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

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

Posted on 13 Jun 2019 12:32 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

- Football, Copa America and Euro U21 Championship Matches.

- Racing, Flat racing at Bath, Chester, Leicester, Sandown and York. Jumps meetings at Hexham and Worcester

- Cricket, Group Stage Matches in the 2019 World Cup continue.

- Golf, the US Open at Pebble Beach.

- Tennis, ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart and the ATP Libema Open in the Netherlands


Next week, Royal Ascot (18th-22nd June )

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Free tip

Super Rugby Bulls v Lions 4.15pm Saturday

This weekend sees the final week for the 18 week long Super Rugby regular season with the quarter finals beginning next week.

In the South African Conference the Bulls and Lions play at altitude in Pretoria on Saturday, battling for wild card positions in those play-offs behind the conference winners the Jaguares from Argentina.

Currently the Bulls are 5th seeds the Lions 6th seeds and notionally set to travel to the Hurricanes and Jaguares respectively next week.  It is the final game of the weekend and by the teams play they will know what they need to do to avoid elimination.

In the other games the Chiefs can overhaul the Rebels if they win in Melbourne on Friday. The Highlanders can beat the Waratahs to get back into the top 8 and the Sharks, who are also currently outside the top 8, can win in Cape Town at the Stormers to overhaul them and get into the post-season.

Key here will be home advantage The Bulls have won 4 out of 5 home games this season against non New Zealand opposition (the exception a two point loss to the Jaguares early season) The Lions have lost 4 out of 5 away from home leaving aside their trip to face the bottom of the table Sunwolves.

Both teams have similar records, the Bulls coming into the match off four successive away games in New Zealand at the Highlanders and Blues and have two draws with seven wins, two draws and six losses. The Lions have won 8 and lost seven this season, but this is a step back from their Conference wins of the last three seasons where they reached the competition final in each season.

This of course should be a close game (handicaps have it +1/-1 point in favour of the Bulls) and I would expect the Bulls to win narrowly

8 points the Bulls to beat the Lions by 1-2 points at 15/8 Betfair Sportsbook, 9/5 Paddy Power, 7/4 Black Type or 17/10 Bet365

 


Be careful what you wish for

A fortnight ago Saracens completed the double-double beating Exeter in the Premiership final in a thriller to add to their Champions cup success. Leicester meanwhile, the giant of English rugby from the previous era, had just escaped relegation.

Both Saracens and their nearest domestic rivals Exeter are teams that aim to be strong in defence first looking to soak up pressure before playing with turnover ball or from set-piece situations but both have tight-five forwards that can give passes and offloads. 

Leicester in their tight five especially lack players with those skills and this season had 24 losses, 15 of them in the Premiership, struggling as other sides progress around them particularly in footballing ability.

With particular problems in defence, Leicester have been playing catch up on the field and off the field where inevitably underperformance on the pitch has led to upheaval off it. Matt O’Connor’s exit as head coach after the first Premiership outing was followed by the appointment of assistant coach Geordan Murphy, followed by the recruitment of experienced coach Mike Ford late in the season. Meanwhile four sending offs through the season speak to a lack of discipline. No other side in the Premiership had more than one.

Leicester’s recruitment and retention policies have attracted criticism as players have left and gone onto success elsewhere. This summer arrivals include second rows Calum Green, returning to Leicester following a spell at Newcastle and Tomas Lavanini who has 50 Test caps and is an “enforcer” who makes powerful carries and tackles. It’s no surprise that Leicester have recruited two second rows in an area where have looked lightweight in the season just gone.

Jaco Taute the Munster centre and Nephi Leatigaga a Samoan loosehead are two more incoming players. Noel Reid of Leinster is a playmaking replacement for Matt To’omua while Jordan Taufua, the Crusaders back-rower looks a good recruit.

In 2018-19 Worcester the pre-season relegation favourites beat Leicester twice and promoted London Irish, loaded with big signings for next season are aiming higher than bottom place in 2019-20. It’s likely to be all to play for at the bottom of the table, assuming the Premiership is not ring-fenced, and Leicester need to improve in a league where standards improve annually.


