GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 20TH APRIL
The Sydney autumn racing carnival came to a close last week, all races except for the Sydney Cup that is! After an anxious two week wait for punters, we finally get to see the best of the stayers back in action in the prestigious $2m race. The race has changed complexion and not just because the Randwick track is drying out (currently a soft 7) but because Boom Time ($19), Harlem ($31) and Lasqueti Spirit ($10) are all new participants. The horses not lining up include the ill-fated Almoonqith and neither Assign nor Vengeur Masque will take part. Even though many horses were pulled up, we did see the horses who can definitely stay the trip. I see no reason why Polarized can’t do it again, legitimately this time. Polarized is currently $6.50 with UBET.
It’s Irwin Stakes day at Morphettville on Saturday with the SA carnival in full swing. There are two group 3 races, the Irwin Stakes and the Auraria Stakes with the listed Redelva Stakes rounding out the fantastic eight race program. The favourite for the Irwin Stakes is Illustrious Lad ($3.20). The five-year-old gelding has been running in superior company and looks to have the class edge on his rivals. Next best in the market is the Kennewell-trained Viddora ($4.00), followed by the promising Ciaron Maher-trained mare Petits Filous ($4.60).
The Auraria Stakes is an 1800m set weights race for the three year olds and Kenedna ($3.70) is favourite. The Weir-trained filly will go back from the wide gate, giving her opposition a good head start. The talented NZ visitor Savvy Dreams ($5.00) is next in the market with form behind Australian Oaks winner Bonneval and the $5.00 looks enticing.
The 1100m Redelva Stakes seems a wide open affair on paper and the unbeaten favourite Desert Lashes is looking to make it eight straight wins. The Alice Springs-trained filly has met with early support from UBET punters, backed in from $5.00 to $4.60. Punters are also keen on Benz with the opening $8.50 snapped up, he’s now in to $6.50.
Tip: Polarized to win the Sydney Cup ($6.50)
After what seems like an eternity, the first week of the A-League finals are here. Brisbane plays Western Sydney in the opening elimination final tonight at Suncorp Stadium and the big question is, how much will the Thomas Broich leaving announcement impact the playing group? A two-time Johnny Warren medallist, Broich announced midweek he’d be seeking employment elsewhere next season as the Roar failing to guarantee him a contract. It was hardly ideal timing and our traders responded by winding the Roar out from $2.12 to $2.25, the Wanderers in from $3.40 to $3.10, while keeping the Draw at $3.40.
Melbourne City tackle Perth Glory in the second sudden-death contest and, if the main course is anything like the entree, we’re in for a fabulous footy feast on Sunday afternoon. Glory pipped City 5-4 in a thriller last weekend in the final round of the regular season, with the Melbourne side scoring three goals in the last 10 minutes to stretch Perth all the way. Despite the result, our traders have installed City as $1.89 favourites here, with the Draw at $3.75 and the Glory at $3.80.
Tip: Wanderers to beat the Roar ($3.10)
After almost two months of competition, the award for the biggest let-down has to go to the Penrith Panthers. Losers in five of their last seven and subject to several off-field scandals, the ‘Mountain Men’ are in a huge hole right now, a plight reflected in their futures prices. Penrith opened $1.35 to make the Final 8 with UBET, but have since eased to $1.95, while their premiership quote has doubled from $7.50 to $15.
On the other end of the scale is the Canberra Raiders, whose title price has halved from $11 to $5.50. Ricky Stuart has the ‘Green Machine’ playing great footy and they kick-start what should be an entrancing Round 8 tomorrow against the Manly Sea Eagles. First Try Scorer punters are all over Jordan Rapana at $7.00. He’s without doubt the form winger in the comp right now and scored a hat-trick last time the Raiders played the Sea Eagles.
Sam Burgess’ exoneration at the judiciary has had a big impact on the odds in the other Friday Night Footy game. Before the Brit got off his shoulder-charge charge, the Bunnies were 8.5-point, $3.20 outsiders. They’re now trading at $2.75, with the line cut to 6.5, showing just how much Burgess means to his team. Brisbane has won and covered in their last three contests and the Broncs are being backed to exclusion at the minus in early trade.
Tip: Parramatta at the +2.5 against Penrith ($1.90)
The Adelaide Crows have been the big mover in premiership betting this week, so much so that they are now flag favourites at $4.00 for the first time ever this season ahead of GWS ($4.25). The Crows were $5.00 early last week, but they have been clearly in that time, and on form, who can argue? The unbeaten start to the season by the Crows has also had an impact on the Brownlow and Coleman medal betting. Rory Sloane ($11) is now on the third line of Brownlow betting behind Paddy Dangerfield ($4.50) and Dustin Martin ($5.50). Eddie Betts is also in to $7.50 to win the Coleman. The Eagles’ Josh Kennedy is $2.50 to top the goal kicking. There appears to be a lot of chances even this early in the season, but the popular Crow is capable of kicking a bagful each week.
Back to the premiership, Hawthorn have been topical this week with their inglorious start to the season. They are $51 to win the flag and based on what we have seen, that is under the odds. They were $9.00 when the market first went up and if they lose again this week to the Eagles, they will almost be that quote to make the top 8 (currently $5.00).
