As winter draws in, let’s tuck in to the good stuff! Southwell anyone?

Firstly thanks for all the feedback on last weeks blog post. It is great to see how many people are taking an interest in not only Proform but also the different approaches you can add to your betting portfolio. Things are going well again in September with winners up to 22/1 so far. The system had a good day on Monday throwing up winners at 9/4, 7/1 and 14/1 as well as a 10/1 winner on Tuesday. Having had a brief conversation with Simon on Friday I can confirm that using the evening before prices makes an enormous difference to the P&L. My estimation was nowhere near as much as reality. As I mentioned Simon only had the evening before prices back as far as May 2016, so for 17 months of data. Having shown a profit of 813.81 from 1st Jan 2010 on the figures I had, Simon confirmed that the actual evening before price profit since last year was +1432.56 which is staggering. There is obviously a deduction to come off this from rule 4’s but it is only minimal in reality. So as things stand, I’m hopefully on to something very interesting. I will continue to monitor this.

As I write this on Tuesday evening this month is currently +35.79 pts in profit. Although not following it as closely, I believe the DTR system is running at about the same sort of figure.

So what next? What’s the next angle to look at? Well given the time of the year and with the flat coming to an end, I thought that I’d have a look at the winter action but hold on, no I’m not like 90% of Twitter. I refuse to start talking about the Cheltenham Festival in September! Although having said that, I do plan to have a look at the festival stats at some point in the next week or two. If you know me well, you know that when it comes to the winter it is all about the all-weather Racing! To narrow my search down I am going to have a good look at Southwell which I’m sure there are a few angles.

So where to start with trying to find a profitable angle when it comes to betting at Southwell. Well my immediate thought is with my own involvement with horses at the track and pals horses that have been shrewdly purchased. We’ve had some wonderful success there, and a lot of it comes from the fact that we managed to get hold of horses that were by Speightstown. Southwell is our only track in the UK that comes close to replicating the conditions of dirt racing in the US and the progeny of Speightstown have an excellent record on the fibresand surface, especially first time up.

So this got me thinking, how do horses perform on the surface based on which country they are bred from. This was my first query into Proform, again using 1st Jan 2010 onwards. The results were as expected, lots of red numbers all over the screen apart from three countries that had the following numbers to BFSP:

France +102.60

Canada +10.73

USA + 649.01

On the back of these numbers I clustered these three countries together and had a look at plenty of the usual variables. Race distance, age etc. The only real variable that had a large impact on the numbers was the race type. Again, lots of red numbers all over the screen, but three very decent plus numbers as follows:

Auction Races: +131.72

Handicaps: +630.34

Maiden Races: +173.34

So once I drilled down all the variables these are the final figures that came out from my system builder results:

Horses from either USA, FRANCE or CANADA, in all AUCTIONS, MAIDENS & HANDICAPS at SOUTHWELL on the AW.

1706 Qualifiers, 292 winners @17.12% strike rate. +£765.48 to £1 at stakes at BFSP and a 44.87% ROI.

Whilst thinking that age and race distance may have an impact on the results, they made very little difference to the outcome.

All in all this equates to an average profit of 109.35pts per year. Which to many people will not seem like a great deal, but remember we are looking at putting together a portfolio of profitable systems that win without you having to do any kind of work other than updating the Proform software and putting the bets on. So this is another one to add to the portfolio and one that I will also monitor over the coming months.


Whilst looking at the above system my mind starting to think about another angle I constantly refer too. It largely comes from an old hunch I used to have that sprinters that ran well and turned up to the track again within a few days seemed to have a good record. Although I never actually had any stats to back this up, was it a myth or reality? So off I went again… searching through Proform System Builder looking for another angle.

My findings were not quite what I hoped but still showed a profitable angle. I basically looked at all horses from Jan 1st 2010 that had finished in the first three of their race and were running again within seven days. Across all racing this showed a very small profit. Once I started to play with all the variables again I managed to start to eek out the negative elements of another potential system.

In the end if you eliminated all races on the all-weather and concentrated solely on turf racing this improved things. Once again, then just using handicaps and removing all other races, the profit grew.

