Roy The Boy's Blog looks at the Prestbury Cup at Cheltenham, the Skiing and also the World Seniors Snooker where he has a hotpot accumulator to get stuck into.
Despite King Willie, Ireland looks a long way short of 14 at Cheltenham
Stan James, Betfred and their sister company, Totesport are unanimous in making the UK 4/5 to win the Prestbury Cup at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival. Surely the home-guard should be shorter than that.
A reminder that the Prestbury Cup, which was introduced at the start of 2014, is a straight match-up between the English and Irish trained horses. The country which takes home 14 or more winning trophies earns the honours.
There has been no proviso put in place for neither country reaching 14 winners and that could have well happened a few years back when Francois Doumen was sending over some serious racehorses to the Festival. Alas the French challenge has all but dried up in recent years.
Yes King Willie and Mr Ricci has a mighty battalion which includes Douvan, Vautour, Faugheen, Annie Power, Vroum Mag, Long Dog, Min and Champagne Fever, but if six of these prevail ‘Team Ireland’ will still be eight winners short of the winning line in this particular race.
I like the odds-on about the UK, a lot.
Big Ouch on the Slopes
I’m giving up on Men’s Skiing; it’s just not working out for me. Last weekend’s Men’s Downhill in Kitzbuhel was a disaster. The leading two candidates taking horror falls – one was carrying my money – and another competitor was helicoptered off of the mountain.
The sport has become my Uttoxeter. That’s a track where I seem cursed, I could get anything beat. Trust me, 20 clear, over the last, 1.01 all gone on Betfair, and I’d find a way of getting a horse beaten!
Not so for Women’s skiing however, Lindsey Vonn is the human equivalent of Quevega (with a bit of Annie Power thrown in for good measure) when it comes to downhill racing. The problem is, she is usually priced-up accordingly.
Nevertheless we put forward Vonn and Marcel Hirscher to win the Woman’s and Men’s Overall World Cup titles at the start of the season and with Aksel Lund Svindall now out for the season – following his Kitzbuhel crash – the pair are now both long odds-on to deliver the goods.
Cracking the Fossils at the Seniors Snooker
Last year we got a good old fashioned squeeze out of Mark Williams winning the World Seniors Snooker Championship. The reasoning was simple, a player currently active on the pro tour, world ranked 16 and aged 40 simply had to prevail against a bunch of relics that included 68-year-old Cliff Thorburn!
Win he did, albeit he was more than fortunate in the third and decisive final frame in the decider against Fergal O’Brien. Williams’, the 2002 & 2003 World Champion, is back to defend his title and he can be backed, once again, around 5/2 to do so.
Given this competition is a ‘best of three’ in every round and the field looks a little tougher this time around I’m not so certain even Paddy Power’s top-price of 11/4 about Williams’ is value laden.
Instead there’s a tasty 3/1 accumulator which looks an easier route to riches.
Firstly the 2011 World Seniors Championship winner Darren Morgan (4/11 Bet365, Ladbrokes, Powers) will surely cruise pass 63-year-old Joe Johnson. Throw in Robert Milkins who is poised for a similar walk-over against Tony Drago.
Drago is world-ranked 84 and everything is decline about him apart from his waistline. Milkins, not quite yet 40, is currently ranked 17 and is another penalty kick on a goal without a goalie. Ditto those sentiments for Dominic Dale to dispense with Jimmy White, another 1/3 ‘pin’.
The biggest priced selection is Fergal O’Brien to beat Rory McLeod, an 8/11 shot with Betfred, Betway and a few others. O’Brien was unfortunate not to win this event last year and is ranked over 20 places higher than McLeod despite McLeod winning this season’s Ruhr Open, the biggest success of his long career.
O’Brien has the better recent form though accounting for Stuart Bingham in the opening round of this season’s Australian Open and taking three frames off of Neil Robertson in the second round of the International Championships. He also progressed into the second round of the UK Championships. In short, on all known form, he is the better player.
This week’s Recommended Bets:
World Seniors Snooker Accumulator:
2 points win Morgan (4/11), Milkins (2/7), Dale (1/3), O’Brien (8/11) at 3.12/1 with 888Sport and Unibet
2 points win UK to win Cheltenham’s Prestbury Cup at 4/5 with Betfred