Football World Cup? Who Gives A (Full) Toss?

In a couple of weeks time the football World Cup kicks off in South Africa. The newspapers are already starting to crank up the volume and suggesting, like they have done every four years since 1966, that this is Englands year and that they’re going to fly home from Johannesburg with the trophy.

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t give a toss.

Personally, I’ve pretty much lost all interest in top level football these days. Money has ruined the sport and the people that play the game are nothing more than overpaid cheats – both on and off the field. Sure, I’ll cheer England on but I’m not exactly excited at the prospect of four weeks of wall-to-wall cheating, play acting and pictures of WAGs plastered all over the papers.

There is no official England World Cup song this year (thank God) so I suggest that all English cricket fans embrace the following as our World Cup tune of choice. It’s from everyone’s favourite Chap-Hop artist, Mr B. The Gentleman Rhymer. It’s rather jolly good.

Mr.B’s World Cup Song by gentlemanrhymer

Just in case you can’t get enough of Mr B, here’s the legendary cover he did of of NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton”.

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Cheltenham 2009 Tips – Day 4

It’s the last day of the Cheltenham Festival which will please my cricket following readers who want to get back to reading irreverent commentary on the state of the game. If you’re new to Flintoff’s Ashes why not stick around and sign up for the email updates? It could be fun and what other website offers you pictures of famous cricketers taking a dump?

On with the racing. If you’ve followed my tips this way and placed each-way bets you’ll be up by now. Not enough to bail out HBOS but it’ll treat your long suffering partner to a takeaway so I hope that the following selections will allow an extra couple of pints of Cobra beer :)

Triumph Hurdle 1.30pm

Likely to be a closely contested race with a number putting up a serious challenge.

Of the horses in the money at the moment, Ebadiyan has performed well under more trying conditions than this so could figure. Was beaten by Jumbo Rio on last outing who is another one likely to be mixing it up having beaten Mourad on last couple of outings. Tony McCoy’s ride Lethal Weapon could be one to watch.

Master of Arts is well fancied but question marks over the distance. Starluck unbeaten this season and will definitely be up there. Zaynar beat Walkon on debut and these two are likely to battle it out with Walkon edging it @9/2.

County Hurdle 2.05pm

Unbeaten Aachen is sure to figure early doors but I feel the handicapper hasn’t been too kind and unlikely to be there at the end. Farringdon could be a surprise package here and possibly worth a look for a place @20/1.

Nicky Henderson horse Dave’s Dream is well fancied and likely to figure. Sunhillyboy with AP on board will be up there in what could be a scrappy race so I’m going with the champion jockey to bring it home. Generally available at 7/1.

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle 2.40pm

Alpha Ridge untested on firmer ground so be interesting to see how it performs. Cape Tribulation well fancied after its 17 length win at Doncaster. Pride of Dulcote is reunited with Ruby Walsh after the fall at Cheltenham that put the jockey in hospital so this could be a nervy race for both.

The Midnight Club has got strong place chances as has Weapons Amnesty. On Raglan Road could figure with the going to his favour.

Another tricky one to call but I’m going with Alpha Ridge @8/1.

Cheltenham Gold Cup 3.20pm

I went with Denman last year but he was beaten by 23 lengths by Madison Du Berlais at Kempton so difficult to back again.

I could go through the card and flag up challengers to Kauto Star but why don’t I save everyone the time? Impossible to oppose him to win the race and 2/1 is a handy price. Get on before grandma does.

However, since the bookmakers pay out on the first three places I will be having a cheeky e/w on Exotic Dancer @8/1 with Paddy Power.

Foxhunter Chase 4.00pm

Over the last few years this race has been won by big priced horses. Will it be the same this year?

Amicelli won here last year by 6 lengths but not run since. Border Fusion is a healthy price but might be up there towards the end. Placed on all 7 outings although this is a step up. Cappa Bleu will certainly figure in the race as will Jeveigneur who knows his way around the course.

Royal Auclair is sure to be there at the end but I fancy the other Paul Nicholls horse Ofarel D’airy. It is well priced at 20/1 and has mixed it with better company than this so it’s my tip.

Conditionals Handicap Hurdle 4.40pm

I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that a David Pipe horse might figure in this one ;) Buena Vista fresh from a second in the Pertemps Final might not have the legs. Big Eared Fran is sure to figure as will Mamlook with Hadden Frost on board.

That having been said Penn Da Benn catches the eye and looks handily placed. Presenting Copper also offers up a choice place option. Little Shilling has won all 5 races since moving to Tim Vaughan and could surprise a few.

My money is going on Penn Da Benn @12/1.

Grand Annual 5.15pm

With Chapoturgeon unlikely to run after its Jewson triumph yesterday let’s look at the contenders. Perce Rock ditched AP yesterday and lost me money so I fart in it’s general direction. I’m So Lucky with Tom Scudamore on board might be worth a look at if the market moves. Poquelin well fancied with Ruby Walsh on board and looks to be running off a good mark. Another Paul Nicholls horse Pasco in with a shot.

