Saturday, October 30, 2010

EPL 2010-11 : Manutd - Tottenham Hotspurs goals

Manchester United 2-0 Tottenham Hotspurs

1-0 - Vidic

Vidic Goal

2-0 -Controversial and Funny goal from Nani

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chelsea skipper claims they won't drop points

John Terry reckons Chelsea's prospects of defending their Premier League title could come down to their defensive doggedness.

The defending champions have been setting the season alight in the opening months by their impressive goalscoring form that has helped them achieve a goal difference more than double that of their nearest rivals.

Indeed Chelsea have a five-point advantage over the chasing pack at the top of the table and looks a great prospect to hold onto their title come the end of the season. Anyone looking to bet on Premier League action should remember this.

Terry has highlighted the side's defensive statistics as a vital factor in their quest for glory, with the club having only conceded two goals in their opening nine games and none at all at Stamford Bridge. The Premier League betting predictions suggest they can carry on in this manner.

The England defender claims the side have looked "really good" and taken all the plaudits for when they "rolled teams over", but have shown they can fight and scrap to get good away points as well.

"The key to not conceding goals is having lads who are willing to run 50 or 60 yards to make a tackle to help their team-mates," added Terry.

"We've always had that doggedness about us. One of the big strengths of this Chelsea team is that we don't concede a lot of goals and we don't drop too many silly points."

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has welcomed back Jose Bosingwa back into his first team squad after the defender has been out for 13 months with a serious knee injury.

The Italian highlighted the defender as one of the "best players" in his comeback game and Bosingwa's return could be a huge boost for Chelsea in their Premier League title bid.

Johnson seeks better fortunes

Australia’s main fast bowler Mitchell Johnson will be looking for a different Ashes experience from his first. In 2009 Johnson came to England on the back of an impressive couple of years for the Aussie’s and the paceman was backed to destroy England and help Australia defend the Ashes. It didn’t work out that way though and although Johnson took a respectable 20 wickets during the series, he didn’t have anything like the impact he was hoping for as England reclaimed the urn thanks to a 2-1 series win.

One of the problems that Johnson seemed to suffer from in England was the ability to bowl consistently under pressure. At times Johnson looked extremely dangerous only to then go through an eccentric spell, fizzing balls in at different lengths and paces. Since then the Queenslander has managed to find some consistency to his bowling and will be looking forward to playing on Australia’s quick pitches.

At 29, Johnson is the most experienced member of Australia’s bowling attack and will have to burden the majority of the pressure when the opening Test comes around at the end of November. The left arm bowler has admitted he built up the last Ashes series too much in his head, something he is determined to avoid this time round, “I think I’ve learned that lesson now and I’ve experienced that and now I’ve adjusted to the pressures of, I guess, being a leader of the attack as well. So I’m looking forward to this series, it’s something I’m very excited about.”

Johnson will be leading an attack likely according to those placing a cricket free bet to consist of Ben Hilfenhaus and either Doug Bollinger or the returning Peter Siddle, with Nathan Hauritz as the probable spin option. While this line-up is far from the intimidating attack of old, it’s still a very capable one and England should definitely not underestimate it.

If the Johnson manages to produce some of his best form, then betfair cricket pundits believe that Australia will have a very good chance of reclaiming the urn and extending England’s winless record on Australian soil for a while longer yet.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paddock Watching - Part One

Few places can rival the British racecourse as a venue for an enjoyable afternoon of people-watching. With a number of distinct “tribes” evident at tracks across the country it is possible to spend hours marvelling at the sight of public-school types of every age braying their way between the bar and bookies, gaggles of highly-spirited young women shamelessly ignoring the sporting endeavour on offer, or the pride and excitement of the new racehorse owners before the endless disappointments and increasing costs take their savage toll.

But regardless of these colourful characters, the most fascinating individuals can be found separated from the masses at the lesser visited paddock area.

Generally the paddock is encircled by occasional racecourse visitors enthralled by the sight of horses at close quarters or by those fascinated by the huddled gathering of owners and trainers in pre-race discussions. But amongst these happy crowds you will also find the serious punter. Armed with a copy of the Racing Post and a head full of notes from an evening spent studying the form in advance preparation for the day’s racing, this is their a final stop before placing a bet.

The professionals take the paddock experience very seriously and this largely misunderstood part of the betting ritual is one that all we should all incorporate into our raceday routine.

But what should those looking to place free bets be looking for?

Many are distracted by the mean-looking creatures with short legs and an eye for the fillies but we should ignore the jockeys and instead concentrate on the horses on display.

The first thing that we look for in a racehorse is the confirmation: the physical composition of the horse and how the different body parts combine together for the job in hand. Tote betting pundits are aware that this aspect of the racing can be notoriously difficult to master and it is well worth asking an expert for some general pointers.

Victoria Lister, a well-respected independent bloodstock consultant, provides us with a professional insight. “The confirmation of any horse is comparable to that of a human athlete. The first thing to consider is the overall balance of body parts and the work that the animal will be expected to do. So whilst show-jumpers, eventers and racehorses will be asked excel in very different environments, the basis of sound confirmation will have the same foundations. When looking at a thoroughbred racehorse we first focus on the balance between the neck, back and hip and consider if they are of the same length and proportions. The head is important in its own right. We are looking for big, intelligent eyes and large nostrils able to deliver the vast amounts of air needed to help fuel the body. An alert horse with ears pricked and keenly aware of their surroundings is a pre-requisite, together with an air of confidence and determination”

The muscle definition is also important. “We look to the see if the horse has the correct amount of muscle for its frame” Victoria continues, “too much muscle mass on a small frame can cause as many problems as too little on larger animals, although in younger bloodstock we often consider that the horse may well ‘grow into itself’. With sprinters we can allow for bigger bulk with perhaps a concentration toward the hind quarters whilst long-distance performers can be leaner, hardier animals in the same sense as their human counterparts.”

