It’s been a strange January so far…

I’ve had a bit of man flu for the last week or so and I don’t think I’m alone in that – there’s been some unpleasant stuff going around.

Worse than that however, is the general malaise/lack lustreness (pretty sure that’s not a real word but I don’t care) I’ve felt since the turn of the year.

Hard to put my finger on what exactly has been wrong but I’ve not really felt like doing very much. The overall feeling hasn’t been improved by the weather and the lack of racing it’s caused but it’s not a good feeling to have when you’re self-employed. There is no benevolent employer in the background to pick up my tab if I don’t pull my weight for a week or so!

With that in mind, I thought it was about time I pulled my finger out and got a post on here for all you lovely Make Your Betting Pay readers!

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There are a couple of things to round up since I was last here:

The MYBP Christmas Tipping Competition was won by Ashy (who also won a previous tipping competition on the site – quite some feat!). He secured the prize by finding Monbeg Dude in the Welsh National along with Long Run in the King George.

He was closely followed by Big Al, ColinR and Devon Donkeys in joint second place. Congratulations to all – vouchers have been sent (and probably spent by now as a result of me being so slow with this post!) A big thank you to everybody who took part – I’m guessing that the next tipping competition will take place over the Cheltenham Festival – keep your eyes peeled because there will be some great prizes for that one.

And Celebrity Big Brother:

I mentioned in my last post that I would be interested to hear what Frankie Dettori had to say for himself while closeted in the Big Brother House with a gang (not sure what the collective noun is for this kind of group – a ‘failure’ perhaps?) of other Z list celebrities

Not very much as it turned out!

Considering how voluble and lively he appears in everyday life and the fact that I’ve always rather liked him, I was surprised by his lack of visibility in the house. It was almost like he’d sent in a dull, cooking obsessed doppelganger to represent him.

I thought he had a great shop window to recruit some new fans to racing and I was hoping that he would use the opportunity to tell us how/why he managed to get himself banned – but I waited in vain for him to say anything even remotely interesting on that, or any other subject. To go out in 7th place was better than he deserved!

Big Brother (and betting on it as an in running event) has been affected dramatically by the changes in the voting structure over the last couple of years. Previously, apart from in the final, viewers would vote to evict the housemate they liked least. Over the last couple of years, this has been turned on its head with viewers now voting to save their favourite housemate.

A fairly smart move by the programme makers as it generates a lot more revenue from calls!

At first glance it doesn’t seem to be a huge difference – but, believe me, it has changed the entire complexion of the show.

Previously, contestants who were pleasant, quiet and unassuming could often go deep into the competition because they would receive very few votes to evict. However, they now seem to leave fairly quickly (when up for eviction) because, by the same token, they also receive very few votes to save.

Conversely, really unpleasant housemates are far more likely to survive deep into the competition because viewers can’t vote to evict them.  Even the most horrible housemates seem to develop a perverse fanbase who want to keep them in just because they are livening things up. This has been made much easier to do with the ‘vote to save’ switch.

This fundamental shift in the show has been demonstrated by the performance of Heidi and Spencer (Speidi) in  this series.  You’d be hard put to find a more unpleasant pair than these two but here they are, having survived to the very final day of the competition.

I think we can learn a very profitable lesson from all this – and to be honest, that’s my only reason for  watching this putrid show!

Nasty house mates will be surviving longer under this new format  –  and  I don’t think the betting markets are fully reflecting that fact  at present.

A week or so ago it was still possible to back Speidi at 75.0 on the machine – when it was clear to anyone with half a brain that they were going to go all the way no matter how unpleasant they were.

It is now possible to lay them at 9.6 and make some serious profit. Were it not for the near certainty that Rylan Clark will win (1.16 best available price) they would be even shorter than that. I’m still not wholly convinced they won’t win.

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To finish up today, I thought I’d give you my thoughts on the Cleeve Hurdle tomorrow at Cheltenham.

It’s looking like racing will go ahead  and I personally think that Oscar Whisky is massively under-priced for the contest.

Not many bookies have priced up as yet but 6/4 about Oscar Whisky makes absolutely no appeal to me.  I don’t dispute that he’s the class act of the field but he is utterly unproven over 3 miles.

The only time he’s attempted the trip was in last season’s World Hurdle when he finished 5th beaten 12 lengths.

I know Henderson thinks he will get the 3 miles without any trouble but even the best trainers  are a little blinkered when it comes to the abilities of their own charges and when you add to that Mr Henderson’s proven  propensity for tucking us all up, I remain to be convinced.

Now, he may well go on to prove that was just a blip and he wasn’t right that day – and no one will be happier than I if he does.

However, I think he is equally likely to confirm that he is a very good horse over 2m5f but just an average one over 3 miles and  6/4 doesn’t offer anything like enough scope for me to take a chance on him.

Reve de Sivola, on the other hand, is a confirmed stayer and for me, he looks the the one to beat. I would have the first and second favourites the opposite way round in the betting  so the 9/4 looks like decent value.

I’m hoping that I will get 11/4 or even 3/1 when more of the fiddlers price up later!

The only others I might be interested in for a small each way are Lovcen and Kentford Grey Lady – currently 25/1 and 14/1 respectively. Again, I will wait until a few more of the bookies have priced up before I get involved.

That’s all from me today – have a great weekend

Kieran

PS It might be worth taking a touch of the 8/1 about Reve de Sivola for the World hurdle now. Get a nice free bet come tomorrow tea time!

3 comments

  1. I shall be watching Lovcen with great care as I’m on ante post for the World Hurdle @55 to place, now 10 on Betfair. Need him home safe and sound tomorrow!

  2. Hi Kieran,

    Tomorrows Cleeve Hurdle looks to me like Walkon.
    I think Reve De Sivola and Oscar will have problems giving away 8lbs.
    Kauto stone is the one I fear most but he doesnt seem to go well with Ruby on his back
    and was pulled up last time

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