Thursday, October 30, 2008

No more bets before cup day...

Apart from these guys:

Shopping early with the attrition rate of Cups fields is not to be advised at this late stage... More than anything, the top horses in the market are having a day off on Saturday, so we are not likely to see too much movement at the top of the market. 

The ones that could come in are going to be based on their performances in the Mackinnon and the Saab. Lets first consider the Saab.

Motley, motley bunch of runners in the Saab this year. The market will be very uninterested in the winner of this (as will I) unless it is Moatize. Moatize - always had potential and will be smashed in betting due to that and the Cummings factor if it wins the Saab handily - which looks possible. $3 each way for now at $100+ sounds like a plan.

The Mackinnon is more interesting for early betting at this point. Three horses could re-enter the collective consciousness with good runs in this race: Red Ruler, Barbaricus and Littorio. If you are interested in these ones, get in before the weekend.

Otherwise, you are probably going to do yourself a lot of favours by keeping it in the pants until Tuesday morning. Apart from the four I have mentioned, I can't see anything that will start tighter than what they are paying now.

Martin Crowe has eyes only for Boundless.

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!

WHAB's Melbourne Cup edition

Our annual Melbourne Cup preview will be up on Monday morning. Get all the latest on "the race that stops a nation" from three punters who will actually be there! There's nowhere WHAB won't matter how tough!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halfway (sort of) Superbowl predictions...

At this point in the season, it seems a good time to nominate our top picks for the NFL Superbowl. Of course, we will as always be trying to find you a value bet or two!


AFC: I have been burned before, always looking for teams with skill players in abundance. This year, think Chargers. Right now, I am looking for teams that have the strongest Offensive line and defence.

The AFC team that embodies this best is the Titans. Allowing a lean 11 points a game through 6 games, and with an offensive line that has made a lot more of the RB platoon of White and Johnson than most expected, this team is strong. QB is an occasional concern, though with the run game that these Titans own, game management from that spot is all they need. A solid investment at $8. 3rd stingiest defence in the league with 268 yards per contest and the great news is that most of their offence is coming on the ground - 154 yards per game.

To complement the Titans, the Steelers can be forgiven for the fail today against the Giants. Not the greatest day for the Roth, giving up four turnovers, but not too many teams have an offensive line that could allow a third string running back to put up the numbers Mewelde Moore has over the past fortnight. A return of Willie Parker and a bit of calmness under centre and these Steelers can rebound quickly. League's stingiest defence.

NFC: Pretty hard to look past the Giants, 6-1, the games 4th stingiest defence at 275 yards per game and 2nd best offence at 395 yards per game. Oh yeah, and a league leading 165 of those yards are coming on the ground. Built to repeat this year.

Right now, given that they sit on the bottom of their division at 4-3, you can shop pretty well on the Eagles. 4 point losses at Chicago and Dallas don't read badly, and a 6 point loss at home to the Redskins (minus Westbrook) reads okay as well. I have them here because I think that they are yet to click completely and despite this have been ultra competitive.

So you are shopping better on the Steelers and Eagles then on the Giants and Titans. To me, it would shock if your Superbowl wasn't played out by two of these four teams.


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.

"Brad, Romo's down, we need you!"

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.

2008 Newburgh Handicap, All The Good

All the Good indeed gapped this mob.
Read that Bauer was an unlucky loser here and wanted to check that out.
He got flattened so 7 lengths is not the right number, but ATG was going to pants him along with the rest.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meet a foreign Cup chance: Prize lady

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.

2008 AAMI Vase, Whobegotyou

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

Cox Plate 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

Captain's Star Stable...on life support!

It's been one kick in the teeth after another for the Captain and his stable. Can't take a trick. I blame the horses. I've done everything I can to get these hacks in winning form and they've let me down! Anyway, after looking into drafting CLG, I discovered that Samantha Miss is less expensive...someone explain that one to me! Maybe Star Stable know something about the weather tomorrow that we don't. Anyhow, Samantha Miss is in for Efficient who is not running again until the Melbourne Cup but will be back on board for the big one. Needed the money. Theseo is in for Zagreb who didn't even run in the Caulfield Cup, even after I told him to harden the fuck up! Soft. Theseo at 100k just makes sense considering CLG was out of my price range (must be a big storm-a-comin'!). I've used this juncture to make my one and only jockey change with C. Brown dropping out. When you wave your winning Regimental Gal Magic Millions ticket at M. Rodd he gives you a crack of the whip in salute. When the Professor cries out in a drunken drawl "niiice riiide Rodddddyyyy!", after he's booted home a first-starter at 25-1 in a seven way photo, the Rodd-star gives not a single, but a double fist-pump in reply. He is the people's jockey, and as such, I've entrusted him to restore some pride to this shabby bunch!

