Roy Higgins Quality preview

by Admin on March 6, 2015

Race 5 – 3:10PM LISTED Roy Higgins Quality (2600 METRES)

Speed Map

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The pace looks to be ok without it being too genuine with Zadon and Tuscan Fire expected to be the on pace runners. Unsure who will take the lead outright, could be a surprise runner with a change of tactics which is hopefully notified by the stewards pre-race.

You Think So also has the potential to push forward like he did last start, but they went at an extremely slow tempo which rated well below the benchmark. Martinvast has also in the past push forward with some successful, including here four runs back.

Our Market:

This market is of our systems ‘raw’ prices which is set to 100% with every runner rated >$21 eliminated. Champion Picks clients get a market <100% on a wagering sheet which also blends in the public price of each runner to find a wagering edge.

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Tuscan Fire

Produced another good effort last start behind good galloper Taiyoo who has defeated him in last three starts. That galloper is the early Adelaide Cup favourite on Monday.

Was defeated four runs back here by You Think So but did race keenly and close well late to the line on an unsuitable tempo. Looks to be in excellent form that only a three-four of the gallopers are in. Also receives a good map on the pace with their only one other runner likely wanting to do so.

With only a 1kg weight rise from last start he is only require to produce a similar rating to recent starts to be the one to beat. Clearly a backable overlay on the early price.

Martinvast

Went well to line last week when back to 2000m after over racing early. Was preferable to be much closer to the speed to threaten that time of the day. Sharpens him up to coming up in trip again on the back up. Receives a small jockey bonus with Dwayne Dunn back on who rode in previous two starts, including two runs ago when racing keenly again on a very slow tempo, which is a disaster but he was still good enough to finish only a half length off the winner.

Been a long campaign and hasn’t won since August 2013 but receives his best chance to win for 12 months on our predicted ratings.

You Think So

Had all favours on a crawling speed last start and was just beaten on the line. Race was run over 15L slower than the benchmark.

Very inconsistent type that is capable of finding little luck, a poor attribute to have. Seems to rate superior when settle within 4L of the leader as proven with win here three runs back.

Every time he has produced a new PB or near it he has crashed at his next start. That is expected here and as our rated price shows we are prepared to work around him. Is expected to keep drifting.

Recommended Bets:

We will be recommending our clients to use our licensed wagering sheet to back the early overlays TUSCAN FIRE & MARTINVAST race morning.

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The Rabbitohs cannot go back to back!

by David on March 4, 2015

Says Scott Woodward of our NRL service

The testimony against the South Sydney Rabbitohs going back to back in 2015 is overwhelmingly; they cannot win.

Stats gurus each year earn themselves a “free” holiday by opposing the Premiers, and it is hard to challenge their reasoning which has naught to do with the imposing list that Souths coach Michael “Madge” Maguire has at Redfern.

They still have a champion side and what is scary for the opposition is that half back Adam Reynolds looks to have gone up a notch and is now the world class organiser that he promised to be.

Glenn Stewart is arguably the best right edge forward in the game when in form and if Laurie Daley is serious then he should play Origin this year, while the Rabbitohs other major recruit, Tim Grant will also be after his Blues jumper.

The departure of Grand Final hero Sam Burgess has created a “hole” in the middle and we are yet to see who will be the long term solution. Bench warmers Ben Lowe and Jason Clarke shared the “middle” duties in the WCC against a tackle shy St Helen’s last week, but that is like replacing Phar Lap with Raddish.

Stewart will play on the right edge and the naughty John Sutton will play on the left which leaves a massive job for whoever is plugging up the middle. Perhaps the very promising Chris Grevsmuhl is the long term solution, but there is no doubt that the coach has a dilemma as Kyle Turner and Chris McQueen are also edge players.

It remains to be seen if John Sutton can last 26 Rounds in the forwards, although he will look like a center as he tries to avoid the tough stuff in the middle.

Coach Michael McGuire has a 54/83 (65%) record at Souths and he has shown us that he is a master at solving problems like when he replaced Bryson Goodwin and Joel Reddy with Dylan Walker and Kirisome Auva’a, but somehow the likeable brother in laws have found their way back into the top 13. Auva’a may be back and the coach also has gun kids Aaron Gray, Angus Crichton waiting to blood in the big time.

The playing list is looking good and promises to get even better, but the stats guys don’t care about list management, they only look at data and it says in big bold letters that the Rabbitohs cannot win.

We all know that no team has gone back to back in 22 years, but just as intimidating is the fact that no team has flown back from England and won the Premiership this century, in fact, only two teams (The Roosters in 2003 and the Melbourne Storm in 2008) have actually even made it to the Grand Final.

To add to the frequent flyer points many of the key Souths players have endured flights to NZ for the Auckland Nines after they flew to Arizona for some high altitude training, not to mention a stoush with a bouncer who was happy to turn a blind eye as he held out his hand for a Luke Burgess “offload”.

The Rabbitohs most valuable player, Greg Inglis has been in the Nines, the Charity Shield and also danced at the Indigenous All Stars match before playing a full 80 minutes against St Helens. High risk, and a wonderful advertisement for the game, but will it come back and bite him deep into the season after he plays in the ANZAC Test Match and three Origins?

History says it will.

The NRL are conscious that the power and the pace of their modern game is “killing” their most valuable players and they have indicated that we may see more teams introduced playing in a shorter home and away season to allow more matches in the UK.

The logic behind the stats is very clear; the modern day NRL player only has so many “miles in his legs” and history has shown us that after 26 rounds most players are “shot ducks”, especially the forwards.

The Bulldogs and the Panthers made the top four last season because they both had very deep lists with quality depth in most positions. The Cowboys, the Sea Eagles, the Storm and the Roosters simply ran out of fresh troops.

