that strong on him going into that race so I am happy to oppose again.   Fangirl @ 2/1 with William Hill   Race 8 - Champions Stakes The obvious place to start is with Zaaki who has won this race for the last 2 years and ran well in the Cox Plate finishing 6th after being up on the speed. I'd imagine this has probably been the big target as he tries to land the hat-trick. I am going to take him on though with the Simon and Ed Crisford trained West Wind Blows. He has run two huge races since going to Australia finishing 2nd to Gold Trip in the Turnbull and then just losing out in the Caulfield Cup to Without A Fight. Clearly that form was boosted massively in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday with the winner winning again and Soulcombe coming out and finishing 2nd. I've said all along that I thought it was going to be a race that worked out very strongly and I think he is the one the all have to beat.   Joseph O'Brien runs Buckaroo who finished a fair 7th in the King Charless III at Randwick on his first Australian start. The step up in distance should suit, but I'd be a little surprised if he was good enough to win. Duais ran a huge race in the Cox Plate when finishing 4th and like Fangirl didn't get a lot of racing room either. If he runs up to that form I think he could be the main danger to West Wind Blows. The New Zealand trained Prowess also needs a mention and she gets the red hot Mark Zahra on top. She won a G1 at Rosehill in March over 2000m and won the G1 Crystal Mile on Cox Plate day. Going back up to 2000m is going to suit and she is a danger.   West Wind Blows is going to be the main selection, but I will have a small saver on Duais on the back of that Cox Plate run.   West Wind Blows @ 19/10 with Bet365 Duais @ 13/2 with Bet365
  3. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Bedlam in RACING CHAT SATURDAY 11th NOVEMBER   
    Saturday sees the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington with 3 really strong Group 1's on the card. Here are my thoughts on them.   Race 6 - Darley Champions Sprint My initial thinking was that Imperatriz was going to be a good thing here. She has been really impressive in winning her last 4 starts all at Moonee Valley and last time out she became the first horse to win all 3 G1 sprints at that venue when landing the Manikato to add to her wins in the William Reid and Moir. She could hardly have won them any easier, but this will be a very different test. For a start she will be having her first start on a straight course and it has to be said that the G1 sprints at Moonee Valley don't tend to be the strongest now the top sprinters seem to target The Everest. At the same time she hasn't been beating total rubbish so there is every chance she could be the best sprinter in Australia right now.    At the prices though I am happy to look elsewhere and will take a chance that the Everest form is going to hold up here. Whereas we don't know how Imperatriz will handle a straight track, we don't have those concerns with In Secret who is 2/2 over course and distance which includes winning the G1 Coolmore a year ago and the G1 Newmarket back in March. She hasn't won since, but she ran a huge race in the Everest. She was drawn widest of all and settled in last place, indeed passing the 400m marker she was still in last place and she only really got going 100m out and ended up finishing 4th. Back to Flemington I think she is the one who could possibly beat Imperatriz.   In Secret @ 3/1 with Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill   R7 - Champions Mile Just the 7 here but 4 of them ran in the Cox Plate last time including the 2nd and 3rd Mr Brightside and Alligator Blood. The latter won this race last year and the former finished 1.25L behind him in 3rd. Both ran very well in the Cox Plate, both have been in good form this prep and both are at their best over 1600m. Either are more than capable of winning, but I am going to back the 7th home in the Cox Plate, Fangirl. I put her up for the Cox Plate on the back of a superb win in the King Charles III where she beat Mr Brightside by 2.75L. She had to settle near the back at Moonee Valley which is never ideal and passing the 800m she was in last place. Her jockey decided to ride for luck on the inside and she just never got the gaps. She wasn't the only totally unlucky horse in the race, but I felt she was the one who got the worst luck and she should have gone much closer. Victoria Road has left Aiden O'Brien now after finishing 9th in the Cox Plate. It was a reasonable run, but I wasn't that strong on him going into that race so I am happy to oppose again.   Fangirl @ 2/1 with William Hill   Race 8 - Champions Stakes The obvious place to start is with Zaaki who has won this race for the last 2 years and ran well in the Cox Plate finishing 6th after being up on the speed. I'd imagine this has probably been the big target as he tries to land the hat-trick. I am going to take him on though with the Simon and Ed Crisford trained West Wind Blows. He has run two huge races since going to Australia finishing 2nd to Gold Trip in the Turnbull and then just losing out in the Caulfield Cup to Without A Fight. Clearly that form was boosted massively in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday with the winner winning again and Soulcombe coming out and finishing 2nd. I've said all along that I thought it was going to be a race that worked out very strongly and I think he is the one the all have to beat.   Joseph O'Brien runs Buckaroo who finished a fair 7th in the King Charless III at Randwick on his first Australian start. The step up in distance should suit, but I'd be a little surprised if he was good enough to win. Duais ran a huge race in the Cox Plate when finishing 4th and like Fangirl didn't get a lot of racing room either. If he runs up to that form I think he could be the main danger to West Wind Blows. The New Zealand trained Prowess also needs a mention and she gets the red hot Mark Zahra on top. She won a G1 at Rosehill in March over 2000m and won the G1 Crystal Mile on Cox Plate day. Going back up to 2000m is going to suit and she is a danger.   West Wind Blows is going to be the main selection, but I will have a small saver on Duais on the back of that Cox Plate run.   West Wind Blows @ 19/10 with Bet365 Duais @ 13/2 with Bet365
  4. Like
    Darran got a reaction from alexcaruso808 in RACING CHAT SATURDAY 11th NOVEMBER   
    Saturday sees the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington with 3 really strong Group 1's on the card. Here are my thoughts on them.   Race 6 - Darley Champions Sprint My initial thinking was that Imperatriz was going to be a good thing here. She has been really impressive in winning her last 4 starts all at Moonee Valley and last time out she became the first horse to win all 3 G1 sprints at that venue when landing the Manikato to add to her wins in the William Reid and Moir. She could hardly have won them any easier, but this will be a very different test. For a start she will be having her first start on a straight course and it has to be said that the G1 sprints at Moonee Valley don't tend to be the strongest now the top sprinters seem to target The Everest. At the same time she hasn't been beating total rubbish so there is every chance she could be the best sprinter in Australia right now.    At the prices though I am happy to look elsewhere and will take a chance that the Everest form is going to hold up here. Whereas we don't know how Imperatriz will handle a straight track, we don't have those concerns with In Secret who is 2/2 over course and distance which includes winning the G1 Coolmore a year ago and the G1 Newmarket back in March. She hasn't won since, but she ran a huge race in the Everest. She was drawn widest of all and settled in last place, indeed passing the 400m marker she was still in last place and she only really got going 100m out and ended up finishing 4th. Back to Flemington I think she is the one who could possibly beat Imperatriz.   In Secret @ 3/1 with Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill   R7 - Champions Mile Just the 7 here but 4 of them ran in the Cox Plate last time including the 2nd and 3rd Mr Brightside and Alligator Blood. The latter won this race last year and the former finished 1.25L behind him in 3rd. Both ran very well in the Cox Plate, both have been in good form this prep and both are at their best over 1600m. Either are more than capable of winning, but I am going to back the 7th home in the Cox Plate, Fangirl. I put her up for the Cox Plate on the back of a superb win in the King Charles III where she beat Mr Brightside by 2.75L. She had to settle near the back at Moonee Valley which is never ideal and passing the 800m she was in last place. Her jockey decided to ride for luck on the inside and she just never got the gaps. She wasn't the only totally unlucky horse in the race, but I felt she was the one who got the worst luck and she should have gone much closer. Victoria Road has left Aiden O'Brien now after finishing 9th in the Cox Plate. It was a reasonable run, but I wasn't that strong on him going into that race so I am happy to oppose again.   Fangirl @ 2/1 with William Hill   Race 8 - Champions Stakes The obvious place to start is with Zaaki who has won this race for the last 2 years and ran well in the Cox Plate finishing 6th after being up on the speed. I'd imagine this has probably been the big target as he tries to land the hat-trick. I am going to take him on though with the Simon and Ed Crisford trained West Wind Blows. He has run two huge races since going to Australia finishing 2nd to Gold Trip in the Turnbull and then just losing out in the Caulfield Cup to Without A Fight. Clearly that form was boosted massively in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday with the winner winning again and Soulcombe coming out and finishing 2nd. I've said all along that I thought it was going to be a race that worked out very strongly and I think he is the one the all have to beat.   Joseph O'Brien runs Buckaroo who finished a fair 7th in the King Charless III at Randwick on his first Australian start. The step up in distance should suit, but I'd be a little surprised if he was good enough to win. Duais ran a huge race in the Cox Plate when finishing 4th and like Fangirl didn't get a lot of racing room either. If he runs up to that form I think he could be the main danger to West Wind Blows. The New Zealand trained Prowess also needs a mention and she gets the red hot Mark Zahra on top. She won a G1 at Rosehill in March over 2000m and won the G1 Crystal Mile on Cox Plate day. Going back up to 2000m is going to suit and she is a danger.   West Wind Blows is going to be the main selection, but I will have a small saver on Duais on the back of that Cox Plate run.   West Wind Blows @ 19/10 with Bet365 Duais @ 13/2 with Bet365
  5. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Brahmin in RACING CHAT SATURDAY 11th NOVEMBER   