In the end these were the final figures I got too without too much effort since Jan 1st 2010:

12,452 qualifiers, 2,685 winners at a strike rate of 21.56%. +£344.45 to £1 stakes. +2.77% ROI. So this system whilst I think has some legs, doesn’t currently offer enough a profit for me to be interested in it. I will continue to tweek this until I find something more robust and at the moment can be parked on the “in progress” shelf. I also on the back of this started to play around with winners LTO that were returning to the track within seven days. It returned far less qualifiers obviously but very similar figures in the P&L, so this is another one that I will play around with over the coming months.

If anyone reading this has an idea they would like me to look at, I’m more than happy to delve in to the system builder and have a play around.

Hope some of this inspires you to start to have play with Proform yourself. If you have any questions or comments I’m always available on Twitter: @markagrantham. Roll on the fibresand season!

All the best

Mark

 

 

 

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Pomme’s time to shine & a large priced dart…

Proform

I’m looking forward to Pomme switching to a mares race ahead of the 2.50 at Carlisle tomorrow. She has shown lots of promise on all her starts so far and I’m pretty sure if you look at the figures that you can make a good case for her to be favourite in this race.

If you want more details on why I like her then you can read back through previous posts. Which One Is Which and Lastbutnotleast make this an interesting contest. The latter has a penalty to carry but has shaped like this step up in trip will suit, whilst the former is under priced on what she’s achieved.

They clearly had a choice here with Pomme of going for a similar race to last time and getting her a nice mark or going for a mares race with a big chance of a gaining a win. The way she travels should suit Carlisle and she’ll hopefully be the last off the bridle before going on to score. Bet365 have opened up at 3/1. I think she should be favourite.

Elsewhere, I do have one of the interesting horses running today in the form of CASTANEA (5.20 Kempton). Now let’s not go mad, he’s a 42 rated 18 race maiden. So let that sink in, this is not a bank job and it has health risks attached to it but I do think there is a case to be made.

I get the feeling there may have been one or two issues in 2016 as he started to look awkward. He was given a six month break on the back of his last run in July before making a very interesting return over an inadequate 8.5f at Wolverhampton on Jan 26th. Here are my Proform notes.

This is probably one to come with a health warning. An 18 race maiden that has clearly had a few issues. Throw in the fact that he’s now rated just 42 and this should not be one to go over board with but certainly of interest as we’ll get some juice in the price because of the profile.

I’d urge you to watch the replay of the run at Wolverhampton on January 26th 17, which was his first run for 6 months having previously been seen running terribly at Ffos Las and Brighton in mid summer. Now watch closely. The first thing to note is that the trip was short of what he needs, he clearly wants about 10f, so it was obviously intended as a prep run or cobweb blower. Second thing to note is watch the draw, missing the break, wide trip early, and the effort on board to actually get close….

Now I must stress that there could just be a chance that he is a rogue and that he was really well and fresh ahead of this run. There could also be a small chance that whatever was the issue previously has been sorted and he is ready to rock and roll.

His price is going to allow us some fun. He has opened up at 16/1 tonight and is a really good each way bet. The only negative might be that it may have been picked up by other race readers so he may get well backed. If he does, then he may not even try.

Before we go I must just give you the details of a horse to follow in the early part of 2017. CULLINGWORTH is the one, here are the notes…

I think he’s potentially quite nice horse to follw for 2017. Ran in quite a few conditions races early on before having a mid summer break. Most intersting run was certainly the last start of 2016 when running in a messy race at Chester 9/9/16 when a horse fell and traffic problems. The way he travelled through that race and the fact that he was hampered were both interesting considring how he finshed off. Although well beaten was doing excellent work late on. Definitely capable of achieving much more than 81 this year. The form of this race has worked out really well too.

Pomme – 2.50 Carlisle

Castanea – 5.20 Kempton. E/W.

Be lucky today.

MG

Proform

Hoping the windmill will blow away the Saturday tears!

Proform

Ahh. How annoying was yesterday. Testa Rossa got absolutely hammered late doors into 4/1 from 7’s. Unfortunately the dropping back to seven didn’t really help but in truth he was given a poor ride. Edmunds let him get squeezed out and then just sat behind the whole field. I was shouting at the screen 5 furlongs out for him to switch wide.

