Monday, 30 April 2007

3 pts HANSA ROSTOCK 1.48/1 ( Betfair) v Rot-Weiss Essen Bundesliga 2

A fascinating clash with both teams fully after the maximum points. For the first time all season, Hansa's promotion hopes are threatened with three teams lying a point behind them. After their moderate first half performance at home to KSC last week there can be no complaints about the final outcome, though they did put up a much better showing in the second half. Essen are struggling for survival in Bundesliga 2, and with a four point gap betweem them and safety it could be do or die for them tonight. This could be pretty frantic with lots of gaps appearing but there is a big class difference between these two sides, and Essen will need to have more steel than Krupps' to overcome the guests here. Hansa must be supported at the odds currently available.

RW Essen 0 Rostock 0 - 3pts

Sunday, 29 April 2007

3 pts FC KOLN 1.7/1 ( Betfair) v Greuther Furth Bundesliga 2

Purely from a motivational factor, the visitors have more to play for, still remaining just outside of the promotion zone. They've won eight from their last ten and confidence could not be higher. However, as seen in the Duisburg v Braunschweig match, too much emphasis can be put on the ' more to play for' aspect, and the FC are too big a price to ignore here. Christoph Daum has stated on the club website the importance of winning all of the last four games - though realistically, the spotlight has already turned to shaping the team for the start of the 07/08 season, where Daum will be under severe pressure if they start poorly. Brazilian centre back Luciano, and the sleepy Norwegian left back Marius Johnsen will be leaving, and Daum has been tracking the versatile Cottbus captain Kevin McKenna, as a replacement for Lukas Sinkiewicz. The FC will have their usual large crowd behind them today and having beat todays rivals on the road in November, stand out at present odds on the exchanges.

FC Koln 0 Furth 2 - 3pts

3 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 1/1 ( Betfair) FC Augsburg v Kaiserslautern Bundesliga 2

The home side have blew their chance of promotion, while this is a must win for FCK to keep promotion hopes alive. They've won their last two convincingly, finding the scoring habit, and an open match is on the cards here with plenty of goals looking likely. In fact, FCK have had five overs in ther last six, Augsburg have seven from their last ten. The overs/unders may seem an opt out at times, but in this situation the bet appeals very strongly at even money.

FCA 3 FCK 2 + 3 pts

Saturday, 28 April 2007

3 pts ALAMENNIA AACHEN 1.52/1 ( Betfair) v Hertha Berlin Bundesliga 1

Fontzeck's men must be supported here. After looking as though they were going to climb out of trouble they now find themselves sitting in a precarious position. Though only five points adrift of Hertha, there are eight places between them and the visitors, who already have one hand on the safety ladder. Aachen have had some tricky games lately and apart from their home defeat by BVB, they have not performed any worse than expected. Hertha have a woeful away record, winning just twice on the road. Their current form is just as dire - they've picked up just five points in their last ten games. Aachen appeal strongly here and the outright victory is fairly priced.

Aachen 0 Hertha 4 - 3pts

3 pts HAMBURG SV + 0.5 & +1 Asian Handicap 1.05/1 ( Generally available) v Bayern Munich Bundesliga 1

This North/South encounter is arguably the biggest fixture in German football. We have seen over and over again this season that there is nothing to be too fearful of when playing this present Bayern side, and Huub Stevens side travel south having won six of their last ten matches and with more fit players available than has been the case all season - in contrast to the teams that Thomas Doll was forced to field, with sometimes as many as seven first team regulars missing. However, they are still threatened by relegation and need a couple of more points to breath easily. In what is sure to be a fiercely competitive game, HSV are worth support on the Asians.

Bayern 1 HSV 2 + 3.1 pts
2 pts win CORNISH SETT 11/2 ( Generally available) Betfred Gold Cup

Reveillez is worth taking on at his present odds. Prior to his Aintree success the feeling was that if he was ever going to get 3m1f, it would be on that circuit. He is now asked to travel an extra four furlongs on a stiffer track. Cornish Sett arrives here fresh and has his optimum underfoot conditions. The trip is an unknown, but on a course that can sometimes suit quirky hold up types, he is sure to be travelling well, bang on the tails of the leaders jumping the pond fence for the last time. He's set to run a big race here.

