Wednesday, 31 January 2007

2pts WERDER BREMEN ( 1.46/1 Betfair) v Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga 1

First thoughts may be that Bremen are poor value. After all, this has been a very closely fought contest in recent years, they are away from home, were perhaps flattered a little by the scoreline in the Hannover match, and are against opponents who are on a roll at the moment. In reality though, this is likely to be the sort of open play game where they will be able to expose the class gap between the two sides and stamp their authority on the match. With Bayern slipping up last night, and Schalke having a home tie against the struggling Aachen, Bremen will be satisfied with nothing but maximum points.

Leverkusen 0 Bremen 2 + 2.92 pts

3pts SVF HAMBURG ( 4/5 three firms) v Energie Cottbus Bundesliga 1

1 from 18 in all games, and 0 from 8 at home, Hamburg are in a precarious position and are the subject of some interesting debates on the betting forums. If you back them can you can be accused of suffering from ' name blindness '. Their opponents are close to the relegation zone themselves, although six points ahead of tonights rivals. Hamburg received another squad setback when Guy Demel tore a hamstring in the draw against Bielefeld, but Cottbus will be without three first team regulars themselves. You can view this game from different angles. I'll take the one that if Hamburg don't win this tonight end up being relegated at the end of the season, they will look back at this match as the one when their fate was all but sealed. This is make or break and Doll's men must be supported to give them a lifeline.

HSV 1 Cottbus 1 - 3pts

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

2pts win CORK ALL STAR 8/1 ( generally available) Cheltenham Champion Bumper

May not be a particularly original selection but there are reasons for taking this animal on your side now. Looking through the market for this race it appears that anything that wins those soft or heavy ground bumpers atLeopardstown, Punchestown or Fairyhouse, where the field are spread out over a couple of furlongs, are put in a prominent market position. On this side we have Carl Llewellyn holding a strong hand headed by the highly promising Den Of Inquity, who is an unknown on ground faster than soft. In Cork All Star, we have a horse who has been laid out long term for this, is taking the path used sucessfully by Liberman, has a pedigree that suggests he is a 'pure' bumper horse; and who will shorten by a few more points between now and the race. It's hard to guage the exact merit of the race he won at Cheltenham as those immediately close behind him have gone over obstacles since. It did look strong on the day though and only very soft underfoot conditions or a setback between now and the even will prevent him from going very close to winning this.

Won + 16pts
2 pts UNDER 2.5 GOALS ( 0.84/1 Betfair, 4/5 with 4 firms) Vfl Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga 1

Wolfsburg have in the past had a reputation for being a hard side to wear down at home. But their present league position tells the not all is well, and that they are not the solid middle table side of a few seasons back. They evidently played well enough to deserve something from their match in Berlin at the weekend, and on the back of that performance many fancy them to win this encounter. But against a Frankfurt side that is back to full strength, and taking into consideration that this is a six pointer with both sides hovering close to the relegation zone, this should be a tight affair and under 2.5 goals is the call. In their Bundesliga 1 home matches this season Wolfsburg have 6 from 8 unders, while Frankfurt have 7 from 9 in their away matches. This fixture has been under in recent times, and a close low scoring affair is predicted.

Wolfsburg 2 Frankfurt 2 - 2 pts

Monday, 29 January 2007

2 pts UNDER 2.5 GOALS 1.12/1 ( Betfair) FC Kaiserslautern v Karlsruher SC Bundesliga 2

The biggest game of the weekend in Bundesliga 2 , and live on DSF tonight. Karslruher are four points clear at the top. Their rivals are in fifth, five points off third place. Kaiserslautern cannot afford to lose this match; Karlsruher will probably come away content if they can get a point. Kaiserslautern have had two scoreless matches in their last two home games, and while both teams play effective counter football, unders could be on the cards. If it remains scoreless through the first 15 - 20 minuites then the tempo could slow right down. I'm hoping this is how things will pan out and under 2.5 goals is the most appealing wager in this contest

