I owe you all a huge apology. I was so wrapped up in the whole stick-in-tonsils-swizzle-test thing that I forgot myself. The Drowning and the huge reversal of fortunes between Thursday midday and eight pm on Saturday didn’t help, but still and all I should have mentioned backing The Lib Dems to win Chesham. There was a late surge on Thursday and the price shortened to 5.7 (slightly bigger than 9/2) on the exchanges and were 4/1 on the sportsbook. That said, the Tories were 1.17 on the Exchange and 1/7 on the Sportsbook.
Never mind, no harm done. Providing there is enough middle-class housing built over green fields, with no acknowledgement of the responsibilities of the builders to ensure the correct integration of their delightful projects with the regional infrastructure, then all will be well for the LibDems.
Getting to Birmingham has always been an ambition of mine, ever since I flew over it on the way to somewhere nice, and from 30,000 feet it seemed quite a twinkly place at night. Now, thanks to the Tories listening to my voice, I will be able to get there 20 minutes quicker, if I travel from Swindon to London, stay the night at the Club, have supper there, meet some chums, end up in the Latvian Jig-a-Jig Piano Bar until 3.00 am, have four hours sleep, settle my various accounts (north of £400) and then catch the new superfast train, that, much like so many others before it, can’t go superfast because when they built the train, they assumed someone would fix the infrastructure. No really, it’s a bargain.
On the Footy front, we did our biscuits on the first 12 games being one-all draws, and I just thought that I might do the next 10 for a similar score. I did, with the last of Tuesday’s profits and no sooner said than… I get a result. Only eight more to go, but at least I can delude myself that I have an interest in Northern Macedonia and Scotland’s futures.
I do have an interest in The Golf and again, mea maxima culpa, I owe you another enormous and genuine apology for failing to cover The US Open during the early part of the Deluge. As you know, I try to cover the Majors, which this undoubtedly is, so I turned it on last night and immediately went to sleep. However, this morning the markets are wide open and I think there is a credible win-only bet to be had by ditching a couple of decent chances.
Additionally, The French Grand Prix is on, and the tensions off track between Mercedes and Mercedes, and between Mercedes and the rest of Formula 1 and now between Mercedes and Sky’s F1 reporters are palpable. This is unsurprising given the emergence this season of the approachable, cool Christian Horner and a Red Bull team that can win, and the lack of visibility of Toto Wolff and Mercedes and their look of increasing fragility. This week there have been ructions over allegations that Hamilton swapped his chassis for Bottas’ which was promptly denied and then became, “oh that… all perfectly normal.” In very simple terms, the fact is that Verstappen is around 3/10s faster per lap than Hamilton and that very quickly becomes magnified with every piece of dirty air, driver errors, pit failures, tyre changes and traffic problems. I’m guessing that most will opt for a one-stop strategy today, and I expect to see them come in at around Lap 21, change to Hard from Soft Tyres and race to the end – providing there is no rain and no safety car.
So for the rest of the day, I am off for a delayed Waterloo Lunch and return to watch the recorded GP and the final round of The US Open. These are my bets for the above and other events.
THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX F1
After the mechanical and driving errors seen at Baku, Azerbaijan, it is hard not to see Verstappen as being fully focussed on getting back the points that his tyres cost him LTO. I suspect he will win, but he is no price. So I suggest the following:
FIRST DRIVER RETIREMENT: Yuki Tsunodo [12/1], closely followed by Nikita Mazepin . I drive better than both of them and I don’t have a licence.
PODIUM FINISH: Sergio Perez [7/4]
FASTEST LAP: My thinking is this. If the front two (Hamilton and Verstappen) are battling it out for podium and Sergio is in a faster car than Bottas, and is also going for a podium, then Mercedes might bring in Bottas for fresh tyres 3 laps before the finish to give him a chance at the fastest lap. VALTERI BOTTAS [3/1]
TOP 6 FINISH: A new contract extension, a track he enjoys, he’s French. Esteban Ocon [4/1]
THE US OPEN
I shall back the following on Betfair Exchange in the hope of “greening up” (making a profit by creating an arbitrage across my selections).
RORY McILROY @ 7 – JON RAHM @ 13 – SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER @ 27 and DUSTIN JOHNSON @ 28. The 24 pt stake is split to return a 6/4 profit if successful, possibly less if I green. There are only four shots between the leader and any of these and that is too small a lead not to take an interest.
Hexham 2:10 LORD CAPRIO Win
Hexham 3:15 CYRUS KEEP
Hexham 3:45 PATH TO FREEDOM