French Opera will be there or therabouts but a place bet only surely. Tramantano under PJ Brennan is an outsider but be worth keeping an eye on the market. Oh Crick has a vaguely cricketing feel about it and carrying 18lbs less than its last race must appeal.

Lorient Express looks outstanding value on form and with the yard providing 2 winners and 2 places this Festival it has to be worth a squirt @14/1.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my coverage of the 2009 Cheltenham Festival. See you next year!

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Cheltenham 2009 Tips – Day 3

It’s day three of the Festival and if you’ve followed my tips so far and had a little each-way punt then you should be up despite me having a bit of a ‘mare yesterday. Four wins and a couple of places at decent early prices and a possible £650 tricast if you’d read between the lines ;) Wish I bloody had..Anyway here’s my selections for day three of the 2009 Cheltenham Festival.

Jewson Novices Handicap Chase 1.30pm

Northern Alliance looks like it could be handy in this race with Ruby Walsh on board but Tony Martin’s horses haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders recently so perhaps best to look at something else.

Both Jonjo O’Neill horses are worth a look with Isn’t That Lucky worth a cheeky each-way punt but my money is on Kia Kaha to win the race. 8/1 generally.

Pertemps Final 2.05pm

P’tit Fute is well fancied but carrying 11-12 up the hill at Cheltenham might be its undoing. Ballydub looks tasty but possibly better horses in the race. Don’t Push It regularly places at the course but yet to win over the distance. Pennek in with place chances. Green Mile with Walsh on board is a danger and that’s where my money is going @9/1.

Ryanair Chase 2.40pm

Voy Por Ustedes at even money holds no value so looking at the rest of the field for a contender and some e/w action.

Gwanako looks good for a place. Imperial Commander has course and distance under its belt and sure to figure as is last years Arkle winner Tidal Bay.

Our Vic is likely to challenge Voy Por Ustedes all the way and so an each-way bet is in order @7/1.

World Hurdle 3.20pm

With Kasbah Bliss in or around evens, it’s time again to look for some each-way value.

Fair Along could be in the places and at 12/1 offers good value. Can’t see it winning but a 3/1 place shot is better than a kick in the stones.

The only two horses that can beat Kasbah Bliss are Punchestowns and Big Buck’s. I’m going with the latter simply because Ruby Walsh knows the horse so well (5 wins in 6 rides) and at 13/2 it looks a stand out bet. A little overnight rain would make it even sweeter.

Festival Plate 4.00pm

Open race here with a number of serious contenders. Finger Onthe Pulse could probably do with some overnight rain as could Perce Rock. Three Mirrors is well backed but its recent form doesn’t suggest such a short price.

Turkish Surprise or Or Bleu might be an interesting each-way bet if the first two days have left you flush.

Ping Pong Sivola looks to have been well treated by the handicapper and in what promises to be an open race offers great value at 11/1.

Kim Muir Challenge Cup 4.40pm

Amateur race to finish the card on Cheltenham day three.

Character Building has appeared in better company and could figure. High Chimes won the race last year with the same jockey but not done anything since.

Poker De Sivola with Nina Carberry on board is definitely in with a shot but Nicky Henderson’s Shouldhavehadthat looks the horse to beat. Available 8/1.

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Cheltenham 2009 Tips – Day 2

So we got our 2009 Cheltenham Festival off to a good start yesterday with three winners and a place. The annoying thing is that we picked the 1-2-3 in the Arkle and didn’t back it! Aaaargh! A £650 tricast gone begging. Oh well, we’re up and so would you have been if you’d followed the tips so let’s have a look at todays racing.

National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup 1.30pm

Over 4 miles this is not one for the feint hearted. Of the 20 horses entered, only Niche Market, Nine De Sivola and Tank Top done the distance.

Current favourite Can’t Buy Time is one of three Jonjo O’Neill horses along with Carnival Town and yesterdays William Hill winner Wichita Lineman. I can’t see Wichita Lineman running and, if it does, I doubt it’ll have enough in the tank for this marathon after it’s 3 mile workout yesterday. I don’t think the distance suits the other two either so let’s look elsewhere.

Le Beau Bai, Coe and Kornati Kid have some each-way appeal as does Forest Leaves with the latter claiming place spots in 8 of it’s last 10 outings although it probably wants the going a bit softer.

For me the value is on Pangbourne, Tricky Trickster and Parsons Pistol with Nina Carberry getting the nod on Parsons Pistol @10/1 to repeat her win from yesterday.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2.05pm

This promises to be a top notch race with the winner likely to come from any one of Diamond Harry, Mad Max, Karabak and Mikael D’haguenet. If we get any more rain it’ll favour Mikael D’haguenet but, equally, it won’t hamper the chances of my tip which is the unbeaten Diamond Harry which looks cracking value @9/2.