"Niiice Riiide Roddddyyyy!!!!"

Cox Plate Preview with Professor and the Captain:

Lets talk Cox Plate:

Weak, weak looking Cox Plate field. One has to think that the field would have been more interesting had the Hussler focused on this race instead of the ill-fated 2400 metre tilt. We said it a lot on this blog, backers of the Hussler at $2 for this race and the Caulfield Cup were likely to end up with egg on their faces and after a weak run to the line last Saturday he is not even here. You won't get your money back. Alan Eskander and Rob Waterhouse and that bald guy that Andrew Voss seems to love are thinking about giving the rest of the carnival a miss and going to Hawaii. You have made some very bad people happy, stupid fans of the Hussler and you should all be very ashamed.

And if that wasn't enough, you are now backing Septimus (who would have been my horse if it was Septimus Prime) after beating nothing in Ireland and the books will smile more.

Anyway, Cox Plate. Weak field dominated by a 3 y.o. filly and a Kiwi horse that will likely get too far back at the Valley. I'm avoiding the favourites, though of the two I would take Princess Coup - while the Captain's concern (to follow) about a lack of pace is a real problem, I think that the Kelt form has been franked while the Sydney fillies form is a big ???. For my $$$$ I am looking elsewhere - Theseo and Alamosa are the ones to follow here. At big odds I will take a stayer as well each way. Was leaning towards Zarita, but prior success at the Valley leads me to Master O'Reilly.

1. SIRMIONE (59.0) 8

Professor: Intriguing runner. I thought that the Caulfield Cup may have suited him better on the lead in to the Melbourne Cup but is such a smart horse in good hands that this may be a winnable race for him. Any good kind of a run and watch the Cummings $$$ trail.

Captain: As we have seen in his Mackinnon and Australian Cup wins, has more than enough ability to beat this field. However, Moonee Valley with it's 173m straight, hosted neither of those two races. Thinking you'll be better off waiting for this one to boom home down the vast expanses of the Flemington straight in another Mackinnon, unless a miracle path opens up along the rail. More likely, he'll be 13 deep round the turn, and by the time he gets warm we'll already know who's won the 2008 Cox Plate.

2. MALDIVIAN (59.0) 6
Professor: Likely his best trip after the Caulfield Cup showing. Can only strip fitter after the Caulfield Cup and as an on pace type not without a chance.

Captain: You would think he is just not going well enough. Will be getting swamped as they start to turn and after a tough Caulfield Cup run, I just can't have him. I'd be sure that the only reason he is running is the lack of quality in the field this year. Pass.

3. ZIPPING (59.0) 5

Professor: Very short odds for a stayer who will get a long way back at the Valley. Needs a genuine tempo up front but you can say that for a lot of these (Princess Coup, Master, Sirmione, C'est).

Captain: Similar to Sirmione, will get a long way back and as such, you would think Moonee Valley won't suit. His results here have been good however, and no matter what anyone else says, this is his best trip. Provided the speed is on. Was 6.5L 8th in this race in a far better field last year. I think he'll run well without winning, just to top him off for another 4th in the Melbourne Cup. But seriously, I am not bitter about him ruining my hot Melbourne Cup streak at all.

4. THESEO (59.0) 12

Professor: Defied drawing the carpark for a superb win last start. Drawn wide again, but the combination of career best form and his on pace tendencies make this my best tip. In 2007, he won over 2,200 metres in Brisbane so the trip not beyond him. If they were giving out MacDonalds Vouchers to a most improved horse, it's him.

Captain: Oh boy. Any other year I would scoff at suggestions of Theseo winning a Cox Plate, but he's in with a good shot at this one. On pace, yes. Good form, yes. Melbourne way of going, ??? I've seen many a Sydney horse, particularly those Waterhouse-trained, get it all wrong when they reverse direction. Especially at the Valley. That's my only knock on him. In with a big show.