 

Brodders Football Analysis

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Betting Emporium results

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The Road to Riches Weekend of 8th-9th June

Posted on 7 Jun 2019 09:29 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

- Football, the UEFA Nations League final on Sunday in Portugal.

- Racing, Flat racing at Beverly, Chelmsford, Chester, Haydock,Lingfield and Newmarket.

- Cricket, Group Stage Matches in the 2019 World Cup continue.

- Golf, On the USPGA the RBC Canadian Open on the European Tour the GolfSixes event Knockout.

- Formula One, the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

- Tennis, the final weekend of the French Open


Royal Ascot (18th-22nd June )

Just ten days to go, the package from Neil Channing costs £199.99. Sign Up here

 


 

Free tip

The US Open at Pebble Beach.

Once again my aim here is not to focus on the front of the market, more seeking each way value from outside the leading names. In the last two majors these selections have finished Tied 5th and Tied 8th each at 66-1 so we are knocking on the door. After his successful selections at the USPGA Neil Channing will be publishing a report on the night before the Major and no doubt will be considering the obvious favourites Brooks Koepka (two time defending US Open Champion, and winner of four of the last eight majors!), Dustin Johnson, Speith and the rest.

In looking lower down the field I started once again with what we know about Pebble Beach the links course south of San Francisco. Firstly there is a reasonable sample size of course form to go on. It last held the US Open in 2010 but hosts a PGA every year, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. So for example Dustin Johnson has two wins and two runners up finishes in that tournament.

Whilst of course length off the tee is a factor it’s more a course relying on accuracy and placement. Greens in Regulation is a key statistic, especially with the set up of a US Open with tough rough. It's been a wet NorCal winter and videos I have seen of the rough this week confirm that its not going to be easy. Because of the small bumpy sloping greens, placement on approach shots is key, there’s a huge difference in putting uphill to trying to do the reverse.

The player I alighted on is first year to date on the USPGA tour in greens in regulation. He’s not exactly Mr Popular with controversies this year over both tipping caddies and rules but its Matt Kuchar. He’s ranked 6th YTD in strokes gained approaching the green and 12th on strokes gained tee-to-green. So far this year he has two wins, two second places and seven top tens. 12th in the Masters he finished tied 8th in the PGA at Bethpage.

He is ranked 12th in the YTD OWGR rankings yet found outside the top 20 in the betting. Perhaps the assumption is that he isn’t long enough but he’s a renowned ball striker who importantly has a lot of links form. Second at Birkdale two years ago and top ten at Carnoustie last year and his best US Open result? Tied for 6th behind McDowell at Pebble Beach in 2010.

Of course the main angle here is the each way so extra places in terms offered by marketing departments next week is key. With 11 top 10 major finishes, he hasn’t won one. Not sure I would have him at 50-1 or higher given his precision tee-to-green and links form.

6 points each way Matt Kuchar to win the US Open 66-1 Bet365 and BetVictor (5 places one-quarter the odds) Betfair Sportsbook/Paddy Power (6 places on fifth the odds ) or 50-1 everywhere else

(If the opportunity arises, I would prefer to see if we can get 7-10 places in the 48 hours before the tournament at 50-1 but we'll record as above)

 


Dukes of Hazard.

The ECB have confirmed that this summer's Ashes Tests against Australia will be played using the 2017-18 specification of the Dukes ball as used in the home test series in both summers and the latter half of last season’s Sheffield Shield. This ball has a bigger seam than those currently being used in the 2019 County Championship, where a reduced seam saw big scores right from the first games of the season although an improvement in county pitches has also been a factor.

The ECB have decided to revert to the 2017/18 Dukes ball in the search of better balance between bat and ball. The last two summers were tough for Test match batting in England especially for away sides as England beat South Africa and India 4-1 and 5-1 respectively.

When James Anderson has bowled with this batch of Dukes balls he has taken a test wicket every 39 deliveries at an average of 16.06 and with the memory of the 2015 Summer Ashes when the Australian batsmen struggled against the moving ball the logic of England trying to create another home advantage is clear.