FCK 1 KSC 1 +2.24 pts

Sunday, 28 January 2007

2pts FC ERZGEBIRGE AUE(-0 Asian Handicap1.2/1 Bet 365) v FC Hansa Rostock Bundesliga 2

Hansa come off the back of their first defeat of the season faced with a difficult looking away encounter against fellow Eastern club, Aue. The home side are standing fifth in Bundesliga 2, are in terrific form at the moment, and are 5 from 6 at home. Hansa did not do enough to deserve anything from their match with Freiburg and at an eyecatching 1.2/1 DNB with Bet 365, Aue must be supported.

Aue 3 Rostock 0 + 2.4 pts

2pts WERDER BREMEN( - 1.5 Asian Handicap Betfair 0.94/1 Betfair) v FC Hannover96
Bundesliga 1

The class acts of german football at the moment, Bremen can be relied upon to score goals against a side struggling at present. Apart from captain Frank Baumann, Bremen have all of the regulars available and should be backed on the Asians' to win this fixture decisively.

Bremen 3 Hannover 0 +1.88 pts
1 pt win ASIAN MAZE 14/1 ( Paddy Power) AIG Hurdle

Not much bewteen her and Iktitaf on Morgiana running, and on similar going there should not be such a discrepancy in their odds. Put aside thoughts about the ground not being ideal, or being short of peak condition ( these questions apply to some of the others too) ; the fact is that not many horses win the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle on the back of running notably below par, thus anyone who has supported this mare for the festival must expect a very big run from her today. Without doubt the value call of the race.

Lost - 1pt

Saturday, 27 January 2007

2 pts S V HAMBURG ( 1.98/1 Betfair) v Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga 1

Hamburg have kept faith in Thomas Doll. They have not been in the best ever position financially since the AOL stadium was built and lost the influential Daniel van Buyten to Bayern during the summer. Furthermore, they have had woeful luck with the wellbeing of the players and have had as many as six or seven first team players missing in some of their matches. They will travel to Bielefeld without their captain Rafael van der Vaart, but de Jong, Semel and Sorin all return. The team are fully behind Doll, have shown glimpses of what they are capable of ( such as the twenty minuite spell that sealed victory away at Leverkusen ), and can begin their climb to safety with a victory against difficult opponents.

Bielefeld 1 HSV 1 - 2pts
I pt win IDOLE FIRST 11/2 ( three firms) Ladbroke Trophy Chase

The Venetia Williams horses are running out of their skin at present and the yard is enjoying it's best run for many years. It feels as though this animal has been around for ever, though in truth he's only had six races over fences, put up a career best in this sphere last time out, and still has plenty more improvement left in him. Admittedly, most of his form has been on better ground than this, but he did acquit himself well when last running on a heavy surface two years ago at Uttoxeter. Worth backing to defy an 8lb rise in the ratings.

Lost - 1pt

1pt win MON MOME Sky Bet Chase 5/1 ( three firms)
1pt win EVER PRESENT Sky Bet Chase 10/1 (Sporting Odds) (9.5/1 Betfair)

Versatile with regard to trip, ground and track, Mon Mome is continuing to climb steadily up the handicap. Finding one to good for him in valuable prizes on his last two outings, he can be trusted to run his race, and a continuation of his recent performances is sure to see him run very close. Ever Present is visually pleasing with his style of running and jumping. This will only be his fifth race over fences, is in the form of his life , and the impression is that this race has been on the cards from the moment it was decided to wind him down a little after his slog at Kelso last time.

Lost - 2pts

Thursday, 25 January 2007

2 pts OVER 2.5 Goals ( Evens 2 firms & Betfair) Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich Bundesliga 1

Dortmund have had only 3 over 2.5's in their nine home Bundesliga 1 appearances, but playing under new manager Jürgen Röber against a team who have had 7 from 8 overs' in the Bundesliga 1 away games, there could be plenty of goals. Dortmund played better than the 3 - 1 scoreline suggests against Schalke in their last home game (the impressive Schalke goalkeeper Neuer had a blinder in that match) and will fancy themselves against a less than solid Bayern defence.

