Friday, December 6, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 16


Everton v Chelsea - Away
Bournemouth v Liverpool - Away
Tottenham v Burnley - Home
Watford v Crystal Palace - Away
Man City v Man Utd - Home
Aston Villa v Leicester - Home
Newcastle v Southampton - Draw
Norwich v Sheffield Utd - Away
Brighton v Wolves - Home
West Ham v Arsenal - Home

Everton will be manager-less after the sacking of manager Silva and it could be an oh-so-lucky visit for Chelsea. Lampard's men are enjoying a good run and the return of striker Abraham in mid-week re-invigorates their attacking prowess. The Blues have an excellent shout at a UCL spot if they can continue their surprisingly positive display under Lampard. Goodison Park is never an easy place to garner full points but the Toffees are in such turmoil that the visitors will be strongly fancying a win. At market prices, Chelsea look good value to come out as outright winners.

If the Citizens are to retain their title, they will have to at least come out on top of the battle of Manchester. They have the better squad and are quite formidable at the Etihaad and everything points to a home win. Man Utd will be buoyed by their mid-week win against Spurs  but this Man City is an entirely different beast. Guardiola's men will need to keep an eye on Red Devil striker Rashford though as the England striker is in electric form and capable of intimidating the unsettled Citizens' backline. This should, however, end in a home win.

I like the chances of Villa against Leicester. The Foxes are the hottest team in the league having won their last 7 matches. Everything good thing has an end and it is not fathomable to see Rogers' men keeping the winning streak or Vardy continuing his goal-scoring. Villa are no push-overs at home and I can see them at least snatch a draw in this match. A draw-no-bet or outright win on the Villains could be very rewarding.

Win: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Man City

Friday, November 29, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 14


Newcastle v Man City - Away
Burnley v Crystal Palace - Home
Chelsea v West Ham - Home
Liverpool v Brighton - Home
Tottenham v Bournemouth - Home
Southampton v Watford - Home
Norwich v Arsenal - Home
Wolves v Sheffield Utd - Draw
Leicester v Everton - Home
Man Utd v Aston Villa - Home


Leicester are in devastating form at the moment, led by an inspiring Vardy. It is funny that the England striker seems to have picked up his game just when his many thought (including I) that he would be negatively distracted by the front pages of his missus' feud with Mrs Rooney. Since the infamous story broke, Vardy has been on a goal-scoring tear. Leicester will be happy to welcome an out-of-sorts Everton whose manager Silva is firm favourite to be the next given the boot. Needless to say that should the visitors lose this match, the chances are that the boot will be applied. The Toffees have a poor away record and are carrying a significant injury list. The loss of Coleman at the back for the visitors will only play to Vardy's advantage and it could be another big scoring day for the Leicester striker.

It might be worth taking a chance on Southampton as they entertain Watford on Saturday. The Saints have garnered somewhat encouraging results and displays after their 0-9 drubbing against Leicester last month. Watford are a team in total disarray with the mildest attacking threat and the return of Quique Flores as manager has hardly improved results for the Hornets. This is a 6-pointer for the 2 worst teams in the league and I will go for home advantage.

Win: Southampton, Leicester

Friday, November 22, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 13

West Ham v Tottenham - Away
Bournemouth v Wolves - Home
Arsenal v Southampton - Home
Brighton v Leicester - Home
Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Away
Everton v Norwich - Home
Watford v Burnley - Draw
Man City v Chelsea - Home
Sheffield Utd v Man Utd - Draw
Aston Villa v Newcastle - Draw


The Special One is finally back from the ranks of unemployment as he takes over under-performing Spurs. The resulting availability of Pochettino will no doubt have rejoiced a few leading clubs in Europe and it remains to be seen who will be the lucky club to register his services next. At Spurs, Mourinho will have a talented bunch at his disposal and it is almost a guarantee that the fortune of the club will get better as the season progresses. It is so often said that a newly-brought manager almost always wins his first match in charge as the players are desperate to make a good first impression to the new boss. The Tottenham players will certainly be very motivated and willing on Saturday and given they are playing an out-of-form Hammers team, the odds are that Mourinho will start his Spurs career in a winning fashion. I do not see the short 3-day period to get prepared for the match as a hindrance as the new manager is tactically astute to play in such circumstances. This match should end in an away win.

Man City will most certainly leave their Premiership crown to Liverpool this season but they will not want to give it away without a fight. Chelsea is a big fish coming up at the Etihaad and the Citizens will have to be at their top-most form to get the full points. The Blues are being masterfully guided by Lampard so far but I don't think they have the team to go beat Man City on its ground. American star Pulisic has been on fire of late as have the other young guns like Mount and Abraham. This should be an exciting match to watch but the experienced home side have enough in them to bag all points.

Win: Tottenham, Man City


Friday, November 8, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 12

Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Home
Burnley v West Ham - Home
Newcastle v Bournemouth - Draw
Southampton v Everton - Draw
Tottenham v Sheffield Utd - Draw
Leicester v Arsenal - Home
Man Utd v Brighton - Home
Wolves v Aston Villa - Draw
Liverpool v Man City - Home

This is match of the season so far as Liverpool host Man City at Anfield. It is hard to argue against the point that the Kops are about to bring home the title that has eluded them for years. They seem to have the resilience, hunger and the team to finally claim top honours, something they have come oh-so close to achieve in recent years. The season still has a long way to go and there will be ebbs and flows but at the moment, everything seems to be going the Kops' way. Victory over their main and only challengers Man City will further kick them off in their title quest.

Man City can be mesmerizing on their best day; simply the best team in football. However, they can have their off-days and drop seemingly easy points. An off-day on Sunday against Liverpool will be fatal. Klopp's men are in unforgivable mood at the moment and they are never out until the final whistle. Shades of the great Man Utd teams under Sir Alex Ferguson or the Liverpool of the 80's! On paper, Guardiola's men are superior but the drive and hunger will be on the other side. It is hard to see the hosts losing this and I think they are very capable of winning all 3 points and opening a decisive gap at the top.