    Saturday sees the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington with 3 really strong Group 1's on the card. Here are my thoughts on them.   Race 6 - Darley Champions Sprint My initial thinking was that Imperatriz was going to be a good thing here. She has been really impressive in winning her last 4 starts all at Moonee Valley and last time out she became the first horse to win all 3 G1 sprints at that venue when landing the Manikato to add to her wins in the William Reid and Moir. She could hardly have won them any easier, but this will be a very different test. For a start she will be having her first start on a straight course and it has to be said that the G1 sprints at Moonee Valley don't tend to be the strongest now the top sprinters seem to target The Everest. At the same time she hasn't been beating total rubbish so there is every chance she could be the best sprinter in Australia right now.    At the prices though I am happy to look elsewhere and will take a chance that the Everest form is going to hold up here. Whereas we don't know how Imperatriz will handle a straight track, we don't have those concerns with In Secret who is 2/2 over course and distance which includes winning the G1 Coolmore a year ago and the G1 Newmarket back in March. She hasn't won since, but she ran a huge race in the Everest. She was drawn widest of all and settled in last place, indeed passing the 400m marker she was still in last place and she only really got going 100m out and ended up finishing 4th. Back to Flemington I think she is the one who could possibly beat Imperatriz.   In Secret @ 3/1 with Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill   R7 - Champions Mile Just the 7 here but 4 of them ran in the Cox Plate last time including the 2nd and 3rd Mr Brightside and Alligator Blood. The latter won this race last year and the former finished 1.25L behind him in 3rd. Both ran very well in the Cox Plate, both have been in good form this prep and both are at their best over 1600m. Either are more than capable of winning, but I am going to back the 7th home in the Cox Plate, Fangirl. I put her up for the Cox Plate on the back of a superb win in the King Charles III where she beat Mr Brightside by 2.75L. She had to settle near the back at Moonee Valley which is never ideal and passing the 800m she was in last place. Her jockey decided to ride for luck on the inside and she just never got the gaps. She wasn't the only totally unlucky horse in the race, but I felt she was the one who got the worst luck and she should have gone much closer. Victoria Road has left Aiden O'Brien now after finishing 9th in the Cox Plate. It was a reasonable run, but I wasn't that strong on him going into that race so I am happy to oppose again.   Fangirl @ 2/1 with William Hill   Race 8 - Champions Stakes The obvious place to start is with Zaaki who has won this race for the last 2 years and ran well in the Cox Plate finishing 6th after being up on the speed. I'd imagine this has probably been the big target as he tries to land the hat-trick. I am going to take him on though with the Simon and Ed Crisford trained West Wind Blows. He has run two huge races since going to Australia finishing 2nd to Gold Trip in the Turnbull and then just losing out in the Caulfield Cup to Without A Fight. Clearly that form was boosted massively in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday with the winner winning again and Soulcombe coming out and finishing 2nd. I've said all along that I thought it was going to be a race that worked out very strongly and I think he is the one the all have to beat.   Joseph O'Brien runs Buckaroo who finished a fair 7th in the King Charless III at Randwick on his first Australian start. The step up in distance should suit, but I'd be a little surprised if he was good enough to win. Duais ran a huge race in the Cox Plate when finishing 4th and like Fangirl didn't get a lot of racing room either. If he runs up to that form I think he could be the main danger to West Wind Blows. The New Zealand trained Prowess also needs a mention and she gets the red hot Mark Zahra on top. She won a G1 at Rosehill in March over 2000m and won the G1 Crystal Mile on Cox Plate day. Going back up to 2000m is going to suit and she is a danger.   West Wind Blows is going to be the main selection, but I will have a small saver on Duais on the back of that Cox Plate run.   West Wind Blows @ 19/10 with Bet365 Duais @ 13/2 with Bet365
  6. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Bedlam in Melbourne Cup   
    Having put up the winner of The Everest, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in recent weeks I am hoping I can make it 4/4 in the biggest race of them all, the Melbourne Cup. Here is my look through the 23 runners which make up this year's field.   Gold Trip - History isn't on his side he is aiming to be the first repeat winner since Makybe Diva and the first to carry 58.5kg since Think Big in 1975, but last year's winner is absolutely flying this prep and arguably is in even better form. The Turnbull win 3 back was top class, he didn't get much luck in running when 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and it was a similar story in the Cox Plate when 5th last time. People say he needs cut, but he has proven this prep he can more than handle a quick track so the ground doesn't worry me. Mark Zahra has picked Without A Fight over him, but James McDonald is pretty much the best super sub you can hope for. The one minus for me is his draw in 2. Last year he settled in 18th and flew home from a wider draw, but this year he is going to need luck in running from his inside gate. For me though that is the only negative and if he holds the form he's shown already this prep he has to be in the top 4.   Alenquer - A former Royal Ascot winner and a Group 1 winner in Ireland, but he's been unplaced in 5 Aussie starts now and in what will be Damian Oliver's last Cup, he is going to have to pull off something special to win another one on the 6yo. Needs to pass a vet check on the morning of the race.   Without A Fight  - Given a very European style campaign with just 1 prep run leading into the Caulfield Cup, but it worked a treat as he came pretty much widest of all round the home bend to storm home and be really tough in a battling finish with his former stablemate West Wind Blows. He was just 13th in this last year, but the ground was too wet for him and we know he comes into this in peak form. Connections will probably be happy enough he is drawn in 16 as he should be able to settle in the latter half of the field and get clear air in the straight. The double hasn't been done in 22 years, but he has to have a strong chance.   Breakup - Japanese horse whose best recent runs have come over 3000m and 3200m in Japan earlier in the year. Hadn't run since June going into the Caulfield Cup which was always likely to be too short a trip for him and he basically stayed in around 8th place the whole way. To me he ran like a horse who needed the run and he really ought to improve on that run especially up in trip. He also didn't get a lot of room twice in the straight and without that I think he would have finished closer. Wouldn't discount him at double figure odds.   Vauban - Plenty of people think you may as well give him the Cup now as they are so certain of him winning. Willie Mullins has gone close to winning this race before and it seems this has been plan long in the making possibly before he even won the 2022 Triumph Hurdle. Bolted up at Royal Ascot beating Absurde by 7.5L and then won at Naas to qualify for this. I have said on Twitter that if he drew poorly then that wouldn't help and was joking about 24, but inside draws can be just as tricky although Ryan Moore can work wonders as he showed an Auguste Rodin on Saturday. He gets 7lbs from Gold Trip although I wouldn't be certain that would be enough. What I will say though is his owner thinks he could be a Cups horse next year over here and if he is then he ought to win this. The price has been too short in recent days, but he is just starting to drift out and he is a tempting bet again.   Soulcombe - Was really impressive when winning the Queen Elizabeth on the final day of this carnival a year ago, but has only won once this year which came in a Listed Race at Caulfield over 1700m. He was a super 3rd in the Turnbull and does get a 3kg pull in the weights with Gold Trip for a 2.15L defeat that day. The worry is he can blow the start and he lost about 6L at the start in the Caulfield Cup. I thought he did very well though to come home 7th given that. The further trip and longer home straight here will help him if he does blow the start, but his draw of 4 isn't going to be a great help in that regards. Even so he has to be one of the leading candidates.    Absurde - The Ebor winner under a great Frankie Dettori ride and whilst no horse has done the double it is usually a good form guide for this race. He was 2nd to Vauban at Royal Ascot, but he was really keen in the early stages and was held up of a fairly slow pace which the winner was able to dictate, so he certainly wasn't see to best effect that day. The yard clearly think Vauban is their main chance, but he is certainly one of the possible winners.   Right You Are - Won the Mornington Cup in April and was a really strong 5th in the Caulfield Cup last time especially given he settled in around 5th just off a very strong pace. That was a personal best for me and came on the back of only finishing 11th in the Turnbull. He's never been further than 2400m and you wouldn't really say he's going to improve for it.   Vow And Declare - The 2019 winner who has then finished 18th in 2020 and 10th last year. Despite that he still has more weight than he did when he won the race, but to be fair to him he comes into this in good form with a 2nd in the G1 Caulfield Stakes and in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup last time. Could improve on the 10th of last year, but surely isn't going to repeat 2019's success.   Ashrun - Was 10th in the 2020 running and then didn't run again until September due to a tendon injury. Was OK in his first 2 runs back and then finished a good 2nd in the Geelong Cup. Every chance he will come on for that again, but that form isn't good enough to be winning this.   Daqiansweet Junior - Stays well and won the Adelaide Cup and has been 3rd in a Sydney Cup, but has been unplaced in 9 starts since then and shouldn't be good enough.   Okita Soushi - Another winner from this years Royal Ascot winning the Duke Of Edinburgh. Had a break after that and finished 3rd in the Irish St Leger Trial. He then came over to Australia and finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup. He will have to improve massively on that.   Sheraz - Only managed 1 placing in 12 Australian starts which came in the Sydney Cup last year. Stays, but highly unlikely to be good enough.   Lastotchka - Having her first start in Australia after winning the Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp a couple of months ago. I'm not sure that was a strong race and she might prefer a softer surface. A draw of 21 isn't ideal either.   Magical Lagoon - Won the Irish Oaks last year, but has been pretty awful since going to Australia. 6th in the Geelong Cup was an improvement, but needs a hell of a lot more.   Military  Mission - Landed the Herbert Power at Caulfield last time although the last horse to win that and the Cup was Rogan Josh in 1999. Was a good effort though and he has also won the Newcastle Cup this prep. Has never been further than 2406m though and that might be an issue, but he has better claims than quite a few of these.   Serpentine - The 2020 Derby winner, but he's only won once in Australia and that was a 4 horse race. Only beat 2 home in this last year, but he's actually been running the best he has in Australia this prep and was 3rd to Future History in the Bart Cummings last time. Even so he would be a surprise winner.   Virtuous Circle - 2nd in the ATC Derby at Randwick in April, but has struggled for form since and was only 8th in the Geelong Cup last time.   More Felons - People in the UK will know him as Scriptwriter as he has had a name change since going to Australia. Started off with Aiden O'Brien and then went hurdling for Milton Harris last jumps season and did well winning a Grade 2 at the November meeting at Cheltenham. He ended up finishing 5th in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Grand National meeting. He then went back to the level and finished 7th behind Vauban at Royal Ascot and 8th in the Ebor behind Absurde. What he does get here though is a massive turn around in the weights which in theory gives him half a chance of reversing the form. Loomed large in the Geelong Cup on his first start for Waller and ended up 5th in a blanket finish. One of those at a bigger price who does have a chance, but he has drawn in 24 and that will be no help.   Future History - Great to see Hollie Doyle pick up a ride and this ex-French horse has progressed well since going to Australia. Won the G3 Bart Cummings in good style when making all before a change of tactics last time in the Moonee Valley Cup where he was held up from a bad draw and stayed on well to finish 3rd. I'm guessing they will try and lead with him again here from 13 and given we don't know if he stays that might be tough. I can see him running well though.   Interpretation - Had been behind Future History twice this prep including when just 9th in the Bart Cummings. Won a head bob in the Bendigo Cup last week, but that doesn't look good enough form for this.   Kalapour - Running solidly this prep and won the Archer Stakes on Saturday to get into the race. Made all then when able to dictate the speed and dug deep to hold on. I can't see him being good enough   True Marvel - Has won over 3800m so we know he stays and was placed in the Sydney Cup and Brisbane Cups last season, but unlikely to be good enough.   