Weekly Blog – SPOTY, Bookmakers’ PR Spin & Royal Ascot

Roy The Boy's weekly blog looks at the latest SPOTY movers, the bookmakers’ PR spin over Royal baby betting & Royal Ascot.

McIlroy gets home advantage, Robshaw worth a punt

There have been a few noteworthy results for UK athletes this week. Rory McIlroy landed the World Golf Championships Cadillac Match Play in the USA and renowned English separatist Andy Murray beat a world ranked No. 24 opponent to win the Munich Open tennis final. Neither had any true impact on the Sports Personality of the Year betting – the former is 10/1 generally, the latter 16/1 is with Boylesports – but it has put some black type in their catalogue.

Ronnie O’Sullivan will not be winning the SPOTY Award following his poor showing in the World Championships and there is no way the victor there, Stuart Bingham, can win the award.

What really should have shook up the market but, again, did not was the announcement that the awards are being hosted by Belfast. This has to add some percentage points to McIlroy’s chances and, to a lesser degree, AP McCoy’s. I’ve bombarded Rod Street, the CEO of ‘Great British Racing’, with messages asking if his organisation will follow the lead of its forerunner, ‘Racing for Change’, in orchestrating and funding a costly PR campaign to get McCoy a second Sports Personality of the Year Award. Considering the guys knocked-out 20,000 messages during his Twitter career I was hoping he would reply to me. Alas.

The UK stages Rugby’s World Cup in 2015 for which they are 9/2 to prevail in the tournament. While the team could do well, and the dates work well (Sep 18-Oct 31), pinpointing an individual for the SPotY award is difficult.

Jonny Wilkinson, representing the sport, was the 2003 SPOTY winner so it’s not an impossible task. Therein Chris Robshaw, England’s captain, is worthy of a small investment at William Hill’s 40/1.

Ultimately however, there’s no change in my opinion that a sportswoman will be the 2015 recipient.

William Hill

What’s in a name?

So the Royal Baby has been named Charlotte.  That name cost the bookmakers £1 million in losses.  Actually victory for any of the top seven in the betting was going to cost the bookmakers £1m. It’s amazing really as the top-seven in the betting took 120 percent of the book, so there must have been millions turned over on the market.  Another case of ‘unbelievable’ but it’s all true, why a nice PR woman from Ladbrokes went on SKY News to tell the world these very facts.

She inspired me, the firms must all be taking whopping bets on the market thought I.  And so I got to work to get some of this £1m loss that was about to be inflicted on the industry. I opted for the name Alexander and got to work.

Firstly I went to Ladbrokes who would not take a bet from me. My next port of call offered me €2.77 at 8/1. SkyBet were bigger at 9/1 but there max bet was €15.47. I nearly had a party when I spotted Betfred were going 16/1. Finally I was going to win some of that £1m; big problem though … the maximum stake they would accept:  £7.80! I tried several more companies and the results were all the same. But while Boylesports showed their class by not offering the market, PaddyPower are worthy of some praise as they were prepared to take a bet of €200.

All in all though, I have to conclude myself and the entire Sky News viewership were told a pack of lies which adds more weight to my belief that there should be a government review into the practices of bookmakers which take bets from UK and/or Irish citizens.

Double up the hat-trick chasers

Amazingly Royal Ascot is only five weeks away.  It’s going to be place-pot heaven for me as usual (although I’ve never hit a big one there) at the toffs ball but I’m giving some serious consideration to building a portfolio around Sole Power in the Kings Stand.

The Irish-trained horse has won the race twice before and anyone that knows me knows I love hat-trick seekers in big races. The horse is in fine form – admittedly he’s never been in poor form – winning a Group 1 in Meydan recently and domestically what can realistically be expected the ‘hold-up hero’?

No sooner had I typed that than I thought ‘Australian superstar’.  The Aussies farmed this race throughout the mid and late naughtes but they have not been so endeared to Ascot since and I’ve not heard of any plans for them to ship-in a challenger.

So I’m maintaining my position and going to start availing of the 5/1 about Sole Power (Stan James & Ladbrokes). In fact I’m going to double some up with a little known hat-trick chasing mare called Treve who is available at 6/1 for the Arc. Yummy!