History shows that to win the NRL Grand Final now you must have the weeks rest. Sam Burgess was a basket case during the Finals and without the week off it is doubtful if he would have been able to play and he had several team mates who also could not train.

The speed and power of the modern game makes it virtually impossible for any player to give 100% every week and then back up into the Finals. You only have to look at how many players lowered their personal ratings after they played in the State of Origin.

Jonathan Thurston and Michael Jennings were exceptions but every other player dropped in their individual ratings including Greg Inglis, although he was still world class. This attrition contributed to the Kangaroos fielding their weakest team in memory and ultimately losing the Four Nations to the Origin free Kiwis.

Sam Burgess was regarded as one of the toughest and fittest players last season and unashamed said that his body could not take another season of NRL. His great rival, Sonny Bill Williams was also “patched up” to play in the semis last year and he also would be looking forward to resting his body parked in the centers playing Union.

We now have four certainties in the world; life, death, taxes and the NRL Premiers cannot go back to back!

NRL betting tips and previews

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Ep 074: NRL betting with Scott Woodward

by David on March 4, 2015

Scott Woodward is a highly successful NRL punter having produced 10 winning seasons over the last 11 years.

He joins us on the podcast to talk about the 2015 season.

Punting Insights:

  • His predictions for the Top 4 and Grand Final
  • Why he is convinced Souths won’t win the premiership
  • Two teams written off by many but which Scott expects to play finals
  • The varying importance of game replays, stats and team contacts

Today’s Guest:
Scott Woodward heads up our premium NRL tips service.

Get the Transcript:

>> Click Here to Read the Transcript

Transcript to be published Thursday March 5th.

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Make sure you don’t miss our punting tips to come! Subscribe on:

or you can directly download this episode by right-clicking, Save As Here.

What Do You Think of the Show?

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Australia had a day to forget at Eden Park with the bat, the middle order came unstuck which I was worried about. The fact that Clarke has had no match practice showed when he shelled out to cover struggling to time the ball. However Australia did its country proud in a classic fight back with the ball, Mitch Starc bowled out of his skin to get his side back into the game but unfortunately his 6 wicket haul was ultimately let down by the batsman not posting enough runs. Mitch Johnson didn’t fire as expected which hurt the aussies as he went for over 6 an over in a tight game.

My initial thoughts on this game were that Australia would want to bowl first to help increase the net run rate. However after the display put on in Eden Park I think Clarke’s men will want to bat first and compose a good total to get them back on track. It’s a no brainer who wins this contest (Australia), I think Australia come out and make a statement in this game. After a quiet day for Mitch Johnson on Saturday I’m expecting fireworks at the WACA and a 5 wicket haul is not out of the question.

If Australia win the toss and bat I expect a big total to be posted on this bouncy waca pitch. I am expecting a big game from Shane Watson, the only reason I say this is because his spot is severely under pressure in the side with James Faulkner now declaring himself fit. Watson loves to bash up the minnows and will capitalize on this opportunity here.

Suggested bets

Mitch Johnson Top Team Bowler @ $3.75 1u

First Innings 100 to be scored Yes Currently at $2.53 (only take this if Australia bat first) 1.5u if you can get above 2 after the toss. Only a 1u play for 1.70-1.99 and no play below 1.70

Top team run scorer Shane Watson @ $5.00 0.5u

Andrew Malone @malonecricpicks

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NRL ratings set for another big year

by Admin on March 2, 2015

Scott Woodward has returned profitable ratings in ten of the last 11 NRL seasons

In a year when the vast majority of published NRL tipsters returned negative figures, we again finished on top with 77% of our last 30 bets winning (> 100 units) and returning the exceptional Profit on Turnover of 34%.

We were huge winners with our exotic bets with our Ht/Ft bets also winning at 77% and returning a POT of 33%. Our line bets at the plus margin won at 65% of the time and returned a POT of 26%.

All up and including our “slow” start to the season we registered a total 13% POT. It was the tenth year out of eleven that we have been profitable.

As you can see by our posted results, we started with two poor weeks but after making an adjustment to our stats algorithm we cashed in big time. We had underestimated the new rule changes and how the coaches re-acted to them. The advantage that we have is to be able to complement stats with human experience and to make changes when required.

2015 promises to be the best ever and already we see exceptional value in the Premiership market.

Members will get Scott’s personal ratings of each match during each week (generally Tues) and a copy of suggested investments when it is considered the bet is value, although members can always compare the ratings with the market.

Get your FREE copy of Scott’s NRL 2015 eBook; it is compelling reading whether you are a “Super coach” or just a punter looking for an edge.

Brisbane Bronco’s Video Preview

Likely Team:
1. Jordan Kahu
2. Lachlan Maranta
3. Dale Copley
4. Justin Hodges
5. Daniel Vidot
6. Anthony Milford
7. Ben Hunt
8. Adam Blair
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Josh McGuire
11. Sam Thaiday
12. Alex Glenn
13. Corey Parker
Bench: 14. Matt Gillett,15. James Gavet16. Kodi Nikorima17. Mitch Dodds

2015 Coach Wayne Bennett – The living legend returns home after winning 6 P’ships here. He has ravaged the playing list and appears to have made some very astute calls despite some of the big names that he sacked before losing Darius Boyd (6 months) to injury which may turn out to be a blessing. He still has some work to do and 2016 is more likely to be their big year.

TEAM RATING = 10th, 121.5/170:

2015 Coach: Wayne Bennett; RATING: 9/10

TO WIN PREMIERSHIP: Only won 5 from 12 away games in 2014 and lost their last 5 on the road. The first thing new coach Benny needs to do is to get his team winning away from home. Boyd getting a long term injury creates many options including Jordan Kahu and “Billy Slater clone” Greg Eden may get a start now in the early rounds. Anthony Milford is one of the true genuine super star talents in the NRL and he has never had a coach like Bennett so the mind boggles what we may see, but first I expect a focus on defence and playing out 80 minutes. Milford is the club’s best fullback but they have plenty of other contenders and not many able to play 6 although I love it when Hodges moves in to play a pivot role, he is so dangerous.

