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25th April 2024 4:59 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

I feel obliged to explain…

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R

Not even midnight and I have already told a bookmaker to close my account on the grounds of impertinence; threatened a minor Building Society with more reputational damage than a Nigel Farage letter; made money on the Sweden-Spain game; written an elevator pitch; unpacked a grocery order and been marginally surprised by the bosom on a dog-walker… no wonder I’m knackered.

My own bookmaker dealings are so frivolous compared to some of the bigger players, like Carl Hinchey, who is quitting racing as a result of financial checks. This will result in the industry losing his £120k annual expenditure on training, and I’m guessing his £300k bi-annual bloodstock purchases. At the other end of the scale, I told Bet Victor to naff off for their temerity in asking me for details of my income, employment and other stuff.

Please close my account and delete all records, says I. Yes and No says they/he. Account closed, but keeping your records for five years in line with Anti-money laundering regulations. What’s irksome is that this is one-way traffic, in which I am potentially the wrong ‘un. Has everyone forgotten how William Hill made his money? Perhaps somebody should ask for proof of where Victor Chandler got his original start-up cash to start his book-making empire and then secondly, (see, you’ve got me riled now!), perhaps explain the cause of, and solution to, the financial “black hole” of liabilities that prevented the sale of Victor Chandler so many years ago. There is something especially irritating about the computerised tone of “Nowt to do wi’t me – it’s just regs,” especially when one of us has a memory that lasts longer than five years.

Throughout all this, the BHA seemingly remains determined to steer at full speed into the ice fields – not entirely surprising given their regular displays of incompetence, an inability to manage risk, and their ineffective protection of the industry from the assaults from without on grounds of corruption, health, and animal cruelty. Today they have managed to fall out with the PJA, on the subject of weight loss. Jockeys want saunas, and on health grounds, the BHA removed them. The BHA suggests that the PJA agreed on the plan and is now changing its mind and anyway they’re only jockeys. That is essentially the situation and the whole thing reeks of The Fat Controller running a shoddy rail service, but blaming the signalman. There is also something strange happening with some of their satellite “quangos”, one of which recently told a journalist that

Our vision is to create a transparent and auditable solution where industry is assured of how its money is spent and good practice is recognised.

Which sounds rather like not actually doing your job but creating a means to justify yourself rather than turning in a top-notch performance. Pennies are starting to drop and one or two people are beginning to turn the soil over. When I know more – you’ll know more.

Still and all – it is not quite as bad as appears to be the case in the USA which has gone bonkers on a number of gaming and regulatory fronts. On the gaming front, the impact of Computer-Assisted wagering (CAW) into the US Tote pool system is beginning to harm the race-funding model. This is because the US tote contribution to US racing, the rake taken from non-CAW bettors, is far larger because the large-volume (CAW) players are being incentivised with significant rebates on the large amounts they stake. So turnover is up – but racing support is down, leading to the closure of several tracks, with more to likely come. Secondly, the combination of a swathe of on-track (and often on dirt) equine deaths and the various state-by-state accusations against trainers such as Bob Baffert for drug abuse has led to the intervention of The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), which is responsible for drafting and enforcing uniform safety and integrity rules in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Recently HISA ruled that if the initial sample collected from a horse tests positive, the horse may be declared ineligible to race for the horse’s lifetime without any opportunity for the owner to be heard or present evidence. There presently is no review process for the owner under HISA rules. One learned legal mind and stateside owner, is taking up the legal cudgels, and by way of example has outlined a hypothetical case of a weanling being treated with bisphosphonate (a powerful bone-disorder treatment)  and then being tested positive as a 2yo post-race. How unfair he exclaimed. How unconstitutional. The horse is barred from life and the owner, with no recourse, cannot enjoy the fruits of his ownership. A quick glance at the BHA rules reminded me that Any horse which is administered bisphosphonates under the age of three years and six months is permanently ineligible to race in Great Britain. When the BHA is on a specific ball it’s very good indeed.

Talking of being passably OK on a wet Wednesday with the wind set fair, some thoughts on the Golf and Footy.