5. MASTER O'REILLY (59.0) 11

Professor: This is just a run for the Master one imagines. He should be rock hard on the first Tuesday in November. Look for him to be running on late and if he is, definitely start thinking about the Cup! At big odds, his fitness and past successes at this track makes him an intriguing each way proposition.

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.

6. RAHEEB (59.0) 10

Professor: Diabolical performance as a hotpot in the Epsom. Clearly didn't handle the soft track. Returned a little better in his first crack in Melbourne in the Toorak. This would take a big improvement but probably has it in him.

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.

7. ALAMOSA (57.5) 7

Professor: My other big runner in this one. Last start was sooooooo impressive. Back to WFA which is a concern, but hard to leave out after the last one. Remember, he wasn't far away from the Hussler and co over what is clearly that horses best trip. Looked like he had another 400 metres in him (plus change!) in the Toorak.

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.

8. C'EST LA GUERRE (57.5) 3

Professor: Nice run in the Yalumba where he was the only one who defied the bias to come pretty close to the first three. Inclined to risk but not without reservations.

Captain: Any moisture on the track, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and he comes into calculations. Does he have the class to win? Let's ask!
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

Professor: Passing because at those odds you want to avoid something that will get so far back at the Valley. Like many others will need some serious pace on out the front. Red Ruler and Nom De Jeu didn't half frank that Kelt formline last start.

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.

10. GALLANT TESS (57.0) 4

Professor: Looks to be giving up a class edge to Theseo. That combined with the fact that 2000 metres has never looked like what Tess wants means I am looking elsewhere.

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.

11.ZARITA (55.5) 1

Professor: Flopped in the Turnbull last start, though runs prior had a lot of merit. Could do something at hopefully very big odds. Anyway keep your eyes on the Z for later at least.

Captain: If she can park just behind the leaders, I think she can run a nice race at nice odds. You have to forgive horses who aren't named Weekend Hussler for one bad run as well. Hyland put her run down to being ridden too close to the speed. Will throw her in a few fancy trifectas and first four's, can't really see any reason not to. Would be a bit of a surprise if she won, place preferred.

12. SAMANTHA MISS (47.5) 2

Professor: Hard to knock. First go at this kind of trip, and you have to have some concerns about coming from 3 y.o. Fillies races in Sydney to the Cox though. So I guess I have a couple of big doubts. The Sydney 3.y.o.s didn't really have their form franked in the Guineas either.

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

Sex and The City the Movie (DVD) Presents The Professors STAR STABLE UPDATE

If you've come here hoping to follow the exploits of horseface, dirty-whore, the kind of doable one and the other fine role models that I'm sure you're girlfriend thinks are just ace, bad luck.

          They hit the line and it's PARKER by a nose. A long nose.

If you are here for the sage advice of Australia's 3817th best Fantasy Horseracing tipster, then put your slippers on, boil the pot and get ready for two paragraphs of genius.

This week; Cox Plate. I have a few of my stable "stars" in action: Samantha Miss aims to fly the flag as stable superstar. That's not going to get me into the Star Stable thick of things though. Let's think rough, Theseo looks a great addition as it won't be in too many stables and I think it is a fantastic show in an historically weak Cox Plate. Another that must consider itself a good chance in a Cox Plate that gets more ordinary by the instant is Alamosa. Not far off the fallen champ over the champs best distance, wants 2000 metres and oh yeah, loves to sit on pace.

Zipping must come into the calculations as well. You want him around next Tuesday and now might be a decent time to get him in. Sirmione and Efficient are nigh on essential adds at this juncture as well. Tough Call. In the end I decided to take one horse based on "this week" and one with the Cup in mind. For the Cox only; Theseo for $100,000 seemed too good to pass up. For the Cox/Melbourne double: Zipping for $150,000 seems like one to have. It was tempting to drop Samantha Miss  - reason being, everyone has it in their stable and a win for the Miss won't get me out of trouble. But you have to stay safe. As I said, there are rock-solid cases to add Alamosa, Sirmione or Efficient this week as well. Tough  week. Not as tough as an hour of watching Sex in the City with your missus though. 

