Thursday, 30 August 2007

3 pts win SCHALKE 04 0.83/1 ( Betfair) v Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga 1

While it can sometimes be worth trying to find a credible reason to take on the S04; on this occasion the Gelsenkirchen team enter this game in such fine heart that they are worth maximum stakes to see off their fellow NRW rivals. They began last season getting results without playing brilliantly. In contrast, they are on fire at the moment and after comprehensively beating BVB, they hammered Wolfsburg but only had a point to take home. True, the Volkswagen team had a player sent off, but it was still hard not to be impressed with the relentless pressure piled upon them by the S04. Leverkusen came good at home against newly promoted KSC last weekend, after a couple of disappointing results. They were fortunate to win this fixture last season; SO4 dominated, missing a bag full of opportunities before the visitors scored in the last few seconds. Two seasons ago this fixture finished 7 - 4 to the home side ! The chances are that there will be a few goals here, but the best value is for the outright win for the home side and they are a confident selection.

S04 1 Leverkusen 1 - 3pts

2 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 0.89/1 ( Betfair) Kickers Offenbach v FC Augsburg Bundesliga 2

Augsburg were one of the most improved teams in part 2 of the season in this division last season. And judging by the performance on Monday night against Freiburg, they look a match for the majority of teams in this league. They were unfortunate not to win that match but, despite only picking up a single point so far this season, their confidence will be high for this match and their attacking style will surely see them score here. The home side have won this fixture on the last four occasions ( over 2.5 on three of them) and they enter this encounter having won their first two matches before meeting a 4-0 defeat at Aachen. There is going to be plenty of goals in this and the over 2.5 must be supported.

Offenbach 1 Augsburg 0 - 2pts

2 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 0.74/1 ( Betfair) TSV 1860 Munich v FC Koln Bundesliga 2

1860 have won this fixture on 4 of the last five occasions and begin this game sitting undefeated at the top of the table. The FC made an incredible recovery ( 80/1 in running ) to come back from 3-1 down to defeat Jena. Such is the strength and nature of this seasons first team, it's hard to imagine them coming here to play cagey, and this has the makings of an eventful match with plenty of goals - on seven of the last ten occasions that these teams have met there has been over 2.5's, and while the odds of these bets require a higher strike rate than is being succeeded to come out on top, it's too early to change strategies and it should pay here not to shy away from the likely event of a few goals being scored. It's also worth pointing out that there have been fifteen goals scored in the three league matches involving 1860 this season.

1860 1 FC Koln 1 - 2pts

Monday, 27 August 2007

2 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 0.97/1 ( Betfair) Augsburg v SC Freiburg Bundesliga 2

Freiburg were arguably the best team in this division towards the end of last season and only failed on goal difference to gain promotion. Augsburg likewise had a good second half to their campaign, eventually finishing seventh. Using the stats for last season the over does not look obvious. Augsburg were only over in 7 from 17 at home, and 13 from 34 overall; Freiburg were 7 form 17 and 16 from 34 respectively. However, the circumstances point to overs. The Bavarians have not yet picked up a point, letting in 6 at home against 1860 Munich, and then followed with a 2-1 defeat up in Koblenz. After a 2-1 away defeat in Osnabruck, Freiburg beat Paderborn 1-0 at home.There are some notable absentees in their squad from last season . Sascha Riether, an important cog in their successful defence last season, is now playing for Wolfsburg, while striker Iashvili moved to KSC, and the influential Rodar Antar is at Cologne. Augsburg also see themselves as serious promotion candidates and will be all out for victory. This has the scent of goals and the over 2.5 is worth supporting.

Augsburg 1 Freiburg 1 - 2 pts

Sunday, 26 August 2007

2 pts win MEASURED TEMPO 7/2 ( 2 firms and Betfair) Alice Keppel Stakes
1 pt win SAMIRA GOLD 4.2/1 ( Betfair) Alice Keppel Stakes

It's hard to get away from the front two in the market despite both disappointing on their latest outings. Measured Tempo ( from one of the best families in the stud book) reappears for the first time since her Oaks run, and while the form of her victory in the trial race at Newbury had hardly worked out well, she must be given another chance to confirm the tremendous impression she created when winning on her only outing last term. Samira Gold looked a filly going places when making it 2 from two at Ayr in June. She was then beaten by a highly thought of filly next time, then ran poorly at the big Goodwood meeting - where she reportedly had a genuine excuse. She'll run better here and is worth back up support.

Samira Gold won + 2.1 pts

2 pts win VITZNAU 5/1 ( 2 firms and Betfair) Turf TV UK Stakes
1 pt win ESCAPE ROUTE 7.8/1 ( Betfair) Turf TV UK Stakes

Vitznau ran a fine race over C&D last time in a race which is going to work out really well. The winner has already advertised the form at York on Thursday, and the third horse home looks the type who'll be a class act when returned to sprint distances. He looks sure to put up a bold showing here and must be supported.

