Roy The Boy weekly blog with bets on Sebastian Vettel to Australian Grand Prix, Premier League Darts checkout and Alan McManus to beat Matthew Stevens in snooker.
Ireland’s outstanding Cheltenham
So Cheltenham is done and dusted for another year. You would have needed a crystal ball to have foreseen the thumping the Irish inflicted on the British trained runners. Given the ‘weight of numbers’ factor, the 19-winners-to-9 final score-line was truly remarkable.
I have to confess no matter how much money I may be lucky enough to have in my bank account I could not go buying battalions of horses – in the money-pit which is National Hunt racing – in the way Michael O’Leary and J.P. McManus have.
You have to question if their interest in the sport is actually healthy for the game. Like, a Novice chase at Naas a week before the Festival consisted of four runners and all four were owned by O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud!
What’s in a price?
At this year’s Festival there were no winning SP’s that truly raised they eyebrows. Sizing John was one of two 7/1 winners and there was a brace of winners priced at 11/1. But that’s nothing outrageous.
Traditionally the Champion Hurdle is a great race for amazing returns, in recent years we have had a pair of 9/1 winners, an 11/1 winner and a 22/1 victor. But surely the best SP of all time was Kribensis who was successful at 95/40 in 1990!
This year the SP over-rounds clearly improved as the week progressed, unquestionably the Champion Chase was the worst betting race of them all. The ten-runner field returned at a miserly 139%.
Russia’s Eurovision Masterstroke
I’m still all over Australia (now available at 16/1 with SkyBet) for the Eurovision but Russia has pulled a master-stroke. The country looked certain to boycott the competition this year considering itself to be robbed by the politically motivated Ukrainian song/entry 12 months ago. Indeed the Crimean Tatar singer Jamala and her song “1944” was largely seen as a jab at the Kremlin by most observers (and voters). Why would you go there for more punishment this year?
Russia should have arguably won the competition at least once in recent times starting with the teenaged twins in 2014. If you recall these were booed while performing due to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.
Vladimir Putin derisively branded Eurovision “a Europe-wide gay parade” after the ‘bearded lady’ Conchita Wurst won the competition for Austria that year. To be fair to him he is not massively wrong and while Eurovision is seen as a celebration of LGBT and the rainbow flag will be waving in in bars and clubs all over Europe on finals night, Russia with its gay laws is seen as public enemy No. 1 by a tremendous number of LGBT supporters and Eurovision voters. Russian acts have been booed during their performances every year since.
So what can you do in the face of this kind of hostility? Well, like I say, they have pulled a master-stroke and their 2017 entry is disabled and wheel-chair bound. Will anyone dare to show such condescension to a singer with special needs? I very much doubt it.
If Ferrari’s test times are true, this week’s the time to back them
Sebastian Vettel has settled at 4/1 for the 2017 World Drivers Championship. He’s also 7/2 for next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. Given our faith in him is based on recent test times, and the small factor that your ante-post vouchers will see money tied-up for almost eight months, backing the German to win the F1 season’s curtain raiser is an equally good bet.
151.5+ is the Premier play
There was just 21 180’s in Thursday’s Premier League Darts, quite amazing when you consider the previous two weeks saw 37 and 39 ‘maximums’ posted. That market is proving a bit ‘hit-and-miss’ (in every sense) and so I’ve started playing the ‘highest check-out’ lines instead.
There have been no end of high check-outs in the Premier League this year: Two 170’s (weeks 2 & 4), a 160 in week 1, a 154 and 156 these past two weeks. The line is always set at 151.5 (by Betfred) and there’s plenty of reason to think you continue to go with the ‘higher’ trend in weeks to come.
Finally Victor Chandler’s snooker odds compiler has clearly been drinking too much Guinness this Paddy’s weekend. The first to price-up the China Open, which starts on March 27th, he has chalked-up Alan McManus at 9/10 vs Matthew Stevens (also 9/10) in their ‘best of nine frame’ opening round match.
Less than 12 months ago McManus was in the semi-final of the World Championship and last week Stevens was getting eliminated in the first round of a £25 knockabout in the Kings Head! Being very serious there is a gulf between this pair on recent form (and 13 places in official rankings) and surely McManus should be around the 4/9 mark in this game.
Sebastian Vettel Australian Grand Prix 7/2 William Hill
Highest Check-Out 151.5+ Premier League Darts 5/6 Betfred
Alan McManus to beat Matthew Stevens China Open opening round 9/10 Betvictor