GOLF

An old chum sent me a note this week along the lines of “WTF are you talking about re FedEx Golf?” Another sent me a half-congratulatory note for picking Viktor Hovland who contended The St Judes last week and then – sadly like a number of my also-rans – threw his putter into the sea and hit himself over the head with his hickory-shafted mashie-niblick. As an aside, the half-congratulatory note is far more mentally-damaging than the WTF note, because it combines ¼ cup of patronising tone, ½ cup of sympathy, ½ cup of self-aggrandisement (because they got it right) and 2 jars Yah-Boos.

So before I suggest any tips for the next part of the FedEx Cup competition, I thought I’d give you an insight into what is happening.

  • The FedEx Cup playoffs are the end-of-season events on the PGA Tour. This year, they consist of the FedEx St Jude Championship, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship.
  • For PGA Tour players, they mark a chance to turn around their season, because of the money and ranking points on offer. By the end of the Tour Championship, the top player in the rankings will be $20m better off.
  • After each event, players who don’t make a certain rank won’t be eligible for the following week. Players ranked in the top-125 of the FedEx Cup made it into the FedEx St Jude Classic, the top 70 make it to the BMW Championship, and the top 30 make it to the Tour Championship.
    • Both the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship are 72-hole events, but don’t feature a halfway cut.
  • It might seem confusing, but in reality, it’s actually fairly straightforward. The Tour Championship operates on what is essentially a staggered start. The player who is leading the standings after the BMW Championship will start with an advantage over his competitors on Thursday morning. Here’s the scoring system in full, based on where players are ranked following the penultimate event of the year:
    • 1st – 10-under-par
    • 2nd – 8-under-par
    • 3rd – 7-under-par
    • 4th – 6-under-par
    • 5th – 5-under-par
    • 6th-tenth – 4-under-par
    • 11th-15th – 3-under-par
    • 16th-20th – 2-under-par
    • 21st-25th – 1-under-par
    • 26th-30th – even-par
  • The player who finishes on the lowest nett score after this event will take home the FedEx Cup, and the $20m that goes along with it.
  • How does the scoring system work before the Tour Championship?
    • All the other playoff events start on an even playing field, however, the points on offer are far more than regular events. For the winner of the BMW Championship and the FedEx St Jude Championship, 2,000 points are on offer. For a regular season event winner, there are just 500 points. So, essentially, winning one playoff event gets you the same amount of points as winning one regular season PGA Tour event.
  • What happens to those who don’t make the Tour Championship?
    • This depends on where they are ranked, and how many events of the playoffs they make it through. For those who don’t make the top-125, it’s most likely a trip to the Korn Ferry Tour finals, where they can regain their PGA Tour status. However, those who make the top-125 but don’t make the Tour Championship secure their playing rights for next year.
  • You can click on the link to see the top 50 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings following the completion of last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship HERE

So on to The BMW. I like TOMMY FLEETWOOD at 25/1 and while he isn’t the best final-round finisher, he keeps himself in the running throughout. In his last six tournaments, he has finished top 6 in all of them. Every aspect of his game might just possibly have been leading to this! RUSSELL HENLEY is another at 33/1 who has been firing in impressive stats across the entire Strokes Gained metric range. A 6th place tie in the FedEx St. Jude and a tie for second at the Wyndham Championship, he’s an accurate hitter with a potentially match-winning short game here. I know McIlroy keeps charging and I know Rahm keeps fading, but I’m going to have one last seasonal punt on RAHM all-in.

J RAHM 4 pts Win at 9/1 – TOMMY FLEETWOOD 2 pts e/w – RUSSELL HENLEY 1 pt e/w all to 6 places

WOMENS WORLD CUP FOOTY

I cannot believe England have got through to the semi-finals. I have watched some pretty dire football in my time, but Nigeria made England look like a team that was playing with a bad dose of Covid. That said, the just-finished Sweden-Spain game provided 8o minutes of sport that could have been more profitably spent posting 50p cheques to HMRC via 1st class post. The last ten minutes were a thrill. Quite what happens tomorrow is anyone’s guess – but the home crowd advantage will be enormous, especially as the Aussies have allegedly bought out the English end. I thought it best to come clean on how the punting has gone as well, and I’d appreciate your avoiding sending me any half-congrats… I know and as can be clearly seen my views on penalty minutes have not borne the same fruit as the first few rounds. On the other hand, I have had some fun without feeling the need for partisanship. It’s very cathartic when you really don’t give an emotional boondoggle who the hell wins – providing one of them gets tripped up in the penalty box!

