Tuesday 1 December 2020

Ronnie O'Sullivan & Mark Allen - Hammer and Tongs

A lively and perhaps expected exchange between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Allen during their match at the Champion of Champions.

Sunday 1 November 2020

The Melbourne Cup is Just Days Away


When the most prestigious races around the world come to mind, which ones first spring to mind for you. If you're in the UK the answer to that may well be the Grand National or possibly Cheltenham Gold Cup, in the United Stated the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes, and if in France we'd surely opt for the group one Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe . Where the country in question is Australia though, we would of course say none other than the Melbourne Cup, held each year at the Flemmington Park race course in Melbourne, Victoria. This 2 miler, first run way back in 1861 is the jewel in the crown of Australian horse racing and has top tier prize money on offer with a massive purse of A$8,000,000 in 2020. The race takes place on Novemeber 3rd and racing fans all around the world will be primed to see who comes out of top in this captivating affair.

The Melbourne Cup has build its stellar reputation over decades, culminating in many moments that fans of the sport will no doubt be familiar with. In fact, such is the gravitas of the occasion that it's a public holiday in metropolitan Melbourne and some parts of Victoria. And let's not forget that moments make a n event what it is. Even in its recent history, who can forget 2012 when the first seven finishers were all bred in Ireland (and of course one or two of this years potential winners could well be too!), 2015 when Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the race or 2017 when Rekindling was the first three year old to win the Melbroune Cup since the 40s.

So with generous prize money, a place in the history books on offer, and reputations on the line who are the main contenders in with a shot on the day? Well currently heading the field is 5-1 shot Tiger Moth. He's followed by a bunched up group that includes Verry Elleegant, Surprise Baby, Anthony Van Dyk and Sir Dragonet amongst others. It's one of those prestigious races where everyone has their own unique take or method of picking a winner. Some opt for office sweepstakes (or choosing by name alone!), others a fun bet or two, and of course more serious punters will also enviably be having a look in. The unknowns only add to the excitement, and the 2020 Melbourne Cup should be a thrilling encounter of top quality racing.

This information was brought to you by https://www.sportsbet.com.au/

Thursday 1 October 2020

What do Newcastle United need in the transfer market?

As one of the most long-suffering fans in the Premier League, Newcastle United fans need to get used to another year of deals and relative austerity. The transfer of ownership to Saudi Arabian backers looks dead in the water, and it could mean that the Toon need to look to a more realistic market for signings. Gone are the likes of Edinson Cavani and in their place come players like Rob Holding, Ryan Fraser, and Tom Davies.

The majority of signings are being linked are domestic talents who either play in the second tier or are out of the picture with other Premier League sides. The decision of youth prospect Matt Longstaff to sign a new deal, though, might limit the need for a central midfielder.

Forward is the most obvious starting place, with Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson heavily linked. Other names include Ryan Fraser, who is on a free, and Jamal Lewis of Norwich City. Every name being linked with the Toon – across various positions – are value signings that could offer them a player with resale value in the years to come.

However, for Newcastle, tying down a key position to fill is proving tough. Defence looks quite thin, and central midfield has good quality but low numbers. Pace is a major issue in the Newcastle team, too, with their wide players and full-backs lacking either attacking flair or pace. Only really Allan Saint-Maximin could realistically say he’s done the job to the expected standard.

This leaves the Magpies shopping around for a fair amount of talent in a short amount of time. So far, the club has also been linked with trying to find a suitor for Premier League flop Joelinton, hoping to use any funds gained to buy a more suitable forward option.

Expect loans for lower priority areas like central defence and midfield, with most finances going on a forward and adding to the wide areas.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

What do Leicester City need in the transfer market?

Having enjoyed a good season last year, Leicester City fans could be forgiven for being a little disappointed. The last-day missing out of the UEFA Champions League was a massive blow, with the Foxes throwing away a definitive lead over Manchester United to give the Red Devils a chance to return to the top football of European football.

It was a major blunder on the Foxes part, and has surely hampered their ability to both keep stars and sign new talent. With the Premier League just a few short weeks away from a return, then, what can we expect to see from Brendan Rodgers in the transfer market?

Where do the Foxes need their investment most?

Having scored an ample amount of goals in the 2019-20 season with 67 in the league, Leicester probably aren’t short of goals. With an average of 14 shots per game, too, they do create enough chances to keep growing. It’s defensively, though, that they tend to have issues. This has been a focus for years with Rodgers teams, especially in European football with Glasgow Celtic, but some smart decisions in the transfer market could solve that.

The biggest gap in the team is now at left-back, with Ben Chilwell making a move to Chelsea for around £50m. Expect a signing at left-back, as well as another competitive central defender to arrive in the near future. Another place where a signing may be needed is in nets; Kasper Schmeichel is not getting any younger, and has lost some of the verve that made him such a standout in previous seasons.

