Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Musings from the week-end

Apologies for the time off updating the blog. It all started with the Blogger web sites problems, which seemed to take forever to be fixed, and which prevented me from giving the week-ends predictions.

Going back to my last predictions last Wednesday, they were all bang on. Noble Graduate and Last Crusade were the exacta I mentioned. Midday won on her return and Lyric Street won his weak race as well. West Ham have been relegated at the week-end and I just couldn`t see it otherwise given their poor away form all season.

Doing some round-up in what I thought were the major headlines this past week-end in the world of sports that I select to follow. Nothing much new to add in football with Man Utd and Barcelona claiming the spoils as expected. Man City won the FA Cup but I join the chorus of disapprovals regarding this game being played on a usual Saturday game day. If the FA Cup has lost its past lustre, it`s not because Man Utd opted out of it one year a decade back to play the World Club Championship in Brazil. It`s not because it was played in Cardiff for a few years while the old Wembley was being restored. It`s because of things like this where the recognition of the Final being traditionally played on the Saturday following the season end, is lost among a day of Saturday fixtures. Typically, the worst nightmare scenario for the FA ominously occured right this year when Man City`s Cup triumph coincided with Man Utd`s clinching of the Premier League title. While the City of Manchester had every reason to be in cheers, two of the biggest headlines in English football had to be shared into one.

The thing with the FA Cup is that its magic transcends British shores. Ask a French football fan about The Cup and he won`t be talking about La Coupe de France. Nor will a Spanish be talking of Copa del Rey. The Cup, as they know it, is the FA Cup. And sadly its significance is being lost by the very people that were tasked to restore it to its previous glory.

I am being amazed by what is unfolding in tennis. If someone had told me at the start of the year that Nadal would be playing some of his best tennis and still lose 4 finals in a row to Djokovic, I would have been laying all day and night. I`m glad for my pocket that I never got that chance. Djokovic has been playing unbelievable tennis for the last while, and nothing from the past could have suggested he would be that dominant against his peers in that way. From a punting point of view, he now seems value every time he meets a Top 5 opponent, since that`s about the only time his odds are not around 1.01, and he seems he`ll still find the way to win. The Serb is the most improved athlete I can think of om years. He was good, but nowhere near that kind of good.

In racing, Canford Cliffs confirmed all the positive vibes surrounding him by dominating the Lockinge. I`m like the rest of racing fans and awaiting a Frankel, Goldikova, Cliffs showdown. I just hope that the mare is still at her best, and if she can put the young male pretenders to their place, then so be it.

Last word in golf where Tiger is making headlines for the wrong reasons by pulling out of the Player`s Championship due to injury. Suddenly, everyone is questioning whether his quest for beating Jack Nicklaus` Major record is still possible. In my opinion, it`s probably too early to have any kind of judgement regarding his abilities or record quest. The gap between him and the rest has certainly narrowed a considerable bit, and the young guns like Mc Ilroy won`t be feeling the inferiority complex that the rest of the field have. It`s game on for Tiger and he needs a big win at a Major this year to get a good part of his aura back. US Open may be? we`ll see.

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