“More technically, we look for the muscles to work together gracefully and produce an extended ‘arc of flight’ seen during propulsion at gallop, where the neck and foreleg work in a synchronised movement. The old saying ‘no foot, no horse’ is a truism, although this is difficult to asses in a paddock setting and a smooth, long, rhythmical stride is a much better indicator in this setting.”

So taking the very basics of confirmation it is obvious that by comparing Tony McCoy to John McCririck we see that one has considerable physical advantages over the other for potential riding ability and the same is true in the equine world.

The difference between a great racehorse and an also-ran is much more subtle but we now have the building blocks that the expert trained eye will compute in an instant.

Look out for part two of this article in the coming weeks.

Time to break down the wall of silence

Tottenham's winning goal against Fulham on Saturday was steeped in controversy from the moment it left Tom Huddlestone's right foot, but the problem was exacerbated by Mike Dean's somewhat cowardly low-key exit from Craven Cottage. Dean's refusal to clarify the thinking behind his decision seems to have riled Fulham manager Mark Hughes more than the decision itself, and it's hard to disagree when you think about the level of media intrusion now suffered by the game's managers.

New rules have come into force this season supposedly compelling Premier League managers to provide post-match interviews to the media. If they refuse, their club will be fined. If they refuse again, the fine will increase with every non-appearance. The thinking behind this is that since the broadcaster has exclusive rights to the sporting event, this should also include a certain level of post match analysis, but why should that stop with the manager?

Often a wrong decision made by the man in black can have more influence on the eventual outcome of a fixture than any substitution or tactical instruction, so why shouldn't they be held to account? It's always awful to see a side that's about to cause a massive footballbetting upset lose out because of a mistake, just look at Blackpool this weekend.

No one is suggesting that teams should be able to lodge an appeal, or even that referees should never make any mistakes, but the game of football belongs to the fans, and they deserve an explanation, especially when an error makes the difference between celebrating a valuable away point, and a long, depressing trek back up the M1 on a Saturday evening, sometimes with their football bets ruined.

The bottom line is that referees are only answerable to the Premier League and of course they won't step into a shooting gallery of their own volition. But until those in charge allow us to see referees as fallible humans like the rest of us, we will continue to be outraged whenever they make mistakes, even those not picked up by pundits until they have had access to several slow-motion replays from fourteen different angles. All it takes is that human touch - and never is a man more human than when he puts his hands up to apologise.

Champions League classics - Bayern v Man United

It was the dramatic culmination to what had already been a fantastic season for Manchester United.

A goal down in the dying seconds of a Champions League final, they somehow managed to pull away from the jaws of defeat and secure a scarcely believable victory.
United went into the game at Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium without influential midfielders Paul Scholes and Roy Keane who had both picked up yellow cards in the semi-final. Peter Schmeichel, making his last appearance for the club, was made captain in Keane's absence.

One of the first things he had to do however was pick the ball out of the net as their opponents Bayern Munich took the lead after just six minutes. Carsten Jancker was fouled just outside the penalty area and Mario Basler produced one of his Champions League specials, curling the ball around the wall and past a stranded Schmeichel.

United rallied after that early setback but struggled to break down a resolute and typically organised German defence, meaning Bayern held onto their lead into the break.

Bayern started the second half the brighter side with Basler they key influential force, United were huffing and puffing but couldn't find a goal. In response Alex Ferguson threw on Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to try and grab an equaliser but it was Bayern who came closest when Jancker hit the bar with an overhead kick. That was, however, until injury time.

With Bayern fans counting down the clock a David Beckham corner wasn't properly cleared and Ryan Giggs forced the ball back into the penalty area where Sheringham swept home to seemingly force extra time. But United weren't done there, 30 seconds after the re-start they won another corner, again taken by Beckham, that was flicked on by Sheringham for Solskjaer to divert it into the net and send United into dreamland. The Bayern players could barely carry on such was their devastation so the remaining second were quickly played out, handing United their second European Cup in truly breathtaking fashion. They had defied all Champions League predictions.

The result completed a glorious treble for the Red Devils after winning the Premier League and FA Cup earlier in the season. Today the class of 99 is considered one of the finest in the club's history.

Strauss backed to score runs

England’s captain Andrew Strauss has come out on top of a survey to find out who the public feel will be England’s top scorer in the upcoming Ashes series Down Under. The opener was England’s best batsman during his side’s successful Ashes campaign last summer, finishing with an average of 50 and finished top of the poll with 25 percent of the votes. His record against the Aussies is up there with the best, three centuries and four 50’s in his 15 matches have helped him achieve an average of around 40 when playing against Australia.

Behind Strauss in the poll is batsman Jonathan Trott who scored a century on his Test debut last summer to help England clinch the Ashes in the decisive fifth match. Trott has had a storming summer, including a double century against Bangladesh and another impressive innings of 184 against Pakistan. Trott has gained a reputation as one of the best number three batsmen in world cricket.

Despite not scoring a century for 19 months and a very public loss of form this season Kevin Pietersen is still thought to have a good chance of finding his form during this series after finishing third in the poll.

The batsman has returned from a brief spell in South Africa with a renewed sense of confidence despite not finding the form he would have wanted. The intense pressure KP will come under from betfair cricket pundits could very likely bring out the best in him.