Leicester are on a roll and Arsenal are a team in doubt at the moment. This makes them very vulnerable against the likes of Vardy, Perez and Tielermans. Clearly, the coming of manager Rodgers last year has had a positive impact on the team and although I don't expect them to win the Premiership as they did a few years ago, the Foxes have a legitimate shot at a top 4 finish. At current prices, they are value to bag full points against Arsenal.


Win: Liverpool, Leicester

Friday, November 1, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 11


Bournemouth v Man Utd - Away
Arsenal v Wolves - Home
Aston Villa v Liverpool - Away
Brighton v Norwich - Draw
Man City v Southampton - Home
Sheffield Utd v Burnley - Home
West Ham v Newcastle - Home
Watford v Chelsea - Away
Crystal Palace v Leicester - Away
Everton v Tottenham - Home

The return of Anthony Martial from injury seems to have given Man Utd the wind in their sails that they badly needed to recover from their horrendous start to the season. The French striker can score but is also a perfect foil for Marcus Rashford, who has regained his goal scoring touch since Martial's return. The renewed confidence in the squad in general gives the Red Devils a good opportunity to grab another full points as they visit a Bournemouth side that has fired blanks in four of their last 5 matches. Dean Court has been proven a tough ground for the Mancunians in recent years and they were just able to squeeze out a win in injury time in last year's visit. I expect them to do the same again on Saturday.

Sheffield Utd are proving very resilient at home as Arsenal will have witnessed a couple of weeks ago. It would not be surprising if they overcome visiting Burnley. The visitors are not overly strong on the road although they have managed to squeeze out a few draws. This is bound to be a low-score affair, and at market prices, it might be worth going with the home team for the outright win.

Win: Man Utd, Sheffield Utd

Friday, October 25, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 10

Man City v Aston Villa - Home
Brighton v Everton - Home
Watford v Bournemouth - Draw
West Ham v Sheffield Utd - Draw
Burnley v Chelsea - Home
Newcastle v Wolves - Home
Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Draw
Liverpool v Tottenham - Home
Norwich v Man Utd - Draw

Chelsea have been in excellent form of late and I feel they could come crashing back to earth when they visit Burnley. There is a resilence with Frank Lampard's team as they equally capable of keeping score with any team or keep matches very close-knit and make the difference late on. However, this team is still being molded and nowhere near the finishing product the new manager expects it to be. They are bound to falter at various stages and going to Burnley is definitely a shaky ground for any team. Sean Dyche has made a semi-fortress out of Turf Moor in the last few years where visiting teams that have escaped with the win have done so through sheer hard sweat. Chelsea are coming back from a tough mid-week UCL league match at Ajax and I feel the Clarets can take advantage of their freshness advantage.This match might be decided by the odd goal but it is more likely to come from the home team.

I also like Brighton's chances against Everton. If the Seagulls are to stay alive in the EPL, they will have to garner as many points as possible at home. Everton have under-performed since the start of the season and have yet to win on the road. They have talented individuals that are simply not gelling as part of a team. It seems manager Marco Silva is at pains to get the team rolling and another defeat here will definitely make his position untenable. There is every likelihood that Brighton will get on the scoreboard but the same cannot be said of the Toffees. Which is why a home win is very likely.

Win: Brighton, Burnley

Friday, October 18, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 9

Everton v West Ham - Draw
Bournemouth v Norwich - Home
Aston Villa v Brighton - Home
Chelsea v Newcastle - Home
Leicester v Burnley - Home
Tottenham v Watford - Home
Wolves v Southampton - Draw
Crystal Palace v Man City - Away
Man Utd v Liverpool - Draw
Sheffield Utd v Arsenal - Home

Bournemouth are giving a noble push for a top 10 place this year and they look to be a well-balanced team that will cause problems to any team they play. The arrival of lowly Norwich should provide Eddie Howe's another bagful of points to secure their place in the top half of the table. It seems to have been too much to expect from Norwich's striker Pukki after his explosive start to life in the EPL. He has been relatively quiet in the last few matches and unless he can pick pick up his form, the Canaries look well stuck in the relegation zone. The Cherries should have too much in attack for the visitors.

Leicester are in the top 4 and have strong form at home. They should prove too hot to handle for visiting Burnley. The only question mark on the home side will be Vardy's disposition as the striker will have been affected, under no doubt, by the on-going off-field antics involving Mrs Vardy and Mrs Rooney. Provided Vardy's head will be firmly on scoring in this match, the Foxes should bag the full points.

Finally, Spurs are due to pick up from their rotten form. Goalkeeper Lloris is gone injured for a long time but this team has enough quality in them to start picking up the pieces and find their way to the top 6 at least. Kane cannot stop scoring and if the likes of Ericksen can put away off-field distractions, Pochettino can get his squad back to winning ways. The urgency is there for them to beat Watford and I believe they will.

Win: Bournemouth, Leicester, Tottenham

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Arc de Triomphe 2019 - Immortality beckons for Enable

All eyes will be on Enable at ParisLongchamp on Sunday as she attempts to be the first triple winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Winning the most prestigious prize in Europe twice is a feat in itself that only a few have achieved; landing it 3 times would crown the daughter of Nathaniel the greatest winner of the race and arguably the greatest filly that ever ran.

There are no more adjectives to qualify Enable. She is in Frankel-esque territory, having won 13 out of 14 outings, crushing the opposition in many of them. She even did better than Frankel by winning outside of Britain by conquering France and the US. She is peer-less and it would take circumstances or an exceptional run by another horse to beat her on Sunday. Circumstances like the predicted heavy going might dent her customary acceleration but it is only a slight worry as she should tackle that kind of ground better than most.

The biggest dangers are likely to come from the 3-year old colts Sottsass and Japan. The former is the best colt coming from France and the convincing winner of the Prix du Jockey Club and Prix Niel, both big references for the Arc. The son of Siyouni has an excellent burst of acceleration and coming out of stall 1 should have him well placed as long as he does not get stuck in throughout.