Escape Route is worth speculative support. An unexposed sort, he reappears after a lay off and with the Gosden animals performing well at the moment, he's likely to be in decent shape here and catches the eye at his current odds.

Lost - 3 pts
2 pts win ERZGEBIRGE AUE 1.38/1 ( Betfair) v SV Wehen Bundesliga 2

Aue had the third best home record in Bundesliga 2 last season, winning 10 from 17, and losing only three times. Their Eastern club's finishing position of 10th, is testimony to how poor they were away from home. They have started the season with a draw at home to Furth, and a 3-2 defeat away to the in form Kickers Offenbach. They face Wehen today, who are newly promoted from Regional Division South, and are fairly priced to resume winning form.

Aue 3 Wehen 0 + 2.6 pts

2 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 0.96/1 ( Betfair) VFL Wolfsburg v Schalke 04 Bundesliga 2

A difficult one to predict outright ! The S04 are clearly the more talented outfit on paper but have struggled here in the past, winning this fixture on only one occasion in the last nine encounters. The home side, by all reports, looked revitalised last weekend, winning 3-1 away at Duisburg. Felix Magath will be hoping that his team have turned the corner and there is surely going to be goals in this given that the Volkswagen side have found the scoring touch, and the S04 are a naturally attacking side. The Over 2.5's is the most attractive option in what should be an entertaining match.

Wolfsburg 1 SO4 1 - 2 pts

Saturday, 25 August 2007

2 pts UNDER 2.5 Goals 1.04/1 ( Betfair) Borussia Dortmund v Energie Cottbus Bundesliga 1

There's already a mini crisis on for Doll's BVB and they face a side today known to be physical and well capable of frustrating their oppponents. BVB have been very muted for some time now and are not helped today by the fact the Frei is still absent. Moral will also be low after they were routed by their chief foes, the S04, last weekend and while they should have too much class for their opponents they are not a team to rely on. Last season they only had five over 2.5's in all of their home league games - alarmingly low for a Bundesliga team and at the odds available the under 2.5 makes alot of appeal here.

BVB 3 Cottbus 0 - 2pts
2 pts win RECORD BREAKER 3.8/1 ( Betfair) Totesport H'cap
1 pt win MONTE ALTO 9/1 ( Betfair)Totesport H'cap

Record Breaker could be on a roll now and put up quite a taking performance at Pontefract last weekend and could be about to progress through the ranks as looked likely prior to his slightly disappointing run at Royal Ascot. It's a little surprising that he's dropped back down in trip, but it's probably best just to accept that it'll not hinder him.

Monte Alto has progressed into a talented handicapper and showed further improvement when runner up at Windsor last time. He holds an entry in the Camebridgeshire for which he looks a likely sort and he should give a very good account of himself here.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win SHMOOKH 5/1 ( Ladbrokes) Steel and Tubes Hopeful Stakes
1 pt win FIRENZE 5.8/1 ( Betfair) Steel and Tubes Hopeful Stakes

Balthazar's Gift is worth taking on here and the one that immediately catches the eye is
Shmookh who travelled like a class act at Goodwood last time but just failed to get home in a race where the form looks as though it's going to work out really well. Back down in trip, he appeals as the sort who will who will develop into a high class sprinter next year and if he can produce his very best on this surface he will go very close.

The ground is unlikely to be as testing as it was at York last time, and Firenze, who does normally act with some give is worth another chance - though she has overall been a shade disappointing this term.

Shmookh NR, Firenze Lost - 1pt

2 pts win WINGED CUPID 7/2 ( Betfair) Totesport Winter Hill Stakes
1 pt win QUEEN'S BEST 7/1 ( generally available) Totesport Winter Hill Stakes

Winged Cupid made a real impression when returning off a lay off to win at this venue, and though a shade disappointing at York last time, he should be backed to confirm the original signals he gave and is selected with a degree of confidence.

As is typical of these Cheverley Park horses ( particularly the fillies),Queen's Best is gradually climbing through the ranks, no doubt has plenty more to come, and she should run well here on her way to achieving better things next year.

Queen's Best won + 4.2 pts ( inc deduction for NR)

Friday, 24 August 2007

2 pts FC KOLN - 1 Asian Handicap 1.26/1 ( Betfair) v Carl Zeiss Jena Bundesliga 2

FC dominated the early part of their Monday clash with Aachen but failed to take advantage of their possession and once Aachen scored against the run of play FC had difficulty breaking down opponents who defended uncharacteristically well. Jena lost at home to St Pauli last weekend, and while the FC were far from convincing when winning this fixture 1-0 last season, they should outclass their rivals tonight and should be supported at - 1 on the asians.

FC Koln 4 Jena 3 level

Thursday, 23 August 2007

2 pts win DARK ANGEL 2.7/1 ( Betfair) St Leger Yearling Stakes
1 pt win JOHAR JAMAL 7.2/1 ( Betfair) St Leger Yearling Stakes

Dark Angel showed improved form when stepped up to this trip at Newmarket last time. A reproduction of that level of form is likely to be suffice to take this and he cannot be overlooked. Of the other contenders Johar Jamal won a Newmarket nursery in pleasing style, and while on the figures she'll have to improve to win this, the yard have plenty of choices for these sort of events and it's interesting that she is the only representative.