The Daily Telegraph manages not to completely lose its sense of perspective

Australia's disappointing 320 run loss to India has brought a few things to light about the Australian tilt. One: the batting looks very thin when Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey are out of form. Two: We lack a quality spinner. As much as the selection of Siddle over Bollinger and Bracken has copped some serious flack, he looked the best of the very punchless Australian attack and that is a problem. 

In a series like this, carrying injured and out of form players has been a massive issue for the Australian team, as such the Daily Telegraph has called for the addition of another. Andrew Symonds, of whom the author is a massive fan is not the answer to the Australian teams woes in India. Whilst the Telegraph has surveyed Australian cricket fans on the streets of Lakemba and found 70% in favour of shipping Symonds to India and even manufactured a Qantas boarding pass to India to make their case even more obvious, one must argue that this has been poorly thought out. Andrew Symonds in form is a match winner. His off spin may provide some use against an Indian side that seem to be weak against off spin. His bat would at its best provide a counterpunch that could put Australia on the front foot.

In saying all of this, Andrew Symonds is not in form. Andrew Symonds out of form is one of crickets most heartbreaking sights. Out of form Symonds lives in two worlds, either dancing down the track first ball and throwing away his wicket or doing his best poor mans Katich and looking lost. Either way he won't help in this state. Yet Mike Whitney, the Brett Kenny of Australian cricket (ie. the retired player who always has something incredibly stupid to say to the press) thinks it is a fantastic idea, and so does Barry from Lakemba. Australian selectors, make this happen.

From this authors perspective, the signs of Australia's demise in India this year have been glaring from a long way out. India in Australia last season probably felt unlucky to not have come away with more. With the best batting lineup in world cricket right now, and ever improving pace and spin bowling this was always going to be a fight. Australia's lack of desire to pick a team suited by Indian conditions and the general aging of its batting lineup was always going to make matters worse. 

Just as Australia made a break from tradition a decade ago and marked some of its players with a bright red T for test and O for one day, now might be the time to do the same for subcontinent specialists. One man whose game is ill-suited for the flat tracks of India is Brett Lee. Anywhere else in the world he is the first bowler to be picked and rightly so. In India, bowlers like Nathan Bracken should be given the opportunity to prove their worth. Whilst the Indians struggled with Shane Warne, this should not be confused with struggles against wrist-spin. The Indians face better leg spin than the stylings of Cameron White in the nets. Curiously, finger spin has always been more successful in India (non-Shane Warne division). 

It may be that some of the batting simply requires a freshen. Sending home a few of the struggling batsmen such as Hussey and Hayden and seeing what the backups have got for the remainder of the tour could be a forward thinking move. Hussey can certainly rebound, though he looks in dire need of some time off. Hayden could be done. A 37 year old in his kind of form rarely gets a long time to rebound. As for the bowling, a look at a pace attack of Siddle, Bollinger and Bracken would give the overused Johnson and the unsuited Lee a nice freshen before the summer series in Australia. 

These changes aren't likely to turn the teams fortunes in India around in a hurry, but it has at least as good a chance as the current group. And if nothing else, it gives the selectors a glimpse of what kind of depth is available. Certainly, it is more forward thinking than the ostrich like move of adding Symonds and assuming that everything else will be alright.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Caulfield Cup Debacle

In fairness to WHAB's resident punters, no-one else of sane mind was spruiking All The Good or Barbaricus. Sometimes racing doesn't make sense, just like the "Chewbacca Defense". You just have to say to yourself "this is just think about that for a doesn't make sense!", shake your head in disbelief many times, and dust yourself off for next week's Cox Plate...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Caulfield Cup Preview:

This years Caulfield Cup looks like a vintage field with any number of quality stayers. The Captain and I will run through them to see if we just can't turn up some value.

My thoughts executive summary style: Don't get 4 y.o. Fever. The crop of 4 year old stayers is the best I have seen, however a lot of battle hardened 5 and 6 year olds are slipping through the cracks here.

I like a few horses in the market - Red Ruler, Guillotine and Littorio

I like a few horses in write-your-own ticket land; FU, Ice Chariot and Dolphin Jo.

I don't like the Hussler here. I asked myself a tough question; If the Hussler slipped out to $10, would I want it? No. $15? No. Class is one thing, the ability to stay something entirely different.