Japan is the best 3-year old middle-distance colt coming from Britain. He won the Grand Prix de Paris in style and trainer Aidan O'Brien will certainly have him in optimum form come race day. There seems to be an air of confidence from the Ballydoyle camp. Both him and Sottsass will enjoy a 3-pound alleviation against the older brigade and I expect both to be very close at the finish.

The rest of the field is mainly noise in my opinion. Waldgeist is a moderate Group 1 performer that has shown his limits. Ghaiyyath is the dark horse of the race in that he can run an explosive race as well as run a stinker. I don't think he will relish the heavy ground and coming out of outside stall 12 won't give him much of a chance to dictate matters up front.

Enable should take all the beating in her unprecedented quest. As long as she has a clear run and there are no shenanigans going on during the race, she looks top notch to land the greatest treble in horse racing.

Win: Enable
Place: Sottsass, Japan

Friday, October 4, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week8

Brighton v Tottenham - Home
Burnley v Everton - Home
Liverpool v Leicester - Draw
Norwich v Aston Villa - Home
Watford v Sheffied Utd - Draw
West Ham v Crystal Palace - Home
Arsenal v Bournemouth - Away
Man City v Wolves - Home
Southampton v Chelsea - Away
Newcastle v Man Utd - Draw

Here's a drab draw I can think of this week-end; Newcastle v Man Utd. Both teams are dreadful in attack and have difficulty finding the net. If this game is to be won by either, it looks like it would be by the slightest margin. A draw looks very enticing though.

West Ham have found a firm footing under Pellegrini and I expect them to continue their fine form as they host Crystal Palace. One positive for the Hammers this year has been the return of Yarmalenko, who suffered a horrendous injury and long layoff last season. The Ukrainian has been on fire since the start and playing with great confidence. I expect them to enjoy the home advantage and edge the Eagles.

Bournemouth can have arguments for a value away punt as they visit Arsenal. I think the Gunners have rode some luck in their last league matches and are prone for a coming upset. The visiting Cherries have the strike force to bang in the goals and could edge a high-scoring affair at the Emirates.

Win: Bournemouth, West Ham
Draw: Man Utd/Newcastle

Friday, September 27, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 7

Sheffield Utd v Liverpool - Away
Bournemouth v West Ham - Draw
Aston Villa v Burnley - Away
Chelsea v Brighton - Home
Crystal Palace v Norwich - Home
Tottenham v Southampton - Home
Wolves v Watford - Draw
Everton v Man City - Away
Leicester v Newcastle - Home
Man Utd v Arsenal - Away

We knew the title would again be between Man City and Liverpool at the start of the season but what is obvious is that these 2 teams are totally crushing all before them and even the likes of Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham look vastly inferior to those 2. I expect Man City to recover from their blip at Norwich a couple of weeks ago and get onto a serious winning run. It will be interesting to see how far the Kops can maintain their own winning streak to match the champions.

Man Utd v Arsenal used to be a prime fixture not so long ago but Monday's match certainly won't crown the future champion. I thought the Red Devils were terrible in the off-season not to replace Lukaku and with the injury to Rashford, are left with no proven striker up front. Sure, Greenwood looks a wonderful talent but a 17-year old cannot hope to bag in goals a la Kane or Lukaku. I feel this is Arsenal's opportunity to snatch full points here and although the Gunners themselves have suspect form, they should be able to get away from Old Trafford with at least a point.

Spurs are on a rotten form and if papers have any inkling of truth in them, Pochettino looks unsettled over there. Whether that is the case or not, I expect that team to recover their form quickly and they will relish the coming of the Saints at home. I still believe the latter will falter down the stretch towards relegation trouble and Spurs must surely be scoring full points in this match.

Win: Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham
Draw-no-bet: Arsenal

Saturday, September 14, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 5

Brighton v Burnley - Home
Man Utd v Leicester - Home
Sheffield Utd - Southampton - Home
Tottenham v Crystal Palace - Home
Wolves v Chelsea - Draw
Norwich v Man City - Away
Bournemouth v Everton - Draw
Watford v Arsenal - Home
Aston Villa v West Ham - Home

Sheffield Utd are showing pretty decent form since the start of the season and the way that they succeeded a precious point at Stamford Bridge in their last match would have given them hope that they can be competitive , particularly on the road. For them to maintain their Premiership hopes, they will have to maximize points at home, and this week they have ample opportunity for full points as they host Southampton. I think the Saints will face relegation battle this year and unless things change dramatically for the better in their squad or management, they will be ripe to be taken on. The hosts here are fancied for the straight win.

Although they have had an average start to their season, Wolves are a tough nut to track at home and Lampard's men are in for a rough outing against Santo's team. The Chelsea manager is still in the process of imposing his style to the team and the new faces he's brought in will have to go through their baptism of fire. They look vulnerable on this trip and I believe getting Wolves on a straight win or on a draw-no-bet could very well be rewarding.

Win: Wolves, Sheffield Utd



Friday, August 30, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 4

Southampton v Man Utd - Away
Chelsea v Sheffield Utd - Home
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Home
Leicester v Bournemouth - Home
Man City v Brighton - Home
Newcastle v Watford - Draw
West Ham v Norwich - Draw
Burnley v Liverpool - Away
Everton v Wolves - Home
Arsenal v Tottenham - Home

Since their teetering start against Aston Villa on weekday 1, Spurs have shown that they are nowhere near hitting top form at the moment. It seems they are still hung over from their Champions League final defeat. I expect them to eventually pick things up but their away match at arch-rivals Arsenal does not bode well for helping their recovery. The Gunners are a tough beast at home and with North London derby bragging rights on the line, I expect them to take full home field advantage and inflict Spurs another defeat.