Verdict - For me there are 7 horses who can win this year's Melbourne Cup and in racecard order they are Gold Trip, Without A Fight, Breakup, Vauban, Soulcombe, Absurde and More Felons. I'm going to have small e/w bets on More Felons and Breakup. More Felons could be well handicapped and I like the fact he's had a run in Australia going into this, although the draw is a negative. I thought Breakup's run at Caulfield was better than it first seemed and given the scope for improvement I want him onside as well. With bookies going 5 places and a couple going 6 I think that offers great value in backing Soulcombe and Gold Trip. Both have drifted out, but I think both have great chances of finishing in the top 6. Soulcombe might blow the start again, but the long Flemington straight will give him ample chance to get involved in the finish and Gold Trip is going so well I just can't see how he doesn't finish in the top 5. At the prices I will leave Absurde and Without A Fight alone. I'm a little surprised that Absurde is as strong in the market as he is because I get the feeling the Mullins camp all fancy the favourite. Having said that if he got the 1-2 I wouldn't be shocked. Without A Fight was my main tip for this last year, but he disappointed on the soft ground. Clearly the Caulfield Cup win was huge and that was a new PB, but his price is tight enough now. Finally after much thought I am going to back Vauban as well as a cover bet. On the Australian Bet365 prices he is now over 3/1 and given I would have him around 3/1 I have to bet him at that price, but I would not take anything under 3/1.   NB Bet365 have two sets of prices an Australian book and a UK book. The Australian one only offers 3 places as that is the normal e/w terms over there and can be found in the Australian horse racing section on the site. Because it is only 3 places the prices are bigger (thus why Vauban is a bigger prices there). If you want the UK one you have to go to the ante-post section and go to where it says Australia & New Zealand NRNB and the 5 place market is there.   Strong bets Gold Trip e/w @ 7/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 6/1 with William Hill to 6 places Soulcombe e/w @ 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 8/1 with William Hill to 6 places   Cover bet Vauban @ 17/5 with Bet365 in their Australian market   Small e/w plays Breakup @ 18/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 16/1 with William Hill to 6 places More Felons @ 33/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 22/1 with William Hill to 6 places
  7. Like
    Darran got a reaction from harrisman in Melbourne Cup   
    Having put up the winner of The Everest, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in recent weeks I am hoping I can make it 4/4 in the biggest race of them all, the Melbourne Cup. Here is my look through the 23 runners which make up this year's field.   Gold Trip - History isn't on his side he is aiming to be the first repeat winner since Makybe Diva and the first to carry 58.5kg since Think Big in 1975, but last year's winner is absolutely flying this prep and arguably is in even better form. The Turnbull win 3 back was top class, he didn't get much luck in running when 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and it was a similar story in the Cox Plate when 5th last time. People say he needs cut, but he has proven this prep he can more than handle a quick track so the ground doesn't worry me. Mark Zahra has picked Without A Fight over him, but James McDonald is pretty much the best super sub you can hope for. The one minus for me is his draw in 2. Last year he settled in 18th and flew home from a wider draw, but this year he is going to need luck in running from his inside gate. For me though that is the only negative and if he holds the form he's shown already this prep he has to be in the top 4.   Alenquer - A former Royal Ascot winner and a Group 1 winner in Ireland, but he's been unplaced in 5 Aussie starts now and in what will be Damian Oliver's last Cup, he is going to have to pull off something special to win another one on the 6yo. Needs to pass a vet check on the morning of the race.   Without A Fight  - Given a very European style campaign with just 1 prep run leading into the Caulfield Cup, but it worked a treat as he came pretty much widest of all round the home bend to storm home and be really tough in a battling finish with his former stablemate West Wind Blows. He was just 13th in this last year, but the ground was too wet for him and we know he comes into this in peak form. Connections will probably be happy enough he is drawn in 16 as he should be able to settle in the latter half of the field and get clear air in the straight. The double hasn't been done in 22 years, but he has to have a strong chance.   Breakup - Japanese horse whose best recent runs have come over 3000m and 3200m in Japan earlier in the year. Hadn't run since June going into the Caulfield Cup which was always likely to be too short a trip for him and he basically stayed in around 8th place the whole way. To me he ran like a horse who needed the run and he really ought to improve on that run especially up in trip. He also didn't get a lot of room twice in the straight and without that I think he would have finished closer. Wouldn't discount him at double figure odds.   Vauban - Plenty of people think you may as well give him the Cup now as they are so certain of him winning. Willie Mullins has gone close to winning this race before and it seems this has been plan long in the making possibly before he even won the 2022 Triumph Hurdle. Bolted up at Royal Ascot beating Absurde by 7.5L and then won at Naas to qualify for this. I have said on Twitter that if he drew poorly then that wouldn't help and was joking about 24, but inside draws can be just as tricky although Ryan Moore can work wonders as he showed an Auguste Rodin on Saturday. He gets 7lbs from Gold Trip although I wouldn't be certain that would be enough. What I will say though is his owner thinks he could be a Cups horse next year over here and if he is then he ought to win this. The price has been too short in recent days, but he is just starting to drift out and he is a tempting bet again.   Soulcombe - Was really impressive when winning the Queen Elizabeth on the final day of this carnival a year ago, but has only won once this year which came in a Listed Race at Caulfield over 1700m. He was a super 3rd in the Turnbull and does get a 3kg pull in the weights with Gold Trip for a 2.15L defeat that day. The worry is he can blow the start and he lost about 6L at the start in the Caulfield Cup. I thought he did very well though to come home 7th given that. The further trip and longer home straight here will help him if he does blow the start, but his draw of 4 isn't going to be a great help in that regards. Even so he has to be one of the leading candidates.    Absurde - The Ebor winner under a great Frankie Dettori ride and whilst no horse has done the double it is usually a good form guide for this race. He was 2nd to Vauban at Royal Ascot, but he was really keen in the early stages and was held up of a fairly slow pace which the winner was able to dictate, so he certainly wasn't see to best effect that day. The yard clearly think Vauban is their main chance, but he is certainly one of the possible winners.   Right You Are - Won the Mornington Cup in April and was a really strong 5th in the Caulfield Cup last time especially given he settled in around 5th just off a very strong pace. That was a personal best for me and came on the back of only finishing 11th in the Turnbull. He's never been further than 2400m and you wouldn't really say he's going to improve for it.   Vow And Declare - The 2019 winner who has then finished 18th in 2020 and 10th last year. Despite that he still has more weight than he did when he won the race, but to be fair to him he comes into this in good form with a 2nd in the G1 Caulfield Stakes and in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup last time. Could improve on the 10th of last year, but surely isn't going to repeat 2019's success.   Ashrun - Was 10th in the 2020 running and then didn't run again until September due to a tendon injury. Was OK in his first 2 runs back and then finished a good 2nd in the Geelong Cup. Every chance he will come on for that again, but that form isn't good enough to be winning this.   Daqiansweet Junior - Stays well and won the Adelaide Cup and has been 3rd in a Sydney Cup, but has been unplaced in 9 starts since then and shouldn't be good enough.   Okita Soushi - Another winner from this years Royal Ascot winning the Duke Of Edinburgh. Had a break after that and finished 3rd in the Irish St Leger Trial. He then came over to Australia and finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup. He will have to improve massively on that.   Sheraz - Only managed 1 placing in 12 Australian starts which came in the Sydney Cup last year. Stays, but highly unlikely to be good enough.   Lastotchka - Having her first start in Australia after winning the Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp a couple of months ago. I'm not sure that was a strong race and she might prefer a softer surface. A draw of 21 isn't ideal either.   Magical Lagoon - Won the Irish Oaks last year, but has been pretty awful since going to Australia. 6th in the Geelong Cup was an improvement, but needs a hell of a lot more.   Military  Mission - Landed the Herbert Power at Caulfield last time although the last horse to win that and the Cup was Rogan Josh in 1999. Was a good effort though and he has also won the Newcastle Cup this prep. Has never been further than 2406m though and that might be an issue, but he has better claims than quite a few of these.   Serpentine - The 2020 Derby winner, but he's only won once in Australia and that was a 4 horse race. Only beat 2 home in this last year, but he's actually been running the best he has in Australia this prep and was 3rd to Future History in the Bart Cummings last time. Even so he would be a surprise winner.   Virtuous Circle - 2nd in the ATC Derby at Randwick in April, but has struggled for form since and was only 8th in the Geelong Cup last time.   More Felons - People in the UK will know him as Scriptwriter as he has had a name change since going to Australia. Started off with Aiden O'Brien and then went hurdling for Milton Harris last jumps season and did well winning a Grade 2 at the November meeting at Cheltenham. He ended up finishing 5th in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Grand National meeting. He then went back to the level and finished 7th behind Vauban at Royal Ascot and 8th in the Ebor behind Absurde. What he does get here though is a massive turn around in the weights which in theory gives him half a chance of reversing the form. Loomed large in the Geelong Cup on his first start for Waller and ended up 5th in a blanket finish. One of those at a bigger price who does have a chance, but he has drawn in 24 and that will be no help.   Future History - Great to see Hollie Doyle pick up a ride and this ex-French horse has progressed well since going to Australia. Won the G3 Bart Cummings in good style when making all before a change of tactics last time in the Moonee Valley Cup where he was held up from a bad draw and stayed on well to finish 3rd. I'm guessing they will try and lead with him again here from 13 and given we don't know if he stays that might be tough. I can see him running well though.   Interpretation - Had been behind Future History twice this prep including when just 9th in the Bart Cummings. Won a head bob in the Bendigo Cup last week, but that doesn't look good enough form for this.   Kalapour - Running solidly this prep and won the Archer Stakes on Saturday to get into the race. Made all then when able to dictate the speed and dug deep to hold on. I can't see him being good enough   True Marvel - Has won over 3800m so we know he stays and was placed in the Sydney Cup and Brisbane Cups last season, but unlikely to be good enough.   Verdict - For me there are 7 horses who can win this year's Melbourne Cup and in racecard order they are Gold Trip, Without A Fight, Breakup, Vauban, Soulcombe, Absurde and More Felons. I'm going to have small e/w bets on More Felons and Breakup. More Felons could be well handicapped and I like the fact he's had a run in Australia going into this, although the draw is a negative. I thought Breakup's run at Caulfield was better than it first seemed and given the scope for improvement I want him onside as well. With bookies going 5 places and a couple going 6 I think that offers great value in backing Soulcombe and Gold Trip. Both have drifted out, but I think both have great chances of finishing in the top 6. Soulcombe might blow the start again, but the long Flemington straight will give him ample chance to get involved in the finish and Gold Trip is going so well I just can't see how he doesn't finish in the top 5. At the prices I will leave Absurde and Without A Fight alone. I'm a little surprised that Absurde is as strong in the market as he is because I get the feeling the Mullins camp all fancy the favourite. Having said that if he got the 1-2 I wouldn't be shocked. Without A Fight was my main tip for this last year, but he disappointed on the soft ground. Clearly the Caulfield Cup win was huge and that was a new PB, but his price is tight enough now. Finally after much thought I am going to back Vauban as well as a cover bet. On the Australian Bet365 prices he is now over 3/1 and given I would have him around 3/1 I have to bet him at that price, but I would not take anything under 3/1.   NB Bet365 have two sets of prices an Australian book and a UK book. The Australian one only offers 3 places as that is the normal e/w terms over there and can be found in the Australian horse racing section on the site. Because it is only 3 places the prices are bigger (thus why Vauban is a bigger prices there). If you want the UK one you have to go to the ante-post section and go to where it says Australia & New Zealand NRNB and the 5 place market is there.   Strong bets Gold Trip e/w @ 7/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 6/1 with William Hill to 6 places Soulcombe e/w @ 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 8/1 with William Hill to 6 places   Cover bet Vauban @ 17/5 with Bet365 in their Australian market   Small e/w plays Breakup @ 18/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 16/1 with William Hill to 6 places More Felons @ 33/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 22/1 with William Hill to 6 places