At the back end of a packed Summer the Ashes series begins on 1st August and doesn’t end until the 16th September. If you have a trip to a match in mind, I wouldn’t be booking too many tickets for Days 4 or 5 particularly for the two September matches at Old Trafford and the Oval.

 


Brodders Football Analysis

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Betting Emporium results

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If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £44,319 All bets have an ROI +3.3%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £48,319 a 1107% increase

The Champions League final by Brodders

Posted on 1 Jun 2019 11:00 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

As a "one off special" Free to all our Betting Emporium readers, here is Brodders' Champions League write up for tonight

This was posted this morning for subscribers. Brodders says " the prices may have changed slightly and people should make their own judgements as to whether to bet them if odds have shortened"

Liverpool v Tottenham (Kick off 8pm)

We reach the culmination of another European football season with a final which has all the makings of a classic. Both of these clubs came back from the dead in the Semi-Finals after first leg losses and in Tottenham’s case also being a long way behind into the second half of the second leg but Tottenham in particular has enjoyed a charmed life in the competition this season.

We backed the Barcelona/Inter straight forecast in the Group and were in great shape after 3 games with Barcelona on 9 points, Inter on 6 and Tottenham on 1 with PSV. In their 4th game Spurs were 0-1 down to PSV with 12 minutes to go before Kane scored twice with the winner in the 89th minute to win 2-1. In their next match Spurs had Inter at home and were drawing 0-0 going into the last 10 minutes before Eriksen scored the winner in the 80th minute. That left Spurs needing to match or better Inter’s result in the final game for them to go through with Spurs going to the Nou Camp to play Barcelona and Inter at home to PSV. The luck of the draw for Tottenham meant that with Barcelona having nothing to play for, they rested Suarez and Messi didn’t come on until the last half an hour. Spurs were still losing 1-0 though until Moura popped up with an equaliser on 85 minutes. Meanwhile in Italy, Inter had gone behind to PSV despite dominating the game but Icardi brought them level on 73 minutes. That left Inter 20 minutes to get a winner but despite pouring forwards they had no joy until the 94th minute (with the referee indicating 4 extra minutes) when a hopeful ball forwards fell at the feet of Icardi, 8 yards out and only the keeper to beat. From nowhere, Viergever appeared and made a fantastic last ditch tackle to block the shot. Inter had one final chance with a cross from the left perfectly falling to Lautaro, 6 yards out, but he somehow he got under the ball and headed it over.

In the first round of the knockout stage, Tottenham were excellent in beating a good Dortmund side home and away to set up a Quarter Final with Man City. We all assumed that it would be the end of the road for them but Guardiola picked a strange team for the first leg with Delph coming in at left back and both De Bruyne and Sane on the bench. Tottenham won the game 1-0 to set up the most extraordinary second leg but not before Kane suffered what seemed to be a season ending ankle injury in the 58th minute. That forced a change of personnel with Moura coming on and Son popped up with 12 minutes to go to score the winner. Man City took the lead early before Son scored twice in a short space of time to leave Man City needing to score at least 4 to go through. The duly came back and Aguero put them 4-2 up in the 59thminute which was surely a sign that it was all over but back Tottenham came again with the most unlikely of heroes in Llorente who scored a third for them on 73 minutes from a corner. There was another huge slice of luck for Tottenham as the ball clearly ricocheted into the goal off his arm but they then had 20 minutes to try and hold out against the best side in the Premier League. Man City poured forwards and thought that the had pulled off an astonishing win when Sterling turned the ball in deep into injury time but more drama followed as the goal got ruled out (correctly) by the VAR for offside.

Finally came the Semi-Final against Ajax. The brilliant young Dutch side could have been 2 or 3 goals ahead in the first half at Tottenham. They were knocking the ball around brilliantly and led Tottenham 0-1 when Vertonghen picked up a head injury which forced him off and also forced Pochettino into changing his formation. He brought Sissoko on and from that moment Tottenham dominated the game without managing to score meaning they had to go to Amsterdam with a 0-1 deficit. Things couldn’t have started worse for them as they went behind on 5 minutes to a de Ligt header and then 2-0 down when Ziyech scored in the 35th minute to leave them 3-0 down on aggregate at half time. The second half and one player in particular will go into Tottenham folklore. Moura scored twice in 5 minutes to bring the tie back to 3-2 on aggregate after 59 minutes but Ajax weren’t finished and Ziyech hit the post in the 79th minute with Lloris beaten. The game went back and forth until the referee indicated 5 minutes of injury time. In the 93rd minute, Lloris produced a really good save to stop Ziyech again with Ajax breaking 2 v 2 but things still looked bleak with Ajax time wasting and looking certain to progress. Then literally on the stroke of 95 minutes Moura somehow found himself in on goal and he buried a low shot into the corner to make himself a legend.