It's hard to comprehend Man Utd's decision to loan Sanchez to Inter. Sure, money was a factor but the loss of the Chilean leaves them with a lack of potency up front. Greenwood might be a talent but an unproven one. Seriously, I think Utd will be seriously lacking in goals until they bring in some fresh proven blood in attack. I still expect them to eke out a win at Southampton on the early Saturday kick-off.

Win: Arsenal / Man Utd / Man City


Thursday, August 22, 2019

EPL2019/20 -Week 3

Aston Villa v Everton - Away
Norwich v Chelsea - Home
Brighton v Soton - Home
Man Utd v Crystal Palace - Home
Sheffield Utd v Leicester - Draw
Watford v West Ham - Away
Liverpool v Arsenal - Home
Bournemouth v Man City - Away
Tottenham v Newcastle - Home
Wolves v Burnley - Home

A quick rundown of this coming week-end's predictions up there. Particularly keen on wins by Liverpool and Brighton which seem the best value plays. Going for longshots Norwich and and West Ham might be rewarding as well. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 2

Arsenal v Burnley - Home
Aston Villa v Bournemouth - Away
Brighton v West Ham - Home
Everton v Watford - Home
Norwich v Newcastle - Home
Southampton v Liverpool - Away
Man City v Tottenham - Home
Sheffield Utd v Crystal Palace - Home
Chelsea v Leicester - Draw
Wolves v Man Utd - Draw

Liverpool might feel the tiredness out of their mid-week Super Cup win but they should have enough in the tank to overcome Southampton. If they are to beat Man City to the title, they cannot afford to lose any points to the likes of Soton and Jurgen Klopp will have instilled that into the players' heads.

Spurs were arguably lucky to bag full points against Villa on opening day and I cannot see them riding their luck against Man City. Sterling is truly becoming a superstar and the Citizens are firing on all cylinders at the moment. They should win this handily.

Everton had chances to beat Crystal Palace last week but were their profligacy in front of goal cost them the win. They are tipped to make amends as they host a Watford team that demonstrated many defensive weaknesses in their home drubbing at the hands of Brighton. Watch out for Richarlison to be on the scoresheet in this one.

Win: Man City, Liverpool, Everton



Thursday, August 8, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 1

Liverpool v Norwich - Home
West Ham v Man City - Away
Bournemouth v Sheffield Utd - Home
Burnley v Southampton - Home
Crystal Palace v Everton - Away
Watford v Brighton - Home
Tottenham v Aston Villa - Home
Leicester v Wolves - Away
Newcastle v Arsenal - Away
Man Utd v Chelsea - Home


Here we go again for another promising EPL season. It certainly looks that Man City and Liverpool will battle it out again for supremacy. They are the 2 best teams in the league by far and it would be far-reaching to look beyond these 2. You'd expect them to have improved over last year while there are big question marks regarding the other challengers. Man Utd are rebuilding, Chelsea are starting the Lampard era while both Spurs and Arsenal don't seem to have reinforced much. 

Everton have been busy bees during the transfer season and I expect them to perform relatively well this year. They look good enough for a Europa league spot. It is incoming striker Moise Kean who will be the object of much scrutiny, the Italian coming from champions Juventus of Serie A. So the Toffees look good value to make a potent impact while visiting Crystal Palace on opening day. The Eagles have retained Zaha against his wishes and that looks definitely a negative move that will backfire.

Liverpool should start the season with a bang as they entertain newcomers Norwich. So should Spurs against the Villains. Man Utd against Chelsea is the match of the week-end and I favour the hosts to edge this one. Chelsea will be a diminished team this year without Hazard. 

Win: Liverpool, Everton, Man Utd

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Goodwood Sussex Stakes 2019 - A Darn Hot contest

John Gosden and Franco Dettori are having a sizzling hot summer with their superstars and the trend looks set to continue when Too Darn Hot lines up for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. The juvenile champion seems to be back to his best after having been mismanaged in the early part of the season. The easy course mile looks very well within his compass and looks good value for the win at odds against.

The rest of the field are no slouch, with the likes of Phoenix of Spain, Lord Glitters and Circus Maximus but if the son of Dubawi has maintained the form of his Jean Prat win a few weeks ago, he should have fear of no one.

Win: Too Darn Hot
Value Place: Lord Glitters


Monday, July 29, 2019

Goodwood Cup Stakes - Who can stop Stradivarius ?


Stradivarius is the turf king stayer and is the overwhelming favourite to repeat in the Group 1 Qatar Goodwood Cup. The son of Sea the Stars is unbeaten in his past 7 outings, a winning run that has spanned the last 18 months! This handsome colt relishes top of the ground to unwind his powerful finishing kick and it is quite a worry from connections that the probable rain forecast could mix the cards come race time.

The main danger to Stradivarius appears to be Cross Counter, the Melbourne Cup winner. Beaten convincingly albeit not too far off in the Gold Cup, the son of Teofilo will certainly prefer the shorter 2 mile distance. Being the course holder of the mile and half distance, he will certainly not find the tricky Goodwood course a problem, an issue that some others in the field might find hard to tackle. This race represents Cross Counter's best shot of gunning down Stradivarius.

Out of the above two, Dee Ex Bee represents the best form and could try to take the spoils going tactically up front.

Hard to go against Stradivarius here even at odds against. An exacta with Cross Counter, an a trifecta with Dee Ex Bee look to be the best value plays.

Win: Stradivarius
Place: Cross Counter
Exacta: Stradivarius/Cross Counter
Trifecta: Stradivarius/Cross Counter/Dee Ex Bee

Friday, June 21, 2019

Royal Ascot 2019 - Day 5

Godolphin, or more precisely Charlie Appleby, hold a strong hand on the last day at Ascot.

Pinatubo and Space Blues are among the market leaders in the first 2 races and it seems they will battle it out with the Ballydoyle contingent for the win. Blue Point has an outstanding chance of doing a 'Choisir' and be a dual winner of the Royal meeting but the main question is whether 4 days rest is enough for him.