Avoiding the imports (Mad Rush and All the Good) until at least Melbourne Cup day.

1) Weekend Hussler:

Professor - $4.80... I don't think it will get the trip. I think that 2000 could be its upper bound, but a super horse and if it is for you then I won't try and talk you out of it.
Captain: I always had doubts he could genuinely stay. Cannot fathom the rush of money for him and am more than happy to leave him out as Caulfield Cup favourite. A true champion regardless of today's performance, it's sad to me that connections didn't target the Cox Plate and the Cox Plate only.

2) Maldivian

Professor - If it gets out to some ridiculous price I might give it a look. Here's my thinking about this guy, on-pace horses tend to look absolutely awful in lead up runs to their target races. So, if you think that he is ready to go (fitter!) then this could be a massive sting at $20+

Captain: For mine, he's just not going as well as this time last year, though I'm glad he's in the race to set a nice tempo for the horses I've backed. Favourite last year, but the field was weaker and I don't think he would have had anything for Master O'Reilly anyway. Not keen.

3) Master O Reilly

Professor - Up hugely in weight from last years tilt with 56.5 kilos (last year 50.5!). Note that some of this has to do with the weights being raised in general so don't get too scared off. Will need to have improved from last year a little though.

Captain: Up in weights but looks an even better horse than last year. One of your serious contenders here, you're not thinking clearly if you're leaving him out of your multiples.

4) Fiumicino

Professor - One that I am yet to back, because I think that $61 on fixed price is under what you will get tomorrow. Regardless, he has so many miles under his belt already, is a seasoned horse, has been in great form (is a joke on the slow so disregard the last one). Suffice it to say, I like him at $61 and I will love him at $100+ tomorrow.

Captain: Was more than happy to back him in some crappy race in Sydney a few weeks ago...far less happy to back him in a Caulfield Cup. Looks like his very best won't even put him in the finish. Likes the wet (the only reason he won an AJC Derby) but failed on the wet in the Metropolitan. Poorly weighted. Do I need to go on?

5) Kibbutz - scratched.

6) Nom De Jeu

Professor - Not for me after the barrier draw - I see the three kiwis form lines as being quite similar, but Red Ruler's run in the Kelt stands out of the three.

Captain: I am leaving out the Kiwis. I think the Kelt form simply isn't on par with the Turnbull form and as such, I'm leaving this one out. Not without a chance but you can't back them all.

7) Mad Rush

Professor - Love Francesca I really do. Will hopefully find a way to introduce myself at the Melbourne Cup but at this stage lets say I would have well prefered it to have run since arriving in the country. Melbourne Cup prefered.

Captain: Francesca Cumani is possibly the most beautiful woman in the world. The Professor won't get anywhere near her at the Melbourne Cup though...there's no way security will let that man close to her after he's polished off 3 bottles of wine and a dozen beers! I like this one for the Melbourne Cup. Think he'll run a nice race here without really looking the winner.

8) All the Good

Professor - See 7, but without the quality.

Captain: Happy to leave him out. A wait and see approach.

9) Douro Valley

Professor - The battlers horse that I have had some great wins on. Will have a nibble tomorrow for old times sake. Also a quality chance but hope to see $20+

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.

10) Ice Chariot

Professor - I will leave this for the Captain, my roughie of choice (even more so than FU!). Hates the mud so disregard last start, but has looked in career best form this prep. Old seasoned horse that has come in well at the weights. If you take one piece of advice here ever, an each way bet on the Chaz is a must.

Captain: All his runs have been pretty good this time in. Anything worse than a dead track and I would have said forget it, but on the dead, why not throw a few bucks each way on this fella?

11) Viewed

Professor - I can't see a cyclone coming in off the coast so I would leave out the mudlark extraordinaire. If it is coming down on Melbourne Cup day, this is your horse.

Captain: It irks me that an in form horse such as Newport, who has a Metropolitan as well as a Brisbane Cup under his belt can miss out on a start in favour of this dubious nag.

12) Littorio

Professor - Yet to put a foot wrong this prep. The knock is that it is in the middle of a long prep for a 4 y.o. horse and hitting a flat spot is not out of the question. On the top of my ratings for this race and I can't fault.

Captain: Here's your winner. A tick in every box.