On the current Sporting Index market I will be at £1 per point

Selling the time of the third goal 81.00 – 82.75 – IF it is goal-less in the first 17 minutes I would anticipate the time of the first goal market to be 54-57 and that being the case, I would be a seller. – Buying Shirt numbers at 27-30. 

15/08/2023 10:55:08 FIFA Women’s WC S/F – Spain v Sweden (09:00, Tuesday): Shirt Numbers Settlement of Buy 1 @ 25 on 15-AUG-2023 09:18:07.
£27.00 £151.99
15/08/2023 10:55:07 FIFA Women’s WC S/F – Spain v Sweden (09:00, Tuesday): Penalty Goal Minutes Settlement of Buy 1 @ 15 on 15-AUG-2023 09:17:35.
-£15.00 £124.99
15/08/2023 10:47:26 FIFA Women’s WC S/F – Spain v Sweden (09:00, Tuesday): 3rd Match Goal Settlement of Sell 2 @ 83.25 on 15-AUG-2023 09:17:21.
-£11.50 £139.99
13/08/2023 23:03:12 Awarded by Promotion: We’re Boosting Your Profits! [MNT_25PB50]
£4.75 £151.49
12/08/2023 13:32:49 FIFA Women’s WC Q/F – England v Colombia (11:30, Saturday): Shirt Numbers Settlement of Buy 1 @ 29 on 12-AUG-2023 11:16:10.
£15.00 £146.74
12/08/2023 13:32:44 FIFA Women’s WC Q/F – England v Colombia (11:30, Saturday): Penalty Goal Minutes Settlement of Buy 1 @ 16 on 12-AUG-2023 11:15:09. 
-£16.00 £131.74
12/08/2023 12:23:58 FIFA Women’s WC Q/F – England v Colombia (11:30, Saturday): 3rd Match Goal Full closure of Sell 1 @ 79.25 on 12-AUG-2023 11:14:53.
£5.00 £147.74
12/08/2023 12:16:46 FIFA Women’s WC Q/F – England v Colombia (11:30, Saturday): 1st Colombia Women Goal Settlement of Sell 1 @ 72 on 12-AUG-2023 11:14:20.
£28.00 £142.74
12/08/2023 09:52:26 FIFA Women’s WC Q/F – Australia v France (08:00, Saturday): Penalty Goal Minutes Settlement of Buy 1 @ 6 on 12-AUG-2023 09:38:25.
-£6.00 £114.74
12/08/2023 09:52:26 FIFA Women’s WC Q/F – Australia v France (08:00, Saturday): Own Goal Minutes Settlement of Buy 1 @ 2 on 12-AUG-2023 09:38:41.
-£2.00 £120.74
10/08/2023 09:00:55 Awarded by Promotion: CASHBACK OFFER [MNT_LRTU50R25]
£22.88 £122.74
08/08/2023 13:53:20 FIFA Women’s WC R16 – France v Morocco (12:00, Tuesday): Penalty Goal Minutes Settlement of Buy 1 @ 20 on 08-AUG-2023 11:34:53.
-£20.00 £99.86
08/08/2023 13:48:35 FIFA Women’s WC R16 – France v Morocco (12:00, Tuesday): 1st Morocco Women Goal Settlement of Sell 1 @ 73 on 08-AUG-2023 11:36:48.
-£17.00 £119.86
08/08/2023 13:29:48 FIFA Women’s WC R16 – France v Morocco (12:00, Tuesday): 4th Match Goal Settlement of Sell 1 @ 81.25 on 08-AUG-2023 11:33:43.
£11.25 £136.86

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