Dark Angel won +3.3 pts

3 pts win VISIT 1.46/1 ( Betfair) Jaguar Cars Lowther Stakes

This filly looked one out of the top draw when winning the Princess Margaret and she is banker material to take this on route to bigger things.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5 pts win WE'LL COME 10/1 ( Ladbrokes) Addelshaw Goddard Stakes
1.5 pts win DOCOFTHEBAY 8/1 ( Generally available) Addelshaw Goddard Stakes

There's question marks hanging over some of the fancied animals here. The Ilies and Annemasse probably want the word ' firm' in the going description to produce their very best, Smart Enough returns from a long absence - and it is a concern despite such training feats being far more common nowadays - and it's difficult to see Fremen suddenly being good enough to win in this sort of grade.

The form of that Newmarket handicap won by Tybalt has not been advertised in the meantime, but can receive a much needed boost by We'll Come here. He was disappointing when returning to that track a week later but has an overall progressive profile and appeals as one who'll pay to follow in the valuable handicaps. Docofthebay is on a roll at the moment and has prospects of defying the handicapper again, and though if any give remains in the ground that's an unknown for him, plenty of Docksider's progeny go well on an easy surface.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win HOH MIKE 10/1 ( Generally available) Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes
1 pt win BEAUTY IS TRUTH 33/1 ( Betfair)Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes

Again, there's question marks over many of these here including Dandy Man (ease in ground and overall profile), Reverence ( not enough ease in the ground), Red Clubs ( better over 6f), Amadeus Wolf( better over 6f), Desert Lord ( Callan's chosen Amadeus).

Hoh Mike has always had pretensions to take one of the championship races and he'll rarely have a better opportunity than here. He has a fine turn of speed and it is possible to quicken up from off the pace and win here. Conditions are ideal for him and he makes considerable appeal at his price. Beauty Is Truth has prospects of following Last Tycoon's 1986 success in this event for his trainer. It seems that provided the word ' firm' is not in the going description, 5f is fine for him. With conditions far from ideal for many of his opponents, he has claims and is worth support at the price.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win NEW SEEKER 16/1 ( Ladbrokes) City Of York Stakes
1 pt win FONTHILL ROAD 13/1 ( Betfair)City Of York Stakes
1 pt win MACHINIST 27/1 ( Betfair) City Of York Stakes

In a very tricky renewal of this event in which the claims of some of those at the front end of the market are far from convincing, it could be worth taking three of the longer priced contender against the field.

New Seeker needs the cards to fall right for him and has become harder to predict. However, he does retain all of his ability and the ground has dried enough to give him the opportunity to run a big race here. The Chester run showed without doubt that Fonthill Road is able to reproduce his best form over this trip and he looks set to give a good account of himself here. Machinist is one of those oddball Machiavellians who dosen't run to his pedigree tripwise. Nevertheless this distance was well within his compass in his early days and he is an interesting proposition here.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win WINTER SUNSHINE 1.94/1 ( Betfair) Galtres Stakes
1 pt win DANCE OF LIGHT 12/1 ( Betfair) Galtres Stakes

Both of the Stoute fillies are of considerable interest here in what is far from a vintage renewal of this event. Winter Sunshine has any amount of improvement left in her, and the form of her latest victory received a boost when the second home beat Galactic Star next time out. Dance of Light was considered talented enough to take her chance in the Oaks. She ran a lifetime best at Newbury last time and should appreciate the step up in trip.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win SPEED GIFTED 8/1 ( Betfair) Stewart Forsythe Memorial Melrose H'cap
1 pt win SPANISH HIDALGO 13/1 ( Betfair) Stewart Forsythe Memorial Melrose H'cap

Speed Gifted made quite a visual impression when successful first time out at Folkestone before disappointing in heavy ground at Ripon.If there's a high class animal hidden away in this field, then this St Leger entrant is the one. The winner of the Ripon race, Spanish Hidalgo, has since run credibly in a hot Goodwood handicap, and if he can find further improvement stepped up in trip, then he'll be involved here.

Speed Gifted won + 14.5 pts

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

2 pts win GREEK WELL 10.5/1 ( Betfair) Royal and Sun Alliance H'cap
1 pt win SMOKEY OAKEY 14/1 ( Betfair) Royal And Sun Alliance H'cap

Greek Well is worth another chance with the application of the visor. At one stage this season it as though that he was going to progress through and live up to at least a little bit of the hopes once held for him. Still, even a reproduction of his ' disappointing' last two runs will see him run Ok' ish, and if the headgear brings about a bit of improvement, then he'll be involved.

Mark Tompkins aims to have his runners in peak condition for this meeting and Smokey oakey makes some appeal here. He shaped well after a lay off in a fiercely competitive Goodwood handicap and should be able to give a good account of himself here.