  8. Like
    Darran got a reaction from richard-westwood in Melbourne Cup   
    Having put up the winner of The Everest, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in recent weeks I am hoping I can make it 4/4 in the biggest race of them all, the Melbourne Cup. Here is my look through the 23 runners which make up this year's field.   Gold Trip - History isn't on his side he is aiming to be the first repeat winner since Makybe Diva and the first to carry 58.5kg since Think Big in 1975, but last year's winner is absolutely flying this prep and arguably is in even better form. The Turnbull win 3 back was top class, he didn't get much luck in running when 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and it was a similar story in the Cox Plate when 5th last time. People say he needs cut, but he has proven this prep he can more than handle a quick track so the ground doesn't worry me. Mark Zahra has picked Without A Fight over him, but James McDonald is pretty much the best super sub you can hope for. The one minus for me is his draw in 2. Last year he settled in 18th and flew home from a wider draw, but this year he is going to need luck in running from his inside gate. For me though that is the only negative and if he holds the form he's shown already this prep he has to be in the top 4.   Alenquer - A former Royal Ascot winner and a Group 1 winner in Ireland, but he's been unplaced in 5 Aussie starts now and in what will be Damian Oliver's last Cup, he is going to have to pull off something special to win another one on the 6yo. Needs to pass a vet check on the morning of the race.   Without A Fight  - Given a very European style campaign with just 1 prep run leading into the Caulfield Cup, but it worked a treat as he came pretty much widest of all round the home bend to storm home and be really tough in a battling finish with his former stablemate West Wind Blows. He was just 13th in this last year, but the ground was too wet for him and we know he comes into this in peak form. Connections will probably be happy enough he is drawn in 16 as he should be able to settle in the latter half of the field and get clear air in the straight. The double hasn't been done in 22 years, but he has to have a strong chance.   Breakup - Japanese horse whose best recent runs have come over 3000m and 3200m in Japan earlier in the year. Hadn't run since June going into the Caulfield Cup which was always likely to be too short a trip for him and he basically stayed in around 8th place the whole way. To me he ran like a horse who needed the run and he really ought to improve on that run especially up in trip. He also didn't get a lot of room twice in the straight and without that I think he would have finished closer. Wouldn't discount him at double figure odds.   Vauban - Plenty of people think you may as well give him the Cup now as they are so certain of him winning. Willie Mullins has gone close to winning this race before and it seems this has been plan long in the making possibly before he even won the 2022 Triumph Hurdle. Bolted up at Royal Ascot beating Absurde by 7.5L and then won at Naas to qualify for this. I have said on Twitter that if he drew poorly then that wouldn't help and was joking about 24, but inside draws can be just as tricky although Ryan Moore can work wonders as he showed an Auguste Rodin on Saturday. He gets 7lbs from Gold Trip although I wouldn't be certain that would be enough. What I will say though is his owner thinks he could be a Cups horse next year over here and if he is then he ought to win this. The price has been too short in recent days, but he is just starting to drift out and he is a tempting bet again.   Soulcombe - Was really impressive when winning the Queen Elizabeth on the final day of this carnival a year ago, but has only won once this year which came in a Listed Race at Caulfield over 1700m. He was a super 3rd in the Turnbull and does get a 3kg pull in the weights with Gold Trip for a 2.15L defeat that day. The worry is he can blow the start and he lost about 6L at the start in the Caulfield Cup. I thought he did very well though to come home 7th given that. The further trip and longer home straight here will help him if he does blow the start, but his draw of 4 isn't going to be a great help in that regards. Even so he has to be one of the leading candidates.    Absurde - The Ebor winner under a great Frankie Dettori ride and whilst no horse has done the double it is usually a good form guide for this race. He was 2nd to Vauban at Royal Ascot, but he was really keen in the early stages and was held up of a fairly slow pace which the winner was able to dictate, so he certainly wasn't see to best effect that day. The yard clearly think Vauban is their main chance, but he is certainly one of the possible winners.   Right You Are - Won the Mornington Cup in April and was a really strong 5th in the Caulfield Cup last time especially given he settled in around 5th just off a very strong pace. That was a personal best for me and came on the back of only finishing 11th in the Turnbull. He's never been further than 2400m and you wouldn't really say he's going to improve for it.   Vow And Declare - The 2019 winner who has then finished 18th in 2020 and 10th last year. Despite that he still has more weight than he did when he won the race, but to be fair to him he comes into this in good form with a 2nd in the G1 Caulfield Stakes and in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup last time. Could improve on the 10th of last year, but surely isn't going to repeat 2019's success.   Ashrun - Was 10th in the 2020 running and then didn't run again until September due to a tendon injury. Was OK in his first 2 runs back and then finished a good 2nd in the Geelong Cup. Every chance he will come on for that again, but that form isn't good enough to be winning this.   Daqiansweet Junior - Stays well and won the Adelaide Cup and has been 3rd in a Sydney Cup, but has been unplaced in 9 starts since then and shouldn't be good enough.   Okita Soushi - Another winner from this years Royal Ascot winning the Duke Of Edinburgh. Had a break after that and finished 3rd in the Irish St Leger Trial. He then came over to Australia and finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup. He will have to improve massively on that.   Sheraz - Only managed 1 placing in 12 Australian starts which came in the Sydney Cup last year. Stays, but highly unlikely to be good enough.   Lastotchka - Having her first start in Australia after winning the Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp a couple of months ago. I'm not sure that was a strong race and she might prefer a softer surface. A draw of 21 isn't ideal either.   Magical Lagoon - Won the Irish Oaks last year, but has been pretty awful since going to Australia. 6th in the Geelong Cup was an improvement, but needs a hell of a lot more.   Military  Mission - Landed the Herbert Power at Caulfield last time although the last horse to win that and the Cup was Rogan Josh in 1999. Was a good effort though and he has also won the Newcastle Cup this prep. Has never been further than 2406m though and that might be an issue, but he has better claims than quite a few of these.   Serpentine - The 2020 Derby winner, but he's only won once in Australia and that was a 4 horse race. Only beat 2 home in this last year, but he's actually been running the best he has in Australia this prep and was 3rd to Future History in the Bart Cummings last time. Even so he would be a surprise winner.   Virtuous Circle - 2nd in the ATC Derby at Randwick in April, but has struggled for form since and was only 8th in the Geelong Cup last time.   More Felons - People in the UK will know him as Scriptwriter as he has had a name change since going to Australia. Started off with Aiden O'Brien and then went hurdling for Milton Harris last jumps season and did well winning a Grade 2 at the November meeting at Cheltenham. He ended up finishing 5th in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Grand National meeting. He then went back to the level and finished 7th behind Vauban at Royal Ascot and 8th in the Ebor behind Absurde. What he does get here though is a massive turn around in the weights which in theory gives him half a chance of reversing the form. Loomed large in the Geelong Cup on his first start for Waller and ended up 5th in a blanket finish. One of those at a bigger price who does have a chance, but he has drawn in 24 and that will be no help.   Future History - Great to see Hollie Doyle pick up a ride and this ex-French horse has progressed well since going to Australia. Won the G3 Bart Cummings in good style when making all before a change of tactics last time in the Moonee Valley Cup where he was held up from a bad draw and stayed on well to finish 3rd. I'm guessing they will try and lead with him again here from 13 and given we don't know if he stays that might be tough. I can see him running well though.   Interpretation - Had been behind Future History twice this prep including when just 9th in the Bart Cummings. Won a head bob in the Bendigo Cup last week, but that doesn't look good enough form for this.   Kalapour - Running solidly this prep and won the Archer Stakes on Saturday to get into the race. Made all then when able to dictate the speed and dug deep to hold on. I can't see him being good enough   True Marvel - Has won over 3800m so we know he stays and was placed in the Sydney Cup and Brisbane Cups last season, but unlikely to be good enough.   Verdict - For me there are 7 horses who can win this year's Melbourne Cup and in racecard order they are Gold Trip, Without A Fight, Breakup, Vauban, Soulcombe, Absurde and More Felons. I'm going to have small e/w bets on More Felons and Breakup. More Felons could be well handicapped and I like the fact he's had a run in Australia going into this, although the draw is a negative. I thought Breakup's run at Caulfield was better than it first seemed and given the scope for improvement I want him onside as well. With bookies going 5 places and a couple going 6 I think that offers great value in backing Soulcombe and Gold Trip. Both have drifted out, but I think both have great chances of finishing in the top 6. Soulcombe might blow the start again, but the long Flemington straight will give him ample chance to get involved in the finish and Gold Trip is going so well I just can't see how he doesn't finish in the top 5. At the prices I will leave Absurde and Without A Fight alone. I'm a little surprised that Absurde is as strong in the market as he is because I get the feeling the Mullins camp all fancy the favourite. Having said that if he got the 1-2 I wouldn't be shocked. Without A Fight was my main tip for this last year, but he disappointed on the soft ground. Clearly the Caulfield Cup win was huge and that was a new PB, but his price is tight enough now. Finally after much thought I am going to back Vauban as well as a cover bet. On the Australian Bet365 prices he is now over 3/1 and given I would have him around 3/1 I have to bet him at that price, but I would not take anything under 3/1.   NB Bet365 have two sets of prices an Australian book and a UK book. The Australian one only offers 3 places as that is the normal e/w terms over there and can be found in the Australian horse racing section on the site. Because it is only 3 places the prices are bigger (thus why Vauban is a bigger prices there). If you want the UK one you have to go to the ante-post section and go to where it says Australia & New Zealand NRNB and the 5 place market is there.   Strong bets Gold Trip e/w @ 7/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 6/1 with William Hill to 6 places Soulcombe e/w @ 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 8/1 with William Hill to 6 places   Cover bet Vauban @ 17/5 with Bet365 in their Australian market   Small e/w plays Breakup @ 18/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 16/1 with William Hill to 6 places More Felons @ 33/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 22/1 with William Hill to 6 places