Ian Bell is expected to pip Eoin Morgan to the number six spot in England’s first 11 and the poll suggests the Warwickshire batsman will be amongst the runs this series, after looking impressive since returning to the England Test side during last summer’s Ashes series. Despite never hitting a century against the Aussies, Bell has a good record with eight half centuries to his name.

Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior will also be hoping to find runs Down Under but the main batsmen will have the most pressure on their shoulders from those placing a cricket bet on them retaining the urn if England are to have a chance of winning their first series Down Under in 24 years.

Owen misses out again

Perma-crocked striker Michael Owen has been sidelined again with another hamstring injury. The Manchester United man has struggled over the years with a succession of hamstring injuries and had only just returned to training following a recent groin complaint. The new injury looks set to keep the former Liverpool front-man on the sidelines for another couple of weeks.

Owen looked set to start his team's Carling Cup tie against Wolves after recovering from his groin injury, only to miss out at the last minute with the new complaint. Sir Alex Ferguson's side came through the tie thanks to a late winner from Javier Hernandez. The two sides meet in the league soon, and the Wolves betting tips suggest United should score another win.

Owen has only made two starts this season for United and hasn't featured for the first team since he was replaced at half-time during the 0-0 draw at Sunderland last month. That was his first league start of the season, with the other start coming in the third round of the Carling Cup, in which the striker's two goals helped his team to a 5-2 win over Scunthorpe.

Owen was determined to make more of an impression than last season, when injury and the form of others restricted the striker to just five league starts in his first season at Old Trafford. His season was cut short by another hamstring injury suffered during the Carling Cup final and this term was supposed to be Owen's chance to prove he still has enough quality to warrant a place in Ferguson’s side.

The emergence of Javier Hernandez won't have helped Owen chances of returning to the first team anytime soon. The Mexican striker scored his third goal in a week with the winner in the Wolves match and has taken to English football supremely well since his summer move to Old Trafford. With Hernandez's form, Dimitar Berbatov looking every bit a world class striker and Wayne Rooney close to a return to the first team, Owen's chances are looking limited.

If Owen has any hopes of getting back into Fabio Capello's England side, then he is going to need to start playing regularly. If not at Old Trafford then maybe the striker might have to consider a move at some point in the future. At 30 and with question marks constantly surrounding his fitness it could be now or never for England's former wonder-boy.

Meanwhile, the Champions League betting suggests United can essentially secure their progression to the knock out stages of the tournament next week.

They currently have seven points and a win against Bursaspor would all but guarantee a top two finish in the group.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last of the flying ‘Banner

The news that Aidan O’Brien’s high class sprinter Starspangledbanner will not contest next week’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint seems likely to signal the end of the career of a horse who illuminated the British sprint division in 2010 having previously proved himself a top class performer in his native Australia, writes Elliot Slater.

No reasons were given by the Ballydoyle team for the son of Choisir missing the showpiece US event, but stallion duties in Australia await their charge and after a busy season in Europe, and it would appear that connections believe he has already proved enough to breeders to ensure he will be much in demand at stud.

A Grade 1 winner at both six furlongs and a mile in Australia, Starspangledbanner joined O’Brien earlier this year with a big reputation, and after appearing a little ring-rusty but showing plenty of speed on his British debut at York in May behind Prime Defender in the Duke of York Stakes, he put up a stunning effort when making every yard of the running to leave 23 rivals toiling in his wake in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Three weeks later he proved to those looking at racing tips his Ascot run no fluke when staying on bravely in a tremendous duel with the smart Equiano to land the Group 1 Darley July Cup to confirm himself the top sprinter in Europe. The drop back to the minimum trip of five furlongs for the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August was always going to be a challenge to a horse who had won at the highest level over a mile, and in finishing a running-on second to Sole Power most observers were impressed with the versatility of the ex-Australian powerhouse.

Possibly feeling the effects of his Nunthorpe exertions, Starspangledbanner was a below-par fifth to Markab in the Haydock Sprint Cup two weeks later, the last time he was seen in action, but his performances at both Royal Ascot and Newmarket in mid-summer will ensure that O’Brien’s latest top notcher won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Melbourne Cup hype refuses to die down

This year's renewal of the Melbourne Cup is one of the most hotly-anticipated races in history, with a record number of racegoers expected to attend Morphettville Racecourse to observe the racing action. Demand for tickets has been so high that organisers have been forced to add an extra marquee to cater for the high number of racing fans expected to turn up on the day, with another marquee on stand-by just in case.

The South Australian Jockey Club saw history in the making last week, when all pre-sale marquee tickets and corporate packages sold out. Selling out two weeks before race day was unprecedented and points to the current hype surrounding this year's big race.

Perhaps one of the reasons lying behind the huge interest in the Melbourne Cup this year is the fact that there is so much instability at the pinnacle of the betting markets. Widely perceived to be the hot favourite until the last few days, So You Think has been since been replaced as the favourite to win by Shocking, who won the Melbourne Cup last year. So You Think's ability to run past 2000 metres has been questioned by racing experts and pundits alike, whilst Shocking's decent performance in the Caulfield Cup has also seen a boost in support for the new favourite.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2010 Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions preview

The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions is a strange event to finish the season with. It is a fledgling tournament having been set up only last year and it is easy to look upon it as the less glamorous version of the Tour finals in Doha, the ‘fifth Grand Slam’ that will be keenly contested.