Ben Hunt completed 2014 as the halfback with the most tries, line breaks; tackle busts, run meters, kicking meters and kicks. Impressive stats but he has a long way to go with tackle five options and running the team as the general. Having two running half’s in Milford and Hunt will be great for scoring points but they are both poor defenders and obvious targets for teams. Hunt and Copley both made 19 line breaks in 2014, amazing stats.

I am going to be fascinated to see how some of the big names are managed with some of these dynamo forwards. I have a huge opinion of Corey Oates, James Gavet, Mitch Garbutt and especially Joe Ofahengaue. If Justin Hodges stays sound then Jack Reed has a problem as Dale Copely is vastly superior. Also Alex Glenn was a favourite of the previous coach and it remains to be seen if he is in Bennett’s top 13 plans long term. Matt Parcell looms as a 2015 find with the reputation as one of the fittest and fastest players in the NRL. The Broncos have to back up from a pre-season match in the UK, never a good thing to do and have a very tough draw.

Dale Copley, Matt Gillett, Corey Oates and Jack Reed all had off-season shoulder surgery.

Canterbury Bulldogs video preview

Likely Team:
1. Brett Morris
2. Sam Perrett
3. Tim Lafai
4. Josh Morris
5. Curtis Rona
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Trent Hodkinson
8. Sam Kasiano
9. Michael Lichaa
10. James Graham
11. Tony Williams
12. Josh Jackson
13. Greg Eastwood
Bench: 14. Moses Mbye 15. David Klemmer,16. Frank Pritchard, 17. Aiden Tolman

2015 Coach Des Hasler – His teams have made 5 of the last 8 Grand Finals in a stunning achievement. He had no right to make the GF in 2014 by finishing only 13th with tries scored, and despite a “soft” draw they kept on winning based on a brutal first 40 minutes and clever tactics.

TEAM RATING = 6th, 123.5/170:

2015 Coach: Des Hasler; RATING: 8/10

TO WIN PREMIERSHIP: Incredibly only won 6 from 12 at home, but achieved an excellent 7 wins from 12 away. Much will depend on if Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson play Origin again as they both failed to “fire” after in 2014. I rate Michael Lichaa a better hooker than Ennis so that is a plus and obviously Brett Morris is world class and he will finally offer some much needed dash from the back but he has had shoulder surgery and only commenced his pre-season in this month so will swap with Perret at times. Expect the pack to be more mobile in 2015 and we may see the promising Lloyd Perrett get some more game time.

Trent Hodkinson is the incumbent half back for NSW and he actually scored the winning try to clinch the series for the Blues but for mine he still remains a weak link in attack. I agree with Brian Smith when he said that “Hodkinson cannot make a decision on the run”. I did not sight him in Origin 3, and he also went missing in the Grand Final, not what you want from your “General”.

The dogs had a dream draw in 2014 and incredibly met many teams when they had major injuries. They will be a force again but they can run against me at the odds on offer. They finished #1 for All Run Meters and their great defence will take you a long way, but to make the GF and average scoring under 20 points is highly unusual.

Canberra Raiders video preview

Likely Team:
1 – Jack Wighton
2 – Sisa Waqa
3 –Jarrod Croker
4 – Edrick Lee
5 – Jeremy Hawkins
6 –Blake Austin
7 –Mitch Cornish
8 –David Shillington
9 – Josh Hodgson
10 – Dane Tilse
11 – Josh Papalii
12 – Iosia Soliola
13 – Shaun Fensom
Bench: 14 – Paul Vaughan, 15 – Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 16 – Josh McCrone, 17 –Joel Edwards

2015 Coach Ricky Stuart – Clearly the most over rated coach in the game’s history; expect to yet again be a “Wooden Spoon” contender but not because of a lack of talent on his playing list.

TEAM RATING = 13th, 119.5/170

2015 Coach: Ricky Stuart, RATING: 4.5/10

TO WIN PREMIERSHIP: Conceded a poor -74 points diff for home games winning only 4 from 12. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Blake Austin and Josh Hodgson are excellent recruits but they still are lacking that organizing general although we saw signs of improvement in young Cornish in the trials. Campo is gone and Stuart is putting his “eggs” into the basket of Mitch Cornish and clearly the season will come down to if he is up to NRL standard as an organizing halfback. Two and three years ago I would have said yes as he was in front of Anthony Milford but he never continued to grow and improve and from what we saw last year he will struggle at NRL level. I hope I am wrong, and if Stuart has a strength it should be with a 7 although that has not been evident at his previous two clubs.

Josh Papalii should move to prop (but I doubt he will) and while he is not there just yet he will be and they have no one any better. There is nothing in this list that would suggest a marked improvement from a poor 2014 despite the strong list of juniors which really is very special with an abundance of talent waiting.

Blake Austin is a real talent but he is a runner and will need Cornish to run the team. Is Jack Wighton a fullback? I have no doubt he is a talent but I am not sure what his best position is which is a problem in itself as he is replacing Milford and he is no Milford. The errant pom Hodgson is an outstanding recruit although they have 4 hookers. Ricky has got it right when he says that this team needs time as they are very inexperienced in key areas, but you get the feeling he will still be saying that in 12 months. Jarrod Croker and Sisa Waqa both scored 18 tries in 2014 but they both struggle in defence for different reasons.

The Raiders have an excellent bench but they are very weak in the backs which will leak points, but I loved what Jeremy Hawkins did in the trial against the Storm. He could be something.