  9. Like
    Darran got a reaction from yossa6133 in Melbourne Cup   
    Having put up the winner of The Everest, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in recent weeks I am hoping I can make it 4/4 in the biggest race of them all, the Melbourne Cup. Here is my look through the 23 runners which make up this year's field.   Gold Trip - History isn't on his side he is aiming to be the first repeat winner since Makybe Diva and the first to carry 58.5kg since Think Big in 1975, but last year's winner is absolutely flying this prep and arguably is in even better form. The Turnbull win 3 back was top class, he didn't get much luck in running when 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and it was a similar story in the Cox Plate when 5th last time. People say he needs cut, but he has proven this prep he can more than handle a quick track so the ground doesn't worry me. Mark Zahra has picked Without A Fight over him, but James McDonald is pretty much the best super sub you can hope for. The one minus for me is his draw in 2. Last year he settled in 18th and flew home from a wider draw, but this year he is going to need luck in running from his inside gate. For me though that is the only negative and if he holds the form he's shown already this prep he has to be in the top 4.   Alenquer - A former Royal Ascot winner and a Group 1 winner in Ireland, but he's been unplaced in 5 Aussie starts now and in what will be Damian Oliver's last Cup, he is going to have to pull off something special to win another one on the 6yo. Needs to pass a vet check on the morning of the race.   Without A Fight  - Given a very European style campaign with just 1 prep run leading into the Caulfield Cup, but it worked a treat as he came pretty much widest of all round the home bend to storm home and be really tough in a battling finish with his former stablemate West Wind Blows. He was just 13th in this last year, but the ground was too wet for him and we know he comes into this in peak form. Connections will probably be happy enough he is drawn in 16 as he should be able to settle in the latter half of the field and get clear air in the straight. The double hasn't been done in 22 years, but he has to have a strong chance.   Breakup - Japanese horse whose best recent runs have come over 3000m and 3200m in Japan earlier in the year. Hadn't run since June going into the Caulfield Cup which was always likely to be too short a trip for him and he basically stayed in around 8th place the whole way. To me he ran like a horse who needed the run and he really ought to improve on that run especially up in trip. He also didn't get a lot of room twice in the straight and without that I think he would have finished closer. Wouldn't discount him at double figure odds.   Vauban - Plenty of people think you may as well give him the Cup now as they are so certain of him winning. Willie Mullins has gone close to winning this race before and it seems this has been plan long in the making possibly before he even won the 2022 Triumph Hurdle. Bolted up at Royal Ascot beating Absurde by 7.5L and then won at Naas to qualify for this. I have said on Twitter that if he drew poorly then that wouldn't help and was joking about 24, but inside draws can be just as tricky although Ryan Moore can work wonders as he showed an Auguste Rodin on Saturday. He gets 7lbs from Gold Trip although I wouldn't be certain that would be enough. What I will say though is his owner thinks he could be a Cups horse next year over here and if he is then he ought to win this. The price has been too short in recent days, but he is just starting to drift out and he is a tempting bet again.   Soulcombe - Was really impressive when winning the Queen Elizabeth on the final day of this carnival a year ago, but has only won once this year which came in a Listed Race at Caulfield over 1700m. He was a super 3rd in the Turnbull and does get a 3kg pull in the weights with Gold Trip for a 2.15L defeat that day. The worry is he can blow the start and he lost about 6L at the start in the Caulfield Cup. I thought he did very well though to come home 7th given that. The further trip and longer home straight here will help him if he does blow the start, but his draw of 4 isn't going to be a great help in that regards. Even so he has to be one of the leading candidates.    Absurde - The Ebor winner under a great Frankie Dettori ride and whilst no horse has done the double it is usually a good form guide for this race. He was 2nd to Vauban at Royal Ascot, but he was really keen in the early stages and was held up of a fairly slow pace which the winner was able to dictate, so he certainly wasn't see to best effect that day. The yard clearly think Vauban is their main chance, but he is certainly one of the possible winners.   Right You Are - Won the Mornington Cup in April and was a really strong 5th in the Caulfield Cup last time especially given he settled in around 5th just off a very strong pace. That was a personal best for me and came on the back of only finishing 11th in the Turnbull. He's never been further than 2400m and you wouldn't really say he's going to improve for it.   Vow And Declare - The 2019 winner who has then finished 18th in 2020 and 10th last year. Despite that he still has more weight than he did when he won the race, but to be fair to him he comes into this in good form with a 2nd in the G1 Caulfield Stakes and in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup last time. Could improve on the 10th of last year, but surely isn't going to repeat 2019's success.   Ashrun - Was 10th in the 2020 running and then didn't run again until September due to a tendon injury. Was OK in his first 2 runs back and then finished a good 2nd in the Geelong Cup. Every chance he will come on for that again, but that form isn't good enough to be winning this.   Daqiansweet Junior - Stays well and won the Adelaide Cup and has been 3rd in a Sydney Cup, but has been unplaced in 9 starts since then and shouldn't be good enough.   Okita Soushi - Another winner from this years Royal Ascot winning the Duke Of Edinburgh. Had a break after that and finished 3rd in the Irish St Leger Trial. He then came over to Australia and finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup. He will have to improve massively on that.   Sheraz - Only managed 1 placing in 12 Australian starts which came in the Sydney Cup last year. Stays, but highly unlikely to be good enough.   Lastotchka - Having her first start in Australia after winning the Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp a couple of months ago. I'm not sure that was a strong race and she might prefer a softer surface. A draw of 21 isn't ideal either.   Magical Lagoon - Won the Irish Oaks last year, but has been pretty awful since going to Australia. 6th in the Geelong Cup was an improvement, but needs a hell of a lot more.   Military  Mission - Landed the Herbert Power at Caulfield last time although the last horse to win that and the Cup was Rogan Josh in 1999. Was a good effort though and he has also won the Newcastle Cup this prep. Has never been further than 2406m though and that might be an issue, but he has better claims than quite a few of these.   Serpentine - The 2020 Derby winner, but he's only won once in Australia and that was a 4 horse race. Only beat 2 home in this last year, but he's actually been running the best he has in Australia this prep and was 3rd to Future History in the Bart Cummings last time. Even so he would be a surprise winner.   Virtuous Circle - 2nd in the ATC Derby at Randwick in April, but has struggled for form since and was only 8th in the Geelong Cup last time.   More Felons - People in the UK will know him as Scriptwriter as he has had a name change since going to Australia. Started off with Aiden O'Brien and then went hurdling for Milton Harris last jumps season and did well winning a Grade 2 at the November meeting at Cheltenham. He ended up finishing 5th in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Grand National meeting. He then went back to the level and finished 7th behind Vauban at Royal Ascot and 8th in the Ebor behind Absurde. What he does get here though is a massive turn around in the weights which in theory gives him half a chance of reversing the form. Loomed large in the Geelong Cup on his first start for Waller and ended up 5th in a blanket finish. One of those at a bigger price who does have a chance, but he has drawn in 24 and that will be no help.   Future History - Great to see Hollie Doyle pick up a ride and this ex-French horse has progressed well since going to Australia. Won the G3 Bart Cummings in good style when making all before a change of tactics last time in the Moonee Valley Cup where he was held up from a bad draw and stayed on well to finish 3rd. I'm guessing they will try and lead with him again here from 13 and given we don't know if he stays that might be tough. I can see him running well though.   Interpretation - Had been behind Future History twice this prep including when just 9th in the Bart Cummings. Won a head bob in the Bendigo Cup last week, but that doesn't look good enough form for this.   Kalapour - Running solidly this prep and won the Archer Stakes on Saturday to get into the race. Made all then when able to dictate the speed and dug deep to hold on. I can't see him being good enough   True Marvel - Has won over 3800m so we know he stays and was placed in the Sydney Cup and Brisbane Cups last season, but unlikely to be good enough.   Verdict - For me there are 7 horses who can win this year's Melbourne Cup and in racecard order they are Gold Trip, Without A Fight, Breakup, Vauban, Soulcombe, Absurde and More Felons. I'm going to have small e/w bets on More Felons and Breakup. More Felons could be well handicapped and I like the fact he's had a run in Australia going into this, although the draw is a negative. I thought Breakup's run at Caulfield was better than it first seemed and given the scope for improvement I want him onside as well. With bookies going 5 places and a couple going 6 I think that offers great value in backing Soulcombe and Gold Trip. Both have drifted out, but I think both have great chances of finishing in the top 6. Soulcombe might blow the start again, but the long Flemington straight will give him ample chance to get involved in the finish and Gold Trip is going so well I just can't see how he doesn't finish in the top 5. At the prices I will leave Absurde and Without A Fight alone. I'm a little surprised that Absurde is as strong in the market as he is because I get the feeling the Mullins camp all fancy the favourite. Having said that if he got the 1-2 I wouldn't be shocked. Without A Fight was my main tip for this last year, but he disappointed on the soft ground. Clearly the Caulfield Cup win was huge and that was a new PB, but his price is tight enough now. Finally after much thought I am going to back Vauban as well as a cover bet. On the Australian Bet365 prices he is now over 3/1 and given I would have him around 3/1 I have to bet him at that price, but I would not take anything under 3/1.   NB Bet365 have two sets of prices an Australian book and a UK book. The Australian one only offers 3 places as that is the normal e/w terms over there and can be found in the Australian horse racing section on the site. Because it is only 3 places the prices are bigger (thus why Vauban is a bigger prices there). If you want the UK one you have to go to the ante-post section and go to where it says Australia & New Zealand NRNB and the 5 place market is there.   Strong bets Gold Trip e/w @ 7/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 6/1 with William Hill to 6 places Soulcombe e/w @ 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 8/1 with William Hill to 6 places   Cover bet Vauban @ 17/5 with Bet365 in their Australian market   Small e/w plays Breakup @ 18/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 16/1 with William Hill to 6 places More Felons @ 33/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 22/1 with William Hill to 6 places
