GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 30TH MARCH
All eyes will be on Randwick this weekend on the first day of the Championships with the four group 1’s. These are the Sires Produce, Australian Derby, T.J. Smith and the Doncaster. Final field fixed price quinellas and top five finish markets are now available on all four races and we have a stack of great racing promotions this weekend.
What a thrilling race the Doncaster is set to be. Chris Waller would love to chalk up his seventh win in the prestigious mile event and has four starters to contest the crown. One of his best chances Antonio Giuseppe ($14) was originally targeted for the Sydney cup over the 2400m but Waller felt the son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking would find the mile a far more suitable task. Early UBET shoppers willing to tie up their hard earned for more than a month benefited from this change to his preparation and will be cheering hard. They managed to take a massive $201 about him in UBET’s early markets. It’s still early days but the betting action after the final field has centred on Happy Clapper ($11) and the Kris Lee’s trained Le Romain ($5.50) looking the one to beat. The talented four-year-old 1600m specialist has an impressive strike rate and was runner-up behind superstar Winx in the George Ryder. Don’t forget, he won his last three starts before that and the weather gods will have no say either, as he goes well on all surfaces. Good luck punters!
The Sires Produce for the babies kicks off the first of the group 1 races on Saturday and no significant market moves here, so keep your eye out closer to race day. The Michael Freedman trained Frolic ($4.60) is favourite and has given every indication she will make the step up to the 1400m. She finished a good second in the 1200m Golden Slipper taking late ground off the winner. In a race where many look tested at the 1400m, you would have to think that sitting off the speed is the go and her run on style will be an advantage. Second favourite is Tulip ($6) but can the two-year-old filly back up after a gruelling run in the Slipper? The Gerald Ryan colt Menari ($8) is next in the market and will have to overcome the wide draw if he is to take out the million dollar race.
Tip: Le Romain to win the Doncaster ($5.50)
Know anybody who picked all nine winners in the opening round of AFL? If anybody did, it must go down as one of the greatest tipping performances in history and while 4 of the 9 favourites were able to win, the multi dividend for an outlay of $1 was in excess of $1060. That’s the highest I can recall and I’ve been around since the first AFL game was played! It just goes to show that as a new season dawns, anything can happen and there are already some sides under pressure. The shock loss by GWS has seen them drift from $4.50 to $4.75 to win the flag but the two who caught the eye were Adelaide ($9.00 in to $7.00) and West Coast ($11 in to $7.50). Hawthorn have had plenty of knockers since the weekend and are friendless at home to the Crows this week. They have eased, $11 out to $13. Adelaide opened up $1.75 on Monday and the first big bet for the round was on them, $10,000 at that quote and more has come for them at $1.70.
Port Adelaide take on Fremantle at the Adelaide oval this week and UBET punters are keen! Port opened up on Monday at $1.45 and are now $1.27. Big bets have been pouring in for them all week, making them the biggest go this week so far and the line has moved from -16 to -24.
Saturday night’s clash in Brisbane between the Lions and Essendon is intriguing. Both had surprise wins in round 1 and Essendon will be trying to continue the high of last week. They are $1.42 favourites and punters think they will get the job done. While Melbourne are $1.19 favourites to beat Carlton, and so they should be on round 1 results, some words of warning! They were a similar quote in round 2 last year against Essendon and down they went. Carlton have also won nine of their last ten matches against Melbourne but it seems the two teams are heading in opposite directions when it comes to performance.
Two players have been sought after this week in the Brownlow Medal betting, Dustin Martin and Sam Mitchell. Both are proven vote getters and as we know, Mitchell is a previous winner. They were outstanding in their efforts for Richmond and West Coast respectively. Deservedly so, Martin’s odds halved after round 1, $15 to $7.00 and Mitchell was cut from $26 to $17.
Tip: Richmond to beat Collingwood
Backed in from $1.45 to $1.42, the Broncos are being well tried to buck the Bulldogs ($3.55) tonight, with head-to-head funds flowing the way of the visitors at a 5:1 ratio. Canterbury were dreadful last week against Manly and all the ensuing speculative press about Des Hasler seems to be having a profound effect on punters. History is also against the Dogs, who’ve lost five of their last seven matches against Brisbane.
Friday Night Football should be a belter. Sydney ($1.40) is the form team in the comp, but the Sea Eagles are also looking sharp and have a great recent record against the tri-colours at Allianz Stadium. Early money significantly favours Manly at $3.00, so perhaps an upset is on the cards?
St George ($1.70) also continue to outperform expectation and will no doubt start warm, well-backed favourites against the troubled Tigers ($2.15) on Sunday. Our traders put up $1.75 about the Dragons, but like Jason Taylor, that price is long gone.
Tip: Gold Coast +6.5 against the Warriors
Crowned minor premiers last weekend, Sydney FC should be hard to hold out this weekend against Melbourne City. Our odds reflect this, with the Sky Blues installed as $1.68 favourites, the draw at $3.90 and the visitors at $4.75. One positive for Melbourne City is the availability of Tim Cahill, who’s likely to back-up after a 20-minute cameo for the Socceroos earlier this week against the United Arab Emirates.
