Blog – Irish Greyhound Derby, Arc and Grand Prix Darts

Blog from Roy The Boy looking at the Irish Greyhound Derby the Arc with Cracksman and with bets in the Grand Prix Darts from Citywest.

Drawing a Line under a bad show

It’s the Irish greyhound Derby final on Saturday and I watched the semi’s live on TV.  Now, it has to be said RTE’s semi-final coverage can best be described as ‘questionable’.  I mean after a Greyhound won the first semi-final impressively by a growing margin the in-house pundit bravely declared:  “This could be one to watch”.

Another made mention of “the son of the great Michael Fortune”.  Before you go delving into the stud book let me explain Michael Fortune is not a stud dog or greyhound of any kind!

But the biggest faux-pas for my two-penneth was the trap draw for the final.  It looked very professional, far better than the Derby draws we witnessed at Wimbledon during its final years, but it was not overseen by any officials.

Envelopes taken from a drum were opened, the master of ceremonies (from Boylesports) pulled a piece of paper the size of a Rizla from each, looked at it, announced a greyhound’s name written on it (determining its trap draw) and promptly placed it on the floor.

No invigilator of any kind was in place to confirm the names written on said pieces of fag paper or announced to the public.  In no way do I believe there was anything untoward but this was a serious oversight. Surely some kind of steward should have been overseeing.

Anyway, on a kinda brighter note…  Fair play to Irish greyhound authorities who did not hold back on announcing this year’s Laurels winner (Clonbrien Hero) has apparently been snorting cocaine.  That or possibly of being patted by someone who had handled bank notes which were contaminated with the drug.

That’s not my theory, just one possibility that was out forward as an excuse in the Irish Times newspaper.  But, to quote the Washington Post (some indication as to how far-wide this story has travelled), “That does not seem terribly likely. While a 2007 study showed trace of amounts of cocaine on 100 percent of currency in circulation in Ireland, it’s unclear how probable it is that those trace amounts could be transmitted to a person’s hands, then to a dog’s head and eventually to the dog’s bladder.”

Anyway, authorities should be commended as it would have been possible, and for many preferable, to announce the news once the dust had settled on the ongoing Irish Greyhound Derby.

Stick with the figures in F1

A good old touch on the Formula 1 continues to elude me.  I had plenty of the 9/1 available about Ricciardo for the fastest lap of the Singapore and was delighted to see he had gone into 11/4 come race time.

He was surely even-money when Verstappen, Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen had their race ended at the opening corner but, alas, a faulty gearbox meant the best Ricciardo could do was second in the race and second on the timesheets.

There’s a fortnight break before the Malaysian GP but money never sleeps and I’ve been going through the form of this race in my own data-base which stretched back 13 years.

It shows only once has a race winner set the fastest lap (Hamilton in 2014).  In fact only four pole-setters have won here in the past decade.  Another notable is the finishing numbers.  Last year there were six DNF’s, 2015 had four and before that 7-4-2-7-7-2 and 5 cars failed to be classified.

So you now have some idea of what to look out for when the markets fully open (on the Tuesday before the race weekend).

It may be full of stayers but back Cracksman if it rains

What’s going on with the l’Arc de Triomphe? Not for the first time in recent years it is infested with stayers.  We have an Ascot Gold Cup winner (that’s 2-miles, 4-furlongs) and a St Leger winner (Capri) towards the top of the betting. Even my long-range value call, the Japanese-trained Satono Diamond, has his best form at two-miles.

If you get the slightest hint he is going to run surely you should pile into Cracksman – who was beaten just a neck by Capri in the Irish Derby – at Paddy Power’s 10/1. Skybet are as short as 3/1 about the Gosden-trained horse after all.

In fact, if it were to rain in the days leading up to the race I’d take that 3/1 too.  Cracksman is clearly a mud-lark, with renowned soft-ground sire Pivitol on his dam’s side and she was a listed race winner on heavy going in France.

Cracksman participation (or non-participation) will be confirmed in the days leading up to the l’Arc apparently.  I strongly suspect John Gosden will make that decision based on the weather forecast.

For the record, ten of the last 14 Arc’s have been won by three-year-olds and the race will take place at Chantilly for a second successive year.

Kipper time in Citywest?

Mensur Suljovic, available at 40/1 pre-event amongst an eight-runner field, landed last weekend’s televised Champion’s League of Darts.  This may well open the floodgates for the Austrian and we may have also seen the first slip down an oily slope for Michael van Gerwen as result of first-time fatherhood.

The next major darts competition starts in Citywest, Dublin on October 1.  It is the Grand Prix which requires player’s to ‘check-in’ with a double in addition to the traditional ‘double check-out’.  It can and does lead to some unlikely outcomes. Exhibit A:  Robert Thornton winning this event in 2015.

Anyway, with Taylor withdrawing from the tournament and MVG’s mental state in question, it is not hard to make a case for some of the kippers. I like some of the 28/1 available about Mensur Suljovic doubling-up, 33’s about Daryl Gurney and 50’s about Chisnall.

Recommended Bets

Cracksman                l’Arc de Triomphe  at 10/1 with Betfair Sports and Paddy Power

Suljovic Grand Prix Darts at 25/1 with Coral and Sportingbet

Gurney Grand Prix Darts at 33/1 with Coral and Betfred

Chisnall Grand Prix Darts at 40/1 with Coral and Betfred