Lost - 3pts

Friday, 27 April 2007

3 pts VfL BOCHUM +0.5 Asian Handicap 1.11/1 ( Betfair) v Schalke 04 Bundesliga 1

An interesting NRW Derby, with both teams desperate for the points for contrasting reasons.Bochum are 26 pts adrift of the SO4 and are still fighting for their survival. To their credit, they are obtaining results at the moment and like the SO4 , have won five out their last ten. Everybody is waiting for the SO4 to bottle this championship, and a defeat for them here will give Bremen an opportunity to go top.They have a good record in clashes between these two teams and have attained a consistency in recent months that has sometimes been lacking in the past. However given the nature of this contest, the home side appeal value wise and are worth backing with a start on the Asians.

Bochum 2 S04 1 + 3.3 pts

Sunday, 22 April 2007

3 pts HANSA ROSTOCK 1.25/1 ( Paddy Power) v Karlsruhe SC Bundesliga 2

A cracker in store here - live on DSF too. KSC sit on top of the league on 60 pts, five ahead of Hansa. KSC coach Edmund Becker believes 63 pts will see them up. After this match they will have four left to play, their next game at home to Unterhaching, a game in which they will no doubt be expecting to get maximum points. KSC have only lost three matches on the road all season - interestingly those defeats have come in their last five away matches and it is significant that Becker has commented that some of his players need freshening up. KSC played like crabs in their last away at TSV 1860 and cannot possibly play so poorly again. Nevertheless, Hansa have only lost one at home all season and while their play has been rather indifferent since the winter pause, a victory here will put them a step further on the ladder to Bundesliga 1. With the crowd behind them ( KSC are bringing a maximum of 1,000) they can come away with the honours here.

Rostock 1 KSC 2 - 3pts
3 pts MSV DUISBURG - 1.5 & - 2 Asian Handicap Evens ( Generally available) v Eintracht Braunchsweig Bundesliga 2

The class difference between these two sides is mammouth. Braunchsweigh will be in the Regional divisions next season. They are absolutely appalling on their travels, picking up a mere 4 points in 14 matches, losing ten of them, and seven by a margin of at least two. Duisburg's home form could be a shade better for a team lying in third, but having that final promotion position threatened by a que of three close behind. It will be a surprise if they fail to complete today's task by a comfortable margin.

Duisburg 0 Braunschweig 0 - 3pts

3 pts OVER 2.5 GOALS 0.97/1 ( Generally available) Wacker Burghausen v FC Augsburg Bundesliga 2

An interesting Bavarian Derby. Burghausen are putting in a commendable effort to avoid Regional Southern football next season, something that appeared to be a foregone conclusion not so long ago. Augsburg have blown their chance of getting into the mix of the promotion fight. The 15 points they have over todays rivals is probably a fair reflection of their superiority, but for obvious reasons this should be a closely fought game. Both teams have 7 overs in their last ten games, and while the overs/unders can sometimes be too much of a lottery, highly dependant on what happens in the early stages, this game should produce plenty of goals.

Burghausen 0 Augsburg 2 - 3 pts

3 pts HANNOVER 96 - 0.5 & - 1 Asian Handicap 1.1/1 ( Generally Available) v Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga 1

Hannover were playing some fine football at one stage during the season, and no one would have envisaged a couple of months back that they would freefall into a position 2 pts above the relegation zone. They haven't won in their last six but they have had some tough opponents to face, including Stuttgart, Bayern and the SO4. Today's rivals are all but down, and deservedly so on the face of their away form, losing 12 from 15 on the road and picking up just five points. The home side are confidently expected to gain the much needed maximum points here, but we have to go to the Asians as there as been a big plunge on them in the win only market and the 0.9/1 has gone well over the horizon.