  10. Like
    Darran got a reaction from MCLARKE in Melbourne Cup   
    Having put up the winner of The Everest, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in recent weeks I am hoping I can make it 4/4 in the biggest race of them all, the Melbourne Cup. Here is my look through the 23 runners which make up this year's field.   Gold Trip - History isn't on his side he is aiming to be the first repeat winner since Makybe Diva and the first to carry 58.5kg since Think Big in 1975, but last year's winner is absolutely flying this prep and arguably is in even better form. The Turnbull win 3 back was top class, he didn't get much luck in running when 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and it was a similar story in the Cox Plate when 5th last time. People say he needs cut, but he has proven this prep he can more than handle a quick track so the ground doesn't worry me. Mark Zahra has picked Without A Fight over him, but James McDonald is pretty much the best super sub you can hope for. The one minus for me is his draw in 2. Last year he settled in 18th and flew home from a wider draw, but this year he is going to need luck in running from his inside gate. For me though that is the only negative and if he holds the form he's shown already this prep he has to be in the top 4.   Alenquer - A former Royal Ascot winner and a Group 1 winner in Ireland, but he's been unplaced in 5 Aussie starts now and in what will be Damian Oliver's last Cup, he is going to have to pull off something special to win another one on the 6yo. Needs to pass a vet check on the morning of the race.   Without A Fight  - Given a very European style campaign with just 1 prep run leading into the Caulfield Cup, but it worked a treat as he came pretty much widest of all round the home bend to storm home and be really tough in a battling finish with his former stablemate West Wind Blows. He was just 13th in this last year, but the ground was too wet for him and we know he comes into this in peak form. Connections will probably be happy enough he is drawn in 16 as he should be able to settle in the latter half of the field and get clear air in the straight. The double hasn't been done in 22 years, but he has to have a strong chance.   Breakup - Japanese horse whose best recent runs have come over 3000m and 3200m in Japan earlier in the year. Hadn't run since June going into the Caulfield Cup which was always likely to be too short a trip for him and he basically stayed in around 8th place the whole way. To me he ran like a horse who needed the run and he really ought to improve on that run especially up in trip. He also didn't get a lot of room twice in the straight and without that I think he would have finished closer. Wouldn't discount him at double figure odds.   Vauban - Plenty of people think you may as well give him the Cup now as they are so certain of him winning. Willie Mullins has gone close to winning this race before and it seems this has been plan long in the making possibly before he even won the 2022 Triumph Hurdle. Bolted up at Royal Ascot beating Absurde by 7.5L and then won at Naas to qualify for this. I have said on Twitter that if he drew poorly then that wouldn't help and was joking about 24, but inside draws can be just as tricky although Ryan Moore can work wonders as he showed an Auguste Rodin on Saturday. He gets 7lbs from Gold Trip although I wouldn't be certain that would be enough. What I will say though is his owner thinks he could be a Cups horse next year over here and if he is then he ought to win this. The price has been too short in recent days, but he is just starting to drift out and he is a tempting bet again.   Soulcombe - Was really impressive when winning the Queen Elizabeth on the final day of this carnival a year ago, but has only won once this year which came in a Listed Race at Caulfield over 1700m. He was a super 3rd in the Turnbull and does get a 3kg pull in the weights with Gold Trip for a 2.15L defeat that day. The worry is he can blow the start and he lost about 6L at the start in the Caulfield Cup. I thought he did very well though to come home 7th given that. The further trip and longer home straight here will help him if he does blow the start, but his draw of 4 isn't going to be a great help in that regards. Even so he has to be one of the leading candidates.    Absurde - The Ebor winner under a great Frankie Dettori ride and whilst no horse has done the double it is usually a good form guide for this race. He was 2nd to Vauban at Royal Ascot, but he was really keen in the early stages and was held up of a fairly slow pace which the winner was able to dictate, so he certainly wasn't see to best effect that day. The yard clearly think Vauban is their main chance, but he is certainly one of the possible winners.   Right You Are - Won the Mornington Cup in April and was a really strong 5th in the Caulfield Cup last time especially given he settled in around 5th just off a very strong pace. That was a personal best for me and came on the back of only finishing 11th in the Turnbull. He's never been further than 2400m and you wouldn't really say he's going to improve for it.   Vow And Declare - The 2019 winner who has then finished 18th in 2020 and 10th last year. Despite that he still has more weight than he did when he won the race, but to be fair to him he comes into this in good form with a 2nd in the G1 Caulfield Stakes and in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup last time. Could improve on the 10th of last year, but surely isn't going to repeat 2019's success.   Ashrun - Was 10th in the 2020 running and then didn't run again until September due to a tendon injury. Was OK in his first 2 runs back and then finished a good 2nd in the Geelong Cup. Every chance he will come on for that again, but that form isn't good enough to be winning this.   Daqiansweet Junior - Stays well and won the Adelaide Cup and has been 3rd in a Sydney Cup, but has been unplaced in 9 starts since then and shouldn't be good enough.   Okita Soushi - Another winner from this years Royal Ascot winning the Duke Of Edinburgh. Had a break after that and finished 3rd in the Irish St Leger Trial. He then came over to Australia and finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup. He will have to improve massively on that.   Sheraz - Only managed 1 placing in 12 Australian starts which came in the Sydney Cup last year. Stays, but highly unlikely to be good enough.   Lastotchka - Having her first start in Australia after winning the Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp a couple of months ago. I'm not sure that was a strong race and she might prefer a softer surface. A draw of 21 isn't ideal either.   Magical Lagoon - Won the Irish Oaks last year, but has been pretty awful since going to Australia. 6th in the Geelong Cup was an improvement, but needs a hell of a lot more.   Military  Mission - Landed the Herbert Power at Caulfield last time although the last horse to win that and the Cup was Rogan Josh in 1999. Was a good effort though and he has also won the Newcastle Cup this prep. Has never been further than 2406m though and that might be an issue, but he has better claims than quite a few of these.   Serpentine - The 2020 Derby winner, but he's only won once in Australia and that was a 4 horse race. Only beat 2 home in this last year, but he's actually been running the best he has in Australia this prep and was 3rd to Future History in the Bart Cummings last time. Even so he would be a surprise winner.   Virtuous Circle - 2nd in the ATC Derby at Randwick in April, but has struggled for form since and was only 8th in the Geelong Cup last time.   More Felons - People in the UK will know him as Scriptwriter as he has had a name change since going to Australia. Started off with Aiden O'Brien and then went hurdling for Milton Harris last jumps season and did well winning a Grade 2 at the November meeting at Cheltenham. He ended up finishing 5th in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Grand National meeting. He then went back to the level and finished 7th behind Vauban at Royal Ascot and 8th in the Ebor behind Absurde. What he does get here though is a massive turn around in the weights which in theory gives him half a chance of reversing the form. Loomed large in the Geelong Cup on his first start for Waller and ended up 5th in a blanket finish. One of those at a bigger price who does have a chance, but he has drawn in 24 and that will be no help.   Future History - Great to see Hollie Doyle pick up a ride and this ex-French horse has progressed well since going to Australia. Won the G3 Bart Cummings in good style when making all before a change of tactics last time in the Moonee Valley Cup where he was held up from a bad draw and stayed on well to finish 3rd. I'm guessing they will try and lead with him again here from 13 and given we don't know if he stays that might be tough. I can see him running well though.   Interpretation - Had been behind Future History twice this prep including when just 9th in the Bart Cummings. Won a head bob in the Bendigo Cup last week, but that doesn't look good enough form for this.   Kalapour - Running solidly this prep and won the Archer Stakes on Saturday to get into the race. Made all then when able to dictate the speed and dug deep to hold on. I can't see him being good enough   True Marvel - Has won over 3800m so we know he stays and was placed in the Sydney Cup and Brisbane Cups last season, but unlikely to be good enough.   Verdict - For me there are 7 horses who can win this year's Melbourne Cup and in racecard order they are Gold Trip, Without A Fight, Breakup, Vauban, Soulcombe, Absurde and More Felons. I'm going to have small e/w bets on More Felons and Breakup. More Felons could be well handicapped and I like the fact he's had a run in Australia going into this, although the draw is a negative. I thought Breakup's run at Caulfield was better than it first seemed and given the scope for improvement I want him onside as well. With bookies going 5 places and a couple going 6 I think that offers great value in backing Soulcombe and Gold Trip. Both have drifted out, but I think both have great chances of finishing in the top 6. Soulcombe might blow the start again, but the long Flemington straight will give him ample chance to get involved in the finish and Gold Trip is going so well I just can't see how he doesn't finish in the top 5. At the prices I will leave Absurde and Without A Fight alone. I'm a little surprised that Absurde is as strong in the market as he is because I get the feeling the Mullins camp all fancy the favourite. Having said that if he got the 1-2 I wouldn't be shocked. Without A Fight was my main tip for this last year, but he disappointed on the soft ground. Clearly the Caulfield Cup win was huge and that was a new PB, but his price is tight enough now. Finally after much thought I am going to back Vauban as well as a cover bet. On the Australian Bet365 prices he is now over 3/1 and given I would have him around 3/1 I have to bet him at that price, but I would not take anything under 3/1.   NB Bet365 have two sets of prices an Australian book and a UK book. The Australian one only offers 3 places as that is the normal e/w terms over there and can be found in the Australian horse racing section on the site. Because it is only 3 places the prices are bigger (thus why Vauban is a bigger prices there). If you want the UK one you have to go to the ante-post section and go to where it says Australia & New Zealand NRNB and the 5 place market is there.   Strong bets Gold Trip e/w @ 7/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 6/1 with William Hill to 6 places Soulcombe e/w @ 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 8/1 with William Hill to 6 places   Cover bet Vauban @ 17/5 with Bet365 in their Australian market   Small e/w plays Breakup @ 18/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 16/1 with William Hill to 6 places More Felons @ 33/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 22/1 with William Hill to 6 places
  11. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Brahmin in Melbourne Cup   