While a new keeper might not take his place immediately, expect a more Rodgers-friendly, ball-playing keeper to arrive this summer to add more competition in defence. Overall, though, for the Foxes, a bit of stability at the back should be enough to give their young midfield and excellent attack a better platform to play from.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Reality TV Betting Guide

Since the emergence of Big Brother back in the year 2000, reality television has been increasingly popular, with this show being followed by other popular series’ such Love Island, I’m a Celebrity and The Only Way is Essex.

It didn’t take long for the bookies to figure out that not only did people like watching reality TV, they also wanted to bet on who would win each competition, with betting odds available on the first ever Big Brother series and an increasing number of markets were made available for later versions.

TV betting has now become a huge market for bookmakers and there’s nearly always something TV-related to bet on. I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here has been a popular ITV series for several years and there’s the opportunity to bet on Overall Winner, King of the Jungle, Queen of the Jungle, Top Three Finish and Next Celebrity to be Evicted.

When it comes to Love Island betting, viewers love to place a few side bets on the winning male, female and overall couple. You can also bet on the next contestants to leave the island which is usually down to a public vote.

Another popular TV betting show is X Factor, where the betting markets open as soon as the first auditions start to be shown. You can bet on the X Factor winner from the moment that you see them appear on this ITV programme, while the betting really hots up once we know which acts are through to the live finals phase.

There is also betting available on Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC dancing show where a celebrity is partnered with a professional dancer. You can bet on the Winner market throughout the series and the odds frequently change according to how many points each couple receive from the judges.

Reality TV betting tends to be seasonal according to what shows are appearing on our screens at the moment. Dancing On Ice is similar to Strictly Come Dancing and viewers can bet on the outcome here, while there is also betting available for events like the Eurovision Song Contest which retains a strange popularity despite the songs being poor quality.

Many successful TV betting punters actually study the latest opinion polls and try to get an idea of the voting before going ahead with their wagers. It’s good to try and gain an edge over the bookies where possible.

Friday 14 August 2020

Thursday 16 July 2020

Red or Black?

The very idea of putting it all on the line like this would give me heart failure!!

Thursday 18 June 2020

Horse Racing Saying and Quotes

A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle -Ian Fleming

A good jockey doesn't need orders and a bad jockey couldn't carry them out anyway; so it's best not to give them any - Lester Piggott

My horse's jockey was hitting the horse. The horse turns around and says "Why are you hitting me, there is nobody behind us - Henny Youngman

When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have - Sir Winston Churchill

Any money I put on a horse is a sort of insurance policy to prevent it from winning - Frank Richardson

That was the first time I saw a horse start from a kneeling position - Henny Youngman

Friday 1 May 2020

Fabian Ruiz set for summer showdown

When you have clubs the stature of Real Madrid and Liverpool fighting over you, it must feel pretty good. That’s what former Real Betis and current Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz must be feeling. The 24-year-old has been one of the most impressive midfielders in Europe for the last 18 months, and has continued his tremendous form in Naples this year.

Now, though, it looks like that he could make a move to a new team entirely. Both Real Madrid and Liverpool are looking to try and make a deal happen. For Liverpool, he would offer a creative edge in midfield that has been lacking at times despite a tremendous 2019-20 campaign. For Madrid, he could join the likes of Marco Asensio and create a new-look midfield in Spain.

For the player, though, the news that Napoli have seemingly dropped their asking price down to around the £50m mark will see many clubs vying for his signature. Players of his poise and precision with the ball are rare indeed. His strong output from midfield, too, with numerous goals and assist, makes him a very intriguing young footballer.

The 24-year-old has played 18 months in Italy, and has gone up a new level since his early days at Betis. Now, he looks like he could be the symbol of a new generation of talent either at Anfield or the Santiago Bernabeu. Both clubs are interested in a new creative midfielder, and Ruiz would suit the style of both clubs perfectly.

His versatile nature means that he can play in numerous positions and roles in midfield, making him an absolutely tremendous asset for any club. If he is to move in the summer, then, a move to one of the major clubs in Europe will happen entirely.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Should 2019-20 league leaders be champions?

It’s been a debate that has for the most part dominated the entirety of the last months. Since the January COVID-19 outbreak started to spread, it soon became clear that the future of some of the league tournaments taking place would become uncertain. Teams who are a point clear at the top of their league with as many as ten games to play – is it really fair that they get handed the league?

This is a debate that shows no sign of stopping, either. For every Rio Ferdinand who says leagues should be void, there’s a voice saying the total opposite. It’s hard not to look at this through the eyes of the team(s) we support, too; how can you really say, for example, that you want your biggest rivals to be given a title?

But at the same time, how could anyone realistically say someone like Liverpool isn’t going to win the league here?

It’s a nightmare scenario, but one that has to be dealt with – and soon. There really is no opportunity for teams to hide from this; they need to find a solution and to bring closure to the season. The view of many is that leagues should be called as they are; there will be winners and losers in that situation, of course. But is it really any worse than, say, writing off a full season of football?
How can fans who have spent thousands travelling to and from games find any kind of solace in the idea that the leagues would be voided?

