Long Run stands head and shoulders above Denman Chase rivals

February 14th, 2012

All eyes will be keenly focused on Newbury racecourse on Saturday where a series of key Cheltenham Festival trials are set to take place – weather permitting. Last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run is expected to take his chance in the Betfair Denman Chase as Nicky Henderson puts the finishing touches to the preparation of his star chaser ahead of his attempt to retain his <a href=”http://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/cheltenham/cheltenham-races/“>Cheltenham racing</a> chasing crown on March 16, writes Elliot Slater.

The big fear for Henderson and a host of other trainers with runners declared at Newbury is that the current wintry spell of weather will fail to ease and the meeting could be lost, leaving little opportunity to find alternative engagements in a suitable time frame that allows horses to recover in time to be back at their peak for Cheltenham. Long Run is one of 11 horses declared for the Grade 2 three-mile contest and is way clear of his rivals on official figures. Anything other than a winning performance would be a major shock, but Henderson will doubtless be taking the opposition seriously with the likes of classy performers such as What A Friend, The Giant Bolster, Medermit and Carruthers, amongst others, very capable of running a big race against the likely odds-on favourite. Anyone with <a href=”http://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/cheltenham/“>Cheltenham Free Bets</a> will have to give him some serious consideration.

A quite brilliant winner of last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup when he swept by previous winners Denman and Kauto Star to score by a hugely impressive seven-lengths, Long Run has twice been put in his place by the resurgent Kauto Star this season, first in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November, (when connections suggested he had needed the run), then again at Kempton Park on Boxing Day where Paul Nicholls’ outstanding veteran held off the current champion by just over a length in a race to remember.

Long Run remains the 9/4 favourite to win again at Cheltenham though with many judges expecting the more testing circuit and extra distance of the blue riband contest to play to the strengths of Henderson’s star and expose any flaws in the now 12-year-old dual former champion.

Options open for luckless Fruity O’Rooney

February 3rd, 2012

Options open for luckless Fruity O’Rooney

Gary Moore’s decent staying handicap chaser Fruity O’Rooney will probably be seen next in either the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster or the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton, before a possible bid for the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase, the race formerly known as the Festival Handicap Chase at Cheltenham 2012 (http://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/cheltenham/) on March 13, writes Elliot Slater.

Moore is still rueing his luck after his in-form chaser appeared set to go very close in the valuable Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster in late-January when taking up the running at the fourth from home. It was just at that point that the gelding’s jockey Jamie Moore began to feel the saddle slipping backwards, and though he managed to keep his mount bang in contention for most of the way home the saddle had moved so far back by the final fence that Moore lost an iron on landing and was unable to offer much assistance to his mount on the run-in, eventually coming home an honourable but highly frustrating third to the useful Calgary Bay.

Having seen that £42,000 winner’s cheque slip through his grasp the Sussex-based handler is now planning a retrieval mission either back at the Town Moor circuit or at Kempton, the track that saw Fruity O’Rooney put up a fine display on his run prior to Doncaster when keeping on well to beat Midnight Appeal in a well contested three-mile handicap chase at the Christmas meeting.

A gelded son of Derby winner Kahyasi, Fruity O’Rooney seems to have found significant improvement this season and connections have not ruled out the big handicap chase at the Betfair Cheltenham Festival (http://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/cheltenham/) for which the nine-year-old is generally on offer at 33/1. That price will surely disappear fast if Moore’s charge runs another good race next time out, something that, (given his current form), seems more than likely.

Preparations for Cheltenham Festival 2012

January 12th, 2012

Europe back to prepare for Cheltenham warm-up race

Reigning Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sizing Europe has returned to full training after a mid-term break and is being prepared to run at Punchestown in early February in the Grade 2 Tied Cottage Chase, a race in which he could finish only third last season behind the ill-fated Golden Silver, writes Elliot Slater.

The Henry de Bromhead-trained 10-year-old is favourite to defend his crown at the Cheltenham Festival in a couple of months time having already proved this season that he is in fine form, winning in Grade 2 company at Gowran Park in October before stepping up to three miles to run an excellent race in coming home just a length-and-a-quarter second to the smart Quito De La Roque in the Grade 1 JNwine.com Chase at Down Royal in November. Anyone following the Cheltenham 2012 betting odds will have been impressed.