    Having put up the winner of The Everest, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in recent weeks I am hoping I can make it 4/4 in the biggest race of them all, the Melbourne Cup. Here is my look through the 23 runners which make up this year's field.   Gold Trip - History isn't on his side he is aiming to be the first repeat winner since Makybe Diva and the first to carry 58.5kg since Think Big in 1975, but last year's winner is absolutely flying this prep and arguably is in even better form. The Turnbull win 3 back was top class, he didn't get much luck in running when 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and it was a similar story in the Cox Plate when 5th last time. People say he needs cut, but he has proven this prep he can more than handle a quick track so the ground doesn't worry me. Mark Zahra has picked Without A Fight over him, but James McDonald is pretty much the best super sub you can hope for. The one minus for me is his draw in 2. Last year he settled in 18th and flew home from a wider draw, but this year he is going to need luck in running from his inside gate. For me though that is the only negative and if he holds the form he's shown already this prep he has to be in the top 4.   Alenquer - A former Royal Ascot winner and a Group 1 winner in Ireland, but he's been unplaced in 5 Aussie starts now and in what will be Damian Oliver's last Cup, he is going to have to pull off something special to win another one on the 6yo. Needs to pass a vet check on the morning of the race.   Without A Fight  - Given a very European style campaign with just 1 prep run leading into the Caulfield Cup, but it worked a treat as he came pretty much widest of all round the home bend to storm home and be really tough in a battling finish with his former stablemate West Wind Blows. He was just 13th in this last year, but the ground was too wet for him and we know he comes into this in peak form. Connections will probably be happy enough he is drawn in 16 as he should be able to settle in the latter half of the field and get clear air in the straight. The double hasn't been done in 22 years, but he has to have a strong chance.   Breakup - Japanese horse whose best recent runs have come over 3000m and 3200m in Japan earlier in the year. Hadn't run since June going into the Caulfield Cup which was always likely to be too short a trip for him and he basically stayed in around 8th place the whole way. To me he ran like a horse who needed the run and he really ought to improve on that run especially up in trip. He also didn't get a lot of room twice in the straight and without that I think he would have finished closer. Wouldn't discount him at double figure odds.   Vauban - Plenty of people think you may as well give him the Cup now as they are so certain of him winning. Willie Mullins has gone close to winning this race before and it seems this has been plan long in the making possibly before he even won the 2022 Triumph Hurdle. Bolted up at Royal Ascot beating Absurde by 7.5L and then won at Naas to qualify for this. I have said on Twitter that if he drew poorly then that wouldn't help and was joking about 24, but inside draws can be just as tricky although Ryan Moore can work wonders as he showed an Auguste Rodin on Saturday. He gets 7lbs from Gold Trip although I wouldn't be certain that would be enough. What I will say though is his owner thinks he could be a Cups horse next year over here and if he is then he ought to win this. The price has been too short in recent days, but he is just starting to drift out and he is a tempting bet again.   Soulcombe - Was really impressive when winning the Queen Elizabeth on the final day of this carnival a year ago, but has only won once this year which came in a Listed Race at Caulfield over 1700m. He was a super 3rd in the Turnbull and does get a 3kg pull in the weights with Gold Trip for a 2.15L defeat that day. The worry is he can blow the start and he lost about 6L at the start in the Caulfield Cup. I thought he did very well though to come home 7th given that. The further trip and longer home straight here will help him if he does blow the start, but his draw of 4 isn't going to be a great help in that regards. Even so he has to be one of the leading candidates.    Absurde - The Ebor winner under a great Frankie Dettori ride and whilst no horse has done the double it is usually a good form guide for this race. He was 2nd to Vauban at Royal Ascot, but he was really keen in the early stages and was held up of a fairly slow pace which the winner was able to dictate, so he certainly wasn't see to best effect that day. The yard clearly think Vauban is their main chance, but he is certainly one of the possible winners.   Right You Are - Won the Mornington Cup in April and was a really strong 5th in the Caulfield Cup last time especially given he settled in around 5th just off a very strong pace. That was a personal best for me and came on the back of only finishing 11th in the Turnbull. He's never been further than 2400m and you wouldn't really say he's going to improve for it.   Vow And Declare - The 2019 winner who has then finished 18th in 2020 and 10th last year. Despite that he still has more weight than he did when he won the race, but to be fair to him he comes into this in good form with a 2nd in the G1 Caulfield Stakes and in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup last time. Could improve on the 10th of last year, but surely isn't going to repeat 2019's success.   Ashrun - Was 10th in the 2020 running and then didn't run again until September due to a tendon injury. Was OK in his first 2 runs back and then finished a good 2nd in the Geelong Cup. Every chance he will come on for that again, but that form isn't good enough to be winning this.   Daqiansweet Junior - Stays well and won the Adelaide Cup and has been 3rd in a Sydney Cup, but has been unplaced in 9 starts since then and shouldn't be good enough.   Okita Soushi - Another winner from this years Royal Ascot winning the Duke Of Edinburgh. Had a break after that and finished 3rd in the Irish St Leger Trial. He then came over to Australia and finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup. He will have to improve massively on that.   Sheraz - Only managed 1 placing in 12 Australian starts which came in the Sydney Cup last year. Stays, but highly unlikely to be good enough.   Lastotchka - Having her first start in Australia after winning the Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp a couple of months ago. I'm not sure that was a strong race and she might prefer a softer surface. A draw of 21 isn't ideal either.   Magical Lagoon - Won the Irish Oaks last year, but has been pretty awful since going to Australia. 6th in the Geelong Cup was an improvement, but needs a hell of a lot more.   Military  Mission - Landed the Herbert Power at Caulfield last time although the last horse to win that and the Cup was Rogan Josh in 1999. Was a good effort though and he has also won the Newcastle Cup this prep. Has never been further than 2406m though and that might be an issue, but he has better claims than quite a few of these.   Serpentine - The 2020 Derby winner, but he's only won once in Australia and that was a 4 horse race. Only beat 2 home in this last year, but he's actually been running the best he has in Australia this prep and was 3rd to Future History in the Bart Cummings last time. Even so he would be a surprise winner.   Virtuous Circle - 2nd in the ATC Derby at Randwick in April, but has struggled for form since and was only 8th in the Geelong Cup last time.   More Felons - People in the UK will know him as Scriptwriter as he has had a name change since going to Australia. Started off with Aiden O'Brien and then went hurdling for Milton Harris last jumps season and did well winning a Grade 2 at the November meeting at Cheltenham. He ended up finishing 5th in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Grand National meeting. He then went back to the level and finished 7th behind Vauban at Royal Ascot and 8th in the Ebor behind Absurde. What he does get here though is a massive turn around in the weights which in theory gives him half a chance of reversing the form. Loomed large in the Geelong Cup on his first start for Waller and ended up 5th in a blanket finish. One of those at a bigger price who does have a chance, but he has drawn in 24 and that will be no help.   Future History - Great to see Hollie Doyle pick up a ride and this ex-French horse has progressed well since going to Australia. Won the G3 Bart Cummings in good style when making all before a change of tactics last time in the Moonee Valley Cup where he was held up from a bad draw and stayed on well to finish 3rd. I'm guessing they will try and lead with him again here from 13 and given we don't know if he stays that might be tough. I can see him running well though.   Interpretation - Had been behind Future History twice this prep including when just 9th in the Bart Cummings. Won a head bob in the Bendigo Cup last week, but that doesn't look good enough form for this.   Kalapour - Running solidly this prep and won the Archer Stakes on Saturday to get into the race. Made all then when able to dictate the speed and dug deep to hold on. I can't see him being good enough   True Marvel - Has won over 3800m so we know he stays and was placed in the Sydney Cup and Brisbane Cups last season, but unlikely to be good enough.   Verdict - For me there are 7 horses who can win this year's Melbourne Cup and in racecard order they are Gold Trip, Without A Fight, Breakup, Vauban, Soulcombe, Absurde and More Felons. I'm going to have small e/w bets on More Felons and Breakup. More Felons could be well handicapped and I like the fact he's had a run in Australia going into this, although the draw is a negative. I thought Breakup's run at Caulfield was better than it first seemed and given the scope for improvement I want him onside as well. With bookies going 5 places and a couple going 6 I think that offers great value in backing Soulcombe and Gold Trip. Both have drifted out, but I think both have great chances of finishing in the top 6. Soulcombe might blow the start again, but the long Flemington straight will give him ample chance to get involved in the finish and Gold Trip is going so well I just can't see how he doesn't finish in the top 5. At the prices I will leave Absurde and Without A Fight alone. I'm a little surprised that Absurde is as strong in the market as he is because I get the feeling the Mullins camp all fancy the favourite. Having said that if he got the 1-2 I wouldn't be shocked. Without A Fight was my main tip for this last year, but he disappointed on the soft ground. Clearly the Caulfield Cup win was huge and that was a new PB, but his price is tight enough now. Finally after much thought I am going to back Vauban as well as a cover bet. On the Australian Bet365 prices he is now over 3/1 and given I would have him around 3/1 I have to bet him at that price, but I would not take anything under 3/1.   NB Bet365 have two sets of prices an Australian book and a UK book. The Australian one only offers 3 places as that is the normal e/w terms over there and can be found in the Australian horse racing section on the site. Because it is only 3 places the prices are bigger (thus why Vauban is a bigger prices there). If you want the UK one you have to go to the ante-post section and go to where it says Australia & New Zealand NRNB and the 5 place market is there.   Strong bets Gold Trip e/w @ 7/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 6/1 with William Hill to 6 places Soulcombe e/w @ 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred to 5 places or 8/1 with William Hill to 6 places   Cover bet Vauban @ 17/5 with Bet365 in their Australian market   Small e/w plays Breakup @ 18/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 16/1 with William Hill to 6 places More Felons @ 33/1 with Betfair to 5 places or 22/1 with William Hill to 6 places
  12. Like
    Darran got a reaction from andypandy23 in Non-League Predictions - 4th November   
  13. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Zico10 in Non-League Predictions - 4th November   
  14. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Bedlam in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  15. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Bedlam in Non-League Predictions - 4th November   
  16. Like
    Darran got a reaction from G1dders in Non-League Predictions - 4th November   
  17. Like
    Darran got a reaction from CakeCakeCake in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  18. Like