I don’t think enough of the jockeys watch enough of the racing. When the horses come under pressure at Newcastle on the all-weather, the majority of them tend to drift to the far side. Horses that try to weave through have a very poor record. Once he switched wide and got daylight he took off but it was too late in a really steadily run race.

I will for now consider it money borrowed. As he is still thriving and will clearly win again soon. Preferably over a mile.

Anyway on to the Sunday action and I will grace you with the first maximum bet for February. I have had the max on BIG WINDMILL (3.20 Taunton). He was one of my eye-catchers in the WeighedInRacing magazine this month. Here are my Proform Notes…..

He’s had the typical education, very much slowly slowly with an eye to chasing I believe. He made his chase debut in a novice handicap off a mark of 112 on January 25th and having been nibbled most of the day he jumped the first three fences really well before seeming to slip or catch heels of the horse in front and unshipped Adrian Heskin.

He looks a big natural chasing type and I really liked the way he jumped the first three fences. He should be followed with interest in the coming weeks..

It’s about time they started winning so fingers crossed the max lands! It should be an interesting few days as plenty of this month’s eye catchers are entered this week so things should really start to pick up!

BIG WINDMILL – 3.20 Taunton – 5pts Max bet @ 9/4 (bog).

Top result for the hammers yesterday. Seems the lads are playing with far more freedom away from home at the moment. Good result at a difficult place to go. Top half finish looks more likely each week whilst the relegation race is wide open!

So looking forward to the Superbowl tonight. Should be an absolute belter. Fingers crossed the windmill will give us plenty of ammo to have an interest!

Be lucky today!

All the best

MG

 

Proform

 

 

Fire Up The Testa Rossa!

Proform

I won’t dwell on yesterday. As I’d feared the mile was just no good for Gold Return and once she missed the break she was a million. She is certainly not one to give up on and will remain on the interesting list when conditions are more suitable.

I have a couple that I must throw into the mix today. First off I’ve had my first decent go on one since I started blogging again in the form of TESTA ROSSA (7.45 Newcastle). He has improved immeasurably over the last over the last 3 or 4 months and it is almost exclusively down to the test that the all-weather track provides. I am absolutely convinced that he would have won again on Jan 21st had he not been stopped in the run not once but twice. He gets to race off the same mark of 80 in here again tonight and I see no reason why he will not win again granted a clear passage. He is actually 2lbs better off as Lewis Edmunds can claim 5lbs rather than the 3 of Downing. The drop back to 7f doesn’t worry me, there is a chance given how he has raced that it may even suit better and there should be plenty of pace on.

Clearly Safe Voyage is a sharp improver and could be a huge danger but I had them much closer together in the market than they are and at 7/1 I think he represents a decent bet. If it is your way I couldn’t put you off backing him each way as I can’t see him out the first three, but he’s a decent bet for me at the prices.

The other one I have to give a positive mention too is FLY TRUE (2.30 Lingfield). Jeremy Gask’s filly should in my opinion have won last time and I’ll be backing her to gain some compensation today. She’s a hold up horse with an excellent turn of foot. Granted round here she will need some luck, but if the gaps come she will go very close. With Mossgo and Come On Dave in here they should go a relentless clip that will bring the closers in to play. It will be hair-raising late doors but I’m convinced she’s better than her current mark.

TESTA ROSSA – 7.45 Newcastle – 3pts win @ 7/1.

FLY TRUE – 2.30 Lingfield – 1 pt win 9/2.

Be lucky today with your punting….oh and COYI

Proform

Another blank day! Article writing time for @weighedinracing

Proform

Morning all, just a post to let you know we have no eye catchers running today. Having been doing racing commentaries for the last three days I will be spending today in my office doing all the videos since Saturday so we should have plenty more to add to the interesting list.

I will also be writing my first eye-catchers article for Weighed In Racing (@weighedinracing) today too. This will contain 3 or 4 of the months biggest eye catchers that have yet to run since and should be placed firmly in your trackers.