Greek Well won + 19 pts

2 pts win SWISS FRANC 6/4 ( Generally available) Ireland Gimcrack Stakes
1 pt win NACH LIBRE 12.5/1 ( Betfair)Ireland Gimcrack Stakes

In a relatively ordinary looking event, Swiss Franc has stonewall solid form and is very difficult to oppose. He semms consistent enough and a reproduction of his last two runs will see him take all the beating. Nacho Libre is the value option. He couldn't get past Easy Option at Pontefract after looking set to do so, but there was nothing in it and there was a big gap back to the third. He could surprise here.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win SCRIPTWRITER 6.2/1 ( Betfair)Totesport Ebor H'cap
1 pt win HONOLULU 13.5/1 ( Betfair) Totesport Ebor H'cap

Scriptwriter was hugely impressive when winning over this trip at Goodwood and a reproduction of that form will see him take all the beating here. Admittedly, he's ran a couple of stinkers, but fact remains that he's won five of his nine starts and visually looked all quality last time, and is hard to get away from.

Honolulu beat some useful sorts when winning a listed race last time. He hold a St Leger entry, has any amount of improvement left in him, and if there's a star in hiding amongst this field, then it's going to be him.

Lost - 3 pts

3 pts win CAPTAIN GERARD 1.74/1 (Betfair)Julia GravesRoses Stakes

These Oasis Dreams' are starting to impress now, and Captain Gerard, who diden't shape too badly here on Dante day, has developed into a useful juvenile and in the context of this race has outstanding claims and is worth the maximum stake.

Won + 5.1 pts

1.5 pt win VALERY BORZOV 4/1 ( Paddy Power and Bet 365)Eventmasters H'cap
1.5 pt win RASAMAN 14/1 ( Betfair) Eventmasters H'cap

The lightly raced Valery Borzov should go close to winning this. He returned to form at Goodwood last time in race won by a very promising individual and a reproduction of that form may be suffice. On that line of thinking, Rasaman must also be taken on board. He was only inches behind the Nicholls horse in that event and the booking of William Buick catches the eye.

Lost - 3 pts

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

2 pts win HIGH TREASON 9/1 ( generally available) Symphony Group Stakes H’cap

1 pt win ERADICATE 14.5/1 ( Betfair) Symphony Group Stakes H’cap

High Treason ran well twice here over C&D at the May meeting, winning on the second occasion off a mark 5lb lower than here. Things never worked out for him when selected at Ascot last time - he would been a few lengths closer if a gap had appeared up the rail, even though the slow early pace gave him a difficult task from the outset . He’ll be picking them off up the home straight here and should figure in the shake up.

Eradicate has been very disappointing on his last two starts but the stable is in much better form now, and he still retains an overall promising profile and is worth another chance to confirm earlier impressions.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win SERGEANT CECIL 5.6/1 ( Betfair) Lonsdale Cup

1 pt win JUPITER GIRL 19/1 ( Betfair) Lonsdale Cup

Septimus is worth taking on stepping up in trip and it’s well worth supporting Sergeant Cecil in the hope that he can return to form on a track where he has always ran his race in the past. Michael Bell’s Jupiter Girl steps up in class, but it will only take a couple to run below form – which could happen with many of these having questions to answer – for her to run close. Given the progression she has made since winning her first race of 67, there is likelihood that she has further improvement in her. Furthermore, the impression given last time that she needs a slog was misleading and exaggerated by the fact that she had to run down a horse who was travelling supremely well at the time.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win BOSCOBEL 6.6/1 ( Betfair) Great Voltigeur Stakes

1 pt win HEARTHSTEAD MAISON 22/1 ( Betfair) Great Voltigeur Stakes

The two Johnston horses are of interest here. Boscobel never really got the credit he deserved for his King Edward Stakes due to him having the run of the race. However fact remains that the second Lucarno disappointed last time, looking though his races are taking there toll and Boscobel has every chance of confirming the form. And Yellowstone and Spice Route have two and a half lengths, and four and a half lengths respectively to make up on him. It appears as though he only ran in the Irish Derby due to the Maktoums having no other candidates, and with the yard now back in form he may take some catching here.

Stable companion Hearthstead Maison catches the eye at the price. His visually impressive victory in that highly competitive Newmarket handicap left a lasting impression. He looked a genuine Group horse that day, and despite evidence to the contrary in the form book, plus the fact that he is developing an inconsistent profile,it's hard to resist havimg a back up wager on him.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win NOTNOWCATO 3.8/1 ( Betfair) Juddmonte International

1 pt win DUKE OF MARMALADE 17.5/1 ( Betfair) Juddmonte International

Whether it the ground was the only reason or not, Dylan Thomas’s performance in this last year rests in the mind, and while he hosed up at Ascot, I’d rather be with the ultra reliable Notnowcato who can be relied upon to run his race here and in his three encounters against DT, finished behind him only when the ground was unsuitably fast. Authorized was disappointing at Sandown, lacking the previous sparkle he’d displayed. It’s worth bearing in mind that apart from the vastly improved Soldier Of Fortune, the Derby is not looking vintage at this stage.