Following the Down Royal contest connections decided to abandon plans to stay at three-miles and bid for the King George VI Chase and instead returned to the minimum trip of two miles to tackle the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in early-December, where the Ann & Alan Potts-owned gelding produced a brilliant display of accurate fencing before quickening up in high-class fashion to draw away from the up-and-coming Kauto Stone to score by an impressive eight-lengths. Fans of Betfair Cheltenham racing should make sure they take account of this result.

Although he still hasn’t given up on his hope that Sizing Europe could go all the way to the top over three miles, de Bromhead is concentrating all his efforts for the time being on having his stable star spot on for his defence of the Champion Chase crown and will seek to have the horse just where he wants him when taking him to Punchestown in February.

Bookmakers rate the gelded son of Pistolet Bleu a 5/2 favourite to defend his Cheltenham title with his old rival and former champion chaser Big Zeb next in the list at 5/1

2012 Australian Open Tennis Tips – Tennis Tipster Malvernator

January 9th, 2012

Tennis tipster Malvernator looks at the leading contenders for the
2012 Australian Open Tennis Championship – ATP World Tour

With the Australian Open just round the corner, here’s a quick look
at the favourites and their form.

Novak Djokovic: You have to respect the rankings when you have three
absolute tennis aliens such as we have. Djoko is the form man, the
world number one, the youngest of the three freaks, and has started
the season well. All four grand slams are his for the taking. But
where’s the fun at 11/8 to win outright?

Roger Federer: Surprisingly, the bookies see Federer as more likely
to win outright (9/2 BWIN) than Nadal. Can’t agree with this – my
personal advice is to stay away from this falling star.

Rafael Nadal: At 6/1 (Ladbrokes), I think this is the best value bet
due to the fact Nadal is second only to Djoko now – and the guy is
still a tank. With a little rest over the Christmas period, Nadal
will be chomping at the bit, and is, I believe, an absolute cert to
reach the final at least. All talk is whether Rafa and Uncle Toni
have worked out how to neutralise Djoko’s aggressive play – Rafa has
a horrific record against the Serb now. Many of us believe 2012 will
see a more cunning Spaniard, one who could regain the number one spot
by French Open. Djokovic can’t possibly repeat 2011, can he?

Andy Murray: 5/1 to win outright – can the Ivan Lendl factor make a
difference? Lendl (Murray’s new coach) is the master of making the
most of what you’ve got. He lost the first four grand slam finals he
reached, then went on to win eight. Murray has so far lost his first
three, which brings things into perspective somewhat. I believe the
Lendl choice is fantastic and would not be surprised to see Murray
finally take a grand slam title this year. But we’ll have to see how
the Australian Open goes first before we go jumping to conclusions.
What does Lendl bring to the table? Cunning tactics, hard-as-nails
attitude and total professionalism. Don’t expect to see Murray
shouting abuse at his team anymore – he wouldn’t dare mess with Big
Ivan! And this could be all that’s missing for the dour Scot. I think
5/1 is worth a cheeky punt.

Other outright specials:

Juan Martin del Potro: I’m biased as I’m a big fan of the lanky
Argentine, but many in tennis know that when he gets his game back
together, he can have a huge impact on men’s tennis – perhaps the
dark horse of the year if injury is not a factor anymore. Just as
Djoko snuck in and leapfrogged the Federer-Nadal love-in, del Potro
is most likely of anyone to upset the apple cart once again. At 14/1
with Totesport, a tenner would be a perfect amount to throw at this one.

Bernard Tomic: I spoke about this young Australian during the US
Open: he will go far! He’s not at the top five guys’ level, but with
his off-kilter tactics and tough attitude, he can frustrate the other
guys and go deep into the tournament. At only 19, he’s far from the
finished product but keep an eye on him. Best odds of 91/1 outright,
he’s not going to win this tournament, but he could shock a few people.

Horse Racing BLOG UPDATE – Horse Racing review Saturday 26th November 2011

November 26th, 2011

Long Run set to improve in King George VI Chase

Nicky Henderson, who has his team in simply scintillating form at present, is certain that last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Long Run will improve significantly for his first run of the season when he finished an eight-length second to the heroic Kauto Star in an outstanding renewal of the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park last weekend, writes Elliot Slater.

