Thursday, October 30, 2008
Martin Crowe's commentary of the Caulfield Cup
1:45 Boundless trying to get out but he is pocketed behind a wall of horses, He's out but has copped a knock! Oh the humanity.
2:10: He's commencing a run. Oh he's been smashed by a flailing Maldivian. Oh, it's just NOT FEEEEEEEER!
2:20: Oh he's been pulled up after running into the Back of Maldivian... hold all tuckets. This race is an absolute TRAVESTY! THIS IS JUST NOT FEEEEEEEEEEEER!
2:28: Oh I have consulted my manual I'm sure TREVOR BLOODY CHAPPEL IS A PART OWNER OF MAL-DEEEEVIAN. THIS IS JUST NOT FEEEEEEEEEEEEEER! I Repeat hold all tuckets.
3:00 All the Good winner past the post, but I am sure we will hear more in the stewards room about thus. Again, nothing here has been FEEER. It's happening again, we've been underarmed out of the Caulfield Cup. It's a massive CONSPURICY against Boundless!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
AFC: If you shop around at the moment, you can get close to $20 on the Chargers winning the Superbowl. This is great value. Sure, they are 3-5 at the moment, but die-hards fans of the game know that they start the season 3-5 every year! You'll be sitting pretty with those inflated odds when they go on their annual eight game winning streak shortly. As the Professor touched on, the Titans miserly defence cannot be overlooked in Superbowl calculations. Can they win a Superbowl with Kerry Collins who must be around 50 by now at QB? Well, remember that Tampa Bay won with the unfashionable (and old) Brad Johnson, who is presently leading Dallas around the park with the aid of a walking frame.
The Steelers...I still don't know how they won a Superbowl with Ben Roethlisberger. Fantastic one week and diabolical the next. I've never seen a QB put so many passes right on the chests of the opposition. Right in the bread basket. The guy has to be colour-blind. I would never draft him in a fantasy league. Ever. Anyway, they did win a Superbowl with Big Ben (and that was the worst ever Superbowl-winning QB rating), so they must be doing something right, but I'm prepared to leave them out of my betting portfolio. The only other team in the AFC that I would not totally dismiss is Jacksonville. Similar to the Chargers, look for them to be playing their best football in the back half of the year, provided their injury situation improves.
NFC: The NFC appears to be there for the taking for the Giants. They get a tick in every box but for the occasional Eli Manning meltdown. Teams that could trouble them for a Superbowl spot include Carolina, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Chicago and Dallas (if they get it together consistently). So after pencilling in the Giants, it's very open as to who they might play in the NFC Championship game between the aforementioned teams. It's hard to fathom how you could still get $17 on the Giants to win the Superbowl after Week 3; needless to say, I had me some of that. I've also had nibbles on my beloved Buccaneers, and, if they can find some red-zone offense, they are still very good value. Particularly, as if they make their way to the Superbowl, it just happens to be played at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa. Yaaarrrgghh!!!
My halfway Championship games selections:
AFC: San Diego @ Tennessee
NFC: Tampa Bay @ New York Giants
Superbowl: Tennessee @ Tampa Bay! More likely Tennessee vs NYG, but yer never know me hearties!
Looks like we both agree that the Giants and Titans are looking good at this stage, but a long way to go.
Monday, October 27, 2008
First in our video series of "Melbourne Cup horses you know nothing about"
I present to you a dual Auckland Cup winner.
Won the race on a dead track, and on a slow track. This years run was grittier than last years...
If you cast your gaze to the sidebar on this blog and look at the "Kelt Capital" video, you will see a quality stayers run (it's grinding along the fence - from the tail to 6th, forget about the fact that there are a few speedier types - she wants 3200!)
Will definitely stay, will provide nuisance value, could be a value one to slip a couple of dollars on for the place. Oh yeah, whatever that clown O'Donnell will tell you now, the Kelt form is teh awesome.
Your Derby winner: more than likely Whobegotyou...
JB keen on the tough on-pace run of Orca, and it is hard to fault. They went out hard and set the race up for the favourite. Orca was the only thing to stick on.
