Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

The Road to Riches Weekend of 13th-14th July

Posted on 11 Jul 2024 08:21 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Ascot, Chester, Hamilton, Newmarket, Salisbury and York.
  • Football, The Euro 24 final.
  • Cricket, The second test match between England and the West Indies at Trent Bridge next week
  • Rugby Union, Summer Internationals include New Zealand v England and South Africa v Ireland
  • Golf, the Open next week at Royal Troon.
  • Tennis, the ATP International Hall of Fame Championships in Rhode Island next week

Qatar Goodwood Festival

Our next racing package the Qatar Goodwood festival from Tuesday 30th July-Saturday 3rd August. Get all of Neil Channing’s write ups and bets here

Free Tip

Rugby, Australia v Wales Second Test, Saturday 10.30am

Another round of Summer Internationals this weekend. New Zealand play England in Auckland after their one-point win in Dunedin last weekend and I would expect them to improve considerably in Auckland whilst South Africa and Ireland meet in Durban where Ireland now look under-matched minus four key players. I think the best betting opportunity for this coming weekend comes in in the Melbourne test between Australia and Wales.

Last weekend Wales lost the first test in Sydney 25-16, their 8th defeat in a row against a background of a rebuilding team and huge financial problems in the Welsh regions. Those eight defeats stretch back to the Rugby World Cup quarter final against Argentina, the whole of the Six Nations and then a trouncing by a makeshift South Africa side in June.

Warren Gatland returned as Wales coach in late 2022 and since his return Wales have just six wins from 20 matches.

Retirements leave Gatland experimenting on the hoof, blooding players and introducing new combinations through the side. Gatland doesn’t really know his best team yet which means plenty of players are getting an opportunity during this rebuild. Eight of the matchday 23 last weekend had three or less caps and three players were making their debuts.

Against that background a nine-point defeat was a creditable result but it nevertheless saw Wales drop out of the top 10 of the World rankings.

Unfortunately we and they can expect Australia to be better this week that last. Sydney was Australia’s first game of the season (Wales’ sixth) and the first game under the coaching regime of ex Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt’s teams are always well organised and play attacking game plans in defined patterns and that style of play takes time to develop.

Already in the First Test Australia had dominance up front in the scrums and in open play Wales struggled to stop their powerful ball carriers.

On the downside Australia’s kicking game needed a vast improvement and it allowed Wales to remain in the contest in what could and probably should have been a 20-point plus margin of victory.

As well as Wales lacking quality and depth in the front-row they also lack attacking power. They don’t have giant forwards to crash over the gain line and they don’t have backs that can unpick defences through guile and invention.

First time round, Gatland’s Welsh teams would wear opponents down through multiple stages waiting for a gap to open up. These days though defences are so well marshalled that more subtlety is required, and/or players that can physically overpower their opponents. Wales don’t have these players currently.

I would expect Australia to improve week-on-week and am far from sure that Wales have that in them. With a handicap quote of -10 indicating a similar margin of Australian victory to last week, I think that’s overly conservative.

11 points Australia -9 at 10/11 William Hill and -10 at 10/11 generally

All Change.

F1’s Governing body the FIA has revealed plans for cars to be smaller, nimbler and more environmentally friendly with the introduction of new regulations from 2026.

Cars will be 30kg lighter, 10cm narrower and have engines with a near 50-50 split between electric and internal combustion power and use fully sustainable fuels. Whilst the cars are still heavy from a historical perspective it’s seen as a step in the right direction towards improving the racing whilst in terms of sustainability, particularly on the power-unit side, it’s a bold step.

The FIA described the concept at the heart of the 2026 rules as a "nimble car". Active aerodynamics will be used to optimise the use of the new engines. Cars will have front and rear wings that open on the straights to reduce drag and increase speed, but then close to increase downforce for cornering performance.

Overtaking will be facilitated by a power-boost system for a car following another, seen in other series such as IndyCar and Formula E where there is an element of strategy as to when the boost allowance is used. This is instead of the current DRS (drag-reduction system) overtaking aid.

The new hybrid engines, which triple the amount of electrical power used, have attracted two new manufacturers into F1 in the shape of Audi and Ford, and persuaded Honda to reverse its decision to quit the sport. Along with Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, and the new Red Bull Powertrains company with which Ford is joining forces, there will be a total of six engine manufacturers in F1 in 2026.