Just to touch on one or two of the horses that I’ve mentioned so far. Pulsating is definitely being messed about with so we’ll strike her off. Cold Fusion got pretty well backed at Southwell, well from 40’s into 25’s, but just ran terribly. I will keep an eye on him for now but can’t see him being a betting proposition in the near future on the back of that.

Good luck today!

All the best

MG

Proform

A couple of eye catchers for today and a word on Pomme

Proform

Morning all. I will start off by just touching on the run of POMME yesterday at Doncaster. After being off the track for over a year, she ran an absolute cracker to finish 4th. Indeed had she jumped the last couple of flights better she would have probably placed. The way she travelled into the race suggests that all of that ability is still there that I had hoped and she certainly becomes a project moving forward. I assume that they may take the option of a run in an equally competitive race next time so that they can get her a nice enough mark. Certainly one to follow with interest.

On to the action on Saturday and I have a couple to pass on that caught the eye last time. I will start with the obvious one in HEAD SPACE (4.15 Lingfield). He was a moral winner given the draw when last seen a week ago having got badly out of his ground and coming with a late rattle weaving between runners to get 2nd on the line. From stall 1 today, Kirby should be able to take a slightly more daring passage and if the splits come at the right time he could be hard to contain.

The 2nd runner that went on to the slightly interesting list last week is one to take a bit of a chance with tonight at Kempton. PULSATING runs in the 7.15 and is available to back as I write this on Friday night at a general 20/1. She caught the eye last week under Milly Naseb when getting slightly caught on heels and knocked about turning for home before picking up quite nicely in the straight in the end to be beaten only a length over what is an inadequate five furlongs. This improved effort came with the introduction of first time blinkers which seem to perk her up. They go with first time visor on Saturday which is no bad thing. There is plenty of pace in here with both White Royal and Ninety Years Young likely to go forward and with Kieran Schofield’s 7lb claim she has a lovely racing weight back at six furlongs which is a big plus. The down side is this is a much better race than she has been running in for a while and whilst that is a negative, we are getting 20/1. I think she should be played each way and if things go to plan and the splits come, we could have a nice voucher in our hands come 7.17!

So the bets away from the main action today are as follows:

Head Space 4.15 Lingfield – Win

Pulsating 7.15 Kempton – E/W.

Enjoy the star-studded card at Cheltenham today, I’m on TV duty all day so will soak it all up from the studio.

All the best

Mark

Proform

A couple to keep on side this evening……

Proform

Afternoon all. A couple of lovely results yesterday with Mischief Maisy getting very well backed from 20’s into 10’s and getting a very good ride to win. That may well be the limit of her ability but we bagged it on the good day. Mister Bob drifted all day right out to 10/1 then duly did the business too so good results all round. Refulgence is finally, off the list.

Just a couple to note that are running this evening.

7.30 Newbury – Loaded – 9/1 Generally – 1pt win

I think he’s a nice horse and potentially a bit better than his opening mark of 82 suggests. At Chester last time I think he hated the undulations and looked certain to want a bit further in time. A few of these have already played their hands in handicaps where as this lad looks cherry ripe for tonight.

9.10 Newbury – Siri & Severus – 25/1 & 16/1 2x 1pt singles.

A couple to play against the field in the concluding handicap on the card. You have to be forgiving for both last runs but I’m happy to do so. Siri messed about in the stalls at Carlisle, got restless and missed the break. They went no real pace and she was always on the back foot and not persevered with. She is better than that and can prove it tonight. I’m astonished she’s 25/1, if you watch the video back from Sandown the time before she was desperately unlucky not to win what was a better race than this.

Severus hated the heavy ground over a mile at Newmarket last time and drops back to seven on fast ground this evening. He travelled up strongly to a point that day and today should suit much more. They are both rated 72 but with the allowances Siri gets 8lbs off Severus so I slightly favour her. Play them both against the field of largely exposed beasts.

Good luck

Mg

Proform

One or two for today….

Proform

I know, I know… it’s been like forever. I’m over it, hopefully you are too.