13) Red Ruler

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 Nom De Jeu. I actually like Nom De Jeu better than this guy at the trip.

14) Boundless

Professor - second pick of the Kiwis. I can't back everything though!

Captain: See Nom De Jeu/Red Ruler.

15) Dolphin Jo

Professor - This cup is extraordinary. Such a bumper crop of 4 year olds that all of the more seasoned types are slipping through the cracks, see $50+ on this and a nibble each way could be a great decision.

Captain: Great roughie. A really strong win last start, albeit in lesser company, but was held up a bit getting out and was a comfortable winner on the line. Looking a better bet for the Melbourne Cup, but you are foolish if you don't have a little bit of this today at silly odds.

16) Riva San

Professor - WANTS.IT.WET. Lacks the class of the other 4 year olds on top of the ground so no thanks.

Captain: Loves this trip and a bit of rain. Not without a chance, though a worrying sign was that she took forever to wind up last start and couldn't reel in Lorne Dancer. Lorne Dancer is not at Caulfield today.

17) Zagreb

Professor - Not as high on this horse as most people. Excuses last start, as G Boss couldn't avoid a clod of ground going into this horses mouth. Poor ride.

Captain: Had a piece of this at longer odds but can't understand the money trail here. A $10 shot makes him another Bossy money train. The Bossy money train is known to derail. Am now hearing he is in doubt for the race so will not tip him for the WHAB faithful.

18) Guillotine

Professor - In a world populated by Guillotine haters, I stand in a small group that can forgive a a 3 year old horse for a poor autumn showing. The spring performances of this horse have been nothing short of sensational. With Simon O' Donnell pulling out barrier 21 for him, it gets tougher but as they say in France, Simon O'Donnell can derelicte my Balls. Go the Tine!

Captain: One of those horses who you leave out because you like other horses better but are still worried about. A big show, but if he pulls even just a little bit starting from the car park then he is no chance.

19) Barbaricus

Professor - No. In a race where you can shop for between $50 and $100 on horses of the caliber of Ice Chariot, FU!, and Dolphin Jo, why on earth would anyone lay down their money here?

Captain: See Viewed...but with double the anger!!! On recent form, what is this doing at Caulfield today? Nevertheless, a genuine Kyneton Cup hope.

Pym 3:16

Even Jesus thought the Socceroos were a special. It's a fact.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Roughriders Star Stable changes

It just makes sense to add last year's Caulfield Cup quinella. were rubbish. The first beaten and a total flop. You are gone. Master O'Reilly in. Absolute Glam has a day off so she is subbed out for Douro Valley. This gives me a Caulfield Cup line up of Master O, D. Valley, Zagreb, Ice Chariot and Littorio. Needless to say, I'm pretty confident...

The Calgary Roughriders Caulfield Cup tilt.

Didn't bother with small change this week. My stable is geared up for one race, and one race only: The Cup.

My stable had a hand of 2 (1 EM) already with Littorio and Guillotine ready for action. The thought earlier in the week was to use some of the surplus funds that I had ($150K), drop Raheeb and Predatory Pricer and buy a $25K horse plus the Hussler. 

Not happening. You are either a believer or you aren't at this stage and I am a non-believer. 

So my $275K had a lot of options. I was looking at a package of horses that included Nom De Jeu, Red Ruler, Master O  and the Valley. 

Nom De Jeu at $200K seemed like poor value compared to the better gate and Kelt run from Red Ruler, so in goes Red Ruler. Change left over bought Master O. 

My stables other interest will come from Red Lord either sneaking into the field or running in the crappy Group 2 cup. 

Weekend non-runners: Samantha Miss, Dreamscape, Whobegotyou, Rhyno Chaser and Bianca to carry the drinks.

C. Williams on his last chance with the stable. 2 wins or he is out on his ass.

What A Night!

A massive thunderstorm en route to Suncorp Stadium, a 4-0 thrashing, and for one minute of our lives, Tim Cahill and the Socceroos thought JB and I were awesome!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WHAB's Pre Game Show: Australia vs Qatar

Welcome to WHAB's pre game show as the mighty Socceroos take on the camel-shaggers from Qatar! Here's our thoughts on this evening's match.

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.
Bruno Metsu: Gotta whole lotta "naturalised Brazilian" love!