The rules are a part of F1's pledge to go net-zero carbon by 2030.

Some drivers have expressed the concern that there will be such a major change in rules would make the field less competitive again just as it was beginning to close up this season. McLaren and to a lesser extent Ferrari and Mercedes are now challenging Red Bull to an extent not seen for over two years.

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The Road to Riches Weekend of 6th-7th July

Posted on 4 Jul 2024 12:30 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Beverley, Carlisle, Haydock, Leicester, Nottingham and Sandown.
  • Football, Euro 24 Quarter Finals.
  • Cricket, The first Test Match between England and the West Inides next week at Lords.
  • Rugby Union, Summer Internationals include New Zealand v England and South Africa v Ireland
  • Formula One, the British Grand Prix
  • Golf, the Scottish Open and the ISCO Championship.
  • Tennis, Wimbledon continues

Free Tip

New Zealand v England 1st Rugby Test, Dunedin Saturday 7.05am

The start of the Summer series for England, two Tests in New Zealand beginning on Saturday in Dunedin and then Auckland thereafter

England warmed up for the series in Japan, scoring 8 tries in hot conditions against inexperienced opponents winning 52-17. In the game England conceded 16 penalties and played 29 minutes with 14 players, either of which would be a recipe for disaster against the All Blacks. Presumably its out of their system!

The All Blacks have to yet to play under new head coach, Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson from the all-conquering Crusaders Super Rugby franchise with seven consecutive Super Rugby titles and, this being year one of a four year World Cup cycle, New Zealand are in transition.

Their squad is shorn of departures to Japan and France, the New Zealand domestic game can’t match the financial rewards offered there so these days the All Black are without two of the greatest locks in the history of the game in Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick as well as previous first choice half backs Richie Mo’unga and. Aaron smith. Top World Cup try scorer Will Jordan is also out with long term injury.

The last time the All Blacks hosted a home series against a northern hemisphere team, they succumbed 2-1 to Ireland two years ago despite winning the first Test. England aren’t the quality of that Irish side but the All Blacks haven’t had much time to prepare this time and haven’t played together since the World Cup last autumn.

That said New Zealand still have a strong side. A backline of TJ Perenera, McKenzie, Telea, Ioane, Jordie Barrett and Reece with Beauden Barrett on the bench is potent, behind a solid pack. It is a rather conservative and safety-first team and seems like the sort of side Steve Borthwick's team could get close to though. New Zealand will probably still win, but England should be competitive.

England now without Farrell, Lawes and Care finished third in the recent Six Nations, starting slowly but producing two very encouraging performances in beating Ireland at home in the penultimate game then scoring 31 points and losing by only two points in Paris in the final game.

During the Championship they introduced a new rush defence, not without its teething problems and in the latter half of the Championship the new attacking coach had clearly had an impact.

New Zealand are 1/6 outright, England 9/2 underdogs. The handicap is the interesting market, England are +12, which I find appealing

12 Points England +12 at Evens Bet365, 10/11 widely available.

Derby Days

Each year after the latest renewal of the Epsom Derby comes a post-mortem about how the Classic is not quite how it used to be in terms of a spectacle. This year was no different.


A few weeks ago a crowd of “around 27,000” people attended Epsom on Saturday according to the Jockey Club, an increase on last year’s attendance of 25,413. However, it was down on the 2022 spectator levels of 37,274 (when the Derby was part of Queen Elizabeth II’s official Platinum Jubilee celebrations) and below the pre-Covid attendances of 38,044 in 2019 and 35,258 in 2018. A total of 1.3m watched City Of Troy win on ITV Racing, an audience share of 13.8%. The viewing figure was down from 1.5m last year, when the race was simulcast on two channels, and from the 1.6m who watched in 2022. 


It was the first ‘normal’ Derby in five years where there has not been a big change in numbers up or down as a result of other factors. Over and above that there are some structural issues. The Derby can struggle for the limelight from the casual fan on a crowded sporting weekend, for example. Although the Classic has not been run on a Wednesday since 1994, there are some calls to revert to a midweek slot.


For those attending the new course manager, arrived from a non-racing background was overseeing his first Derby and Oaks this year and reported positive reaction to innovations such as local children singing the national anthem on both days, a new enclosure on the inside of the course and a revamped food offering.