Masar is an intriguing favourite in the Hardwicke Stakes. The Derby winner is making his seasonal return after over a year on the sidelines and the vibes from the connections could not be more positive. It is however certain that the son of New Approach will not be at the peak of his powers and will need the run. His class might be enough to get him through but there are a few others that might give him a race.

Defoe was the surprise winner of the Coronation Cup. The son of Dalakhani looked to have lost his way over the past year but seemed to have regained his form when winning convincingly at Epsom on Derby day. If he reproduces that form, he can be considered a major player.

Salouen can be a danger if the ground stays soft but his chances will evaporate as it gets drier.

Lah Ti Dar was a major disappointment in the Coronation Cup as I expected her to be among the main protagonists. The connections believe she did not like the cambers of Epsom. If that is the case, then she might be ripe for redemption at Ascot. There is still a doubt though about her; maybe she is not as good as what she let transpired early in her career.

Mirage Dancer is the dark horse of the race and without a doubt the best-bred as well. There cannot be many pedigrees beating the blood of Frankel and Heat Haze in the stud book! He comfortably won at the distance in his seasonal return and seems to be on an upward curve. Trainer Michael Stoute is a master at getting these older horses right and quite interestingly won the race last year with Crystal Ocean.

Lastly, Southern Image seems to be well backed on the basis of his last race where he went toe to toe with Stradivarius. I feel the 12 furlong distance might be somewhat too sharp for him.

If Masar comes out firing on most cylinders, he very well could win this. I see him petering out in the last furlong or so. At current odds, there might be value taking confidence in Mirage Dancer as an each-way prospect.

Each-way: Mirage Dancer


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Royal Ascot 2019 - Day 4

It was Dettori's day on Thursday with the Italian winning the first 4 races and having the bookies shaking to the core. Friday could be Ryan Moore's day with many top-notch chances, on paper at least.

If he can reproduce his Derby form, Japan should go close in the King Edward VII Stakes. The son of Galileo is weighted many pounds over the nearest of his rivals and looks set to get back to winning ways with conditions to suit.

Ten Sovereigns could double things up for Moore in the Commonwealth Cup. Although the son of No Nay Never lost his unbeaten record in the Guineas, his reputation came out un-dented as he ran his race as a sprinter and only petered out in the last furlong. On that form, he should be hard to beat back up in distance.

Finally, Hermosa puts her credentials as the best classic filly on the line in the Coronation Stakes. The opposition will be quite fierce with the likes of French Guineas winner Castle Lady and Frankel's unbeaten niece Jubiloso to name a few. Hermosa looks a little short at evens but she should definitely be in the thereabouts despite the strong opposition.

Moore is the way to go on Friday.

Win: Japan, Ten Sovereigns, Hermosa

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Royal Ascot 2019 - Day 3

There is no doubt that Stradivarius is the king of the staying division. The diminutive son of Sea The Stars is unbeaten in his last 6 starts, a sequence that started last year. If there is anything that will beat him to the quest of a Gold Cup repeat, it will be the rain. He has won on soft ground but top of the ground is really his forte. To beat him, someone else will have to outstay him.

Thomas Hobson is the only other horse to have won at the two mile and four furlong distance. This son of Halling will not mind the softish conditions. In fact, he gave Stradivarius a fright in the Long Distance Cup at 2 miles on giving ground the last time they met. He has won at Royal Ascot before in the Ascot Stakes and 20/1 on the exchanges, looks like a good each-way punt.

Many believe that Cross Counter will be the main danger to Stradivarius. The Melbourne Cup winner is certainly top-class but I am not overly optimistic of his winning chances at a distance new to him on worse than yielding ground. I think he will get outstayed in the end. A place might be best he can aspire to.


Win: Stradivarius
Each-way: Thomas Hobson


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Royal Ascot 2019 - Day 2

This years's edition looks truly a fantastic renewal of the St James Palace Stakes. Throw away the rest of the field, this race will be rightfully decided among the 4 market leaders Magical, Waldgeist, Sea of Class and Crystal Ocean. All are top-class middle distance performers that are closely matched on paper.

The ones with the superstar potential are the fillies Magical and Sea of Class. Both have come under the sword of the mighty Enable last year, albeit with their reputations enhanced. In fact, not many would argue about them reversing placings with the dual Arc winner should they cross paths again. Magical has already won 3 times this year already although it must be said the best she beat was stablemate Flag of Honour on all these occasions. The runner-up is certainly far from the best of the breed from the Ballydoyle contingent. So, asterix there may be on those wins. Still, Magical is among la creme de la creme of the staying division and should be thereabouts.

Sea of Class will make seasonal return in the race and she might be lacking in fitness in comparison to her opponents. Certainly she will come on for the run. If she has maintained or improved her form of last year, she will definitely be a major player in this race and later. I just feel this race might just be too hot for her for a first time out but she cannot be dismissed as her class can make up for the lack of being wound up.

Crystal Ocean hardly ever runs a bad race and is sure to give his all even though he might be sub-par talent-wise compared to the fillies. If everyone else is having a bad day, this son of Sea The Stars will pick up the pieces with no qualms.

Waldgeist is among the best stayers in France and needs to translate that over this side of the pond. He won with great authority on his seasonal return and his trainer Andre Fabre does not usually send them across unless they have a winning chance.

What could decide this race are the conditions afoot on Wednesday. The forecast rain will appeal to Waldgeist and to a lesser degree Magical. The dryer it is, the better for the other two. So this is a game time decision really. Look at the going stick or penetrometer reading as the rest of the racing world likes to say. With a soft going, I will go with Magical over Waldgeist. On good ground, I like the form fit Magical over Sea of Class.

Win: Magical

Monday, June 17, 2019

Royal Ascot 2019 - Day 1

The great John Gosden admitted Too Darn Hot has been the most mismanaged horse of the year. What an understatement! He almost ruined the horse! Let's face it, Too Darn Hot has proven darn good in his 2 defeats since the start of the season.