Hannover 1 Monchengladbach 0 + 1.65 pts

Saturday, 21 April 2007

3pts VfL BOCHUM - 0 Asian Handicap 1.82/1 ( Betfair) v Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga 1

This is an interesting contest. Bochum travel from NRW to Frankfurt, lying a point adrift of their rivals, but knowing that any sort of result for them will be a further step towards safety. They are in fine heart at the moment having won three of their last five, home wins against BVB and Hannover, and a surprisingly wide margin away victory at Leverkusen. Frankfurt have a good record in this fixture in recent times but their home record this season leaves alot to be desired. They have won only four of their fourteen home fixtures - only Hannover having accumulated less points than them. The Bochum side contains the ever dangerous Greek international Theofanis Gekas who has netted 17 times in the 27 occasions he has played for the club. I fancy them to do something here and they are worth getting stuck into with the DNB proviso.

Frankfurt 0 Bochum 3 + 5.4 pts
2 pts win NINE DE SIVOLA 5.8/1 ( Betfair) Scottish Grand National
1 pt win CLASSIC CAPERS 31/1 ( Betfair) Scottish Grand National

In a contest littered with out of form indivividuals, many of whom who are probably on the downgrade, it is folly to ignore the obvious claims of the well handicapped Nine De Sivola who looks ready made for this event. The Ferdie Murphy yard has performed with far more consistency in the past 12 months than use to be the case, and it is in these valuable marathon events that the yard excel in. Conditions should be ideal for this gelding today and he will no doubt be travelling well and moving into contention as the race progresses.

A leap of faith is needed to side with many in this field and with the Malcolm Jefferson yard flying at the moment, Classic Capers appeals amongst the longshots. He looked quite a promising individual in his early days, and you would have envisaged him doing better than he has. However, it now appears that he wants this type of trip and it is encouraging that his two lifetime best performances over fences have come in his two outings over 3m 2f plus. True, the ground is a concern, but there is hope to be gleaned fron his Huntingdon run on good to firm in November, when he kept on to finish within eight lengths of the winner over an inadequate trip.

Lost - 3 pts

Thursday, 19 April 2007

3 pts win FC KOLN 2.2/1 ( Betfair) v TSV 1860 Munich Bundesliga 2

Both these teams now play Bundesliga 2 football again next season. On the face of it there is not alot to play for. However, Christophe Daum has emphasised to the FC players that this game is a test of their character. Daum will be already thinking ahead to next season where the first half dozen games will be the most important so far since his return to the club, and some of the squad will have to satisfy the boss that they are worthy to be made part of future plans. Captain Lukas Sinkiewicz will be missing after incurring a 3 match ban for unsportsmanlike conduct after evidence from TV cameras led to him being found guilty of punching an opposing player in the stomach during the home defeat against the on fire Freiburg. Nevertheless the inconsistent TSV 1860 arguably have an even worse staff crisis. Nicky Adler, whose performances have earned him a move to Nurnberg next season, is injured. As is the Serbian Nemanja Vucicevic , a physically strong player who causes untold problems for his opponents defence. Many FC fans are sure to make the long journey south for this game and they are capable of coming away with maximum points here.

TSV 1860 3 FC Koln 1 - 3pts

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

3 pts VFL WOLFSBURG - 0 Asian Handicap 1.19/1 ( Betfair) v VfB Stuttgart German Cup Semi - Final

The Volkswagen team have home advantage against a team who lie 20 points ahead of them in the Bundesliga. Each side have their major scorer absent. Stuttgart are still without Mario Gomez, while Wolfsburg will have Argentinian Diego Klimowicz missing, a player who's scored 56 goals from 145 club appearances. Wolfsburg coach Klaus Augenthaler is playing down the absence, stating that the club has a strong enough squad to compensate. They are traditionally a hard side to beat at home and you get the feeling that they are more up for this tonight. That's not to say that the visitors are taking the game lightly - it's just that they are already certain of a UEFA Cup place next season, and will be thinking more of a Champion's League place, and will no doubt have that massive encounter against Bayern this coming Saturday on their mind. Wolfsburg should be supported here with the DNB proviso.