Cronulla Sharks video preview

Likely Team:
1 Michael Gordon
2 Sosaia Feki
3 Ricky Leutele
4 Gerard Beale
5 Valentine Holmes
6 Ben Barba
7 Jeff Robson
8 Sam Tagatese
9 Michael Ennis
10 Andrew Fifita
11 Luke Lewis
12 Wade Graham
13 Paul Gallen
Bench: 14 Chris Heighington, 15 Jason Bukura, 16 Bryce Gibbs, 17 Anthony Tupou

2015 Coach – Shane Flanagan. While ever he puts his support behind the very average Jeff Robson in the crucial 7 spot he will never rise far in my ratings. He has improved this team over Stuart but has a lot of “brownie points” to make up after overseeing his players taking drugs.

TEAM RATING = 14th, 118.5/170

2015 Coach: Shane Flanagan; RATING: 6.5/10

TO WIN PREMIERSHIP: They only averaged scoring 14 pts per game in 2014 and need to get it into the 20s if they are to be a contender.

The Sharks are not lacking for stars and their big prop Andrew Fifita has the talent to be the game’s best big man player if he can control his off loads. Despite the big names and the massive capacity, they still lack a class on field general to ensure their 5th tackle options are correct. Robson lacks the quality and Barba is going to have to step up but I liked how he improved at 6 when a Bronco last year

I have never understood the Sharks recruitment strategy as they have let some wonderful kids go and replaced them with “has beens” although Jack Bird is a coup and let’s hope his ailment does not cut his career short. There does not seem to be any long term plan and a total focus on winning round 1.

This team comes with a heap of baggage, but they have a class forward pack and are capable of defeating any team when they are at full strength. Barba was just starting to look comfortable at 6 when at the Broncos and his form will decide how the Sharkies go in 2015. I would like to see him pair up in the halfs with Fa’amanu Brown (when fit next year) which would really give the Sharks scoring power, something that has been sadly lacking. Valentine Holmes and Fa’amanu Brown (injured in Nines) are two very promising kids and it will be interesting where the coach plays them, but Holmes must be a strong contender for fullback and wing.

Tomorrow Scott will look at the Titans, Manly, the Storm and the Warriors.

Get Scott’s Round 1 personal ratings

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Weekend Racing review – February 28th

by darryn on March 2, 2015

Warwick Farm review by Todd Burmester

Race 1
1st Sasenkile – Serg Lisnyy
2nd Phrases – Blake Shinn
3rd Danjeu – Jason Collett
This week the cup of tea race over a mile and a half was the first on the program. Sasenkile was a bit slow to go and went back to last, as did Dream Folk, and Ghost Protocol was also snagged back. Phrases did as many would have expected and led them to the post the first time, but was going very slowly in front so Planet Purple and Danjeu strode up out wide to see what he was doing. Danjeu initially stayed three wide, but eventually worked up outside the leader at about the 1500m mark. The rider on Dream Folk wasn’t happy with the pedestrian pace early, and strode up to the front at about the 1200m mark. Before the turn, Phrases went back to the lead, with Danjeu coming out after it, Artibai was three wide and Blazing Dragon was trying to come into it even wider, with Sasenkile hooking around it from the rear. Realistically it was a slogging affair up the straight where Danjeu looked to be going to Phrases, but then it kicked back, and Sasenkile rounded them up from last, for what was a pretty good win, even if these are no world beaters!
Follow: None

Race 2
1st Exosphere – James McDonald
2nd Odyssey Moon – Ty Angland
3rd Wolf Cry – Hugh Bowman
Half the distance for race 2, with Salerno quickest to begin, and it was then taken on by Mogador and those two shared the front from Wolf Cry and Odyssey Moon. The short priced favourite, Exosphere got back towards the rear together with Sebring Sun who was wide. Mid race, Salerno kicked back through to lead, and Sebring Sun was let loose pretty early as it wasn’t helping by being wide and near the back, which meant McDonald on Exosphere was off the fence and trailing him up, and then came around him as they came into the straight. In the straight, it was a one act affair as Exosphere showed a blistering turn of foot to leave them standing still. On the line he had about four lengths to spare and looked a pretty good horse.
Follow: Exosphere

Race 3
1st Always Allison – Glyn Schofield
2nd Speak Fondly – Kerrin McEvoy
3rd Tibrogargan Miss – Luke Tarrant
It was a patchy start in The Sweet Embrace with Italy a bit slow to go along with Alpina and Mowgli. The Queenslander, Tibbrogargan Miss was quickest to jump and led from Speak Fondly, with Always Allisongetting a nice run behind them on the fence. Circular was caught three wide on the speed. They came off the fence as they turned for home, where Speak Fondly was throwing out the challenge the Tibborgargan Miss, but you could see Always Allison coming off the fence and hooking around the heels of Speak Fondly to challenge. In the last part of the race, Always Allison took a little while to wind up, but then finished off nicely to pick up Speak Fondly, with Tibbrogargan Miss fighting on nicely on the fence to hold third. Back in fifth, Italy ran on nicely after not going the early pace, and might be a horse that looks for a bit more distance.
Follow: Italy

Race 4
1st First Seal – Blake Shinn
2nd Supara – Tommy Berry
3rd Slightly Sweet – Kathy O’Hara
Adrift began badly and ended up at the rear of the field immediately after the start. A few of them wanted the top end early with High Above beginning well from out wide, Lucky Raquie using its inside gate to drive through and Candelara initially wanting to be involved, but then it eased back to take the sit, however couldn’t get in as a couple booted up inside of it, which were Supara and Amicus. Adrift was then in midfield but very wide on the track. First Seal was just minding her own business back in the field, and Winx found itself back last. Around the turn, First Seal was very wide, but that’s where the ground seemed best and you could see her letting rip with a big run. In the final furlong, she made them look second rate, racing away to a three length win under hands and heels riding. I dare the say the pattern of the day may have helped a little bit, but none of these would beat her if you ran the race another ten times. Slightly Sweet in third was not a bad run over towards the fence. Winx didn’t do a lot today, but again did make some late ground.
Follow: First Seal