The traditional clash between Essendon and Collingwood next Tuesday takes on an interesting twist this year. Essendon returned in a blaze of glory but have struggled the last two rounds. Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is now firmly on the radar of his detractors after some ordinary performances by the Pies. Who will win? Who knows! But there is no doubt these sides lift in these clashes. Collingwood are the current $1.67 favourites, but the early money push is for Essendon at $2.20.
Hawthorn host the Eagles on Sunday and while the Hawks are winless, the blowtorch has been on the ‘away’ form of the Eagles. For that reason there has been some interest in Hawthorn at $3.15 and more so at the line of +19.5 points start. Sydney are another side who are yet to win a game, and they take on cross town rivals GWS on Saturday night. The Swans look likely to get some of their injured players back this week, keeping them in the market at $2.65. The Giants have handled the Swans in the past when least expected to do so. If they are a real flag contender this year and most believe they are, then they need to win this one.
Tip: Essendon to beat Collingwood ($2.20)
Lee Soo-Min won the Shenzhen International on the European tour last year, although he lines up again this year, he is well down the betting list at $101. Tommy Fleetwood is the opening UBET favourite at $13 but punters have been keen to take the $15 for second pick Bubba Watson. There are several Aussies in the field and the shortest of those is Scott Hend at $51.
The US PGA Tour event for the week is the Texas Open and in a wide open betting affair, Matt Kuchar is slight favourite at $19 ahead of Charley Hoffman, Brooks Koepka and Jimmy Walker all at $21. Both Hoffman and Walker are previous winners of the Texas Open, Hoffman last year, and Walker in 2015 when he defeated Jordan Spieth. Nobody could ever forget the memorable win by Australian Steve Bowditch in 2014, but he has been in terrible form over the last 2 years, so he’s one of the outsiders this week at $501.
Tip: Patrick Reed to win the Texas Open ($26)
The Rebels scored a terrific win over the Brumbies in Melbourne last week, and although their supporters would be hoping that win might be enough to ensure their future in the Super Rugby competition, they could only manage a crowd of around 7500. It seems we are still a long way off knowing the make-up of the comp next year, and with lawyers now involved, maybe it won’t change?
Anyway, we have another 8 games this week, and with the Bulls the ‘longest’ priced favourite at $1.33, it does look a very predictable round coming up. In fact a multi with all 8 favs to win calculated out at $2.40 for a $1 outlay when prices opened on Tuesday, and that is the shortest price ever for one of the major codes in Australia.
When that happens, there is always a lot more interest in the lines, and there are some big ones set for this week. The highest of those lines is -41.5 points in favour of the Highlanders over the Sunwolves. The Japanese side were beaten 50-3 by the Crusaders last Friday, and a similar fate awaits them here.
The Waratahs and the Kings have only met once, and that resulted in a 72-10 slaughter in favour of the men from New South Wales. The Kings are another of those sides tipped to be out of the comp next year, and they actually weren’t too bad (in patches) when going down 47-34 to the Reds last week. The line on this match has been set at -21.5 in favour of the Waratahs, and the early money is with them.
Tip: Stormers at the +12.5 against the crusaders ($1.95)
Phillip Island in Victoria hosts the Supercars this weekend. There will be a race on Saturday, another on Sunday, with both being 57 laps. Fabian Coulthard and Shane Van Gisbergen were the two winners from the last meeting in Tasmania and both are well in contention to win race 1 on Saturday. For the first time in a couple of seasons, the favourite tag doesn’t sit with either Jamie Whincup or Shane Van Gisbergen, both at $4.00 behind Scott McLauchlin at $3.50. Coulthard is close behind that trio at $4.50, then there is a decent gap to Chaz Mostert at $12. McLaughlin did win both races at Phillip Island last year, so he’s clearly at home on the open circuit.
Tip: Philip Island race 1 Van Gisbergen to win ($4.00)
Sebastian Vettel defeated Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain at the weekend, while he was a little fortunate to capitalise on the safety car coming out, that was the second win from three races for Vettel. Hamilton is still the favourite to win the title ($1.80) ahead of Vettel ($2.10) and those two dominate the market.
The next F1 race will be in Russia next weekend. Hamilton again is the opening fav at $1.80 ahead of Vettel at $2.40 with Valtteri Bottas at $8.00.
Marc Maquez has won the last three versions of ‘The Americas’, while Maverick Vinales is currently $1.60 to win the riders title. Marquez has opened as the UBET favourite to win in Texas this week. Vinales was impressive winning in Argentina a fortnight ago and on face value appears good value at $3.00. Valentino Rossi finished second in Argentina and is $5.00, then there’s a big gap to Andrea Dovizioso ($13) and Jorge Lorenzo ($15). Lorenzo has struggled to be competitive this season in what has been an amazing fall from the top echelon.
The Superbikes will also be in action this week in the Netherlands, although it is still early in the season, Jonathan Rea is already a raging hot fav at $1.07 to win the title. On current form it appears as though he should bag another two wins this week. At the recent meet in Aragon, Rea won the first race and finished second in race 2 behind main rival Chaz Davies, but Rea has won all four races held in the Netherlands over the past two years.