All in all I will probably have the weekend off of punting as a sharpen-up for next Tuesday, but Orca looks the quniella pick.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
This race would hardly cause connections to panic as yet but Master O Reilly and Sirmione did absolutely naught.
Zarita stuck on okay, C'est Le Geurre got held up a touch...
Zipping a good horse at this point of his career. If he is to feature next Tuesday he will need to have developed a bit over the past 12 months but the stable knows what it is doing...
Friday, October 24, 2008
Lets talk Cox Plate:
2. MALDIVIAN (59.0) 6
4. THESEO (59.0) 12
5. MASTER O'REILLY (59.0) 11
Captain: Danny O'Brien has said as much, that he took one look at the possible Cox Plate field and thought "why not"? Just a final top-off run. Should be too dour to be winning this at this stage of the campaign. If he wins this, I will have to question his dourness to win the Melbourne Cup.
Captain: Wary that I trashed the prospects of Barbaricus last week and have eaten humple punter's pie for dinner every night this week, I will simply say this: not for me.
Captain: I sound like a broken record but Mick Price said during the week that he hadn't even considered the Cox Plate until he looked at the possible line-up. Not sure about this fella at WFA. I am probably going to leave him out, think he is under the odds, but certainly wouldn't shock me if he got up.
WHAB: "So CLG, can you spring a bit of an upset in the Coxy?!"
CLG (in deep Max Walker-ish voice): "That bloody great big storm cloud up there says I can...!"
9. PRINCESS COUP (57.0) 9
Captain: She's a great mare and you wouldn't begrudge her this, but where will she sit? Can she mow down Samantha Miss giving her 9.5kg and a big head start? Would have kept C. Newitt in the saddle for this one, no matter how good Opium Bosson rides her across the ditch. The Valley is unique. C.Newitt knows his way around there. A massive chance nonetheless.
Captain: Wouldn't be the silliest bet of all time, but I don't like her chances at the trip, WFA and the Valley circuit. Really looks to be best suited in handicap races, probably in Sydney. I will save her for such an occasion.
12. SAMANTHA MISS (47.5) 2
Captain: Yes the Sydney 3.y.o. fillies that she has smashed all Spring long look below average. And yes Miss Finland could only manage 6th as a 3.y.o. in this race. But Samantha Miss did knock off Sebring who is a pretty handy customer at the back end of the 2.y.o season. And she will not have to contend with Fields Of Omagh, El Segundo and Pompeii Ruler as Miss Finland did. Princess Coup, Zipping and Alamosa don't seem quite so imposing. Think she'll get a handy spot from the gate and will win. If she gets the trip and handles the track and doesn't win, it will almost certainly be a Glen Boss butchering, a la Snitzel in the 2005 Magic Millions.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
3) Master O Reilly
7) Mad Rush
Captain: Happy to leave him out. A wait and see approach.
Captain: Great win in the Yalumba. Will probably take a sit in this one and looks a good value chance at $17. Second in this race last year. Respect.
Captain: Here's your winner. A tick in every box.
Professor - if a Kiwi horse is going to take this one out, it is this guy for mind. Have a look at the Kelt replay on this site and eat up some of the $16 on offer.
Captain: See Viewed...but with double the anger!!! On recent form, what is this doing at Caulfield today? Nevertheless, a genuine Kyneton Cup hope.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Captain Carnage: Brazil 'A', I mean Qatar, are definitely one of the better sides in Asia. If you take away the two hidings against Australia their results are as impressive as any of the other Asian nations.Having a washed up '70's rocker like Robert Plant wannabe Bruno Metsu at the helm definitely helps their cause as his outfit of jeans and sports jacket seems to inspire players wherever he goes.
I can't even wear jeans to work! This is one of those games you can worry about because of the ease of our last two victories against Qatar and football being a funny game and all. But I have faith in the Aussie boys and the Pimp to get the job done. I'll be happy with 1-0 to be honest. Go Socceroos!!!