RSA Chase 2.40pm

I said in my initial post that who was booked to ride Cooldine would make the difference in this race and Ruby Walsh getting the ride makes this one a tough horse to oppose. Generally available at 4/1.

Ballyfitz is no stranger to the Cheltenham course and 18/1 makes it look a possible each-way bet. I still fancy Gone To Lunch will be in the mix.

I’m probably going to have an each-way punt on Massini’s Maguire at 12/1 as it has serious place chances but, for the race winner, I think it’s Cooldine‘s to lose.

Queen Mother Champion Chase 3.20pm

Just like the Champion Hurdle yesterday, it seems like the favourite just needs to turn up to win. Well we saw what happened yesterday, didn’t we? Besides at 4/11, I’m not playing with Master Minded. I know it stormed the race last year but all it takes is one mistake..

Looking for value, I don’t think the going will suit Big Zeb, the next in the betting. Well Chief hasn’t run for two years. Petit Robin got spanked by Master Minded last time out but obviously has place chances. The other Nicholls horse Twist Magic hasn’t exactly excelled at Cheltenham in the past.

AP will need to overcome weight and distance questions on Briareus but that looks the best value each-way bet at 18/1.

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle 4.00pm

A very open race and it’ll be interesting to see the prices buzzing back and forth. There are arguably 4-5 horses who could go out as favourite.

The Polomoche has got place chances. Both Psycho and Ninetieth Minute would appreciate some overnight rain. Mirage Dore getting interest and could be there or thereabouts. Gee Dee Nen also fancied but don’t know if distance suits. Pause And Clause definite place shot but I’m going with Great Endeavour @12/1 and hoping ickle Timmy Murphy does the job.

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle 4.40pm

This is a tough one to call. So many horses coming into the race in form. So many questions and not enough answers.

Can Mr Thriller bounce back from disappointment of Sandown at the weekend? The other David Pipe horse Ronaldo Des Mottes could figure. Money coming in for Alexander Severus but does it have enough to win? Miss Sarenne could figure in the mix along with Balzaccio.

This one took me hours to pick a choice but I’m going to pin my colours onto the mast of an outsider. Simarian @33/1. Have I gone mad? Quite possibly but my gut feeling says that of all today’s races that this is the one where an outsider could edge it.

Weatherbys Champion Bumper 5.15pm

Donguib is going to be in with a sniff along with Quinola Des Obeaux, Rite Of Passage and Sicilian Secret but my final tip of the day is Shinrock Paddy @14/1.

Some bold choices there possibly bouyed by having a few wins yesterday. Only time will tell but I’ve put my money on them. Will you?

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Cheltenham 2009 Tips – Day 1

Supreme Novices Hurdle 1.30pm

Cousin Vinny has been heavily backed but at 11/4 and the whispers being that the horse hasn’t travelled well suggest that it’s worth looking around for a bit of each-way action, matron. Ainama and Torphichen look likely contenders but I’m sticking my neck out on Go Native @11/1.

Arkle Challenge Trophy 2.05pm

Tatenan looks like the one to beat here and with Ruby Walsh on board you’ve got to fancy it’s chances. Won over course and distance but 7/2 doesn’t leave much room to manoevure when there are some serious contenders in the race. Forpadydeplasterer, Kalahari King and Planer Of Sounds are all going to be in the mix but I’m backing Tartak. The stable looks in good form at the moment and I fancy PJ Brennan to bring home the bacon @12/1.

William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase 2.40pm

Star De Mohaison at top weight is an obvious contender and has been backed in to 8/1 and on another day might get the nod but Wichita Lineman with AP McCoy on board looks too tempting at 13/2.

Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle 3.20pm

What a great race. I’m seriously looking forward to this. If you believe some people, Binocular just needs to turn up and it’s game over but in my book there are a number of serious contenders in the mix. Besides at 13/8 where’s the fun in backing it, eh? Osana and my cricket patent bet, Katchit, will all figure at the post. Ashkazar going out with blinkers for the first time might be worth an each-way punt at 18/1 but my dough is going on Celestial Halo @8/1. Don’t worry, I’m still on Katchit but I’m covering myself here with a second bet. Note that Katchit has come in to 12′s since I tipped it ;)

Glenfarclas Handicap Chase 4.00pm

It’s the Enda Bloger race with 4 entries from the stable. L’Ami is sure to figure but I simply can’t overlook top weight Garde Champetre. Sure at 7/2 it’s skinnier than my usual each-way chancers but over course and distance with the anticipated going being good to soft, it’s too good a horse to miss out on.

David Nicholson Mares Hurdle 4.40pm

Who can beat Quevega? Looking at the market the feeling is that it’s gonna be a Mullins/Walsh combo and with the stable in cracking form, who is to argue so what of the other options? United is next in the market but I think there are better options if you’re looking for some value. Chomba Womba is fancied in some corners but with only one win over the distance and a disappointing 3rd in the race last year, my 50p each-way is going on Carole’s Legacy @14/1 and I just hope AP can work some magic.

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