Coming a close second while 80% fit in the Dante proved his class, not his lack of stamina like everyone seemed to be pointing. It is easy to say things in hindsight but now we know that he was not fully fit for that race, there are strong reasons to believe that he would have beaten Telecaster if he were fully wound-up. Then running second in the Irish Guineas after ONLY 10 days of rest says enormous about the potential of this fellow. I cannot recall a horse with such a perturbed preparation and schedule that came up trumps as this son of Dubawi. At 3/1 in the St James' Palace Stakes, he screams a big buy. I believe he is a better horse than race favourite and Irish Guineas victor Phoenix of Spain as well as the rest of the field for that matter. If he is at 100% and can unleash his full potential, he should win this.

It is the duel of the super sprinters in the King's Stand Stakes as Battaash takes on Blue Point (or vice-versa). At 3/1, the Godolphin sprint star looks appealing here. In the words of his trainer Appleby, he is the finished article and is more worthy of confidence than the fast but quirky Battaash. The softish conditions should be ok for Blue Point who beat the same rival in this race last year.


Win: Too Darn Hot, Blue Point

Friday, May 31, 2019

Epsom Derby 2019

An electric day at Epsom as Anapurna justified the confidence at a juicy 10/1!

The colts are in action on Saturday for the Derby and there are 3 names to consider here; Sir Dragonet, Telecaster and Broome. I don't think they are head and shoulders above the rest of the field at this point of their careers.

Sir Dragonet could be an "anything" horse. His wins over the classic distance have been dominant and he has only started racing this year. Kind of reminds me of Justify, the Triple Crown winner in the US or the great Lammtarra who won the Derby after a maiden win. Lack of experience will be the main factor against him but his class might be more than enough to compensate. He very possibly in a superstar in the making.

Telecaster has shown all the right aptitudes for a serious Derby contender. His last 2 wins have been telling and he hasn't shown any chinks in his armour yet. I think he will be a leading player in the middle-distance division this year. His pedigree cries stamina and he should relish the distance. A major player who should be thereabouts at the finish.

Broome has won his 2 trials comprehensively and should be relied to put in a solid effort in the race. The fact that he was off the bridle quite early on in the Derrinstown Stud Trial at Leopardstown might be seen as a negative but he quickened quite nicely at the finish to suggest that he has the gears to kick late on. I like him as a place prospect.

Win: Sir Dragonet
Place: Telecaster, Broome

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Epsom Oaks 2019

Friday is Oaks day and it could very well be called Frankel day or Gosden day as I see this being a contest between Anapurna and Mehdaayih, both from the Gosden stable and both by Frankel.

If there is a filly that will scupper Gosden's plans, it will be Pink Dogwood, from the all-powerful Ballydoyle stable. The daughter of Camelot will relish this 12f trip and had a convincing seasonal return last month. She should be in the thereabouts at the finish.

Anapurna has the best pedigree for the distance going into the race. Her mare, Dash to the Top, is a daughter of the peer-less Montjeu, whose progeny were the best at the classic distance. She has won her last couple of races running away and if she takes to the cambers of Epsom, she must have a huge chance. A top 3 finish is definitely a live possibility.

Mehdaayih was oh-so-impressive in winning the Cheshire Oaks. Her pedigree does not scream a mile and a half but the way she quickened away from the field in that race indicates she should tackle the stamina-sapping distance very well. I think she deserves to start favourite although Pink Dogwood seems to have the favours of the bookies for the moment.

Shall the above 3 fail to fire, then Maqsad could very well pick up the pieces. This daughter of Siyouni won the Pretty Polly Stakes in impressive fashion and although I do have reservations about her in a 12f contest, she has good chances to make the frame.

Win: Mehdaayih/Anapurna
Top 4: Maqsad, Pink Dogwood

Saturday, May 11, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Final week

Brighton v Man City - Away
Burnley v Arsenal - Home
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth - Home
Fulham v Newcastle - Away
Leicester v Chelsea - Home
Liverpool v Wolves - Draw
Man Utd v Cardiff - Home
Southampton v Huddersfield - Home
Tottenham v Everton - Away
Watford v West Ham - Draw

And so it ends, one of the most exciting finishes of the Premier League for a long time, with Man City most likely the victors come Sunday evening. I just cannot see them lose points at Brighton. There are a few reasons I think Liverpool are not guaranteed to win against Wolves; their midweek exertions (including post-match) against Barcelona, and Wolves are no push-overs as well. But more importantly, deep down the Kops are aware they are almost chasing a lost cause and will have some of their minds on the upcoming UCL final.
Here are some value nuggets for this last weekday. I see Burnley shocking Arsenal. The Gunners will probably field a secondary team as they have almost no chance of making the Top 4 and they won't recuperate fully from their mid-week Europa league exertions. Like the Kops, they will look forward to their upcoming Europa final against Chelsea.
Another golden nugget regarding those same Blues who will be vulnerable for their trip to Leicester. I mentioned before that the Foxes are a different animal with Brendan Rodgers at the helm and they will create problems for Chelsea. Were it not for Kompany's strike, Leicester might have held Man City in mid-week and thrown the title to Liverpool. They are that dangerous and will be more so next year.

Thanks for tuning in and hope you enjoyed and benefited from my ramblings over the course of this amazing EPL season.

Accumulator: Man City/ Man Utd/ Southampton/ Leicester/ Burnley

Friday, April 26, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 36


Tottenham v West Ham - Home
Crystal Palace v Everton - Draw
Fulham v Cardiff - Home
Southampton v Bournemouth - Home
Watford v Wolves - Home
Brighton v Newcastle - Draw
Leicester v Arsenal - Home
Burnley v Man City - Away
Man Utd v Chelsea - Home

Hope you tagged on the Crystal Palace coup last week-end. Arsenal proved vulnerable as expected.
Man City removed a big hurdle in their championship quest by overcoming cross-rivals Man Utd at Old Trafford. Liverpool are racking on the wins but that massive Derby win should give the Citizens further impetus and confidence to close on the title. It's never easy to go to Burnley but it will a shocker if Guardiola's men don't get full points out of that trip.