If a league is any more than 60% finished, then it would be fair to say that it could be called. However, while this means that some teams would likely to win leagues they might not have otherwise, and other teams relegated who may have stayed up, these are unique and trying times.
From what we hear, though, the consequences of voiding a season would be far greater than the consequences of declaring all standings early.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Amateur Riders in the Grand National

The Grand National was first run, as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, in 1839 and before World War I was regularly won by amateur riders. However, throughout the twentieth century amateur participation in the Grand National gradually tailed off and the last amateur to win the world famous steeplechase was Marcus Armytage, on Mr. Frisk, in 1990.

In fact, the current race conditions stipulate that, to be eligible to ride in the Grand National, amateur riders must have ridden at least 15 winners, at least 10 of them in steeplechases. Of course, amateur riders do still ride in the Grand National but, in the last decade or so, it’s been left to three modern Corinthians, one male and two female, to fly the flag for ‘gentleman’ or, indeed, ‘lady’, riders at Aintree. As such it's unlikely that you'll see amateur rider success in your Grand National 2020 best bets. Though in future years who knows.

Sam Waley-Cohen first hit the headlines when riding Liberthine, owned by his father, Robert, into fifth place behind Silver Birch on his first ride in the Grand National in 2007. On his next attempt, in 2009, his mount Ollie Magern fell at the second fence, but Waley-Cohen was back again in 2011, riding another horse owned by his father, Oscar Time, into second place, beaten just 2½ lengths, behind Ballabriggs. Oscar Time would prove a good servant for the family, finishing fourth behind Auroras Encore in 2013 and fifteenth, as a 14-year-old, behind Many Clouds two years later. In between times, Waley-Cohen rode erstwhile Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run, who was in second place when falling at Valentine’s Brook on the first circuit. He has since failed to complete the course.

Another Amateur rider, Katie Walsh didn’t make her debut in the Grand National until 2012, but then made an immediate impact, partnering 8/1 joint-favourite Seabass, trained by her father Ted, into third place, beaten a nose and 5 lengths, behind Neptune Collonges and Sunnyhillboy.

Despite having what Walsh Snr. described as ‘glassy’ legs, he returned to Aintree the following year and was sent off outright favourite for the National, only to bitterly disappoint and trail in a well-beaten thirteenth of seventeen finishers. Katie Walsh never improved on her debut effort, but did complete the course on three of her four subsequent attempts in the National and has still achieved the highest placing of any female rider in the history of the race. She has paved the way for others to pick up from where she left off.

Nina Carberry, like Katie Walsh, rode in the Grand National six times, making her debut on Forest Gunner, who finished ninth, and last, in 2006. However, despite completing the course on three of her subsequent five attempts, her best-placed finish was seventh on Character Building in 2010, although the 10-year-old was never a factor, and ultimately beaten 37 lengths in the famous renewal won by Sir Anthony McCoy on Don’t Push It.

Thursday 5 March 2020

Manchester United vs Manchester City

With this being one of the most celebrated fixtures in English football, it’s odd to see so little riding on it. For United, a win against City would help to keep them moving towards a UEFA Champions League spot once again. For City, a win would be ideal to help close the gap to Liverpool once again. However, with both teams likely having their focus across multiple competitions still, it’s hard to see this having the intensity of previous derby games.

Manchester United news

After a 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend, the Red Devils could do with a win to get them back in flowing form. They’ve been strong in the league recently, having overcome a run of results that had put them firmly out of contention for the top four previously in the season.

With Chelsea faltering recently, United could do with putting together a consistent run of results. Their last league games have given them an impressive run of results, though, with United only drawing to Wolves and Everton recently.

In terms of injuries, expect Dan James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to miss out.

Manchester City news

The Citizens are in a good place themselves, having seen off Sheffield Wednesday with relative ease in a 1-0 win in the FA Cup in midweek. Having got a chance to rest some players and to come at United fully refreshed, it’ll be interesting to see how City get on.

The Blues have been in strong form recently, beginning to look far more like their old selves. Having won at the Santiago Bernabeu, too, Pep Guardiola and co. are likely looking at continuing a very impressive run of recent results.


Score draw. Both teams will go for it, but with focus more on other things for both teams to an extent it’s hard to see it being the usual high intensity we come to expect. It should be a good game, but it won’t have the intensity we usually associate with such a high class derby.

Saturday 4 January 2020

I'm A Celebrity 2019 Voting Figures

Better late than never on this one. For those who were tuned into the latest series of I'm a Celebrity, it was certainly a lesson in getting your votes in! I say that because there was just 1% between winner, and eventual Queen of the Jungle Jacqueline Jossa, and runner up Andy Whyment of Coronation Street fame. Even Roman Kemp in third place was essentially almost as popular. Check out he figures below:

  Third place freeze
Jacqueline 36.97%
Andy 33.89%
Roman 29.15%

Final vote
Jacqueline 50.61%
Andy 49.39%