Ballydoyle second string Duke Of Marmalade appeals as one who could climb the ramks further and is an interesting proposition stepped up to this trip. He’s definitely worth a speculative wager at his odds.

Lost - 3 pts

3 pts win TAJDEEF 2.45/1 ( Betfair) Acomb Stakes

An absolutely fascinating renewal of this race, and it will be disappointing and surprising if the race fails to throw up a couple of that will go on and perform well at the highest level next year.

Tajdeef appears to be held in the highest regard at home and the visual impression he gave at Newbury was that he was a high class animal in the making. Despite some highly promising opponents here including Fast Company ( Meehan horse running very indifferently), Captain Brilliance ( hyped up and might need fast conditions), Lucifer Sam( more interesting than your average waste of space Storm Cat but no superstar), he is worth maximum stakes here with the slight ease in the ground unlikely to affect him.


2pts win LEGAL EAGLE 6.8/1 ( Betfair) Irwin Mitchell Nursery

1 pt win BAHAMA BAILEYS 26/1 ( Betfair) Irwin Mitchell Nursery

If there is a pattern class horse hidden in this field then it’s likely to be Legal Eagle. He holds some fancy entries and although the nothing as yet has won that finished behind him last time, he could do nothing more than with with plenty in hand. Admittedly, the ground was heavy which of course can exaggerate the superiority of winners, but he’d shaped well on a faster surface on his racecourse debut and is without doubt the most interesting contender in this field. Bahama Baileys is worth small stakes at his price. Though starting to look exposed he was surrounded by last time out winners when fourth at Redcar last time and he’s in with a chance if the first time blinkers bring about improvement.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win BUACHAILL DONA 6.6/1 ( Betfair) Patrington Haven Leisure Park Stakes

1 pt win CONTINENT 16/1 ( Betfair)Patrington Haven Leisure Park Stakes

1 pt win EFISTORM 14/1 ( Betfair) Patrington Haven Leisure Park Stakes

It’s worth taking three against the field. The David Nicholls horses have been in fair form lately and Buchaill Dona, who looked the sort who’d pay to follow blindly in these races at the start of the term, could bounce right back to form here. Still lightly raced, and almost certainly going to reach a higher mark in the ratings than he currently has at some time in the future, he is the only member of this field who future aspirations to being anything better than a handicapper. Stable companion Continent is not the force of old but retains plenty of ability and is in fine heart at present. He should give another good account of himself following his Goodwood victory. Efistorm has been performing at a lower level but from a mark of 4lb higher than when winning at Sandown in June, has claims and is in form at the moment.

Lost - 3 pts

Sunday, 19 August 2007

3 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 0.83/1 ( Betfair), 0.8/1 ( Paddy Power) FC Koln v Alemannia Aachen Bundesliga 2

This Monday night match is live on DSF, and there'll be a terrific atmosphere with over 50,000 present for this North Rhine Westphalian Derby - there is surely going to be plenty of goals too, and it's worth getting stuck into the over 2.5 now. The FC got off to a winning start away to St Pauli and judging by the ecstatic reaction of the players and management, as can be seen on Net Cologne Fan TV and on the club website, it was the result that was needed, and team spirit will be very high at present. However we must not forget that they won 4 from their first 5 last season, then fell into a hole. With such a strong attacking force in an atmosphere that could generate mistakes, Cologne are surely going to score at least two against their leaky opponents - it's just a case of how many blunders they themselves make. Aachen lasted one season in the top flight after looking close to safety at one stage. They've now a new manager and are rid of Schlaudraf and Rosler, there two most talented players but seemingly nothing but trouble behind the scenes with their attitudes - particularly the former. It's incredible to think that out of Aachen's 34 league matches last season, 26 ended with 3 goals or more. And they began as they left off, throwing away a two goal league at home to Carl Zeiss Jena. It's not surprising to find that 5 of the last 7 encounters between these teams has ended in overs, and the over 2.5 must be backed now at the best odds available, as they are sure to shorten throughout tomorrow.

FC Koln 0 Aachen 1 - 3 pts
2pts win 0 & - 0.5 Asian H'cap 1.03/1 ( Betfair) BAYER LEVERKUSEN v Hamburg SV Bundesliga 1

From a value angle the visitors standout here. There is turmoil inside the HSV camp at the moment, caused by the Van de Vaart situation. The Dutchman, a vital cog in the performance of HSV, evidently will be playing today, but reading the specialist Bundesliga forums, the HSV fans have nothing but contempt for him at the moment and the team, who won only four of their home league matches during 06/7 are vulnerable here. Leverkusen, who had the fourth best record on the road last season, have a talented, attacking side, led by Greek international Theofanis Gekas , who had an impressive strike rate for Bochum last term. They should be backed with the safety of the asians, taking the 0&-0.5 option.