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!

Caulfield Guineas Late Mail!

Just some quick thoughts, 
The best dry track runs behind Samantha Miss all season came two starts ago from the duo Kimillsy and Glowlamp. I for one think that those runs will be good enough to win here. 
As far as the home trackers go, Taameer and Dan Baroness have done nothing wrong and the price is definitely right!

Portillo's best runs in the spring have had some give in the track, and the $6 on it seems like a poor decision right now.

I'll take Glowlamp from Kimillsy, Taameer and Dan Baroness. All paying enough to keep you very interested.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Star Stable Week 2 in review!

Well it was a good weekend for the Calgary Roughriders with the big win of Whobegotyou and a nice third to Guillotine. 

The Captain, manager of the other Roughriders is preaching a return to fundamentals this week, with the bright spot a third to Von Costa de Hero. 

A momentum switch could come in tomorrows Guineas - the Roughriders saddle up Romneya and the Calgary Roughriders, well they saddle up nothing.

At this stage the score reads 1.5 Million to 800,000! This could be flattering, as the Calgary Roughriders stable jockey, Craig Williams has shown ineptitude of the highest order this spring. 

According to the Captain, "the Roughriders should be all the better for recent racing." 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fuck you FIA. Fuck you Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton admits he caused a bit of a fracas into the first corner and cops a penalty. Fair enough. Massa effectively takes him out of the race and gets a penalty. Not enough. Massa then has an incident with Sebastian Bourdais who is emerging from the pits and clearly has the inside line. Bourdais gets a penalty and Massa another point. Can the FIA please get their cocks out of the mouths of Ferrari? This shit has been going on for years. Sure, everyone who doesn't support McLaren gets a hard-on for Ferrari, but stripping a guy of one of his best results of the year so you can make the Championship a bit closer...get fucked you fucking poofters! How can an organisation such as this show so much bias? If it was Hamilton who tangled with Bourdais he would have been stripped of all points and given a suspended sentence. But Massa can drive like a fucking r'tard and get away with it. "Oh, we love you Ferrari, your drivers can do no wrong, we wouldn't want to offend the Italians". What a load of shit. Sanity will prevail, Hamilton will win the Championship and Ferrari and the FIA can go suck their balls, from here to high heaven. Captain out.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Shenanigans

The Captain's Star Stable Week 2:

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?!

Week 2 star stable.

It will be a somewhat quiet week in Professor's star stable this week.
Having all 10 of my horses run last week means that this week, I had only 2 of my current stable backing up; Raheeb and Guillotine. Not a terrible pair to be banking on by any means, Guillotine is a great chance in the Yalumba and Raheeb will be a big improver on a dry track in the Toorak.

Most of the cash for the day is coming from the Guineas, as such I want to have a couple of runners in that race. I have cut two high priced horses who I think are done for the spring - Mentality (there are no real $$$ left in Sydney) and Weekend Hussler (You can stick a fork in him by Cox plate day if R Mc keeps this program of his). In are Whobegotyou and Dreamscape. These two are big chances in the Guineas. May not see my $$ due to there being some better value bets in the Guineas - but they are deserved favourites. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Australia vs India

I can't remember the last time I've looked forward to a series less. This is for a variety of reasons, but primarily, because of the alarming level of boringness in the current Australian squad. No Warney. No Pidge. No Hoggy. No Boof. Just boring, lifeless, cricket robots. Other reasons to not look forward to watching this series include Ponting's dubious captaincy and Jason Krejza's/Cameron White's bowling. Honestly, how can it be that these two are our best Test spinning options? What has the fine art of spin bowling come to in this country? Above all, this series will be hard to watch as there is a very real chance that we will get thrashed unmercifully. I am looking forward to seeing some cricket but I fear that the spectacle of this series will be as appealing to watch as Mark Skaife winning Bathurst.

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

2008 Kelt Capital Stakes, Princess Coup

Princess Coup looks a very good chance for the Cox on this run.
Red Ruler put in a nicer Caulfield Cup trial than Nom de Jeu one thinks.

2008 Craven Plate, Lorne Dancer

The only real cups interest here was Ice chariot who hates the wet.

Riva San, loves the wet and couldn't win this pretty poor affair. Discuss.