The six highest ranked tournament winners of the season who are not in action in Doha are joined by two wildcards, Kimiko Date Krumm, semi finalist last year, and Daniela Hantuchova. This means only three top 20 players feature, but with its criteria for qualification being tournament success rather than ranking points, those participating know how to win under pressure.

The event starts as a straight elimination at a quarter final stage, with Li Na, the highest ranked player, top seed. The Chinese number one was beaten to a tour finals spot by Victoria Azarenka but has produced enough good tennis this year, most notably in reaching the Australian Open semi finals, to be considered the player to beat.

Second seed with the Tennis betting odds, Aravane Razai is the reigning champion who has consolidated her place in the world’s top 10 after breaking through in 2009. She won her maiden premier mandatory event in Madrid and is more than capable of defending this title.

Yanina Wickmayer is one of the game’s brightest talents and is one to follow in the markets for this tournament. She progressed well in all of this year’s Grand Slams but showed her inexperience in wasting a strong position in the US Open last 16 against Kaia Kanepi.

Alisa Kleybanova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova are the only players to have won two titles this year and the two latest Russian starlets are certainly ones to look out for amongst the ATP tour odds next season. Ana Ivanovic is gradually finding her way back into form but remains inconsistent, whilst wildcards Date Krumm and Hantuchova will struggle to make an impact.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Liverpool’s Europa League hopes depend on league performances

Whilst Liverpool fans will no doubt be delighted that they have finally been able to celebrate a decent performance from their team in the Premier League, even the most passionate and biased of Liverpool supporters should realise that the club need to secure their league future and propel themselves up to a mid-table position (at the very least) before they can expect manager Roy Hodgson to field the likes of Fernando Torres in the Europa League.

However, UEFA Europa League betting pundits note how the dilemma remains that Liverpool may not achieve such a position in the domestic league until the chance of success in the Europa League has been and gone.

Despite the fact that Hodgson badly needs to lead the side to success on the pitch if he is to avoid continuing looking like a man occupying a role that doesn't suit his reserved personality, the Liverpool manager will know that the large majority of the fans see the Europa League as nothing more than a distraction, and will continue to view it in that manner until they see their side achieve a satisfactory level in domestic competition.

With the FA Cup likely to be thought of as a bigger and better competition to focus upon by fans and those betting on Premier league matches, and one that is worthy of risking the fitness of Torres in, could Liverpool find themselves discarding the Europa League to their own detriment?

Should the club fail to qualify for the Europa League or the Champions League in the next few seasons, the club's treatment of the competition this season may well become synonymous with the fact that Liverpool Football Club views itself as bigger than it really is, a fact that may well prevent the Reds from achieving what fans expect of them both domestically and in Europe.

Harrington wins again...finally!

After putting in a decent performance during Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Celtic Manor earlier this month, Padraig Harrington was all too aware that he was in dire need of a victory in individual competition, especially in light of the fact that he had failed to win a major trophy over the past three years, with his last win coming in the 2008 US PGA Championship. Now, however, Harrington has put this right by winning the Iskandar Johor Open.

Having had to rely upon a highly controversial wild card pick in order to play a part in this year's Ryder Cup, Harrington will surely realise that he needs to carry over the momentum from that competition to next year’s tour if he wishes to be viewed in the same glowing light he once was.

With the players of the European tour continuing to demonstrate their class on a consistent basis and the US PGA always strong, those who bet on golf regularly believe that Harrington will surely face a mighty struggle to win a major event next year, even if Tiger Woods' form continues to decline.

However, with Harrington judged by many as one of the reasons behind the European team's triumph, with his calm leadership qualities apparently a crucial part of the success along with his actual play on the course, he should be able to take a considerable amount of confidence into his next tournament, providing him with the ideal opportunity to develop the kind of momentum players so badly need in order to prove their worth.

Those assessing the golf odds regularly state Harrington is quite clearly a world class golfer on his day, and adding a fourth major victory to his already admirable record would certainly go a long way towards getting revenge against the cynics who have constantly reminded him of his recent lack of success.

If Harrington succeeds in winning his fourth major, he may well look back at the Iskandar Johor Open as the tournament that truly launched his comeback.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

EPL 2010-11 : Man City - Arsenal goals

Manchester City 0-1 Arsenal

Boyata Red Card

0-1 - Nasri

EPL 2010-11 : Stoke City- Manutd goals

Stoke 1-2 Manchester United




Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez's post match Interview

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is the Kauto Star and Denman National Hunt Era Over?

On perusal of the antepost betting markets for the King George Vl Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup it becomes obvious to note that the formidable two prong chasing attack of champion trainer, Paul Nicholls, comprising Kauto Star and Denman is no longer an axis to be feared; with many more trainers this year prepared to take on the two wonder horses. The two markets look remarkably similar in that they carry virtually the same entries, but there is a big difference in prices.

Quite rightly, Kauto is the favourite or co-favourite to win both races, particularly the King George Chase where he will be looking to break all records when winning for a fifth consecutive time and what genuine racing fan would wish him failure in that particular quest? However, such was his defeat in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March, that those trainers who have been developing the talents of their successful younger chasers may feel the time is right to test them at highest level.

Even Nicholls himself may feel that this is the right year to bring forward the chasing claims of some of his brightest stars, such as dual World Hurdle Champion, Big Bucks and Totesport Bowl winner, What a Friend. These two seven year olds are both included in the higher echelons of the Cheltenham Gold Cup market, although only What a Friend is in the King George at this stage.