Man Utd are reeling at the moment but I cannot see them lose to Chelsea at home. Through thick and thin, they should get at least a point out of this encounter although a win is much needed for them to aspire to the all-important 4th spot. At current odds, a draw-no-bet on the Red Devils looks fair.

I see more misery for Arsenal as they travel to Leicester. The Foxes are a totally different animal under Rodgers and will give the Gunners all they can handle. A win for the home team looks good value here.

Win: Man City, Leicester
Draw-no-bet: Man Utd

Friday, April 19, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 35


Man City v Tottenham - Home
Bournemouth v Fulham - Home
Huddersfield v Watford - Away
West Ham v Leicester - Draw
Wolves v Brighton - Home
Newcastle v Southampton - Away
Everton v Man Utd - Home
Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Away
Cardiff v Liverpool - Away

Man City should rock Spurs and get their sort-of revenge on the Londoners who scuppered their hope for quadruple glory this past week. I see no problem of a Citizens win here.

Liverpool, I believe, will go on and win the title and they should have a relatively facile outing at Cardiff. If they cannot win the 3 points there, they won't win the Premier League, it is that simple.

For a shocker, how about Palace coming up trumps against Arsenal. Emery's men have been gathering the good results lately but they have had a hard European match at Napoli, and although they did win and qualify, I think they could come unstuck against giant killers Palace.

Win: Liverpool, Man City, Crystal Palace

Friday, April 5, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 33

Bournemouth v Burnley - Home win
Huddersfield v Leicester - Away win
Newcastle v Crystal Palace - Home win
Everton v Arsenal - Home win
Chelsea v West Ham - Home win

Man City v Brighton - Man City win

A paltry set of matches in play this week-end. Liverpool got their title aspirations closer to reality today by winning at Southampton. I see easy wins for Bournemouth, Leicester and Chelsea, so they go into the accumulator.

I also see an easy win for Man City in their FA Cup encounter against Brighton. There is a big gulf of difference between those 2 teams and I cannot see Guardiola's men falter at this stage. They are motivated by the quadruple and although I don't think they will achieve it, the domestic treble is very much a live possibility.

Accumulator: Man City/ Bournemouth/ Leicester/ Chelsea

Friday, March 29, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 32

Fulham v Man City - Away
Brighton v Southampton - Away
Burnley v Wolves - Away
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield - Home
Leicester v Bournemouth - Home
Man Utd v Watford - Home
West Ham v Everton - Home
Cardiff v Chelsea - Away
Liverpool v Tottenham - Home
Arsenal v Newcastle - Home

It certainly looks like Huddersfield is going down this week-end. I cannot see them getting a result at Crystal Palace and it is only a matter of when, not if, when they will go down. Man City should prove too strong for Fulham and so should Chelsea against Cardiff.

Liverpool still have their swagger and I see them getting a win against Tottenham. Kane has been on fire since his return but that is one of the rare good news coming out of White Hart Lane lately. Spurs could be under threat to get a top 4 position if they don't get their mojo back. I like Leicester's chances at home to Bournemouth; the Foxes are a better team under new manager Rodgers. Finally, Man Utd should have enough to overcome Watford although a draw will not be surprising either.

Accumulator: Man City/ Crystal Palace/ Leicester/ Chelsea/ Liverpool

Friday, March 15, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 31

Bournemouth v Newcastle - Home
Burnley v Leicester - Away
West Ham v Huddersfield - Home
Fulham v Liverpool - Away
Everton v Chelsea - Draw

West Ham and Liverpool look the teams to back out of this shortened week-end of matches. Huddersfield are destined for the drop and I can see Chicharito having a field day against their poor defence. Liverpool are still alive in the title race and a win at Fulham will give them the lead and a certainly a psychological advantage. They should be too strong for Fulham.

For a good risk/reward flutter, it might be worth getting a go with Leicester. The team seems to have renewed impetus with the arrival of Rodgers and going to beat Burnley is certainly up their alley.

Accumulator: Liverpool/West Ham/Leicester

Friday, March 1, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 29

Tottenham v Arsenal - Home
Bournemouth v Man City - Home
Brighton v Huddersfield - Home
Burnley v Crystal Palace - Home
Man Utd v Southampton - Home
Wolves v Cardiff - Home
West Ham v Newcastle - Draw
Watford v Leicester - Draw
Fulham v Chelsea - Away
Everton v Liverpool - Away

Spurs are slumping and Arsenal are on a roll. However, I cannot see Tottenham losing the London Derby at home to their arch-rivals. When the stakes are on the line, Pochettino's men have proven the more reliable and I expect them to use their superior mental toughness to overcome an in-form team that have yet to prove their mettle against the leading teams in the league. Spurs should prevail in that one despite their apparent loss of form.

With Liverpool having a seemingly-tough match at Everton, it would seem that Man City have the easier match-up against Bournemouth. I don't quite see it that way. I think that the Cherries have the potential to beat the heavily-favoured Citizens as they have strong form at home and Guardiola's men were not convincing in their last mid-week match against West Ham. An upset is possible here.

Accumulator: Tottenham/Wolves/Man Utd
Win: Bournemouth

Monday, February 25, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 28

Cardiff v/s Everton - Away
Huddersfield v/s Wolves - Draw
Leicester v/s Brighton - Home
Newcastle v/s Burnley - Draw
Arsenal v/s Bournemouth - Draw
Southampton v/s Fulham - Draw
Chelsea v/s Tottenham - Away
Crystal Palace v/s Man Utd - Home
Liverpool v/s Watford - Home
Man City v/s West Ham - Home

Although they can still win the quadruple, the odds are really stacked against Man City to achieve something no team has ever accomplished in any league. But they are doing great in all their 3 remaining competitions, particularly in the league, when not so long ago, they were at risked of being left for dead by Liverpool at the top. The momentum has swung mightily and the Kops only hold a 1 point advantage albeit having played 1 extra match.