Wolfsburg 0 Stuttgart 1 - 3 pts

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

3 pts win FC NURNBERG 1.14/1 ( Betfair) v Eintracht Frankfurt German Cup Semi-Final

FCN have home advantage and will want to finish this one off in one go prior to their important away game in the league at Leverkusen on Saturday, a game which could have major implications for both clubs participation in Europe next season - particularly if Nurenberg fail to win this competition. They have been playing some fine football this season, highlighted by their 3-0 crushing of Bayern in February, and have only been defeated once at the Easy Credit Stadion all season. Frankfurt have improved in the last two months and now have a four points cushion between them and the relegation zone. They've only lost one of their last six away matches, and obtained a 2-2 draw here last month.However,the FCN with an almost full strength squad including Markus Schroth and Ivan Saenko, who have scored 15 goals between them, should overpower their rivals here and are worth support to kill this tie in 90 minuites.

FCN 4 E. Frankfurt 0 +3.4 pts

Monday, 16 April 2007

3 pts ERZGEBIRGE AUE -0 Asian handicap 1.68/1 ( Betfair) v Carl Zeiss Jena Bundesliga 2

There are a few angles that can be taken into this match. Firstly, Aue, the visitors here have one of the worst away records in Bundesliga 2, winning only three of their fourteen matches on the road. Amazingly, they have been so strong at home that it's only their last two matches that have put them out of contention for a promotion place. You could argue that they have little to play for against a team struggling against relegation, and who play under their new manager for the first time tonight.However, the oddsmakers seem to have overeacted to the situation, and Aue are worth support on the Asians to make their class tell with the DNB proviso. Jena have only won five from fourteen at home, have key players doubtful through injury, and were thrashed 5-1 when the teams met in November. The highlight of Aue's away performances came with a victory at KSC and they also managed to give Freiburg a fright in December. I'm taking the motivation factors out of the equation and plumping for the better side at overpriced odds.

CZ Jena 2 Aue 1 - 3pts

Sunday, 15 April 2007

3 pts FC KOLN 1.36/1 ( Betfair) v SC Frieburg Bundesliga 2

The FC are in fine heart at present. After a commanding second half performance against Koblenz they gained an away victory against Aue. It's a shame that the performance there was overshadowed by crowd disturbances where some of the wacky Trotskyites/ Quasi - Anarchists who follow the FC around set off smoke bombs. They play host to a side pushing for a promotion place, and who have won eight of their last ten. Helmes will face a late fitness test. He announced earlier in the week that he would definitely be staying at the club for another season - though rumours abound that captain Lukas Sinkiewicz could be going to Leverkusen or BVB ( Thomas Doll was in the crowd at Rostock to watch him play). With home advantage, I fancy the FC to win this fixture for the fourth time running.

FC Koln 0 Freiburg 3 - 3pts

3 pts TuS KOBLENZ +1 & +1.5 Asian Handicap 0.81/1 ( Betfair) v Karlsruher SC Bundesliga 2

Perhaps they consider themselves safely promoted - but the KSC were an absolute disgrace against TSV 1860 on Monday night. They played with no sense of urgency or pride and seemed content to pass the ball around in their own half - even when 2-0 down. It's unlikely they'll ever play so bad again but even so, they face a side here who are only five points ahead of the relegation zone and probably need a few more points to render them safe. They played some good football in the first half at Cologne, and their attacks were well constructed, causing problems for their opponents defence. They have since lost at home to Essen, but I fancy them to acquitt themselves well here and they are worth supporting with the help of the Asians.