JB:Well tonight promises to be a match up that could go two ways, namely, they score an early goal and play a 10-0-0 formation, or we go on to continue to maintain Qatar as our bitch of the Asian confederation. No Kewell, no matter; the Qld fans will be there to support Roar captain C. Moore back in the Socceroos lineup and there isn't a roos fan who won't sell their first born to see Timmy Cahill in action in the green and gold. Prediction, tough to call, hope for a great home ground start to the campaign, fear the Brazillian come Qatar players who easily have the potential to poach a goal. The Pimp wants to top Guus as the most succesful Australian coach, the pressure is on and will be on at every qualifier. I like the integration of A-league players but at the same time I trust Pimp to pick a team to get the job done. Pimp for PM, well that is at least until ... I dare not say it. Those there at the ground or watching at home, be sure to keep an eye out for yours truly jumping and screaming in a stadium full of Australians.
Well JB and the Captain are off to Suncorp to make lots of noise, lots of camel jokes and to drink in celebration of another glorious victory for the green and golds!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Transfers out: Red Lord and Zarita
Transfers in: Fernandina and Von Costa De Hero
Shirtman and I have seen the terrific value to be had in Fernandina. Von Costa De Hero can look average until the big Group 1 races. Think he's been looking for this trip all along. In terms of the Star Stable, the Guineas is the one we all need to nail tomorrow...a cool $600,000 for the winner!
Shane Watson, you are rubbish. You have no place in the Australian Test side at 6. You have no place in the Test side bowling. Test cricket is not IPL T20 hit 'n' giggle son.
No EPL this weekend. What the hell am I suppose to do when I get home from the pub on Saturday night?!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Things you'll see:
Harbajhan being a tosser, the boring Aussies reporting him after the day's play rather than cocking the fists, Lillee-style.
Either Jason Krejza or Cameron White geting smashed all around and out of the ground.
Harbhajan being a tosser. Aussies being tossers back.
Silly crowd banners.
Harbhajan being a tosser, making chimpanzee noises.
Crowd making chimpanzee noises, scratching under their armpits.
Harbhajan being a tosser, then realises that Symonds isn't even playing. Stops making chimpanzee noises, continues being a tosser.
Ponting winning the toss on a heavenly day 1 batting deck (after Stuart Clark withdraws citing some dodgy curry the night before)..."We'll have a bowl"...
India smacking 450 on day one (Krejza/White, 0/168) for the loss of two wickets.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
In the past 20 years, 4 horses have won the Turnbull-Cox Plate double. And these have been Super horses, Makybe Diva, Northerly, Phantom Agent and Better Loosen Up.
In that same time period, 4 horses have won the Turnbull-Caulfield Cup double. Northerly (who won the Cox-Caulfield and Turnbull in the same year), Elvestroem, Sky Heights and Lets Elope.
Turnbull-Melbourne Cup winners? Well, that's even less frequent: Makybe Diva in 2005 and Let's Elope in 1991.
So should we throw the form from the Turnbull away or not? Does Littorio have a spring that follows the illustrious path of a Elvestroem, or are we looking at a career highlight, Sphenophyta style?
Two reasons for optimism: 1) Littorio has put together a body of work this spring that has looked fantastic as a whole. A big win yesterday and two fast finishing runs over unsuitable trips prior to this. 2) Has a stayers pedigree - whilst he has looked a non-winner in the past, he always looked a good older horse - so this is no fluke spring.
The reason for being a little pessimistic? We could be looking at a true vintage crop (pardon the pun) of stayers this year. Even in the absence of Tuesday Joy, there were four runs behind Littorio that you have to take a longer look at:
2) Master O'Reilly: Long Run. A Sustained 300 meter run from the turn. Very, Very strong.
3) Zipping: Took a while to respond to being shaken up. Tried to follow Master O'Reilly, but couldn't respond. The good news was that his run had a lot more pace to it than that of Master O, with a fitness edge, this could be the one.
4) Efficient: A very nice run. 2000 is far too short. 2400 will be still too short, but if he runs and there is pace??
5) Guillotine: Ran on pace for fitness? Stuck on better than the more fancied types. Did almost everything wrong, pulled for the first 1000 metres, couldn't find a run when he tried to shake it up. Think that with a gear change and some average luck, he could have been winning this.