Henderson was quick to shake the hand of Paul Nicholls, trainer of the legendary Kauto Star, after the old horse turned in a quite unforgettable performance to outpoint Long Run in the three-mile Grade 1 contest, but the Seven Barrows handler is convinced that his charge is going to put up a much improved performance when he runs at Kempton Park on Boxing Day in the race in which he romped to a 12-length victory last term over stable companion Riverside Theatre. Those looking at the Betfair King George VI odds should remember this.

Henderson observed that Long Run was doing just a little bit too much on the first circuit at Haydock and, although he jumped well for the first couple of miles, he was too close to the pace and was running a little fresh on his first outing of the term. A series of jarring errors in the back straight would have knocked the stuffing out of lesser horses, but Long Run rallied in fine style to still have a chance going to the second last, only to be unable to match the winner for speed going to the final fence. Anyone planning to bet on King George VI Chase should bear in mind how good he looked.

The Robert Waley-Cohen-owned six-year-old ran in similar fashion on his initial run last season before officially improving 20lbs on his second outing (at Kempton), and connections are more than confident that a similar scenario will unfold at the Sunbury track, whether or not Kauto Star turns up to do battle again. Bookmakers have pushed Long Run out to 13/8 favourite in places from Evens prior to his Haydock defeat, with Kauto Star now a general 5/1 chance, having been available at up to 20/1 for the Kempton feature prior to his spectacular return to form.

SUNDAY UPDATE: Golf gambling Trading Opportunities at this week’s European & US Golf action

October 16th, 2011

Webb Simpson began the third round of the McGladrey Classic on the US Tour two shots off the pace and ended his eighteen holes on Saturday in the same position relative to the leaders. From tee to green Simpson was impeccable but took 33 putts in a one under par round of 69. He holed nothing of any length but if he has an obedient putter on Sunday I can see him winning this tournament and establishing a healthy lead over Luke Donald in the Money List.

The sub-plot to this week’s event is that Simpson could well clinch Player of the Year and overtake Donald in the dollar standings with just one counting event remaining next week. Both players have committed to the playing in the Tour finale but i expect Simpson to embark on that event in a strong position to win more money than Donald who is trying to become the first player to win the Money List and Order of Merit in the same year.

Ahead of the final round of this week’s tournament the selection is two shots behind Michael Thompson and just a stroke shy of Billy Horshel. Both these players hit loose shots over the last few holes on Saturday and I believe Simpson has the temperament and ability to overhaul them. Simpson was matched at a low of 2.86 so that was probably the right point to trade out for a guaranteed profit, though I believe he will trade even lower today, especially if he holes some putts in the early stages of his round.

Padraig Harrington is our nearest challenger ahead of the final round of the Portugal Masters on the European Tour. However, he is seven shots off the pace and I think we will have to rely on Simpson if we are to have a profitable week.

SATURDAY UPDATE: Golf gambling Trading Opportunities at this week’s European & US Golf action

October 15th, 2011

Golf gambling tips update from Betting League’s professional golf tipster Rock62.
Subscribe for FREE… CLICK HERE to subscribe to Rock62’s golf gambling tips.

Webb Simpson is now trading at 3.3 to win the McGladrey Classic on the US Tour having been advised at 16.0. You can now trade out to guarantee a profit but I believe he will trade even lower during the third round on Saturday. Simpson is now joint leader and looks certain to win enough money to overhaul Luke Donald in the Money List. Donald has committed to play in the last event of the season next week as he strives to become the first player to win the Money List and Order of Merit in the same season.

Simpson is level with Michael Thompson after 36 holes. He is the highest world ranked player in the top 10 on the leaderboard and he looks determined to win as much money as possible this week to make Donald’s task as hard as possible. We are due a winner and I’d be disappointed if Simpson doesn’t go on to win for the third time this year. That would compensate for the mediocre efforts of David Toms and Charles Howell. Toms missed the cut and Howell looks too far back to get in contention over the weekend.

Our three selections for the Portugal Masters on the European Tour all made the cut but have fallen somewhat off the pace after not holing enough putts in their respective second rounds. Francesco Molinari, Padraig Harrington and Joost Luiten will have to go low today but I expect at least of those players t o post a competitive number in the third round.

UPDATE: Golf gambling tips at this week’s European & US Golf action

October 14th, 2011

Golf gambling tips update from Betting League’s professional golf tipster Rock62.
Subscribe for FREE… CLICK HERE to subscribe to Rock62’s golf gambling tips.