As a Chelsea fan, I’m very happy to accept that we were not the best side in the competition in 2012 but everything went our way and there was a sense that we were going to win the competition. Any Spurs fan who’s lived through all the above, must believe that they’re going to win the whole thing despite all the evidence pointing to Liverpool being the better side. They’ve got passed Man City so why not the team that finished second to them in the league?

A fascinating aspect to writing about this game is what Pochettino decides to do with the fit again Harry Kane. Tottenham has produced some of its best performances in this competition when he’s not been on the pitch with the pace and movement of Moura and Son alongside Alli and Eriksen a very different proposition for defences than with Kane through the middle. What we could end up seeing though is all of them with Tottenham possibly playing the same formation as they did at Anfield in the league. That day they played 5 at the back, Sissoko holding in midfield with Eriksen and Alli in front of him and a front two of Kane and Moura. Tottenham were very unlucky to lose that day with Liverpool winning through an Alderweireld own goal in the last minute. Tottenham played really well in that game and they were able to keep the fearsome Liverpool attack in check whilst posing a number of threats of their own. They also lost 1-2 at home to Liverpool and this fixture has a history of producing goals with both teams scoring 7 of the last 8 games between them in all competitions with 12 of the last 17 games going over 2.5 goals. There’s always a cliché that suggests that finals are tight affairs but that’s far from the truth with 12 of the last 14 finals seeing both teams scoring (including the last 8 in a row) with 6 of the last 8 games going over 2.5 goals.

One potential downside to backing goals in this game though is the 3 week lay off that both sides have had since the end of the Premier League. We saw in the Europa League final that both Arsenal and Chelsea were full of rust in the first half with a lot of misplaced passes and generally poor play. In the second half both sides improved markedly and I’m very much expecting the lack of recent matches to be a negative for both sides, especially Liverpool who always look to start games fast. That being said, I am expecting this to be a game with goals in it with both sides capable of hurting the other.

I’ve written an awful lot so far without really talking about Liverpool. It’s hard to know where to start with them – they will go down as the best side not to win the Premier League after an extraordinary campaign which saw them finish a point behind Man City on 97 points, 25 points clear of 3rd placed Chelsea. They won 13 of their last 14 games in all competitions with the only reverse coming at Barcelona in the Semi-Final where they somehow lost 3-0 despite looking the better side for most of the game. In the second leg, with no Salah or Mane, they produced another historic night with Origi and Wijnaldum the unlikely heroes  in a 4-0 win that took them through. The improvement in Liverpool this season can be attributed to the brilliance of van Dijk and Alisson who have made the defence significantly better and its continued quality going forwards. Robertson at left back has come through to be one of the best players in the World in that position and his runs and crosses down the flank are a huge weapon for Liverpool with Alexander-Arnold providing similar quality down the right. They can still boast the amazing front three of Mane, Salah and Firmino but injuries have curtailed the Brazilian a bit this season with Mane stepping up and scoring more goals. Both he and Salah finished with 22 goals in the league after Salah had a slow couple of months in mid-season. All of the metrics that you could want to look at will tell you that Liverpool is the better side here – one look at the Premier League table will tell you that but there’s something about the way that Tottenham play and will approach this game which makes me hesitate to take Liverpool at odds on here.