Race 5
1st It’s Somewhat – James McDonald
2nd Rudy – Luke Tarrant
3rd Gypsy Diamond – Sam Clipperton
Malavio and Destiny’s Kiss looked to be slow to go in race five. Aomen and Hot Snitzel had the front as they settled down, with Thump in third. Red Excitement got a very nice run a couple of lenghts back off them.It’s Somewhat, who was the eventual winner also had a nice run in midfield and looked to follow Red Excitement into the race. On the home turn, Red Excitement went wide, whereas It’s Somewhat saved some ground before coming around the leaders. It’s Somewhat struck the front with about 150m to go, and given his form is over longer distances you always knew he was likely to be strong to the line. Rudy chased through nicely for second and Gypsy Diamond and Malavio finished their races off very nicely down the outside, but realistically, all honours here go to the winner, and more so to James McDonald for a brilliant ride. Red Excitement was very average in the straight.
Follow: Gypsy Diamond

Race 6
1st Contributor – James McDonald
2nd Hartnell – James Doyle
3rd He’s Your Man – Blake Shinn
Junoob missed the start in The Chipping Norton. Weary ended up finding the front when they settled down which was a bit of a surprise. He led from Ninth Legion, Fiveandahalfstar and He’s Your Man. Contributorwas out wide initially, but then got one off the fence outside of Silent Achiever and not too far off the lead which was an ominous sign for his rivals. Boban was very wide back in the field. Up towards the turn, He’s Your Man was off with its run three wide, so McDonald got going on Contributor four wide. Silent Achiever was being ridden to try and get on the back of Contributor. By the time they reached the furlong, Contributor had the front and you thought he was set for a fairly comfortable victory, but it was hard to miss the run of Hartnell who weaved its way through from the back of the field, closer to the inside of the track and made a race of it. In the end, Contributor still had them covered, but it will be interesting to see what the second horse does from here. John O’Shea and James McDonald could be set for utter domination as a combination in the future. It was pleasing to see He’s Your Man run a good race today, and Who Shot Thebarman was very good from a future viewpoint. Lucia Valentina did her best work late, and Fiveandahalfstar also gets a pass mark for its run, as does Silent Achiever. Again, this is one of those races where you are best to track down the replay and have a look.
Follow: Hartnell

Race 7
1st Danesiri – Christian Reith
2nd Cosmic Endeavour – Tommy Berry
3rd Mahara – James McDonald
A pretty good start for the big field in race seven, with Tarloshan showing the most pace to settle down in front from Solicit and My Sabeel who was wide, but that didn’t seem to matter so much today. Solicit kicked through on the fence to lead coming towards the turn, but there looked to be runs coming from everywhere out wide. The widest of those was Danesiri who made up ground quickly to be challenging for the front up towards the 300m mark. Cosmic Endeavour had also gotten through back closer to the inside, and those two looked to have a share of the lead soon after. Danesiri had the most momentum from that point onwards and went on for a very strong win. I can’t help but point out that this long priced winner was a video watch special in this column a couple of weeks ago, so I hope that you had something on. When the winner goes widest and beats them, it is hard to recommend anything behind her today, although the second and third horses will pick up more races.
Follow: Cosmic Endeavour, Mahara

Race 8
1st Press Report – Jason Collett
2nd Earnest Ernest – Brodie Loy
3rd Floral Insight – Priscilla Schmidt
Floral Insight led when they settled in the last event from Carpossa and Perfect Weapon, Big Buddy was caught out very wide. The favourite Le Cordon Bleu got a nice trail in behind the speed. Press Report, who was the eventual winner and well in the market got back to second last. Around the turn, Floral Insight still had it, with Le Cordon Bleu getting up inside of it. Half way up the straight they were all over the place withEarnest Ernest getting up on the fence and Press Report running on strongly down the outside. Earnest Ernest hit the front, and had a look at the post, but I am not sure he likes winning all that much, and that combined with Press Report finishing absolutely brilliantly meant that it was another minor placing for poor old Ernest. It was an interesting days racing, with a number of winners, including this one looking very impressive, but did they find a bit of a fast lane? Their subsequent form will tell the story, but perhaps be a little bit wary of short odds next time out.
Follow: None

Specials from the meeting: Exosphere, Hartnell

Our Melbourne review will return next week.

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Australia vs. NZ World Cup preview

by David on February 27, 2015

By Andrew Malone

This is by far the biggest game of the tournament from an Australasian point of view and both teams come into this game on fire.

Australia smashed rivals England in their World Cup opener by over 110 runs which made a statement to the competition in that they are rightfully favourites to lift the cup. Two players performed well above their best in M Marsh and A Finch, these were the two players who in my eyes Austrlia would be “carrying” through the WC but it’s great to see both full of confidence after the first game.

My main worry is the fact that Clarke comes in at 5 without any real match practice and although he is a quality batsman this could leave Australia exposed if Smith gets out early with no anchor to stabilise the innings around our power hitters. The advantage we have is that if Smith or Clarke can build an innings we have an abundance of power hitters to capitalise around them. Finch, Warner, Maxwell, Watson, M Marsh, Faulkner, Johnson depending on who is selected.