Victory also get several stars back from international duty. They went up $1.55 to beat Wellington ($5.25) and the early interest in Melbourne suggests a return to the winner’s circle is imminent.
Tip: Multi up Sydney FC ($1.68) & Melbourne Victory ($1.55)
The whole Super Rugby concept has been under intense scrutiny this season, and a look at this week’s matches might explain a couple of the reasons why. All four Aussie sides competing this week are big outsiders, including the Waratahs who will be at home. The other point is, the price early in the week for all 7 favourites to win calculated out at just a little over $3.00 for a $1 outlay! Four of the favourites are $1.10 or shorter.
Anyway, that aside, very short priced favourites normally mean more interest in the handicap lines, and that is what we’re seeing this week. It is still hard to believe that the Rebels were run down by the Waratahs last week. While that was a much improved effort from the Rebels, UBET punters think they will be on the receiving end of a big loss to the Highlanders on Friday night. The opening line of -21.5 in favour of the Highlanders was quickly taken and moved in to -22.5. The last 5 times the Rebels have played away from home they have conceded an average of 51 points, not a good stat!
The Reds have lost all four matches since the opening round and return home from Argentina after a loss to the Jaguares on Sunday morning. They are $6.50 outsiders (or +14.5) against the Hurricanes in Brisbane on Saturday night, while there is some chance the weather will be pretty wild, not many are rating the Reds’ chances.
The Waratahs may be the best winning chance of the Aussie sides this week but are also lengthy underdogs at $3.75 against the Crusaders in Sydney on Sunday afternoon. The Crusaders have been scratchy in some of their wins this season and the Tahs have won two of the last three matches in Sydney against them. Don’t forget, the Waratahs were the last Australian side to beat them back in 2015. Those stats keep the Waratahs in the game in my opinion so it may be worth a little play at the 8.5 points start.
Tip: Waratahs +8.5 against the Crusaders ($1.95)
Dustin Johnson chalked up win number six in the past nine months when he won the WGC Match Play last weekend. That win has seen Johnson elevated to outright favourite to win the US Masters which will get underway next week. Johnson is now $7.00 ahead of Rory McIlroy ($8.00), Jordan Spieth ($8.50) and Jason Day is at $15 with Hideki Matsuyama. All the players named have already attracted big support but there are several others as well including John Rahm ($41 in to $23), Justin Thomas ($26) and Marc Leishman at $51 after his win last week.
Several of the big names will be missing from the Houston Open this week but it is pleasing to see some of those well in contention for the Masters will be going around. Spieth heads that market at $8.00, ahead of the well backed Rahm at $11, followed by Henrik Stenson ($14), Rickie Fowler ($15) and Phil Mickelson at $21. Several of the players at the head of the market have either won or been placed previously in the Houston Open including Spieth who finished in a tie for second behind J.B. Holmes in 2015.
Tip: J.B. Holmes to place in the top 5 in the Housten Open ($7.60)
There has been plenty of focus on Miami this week with most of the big names in action in the ATP Miami Open. Our own Nick Kyrgios is in fine form and looks well placed to take down his opponent Alexander Zverev in his quarter final match on Friday. The French Open is closing in on us and Novak Djokovic remains the favourite at $2.75. Although, there has to be some major concerns about his form over the past few months and UBET punters have given him a wide berth, preferring Rafael Nadal ($3.50), Andy Murray ($4.50) and Roger Federer ($15). One player who has attracted plenty of support has been Dominic Thiem. The Austrian had a good 2016 which included reaching the semi-finals of the French Open and he has already been backed from $26 in to $19. There hasn’t been a lot of activity in the women’s draw where Serena Williams remains the $3.00 favourite ahead of Garbine Muguruza at $5.00.
Tip: Kyrgios to beat Zverev 2-0 in the ATP Miami Open ($2.20)
Sebastian Vettel started the Melbourne GP as the $3.25 second elect behind hot favourite Lewis Hamilton on Sunday but belied the price to score a very impressive win in his Ferrari. Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas filled the other two spots on the podium. That result has seen some significant changes made to the Drivers Championship market. Hamilton is now out to $2.00, narrowly ahead of Vettel at $2.20, with a decent gap to Bottas at $8.50. The next race on the calendar will be in Shanghai the weekend after this and the market will be open later in the week.
Maverick Vinales was expected to be the big improver in MotoGP this season and he justified that confidence by winning in Qatar on Sunday. Vinales started favourite at $1.80 after qualifying fastest and went on to defeat Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi. Marc Marquez was a well beaten fourth. On the back of that win, Vinales is now the $2.00 favourite to win the title ahead of Marquez at $2.75.
Four sprint races were held in Melbourne over the Grand Prix weekend and while Championship points were again not on offer, the races were very competitive. Fabian Coulthard won two races, while Scotty McLaughlin won race 1 and Chaz Mostert won the final race on Sunday. The action moves to Tasmania next week where two races will be held and not unexpectedly, the markets will be headed by Shane Van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.