BVB 3 Bayern 2 + 2pts

2pts FC KOLN ( 5/4 Stan James) v SV Wacker Burghausen Bundesliga 2

Followers of the live Bundesliga matches shown on DSF every Monday night cannot have witnessed a poorer performance from a home side than that of Burghausen in their encounter with the 1860 Munich earlier in the season. They have shown improved form since then, but have a dismal record against Cologne, and ( allowing the pitch is in a playable state) , the away side should prove much to strong despite being in a slump themselves at the present time. Daum has more players to choose from than were available for selection against Augsburg on Sunday, and his side can gain a much needed victory.

Wacker 1 Koln 3 + 2.5 pts

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

1 pt each way POUVOIR 25/1 ( available with four firms) Triumph Hurdle

The introduction of the Fred Winter at the festival has already changed the shape of the Triumph. It would appear that the full sized fields may, for the time being at least, may be a thing of the past in this event. The race can now be looked at in a different perspective, and one that ante - post interest is now worth consideration. Of course, the new race could divert your fancy away from the Triumph, but it's probably best to take heart that anything that lines up in the Fred Winter will not have been good enough to win the bigger race. Pouvoir was visually impressive when winning on his latest start, looking a completely different animal from his earlier starts. Let's believe the view of connections that his performance on his second start was due to the race coming a bit too quick, as opposed to looking at him as one that needs a flat track. Only around 5lb behind stable companion Katchit with some of the handicappers, he takes the eye at current odds.

NR - 2pts

Monday, 22 January 2007

3 pts win FC HANSA ROSTOCK (1.85 Betfair) v SC Freiburg Bundesliga 2

A disappointing start to the Bundesliga bets for the year - at these prices we need at least a 50% S/R just to break even. However, I'm confident we'll end up in profit at the end of the season and we can get back on the winning trail with Hansa tonight. Both these teams see themselves as belonging in the top division. But Freiburg have failed to impress, and while you can find some fine bits of form from them - such as their away victory against Kaiserslautern, they are performing poorly at present, and a journey to the Ostseestadion is probably the one that all of the teams in Bundesliga 2 relish least of all. At present, Hansa are making a name for themselves with their actual football as opposed to the exploits of the large number of nutcases who follow the club around. They have a 6W, 2D home record this season and are confidently expected to take all three points in tonight's live Tv (DSF) encounter.

HR 0 Freiburg 1 - 3pts

Sunday, 21 January 2007

2 pts win S C PADERBORN ( 4/5 generally available) v Eintracht Braunschwieg Bundesliga 2

Both teams have been struggling. Braunschwieg are starting to become detatched at the bottom of the table, Paderborn are not far clear of the relegation zone themselves. Paderborn have made yet another manager change, and the latest appointment, Holger Fach is very bullish on the team website about his teams chances of securing victory, and it will be a surprise if they cannot triumph over their very poor opponents.

SCP 0 EB 0 -2pts

2pts FC KOLN ( - 1 Asian Handicap 2.15 Betfair ) v Augsburg Bundesliga 2

Christoph Daum's return to Cologne was a popular one with the Kolsche fans. However, the resettling in period is over and results are now expected. Promotion back to Bundesliga 1 was considered a formality at the beginning of the season, but they find themselves struggling in 10th place, with a team full of hotheads, and morale cannot have been lifted by the attempt of Bayer Leverkusen ,their Rhein neighbours, to poach their presently sidelined star, Patrick Helmes, in the winter pause. There will not be many Augsburg making the long trip up from Bavaria. Cologne won 2 -0 when they met at the start of the season and are worth support at - 1 on the Asians' as they strive to climb up the table.