Some elements of the partial revamp missed the mark. A live draw for the Derby was held in the town centre but was criticised for its delivery, including the use of ping-pong balls with numbers drawn on in black marker, and lack of engagement.

Part of the long-term problem lies in Epsom’s almost negligible footprint on the racing calendar outside the two big days of its Classic festival weekend. There have been suggestions of creating a week-long festival around the Derby rather than just having two days of racing. This doesn’t necessarily mean more racedays, although that is obviously a possibility to boost commercial growth, but just more activities going on such as family events and connecting with the nine training yards around the racecourse.

There is a need for further attempts to drive to establish a wider appreciation of the race, to do we tell the story of the race more effectively, remembering that so much media these days is consumed by people who don’t have the sound on. Other sports have made vast improvements in their graphics, their on-screen information, and British racing has a long way to go to catch up with that.

The next few years are about getting the basics right, making sure the people who come will want to come back again all leading to 2029, the 250th running of the Derby.

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The Road to Riches Weekend of 29th-30th June

Posted on 27 Jun 2024 08:36 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend


  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Chester, Doncaster, Lingfield, Newcastle, Newmarket and Windsor.
  • Football, Euro 24 continues.
  • Cricket, The T20 World Cup final in Barbados.
  • Formula One, the Austrian Grand Prix
  • Golf, the John Deere Classic on the USPGA and the BMW Invitational on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, Wimbledon begins.

Free Tips

2024 General Election: Constituency Markets Part Two (with help from Neil Channing)

Following on from last week we’ve had a betting scandal (within which, more news to come probably) continuing what has been a terrible campaign for the Conservatives.

Reports are that moments like “D-Day” and “Gamblegate” are making a difference primarily because they mean it’s less likely undecided voters will go back to the Tories, making it more likely that the catastrophe scenario of less than 100 and possibly less than 50 seats might become a reality.

A change or error of a mere percentage point or two at the national level, or alterations in voter efficiency or turnout, could produce very different results next week particularly for Conservative seat numbers. We are facing an extent of change which is difficult to model.

Against that background here’s another selection of 2024 General Election constituency markets for betting value:

Bridlington and the Wolds

These days this is my constituency, where the Conservatives have a 22,000 majority. Big in footprint, with four towns in the constituency accounting for less than half of the electorate and big swathes of rural voters.

First things first Reform/right wing minor party didn’t stand last time and there’s definitely a market for them in this area. It’s potentially though 10,000+ votes missing from the Conservative majority this time and as in many seats this opens the door to a potential change in the winning party which in this case would be Labour, second last time.

At the time of writing prices are Conservative 4/6 and Labour 11/8. Electoral calculus had Labour winning. As you will see in a minute, this was a bit of a shock to the local Labour party. The latest EC had Reform winning!

I expected the Labour campaign to be all guns blazing when early campaign I turned up at a local constituency campaign meeting to see what was what to find that the NEC had parachuted in a non-local candidate, where the person is committed to campaigning two times a week in neighbouring Scarborough and Whitby, a higher profile winnable “battleground” seat and the local activists are asked to go there weekly too. In that constituency Labour are 1/7 to overturn a 10,000 majority which should be a done deal but despite this through the campaign if anything the Labour strategy has been to pour more resources into the battleground seat.

At the start of the campaign one local activist said to me “We hope to get closer to be in a position to persuade the party to put resources into us next time”.

Now nearly a month later after the national campaign we’ve seen, it might be close, and could even be a three-way marginal. I was given the Labour party canvassing returns last week, where they’ve got round the major town and covered about 5% of the voters in the constituency to find the Labour vote at 40.6%. This figure flatters Labour, being canvassed in urban areas but still, Conservative 4/6 Labour 11/8 looks a bit unbalanced to me.

One of the themes of this election night and being picked up in many of the recent MRPs is extreme Tory weakness in rural seats that gives a chance of turning seats like this Red for the first time in generations.

15 points Labour to win Bridlington and the Wolds 11/8 Bet365


John Major’s old constituency where currently Labour are 4/5 favourites (Conservatives 10/11) to win what would appear to be a very close battle this time.

