Blog – Vautour, Silviniaco Conti, Darts, Snooker & Eurovision

Roy The Boy is back with his blog and he looks at Vautour Cheltenham Target, Russia for the Eurovision, Premier League Darts, Ding Junhui for World Snooker and Silviniaco Conti for the Grand National.

Will Common Sense Prevail in Vautour’s Cheltenham Target Race?

I must be hitting the refresh button on the Google News page, with the search word ‘Vaoutor’ entered, every 30mins.  It is all very simple.

This is a seven-year-old who has only raced beyond 2m-5f once – when he was beaten in the King George, when clearly suffering from stamina limitations on a flat-track. But now, for some absurd reason, he is a shorter price for Cheltenham’s stamina-sapping Gold Cup than the Ryanair Chase.

Clearly bookmakers, like the press, have been given indications that the magnificent 2014 Supreme Novice Hurdle and 2015 JLT Novice Chase winner will go for the 3m-2½f feature race instead of the penalty-kick which is the 2m-5f Ryanair.

If he were to run in the Gold Cup, a race that is sure to feature a big field and be run over at a suicidal pace – in other words a race that could ruin him – I’ll lose all respect for connections.

Coral and SkyBet fully understand where he should run – they go just 4/6 about Vautour ‘with a run’ in the Ryanair after all – but the usually ‘in the know’ Paddy Power are offering 9/2 with ‘all-in run or not’ terms.

Anyway the very moment news comes through that connections have seen sense and delay any Gold Cup aspirations until 2017 (therein give him a seemingly simple task in the Ryanair), I’ll be hoping to have my Yoyo’s on before Power’s (or Betfred, who go 4/1) have got wind.

Russia Can Finally Hit a Eurovision Goal

Poland have shot into favouritism for the Eurovison Song Contest.  Considering the country will not decide on their candidate until March 5th it is a little hard to fathom.

Then again ours is not to argue or wonder, simply exploit. History repeatedly shows early market leaders in the Eurovision consistently fall by the wayside and right now, as countries all over Europe start to declare their candidates, this is silly season.

I’ll join the madness with a bet on the Russian entry at 5/1. I am backing blind as the song will not be made public until later this week.  However their performer, Sergey Lazarev, was crowned ‘Singer of the Year’s at December’s Russian National Music Awards and rest assured his song and performance will be top-drawer.

The Russian’s have gone very close to winning the contest the past few years (arguably would have last year if it were not for the unique Swedish act’s novel stage show) and their concerted effort to win the contest by only entering top-class songs can finally pay dividends.

New Rules, Old Problems

Incidentally there is a new system in place for announcing each countries votes. All countries scores will continue to come from 50 percent public vote and 50 percent ‘industry expert’ vote, but instead of them being combined, they will now be announced separately.

Its doubtful organisers, in receipt of all votes and knowing the outcome long before it is announced, will change their policy of doing all they can to disguise the winning country for as long as possible.  But there may be some uninitiated new in-play Betfair layers unaware of this policy and therefore ready to be exploited.

Conti can go four-from-five at Aintree

I’m delighted to hear Silviniaco Conti is an intended runner in the Grand National. He loves flat tracks and he is not a bad horse in the spring either.  In fact he has won at the Aintree Festival in 2012 (Mildmay Novice Chase), 2014 and 2015 (in the Betfair Bowl).

The day any firm offers ‘non-runner no-bet’ I’ll be backing him as he is the classiest horse to tackle the race in a long time and we all know the National SP over-round on race day will be in excess of 145%.  Every horse will tumble in price in the days and hours before flag-rise.

In 2010 the Grand National SP over-round hit a record high 155 percent.  It hovered between that and 147 for a number of years but, in 2015, the 39-runners that went to post SP’d at an unbelievable all-time high165 percent.  It is a National alright, a National disgrace.

I should imagine the UK’s betting shop’s FOBT’s enjoy record profits on this particular Saturday but that’s a different story.

No to Ireland, Yes to Ladies

Returning to the race itself, it is noteworthy that there have only ever been 16 Irish trained winners of the National.  None between L’Escargot’s 1975 victory and Bobbyjo’s in 1999 and no Irish horse has been victorious since Silver Birch in 2007.

Another remarkable stat is that of horses ridden by female jockeys. Nine of the last ten have completed the course.  It is a sequence which began in 1994 when Rosemary Henderson finished fifth on Fiddlers Pike and continued into last year when Nina Carberry, having her fifth ride in the race, finished 16th.

It has to be pointed out however; the last eight runners ridden by a female jockey were either carrying Nina Carberry or Katie Walsh.

28/1 Dinger, 5/1 Resurge Treble

Darts and Snooker have been very kind to me in recent weeks and months.  I’m watching more and more of it and have a luxury of not having a favourite player or pre-programed opinion about any contestant.

Ding Junhui, who has looked a shadow of his former self for the entire season, may well be remembering how to play the game.  It certainly appeared that way in last week’s Gdynia Open in Poland and I’m going to have a few shekels on him at Coral’s 28/1 for the World’s hoping his resurgence continues.

In Dart’s Premier League Phil Taylor is very much resurged, MVG is unstoppable and Dave Chisnall underrated.  The latter meets James Wade this Thursday and with that player posting just a 26% check-out ratio last time (allied to missing eight shots at a double to draw his match), I fancy all three can win this week at a combined ‘treble price’ of almost 5/1.

This Week’s Bets

Russia to win Eurovision 2016 at 5/1 with Betfred

Silviniaco Conti to win the Grand National - Terms: Non-runner no-bet

Premier League Darts: 

Phil Taylor to beat Adrian Lewis at 10/11 with William Hill

Michael Van Gerwen to beat Peter Wright at 3/8 with Marathon Bet

Dave Chisnall to beat James Wade at 5/4 with Paddy Power