Weekly Blog from Roy The Boy which looks at Turf TV, Night of Stars at Shelbourne, Miss World contest, Eurovision, the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi and Silviniaco Conti in the Betfair Chase.
It’s Turf TV that’s Responsible for the Irish Sand
A pop along to Shelbourne Park on Night of Stars night was educational. Somehow I found myself drinking with some members of the BAGS organisation and guess what? It turns out they are an affable bunch and avid readers of Betswot’s pages!
Therein I was given a short education on which tracks are governed by BAGS and which tracks are not - vitally the venues which are not under their remit but have sold live pictures and betting shows to bookmakers via a deal brokered by Turf TV.
It transpires Irish tracks Mullingar and Tralee, hotbeds for dire SP over-rounds and betting coups come under Turf TV’s umbrella and not BAGS.
It matters little to the proverbial ‘man in the street’ or, in this case, ‘man in the betting shop’ albeit what protective customer rights these people fall under is unclear. One suspects it is not the Office of Fair Trading.
€10,000? It’s all Greek to me
Another shocker at the Night of Stars were entry fees. While race-cards and newspaper proudly displayed each showcase race to be worth €10,000 there was no mention of the €300 owners/trainers had to pay on the night, in cash, as an entry fee for each runner.
Admittedly €8,200 may not sound or look quite as good on a race-card but, for once, why not let the truth get in the way of a good story.
English-trained Ribble Atom finished runner-up in the night’s 850-yard contest. Badly housed in trap 5 and racing over an insufficient distance, it was a great run from Mark Wallis’ bitch who, aged less than two-and-a-half, is surely 12 months shy of her peak.
I understand she will now be staying in Ireland for the Harolds Cross Marathon staged over a more suitable 1010 yards and starting on December 4th. The €9,000 purse is tempered by an entry fee of €50 for all 24 runners in the competition. It’s a €7,800 competition.
Eurovision: Russia could not win even if on steroids
Australia who made a guest appearance in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition are set to return next year to presumably help mark the 61st anniversary of the event!
Stockholm will host the 2016 version of the show with live semi-finals starting on May 10th and the final is on May 14th.
Bet365 currently have Russia as their 3/1 second favourites to win the show (Paddy Power make them their 4/1 joint-favourites). I think it is a crazy price. There is little chance their 2016 act/song will surpass their brilliant 2015 offering which was, put simply, robbed of victory due to political voting.
Let’s not forget in 2014 the teenaged Russian twins that represented their country in Eurovision were all but booed off of the stage. In the current climate, it is impossible to justify Russian’s 3/1 quote despite this event being designed to unite Europe (and Australia) as opposed to see it used as a political finger pointing exercise.
Although totally blind on the event, history dictates that the United Kingdom is massively over-priced at 125/1 (with Bet365). The price puts them amongst Albania and Armenia who normally perform their songs in a non-English format. In the last 26 years only twice has a song performed in a language other than English prevailed: 2007 Serbian, 1998 Hebrew.
Miss France out of the World?
Miss World is one of the last competitions of 2015. It’s being staged in China on December 19th. All of the contestants look good to me, I can honestly say I fancy all of the field!
However, using the same reasoning as outlined above, Russia’s representative Sofia Nikitchuk looks ridiculously short at Betfair’s 13/8. Conversely how about some of the 33/1 about the French contestant, Hinarere Taputu?
The F1 Wire Approaches
There’s just one more race to go in the 2015 F1 season and Jenson Button has a five point lead over teammate Fernando Alonso going into the final race at Abu Dhabi on November 29th.
It means our ante-post 3/1 vouchers about the Englishman to outscore the Spaniard are gIilt-edged. Naturally Alonso needs to beat Button to turn the tables and he will also need to finish in the top seven at Abu Dhabi to score six points or more. In layman’s terms, go get paid!
At 1,000/1 and with 13 drivers ahead of him in the betting I’m predicting the odds compilers will make Pastor Maldonado a 7/4 shot in the ‘point scoring’ stakes. That being a top-10 finishing position. I make him a shade of odds-on.
The Venezuelan has finished in the top-10 in four of the last five Grand Prix but it is this venue which attracts me to him. I know he is haphazard and nothing short of reckless but in 2012 he landed me a nice squeeze when finishing fifth here – I was on at 7’s about a top-6 finish that day.
Traditionalists will say I am mad but I’m convinced this type of circuit suits him best and I’ll be shopping around all morning next Monday, the time ‘place and point scoring markets’ normally start to appear.
Conti Can Box Clever Again
My bet of the week is Silviniaco Conti. With the benefit of a prior run this season – unlike in 2013 when he finished only third – Paul Nicholl’s French-bred looks in prime position to take his third Betfair Chase.
The very under-rated chaser can account for Cue Card who, despite everything, still has some lingering stamina doubts over three-miles on a soft surface, en-route to his crack at a third King George. If he is successful there he will surely, and finally, get some of the recognition he deserves.
Sadly many simply point to Conti’s Gold Cup performances when refusing to put him amongst the greats. He is not a Cheltenham horse and, more importantly for this weekend, I subscribe to the theory he is a much better performer in the autumn and early winter months.
Throw in the continuing rain on Haydock during the week and Ladbrokes 11/10 looks the best punting opportunity of the weekend with Ladbrokes, Betway or Betfred.