Conservative majorities were 19,000 in 2019 and 14,000 in 2017 and there incumbent MP has stood-down meaning a new Conservative candidate this time. Back in the 1990s Major had a huge 36,000 majority here, the biggest in the country but boundary changes in 1997 were the first step in reducing the mega-majorities with very Conservative areas transferring to North West Cambridgeshire.

This time round we have Reform in the constituency, where they were absent last time and it is their presence this time that helps turn this into an ultra-marginal. Electoral Calculus have Labour winning by 3%, You Gov’s MRP has it as a toss-up.

With the bookmakers readily suggesting that Labour are comfortable favourites elsewhere with Conservative majorities of 22,000+ this constituency stands out with a lower Conservative majority going in and a backable Labour price.

20 points Labour to gain Huntingdon at 4/5 Bet365 and Paddy Power (1.8 on the Betfair Exchange)

Waveney Valley

A seat that straddles the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, new to this Parliament borne from East Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds, in which co-leader of the Greens Adrian Ramsay runs. This is a very interesting one as a recent small poll (500 voters), albeit commissioned by the Greens themselves showed that they were in the lead here (and in North Herefordshire) by 37% to Conservative 24%. Wednesday’s Electoral Calculus had Conservative 29.5% Green 29%.

With market prices of Conservative 4/5 Green 15/8 (3/1 a week ago, 10/1 a month ago) I thought it was worth a deep dive.

The context for the Greens in this election is that they are positioned to the left of a centrist Labour party a home not just for environmental votes but left-wing protest voters. The Greens are very odds-on to hold Brighton Pavilion and win Bristol Central and second favourites to win North Herefordshire, Waveney Valley, Sheffield Central and Leeds Central and third favourite in another 16 seats.

In Waveney Valley Mid-Suffolk council has a very strong Green majority (20 out of 24 seats) giving them the knowledge and date to run a local parliamentary campaign.

Consensus would have Green voters concentrated in left wing urban seats but rural Green support is a factor too, which it needs to be for the Greens here. Often it's dismissed as NIMBYism/using council elections to vent (which some of it will be) but it's often genuine. This election might provide an unusual example of what happens when normally uncompetitive areas for minor parties become competitive, and a Green vote really matters in what outwardly looks a very safe Conservative seat.

10 points Greens to win Waveney Valley at 15/8 Bet365 

Finally a look at a potential Reform constituency. Farage is 1/10 to win Clacton and the latest MRPs have Reform winning anything from just that seat to 5 seats next week, against a background of Reform rising up the national polls towards 20% since Farage’s announcement of standing and taking over as leader earlier in the campaign, in some cases overtaking the Conservatives into second place.

Reform are well placed in two ways in this campaign. The natural home of the right of centre protest voter unhappy with politicians in general and those Brexit supporters who would contend that they’ve been let down by the implementation of Brexit. Whilst there is undoubtedly a ceiling on Reform support, and Farage has come under extra scrutiny for his views on Putin/Ukraine etc, his core support aren’t going to be fazed by that. The issues of protest and “a real Brexit” will Trump (sic) that.

Watching discourse over Clacton during the campaign it became clear that were Labour and the Conservatives to co-operate then the combined vote share could deny Farage a seat. Presumably a worthy goal for the next Parliament for both parties. When asked about that, the head of the Labour constituency association in Clacton said “over my dead body”. So that’s that. We get Mr Farage in Westminster attempting his Trump-lite reverse takeover of the opposition party then.


Before the “Get Brexit done” election of 2019 and the big Conservative wins in leave-voting Red Wall seats Labour won this seat in each of 2017, 2015 and 2010 as an ultra-marginal. The constituency mixes a strong leave bias with historic old mining towns.

This time round Bet365 have Labour and Reform 10/11 each of two. You Gov’s MRP has the seat as a toss-up. Electoral Calculus has Reform 2% ahead, with the complicating factor that there is a very strong Independent Candidate (local council leader, ex Lib Dem who won 28% in 2019) who they have winning 25% of the vote.

It is this split in the left-leaning vote which wasn’t a factor in the 2010-2017 elections which I think may see Lee Anderson home.

15 points Reform to win Ashfield at 10/11 Bet365

Going down

For the second time in league history, the three promoted sides into the Premier League were relegated last season. For those who fear the gulf between Premier Leagueand Championship is becoming impossible to bridge, that is a worrying sign.