Looking at the other markets, neither team gets that many cards and there’s only been 1 yellow card in the two meetings they’ve had this season in the league. The referee Skomina is someone that tends to produce 4-6 cards a game and although I expect him to try and keep a low profile in this game I will throw a few darts at the cards market. I’m also going to have a couple of small bets at some weird outcomes based on Tottenham finding a way to win. I’ve had –

 

Over 2.5 goals and Both Teams To Score – 16 points @ 2.15 (RedZoneSports), 2.10 (Bet365, Coral, Skybet and William Hill)

 

Highest Scoring half (Second) – 14 points @ 2.05 (Betfred), 2.04* (Matchbook), 2.00 (Bet365 and Skybet)

 

Half time result (Draw) – 12 points @ 2.39* (Matchbook), 2.38* (Betfair Exchange), 2.30 (RedZoneSports), 2.25 (Bet365)

 

To score anytime (Salah) – 10 points @ 2.75* (Matchbook), 2.625 (Betfred), 2.45 (RedZoneSports and William Hill)

 

Last goalscorer (Salah) – 8 points @ 5.50 (William Hill), 5.00 (Various)

 

To be carded (Kane) – 8 points @ 7.00 (William Hill), 5.50 (Skybet), 5.00 (Coral and Ladbrokes)

 

To be carded (Vertonghen) – 8 points @ 4.00 (William Hill), 3.80 (BetVictor), 3.75 (Coral and Ladbrokes) – 4.25 (Unibet) for those that can

 

To be carded (Fabinho) – 8 points @ 3.10 (Betfair Sportsbook, RedZoneSports and Paddy Power), 3.00 (Various)

 

To be carded (Matip) – 8 points @ 5.00 (Skybet and Unibet), 4.333 (Betfred)

 

Tottenham to win on penalties – 2 points @ 15.00 (Bet365), 13.00 (RedZoneSports, Skybet and Betway)

 

Man of the Match (Lloris) – 1 point @ 23.00 (Bet365), 21.00 (Various)

The Road to Riches; Epsom Derby Edition

Posted on 31 May 2019 08:44 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

- Football, the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham

- Racing, the Epsom Derby and Flat racing at Doncaster, Lingfield and Musselburgh. Also over the jumps at Hexham, Stratford and Worcester.

- Cricket, the Opening weekend of the 2019 World Cup

- Golf, On the USPGA the Memorial at Muirfield Village and on the European Tour the Belgian Knockout.

- Tennis, the French Open continues


Royal Ascot (18th-22nd June )

The package from Neil Channing costs £199.99. Sign Up here

 


 

Free tip

The Epsom Derby (Saturday 4.30pm) by Neil Channing

The first thing to say about The Derby, apart from the fact it's pretty wide-open, is that it's a pretty poor race for betting each-way if you are only being offered 1/5th 123. The 1/5th 1234 with a few firms is Ok but nothing you would get too excited about. I'm going to take the opportunity to bet win only which means I don't really mind betting a colt who might not stay the trip as I'm not having two bets that are heavily corelated, (each-way bets on non-stayers that don't win are quite unlikely to place).

 
 There are thirteen runners this year and just eight are below 33/1. I tried to make a case for those five bigger priced ones and I just couldn't so I've kept it at eight and of those I quickly ruled out Telecaster, who I really like but who may have got the run of the race under a great ride at York and could find this trickier given his draw plus it might be coming a bit soon. I also discarded Japan who has had a troubled preparation and may need a bit more time. The third one I quickly crossed out was the favourite Sir Dragonet, who was obviously hugely impressive when winning easily at Chester but that was just his 2nd run, it was on very soft ground which means winning distances can be exaggerated and although he looked like a proper stayer, this is a fast ground Derby. I left myself with five to consider...
 
 Anthony Van Dyke ran six times as a two-year old and had winning form at Group 2 and 3 so he has plenty of experience and he has run on all kinds of ground. He was favourite for the Lingfield Derby trial, which is often one of the weaker events, and looked to stay pretty well when he won but this was on much softer ground than he faces today and I'd be surprised if he was the best of these.
 
 Broome had five runs as a two-year old and he only managed place form in group class but this season he has easy wins at Group 2 and 3 class and looks likely to stay. He may prefer cut in the ground though and again would be one that sets a fair standard but doesn't get the pulse quickening.
 