Webb Simpson is joint leader after the first round of the McGladrey Classic on the US Tour. He was our main selection for this tournament and was advised at 16.0. He is trading at 5.0 ahead of the second round on Friday but I think he will trade lower so I wouldn’t lay him just yet. He looks well on the way to overhauling Luke Donald in the Money List and he would put himself in a strong position to claim that title if he wins this week. His suitability to the course was highlighted in our preview and I’m optimistic that he will at least represent a profitable trade.

Charles Howell and David Toms both had solid opening rounds but will need to post some birdies in the second round to get in contention. I can see Howell in particular going low today and continue a fine run of form during the last three months. Toms may be a bit too far back of the pace but a round in the mid sixties would leave him with an opportunity to get in the mix over the weekend.

Our three players in the Portugal Masters all began the tournament with five under par rounds of 67 which leaves three shots behind the first round leader.Each player is trading at just about the same price as before the tournament began. The prospects for Francisco Molinari, Padraig Harrington and Joost Luiten were well documented in our preview so I would imagine one or more will get in contention over the weekend.

Portugal Masters & McGladry Classic Golf Gambling Tips – Rock62

October 11th, 2011

Golf gambling tips for Portual Masters and McGladry Classic on the US tour from Betting League’s professional golf tipster Rock62.
Subscribe for FREE… CLICK HERE to subscribe to Rock62’s golf gambling tips.

Tour: Europe
Tournament: Portugal Masters
Course: Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal
Par: 72
Yardage: 7231 yards
Time difference: Same as GMT

Francesco Molinari has the right combination of current and course form to play well in the Portugal Masters on the European Tour. I’m giving Joost Luiten another chance but recommend a bet for him to finish in the top 5 so we collect if he goes close again. Padraig Harrington is showing signs of a return to form and he could well prosper at this level on the Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura.

The strongest field in the five year history of the tournament will be assembled in Portugal. The entry list includes five major champions and 20 Ryder Cup players. The highest ranked player is Martin Kaymer at number six. Harrington has won three major championships and is joined by major champions John Daly, Paul Lawrie and Jose-Maria Olazabal.

Thomas Bjorn, Simon Dyson and Alexander Noren have each won more than one title in Europe this year and they will have their backers. However none of these players are in the top 50 for driving accuracy and total putts and these are the key skills required to score well this week.

The course on the Algarve has very large and undulating greens which puts decent putting at a premium. Two putting every green would be a fine achievement and there are going to be many par putts in the region of six to eight feet.

The fairways are of average width but there are a great deal of fairway bunkers. The long hitters can prosper on the generous fairways but accuracy off the tee will also be important if the sand hazards are to be avoided.

The rough is not very punishing so those that miss the fairway can still hit the greens in the correct number of shots. It’s probably better to find the forgiving rough of the tee rather than the fairway bunkers as long shots from sand can be extremely difficult. The course is very exposed and lakes come into play on seven of the holes, another factor in determining driving accuracy as a key skill.

Molinari is currently 4th in the latest standings for driving accuracy so has the skills to avoid the fairway bunkers. He is also just inside the top 50 for average putts per round. I can see the Italian putting the ball in the right place off the tee and not losing too many shots on the greens.

The selection has made the cut on his last three appearances in Vilamoura. His best effort was two years ago. He started with a 63 and completed his four rounds in 23 under. Only Lee Westwood went lower, by two shots, but the world number two is not competing this week. Molinari had a solid top 10 in Madrid last week and a continuation of that form and consistent putting could see him win his third European Tour title.

If you are a regular follower of this column you will know that Joost Luiten is a name that often crops up in the staking plan. He might be not quite ready to win but by recommending him to finish in the top 5 we collect if he has another near miss. Course form and current form are in his favour and he is in the top 20 for driving accuracy.

Padraig Harrington was third in this event two years ago so he can clearly handle the course. He played well at the recent Dunhill Links Championship and was just one shot too many for a top 5 finish, frustrating as I had suggested such a bet. He is the top 30 for total putts and I can see him holing his fair share this week. Good putting will be required on a course where the average winning score over the last four years has been 21 under par.

Trading Recommendations

2 points back Francesco Molinari at 16.5.
5 points lay Francesco Molinari at 4.0 (if matched).
1 point back Padraig Harrington at 26.0.
3 points lay Padraig Harrington 5.0 (if matched).
2 points back Joost Luiten Top 5 at 6.0.