Also, but for Nottingham Forest’s four point deduction for breaches of the league’s Profit and Sustainability rules, it wouldn’t even have been close. The other interest at the bottom came from Everton, before a closing run of 13 points from five games, but they wouldn’t have been in the mix either had it not been for their own 10 point deduction, subsequently reduced to six.

Sheffield United’s tally of 16 points was the third worst in Premier League history, level with Huddersfield in 2018-19 but with a goal difference that was 12 worse. The 104 goals they conceded was the worst ever in a Premier League season. But what makes this season stand out is that the 24 points Burnley achieved were the joint 10th-lowest in Premier League history and Luton’s 26 points the joint 16th-worst; the average of the three was 22 points; the previous lowest average for the three promoted sides was 27.3 points in 2008 (Sunderland, Birmingham, Derby). On only one other occasion has the average been under 32, in 2021-22 when Brentford, Watford and Norwich managed 30.3.

That two of the worst three performances ever have come in the past three years is a cause for concern, but each of the three sides who came up last season had their own problems. Luton, with a tiny budget and a small ground were always likely to struggle but performed creditably. They may have ended up with just a point from the three games, but they led at home against each of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Sheffield United lost three of their best players from their promotion campaign on the eve of this season, with Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge sold and Tommy Doyle’s loan from Manchester City coming to an end.

In terms of the Championship’s capacity to compete, Burnley are the big worry given how impressive they had been in winning the Championship, far more was expected of them. They ended up being undone by the number of mistakes they made at the back, particularly when trying to play out.

Only once before, in 1997-98, have all three promoted sides gone down and it’s worth bearing in mind that last season all three promoted sides (Fulham, Bournemouth and Forest) stayed up. That said, there have been 12 occasions when two or more of the promoted sides have gone down immediately, and three of those have come in the last four seasons, six in the last 10. The days when a Blackburn, a Newcastle or a Forest could come up and finish in the top four, as happened in the first three seasons of the Premier League, are long gone; Wolves in 2018-19 are the only promoted side to finish in the top eight in the past 17 seasons.

In the season ahead at least one of the newly promoted clubs will be up against it as Leicester City have PSR problems and an impending points deduction as well as a new manager appointment to get right.L

Ipswich and Southampton have, in Kieran McKenna and Russell Martin, progressive young managers and plenty of young talent but its going to be an uphill battle for both. What may help all three teams is the possibility/probability of other FFP points deductions elsewhere in the league, and a few clubs will be scrambling in the early part of this summer to sell players to comply with the PSR rules.

As it is the artificial construct of PSR is going to be an ongoing issue. Leicester City for example may lack top quality commercial management for sure, but with a billionaire owner committed for over a decade to the City and the club, are not at any financial risk. Yet their playing upside this time round in the top flight is capped by their commercial potential and ground size.

Nottingham Forest too, whose spending motivation was assembling a squad that could survive in the Premier League, are an interesting case study. They did not spend in 2022-23 in a particularly coherent manner but the intentions were good: Staying up, moving forward, competing, everything a club’s supporters want from a newly promoted club. It was only the weakness of Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United that allowed that strategy to succeed this time, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be as lucky this season.

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Betting Emporium results

The detailed results page has been updated on 1st January 2024. They can be found by clicking RESULTS

If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £69,601 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £73,601, a 1740% increase.



The Road to Riches Weekend of 22nd-23rd June

Posted on 20 Jun 2024 09:12 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend


  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Royal Ascot, Ayr, Haydock, Lingfield, Newmarket and Redcar.
  • Football, Euro 24 continues.
  • Cricket, The T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA continues.
  • Formula One, the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona
  • Rugby Union, Summer Internationals include Japan v England and South Africa v Wales
  • Golf, the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on the USPGA and the Italian Open on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, ATP Rothesay International and Wimbledon Qualification.

Free Tips

2024 General Election: Constituency Markets part 1 (with help from Neil Channing)

With the result of the election a done deal, the electorate’s desire to inflict a punishment beating on the Tories trumping (no pun intended) all other factors, attention has focussed on the secondary possibility (no more than that) that there is a different opposition party come 5th July, with the Lib Dems overtaking the Tories.