Probably the biggest rival to Nicholls supremacy in the training stakes is Nicky Henderson and he has two outstanding challengers for the two principle chasing crowns this season. Firstly there is the brilliant Long Run, who fluffed his lines a little when third in the RSA Chase at the Festival in March, but who before that had won two Grade Ones by huge margins. Aged only five, this French bred has time on his side of course but he has already been installed as the second favourite for the King George and is in the top six for the Gold Cup.

Henderson has gone on the record and said that he believed that Long Run is the better than his other potential chasing star, Punchestowns, who had finished behind Long Run in the same RSA Chase. However, Punchestowns who had finished a close second to Big Bucks in the 2009 World Hurdle will be a big improver this season and should not be discounted and he is also high in the betting for both markets.

Albertas Run who finished last season in fantastic form, winning the Ryanair at the Cheltenham Festival and the Melling Chase at Liverpool three weeks later is one for sure to follow this season. Trainer, Jonjo O’Neill will remember that the 9 year old ran with great credit when second to Kauto Star in the 2008 King George and although he was well beaten as he was again last season when he finished sixth, has improved and has the potential to be a late developing champion.

Other Grade One winners who are featuring prominently in the betting for both races are the Phillip Hobbs trained, Planet Of Sound, Cooldine, trained by Willie Mullins, Forpadydaplasterer another top class Irish challenger, trained by Tom Cooper, plus Joncol winner of the Hennessey Gold Cup.

Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of reigning Gold Cup champion, Imperial Commander has recently been heard to say that his nine year old has improved over the summer and will be better than ever this season. If that is the case and Kauto Star and Denman have gone backwards as is widely believed, then the stage will be set for a huge battle for chasing supremacy, making this national Hunt season, the best for many a long year.

Imperial Commander of course won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last season, defeating a very game Denman, who had won the race in 2008, in the process after dual Gold Cup winner, Kauto Star had fallen. In winning he effectively ended the Kauto Star v Denman hype but at the same time raised the questions of whether he can do it again and if there are others out there who can emulate him. This is just one of many questions which remains unanswered as the National Hunt season gets under way in the UK and Ireland and whilst it won't be until March until we find out the answer, there is sure to be plenty of excitement en route!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Albion Park Update

Saturday evening saw the inaugural running of the Listed Be Good Johnny Sprint over 1660m at Albion Park in the harness racing action in Brisbane. A top-class field assembled for the $25,000 prize with Mr Feelgood, winner of the 2009 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, and Blacks A Fake, winner of the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 Inter Dominion both in the line-up.

Having been beaten by Mr Feelgood at Albion Park on 2nd October over 1660m, Blacks A Fake was out to reverse the placings in Saturday’s feature contest.

Mr Feelgood, driven by regular partner Luke McCarthy, took up the early lead just before the first turn with Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen sitting in second, just off the leader for the first 1200m. Blacks A Fake gradually reduced Mr Feelgood’s lead to a neck upon reaching the 400m mark.

On entering the home straight, McCarthy kicked for home and Mr Feelgood, winner of America’s Little Brown Jug in 2006, drew a length ahead. Blacks A Fake instantly began to claw back the deficit for Rasmussen and the winners of over $7,000,000 did battle all the way to the wire.

Blacks A Fake, despite his tenacious effort, had to settle for second best once more with Mr Feelgood prevailing by a neck in a mile time of 1:52.9, just eight-tenths of a second outside of his own track record.

A further showdown between the two champions is now set for 30th October at Albion Park in the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship over 2609m. Blacks A Fake has won the last two renewals of this grade one contest and the extra trip will favour the 10-year-old but Mr Feelgood, fresh from his two recent victories, will be looking to land the hat-trick over his rival, so bear this in mind when you take a look at the harness racing odds.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Murray succeeds in ATP Finals qualification bid

It hasn't been a great year for Scotland's Andy Murray. Always having to bear the weight of the British public's expectations on his young shoulders, Murray has been inconsistent this season and was particularly disappointing at the recent US Open at Flushing Meadows. However, there are perhaps signs that his game is looking up after he secured a place at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London with a win that ensured his progression to the last eight of the Shanghai Masters.

The victory at the Shanghai Masters came at the expense of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who was defeated 6-3 6-4. Murray, who despite seeming to have carried the ATP odds hopes of a nation for many years now, is still just 23 years of age, will now face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Shanghai. Whilst the win was obviously important in the context of the Shanghai Masters, its wider relevance is far more crucial, with Murray well aware before the first ball was struck that he would qualify for the London tournament if he beat his opponent.

Murray's performance in extremely humid conditions provided a further sign to ATP tour betting pundits that he may yet give British tennis fans something to cheer about before the season comes to an end, with his game looking far more versatile and solid than for many months this year. The Scot seemed to have more grit and determination about his game and was hitting the ball cleanly, something that couldn't be said of some of his previous error-strewn performances this season.

The ATP World Tour Finals are scheduled to take place between the 21st and 28th of November and will show off the talents of the eight best players in singles and the eight best doubles pairings in the world based on the past season. The event proved to be extremely popular last year with Londoners and is expected to provide even more appeal this time around.

Friday, October 15, 2010

EPL 2010-11 : Arsenal - Birmingham City goals

For Live Scores - Livescore

Arsenal 2-1 Birmingham City

EPL 2010-11 : Everton - Liverpool goals

The Merseyside derby is going to give us a cracking game.