 Bangkok was no great shakes as a two-year old but he came out and won a maiden this year before being upped in class to the Sandown trial where he was odds-on and won well enough although the 2nd was pretty unlucky in running. We don't know for sure if he'll stay and I don't think the form is all that strong so I'll rule him out despite the fact the stable are flying as usual.
 
 Circus Maximus ran four times as a juvenile looking like he was going to be better when he got older over further and that is what he gets here. He bolted up at Chester on softish ground and this fast ground must be a question but of the two Chester winners he is the one I like the most at the current prices. I think I may just leave him but if you did want a saver he would be the one.
 
 Madhmoon looks a really fair price to me. He won in Group 2 as a juvenile beating Broome and this year he was 2nd at odds-on in a Guineas trial and then 4th in the Newmarket race itself where he was badly drawn and he stayed on and wasn't beaten far. I like the look of that form so the only question to me is if he'll stay which is something we won't know until tomorrow afternoon. At a double-figure price I'm happy to take the chance.
 
 
 I'm having 12 Points WIN ONLY Madhmoon at 11/1 with Ladbrokes, Corals and others or on the exchanges.

 


One Hundred and….

The Hundred’s player draft, the first player draft system to be adopted in any British sporting competition, has been confirmed for October 20. The team names for the 100-ball competition will also be confirmed at that point ahead of the of the competition next year which will take place over five weeks starting in July.

Men and women's teams will be created from eight cities across England and Wales for the new format which the ECB hopes will draw a new audience to cricket saying it is “ a huge opportunity if we do things a bit differently to get hold of a much wider audience”.

The ECB think it will appeal to “three audiences that we know we can get hold of are young people, sporty families and diverse communities who have got a huge passion for the game”

Of course the reaction from most existing County cricket fans has been negative over the last two years. One of the big concerns for current cricket watches is the impact on other existing formats, notably 50 over cricket.

The ECB said in April

 “The 50-over competition will become a development competition, but that’s a price that has to be paid to fit in the new formats. And it brings certain advantages in helping to develop young players”

On the weekend where a 48 match Cricket world cup starts, it seems strange that the ECB have built the entire 2019 season around England’s attempt to win it and yet are in 2020 marginalising the 50-over game because of the desire to fit The Hundred into a crowded schedule.

As the Hundred will be played at the same time as the Royal London Cup the latter will be without all the top players and overseas stars. This on top of the County Championship now mainly taking place in April and September to accommodate white-ball cricket.

In a Guardian article last week the author said “The ECB took the love cricket supporters have for the game and traded it for more money, money they have now spent trying to finds a solution to the very problems that same deal created”

Fifty-over cricket, the one format of the game that England have been consistently good at for four years, is domestically being replaced in favour of a format which, according to various surveys, around 90% of cricket fans do not want. The only people who want it are the clubs and the people who will make money from it. To justify the negative impact on existing formats, the new competition has to succeed both financially and in opening up new fan bases.


Brodders Football Analysis

Brodders subscribers enjoyed a profitable 2018, betting £10 a point on matches would have won you £4,600 and he has now four successive profitable years. Over five years Betting £10 a point you would be winning over £23,000 with a 3.03% ROI Sign up here 


Bookmaker reviews and advice

Getting the best price available is very important for all those who take their betting seriously.

Please open an account with all those bookmakers on the page on this link that you do not already have an account with using the links provided.

There are literally hundreds of pounds on offer from bookmakers just for signing up through Bettingemporium.com


Betting Emporium results

The detailed results page has been updated as have the spreadsheets with the detailed bets. They can be found by clicking RESULTS

If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £44,319 All bets have an ROI +3.3%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £48,319 a 1107% increase

 

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 25th-26th May

Posted on 23 May 2019 11:23 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

- Football, Football League Play Off Finals

- Racing, the Irish 2000 Guineas and Flat racing at Chester, Goodwood, Haydock, Salisbury and York. Also over the jumps at Cartmel and Ffos Las.

- Formula One, the Monaco Grand Prix

- Golf, On the USPGA the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial and on the European Tour the Made in Denmark event.