There are some remarkable trends within recent polling. In the latest You Gov, the Conservatives are in 5th place with the under 50's. Behind Labour, LibDems, Greens and Reform. A poll has Reform overtaking the Tories into second place. The same poll had just 30% of 2019 Tory voters voting the same way this time. There are widespread reports of panic in Tory safe seat associations. Sunak and team were campaigning in Henley (Conservative for over 100 years) and other seats with over 20,000 majorities. Meanwhile there does appear to be a dip for Labour in Headline voting intention polls which does primarily seem to be driven by a swing from Labour to Lib Dem in the south, presumably tactical voting that makes the Anti-Tory vote more efficient. Overnight on July 4th might be unmissable television, whatever your political persuasion.

We're at the point where numbers vaguely in the areas above are going to break the modelling and seat predictions. Other than a Labour majority, who knows what this would come out as in practice and this has to produce the prospect of betting market inefficiencies and potentially a generational election result. Overall, at the time of writing the Betfair Conservative Seats market has the band 50-99 as favourite. At the start of the campaign 100-149 was favourite.

Within that context a lot of firms and the Exchange offer markets on single constituencies (though not multiples). Neil has been getting stuck into some of these markets for value, and over the next two weeks this column will highlight six constituencies, three a week, with recommended bets.

Please note that markets here can be thin, and prices short-lived. The below are correct at the time of writing, I have been through a dozen drafts of this during the week as prices go on some constituencies with so many MRPs out, apologies if these prices are short-lived!

Here are this week’s three constituencies:

Ynys Mon (Anglesey). A constituency with a smallish electorate and has been held by Labour the Tories and Plaid Cymru in recent years. The current Conservative MP was parachuted in by Johnson and is under investigation by parliament due to Partygate. Apparently she occasionally pops to Anglesey by Helicopter! This makes it a labour versus PC marginal. You gov MRP has Labour winning by 9, UK Polling report by 14, Electoral Calculus by 10 and an ITV Wales poll says Labour win.

Neil want to bet Plaid Cymru though. It’s one of just two seats they are really targeting so they are great at getting out the vote. They have a really solid base here and always get 10,000 which is normally enough to win or lose in a photo. The reason he likes them is the Vaughan Gething factor. Since all the polls above he has lost a vote of no confidence. A poll on Senedd elections since that had Labour well down and Plaid Cymru well up and we think national news will depress the labour turn out.

Coincidentally, I went to Anglesey at Easter. Seemed like a good idea at the time. It was very wet, and they didn’t like the English much. Or maybe it was just me.

Bet365 have Labour 1/2, Plaid Cymru 6/4. William Hill did have a market live but not currently.

20 points Plaid Cymru to win Ynys Mon at 6/4 Bet365

Ely and East Cambridgeshire A new seat where we expect the Lib Dems to win. It is an amalgamation of a few seats held by the Tories where generally the Lib Dems are a close second apart from one where Labour are a distant second.

Neil made labour more like 8/1 here which why he suggested this constituency as they are 9/2. On the MRP’s the Lib Dems win by one point with Electoral Calculus and with Survation by five points whilst the Conservatives are up by 7 and 10 points with UK Polling Report and You Gov. Labour should have a ceiling here with those wanting to remove the Conservatives knowing they need to vote Lib Dem to do so. Pricing provides the opportunity. The Lib Dems are 5/6 with 365 but 11/10 with Paddy Power.

20 points Liberal Democrats to win Ely and East Cambridgeshire 11/10 Paddy Power, 5/6 Bet365


The Conservatives have a 17,700 majority, and the Lib Dems are 4/5 to take this seat, Conservatives evens, in what the market has now as a close South West Marginal. If the Conservatives lose this seat and similar, we really are going to be in the realms of 50 seats or less in the new parliament.

This is the sort of constituency where the Tories are 1/10 in previous elections, a true blue older population wealthy seat.

The MRPs are mixed here, a couple such as Polling UK and Electoral Calculus have the Tories holding on comfortably, You Gove has the Lib dems winning.

Neil feels that there will need to be really efficient tactical voting for the Lib Dems to win here, a possibility obviously, but more likely that enough people vote Labour to enable the Tories to hang on.

There is a Betfair Exchange market here, but at the time of writing its in the early stages of forming. As it is, we have that rarity, Mr Channing backing the Conservatives!