HSV 1 Leverkusen 0 - 2 pts

Saturday, 18 August 2007

1.5 pts win WAKE UP MAGGIE 4.6/1 ( Betfair) Hungerford Stakes
1.5 pts win SILVER TOUCH 4.6/1( Betfair) Hungerford Stakes

It could be worth siding with reliability here. There are so many negatives hanging over a few of these. Stronghold and Caradak return from long absences and neither will appreciate the forecasted rainfall, while Red Evie's bubble has been burst, and Per Incanto's defeat of Sakhee's Secret in Italy looks too good to be true.

Wake Up Maggie arguably put up a lifetime best when winning at Goodwood last time. She's a 7f specialist, highly consistent and looks certain to run her race and go close to winning this. Silver Touch is a similar sort of filly. She beat Wake Up Maggie at York last Autumn and has also trained on well from three to four and is as good as ever at the moment. Both fillies will not be inconvenienced by any easing in the going.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win JAMIESON GOLD 7/1 ( Betfair and 2 firms) CGA Ladies Day H'cap
1 pts win FOLLY LODGE ( Betfair and 3 firms) CGA Ladies Day H'cap

Barry Hills runners are in top form at the moment and both of his representatives in this make appeal. Jamieson Gold, who won this event last term, returned to form when winning at Sandown on Thursday. He remains on a winning mark despite the 6lb penalty and will give a very good account of himself here. Folly Lodge won in good style off an 8lb lower mark over C&D in May and a return to that form would give her a chance here. She diden't run too badly last time and appeals at her present odds.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win MALCHEEK 12/1 ( generally available) Great St Wilfrid H'cap
1 pt win PHILHARMONIC 16/1 ( generally available) Great St Wilfrid H'cap
1 pt win WYATT EARP 33/1 ( Betfair) Great St Wilfrid H'cap

A very exposed field this year, and worth taking three against the field. Malcheek will not want the ground too ease. He looked the type for these sort of events when winning here last time, and though a five year old, that was arguably a lifetime best and there could be more to come. The Fahey pair of Philharmonic and Wyatt Earp are drawn low which is deemed to be a disadvantage - however it is not unsurmountable, the factor is built into the prices, and the draw biases can suddenly change. Wyatt Earp is a highly likable sort and has the form to win this if he can bounce back from two below par efforts. Philharmonic shaped as though he would come on alot from his seasonal debut and has bits and pieces of form that would give him a winning chance here.

Lost - 3 pts
2 pts MSV DUISBURG 1.5/1 ( Betfair) v VfL Wolfsburg Bundesliga 1

On a day where there is some tough fixtures in Bundesliga 1, Duisburg, who struck at a nice price last weekend, appeal as the best bet to see off the challenge from the Volkswagen team. The home side made an impressive return to the top flight with a clear cut away victory over BVB, and in their first home fixture they'll be extremely bullish about their prospects of winning this. Wolfsburg only avoided relegation by one place last term, when they managed only two wins on the road, the last of which was against relegated Mainz back in November. They ended the season as a team with a regressive, struggling profile, and suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Bielefeld in their first fixture of the new season. Duisburg should pile more misery on them today.

Duisburg 1 Wolfsburg 3 - 2pts

Monday, 13 August 2007

2 pts UNDER 2.5 Goals 0.91/1 ( Betfair) FC Kaiserslautern v Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga 2

FCK remain in Bundesliga 2 and have turned to Norwegian Kjetil Rekdal to turn around their fortunes. Monchengladbach will be expecting to return to the top flight after a season of dire away efforts led to their relegation - their home form being better than most teams who take the drop. They'll not be wanting to lose this and reports suggest that they are going to play cautiously tonight. Interestingly, there is an interesting interview with one of their new players, the ex- Aachen striker Sascha Rosler, on the club website. He feels that it will take some time for the new look team to gell, and they'll be feeling their way around at first. FCK themselves are in a similar situation, and on balance this has the look of a low scoring affair and the under 2.5 is the sensible option here.

FCK 1 Monchengladbach 1 + 1.8 pts

Sunday, 12 August 2007

2 pts win OVER 2.5 Goals 0.84/1 ( Betfair), 1 pt win MSV DUISBURG 11/2 ( generally available) v Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga 1

BVB fell perilously close to being relegated last season, and it was only a late run that took Thomas Doll's side to safety. They begin their league campaign with a home fixture against re-promoted NRW rivals MSV Duisburg, who could make life tough for them today. Their new look team have been performing credibly in the pre-season friendlies and beat Regional Division North side, Babelsberg 4-0 in the first round of the Cup. BVB have also been pleasing in their pre-season friendlies, which included a 4-0 victory over Roma. They also, as expected, disposed of Magdeburg easily in their Cup tie. However, they've still to prove that they are over their problems from last term, and the visitors are worth small support at their odds, along with a larger bet on the over 2.5, as both sides have been involved in high scoring games recently, and from reports, the BVB defence is looking far from secure. They also have have Alexander Frei missing but have plebty of other outlets for the goals to come from.

