GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 27TH APRIL
Victory Stakes day at Eagle Farm kicks off the highly anticipated Queensland Winter Racing Carnival. The majority of the Queensland carnival falls within the Brisbane Racing Carnival and the official slogan to use here is ‘Pony Up’. Eagle Farm has been given a much need breather for the last two months and fingers crossed the track plays well on Saturday.
It’s a fantastic eight-race program with the Victory Stakes being the headline act. This is a Group 2 weight-for-age affair that is famous for kicking off the carnival in style. Last year’s Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate ($2.40) is the clear favourite and a 1200m specialist. However, I think there is more value in the Heathcote-trained Hopfgarten ($8.50). The six-year-old is first-up but comes off a strong trial win and if the track plays as though it’s rain affected, as many are speculating it will, he should handle it better than his opposition. There is already a sprinkling of money around for Hopgarten who opened up $10 with UBET. Others in the market include the Winterbottom-winner Takedown ($3.20) who needs a firm track, and the Cummings-trained Good Standing ($7.50).
The Gunsynd Classic (formerly the Doomben Classic) is a Group 3 set weights race over the mile and it has been known to reveal some Queensland Derby stars. The Toowoomba Guineas winner Dreams Aplenty is looking to make it four wins on the trot. He’s the only runner to have met with early support from punters, backed in from $2.50 to $2.10. Second favourite is Spring Tycoon ($4.40) followed by Kubis ($6.50) who is a chance to upset the Favourite.
There’s also an interesting listed race on the card, race 4 the UBET Dalrello Stakes over the 1200m. The field includes a smart looking 2YO Snitzkraft trained by Kelso Wood and Patricia Gesler (Kelso has the magic touch training two-year-olds). Looking to make it three wins in a row, he has been backed from $2.35 (after deduction) in to $2.00. If he runs anywhere near his previous city form, he just wins. The obvious danger and no knock is Ours To Keep ($2.80), he’s also been met with support opening $3.10 (after deduction).
Let’s not forget the exciting SA carnival racing action on Saturday. The two feature races of the day at Morphettville are both Group 3’s under set weight conditions, the SA Breeders Stakes (1200m) and the SA Chairman’s Stakes (2030m). No betting action at this early stage in either feature but interestingly only three horses are under double figure odds in the Chairman’s, Anaheim ($3.20), Screamarr ($5.00) and Morvada ($6.50). The Breeder’s Stakes is the first race of the day and is wide open affair. If you know the winner, can you please let me know! Contenders include Redcore ($7.00) who should get a nice run, Time Awaits ($5.50), who has been running in the right class then Split lip and Broadband, both at $8.00.
Tip: Hopfgarten to win the Victory Stakes ($8.50)
We’re officially a quarter of the way through the regular season and, as the saying goes, the cream’s starting to rise to the top. Melbourne, who put New Zealand to the sword on Anzac Day, remain clear top pick on the 2017 Premiership betting board at $4.50, ahead of the Raiders ($6.50) and the Brisbane Broncos ($7.00). The Sydney Roosters are the only other side under the $10-line, trimming up to $8.00 after their thrilling Anzac Day victory over the Dragons.
Round 9 kicks-off tonight (Thursday) with the Broncos in action against the Panthers, who’ve been struggling for the past few months, losing six of their last eight games. 90 percent of the early head-to-head money is for Brisbane at $1.45 and there’s also loads of love for Brisbane 1-12 at $2.85. Smart punters are all over Manly straight up in the other Friday Night game and there’s significant interest in Manly -2 at $1.85 too. Alex Johnston scored a double in Souths’ 38-18 win over the Sea Eagles earlier this season and is a popular 1st Try Scorer selection.
Our bookies have also had to scramble to adjust the prices in one of the Saturday games and the moves have nothing to do with money. Jonathan Thurston has been named 18th man for the Cowboys and the mere inclusion of his name on the team sheet has seen their price nosedive from $1.67 to $1.62. Opponents, Parra, are $2.20 out to $2.55.
Tip: Parramatta +5.5 ($1.90) against Nth Qld.
GWS and Adelaide share favouritism at $3.75 to win the flag this year but Geelong are the side that have people sitting up and taking notice. The Cats are now $7.00 alongside the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs have been very scratchy in most of their wins, there also hasn’t been a lot of interest shown in them since the season got underway. Outside of those sides, the biggest mover has been Port Adelaide, now in to $13 and getting support. Richmond remain unbeaten after 5 rounds but only firmed from $21 into $17 after their come-from-behind win over Melbourne. The price for Rory Sloane to win the Brownlow Medal has shortened again, now $8.00 behind Paddy Dangerfield ($4.50) and Dustin Martin ($6.00). Geelong’s Joel Selwood is right behind them at $13 after another vote-getting performance on the weekend.
There are some interesting matches ahead as we look at round 6, none more so than Friday nights clash between the Giants and the Bulldogs. The Giants looked good after giving the Swans a 4 goal head start last week. Even though they’ve only won two from seven against the Bulldogs (reigning premiers), the Giants are expected to win here at a quote of $1.36.