20 points Conservatives to hold Torbay at Evens Bet365.

A Post-Anderson World.

International cricket is currently in white ball mode at the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA but soon thoughts will return to Test Cricket and England’s Summer series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka.

England have 15 Tests until the away Ashes series in the winter of 2025, and those begin this summer without the 700 wickets and 188 Test caps of James Anderson, and with a bowling attack that will lack experience and will need to be rebuilt in the absence of both Anderson and Stuart Broad.

After the first Test against the West Indies at Lord’s in July, England will have lost over 1,300 wickets worth of Test experience in successive home matches.

Life after Anderson will not be simple, though on the one hand being able to experiment against relatively weak opponents this summer will help.

There is no shortage of depth in England’s bowling stocks. You could name 15 players who are on the fringes of Test selection. Mark Wood is the most established of those names and should have a big part to play this summer and will, fitness permitting, be on the plane Down Under in 18 months’ time.

Beyond him Jofra Archer, Olly Stone and Saqib Mahmood are three out-and-out quicks who are returning from serious injuries. Jamie Overton, another contender, is currently injured.

Dillon Pennington at Nottinghamshire was name-checked by the selectors recently but the 25-year-old lacks experience, while Gus Atkinson and John Turner fall into the same category. Atkinson, who earned a two-year England deal last October and has the platform of playing for Surrey, is the closest of those three but still has only played 16 first-class games.

When looking at genuine off-the-shelf reinforcements for England in a post-Anderson world, there are probably four bowlers who qualify – Matthew Potts, Josh Tongue, Ollie Robinson and Sam Cook.

Potts, who shone during his debut summer in 2022 and who also has a two-year England deal, played just one Test against Ireland last year. His record for Durham this season is average. But he shone for England Lions on flat pitches in India last winter, is durable and has the ability to succeed at Test level. Expect him to get a serious run this summer.

Tongue did enough in his two Tests last year, including one at Lord’s against Australia, to suggest he has a serious future but pectoral injuries have kept him out since August.

Cook currently tops the Division One County Championship averages with 25 wickets at 11.20 for Essex. But there is a fear his lack of pace counts against him. Yet if he is going to get his chance, it will surely be this summer in home conditions which are likely to favour him the most.

Robinson, meanwhile, has 76 Test wickets at 22.92 which is an encouraging start to his Test career. But fitness issues, which flared up again in India last winter, mean he has work to do to convince England to trust him again.

One thing is clear there will be no perfect answers for England once Anderson goes.

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The Road to Riches Weekend of 15th-16th June

Posted on 13 Jun 2024 09:32 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Beverley, Catterick, Chepstow, Haydock and Lingfield and over the jumps at Bangor-on-Dee.
  • Football, Euro 24 begins in Germany.
  • Cricket, The T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA continues.
  • Golf, next week, the Travelers Championship on the USPGA Tour and the KLM Open on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, ATP Queens Club and Halle Opens.

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Birmingham Bears v Yorkshire Vikings, Vitality Blast, Friday 7.05pm

We are still in the early stages of the Groups in this competition. A reminder that the 18 counties are split into two regional groups, North and South, and each play 14 Group games. From there the top four in each Group progress to the Quarter Finals, the top two in each Group getting a home tie. From there the four winners progress to finals day at Edgbaston, always a highlight of the domestic cricket calendar, this year played in mid-September.

The tournament has a lower profile recently with the advent of the Hundred each August and this year the early stages coinciding with the T20 World Cup.

In the North group this sees the hosts Birmingham Bears, perennial contenders play the Yorkshire Vikings. The Vikings are currently second in the North Group with three wins after an opening loss whilst the Bears sit outside the top four with two wins and two losses. It’s early days though, both should be in contention for the knockout stages.

The Yorkshire Vikings include Joe Root this time and a strong batting line-up led by the top four has performed in the three wins. After being restricted to 151-7 in the opening loss to Leicestershire, Yorkshire have scored, 104-2 182-1 and 186-6.

That top four consists of former England players Ashley Lyth and Dawid Malan opening the batting, captain and Pakistan test batsman Shan Masood at 3 and Root at 4.

The two openers have had a strong start to the competition.

In four games Malan, who under a year ago was opening the batting for England in this format, has 153 runs at a strike rate of 139 whilst Lyth, a fast scoring left hander has 152 runs at a strike rate of 153 in 3 games.