KSC 3 Koblenz 1 - 3pts

3pts ROT- WEISS ESSEN 1.1/1 ( Betfair) v SpVgg Unterhaching Bundesliga 2

Rot-Weiss are making a commendable effort to stay in Bundesliga 2, and I fancy that their rivals today will make the journey back to Munich empty handed. In fact, they have lost their last six matches on the road and, along with today's rivals, sit only a point the relegation zone. Rot-Weiss have managed away victories at Koblenz and, surprisingly at KSC, losing at home to the inconsistent but useful TSV 1860 in the interim, and managing to make a name for themselves with their football as opposed to the large number of skinheads who follow the team around.

RW Essen 1 Unterhaching 1 - 3pts

3 pts WERDER BREMEN 1.24/1 ( Betfair) v Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga 1

BVB managed to obtain a desperately needed three points at Aachen but they are still a club in desperate trouble, and Doll's men will struggle to keep the visitors at bay today. Werder need to match the SO4 result yesterday to keep within two points of their championship rivals. With games running out, five points will be too large a gap to close down. Portugese striker Almeida will be misssing along with Mertesecker and Wome, but they have a large enough squad for cover, and the back to form Aaron Hunt will start alongside Klose. They should beat their moderate rivals today.

BVB 0 Werder Bremen 2 + 3.7 pts

Saturday, 14 April 2007

1 pt win BUSTER HYVONEN 13.5/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Handicap Hurdle
1 pt win JUBILANT NOTE 17.5/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Handicap Hurdle
1 pt win AMEEQ 15/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Handicap Hurdle

Fanshawe has had an impressive record down the years with the few runners he keeps for the winter game and this lightly raced animal could follow up the stable's success here yesterday. He had a genuine excuse for his below par effort last time, and had previously looked a possible contender for one of the Cheltenham novice hurdles. The underfoot conditions should assist here.

Jubilant Note has clearly been laid out for this. He gives the impression that there is plenty more to come and has had a recent sharpener on the flat to put him right. Murphy will have him on the heels of the leading group and it will be disappointing if he is not involved in the shake up today.

Ameeq hails from an in form yard that excels in this sort of race. He's still only had six races over hurdles and it goes without saying that there still should be plenty of improvement left in him. Conditions will be to his liking here.

Lost - 3pts

2 pts win ALBERTA'S RUN 9/2 ( Generally available) John Smith's Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle
1 pt win GIDDAM GIDDAM 14.5/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle

All of Alberta's Run's winning form has come on a soft surface. However, not all of these Accordian's need the ground soft and this progressive and likeable individual will go close to maintaining his winning sequence here over a trip which could even bring out further improvement.

There have been a few John Mackie horses over the past couple of decades that have improved considerably and kept ahead of the handicapper. Giddam Giddam put up a career best last time out and will give another good account of himself in conditions that will not prove a hindrance. Definitely the value call of the race.

Alberta's Run Won + 8 pts

2 pts win BOB HALL 7/2 ( Generally available) John Smith's Novices Handicap Chase
1 pt win BOLD FIRE 21/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Novices Handicap Chase

Bob Hall can turnaround the Cheltenham form with L'Antartique. He probably has more improvement left in him than the winner, will appreciate the drying ground more, and has the services of J T McNamara in contrast to the cumbersome 10 footer who teams up with the Ferdie Murphy horse.

Bold Fire was cruising all over her rivals at Newbury until her staminia gave away. Perhaps we are starting to run out of excuses for her, but she still remains of interest and is certainly worth another chance here.

Bold Fire NR, Bob Hall Lost - 2pts

2 pts win AUX LE BAHN 7/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Champion Bumper
1 pt win LODGE LANE 9.5/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Champion Bumper

Noel Chance went close to pulling off a long term plan with Distant Thunder at Cheltenham, and this race would have been in the trainer's mind for Aux Le Bahn for some time now. Chance went close to taking this event with Mendo a couple of years back - he was ahead with half a furlong to run and was just run out of it close home. We can trust that this animal will be up to this sort of class and he cannot go unsupported.