NZ have got on a bit of a roll of late beating Sri Lanka by 98 runs, bowling Scotland and England out for less than 150 each. Their proven ability to get early wickets and utilising the swinging new ball will be a massive factor in NZ’s performance come Saturday. Again Southee and Boult will open providing pace and swing through the air. I think NZ hold the edge in that their bowling is better suited to the conditions and as a result they have a larger margin of error before the batsman can get “on top of the bowlers”

The Ground… Eden Park has some of the smallest boundaries for an international venue. The straight boundaries measuring at a measly 55m from the strikers end seems to have thrown a curveball. How do you bowl? How do you bat? These are interesting questions, the easy answers would be bowl short forcing the batsman onto the backfoot, but then you will see batsmen walking down leg and baseball swinging over the long on rope, even a mishit with today’s bats and the speed of a Milne or MJ will ensure a 6. I can see 370 plays 390 here. Because of the small boundaries I think chasing will be a massive advantage in this game as 15 an over isn’t out of the question at the end of the innings.

Keys to victory.

For Australia to win on Saturday the following needs to happen.

  • MJ needs to have his radar in check… Raw speed will ensure he gets smoked to all corners, if he is short but not directed well all NZ batsman can use his pace to hit boundaries square of the wicket… anything full that doesn’t nip around will get sent over his head knowing anything but an edge will go over the rope and at 45m straight boundary behind the batsman an edge is a great chance to go over the rope as well.
  • The attack needs to swing the ball consistently to force the NZ batsman to worry about the movement.
  • Watto needs to bowl his 10 overs. His ability to swing an ageing ball and the fact he bowls mediums is very handy for Australia as he can bowl back of a length with Haddin up to the stumps to keep the bats in the crease forcing them to play shots to parts of the ground that can be easily defended.
  • Wickets are key! There is only so much damage control you can do on a ground like Eden Park so you have to be attacking. Wickets is what will slow the run rate down for the bowling side and its hard for the batsman to score runs from the pavilion.
  • Clarke or Smith need to anchor for the whole innings, with power hitters like Finch, Warner, Maxwell, Watto, M Marsh in the unit Australia need someone at the other end feeding them strike so that they can play without fear, if this happens 375 is easily achieved.

For NZ to win

  • Southee and Boult needn’t be afraid to pitch the ball up. The swing these boys can get showed England that you have to negotiate them as its hard to force shots against a swinging ball. If these two pitch the ball up and swing it then the slips will be a massive chance as warner finch and watto won’t be able to help themselves but drive on the up.
  • Big Mac needs to play outside of himself. He has played Australia 42 times with an ave of 28 although being in the form of his life he needs to bat well for NZ to win.
  • Williamson needs to show more on the big stage. No question that this kid is a star but he has looked shaky to say the least so far in the tournament, Saturday is the perfect chance for him to score a big hundred anchoring an end for Big Mac, Taylor, Anderson, Ronchi to go big down the other.
  • Big Mac needs to captain like he has done so far this Tournament… Brendon has been very attacking so far this WC and needs to be again his cut throat mentality has caused England and Scotland to crumble and if exposed, Aussies middle order could come down in a heap.

Recommended plays

  • For those of you that jumped onto NZ to win the Group at $2.75 as suggested last week there is no need to make a ML play as we could leave ourselves to exposed. If NZ lose this then our future is most likely gone as well. You can hedge with backing Aus at $2~ to win the group if you like but my lean is on NZ to win the match so I’m gonna take a punt and let it ride. If you didn’t get on the future then I would play NZ for 1u at anything over 2.20 (2.30+ easily available)
  • Over 1.5 Wickets first 15 overs. I think this is a great play considering both teams have quality bowling lineups that will swing the ball early. Currently at $1.72 at Sportsbet take this for 1u and add another unit at anything over $1.60 if Aus bat first as Warner, Finch, Watson are all likely candidates to snick up early.
  • Total 6’s OVER as mentioned this ground is tiny, no line has been released yet for the game but I would happily take anything up to over 16.5 at $1.90~ for 1u
  • Total 4’s Under same principle I think 4’s and 6’s will be pretty even this game as the boundaries are small and you will get more value going over the top. Take anything under 55.5 (ie 55 and above is a bet) fours at $1.90~ for 1u
  • Kane Williamson Top Team Runscorer Sportsbet .5u at $4.33 with the Hits a 6 refund.
  • Steve Smith Top Team Runscorer .5u at $8 with hits a 6 refund… stupid odds considering this man is in the form of his life and Aus can easily lose early wickets to give him plenty of time in the middle.
  • M Starc over 2.5 wickets .5u at $3.50 at LUXBET. 0.5u play. His ability to york players whilst swinging the ball should see him taking wickets here plus he is turned to at the death when wickets present themselves.
  • After the toss it will be interesting to see what the total line for the 50 over score is set at… will update a suggested play on twitter if there is one (likely)
  • Live betting is a great opportunity to make some serious coin in cricket. Markets adjust rapidly and I think the markets will adjust heavily in the favour of the side batting first if a score of 350ish is achieved even though I believe this to be a par score on the day, therefore some value may be found backing the chasing side. Will advise on a betting strategy on the day via twitter.

Happy punting and best of luck for the rest of the tournament
Andrew Malone
@malonecricpicks

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Exotics explained: how to find value

by David on February 26, 2015

Below is the full replay of last night’s discussion on the best way of making money with exotic bet types such as quinellas, exactas, trifectas and quaddies.

Greyhound punter Greg Lethe, racing punter Nathan Snow and Rewardbet founder Greg Conroy join David Duffield to discuss exotics betting.

The slide deck and some other notes are available at the RewardBet website.

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This week’s special guest is someone who is living the dream of many punters.

Andrew Hannan is a successful full-time punter and our Betting 360 podcast chat focuses on how at a relatively young age he has been able to develop a ratings model for Melbourne racing that has a clear edge on the market.

Punting Insights:

  • Why he enjoys the challenge of betting as a full-time career.
  • The importance of speed maps, videos, trials, trainers and jockeys.
  • Why some form factors lose their profitable edge.
  • How all of that comes together in assessed prices.