In this game they will face a Bears bowling line-up led by two fast bowlers who have been on the fringes of the England team in the last few years Richard Gleeson and George Garton and the team’s top wicket taker the Pakistan International Hassan Ali, with nine wickets.

One day/T20 matches at Edgbaston can be played on dry/slow wickets, can be dry and slow though typically later in the season than this. That said in the first and only game to date at Edgbaston in this tournament 149 all out beat 127 all out. In that match openers top scored in each innings, which makes sense as the openers have an advantage on slower pitches playing against a harder ball on a relatively fresh pitch.

Yorkshire Vikings top batsman odds for this game are as follows:

Malan 11/4

Root 16/5

Lyth 7/2

Ferreira 9/2

Malan 6/1

Bar 7/1

For me the choice here is between the openers. Malan is understandably the favourites. In 335 career T20 games he’s scored 9,153 runs at an average of 32 and a strike rate of 129. Lyth has 192 career games in the format, scored 4,580 runs at an average of 25 and a strike rate of 146.

At the prices, Malan is the conservative option, Lyth the more aggressive one with his higher strike rate meaning he can score quickly if he gets in, albeit his figures indicate a less consistent player.

I am going to pick Lyth for this column.

10 points Ashley Lyth Top Yorkshire Vikings batsman at 7/2 Betfair Sportsbook/Paddy Power, 100/30 SkyBet, 31/10 BetVictor, 3/1 Bet365 and Betfred.


For the first time in F1 history, the top 10 drivers at the Monaco Grand Prix recently started where they finished. The Grand Prix is in a stunning location, with huge history attached, but as a racing spectacle in the absence of bad weather it fails every year. This year’s race was an extreme example of that.

A dramatic first lap saw Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen tangle at high speed, collecting the other Haas of Nico Hulkenberg as debris scattered the track and caused a red flag. During the race suspension, everyone changed tyres, so there was no need to pit again as two tyre compounds had been used by the drivers. There were then no overtakes in the top 10 for the entire 77 laps of the Grand Prix.

Even drivers such as Verstappen and Hamilton who did pit in the final 30 laps for fresh tyres was able to gain a position as the other drivers were able to drive round four seconds off their top pace in an attempt to nurse their tyres to the end of the race.

There are very few spots to make an overtake in an F1 car at Monaco, since 2017, F1 cars have been two metres wide and around 5.5 metres long, much bigger than in previous generations. In essence the cars have outgrown this classic street circuit.

The weekend still provides many opportunities for F1, primarily with existing sponsors and attracting new ones but such was the lack of racing this year that there have been calls for change. Christian Horner said:

"Monaco is such a great place to come racing but the cars are so big now, we just need to look at whether we can do something that introduces an overtaking area or at least the potential of an overtake.

"I think it's something collectively that F1 should look at because it's such a great place, there's so much history here, but everything evolves and I think the cars are so big now if you compare them to cars of 10 years ago, they are almost twice the size. So it's something, collectively as a sport with the promoter, for us to look at how do we just introduce an overtaking opportunity."

In the last 30 years, the highest number of overtakes at the Monaco Grand Prix was 23 in 1997, but that was a wet race. The most overtakes in a dry race was 17 in 2006, with 16 overtakes at the 2011 and 2013 races. In 2003 and 2021, there were zero on-track overtakes, so it's not a new issue for F1, even when cars were slightly smaller in the past.

Even without the red flag this year, Monaco is always a guaranteed one-stop race due to the relatively low tyre degradation and difficulty of overtaking, even with fresh rubber.

When Pirelli returned to F1 in 2011, the Monaco race that year featured different strategy options with the top three drivers on one, two and three-stop strategies due to the high tyre wear.

Over the last decade though, the simple strategy has been to make just one pit stop, which is another reason for the lack of action. Sir Lewis Hamilton has suggested one solution:

"I would say maybe having special tyres for this race, so you have more pit stops, would create more variability. I think they should come up with some new formula for it rather than just do the same."

Monaco is one of only four tracks which were on the original 1950 F1 World Championship calendar, Silverstone, Monza and Spa being the others, and apart from the cancelled 2020 race, it has featured on the schedule every year since 1955.

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