BVB 1 Duisburg 3 + 7 pts

Saturday, 11 August 2007

2 pts BAYERN MUNICH - 2 Asian Handicap 1.15/1 ( Betfair) v Hansa Rostock Bundesliga 1

It can often be worth looking for reasons to, in some form or another, take on these glamour teams. But here the class gap between these two teams is absolutely huge. Though managing to fill a promotion spot, Hansa were far from convincing in Bundesliga 2 during the second half of the campaign, and in the end it was a struggle to achieve what had at one stage looked certain. Most of the team lack experience at the top flight. Bayern were no better than their final fourth place position last term but have used their wealth to make some notable signings during the close season. Expect them to step up on their far from convincing victory over Wacker Burghausen in the Cup and overcome a 2 goal deficit on the asians.

Bayern 3 Rostock 0 + 2.2 pts
2 pts win FUTUN 9/2 ( Ladbrokes, VC Bet, Betfair) Totesport Old Newton Cup
1 pt win DANSILI DANCER 15/2 ( Betfair and 2 firms) Totesport Old Newton Cup

This is a weak renewal of this event and Futun, now down to a mark only 2lb higher than when winning 0ver C&D last year, is worth supporting. Admittedly, he's not progressed as much as one would have expected at the time but has had conditions against him in most of his recent starts, is still lightly raced, and has everything in his favour here for him to go very close to winning this.

Dansili Dancer is worth back up support. This trip looked within his reach when winning here over a furlong less here 12 months ago, beating the first and second home in the John Smith's Cup. He is only a pound higher here, and will be dangerous if returning to anything near his best form.

Dansili Dancer won + 5.5 pts

2 pts win ARTIMINO 2.15/1 ( Betfair) Skybet Live Stakes
1 pt win VOODOO MAN 24/1 ( Betfair) Skybet Live Stakes

First Impression may be that Artimino is poor value at his current odds - however with Burning Incense out, and against a field who are nearly all fully exposed he is going to take a lot of beating. Although Tybalt disappointed last week, the event here where he beat the selection is starting to work out OK, and in the long run the form is sure to look solid. The drop back in trip should not hinder him and he'll probably be running in Group races in the not too distant future.

Voodoo Man is worth a stab at his odds. She has not built on her Haydock fourth to Tobosa but could be the sort who'll rise through the handicap if getting on a roll, and seven furlongs on a fast surface, conditions in which she won at Beverley, may bring about a foreward showing today.

Lost - 3 pts

Thursday, 9 August 2007

2 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 0.9/1 ( generally available) St Pauli v FC Koln Bundesliga 2

I had a very lean spell on the Bundesliga during the last few weeks of the season, turning a profit into a loss, and as I don't intend a repeat of that I,m going to be ultra selective this season with both the selections and stakes.

FC Koln are generally 2/1 - 9/4 across the board to win this league. On paper they have a strong squad, and the front pair of Helmes and Novakovic are the most lethal combination in this division. They also appear to have made some shrewd acquisitions during the close. However, they have some difficult looking matches during the first two months and it's likely that at some stage in the early part of the season their title odds will be a couple of points longer. They've also had the start from hell, getting knocked out the Cup by amateur side Werder Bremen 11, throwing away a two goal lead. This is now Christophe Daum's own team, and he'll be under severe pressure if the FC have a shaky start to the campaign. By contrast St Pauli, up from Regional Division North, knocked Leverkusen out of the competition. The Hamburg side had a terrific home record last season, and will be hoping to start off on the right footing. On seven of the last eight occasions that these teams have met there has been overs , and as both sides have leaky defences, the over 2.5 looks fair value at around 0.9/1 in an encounter between two sides that are known for having more than their fair share of weirdo's and oddballs amongst their supporters - though there is a friendship between sections of supporters from both clubs stemming from the reverse link of the now defunct Fortuna Koln( the smallest club in Cologne) having a link with HSV, ( the biggest club in Hamburg).

St Pauli 0 FC Koln 2 - 2pts

Saturday, 4 August 2007

2 pts win SOFT MORNING 9.5/1 ( Betfair) H'cap
1 pt win FONGS GAZELLE 7/1 ( generally available) H'cap

Soft Morning looked an improved performer after returning from a short break to win a Sandown handicap that has since worked out OK. Admittedly, she races off an 8lb higher mark here, but there could be plenty more to come, and she makes some appeal here. Fongs Gazelle makes a quick reappearance after winning here earlier this week and commands plenty of respect. Definitely worth back up support.

Lost - 3pts

2 pts win TYBALT 6/1 ( generally available) Thoroughbred Stakes
1 pt win RALLYING CRY 14/1 ( Betfair and Ladbrokes) Thoroughbred Stakes

Tybalt meets Tobosa on worse terms than when finishing behind that rival at Haydock. However, he looked a much improved performer when winning a hot handicap at the Newmarket July meeting. In the long term, the form of that race will probably work out really well, and Tybalt can show that he's an animal going places by taking this listed event. Former stable companion Rallying Cry was highly tried as a juvenile before being campaigned in Dubai during the winter where he crossed swords three times with Asiatic Boy. He was slightly disappointing on his reappearance but the yard is flying at the moment and he is worth some support.