- Tennis, ATP Opens in Geneva and Lyon


Starting next week. French Open Tennis (27th May to 9th June)

The package from Nigel Seeley costs £50. Sign Up here

 


Royal Ascot (18th-22nd June )

The package from Neil Channing costs £199.99. Sign Up here

 


 

Cricket World Cup (May 30th-July 14th)

The package costs £50 Sign up here. The outright preview is out now, with sub markets to follow early next week


 

Free Tip

Monaco Grand Prix (Sunday 1pm)

Mercedes have five one-two finishes in Formula One this season but if there is a track which might see the current 2019 pecking order shaken up a bit it is Monaco.

Red Bull have won here four times in the last nine years including Ricciardo last year who also qualified on pole and the tight streets suits their relatively agile, narrow wheel-base car which in its design is aerodynamically efficient in corners but doesn’t have the power of the Mercedes engine.

Last year Verstappen was brilliant in free practice and went favourite to win the race until putting his car in the barrier in P3 an hour before qualifying. In the race itself he moved up from 20th on the grid to finish ninth. This time round he is the clear number one driver at Red Bull, maturing quickly (even though at the age of 21 he has five race wins, he went through a rough patch in the second half of last year with unforced errors) and in the last race completed the podium finishing third at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona beating the Ferraris in part because their new Honda engines not only have more grunt this year but crucially reliability is less of an issue.

F1 Drivers press conferences are not normally a mine of untapped information and perhaps Verstappen’s team mate Pierre Gasly was stating the obvious but he said in Spain “Looking forwards, I think we have good potential on some of the upcoming tracks, which should suit our car better.” Indeed they should.

Of course, catching up with Mercedes will not be easy and Hamilton is 5/4 favourite with Bottas available at 9/4

However, they have just one third-placed finish between them over the past couple of years at this circuit. The car is comparatively broad and less nimble and of course their power advantages are lessened substantially on this relative to every other circuit. This is a track in which they are not necessarily sure things to qualify on pole as Ricciardo showed last year.

Ferrari struggled with a lack of grip in the final sector in Barcelona, which does not augur well for coping with Monaco’s twists and turns next up.

Verstappen is on a run of ten successive top four finishes, mostly at tracks where his car has been at a disadvantage to the front two teams. 

8 points each way Max Verstappen to win the Monaco Grand Prix 3/1 Bet365, SkyBet, BetVictor 

 


Procession

The 2019 F1 season so far has been a disappointment. Barcelona a fortnight ago saw a fifth Mercedes 1-2 in five races, on the back of their five seasons of championship dominance. In Spain the result looked inevitable after Hamilton led at the first corner and the race was dull. Where Ferrari, who dominated pre-season testing but have under-delivered since, brought updates to the power unit, Mercedes brought better updates worth up to 0.4s a lap and nce more hopes of a contest up front were thwarted.

There were a lot of empty seats at the track and viewing figures are in decline. Hopes for a reinvigoration of the spectacle are pinned on rule changes due to come into force in 2021

For the time being Mercedes have built the best car annually since the last big regulation change in 2014 and combined it with the best and most reliable power unit and have Hamilton delivering consistently with Bottas now up a notch too. Hamilton has won 54 Grand Prix in just over five seasons, his teammates have won 25. Meanwhile Ferrari and Red Bull have 26 wins combined.

2021 regulations offer the opportunity for a root and branch change that the sport needs but the danger is that this doesn’t happen. Teams are involved in the process of formulating the regulations and inherently they think of themselves first not the sport as a while. Drivers, who themselves look bored in their public utterances currently arenot involved in the decision making process.

Currently its almost impossible to over-take in F1 without artificial aids such as DRS as the aerodynamics are so sophisticated. Heavy Cars can’t follow others closely. Tyres are another bug-bear, they degrade quickly and drivers are frequently in tyre management mode rather than driving flat out. Formula One just isn’t as entertaining as it was.

Potential solutions are lighter cars, low-degradation tyres even if they mandate a number of pit stops to encourage harder racing and a reduction in aerodynamic influence. The sport is less a drivers championship currently than a technology battle on wheels, with layers of technical complexity that make it impossible for the layman to follow.

2021 is important for F1, but precedent suggests compromises and delays.


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