For Live Scores - Livescore

Everton -Liverpool

(Coming soon)

EPL 2010-11 : Aston Villa - Chelsea goals

For Live Scores - Livescore

Aston Villa - Chelsea

(Coming soon)

EPL 2010-11 : Manutd - West Brom goals

For Live Scores - Livescore

Manchester United 2-2 West Bromwich Albion
1-0 - Hernandez

2-0 - Nani



(Coming soon)

Speedsk8in: Your Skating Partner

It has been some time since I last posted as I was held up with a personal work. But I am back with a really interesting piece of information that surely going to enlighten you. If you had been looking for some interesting information regarding inline skating, I’d strongly recommend you to read this post. Every since I was young, I was very much attracted towards sports. I loved football, tennis, cricket, Formula 1 and basketball. But one sport that really fascinated me was Inline skating. When I talk about skating, I am able to recollect the day my parents bought me a pair of inline speed skates. But that was a time when I did not really want to try the sport but preferred watching it. I was not able to make up my mind that time so I kept myself informed about the sport from the television and other sources. As I grew the passion for the sport grew and I found myself in situation where I was desperate to learn it. So I got started with the process of getting the things that were needed to skate and thanks to, I got some of the best inline skate wheels and skates. As I was visiting I could make out the depth in which they knew about the sport. I was really happy about their entire setup since the detailing of each product was so good. They have also given a list of points that one must take care of before buying a skate wheel. I made the maximum use of their tips in selecting my skate wheel. If you thought that was it, they surprised me even further by giving out 7 hot tips on how to skate faster that guaranteed faster skating. I was also impressed with their ‘Ask the Expert’ option. It is always good when you hear something from the experts and gave us that. Overall I would say visiting them can only help your skating, be it with your skates or the overall understanding of the sport.

Dairyman Grogan enjoys dream York moment

With so many major racing battalions with seemingly limitless funds at their disposal it was truly heart-warming to witness the success of Cinderella horse Katla in the listed Rockingham Stakes at York on Saturday, writes Elliot Slater.

Owned, bred and trained by Irish racing dairy farmer John Grogan in County Cashel, Katla is Grogan’s only horse in training and is a daughter of the moderate maiden Bratislava, who he purchased for £8000 in 2005 at Goffs Sales. Katla had already made something of a splash in her native Ireland, wining a Cork maiden on her third racecourse appearance having finished runner-up to subsequent Group 1 winner Misty For Me on her previous outing. A short-head second to Longhunter in listed company at the Curragh last month confirmed that the daughter of Majestic Missile was no slouch, and she went to York with connections having high hopes that they might grab a bit of place money.

As it transpired Katla absolutely hacked up, winning easily by six lengths from Barefoot Lady, clearly proving well suited to the testing underfoot conditions. A stunned Grogan, (who had driven the horsebox over the night before), was barely able to speak when interviewed on live television moments after his pride and joy had stormed to victory. The only thing of which the ecstatic farmer was certain was that there would be one hell of a party when he arrived back home.

Katla now looks set to step up again in class and may well head next to France for a Group 2 race later in the month where she is more than likely according to horse racing tips to encounter ground similar to that at the Knavesmire.

Win, lose or draw, Katla’s victory has given hope to all those who dream of buying a cheap horse and breeding a winner, and equally to those one-horse trainers that go through the motions day after day wondering if their big moment will ever come.

Things looking up for Pietersen's Ashes hopes

Kevin Pietersen is a man who, over the past year or so, has been hitting the sporting headlines for all the wrong reasons. Loss of form, combined with a few controversial comments, have been the topics dominating the papers when it comes to the undoubtedly talented England batsman, whose ego has been known to lead him astray in the past. Pietersen was dropped by England for the limited-overs series against Pakistan after enduring a poor summer and, it's probably fair to say, did not react to this decision in the correct manner, using Twitter to unleash an angry outburst that was quickly removed.

However, with the Ashes 2010 rapidly approaching now, England fans will be relieved to see him show signs of improved form and increased motivation levels. Pietersen has just made his debut for South African side Dolphins and, after the match, he revealed that he feels he may be approaching something like his best form.

On day one of the first-class SuperSport Series match against the Warriors in Pietermaritzburg, Pietersen scored 36, sharing an 80-run partnership with captain Imraan Khan, and seemed to improve with regards to both his technical ability and self-belief as the action unfolded.

Pietersen, who has not scored a Test century since way back in March 2009, doesn't have long to get back to top form before he joins up with the other England players desperate to prove their critics wrong by upsetting the current Ashes betting odds and beating the Aussies on home soil when the action gets underway on the 25th of November. However, South Africa could be the perfect place for the player to undergo his return to form.

Pietersen will continue his bid to find top form and get some competitive cricket action under his belt when he plays against the Titans next week in Durban.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is it too late to for England to sack Capello?

England's dismal 0-0 draw in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley this week prompted new calls for manager, Fabio Capello, to be sacked. Critics of the Italian coach have been less vociferous over the past month after England's campaign to qualify for the European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine got off to the best possible start with victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland. Back-to-back wins was just what Capello needed after widespread criticism and calls for his dismissal following England's World Cup debacle in South Africa, which the FA chose to ignore, largely due to the fact that parting company with Capello would cost in the tune of £12m due to the his contract extension signed before the World Cup! Instead, the governing body of English football deemed the man who continues to struggle to speak the same language as his employers and players the man to guide the national team into another major tournament.

Those responsible for Capello's contract and the decision to stick with him were probably blowing a sigh of relief with maximum points from the team's first two qualifiers but the performance and result from Tuesday's visit of Montenegro was enough for the calls for Capello's head to resurface. Brian Woolnough is one such example in the media, with the Daily Star's football writer makes a good case for why the FA should get rid of Capello sooner rather than later in his article SACK FABIO CAPELLO: TIME IS UP FOR BOSS AS ENGLAND GO FROM BAD TO WORSE.