Koln 1 Augsburg 1 - 2pts

Saturday, 20 January 2007

1pt win TURPIN GREEN 6/1 ( Bet Direct) Peter Marsh Chase
1pt win IRISH RAPTOR 8/1 ( available with 3 firms) Peter Marsh Chase

Nicky Richards does not appear to have lost faith in Turpin Green and he is the only animal in the field who would presently be capable of acquitting himself with credit in championship class. He does have his quirks, but there are so many disappointing types in this substandard renewal of this event, that he must be backed to defy top weight.

Irish Raptor is a progressive sort with a good racing weight for the conditions. Twiston-Davies is a master at picking off big chase handicaps with his novices. From the days of Captain Dibble, Young Hustler and Earth Summit, he has spotted that opportunities are aplenty with many of these long distance chases ' full of sour, regressive animals.

Lost - 2pts

Friday, 12 January 2007

1/2 pt each way PATSY HALL Royal & Sun Alliance Chase 16/1 ( generally available)

Patsy Hall's transition to the larger obstacles has not been without mishap but he's really progressing now that his jumping is improving. A highly creditable second to Cailin Alainn in that hot Leopardstown race over Christmas, Patsy Hall appeals as hardy character who will have no ground worries, and one who is likely to make the line up on the day.

Lost - 1pt
1 pt win CAILIN ALAINN Royal & Sun Alliance Chase 10/1 ( available generally)

The event she won at Leopardstown will probably turn out to be the strongest staying novice chase this side of Cheltenham. Unbeaten in her last six races, and in all four races over fences, this mare has already established hereself on the scene and should not be three times the price of Denman. Testing conditions are not a necessity for her and she must be included in any portfolio for this race.

Lost - 1pt

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

1/2 point each way MERDEKA Royal & Sun Alliance Chase 33/1 ( generally available)

If, like many others, you've not been convinced by Denman and see him as a very vulnerable proposition; then there is an unresistable temptation to build up a portfolio on this event. The level of form Merdika has shown in his two completed races over fences is a good deal short of that required to win this race. There are also questions concerning his ability to act on any ground other than soft as he's one of these giant Luso's - though some of them do not necessarily require alot of give. However, at his current odds he is worth support on the count that he appeals as one who has any amount of improvement in him, has always been highly regarded, and is in the hands of a set up that you'd rather be with than against.

NR - 1pt

Saturday, 6 January 2007

1 pt each way BUENA VISTA Arkle Chase 16/1 ( available with four firms)

In Buena Vista we have an animal who can perform on the big stage as evidenced by his fine run at the festival last year. He made a highly satisfactory winning chasing debut on ground not ideal for him and crucially, is very likely to make the line up on the day where, as at Exeter, he is likely to be ridden with more restraint than in his races over hurdles. Particularly with Fair Along and Lennon amongst his rivals.

Lost - 2pts

Monday, 1 January 2007

1 pt win DUTCH ART 2,000 Gns 10/1

The speedy female line in this colts pedigree does not make him a suitable candidate for each way purposes - though connections are confident that a mile will be within his reach. From a vintage juvenile crop, Dutch Art performances were somewhat put in the shadow by the two colts that dominated the Dewhurst. With Teofilio having the credentials to make up into a middle distance colt, connections may leave a little to work on from Newmarket. It may just be that he is simply too good for his opponents, but in Dutch Art he is up against a real professional who will be trained to the minuite on the day and who is worth an investment at the odds presently available.

Lost - 1pt
1 pt each way ASIAN MAZE Champion Hurdle 20/1 ( available generally)

Thouroughly likeable mare who will surely return to her best in the spring. After her highly satisfactory seasonal debut, connections expressed concern that the Hatton's Grace might come a bit too soon. That run can be safely ignored. She has the raw ability to go very close in the big one and represents outstanding each way value at present odds.

Lost - 2pts