A rare summers day off today and a couple of horses have popped up on the tracker that I feel I should probably pass on for you today from my recent video analysis.

MISTER BOB – 7.45 Kempton. 8/1 with Betway/Betfair.

He was a rather large eye catcher when we last saw him at Wolves on 31st May. A race where they went no pace at all which didn’t help this hold up beast. He’s handicapped to win and with that having blown away any cobwebs he looks sure to run a big race tonight if he is wanted. They should go a good gallop here which will help with Starcrossed likely to go forward and Music Man also a prominent racer helping to push things along, we should get a good gallop to run at. Ted is on board which is not great so we may be watching through our fingers again close home. If he’s ready and the gaps come he’s well worth backing.

Dalavand – 3.10 Yarmouth – 13/8 Generally

Has been on the radar to pick up a small handicap for a while. Drops into a very weak seller today and you’d be desperately disappointed if he didn’t win.

Mischief Maisy – 3.30 Lingfield – 20/1 General, massive on BF.

She’s just one to follow, maybe for 3/4 runs. She has more ability than her mark will suggest and a step to a mile and a half looks a good thing. She was given a very interesting ride at Brighton last time. Worry today is they may have too much pace for her around here but she is one for your trackers and small stakes. Especially in place markets etc. She’s likely to go in at a massive price at some point.

Refulgence – 3.40 Yarmouth – Any price you like?

She’s been in my tracker for ages, for one reason only. It’s looked to me for a long time like she wants middle distances but Marco Botti has kept her to a mile up until now. She nearly sneaked in last time (head in hands moment) at 25/1 but just failed to get there over the extended 8.5f at Wolves. First attempt at ten furlongs today, so she’s on the list, unless she gets beat!

Have a great day!

Mg

Proform

Friday’s action…

Proform

Morning one and all. I hope and trust all is well and that you’ve all been smashing in winners left right and centre. After a dismal day hosting Sussex vs Essex on Wednesday in the Royal London Cup (not due to the cricket, but due to the weather) I finally managed to get back on the horse on the racing front in the last 24 hours or so. Had a good go on Tasleet in the opener at York yesterday. My main bet of the day though was on the Godolphin filly Mistrusting in the last. After her win in the four runner handicap at Newmarket last week I’d convinced myself that she was a potential group horse. I think the way she travelled through the race yesterday lead me to believe that again, it was a nervy last 100 yards but she held on well, possibly just idling in front.

I have started going through the videos, so within a few days we will have a nice big bank of eye catchers and horses to follow. Before we get on to today’s racing, just thought I should give a mention to the test match. It is a really flat pitch. A typical five day Oval pitch. The Aussies showed yesterday that if you get through those early overs, then the afternoon is normally a batters paradise. The next two days are set for very good weather, then there are storms and rain forecast for Sunday and Monday. The draw is available at 7/4 in places this morning. Providing England bat well later on today I cannot see this being anything other than a draw. I think the prices are wrong. I’ve backed the draw. If today follows a similar pattern to yesterday, then I expect the draw will be about 4/7 by the close of play. Tradetastic for all you that like to “cash out”.

I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I can’t click a race replay on RacingPost.com whilst looking at a race. The basic membership is about £14 a month now, and £26 if you include all the tipping pages. Cannot imagine that anyone is paying for that. I use the basic package but only due to the fact that all of my notes are stored on the database. Once I upgrade my office computer, I think I many well transfer all my notes onto the Proform database so that it’s all in one place. Taking the videos off the website I’m sure is a big mistake.

Found the opening race at York difficult. Plenty of possibilities, but nothing that leapt out for a bet. I don’t have a strong opinion in the Yorkshire Cup either. I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone of them won to be honest.

First bet of the day will be Richard Pankhurst in the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at 3.05. I know he’s only had two starts and has had 426 days off since winning the Chesham last year but that was a really taking victory, one that suggested he was going to be better than listed class. He is in great hands and I’m sure he’ll be ready. He is a general 13/2 chance this morning, if that had been at this years Royal Ascot he’d be 6/4 so I think he represents value and if he is anywhere near his best; I think he’ll be really hard to beat. I will be having a small saver on Short Squeeze. He was given one of the rides of the season in a big handicap here last year by Smullen and he is back on board today. Whilst he is probably better at a mile, there is a good chance this will be frantic. Salateen, Toocoolforschool and Glory Awaits all have double figure pace figures on Proform so I’m expecting a strong gallop and this brings Short Squeeze into calculations. At 12/1 I’ll be saving on him.