Woolnough makes a good argument about qualification for Euro 2012 not being guaranteed and no signs of a new team emerging - something that was promised in the aftermath of the abysmal showing of the so-called 'golden generation' of players at the World Cup.

As it stands, only Joe Hart, Adam Johnson and Ashley Young can be considered inclusions in the starting XI by Capello that would suggest he is looking to bring about change. The other eight starters have all been in and around the squad for some time and each to a man can be held partly responsible for flopping in South Africa.

If England do qualify for the Euros, the backbone of the team on which Capello relies so much will all be playing in what is sure to their last major tournaments; Ashley Cole will be 31, Steven Gerrard (32), Rio Ferdinand (34), John Terry (31), Gareth Barry (31), Peter Crouch (31) - that is over half of the current starting line-up that will be over the age of 30, hardly progress!

What's more, Capello has already stated that he will step down following the European Championships, leaving the next manager with the task of rebuilding. Add to this the fact Capello tried to tempt Emile Heskey out of international retirement ahead of the Montenegro game before handing Bolton striker, Kevin Davies, his international debut at the age of 33, leaving England fans needing no further evidence that the Italian has no intention of changing his agenda any time soon.

With Montenegro and England seemingly in a two horse race for the one qualification place available in Group G, an appearance in the tournament co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine should be achievable, even under the current cloud of uncertainty. However, the same was said about qualifying for Euro 2008 when Steve McClaren and we all know what happened there.

England's next qualifier is against Wales at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in March before playing Switzerland and Wales at Wembley with an away game against Bulgaria and the final group game in Montenegro next October to decide their fate.

It isn't too late to sack Capello should the FA decide that the immediate and long term future of the England team is more important than hurting the pride of those who appointed him and a hefty seven figure pay-off. There would be no shortage of English candidates for any subsequent vacancy and it would make far more sense for the rebuilding process to start now under the guidance of a long term appointment than abrupt and sudden change in the summer of 2012, which could have a negative impact on qualification for the 2014 World Cup. If a replacement was sough before the Wales game next March, there would also be no reason why England should suffer in its remaining qualifiers so there is still time for the FA to make that change.

However, whilst the fans may not like it, Capello is going to be around for sometime and whilst we hope that he proves us all wrong, we've had long enough to conclude that is unlikely and no doubt the same debate and dismay will be had on several occasions before England's Euro 2012 fate has been decided.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cosmos set to be seen in Canada

It is looking very likely that John Gosden’s impressive Ladbrokes St Leger winner Arctic Cosmos will fly out to Canada to take on an international field in the in the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine on Saturday, 16 October, writes Elliot Slater.

Those looking at horse racing tips note how the three-year-old colt started the term landing a modest maiden on the Polytrack at Wolverhampton in April, since when he has made incredible progress, stepping up to win a Kempton handicap before belying his official handicap mark to chase home the talented Monterosso in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Unsuited by the track at Glorious Goodwood when a staying-on third in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes to Rebel Soldier, the son of North Light defied a lack of market confidence and reacted particularly well to the first-time blinkers in cosily defeating Aidan O’Brien’s Irish Derby runner-up Midas Touch in the season’s final classic at Doncaster last month.

Following a pleasing recent piece of work on the Newmarket gallops, Arctic Cosmos, who is part-owned by Gosden’s wife Rachel Hood, was given the green light to head to North America for the mile-and-a-half contest, the winner of which receives automatic qualification to contest the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs early next month.

Given the surprises that Arctic Cosmos has already sprung on the British and irish racing public and the fine record his handler has on the American racing scene, it would be unwise not to take this Canadian bid very seriously indeed. The availability of Gosden’s stable jockey William Buick, (who gave the horse such a great ride at Doncaster), could be the only black cloud on the horizon, as he might well be in the saddle on board Arlington Million winner Debussy in the Dubai Champion Stakes at Newmarket on the afternoon of October 16th.

It seems fair to say that riding arrangements surrounding the two top level bids by the Gosden team across two continents on the same day, should prove most enlightening.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Previewing the weekend's action

A busy weekend Down Under sees seventeen race meetings take place over the weekend, with seven on Friday, six on Saturday and four on Sunday.

Victoria sees eight-races at Horsham and Melton Park on Friday, whilst Goulburn and Harold Park in New South Wales have seven and eight races each. The standout contest at Harold Park is race five, the Latin Motion Dance Academy Prize, a $16,000 contest over 2160m. Globe Derby in South Australia has seven races listed, with Gold Coast in Queensland staging eight races as well. It'll be well worth keeping an eye out for the harness racing results for this one.

All eyes, however, will be on Gloucester Park in Western Australia and their 10-race bonanza featuring the $35,000 Group 2 Members Sprint over 1730m at race eight, featuring the six-timer seeking Has The Answers. There is a total of $171,000 in prize-money across the ten races and this is undoubtedly the meeting of the weekend.

All of Saturday’s Australian harness racing is scheduled for evening action and Geelong stage the feature race of the day, the Geelong Rocket over 1609m. Smoken Up NZ and Em Maguane have both won their last three races and will be fighting out the finish for the $20,000 prize. Globe Derby will return with another seven race programme, as will Gloucester Park who have eight races carded. Albion Park stage the most races with 10 on the card, whilst Newcastle and Kalgoorlie complete the Saturday line-up.

Four meetings on Sunday are headed by the seven races scheduled at Wagga, whilst Northam, Launceston and Ballarat all have eight races apiece.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Enigmatic Makfi retired to stud

High class French-trained miler Makfi has been retired to stud with immediate effect and will miss his final intended outing in the Breeders’ Cup Mile next month, writes Elliot Slater.