Both teams should win their mid-week home matches. The Citizens have the better match-up as they entertain a Hammers team that should be overwhelmed in every aspect. Guardiola will be thinking of working their goal difference here. Liverpool will face a pumped-up Watford team coming off a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff. This will be no picnic for Klopp's men but I still expect them to edge this encounter in the end.

Newcastle against Burnley screams a goal-less draw. This has the air of a snoozer and might be worth a go in the accumulators.

Accumulator: Man City (Win) / Liverpool (Win) / Newcastle/Burnley (Draw)

Friday, February 22, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 27

Burnley v/s Tottenham - Away
Bournemouth v/s Wolves - Away
Newcastle v/s Huddersfield - Home
Leicester v/s Crystal Palace - Home
Arsenal v/s Southampton - Home
Man Utd v/s Liverpool - Home

Man Utd against Liverpool is the biggest rivalry in English football and the stakes are very high in this week-end encounter at Old Trafford. The momentum is clearly with the home team as Ole has revived his old team while Klopp's men seem to be huffing and puffing at the moment. The Kops have enough class to edge this on their best day but the chances are most likely to come United's way, with a Pogba in supreme form conducting their offence. A home team will certainly dent the Kops' title charge and that's the way I see this ending.

Accumulator: Man Utd/Wolves/Leicester

Friday, February 8, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 26

Fulham v Man Utd - Away
Crystal Palace v West Ham - Home
Huddersfield v Arsenal - Away
Liverpool v Bournemouth - Home
Southampton v Cardiff - Home
Watford v Everton - Home
Brighton v Burnley - Draw
Tottenham v Leicester - Away
Man City v Chelsea - Home
Wolves v Newcastle - Home

Tottenham owe it to Son to still fighting for the title. The South Korean has carried the team during Kane's absence by scoring crucial goals and keeping Spurs in the title fight. I think Leicester will pose them mighty problems this week-end and the exploits of Son might not be enough. At current prices, I see it feasible to opt for a straight Leicester win.

Accumulator: Man Utd/Liverpool/Man City/Leicester

Saturday, February 2, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 25

Tottenham v Newcastle - Draw
Brighton v Watford - Draw
Burnley v Southampton - Home
Chelsea v Huddersfield - Home
Crystal Palace v Fulham - Home
Everton v Wolves - Away
Cardiff v Bournemouth - Home
Leicester v Man Utd - Away
Man City v Arsenal - Home
West Ham v Liverpool - Away

Accumulator: Chelsea/Man City/Liverpool/Crystal Palace/Burnley

Monday, January 28, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 24

Arsenal v Cardiff - Home
Fulham v Brighton - Home
Huddersfield v Everton - Draw
Wolves v West Ham - Home
Man Utd v Burnley - Home
Newcastle v Man City - Away
Bournemouth v Chelsea - Home
Southampton v Crystal Palace - Draw
Liverpool v Leicester - Home
Tottenham v Watford - Draw

Arsenal and Man Utd are bankers to win their home matches. Man City face a tricky encounter at St James Park but it is a must-win for them if they want to keep pace with Liverpool who should edge their home match against visiting Leicester. Tottenham look vulnerable at the moment with missing stars like Kane and Son and I expect Watford to give them all they can handle on Wednesday night. It might be worth including Fulham and/or Wolves into accumulators as both are in a position to strike against lowly opposition.

Accumulator: Arsenal/Man Utd/Liverpool/Wolves

Friday, January 18, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 23

Wolves v Leicester - Home
Bournemouth v West Ham - Away
Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Home
Man Utd v Brighton - Home
Newcastle v Cardiff - Home
Southampton v Everton - Draw
Watford v Burnley - Home
Arsenal v Chelsea - Home
Huddersfield v Man City - Away
Fulham v Tottenham - Away

Another week and another great opportunity for most of the league pretenders to garner full points as they play modest opposition. Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham would consider it a setback if they fail to pick up 3 points from their matches. Spurs have the more delicate task of the four as they travel to Fulham without Harry Kane but I still expect them to notch the win.

Add Newcastle to the mix as Benitez's team have a golden opportunity to take all points as they host Cardiff. The Welsh outfit look prime for the drop at the moment and I see them stuttering until the end, particularly on their away matches.

Accumulator: Newcastle/Man City/Man Utd/Liverpool/Tottenham


Friday, January 11, 2019

EPL 2018/19 - Week 22

West Ham v Arsenal - Home
Brighton v Liverpool - Away
Burnley v Fulham - Away
Cardiff v Huddersfield - Home
Crystal Palace v Watford - Home
Leicester v Southampton - Home
Chelsea v Newcastle - Home
Everton v Bournemouth - Draw
Tottenham v Man Utd - Home
Man City v Wolves - Home

Chelsea have been misfiring lately but I expect them to find back their scoring touch against Newcastle. Hazard is due for a big number on the score sheet and this might be the match he gets his team rolling again. Newcastle are an out of sorts team that should do enough to stay alive in the league but not good enough for any pretense otherwise. The Magpies make more headlines off the field these days surrounding the impending sale of the club and I cannot see them troubling the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

Man Utd have been on a roll since Ole's appointment but it could all be coming to a halt as they visit Tottenham. The Red Devils haven't won during their last 7 league visits to Spurs and I cannot see them reversing this trend this year. Truth be told that Man Utd are playing much better since Ole took over but they have also been playing less than stellar teams. Spurs will be an entirely different proposition. Kane and company have an excellent record at home and I cannot see them losing this match.They should either edge this or come away with a draw.

Man City look set to be in a long unbeaten sequence and should have no trouble defeating Wolves. Liverpool have a tougher road trip at Brighton but the superior Kop quality should prevail and Klopp's team should maintain their current lead gap at the top.

Accumulator: Chelsea/Man City/Liverpool/Tottenham