Tour: United States
Tournament: The McGladry Classic
Course: Seaside Course, Sea Island, Georgia
Par: 70
Yardage: 7055 yards
Time difference: 5 hours behind of GMT

Webb Simpson needs to finish in the top 19 of the McGladrey Classic on the US Tour this week if he is to overtake Luke Donald in the Money List. I can see him being highly motivated to win the required amount of cash but also establish a substantial lead over Donald by winning the tournament. Charles Howell has probably underachieved in terms of Tour wins but I can see him making the top 5 this week. David Toms is suited to the Seaside Course at Sea Island in Georgia that hosts the tournament for the second consecutive year and he has a good opportunity to win his 14th title on the US Tour.

Sea Island Golf Club is an ocean-side, links course that places a premium on careful shot selection, recovery and putting. It is the most demanding layout of the resort’s several courses. It is relatively short at 7055 yards and has a par of 70 that includes just two par 5s.

The course ranked as the fifth-easiest par 70 on its debut last year with a scoring average of 69.4. The large greens were the sixth least challenging greens to hit in regulation. Golfers averaged over 75% for hitting greens in the correct number of shots. However, accurate driving made it easier to find the green in the regulation number of strokes.

This tournament is a Fall Series event and generally attracts players who are trying to earn enough money to keep their card and playing privileges for next year. However it has attracted winners of 15 tournaments in the United States this year and 15 major champions. Matt Kuchar is the highest world ranked player at 9.

Simpson is the next best in the latest standings at number twelve. He has a great chance to earn some ranking points this week and overtake Donald on the Money List. If Simpson does have a high finish there is a good chance that he and Donald will enter the last tournament of the regular season next week. Donald looks just about assured of winning the Order of Merit and no player has ever won that title and the Money List in the same season.

Simpson has not played since the Tour Championship three weeks ago. He has had 10 top 10s this year and is first in the all round ranking. The winner of the Money List earns a five year exemption and I can see Simpson going a long way to achieving just that in Georgia. He has course form, current form and appears in the top 40 for the two key skills so all the data points to a third win of the year for Simpson.

Charles Howell was identified several years ago as somebody who could match up with Tiger Woods. His early promise did not materialise and he still doesn’t win as often as his talent deserves. He has two titles to his name but has finished second or third on nineteen occasions. I suggest backing him to finish in the top 5 so if he falters when in contention we can collect on a winning bet. He holds the course record at Sea Island. He finished sixth in the Tour Championship and in the same position in this tournament last year. His excellent iron play could see him make the payout places this week.

David Toms tied for third place at this tournament last year. He finished inside the top 10 for hitting greens in regulation and putting, the key skills required to prosper this week. He qualified for the four FedEx Cup events and finished 16th in the Tour Championship finale. His accuracy should give him plenty of birdie opportunities and given an obedient putter he can get in contention over the weekend.

UPDATE: Golf gambling tips at this weekend’s US Golf action

October 9th, 2011

Golf gambling tips update from Betting League’s professional golf tipster Rock62.
Subscribe for FREE… CLICK HERE to subscribe to Rock62’s golf gambling tips.

Lorenzo Gagli looks nailed on for a top 10 finish in the Madrid Masters on the European Tour. If he does get inside the top 10 for the sixth time this season the odds will be landed and the week’s losses will be minimal at worst. If you followed our staking advice the win on Gagli will virtually cover all our other bets and we could still earn a decent profit.

Alvaro Quiros may be five shots off the pace but he has the quality and experience to go low and get in contention. The overnight leader is Lee Slattery from Southport. He has never won a tour event and is number 328 in the world rankings.The leading five players ahead of Sunday’s fourth round are ranked between 181 and 687 in the latest standings. That makes them vulnerable to a last day charge from class acts like Francesco Molinari and Quiros.

Briny Baird leads the Frys.com Open on the US Tour after the third round. He has won over 10 million dollars of official money without winning a tournament. Ernie Els is in contention but the Big Easy has not had a top 10 in the States this year. He hit some loose shots on Saturday and I’d be more interested in backing Paul Casey to win on the US Tour for the first time since the Houston Open two years ago. Spencer Levin needs to go low if he is to finish in the top 5 and land another successful trade.