On to the feature race of the day the Nunthorpe at 3.4o and I cannot get away from ACAPULCO. She ran to a topspeed figure of 110 at Ascot. Only Muthmir (111) has run anywhere near that this season. She gets a 24lb allowance from her elders here which whatever way you look at it makes her very very hard to beat. Tactics may be important. There is the smallest chance things could get to her jockey Irad Ortiz Jr, who is not guaranteed to get the best of receptions from the patriotic’s. The Nunthorpe is a race that can throw up an odd result too. All things said, I honestly could’t go against her. I hope she wins. Whether she is bankable at 2/1 or not I’ll leave up to you. She might go in a multiple.

acapulco-easton-angel_3315932

I’ll jump to the evening card at Wolverhampton for the next interest. BUSH BEAUTY (8.20) is mildly interesting in the class 6, 6 furlong handicap. Normally better over slightly longer she needs a real test at six to figure but I think we may well get that tonight as Cloak And Degas, Captain Future, Bosham and Indian Affair all like to rattle along. We have to forgive the run last time but she has never shown much on turf. Back on tapeta she is drawn in stall 2 so Rachel Richardson can just pop out and take her time. If they go stupid up front then she will be a big player when they turn for home. She comes out top on the PROFORM  ratings by some way too. She’s 10/1 in places this morning and must represent a fairly good each way bet.

At Sandown in the opener I thought KOMEDY (2.20) may be interesting. She has a piece of form (debut) that would make her particularly interesting off an opening mark of 64. Her last run in a maiden certainly smacked of “nursery type” and the yard are in much better form than earlier in the year. I’ve had a small interest on her at 7/1.

On a totally separate note, the Redskins went 2-0 in pre-season last night after beating Detroit 21-17, that unfortunately though does not tell the story. The first two quarters, the offensive line decided not to block for RG3, he got hit 7 times and sacked 3 more. He ended with a  busted shoulder and a concussion. This is clearly unacceptable and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We moved the ball with ease once Colt McCoy came in. It was all too similar a story to last year when RG3 was in. The pocket was collapsing with ridiculous ease. I hope there is no skulduggery going on.

For the first time I’m starting to think that it might be time to trade him as there are clearly some trust issues within the team.

Have a good day today, be lucky.

MG

Proform

It’s been a while!

Proform

Well it has certainly been a while since the last time I rambled on. The cricket season as always takes up my time in the summer. As well as my frequent visits back to my second home in Zante. Unfortunately, the knee injury I’ve been ignoring for a year has finally taken its toll and I am pretty much done. Waiting for a specialist appointment which I’m told will take 6-8 weeks. We all know the actual spread is 16-18.

My coverage of racing has taken a back seat as per usual over the main summer months. Which is probably not the best idea considering my flat racing far outweighs my jump racing analysis. Looking forward to tackling the racing again with some gusto into the back end of the season and into the all-weather (the boos from the back of the room can be heard all round).

The first thing I’ll touch on will be the beloved West Ham. Overall I have to consider the summer a slight success. Whilst a lot of know it alls will say we were mad to part company with Allerdyce, they are also the people that don’t watch us week in week out. His gusto had gone. We started last season playing much better football, attacking with gusto and going after the better teams. Whilst I knew we wouldn’t sustain our top 4 place, to drop away like we did with such timid and poor performances it was clear the time had come. There were times in his reign that Sam got things bang on. The 3-0 win at White Hart Line was a touch of managerial beauty. There were other times when we had no plan B, selected weak teams because he felt we couldn’t win the game. He also relentlessly picked Kevin Nolan, which meant we had to play 4-5-1 to accommodate his old legs, which other teams worked out and took full advantage of. Nolan is his prime was a master at reading the game and knowing where to be. Last season, he was unfortunately way off the pace. The fact no side (even championship) has shown any interest in him says all you need. He will be Big Sam’s assistant in his next job (NAP).