Today’s Guest:
Andrew Hannan

Get the Transcript:

>> Click Here to Read the Transcript

David Duffield: I wanted to talk to you about your background and also some Melbourne Metro ratings. Where did your interest in racing come from, just as a kid?

Andrew Hannan: Well it was interesting, cause I came from probably a different perspective to everyone else, as I didn’t really have that deep knowledge or passion for racing as a kid. I mainly was one of those normal bandwagon guys who would jump on at the spring carnival and go to the races at Flemington here and there. I personally got interested in form analysis, instead of the actually the races themselves first.
It was only until really, simply horses like Black Caviar came along that I actually fell in love with the horse. It was actually form analysis that I fell in love with first, the puzzles and the interesting theories that people had about it. I got into that when I was 17 and started doing my own markets and analysis at that age.
I had some fantastic mentors like Deane Lester, who really helped me at the start, to gain a very basic understanding at first and then getting to the more complex things. Just really have learned a lot in a very short period of time. Still loving it just as much as I was back when I was a kid.

David Duffield: Sounds like you kind of skipped a few years, in a way, ou said that you’re into the form analysis right from the start. Where do you start, at that time, when you don’t have, say a decade in racing or a father to drag you along every Saturday. How did you go about learning the process of form analysis?

Andrew Hannan: It was basically just emailing people that I thought could help me. As I said, Dean Lester was one of those, I probably cluttered his inbox a bit too much to annoy him at the start. They were really gracious with their time and helping me sometimes ask, probably stupid questions to them, but I really was just quite ignorant at the start. They really helped me grow pretty quickly in doing probabilities for horse races.
Obviously I’ve gotten a lot better at as time has gone on and gotten to a point now where I’m really satisfied with the systems that we’ve implemented and hopefully can use those to find a few winners for the Champion Picks clients.

David Duffield: We had Nathan Snow on the podcast a couple of weeks ago and he mentioned that he really enjoys the mental challenge of it all, and there’s eight puzzles to solve every afternoon. Do you have a similar approach?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, absolutely. Although it’s mainly the computer which is actually doing the probabilities, we still like to have a look at it ourselves and particularly the top races. I guess every analyst gets excited when the good horses and the spring comes around. The winters can be quite long for some of the analysts out there, but it’s certainly something that we do really enjoy.
I guess the perfect example of that was just last week with Lankan Rupee versus Deep Field, it was a bit of a battle royale going on about who was selecting who. People were all putting their points forward- which were all very valid and obviously Lankan Rupee came over the top. We certainly- just like Nathan said – we certainly do enjoy the puzzles that we have to solve every weekend.

David Duffield: It’s the, I suppose the positive advantage or expected value, whatever you want to call it, that appeals to you. I know you’re not the type that wants to sit at a pokies and just bet. It’s the mental challenge, but also the edge that you can get that really does appeal?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, absolutely. I guess, advantage gambling in general, is a fascination of mine even though I basically just stick to wagering and horse racing wagering in particular. It is certainly a fascination of mine and I like to read a lot on it and read academic papers and so forth. It certainly is a very big passion of mine.

David Duffield: You talked about trusting what the model has generated, but to get to that further stage you need to have the earlier stage, which is trying to work out what are the most important form variables or inputs and ratings and things like that. I know you won’t want to go into specifics, but just in general terms, what is included in that analysis process?

Andrew Hannan: Well, yeah, there are dozens, and dozens, and dozens of variables in a horse race and we like to input as many as we can, it’s just about prioritising them really. There’s no real secret to what the major ones are. I think all people who do the form whether it’s on a big computer system or a newspaper would have the same major ones.
It didn’t take too much time to realise the important ones, because they’re naturally the first ones you think of, but it’s how to input some more little ones and how to fit them into your probabilities which I find interesting at the moment. There’s always new ones popping up and there’s ones which become popular with the media and the general public just like speed maps probably are now.
Once you’ve seen them in a newspaper which we’ve certainly been seeing as of late, you know that the more modern and general punter is understanding of them. The edge with those variables does become decreased, so you obviously got to find the other variables which haven’t really picked up on yet and hope that the value is still there with them.

David Duffield: It’s almost like staying two or three years ahead of the mainstream?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, that’s right. Even back in 2010, 2011 when I was doing speed maps, when I started doing probabilities I started doing speed maps, that was told to me that it was much required, that was still an edge back then. Even though most of the jockeys are having them and the trainers, it seemed the general public didn’t use them. Or the professionals did but the general public didn’t really have a major understanding of them. That’s changed significantly and everyone has a good understanding of them now. Everyone has very similar speed maps anyway, so that edge is certainly gone. It’s just about trying to find the next one.

David Duffield: The speed maps are a key part in what you do in terms of the likelihood of a certain horse winning a race, but you’re saying in terms of the value that they can bring now, compared to a few years ago, that value has almost disappeared?

Andrew Hannan: Yes, I do think so. It’s not only because the public has picked up on it, for example if Horse A is the only one on your grid in the on pace position and on paper it looks like it’s going get in late. It’s not necessarily because the punters are going to pick up on that and back it, it’s also because the jockeys are seeing it and the trainers are seeing it. They try and do something about it, naturally.
At Champion Picks we’re working specifically on Melbourne races, they are very smart jockeys and they’ll pick up on it. Sometimes what can look a positive on paper could turn out to be a negative, that’s where you’ve got to be very careful and not necessarily just back a horse because it has a good map.
Generally speaking we don’t like to back a horse just because it has one good variable, particularly if the horse just has a good speed map and that’s why you back it, I think that could be pretty dangerous.

David Duffield: What about something a little more subjective such as luck in running or video comments? How do you factor those in?

Andrew Hannan: We certainly do factor them in. We obviously have the video comments and we read them and if we have any issues with them we certainly look over the tape and try and quantify what we are seeing through the video. Whether it’s a horse being caught wide or it’s laying in or laying out sharply. Check all those sorts of things.
In our systems we are able to subjectively quantify and input it into the ratings and that’s what we try and do, as best as we can.