Lodge Lane is the only member of the field who ran in the Cheltenham bumper. He ruined his chance by hanging badly around the final bend. Putting temperament problems aside, he was in the process of running a big race then and in what is a weaker contest here, must enter calculations.

Race Abandoned

Friday, 13 April 2007

2 pts win UNGARO 11/2 ( Generally available) Mildmay Novices Chase
1 pt win FAASEL 6/1 ( Ladbrokes) Mildmay Novices Chase

A return to a flat track should enable Ungaro to produce something near the level of his Feltham form, which would probably be suffice to win this. He dosen't have much to make up on Aces Four on Cheltenham running, and makes plenty of appeal here.

This early stage in his chase career may be the best time to catch the frustrating Faasel right. The stables runners are primed for this meeting, and if he's ever going to get this type of trip then it's going to be on this track under the prevailing conditions.

Lost - 3pts

3 pts win MONET'S GARDEN 11/2 ( Generally available) Melling Chase

With reports about the ground being positive there can be no excuses for this gelding today. He was clearly not himself from an early stage last time, yet only has four lengths to make up on Taranis. If he had foregone Cheltenham he'd be under half of his current odds here. The reservations about Well Chief's Newbury form still apply - and there are now further questions concerning the trip. At the peak of his career, over a course and distance that is perfect, and at a meeting where the Nicky Richards runners excel, this is the day to get stuck into Monet's.

Won + 16.5 pts

1.5 pts win OSANA 4.3/1 ( Betfair) Imagine Appeal Top Novices Hurdle
1.5 pts win DE SOTO 3.1/1 ( Betfair)Imagine Appeal Top Novices Hurdle

Osana was far from disgraced in the County Hurdle and remains a horse of considerable interest, being one who has possibilities of developing into a champion hurdle contender next season. He is a more reliable proposition than Ouninpohja and will appreciate not having a cavalry of 30 chasing him down today !

De Soto is a quality individual who very nearly took the Cheltenham Bumper on good ground, and proved that he is up with the top level of novices with his run in the Supreme Novices. He showed at Kempton that this track will be no hindrance and can be relied upon to be involved
at the business end here.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win REVEILLEZ 4.6/1 ( Betfair) Betfair Handicap Chase
1 pt win COPSALE LAD 5.8/1 ( Betfair) Betfair Handicap Chase

The lightly raced Reveillez has proven form in a big field on good ground. There may be further improvement left in him and he is of considerable interest attempting this trip under the prevailing conditions .

Copsale Lad filled the runner up spot behing Reveillez in last year's Jewson, before running a fine race here behind Star De Mohaison. The Henderson runners are acquitting themselves well at the moment and it will be disappointing if this guy does not figure here.

Reveillez won + 3.6 pts

Thursday, 12 April 2007

3pts MIGHTY MAN 2/1 ( Generally available) John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle

A thoroughly likeable individual who runs a few pound better here than he does at Cheltenham. He can win for the third time running at this meeting by reversing Cheltenham form with Inglis Drever. This is judgement day for Black Jack Ketchum, and it is off putting that there have been rumours eminating that he suffer from problems known only to connections. One thing's for sure - he will have to come off the bridle at some stage here.

Won + 6pts

3 pts win STATE OF PLAY 3.6/1 ( Betfair) Betfair Bowl

Created a lasting impression when waltzing up in a handicap here last year. Has built on that since and despite the bare form of his Gold Cup performance, he travelled like an animal right out of the top drawer for a long way in that race, and back over a course and distance that is ideal for him he is confidently expected to turnaround the form with Exotic Dancer and Turpin's Green.

Lost - 3pts

1pt win DEMI BEAU 12.5/1 ( Betfair) Red Rum Handicap Chase
1 pt win MARCEL 16.5/1 ( Betfair) Red Rum Handicap Chase

Demi Beau had reportedly been trained long term for the Grand Annual, but failed to get into contention after blundering at the first. Prior to that it looked as though he had got his jumping technique together. He is clearly capable of getting involved in his and is worth another chance.