Lost - 3pts

2 pts win PEEPING FAWN 5/2 ( generally available)Nassau Stakes
1 pt win MANDESHA 3.7/1 ( Betfair) Nassua Stakes

Although she may have been more favoured by the ground when turning around the Oaks form with Light Shift in Ireland, Peeping Fawn created a tremendous impression that day and now looks to be the better filly of the two. There's no reason why she shouldn't be able to reproduce her best form on this faster ground( she was 3rd in the Irish 1,000 Gns on a similar surface) and while it's often worth looking for reasons to take on the Ballydoyle runners, this one's credentials are stonewall solid and she must take all the beating here. Mandesha has drifted to an attractive looking price and while she's yet to prove that she's the same filly as last year, the Prix De L'Opera form ( where she had Nannina back in fifth), means that she must be covered for saver purposes as she really did look world class that day.

Peeping Fawn won + 4 pts

1 pt win ZIDANE 8.2/1 ( Betfair) Stewards Cup
1 pt win BALTHAZAR'S GIFT 10/1 ( Betfair) Stewards Cup
1 pt win GRANTLEY ADAMS 26/1 ( Betfair) StewardCup

Things never really worked out for Zidane in the Wokingham and the feeling that this relatively lightly raced animal is going to make his mark in Group company still remain. Has obvious, strong claims today and must be backed. Balthazar's Gift is the class act at the top of the weights who was only just beaten on fast ground in the 2006 Golden Jubilee and looked as good as ever when winning at Ascot last time. True, he's not the most consistent of performers but he possesses the raw ability to defy his burden and cannot go unsupported. Grantley Adams has run well on his two visits to this venue, ran a blinder in the Wokingham, and appeals most out of those at the longer prices.

Zidane won + 6pts

Thursday, 2 August 2007

2 pts win THIRD SET 3.7/1 ( Betfair) Totesport Mile
1 pt win DRUMFIRE 14/1 ( generally available)Totesport Mile

On a card where the first two races are disorientated headaches, the race that is traditionally now one of the two most competitive of the meeting has a very shallow look about it, and when you delve into the event confidently expecting to find plenty of alternatives to Third Set, the chances of the market leader are only strengthened further. He's climbing though the ranks quickly, is officially well in with his penalty, has a turn of pace that seals races, and will simply take all the beating if not encountering too many traffic problems. Drumfire is the one chosen for back up support. He was considered a 2,000 Gns possibility last season, was beaten by a very useful animal last time, and may not be badly in as the ceiling of his merit is still hard to guage.

Third Set won + 5.5 pts ( deductions for NR)

2 pts win DRAWNFROMTHEPAST 7.2/1 ( Betfair)Richmond Stakes
1 pt win STRIKE THE DEAL 8.2/1 ( Betfair) Richmond Stakes

Western Art, though having clear claims is not stonewall solid here and is worth taking on, as is One Great Cat, who is no doubt some way down the pecking order of the Ballydoyle juveniles. The form of the Windsor Castle is working out OK, and there is no reason why the winner of that event, Drawnfromthepast, should not run a big race here. He makes plenty of appeal at his odds. Strike The Deal is also worth support. He finished third in a G2 in France last time ( where the animal that chased home Western Art at Sandown finished behind him) and is from a yard that is increasingly appearing to have a very strong juvenile crop.

Stike The Deal won + 3.8 pts ( deductions for NR's)

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

2 pts win PIPEDREAMER 7/1 ( 2 firms and exchanges) Alphameric Vase
1 pt win HEARTHSTEAD MAISON 9/1 ( 2 firms and exchanges) Alphameric Vase

Those who backed Pipedreamer at Newmarket knew their fate at an early stage, as the animal was proving very difficult to settle, and it is too his credit that he managed to finish so close. The winner of that event, Hearthstead Maison, created quite an impression that day and would have been an interesting had he taken his chance in the Gordon. In fact, this event is not the easy option, and at the revised weights, Pipedreamer, who is a promising individual in his own right with plenty of improvement left, is fancied to turn the form around. Hearthstead Maison is worth back up support.

Pipedreamer won + 11.5 pts ( including deduction for NR )

2 pts win SHMOOKH 3.3/1 ( Betfair) De Boer Stakes
1 pt win REGAL PARADE 15/1 ( Betfair)De Boer Stakes

Shmookh could be a class above these and must be supported to defy top weight. He travels and quickens like a Group class animal, the step back up in trip will not pose any problems, and given the required luck in running is going to take all the beating here. Regal Parade makes a quick reappearance after finishing down the field in a fiercely competitive Ascot handicap on Saturday. The stable had a couple of winners today, one having a similar sort of profile to this gelding, and it would not be a great surprise if he went very close here.

Lost - 3 pts