David Duffield: Again, something that can be quite subjective, what about trials and jump outs?

Andrew Hannan: We certainly do watch them. As I said, we don’t back a horse or lay a horse because of a jump out or trial. We don’t like to, as I said before we don’t like to do that, just the one variable. We certainly do look at them and there are more expert eyes than us on them, just like Dean the Trial Spy with Champion Picks.
Generally speaking, good horses will trial well, nine out of ten good horses will trial well. Is it really worth giving nine or ten horses in a field, in a Group 1 a positive factor because they all tried well? There are arguments for it and against it. We certainly input it, but it’s not a major one.

David Duffield: What about trainers and jockeys, how much of a part do they play in the overall analysis and then the probabilities that the model produces?

Andrew Hannan: We certainly do factor them in, David. Jockeys more than trainers. Jockeys, I still think, are underrated by the market, particularly in metropolitan races. It’s funny when you see some apprentices when they get found in a sticky situation and the plan that they decide to do can be a lot different to what a senior jockey does. What I mean by that is senior jockeys seem to have more than a Plan A and a Plan B, and their reaction seems to be half a second quicker than everyone else.
I think a good example of that was if you watched when the Hong Kong guys came down for the autumn and spring last year, in particular Zac Purton’s ride in the Doncaster on Scared Falls. You can just see once a gap opens they just do not think twice, they just take it. I guess that’s part of the Hong Kong racing where they’re all jockeys and the snap decisions that they make are so much quicker than they seem to look on races in Australia. I certainly do think that jockeys are still underestimated by the market, for sure.

David Duffield: So all of that goes into the mix and then the prices, well the probabilities which are then turned into prices are produced. Why have you chosen 92% as the best percentage to frame your market to?

Andrew Hannan: It’s obviously done with a bit of research. When I originally started I started with 90 percent. Obviously, since then the market has got a lot more smarter. The efficiency of the market is very good, so I moved it up closest to a hundred percent-to 92 percent.

David Duffield: Then you’ve identified the overlay, the staking we’ll discuss in more depth at another time but it’s to the effect of the greater the value the more you want to outlay on that horse?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, that’s right. That’s Kelly’s criterion and we obviously have a certain interpretation of that and that’s what we like to use.

David Duffield: Okay, but there are certain races where you don’t want to get involved as well?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah absolutely. I’m not an advocate of betting on every race or every race that we do probabilities on, I’m more than willing to state for the clients that we just want to leave this race alone. The main reason for that is if our market is very similar to the public, so we’re just very quick to move on to the next race. There’ll certainly be plenty of races where we’ll do that. So it’s not necessarily a negative, it just means instead of just blatantly putting bets on for the sake of it, we’re happy to move on.

David Duffield: But you’ve found the Melbourne Metro Racing suits your style in the analysis that you do, and the ratings that are produced. Then obviously there’s a reasonable amount of liquidity in the market, you probably hoped there’d be more if a few of the corporates would take a bet. It’s a good mix?

Andrew Hannan: Yeah. The Melbourne stuff is going very well. We find our system seems to analyse the top grade runners the best, in particular all the stakes racing. That’s mainly because their patterns are very predictable and you can get a much better understanding on what a trainer is trying to do with this runner because you usually know where their target is and their fitness and what not. Yeah, our systems do very well on the higher class racing and yes, Metropolitan Saturday’s in Melbourne comes out of that category, yeah we really enjoy wagering on those.

David Duffield: I don’t think I mentioned your betting and business partners name before, Jim and you work in tandem, you’ve got an office and a pretty good set up there. But is it a bit different than where you thought you’d be going through school and then university and the like? Did you ever think you’d be a full time punter?

Andrew Hannan: I didn’t, certainly not. I guess I just caught the bug and just loved it. I’m really enjoying it and making a good living out of it, so Jim and I enjoy each others company, even though we see each other a lot of the time. Still great mates and we really enjoy what we’re doing. So hopefully we can bring that along to the Champion Picks clients and hopefully they can enjoy the ride as well.

David Duffield: Yeah, that’s definitely our plan. On another audio we’ll go into a bit more detail on how a ratings member can use the information you’ve produced. Just wanted to give people a bit of insight into your background and also there aren’t enough guys who are young and keen and have been bitten by the racing bug, so it’s just great to meet a couple that have been.

Andrew Hannan: Yeah, absolutely. I certainly give plenty of time to young people who have questions and I’ve certainly got mates that are very interested in it and some just don’t really understand it. Anyone who’s got any questions, I’m more than happy to answer it for them. The better people can get an understanding of this caper the more enjoyable they’ll find it. Yeah, let’s hope the joint venture can go well.

David Duffield: Absolutely. All right. Appreciate your time today, Andrew. We’re really excited to have yourself and Jim on board and look forward to a whole bunch of winners.

Andrew Hannan: Beautiful. Thanks, David.

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Exotics explained: how to find value

by David on February 24, 2015

Join us for a discussion on the best way to make money from exotic bet types such as quinellas, trifectas and quaddies.

We’ve lined up three expert guests with differing backgrounds and opinions on the pro’s and cons of the exotics:
Nathan Snow – NSW thoroughbred pro punter and former bookmaker
Greg Lethe – 25 years and counting as a professional greyhound punter
Greg Conroy – founder and CEO of free exotics software/app provider RewardBet

We’ll cover topics such as:
Where can you find the most value?
What are the most common mistakes punters make?
How you can try to predict dividends?
How do professionals go about their exotics betting?
Can free software help improve your results?
Is it worth chasing jackpots?
We will also answer all of the questions you submit on the evening via our chat pad.

>> Click here to register now for this FREE online event.

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