Marcel has taken a while to get his act together over fences. His Ascot performance suggested that he has further improvement in him and back to this more suitable trip today, he catches the eye at current odds.

Lost - 2pts

1 pt win ROLL ALONG 9.5/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Handicap Hurdle
1 pt win ACAMBO 11.5/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Handicap Hurdle

Roll Along is a fascinating long term prospect and it is hard to guage the amount of potential he has. While it's difficult to equate his novice hurdle form in the context of his chance here, he is certainly a quality individual, should not be inconvenienced by the underfoot conditions, and makes alot of appeal at the price.

Acambo was evidently considered by connections to be live Champion Hurdle material until disappointing at Newbury. While the trip is an unknown factor here, there is still a possibility that he is better than his present rating, and on a track which large physical weights can be defied, he could go very close to winning this.

Lost - 2pts

Monday, 9 April 2007

3 pts KARLSRUHER SC - 0 Asian Handicap 1.1/1 ( Betfair) v TSV 1860 Munich Bundesliga 2

KSC will be counting down the games. They're almost back up to Bundesliga 1 now, and a large number of their fans will be travelling to the Allianz Arena today. 1860 are hyping up tonight's encounter, but for them the season is over. They are languishing in mid-table, and of the promotion candidates that they have played host to, only the poor travelling Aue have left defeated. It is difficult to see KSC being beaten here and as a safety option, supporting them with the DNB proviso makes alot of appeal.

1860 2 KSC 0 - 3pts
1 pt win GAZZA'S GIRL 21/1 ( Betfair) Irish Grand National
1 pt win CANE BREAK 23/1 ( Betfair) Irish Grand National
1 pt win DIX VILLEZ 19/1 ( Betfair) Irish Grand National

No doubt there will be enough water put down to keep some juice in the ground and thus preventing the possibility of some notable late defections. Gazza's Girl has been mixing it in with the best Irish novices this term, and performing with credit. Not disgraced behind Denman in the Sun Alliance, she looks well worth a try over this trip and appeals off a nice racing weight.

The worry for Cane Beak is that this is an afterthought after Cheltenham.It remains to be seen if his terrific run in the Gold Cup has finished him for the season. However, he is a class act, has 7lb taken off his back by the claimer who rode him to victory in that valuable 28 runner handicap over the Christmas period, and we still do not know how far he could go.

In contast to Cane Break, Dix Villez has clearly been laid out for this long term. He shaped well in a hurdle race last time after a lay off, has the form to figure in the shake up, and hails from a yard adept at making long term plans come to frutition.

Lost - 3pts

Sunday, 8 April 2007

3 pts FC NURNBERG + 0.5 & + 1 Asian Handicap 1.19/1 ( Betfair) v Werder Bremen Bundesliga 1

Bremen have triumphed by wide margins in this fixture on the last four occasions. They will be striving to keep the SO4 within their sights today but play host to a FCN side who have their own agenda to complete by claiming a European place for next term. Although the visitors have won only twice on the road this season, they have only lost three of their thirteen matches and have been able to tough it out against some formidable opponents, a point emphasised by club stalwart Andreas Wolf on the club website. Bremen have injury problems within the squad, and Borowski and Wome will definitely be missing. FCN appeal here with the help of the Asian Handicap.

Bremen 1 FCN 0 - 1.5 pts

Saturday, 7 April 2007

FC AUGSBURG + 0.5 Asian Handicap 1.26/1 ( Betfair and at least two firms) v SC Freiburg Bundesliga 2

KSC and Hansa look as if they're already up. But six teams have a realistic chance of gaining the last promotion slot - these two included. Freiburg have won eight of their last ten and have home advantage here. However , their Bavarian rivals are arguably the most improved team in Bundesliga 2 and are worth supporting on the Asians to come away with something, and to take advantage of a couple of absentees from the Freiburg team, notably their top scorer Roda Antar.