    Darran got a reaction from harry_rag in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  19. Like
    Darran got a reaction from freddie01 in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  20. Like
    Darran got a reaction from Gary66 in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  21. Like
    Darran got a reaction from ThunderDan9 in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  22. Like
    Darran got a reaction from andypandy23 in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  23. Like
    Darran got a reaction from blueboy199 in FA Cup Predictions > 3rd to 5th November   
    My thoughts on this weekends FA Cup action.   Sheppey v Walsall This should be a complete mis-match and it should be an easy win for Walsall on ITV4 on Friday night. Sheppey play at Step 4 in the same league as one of my local teams Beckenham and whilst I have not had chance to watch them this season yet, I did go a few times last season including when Beckenham were hammered by Dagenham in the FA Cup. Given Beckenham reached the play-offs in the end it gives me a good guide that Sheppey, who are worse than that Beckenham side, shouldn't really be capable of giving a League 2 side with too many concerns. I will be taking Walsall on the -2 handicap as given the game is on TV I suspect they will put out a strong line-up to avoid an embarrassing defeat.   Eastleigh v Boreham Wood All National League tie and whilst I tried to take Boreham Wood on in the previous round I am with them here. I think they have improved since beating Welling and Eastleigh just seem to be all over the place at the moment. Capable of good performances, but then terrible for others including last week against Maidenhead. For me Boreham Wood are just too big a price given there is very little between the two sides.   Oxford United v Maidenhead Taking a huge flyer with this one, but Maidenhead have certainly improved their performances recently and whilst they travel to 2nd in League 1, I suspect Oxford don't really care too much about the FA Cup this season given getting into the Championship would be a huge achievement. Alan Devonshire loves to cause upsets in the league and whilst chances are they will lose, I give them a slightly better chance than the odds suggest so will take a punt on them to cause a big upset.   Ramsgate v Woking A chance this game wont take place, but Ramsgate look a very strong Step 4 side this season and did very well to beat Totton in the previous round. We can ignore their FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday as they rested players for this game and I think they have a chance of beating Woking who just haven't convinced me at all of late.   Sutton v AFC Fylde Sutton are really struggling in League 2 this season and they might well be coming back to Non-League football. Whilst Fylde have struggled as well, they have improved hugely since sacking their manager and the two wins over Oldham and Gateshead have been superb. Play like they did in those two games and they have a great chance of winning a fixture which could be a league game next season.   Yeovil v Gateshead I feared for Gateshead when they lost their manager to MK Dons and they drew with Rochdale before that heavy defeat to Fylde as mentioned above. Yeovil are beginning to look really good in the National League South and they do look like the most likely title winners right now. I'm sure though they will be keen to beat a National League side to prove how good they are and with Gateshead looking vulnerable right now this looks like a good chance for the home side.   Slough v Grimsby Not a huge surprise that Grimsby sacked Paul Hurst last weekend given they have really struggled for form and they have picked up just 2 points away from home this season. I've tried backing Slough a few times recently and they keep drawing, but I do think they are better than their league position suggests and they could make things very tricky for their League 2 opponents on Sunday afternoon.   Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills I must admit I didn't expect this game to be on TV because Charlton are at home, but given there is just 3 miles between the two sides grounds I guess that trumped the fact it is the league side at home. I know Cray did us a big favour in the FA Trophy last week and at home they might have had a small chance, but I just can't see how Charlton don't make sure they aren't embarrassed on TV by their local small Non-League club. League 1 to Step 4 is a huge gulf and they should be capable of over coming the -3 handicap.   Acca I have come up with a 6-fold of teams I think look bankers over the weekend. Friday's 2 games should go the way of the League sides so Barnsley and Walsall hopefully get the acca off to a good start. On Saturday I think Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United and Stockport will beat Whitby, Bracknell and Worksop respectively. Finally we may as well put Charlton as they ought to boost the returns even at around 1/10.   Prices taken from around 9.30pm on Wednesday.   Walsall -2 1pt @ 11/5 with Coral (23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair take up to 7/4) Boreham Wood 1pt @ 9/4 with Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair and Paddy Power (365 are 5/2 and take up to 15/8) Maidenhead 1pt @ 8/1 with William Hill (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and take up to 6/1) Ramsgate 1pt @ 11/2 with BetVictor and William Hill (6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral take up to 7/2) AFC Fylde 1pt @ 18/5 with Skybet and BetVictor (15/4 with Paddys and Betfair and take up to 11/4) Yeovil 1pt @ 23/10 with Skybet and Coral (12/5 with Bet365 and take up to 15/8) Slough 1pt @ 3/1 with everyone (13/4 with Coral and take up to 5/2) Charlton -3 1pt @ 9/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 6/4) Barnsley/Walsall/Bristol Rovers/Cambridge United/Stockport/Charlton 1pt acca @ 1.74/1 with Bet365
  24. Like
    Darran got a reaction from yossa6133 in Non-league predictions - 28th October   
    Oldham v Altrincham I wrote in the preview for Tuesday's games that I thought we might have got away with one with Oldham beating Rochdale on Saturday based on the stats. That as well as the price drop meant I left them alone against Fylde and it was certainly the right decision as they were awful. They barely created a chance and in the end Fylde ran out very easy 3-0 winners. I was clearly surprised that they were so bad, but it does suggest that Mellon might have his work cut out. First home game in charge might well see some improvement, but we know how good Altrincham are and for me they have to be backed.   Woking v Bromley A goal on the counter attack meant Woking beat Eastleigh on Tuesday night which was a much needed win for them. Bromley meanwhile needed a wonder goal in injury time to beat Dorking, but that continued their superb run of form which is only ruined by a poor performance at Chesterfield. They are the likely title winners though so nothing that wrong with that and I just can't have them at such a big price to win this.   Curzon Ashton v Chester After a slow start to the season Chester have found their form of late and have won their last 3 games 2-0 which includes a win over Hartlepool in the FA Cup. I would make them favourites to win this as I think we will see Curzon struggle a bit after losing their manager to Kings Lynn and they have lost their last 2 league games.   Eastbourne v Slough I thought when Slough came back from 2 down to level it at 2-2 on Tuesday night against St Albans that we were in with a chance, but then Slough conceded a 3rd. That was their 1st defeat though in 6 games whilst Eastbourne have only won once in their last 6, ironically enough that was a 3-2 win against St Albans. Slough have drifted out and look a big price because I don't think there is a great deal between these two sides.   Royston v Needham Market (Southern Premier Central) The away side have only lost once in the league all season and they pushed York so close in the FA Cup the previous round so they are looking very strong this season. Royston have only lost once at home, but they have only won once in their last 6 games and Needham look a decent bet to pick up another 3 points.   Didcot v Sholing (Southern Premier South) Sholing now have former Sutton and Havant boss Paul Doswell in charge and after a poor run of form they are doing much better and are now unbeaten in 5. They look much stronger than a Didcot side who got thumped 7-1 by Totton on Wednesday night. They have won just once this season and have key players missing through injury and suspension on Saturday. I think they look the best bet of the weekend.   Prices from Thursday afternoon    Altrincham 1pt @ 19/10 with Bet365  (11/5with Paddy Power and Betfair and take up to 13/8) Bromley 1pt @ 11/4 with Bet365, Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 2/1) Chester 1pt @ 29/20 with Paddy Power and Betfair (Skybet are 13/8 take up to 5/4) Slough 1pt @ 23/10 with Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill (take up to 15/8) Needham Market 1pt @ 5/4 with Betfred (Skybet are 13/10 and take up to 11/10) Sholing 2pts @ 11/8 with Skybet, William Hill and Bet365 (Betfred are 6/4 and take up to Evs)
  25. Like
    Darran got a reaction from freddie01 in Non-league predictions - 28th October   
    Oldham v Altrincham I wrote in the preview for Tuesday's games that I thought we might have got away with one with Oldham beating Rochdale on Saturday based on the stats. That as well as the price drop meant I left them alone against Fylde and it was certainly the right decision as they were awful. They barely created a chance and in the end Fylde ran out very easy 3-0 winners. I was clearly surprised that they were so bad, but it does suggest that Mellon might have his work cut out. First home game in charge might well see some improvement, but we know how good Altrincham are and for me they have to be backed.   Woking v Bromley A goal on the counter attack meant Woking beat Eastleigh on Tuesday night which was a much needed win for them. Bromley meanwhile needed a wonder goal in injury time to beat Dorking, but that continued their superb run of form which is only ruined by a poor performance at Chesterfield. They are the likely title winners though so nothing that wrong with that and I just can't have them at such a big price to win this.   Curzon Ashton v Chester After a slow start to the season Chester have found their form of late and have won their last 3 games 2-0 which includes a win over Hartlepool in the FA Cup. I would make them favourites to win this as I think we will see Curzon struggle a bit after losing their manager to Kings Lynn and they have lost their last 2 league games.   Eastbourne v Slough I thought when Slough came back from 2 down to level it at 2-2 on Tuesday night against St Albans that we were in with a chance, but then Slough conceded a 3rd. That was their 1st defeat though in 6 games whilst Eastbourne have only won once in their last 6, ironically enough that was a 3-2 win against St Albans. Slough have drifted out and look a big price because I don't think there is a great deal between these two sides.   Royston v Needham Market (Southern Premier Central) The away side have only lost once in the league all season and they pushed York so close in the FA Cup the previous round so they are looking very strong this season. Royston have only lost once at home, but they have only won once in their last 6 games and Needham look a decent bet to pick up another 3 points.   Didcot v Sholing (Southern Premier South) Sholing now have former Sutton and Havant boss Paul Doswell in charge and after a poor run of form they are doing much better and are now unbeaten in 5. They look much stronger than a Didcot side who got thumped 7-1 by Totton on Wednesday night. They have won just once this season and have key players missing through injury and suspension on Saturday. I think they look the best bet of the weekend.   Prices from Thursday afternoon    Altrincham 1pt @ 19/10 with Bet365  (11/5with Paddy Power and Betfair and take up to 13/8) Bromley 1pt @ 11/4 with Bet365, Paddy Power and Betfair (take up to 2/1) Chester 1pt @ 29/20 with Paddy Power and Betfair (Skybet are 13/8 take up to 5/4) Slough 1pt @ 23/10 with Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill (take up to 15/8) Needham Market 1pt @ 5/4 with Betfred (Skybet are 13/10 and take up to 11/10) Sholing 2pts @ 11/8 with Skybet, William Hill and Bet365 (Betfred are 6/4 and take up to Evs)
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