While the Sydney Swans are winless, they go into round 6 as the shortest favourite ($1.17) to beat Carlton. The Blues do have a win on the board but were woeful last week, and UBET punters think that Sydney will cover the 32.5 line. The Swans have won seven in a row against Carlton, and in three of their last four wins, the margin has been 60+ points.
North Melbourne are on the other side, yet to win a game this season. They also will be clear favourites against Gold Coast at Etihad on Saturday night. The Roos opened at $1.50 but have edged in to $1.45 following a narrow loss to Fremantle. They have been narrowly beaten countless times over the past few seasons and it’s becoming a bad habit. While North do play their best footy at Etihad, the Suns have won three of the last four against them, including the last one away from home. In that match Tom Lynch kicked 4 goals and with the form he’s in, Lynch might be the telling factor in what could be an upset.
Tip: Hawthorn to beat St Kilda ($1.77)
Sudden death football continues this weekend with Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane all fighting it out for A-League Grand Final berths.
Minor premiers Sydney have come up a short price to do away with Perth on Saturday, but the $1.42 on offer is appropriate when you consider the Sky Blues’ recent record over the Glory. Graham Arnold’s men played Perth three times for three convincing wins this year, 3-0, 4-1 and 4-1 were the score lines.
Meanwhile, Brisbane’s being specked to cause a boil over in the second semi-final on Sunday. Our bookies threw Melbourne Victory up at $1.80 with the Draw at $3.75 and Brisbane at $4.25 but all the early interest is in the Roar at a price. Brisbane was also in action in the AFC Champions League in Thailand on Wednesday night, so travel fatigue could be a telling factor here.
Tip: Draw between the Roar and the Victory ($3.80)
We went off a week early with the next round of the Superbikes, but they will be in action this week in the Netherlands.
Although still early in the season, Jonathan Rea is already a raging hot favourite 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. Rea has won all four races held in the Netherlands over the past two years.
Tip: Rea to win Race 1
One of the year’s biggest upsets occurred last Friday when the waratahs ($1.04) were beaten by the Kings. Such is the plight of Super Rugby at the moment that even a monumental loss like that at home hardly caused a ripple in the media! The Kiwi sides continue to dominate in-title betting with the only ‘outsider’ being the Lions at $7.00. This places them on the fourth line of betting behind the Hurricanes ($3.00), the undefeated Crusaders ($4.00) and the Chiefs ($4.25).
The Reds are at home to the Waratahs this week and although the Waratahs have won the last six between the two sides, they will still be reeling after last week’s loss. The other damning stat against the Reds here is that they have only scored an average of 6 points in those six losses, and they would be well aware of that. The game total will be interesting when that goes up but for the moment we have seen solid support for the Reds who are the slightest of favourites at $1.80.
The Kings were good last week as were the Rebels when they were narrowly beaten by the Sharks. These two teams face each other in South Africa early Sunday morning. The Rebels are actually favourites here at $1.65, but support has been split between the two sides. The Kings have scored 101 points in their last three matches and have definitely improved over the last month as they fight for survival. To be fair to the Rebels, they have done the same thing so the value might be with the home side, just!
Tip: Reds to beat the Waratahs ($1.80)
Lewis Hamilton has won two of the three editions of the Russian GP since the sport returned to Russia and he is $1.80 to add to that tally this week. Hamilton won in 2014 and 2015 before the now retired Nico Rosberg won last year. Sochi hosted the Winter Olympics a few years ago and is now also the venue for the F1’s. While Hamilton is the one to beat as far as the prices are concerned, Sebastian Vettel ($2.40) must be hard to beat given he has won two of the three races held so far this season. Valtteri Bottas is considered some hope at $8.00 but was disappointing in Bahrain last start after qualifying fastest.
Tip: Hamilton to win the Russian GP ($1.80)
The Zurich Classic will be the US PGA Tour event this week, and the format has changed to a 72 hole stroke play with Foursomes (alternate shots) during the 1st and 3rd rounds, and four ball (best ball) during the 2nd and 4th rounds. 80 teams (160 players) will tee up to start with, and that will be cut to 35 teams after the 2nd round. Visually these are always good events, but the format has never really taken off from a betting viewpoint. There are 2 teams that head the market at $7.00, Jason Day/Rickie Fowler, and Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson. Both of those teams have met with support as has the combo of Ryan Palmer/Jordan Spieth at $11.
Tip: Palmer/Spieth to win the Zurich Classic ($12)
The Australian side for the upcoming Champions Trophy has been named, and the Aussies remain the $4.00 equal favourites with host nation England. The competition has been cut to eight teams, and it’s a sign of the times with what has been going on in the West Indies that they didn’t make the cut but Bangladesh are in. Naturally most of what we’ve seen to date has been support for Australia, but there is also money for New Zealand at $8.00, and Pakistan at $13. Chris Lynn has been named in the 15 man Australian squad but it remains to be seen if he has fully recovered from another shoulder injury. Some of the countries involved are yet to name their squads, but once that happens there will be numerous markets open with a heavy focus on players.