Freiburg 2 Augsburg 0 - 3pts

3 pts KAISERSLAUTERN 1.58/1 ( Betfair) v Wacker Burghausen Bundesliga 2

Burghausen are putting up an extremely good fight to avoid Regional League South next season. Their victory away at Duisburg was arguably the shock result of the season. They have also managed to hold Freiburg and Hansa, and put four goals past Unterhaching in their last game. FCK, along with Cologne, were favourites for promotion at the beginning of the season. They have been close on the heels of the leading three for a while, but such is the way this table is panning out, they now find themselves competing against five other teams for one spot. Mondays match against Duisburg was a disaster for them - having Simpson sent off early in the game sealed their fate. Needless to say they will be up for this and they must be backed to take all three points home with them.

Burghausen 0 FCK 0 - 3pts
1 pt win TAROTINO 7/2 ( 2 Firms & Betfair) Fixed Brush Novices Hurdle Final
1 pt win MR STRACHAN 22/1 ( Betfair) Fixed Brush Novices Hurdle Final

Nicky Henderson's runners are in fine form at present and Taratino performed creditably in a race what was a shade more competitive than this last time. He has a touch of quality about him and remains a highly promising novice chase prospect for next term. He'll go very close provided he dosen't get outpaced on the drying surface.

Mr Strachan, like a few notable Zaffaran's down the years, does not necessary need the mud. A reproduction of his performance here in November against Kanpai will see him involved in the shake up, and he appeals at current odds despite reservations about the form of his yard.

Lost - 2pts

Friday, 6 April 2007

3 pts ALEMANNIA AACHEN - 0 Asian Handicap 1.02/1 ( Betfair) v Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga 1

There are some incredibly difficult matches to solve in Bundesliga 1 tommorrow - HSV v Stuttgart, Wolfsburg v Mainz, Hannover v Bayern , and Frankfurt v Cottbus. But this match is worth getting stuck into. Survival for the team from the west border will cap off an acceptable season for them. They have recovered from their mid-season slump, stringing together an admirable run of results, and have now climbed to ninth spot. However, they still remain only four points above the drop zone and the importance of this match against struggling giants BVB is evident from Fontzeck's comments on the club website. A victory here will be the springboard to safety and Aachen are a cracking bet with the DNB proviso against a team who have not been responding to their current predicament.

Aachen 1 BVB 4 - 3pts

Thursday, 5 April 2007

3 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 1.04/1 ( Betfair) Erzgebirge Aue v FC Koln Bundesliga 2

A fascinating clash. Aue have an outstanding home record and will be looking to bounce back from their now customary below par away performance. They still have a chance of being promoted. The FC are only four points adrift of Aue, and that probably puts them below the dividing line of what constitutes a realistic position to make the climb. They started poorly against Koblenz on Sunday, gifting the visitors a goal and giving them two further chances as they looked vulnerable to some good passing football. However they steadily got back into the match, and looked a different side in the second half after changes were made. Helmes created problems every time he had the ball, Mitreski was terrific when switched to the left, and the Koblenz defence were unable to handle Novakovic. They were definitely value for the three in the end. Tonights encounter is a tough one to call but looks likely to have plenty of goals and the best position to take is to back the over 2.5.

Aue 0 Koln 1 - 3pts

3pts HANSA ROSTOCK 1.19/1 ( Betfair) -1 Asian Handicap v SC Paderborn Bundesliga 2

Hansa won 2-0 when they visited Paderborn in November. After looking a little lacklustre in some of their matches since the pause, they built on their eyecatching second half performance against Cologne with a victory away at Jena. They are currently six points ahead of the fourth place team, and a victory tonight will put them in a very strong promotion position. The visitors are not far above the relegation places, despite being in reasonable form. They have won three out their last five on the road but have a difficult task tonight and the home side are worth supporting to overcome a deficit on the Asians.

Rostock 2 Paderborn 0 + 3.57 pts