There you have it. Too much ink has been devoted to the poor run of the Hussler, but you can add Maldivian to that pile. This years Turnbull was a showcase for the countries best stayers, and you have to think that it will provide a better lot of form than Turnbulls past.
So there are five stayers that I am working around over the spring.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Jockey: C. Brown
Oh it's on!!!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
It astounds me that Manly are favourites for Sunday's season decider. They are certainly a chance to win, but favourites? The Storm looked pretty good to me without Cameron Smith last week, so no problems there. Manly are set up here for a another primetime choke. They are apparently much better than last season despite finishing with roughly the same amount of points on the ladder and instead of beating Melbourne once, they have lost both those clashes in 2008. It is somewhat difficult to line up the form of the two teams because their opposition in the preliminary finals were about as lame as can be. Melbourne looked patchy in their loss to NZ and thriller against Brisbane and then seemingly just had to turn up and let the Sharks shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly. Manly have thrashed the Dragons and NZ, two teams who, at the time of said thrashings, looked like they'd thrown in the towel for the year, and possibly already booked end of season trips for the following week. So who has had the better preparation? I think the Storm. They have been pressured in two of the games whereas the Eagles won far too easily to be comfortable with their lead-up matches. With that in mind, I expect the Storm to get out of the blocks quickly and really make the Eagles players go back to that dark place deep in their minds; memories from last year's grand final. They'll be out to put that nagging doubt through the Eagles and if they get on top early, they'll win. The packs are pretty evenly matched, so looking for some big grand final hits from both sides. Some other grave concerns for the Eagles are the lack of form from Greg Inglis in the last month and Matt Orford's potential kicking game meltdown. I would be very scared that Inglis is just about to light it up on the grand final stage again. And I would be very scared that Orford is once again going to stink it up in a big game.
In summary, Manly are a very good team...but I just don't like them. Plus my old man is mates with Cooper Cronk's old man so my whole family will be cheering on the Storm. Plus I win a small fortune if they get home. Admittedly, the chances of me going for Manly were never good but I am firm in my belief that Melbourne are the better team. And when you consider all of the whereto's and whyfor's in the above paragraph, the Storm are terrific value at $2.10. Inglis for the Clive Churchill medal at $8.50 will do me just fine. Go Storm!
Manly's favouritism shouldn't astound anyone who has watched them dismantle team after team for quite some time. In a matchup of the two best teams in the competition this year, it is not easy to pick a winner but I will go with momentum and take the Sea Eagles. In the last five weeks, Manly have reeled off 5 big wins. Through this stretch scoring a monstrous 36 points per game and allowing 10.8. In fact, Manly's dominance would be even more apparent if they had had a pulse coming out of the gates this year - dropping their first two games and 3 of their first 5.
If momentum is one reason that I will take the Sea-eagles, the other is some key personnel. Missing Cameron Smith may not look like a big deal when you are playing a thoroughly chokeriffic Sharks side. Against a team which will create pressure with its defence is another story.
And the guy that will play a far less ballyhooed role than Greg Inglis but could have the same impact? That's right, Manly's own Corn-rowed answer to the Rocket-man Rod Kafer:
Getting on to the Rocket man at $34 for the Clive Churchill medal is just common sense. If you think that Manly are the goods to win this one, there are realistically 5 guys you should be looking up for the CC. Take the 1,6,7,9 and the dominating centre.
Matt Orford: $7
Jamie Lyon: $13
Brett Stewart: $8
Matt Ballin: $21
Steve Matai: $34
In the Storm case, lets do the same thing:
There's your 10 guys to "work around." Of those 10, I wouldn't want Orford at $7. Most of the time I hear about Orford's good games, he plays a manager type of role and that is not going to get you a CC! Cronk I would have to think likewise. Brett Stewart and Slater may not see the room that they are used to so I think that you are really looking at 3 or 4 guys. Inglis, Folau, Ballin, Lyon and Matai. Given I am working around a Manly win, Ballin, Lyon and Matai are your guys. Especially Ballin. There has been some long-overdue recognition of his excellent season in the channel 9/Sydney media this week and that seems like it might gain some momentum.