Studebaker or Elvis?

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

The Calgary Roughriders

My stable has focussed on the 5 big races of the weekend. I also don't want to have to make too many changes for the Cox, Caulfield and Melbourne Cups so I whilst my XI are all going this weekend, there is a definite eye on the big prizes on offer on Super Saturday;

1) Weekend Hussler. Probably too good in the Turnbull this weekend, and keeping him around for the Coxxy. Expensive at $250K, but will be a lock for some $$$ this weekend and beyond.

2) The Turnbull: Guillotine and Littorio. Great chances for $$$ behind the champ, and for me the two that could roll the Hussler this weekend. Here as well, because I want them around for the Caulfield where they are my two favourites.

3) Epsom: Mentality and Raheeb. A nice little duo for a total cost of $150K.

4) The Metrop: You forget about the metrop when you plan your super Saturday. But you shouldn't here. Biggest prizemoney on offer (equal with the Epsom) and you can pick up the nice duo of Red Lord and Bianca for $150K. By the way, the Lord probably has a better race in him, so not a bad one to keep around.

5) Three year old racing: Two big prizemoney races in the Flight and the Spring champion. Taking the Miss, Rhyno Chaser and Predatory Pricer should see a pickup in both.

These Roughriders will simply be too good for the Captains Roughriders. And Shirtman, too good for him as well!

Craig Williams to ride. I abhor you, Glen Boss.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Captain's Stable Of Champions Of The Turf

Well Professor and Shirtman, you guys just bring it. My Stable Of Awesome Superstars consists of:

Red Lord
Absolut Glam
Ice Chariot
Bhutane Dane
Sara's Choice

Jockey: C. Brown

Oh it's on!!!

Star Stable Shootout

The Captain and Professor are going head to head in a battle of wit, cunning, management skills, subterfuge and (mostly) luck in the Sky Channel Star Stable challenge. If you think you can take us on send us an e-mail and we'll send you an invite. The Captain's and Professor's stables for week 1 will be published tomorrow, Saturday 4/10. Results from the day will be published a few days later along with all the sledging, backhanded comments and below the belt remarks that are in line with such a contest.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shannon Stakes 1500m 2008 - Musket

Musket is a $9 chance in this weekends Epsom. If you want to get on, watch this first!

Group racing preview for Saturday

Starting with the Epsom:

Very even field in this race. Raheeb a deserved favourite after thrashing a hot field in Newcastle. However, as always value must be found. Until it drew barrier 18, I was very keen on Theseo. Even after drawing the car park it is hard for me to not be on. After a massive run at WFA, Theseo comes into this race well suited. If he can get across with the good early speed he is renowned for, I don't see why he can't win this. There are a number of formlines at play here, but I think that the best is by far the George Main - as such, Theseo, Mentality and Gallant Tess come in well.

If you are keen on the Judged formline, why not take Spy Zaim at $101. Captain assures me that he put in a far better run than the winner on Saturday in the Bill Ritchie.

Musket's run in the Shannon is up. Lines up fairly well, and there has to be a lot of scope for improvement in a horse that is making just its 9th start at the age of 5.

Epsom tips:
Work around Gallant Tess - Theseo - Mentality - Musket
Spy Zaim.

Other horses to have a look at:

Hoystar (The Shorts) - this is his more appropriate distance and he will be too good.
Sunburnt Land (Gilgai) - Paying $9 and by far the class of the field. Get on him while he is still an emergency. If he gets in the field, you will wake up tomorrow to see $2.50. If you like value, why not try the old stager Mr Baritone at $21. Came from the tail of the field behind Typhoon Zed in a slowly run race last start. A genuine weight for age horse that is pretty well weighted here.
The Hussler might go down tomorrow - there are threats coming from all over the place! I am not betting on this race, but if you like Maldivian/Littorio/Guillotine/? for the Caulfield Cup, you should do it before tomorrow. At the moment, the price of everything in the cup is being inflated as there is a $2.50 favourite that may not run. If he doesn't finish off tomorrow, people will be off he Huss for the longer trips in a big hurry.

Best Bet: Hoystar
Best each-way: Mr Baritone

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NRL Grand Final Predictions


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:

Slater: $8.50
Inglis: $8.50
Aitken: $34
Folau: $17

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.