So we move onto the Bilic era. I think he was the right choice for now. I like his ethos and attitude towards the game and what he wants to achieve at the club. I couldn’t give two hoots about playing kids in the Europa League and an early exit. Means nothing. English teams that get in to the group stages have terrible records in the Premier League. Our sole concentration, should be on going to the Olympic Stadium next year on the back of a top ten finish and progress. A massive positive is the signing of Payet from Marseille. He looks a classy player with the ball at his feet. He can beat a man with trickery, pace and strength. His assist stats are phenomenal. Everyone saw at the Emirates last week what an asset he is going to be. Very pleased with the additions of Obiang and Ogbonna. My one criticism would be that on the back of Enner Valencia’s injury news we should have gone and got a striker straight away. Sakho is streets ahead of the others but cannot play alone all the time. Who knows if Carroll will be back, when he’ll be back and how long he’ll last.

I still think we have the basis of a good squad and I really hope that a top ten finish should be doable comfortably. There are some really very average sides in the league this year. If Sunderland don’t finish bottom I’ll be shocked. They were a disgrace on Saturday. Players walking all over the pitch. Watch Cattermole for the 2nd goal. He don’t care.

Cricket hasn’t been too enjoyable over the summer. Whilst I’m very much at the back end of my career we are playing the highest level we ever have down at Rottingdean. It shows. We are 4/5 players short of where we need to be in all honesty. Playing for a year on dodgy knee ligaments has all but done me in. For Sussex again it’s been disappointing. Thought the squad looked capable of challenging in the Championship this season but they have been poor. Managed to get to the quarter finals of the T20 Blast largely down to Luke Wright, but again a poor home performance (said that on repeat the last two years) meant defeat. Let’s just hope having Chris Jordan back for the final few games means that they can have enough fire power to leapfrog Worcester in the table and stay up.

The positive about the cricket season coming to an end means that the NFL season is just a few weeks away! 25 days to be precise. Literally cannot wait this year. I will run a blog on a season preview at some point in the coming months. Could be all change this year. The Seahawks look like they are going to try and throw the ball. The Patriots have plenty of new faces and don’t look like they’ll have Brady for the first 6 weeks (still be 5-1). The Packers look very good, as do the Colts. There are a couple of cracking bets I’ve lined up at bigger prices but I’ll touch on them another day.

With regards to the racing. I’m hearing from Proform Racing towers that a brand new feature is being prepared for the upcoming jump season called the Cheltenham Trail. It will preview up to 80 of the major races that lead to your Cheltenham Festival bets, with facts, figures, stats and trends. Looks a cracking development and I will give you more details as and when they come through to me.

Looking forward to York this week. The Juddmonte looks an absolute belter with Gleneagles taking on Golden Horn. Time Test is no back number either. Should be the race of the year so far. Very much looking forward to seeing Acapulco in the Nunthorpe. She looked an absolute beast at Ascot and gets more allowances than the cast of benefit street. She might break the track record. Gutted that for the 3rd year in a row I can’t go. Bad planning on my part. I’m hosting Sussex vs Essex on Wednesday then on Coral TV duties the rest of the week.

I must end this edition with a note to my beloved pal Bryn Jones who we tragically lost in a car crash in Zante at the weekend. So many fond memories I wouldn’t know where to start on talking about them. He was an infectious character that just made life great. He was my neighbour for a few years with his Mrs Cat, who for the record is just nothing short of a diamond. My heart goes out to her and all of their family. Bryn was 29 and a massive hammers fan. We went away together and always bumped into each other at Upton Park. We were together just a few days ago celebrating beating the Arsenal and being general boys amongst a crowd of gooners. The Zante family has shown themselves to be nothing short of remarkable in their efforts to support Bryn’s family. Saturday was a particularly tough day. Being so far away has not helped. Rest in piece pal. You know that every time I ever sing bubbles I’ll be thinking of you. Now have a word with the big man upstairs and get us in the Champions League.

Mark

Proform