Friday 13 May 2022

Sam Ryder - UK Eurovision - Good luck Spaceman!

Who would believe that we'd actually have a good songs as our Eurovision entry  for once in 2022. Super talented Sam Ryder has certainly knocked the ball out of the park with this catchy and anthemic song, and social media feedback seems to suggest that many around Europe also view it as a favourite of theirs. In the betting odds, perhaps understandably, Ukraine's entry is odds on (2/5), so the outcome may be drifting towards a foregone conclusion, but the UK entry is currently second favourite (6-1), which is certainly at this stage an achievement in its own right. If we manage to put up a good or decent showing points-wise we can't complain, and it'll certainly made a change from the usual languishing in or near last place. Good luck, Sam!

Friday 6 May 2022

Derby 2022 Preview


At the time of writing, the Derby, which is due off at 4.30pm on Saturday, June 4, 2022, is less than six weeks away. Even so, with the exception of the Sandown Classic Trial, the traditional Derby trials – 2,000 Guineas, Chester Vase, Lingfield Derby Trial and Dante Stakes – have yet to be contested, so there is still plenty of time for the ante-post picture to change, perhaps dramatically.

Incidentally, the result of the Sandown Classic Trial had only limited impact on the Derby market, with the first three home, Westover, Cash and Goldspur, quoted at 25/1, 20/1 and 50/1. respectively, for the Epsom Classic. Luxembourg, trained by Aidan O'Brien, remains favourite at 3/1, with the Master of Ballydoyle keen to point out that the Camelot colt, who is third-favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, looks 'like he's going to be a middle-distance horse for this year'.

Of course, O'Brien is the leading trainer in the history of the Derby, with eight winners since the turn of the century and also numbers 10/1 co-second favourite, Point Lonsdale, among his remaining 24 entries at this, still early, stage. Beyond the Ballydoyle 'battalions', Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby also holds a strong hand with New London (10/1), Native Trail (12/1) and Walk Of Stars (14/1) all inside the first half a dozen in the ante-post betting market.

The unbeaten Native Trail, who is clear favourite for the 2,000 Guineas after readily winning the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in mid-April, on his first attempt over a mile, is the one with the obvious 'star quality'. However, his sire, Oasis Dream, was a sprinter and his damsire, Observatory, was a miler, so his stamina for a mile and a half has to be taken on trust.

At much longer odds, Hannibal Barca (50/1) has 2 lengths to find with Luxembourg on their running in the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster last October but, like the winner, seems sure to be suited by the step up to middle distances, He was transferred to Joseph O'Brien from Brian Meehan over the winter and looks a sporting wager against some better-fancied rivals.