The horse who was cast aside by Sheikh Hamdan al Makhtoum’s Shadwell Stud as an unraced juvenile and purchased by Matthieu Offenstadt for just 26,000 guineas, ran his last race in the QEII Stakes at Ascot late last month when he disappointed in finishing only fifth to Poet’s Voice, having been sent off the even money favourite. It has subsequently transpired that Makfi is suffering from ringworm which could very easily explain his below-par effort.

Prior to his Ascot defeat, (his second at the track from his two career visits there following a poor run in the St James’s Palace Stakes), Makfi had produced probably the performance of his career when showing a clean pair of heels to the mighty Goldikova in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville, a victory which confirmed the tremendous impression he had made when defeating both Dick Turpin and Canford Cliffs in bursting to prominence with his victory in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May when sent off an unconsidered 33/1 shot.

Horse racing tips
pundits note how trainer Mikael Delzangles was quick to praise the son of Dubawi who has catapulted his handler to international prominence, pointing out what a fine pedigree he has to go with his excellent temperament and ability. Makfi will stand at the Tweenhills Stud in Gloucestershire and has been advertised at a covering fee of £25,000 for his first season. Reports amongst racing tips for today suggest that the stud has been inundated with requests from owners to send their mares to Makfi and that he is expected to have a full book of mares by as early as December.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Albion Park Preview

A bumper crowd is expected on Saturday night at Albion Park, Brisbane, when the four-time Inter Dominion Championship winner Blacks A Fake continues his build-up to the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship to be held on Saturday, 30th October.

Following his record-breaking fourth win in the Inter Dominion Championships at Menangle Park in March over Miracle Mile and New Zealand Cup winner Monkey King, Blacks A Fake was given a four-month layoff before returning to the track with a fifth place finish on 3rd July, over 1660m. Another break of two months followed before winning over 1660m at Albion Park on 14th September, in which he recorded a career-best time of 1:53.8 for the mile trip.

The ten-year-old multi-millionaire has been drawn ten of ten for Saturday’s Southern Queensland Plumbing Party Ltd Pace over 2138m, a distance he was last successful over on 14th November 2009. This tough draw, on the second row and widest of all, is the biggest threat in attempting to register a 63rd Australian harness racing career win.

With the draw being made on the basis of stakes money won in the last six starts, a place chance can be given to both Destreos (drawn 1) and Dartmoor (drawn 3), both of whom have been struggling with consistently poor draw positions. Destreos arrives on the back of fourteen straight losses, whilst Dartmoor has not won since landing a 2130m contest at Gloucester Park on 5th June 2009, twenty eight starts ago.

The in-form Beef City Beau is most likely to follow home Blacks A Fake, having won four of his last five starts. This 7-year-old gelding has won or been placed 22 times from 35 starts over this trip of 2138m, including three wins from his last three attempts.

All eyes, however, will be on Blacks A Fake and driver Natalie Rasmussen as they look to add a further $11,000 in prize money to the $4,182,353 already in the bank. Make sure you keep a close eye on the harness racing results this weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Close Combat Training

It’s been a while since my last post since I was held up with a personal work for some time that I was not able to post updates regularly. But I’m back with an informative post. If you had been looking for some valuable information regarding self defense techniques and its importance, I’d suggest you to read this post. Our world has gone through a complete change over the past few decades. After the Second World War, things started to return to normal and in the 60’s and 70’s the situation in the world was better than before. I would not say our world was a place where only peace and harmony existed but things were better. As the days rolled on crime and wrong doing started to creep up and a lot of innocent people were victims of rioting and other inhuman acts. These activities were motivated due to a specific reason that varied some each individual who was committing the crime. A lot of incidents that took place could have been prevented had people had known some basic self defense techniques. During those days there people who were trained and experts in various martial arts but most of them preferred that as a sport to keep the mind and body in good health and condition. Things have changed dramatically that people are starting to understand the importance of knowing some simple self defense techniques. Nowadays people hear of violent crimes in their area more often and they are seeking out ways to learn martial arts as a way to create more safety around them. Martial art has now become the most preferred and popular self defense method among the general public. The important thing here is to understand as the actual as to why you would want to learn martial arts. As we say offense is the best form of defense, learning ground fighting technique or weapons training is important to feel secure about yourself. But these are very important methods that have to be learnt from experts like Captain Chris' Close Combat Training. They offer the most comprehensive training methods and the approach towards self defense. If you had ever wanted to learn martial arts or have close combat training, this is the place to be.

Best Harley Accessories

This post is a must read for all those who value useful information. If you had been looking for some useful information regarding Harley Davidson Parts, I’d suggest you to read this post. Right from my younger days I had been found of bikes. I remember the day I told my dad that I loved to own a Harley Davidson one day. But the time was not right for me then to get a motorcycle and it was also influenced due to various other reasons. Now all the obstacles in my way in getting a Harley Davidson were cleared and I got a brand new motor cycle and realized a dream in doing so. As I was quite keen on improving the quality of the bike further, I wanted to replace a few Harley Parts with better ones. I wanted to customize the bike so that it looked better and also for a better performance. As I was checking out the best places to buy Harley Accessories, I came across and to my delight I found the collection of theirs really amazing. The great thing was that I was able to find lot of accessories that I had not even heard about and there were some amazing discounts on the products. And going through the testimonials of those who had purchased the products only enhanced my faith and belief in the quality of the products.