Various Racing Despatches
First up, a quick review of yesterday. I managed to get Fourteenth beaten, which takes my own little laying system (in the latter stages of trial) to 113 losers from 139 selections (over 81% beaten).
Average winning odds around 11/4, and profit to £20 level stakes (with betfair over odds at 16% and 5% commission accounted for) is currently £478. More on this in due course.
This week's guest system is Betting Exchange Profits and, after I poohpoohed it in my introduction, it responded in the best possible way, by thumbing its nose at me and showing a profit on the day of £218. Hmm... Let's see how it performs today.
Finally on the laying systems front, just a quick reminder that you can still take advantage of Terry Allen's (overly?) generous offer of his system (one winning bet from one yesterday) for free when you subscribe to his newsletter - there's a sample copy available at
or you can read my review of the system's performance on the Premium Systems page from the banner at the top of this page.
(Incidentally, if you want to know about the calibre of writing in the newsletter, I should mention that I am a contributor. This may or may not influence your decision to check out the sample copy!!!!)
Onwards, and a regular reader and emailer, Keith Benson, has passed me news of a racing syndicate he has, which may be of interest to some readers.
Keith has a small stud operation based in Yorkshire, and he is affiliated with the trainer, Noel Wilson, also based at Flaxton, near York.
He currently has shares available in a smashing Captain Rio filly called Joint Agency. Interestingly, and Keith didn't mention this, but I note she has two entries for next week (21st July), so you might be able to witness her debut as an owner!
Anyway, enough from me on this, except to say that I've always loved the thrill of ownership, from my early days when I was one of over 100,000 involved in the cracking Elite Racing Club partnership, to now when I am a tenth part-owner of Rapid City, a winner of three races (and placed twice more) from seven starts for us. I was also lucky enough to own a twelfth of the legendary (at least in the circles I move in!) Love's Design, a winner of no less than seven races in our colours.
More information can be found in Keith's newsletter, which I've reproduced here:
Any questions, please contact Keith direct on the details at the bottom of the newsletter.
Despatches now complete, we move onto today's action, and for me, I'm happy to pass on the jockeys on quadrupeds and instead focus on the jockeys on bicycles.
This year's Tour is extremely cunning in construction as, I think for the first time ever, the average gradient of the climbs increases with each mountain stage.
So after the relative breeze of Saturday, followed by Michael Rasmussen's statement of intent on Sunday, his excellent solo climb in many ways reminiscent of the late great Marco Pantani (another very sad loss to the sport), the action is ratcheted up a sprocket or two today.
After the rest day yesterday, there is guaranteed to be more carnage in the peloton, as the stage starts with the first Hors Categorie ('Out of Category', which I believe I referred to as Horse Categorie in a previous post - had the nags on the brain!) of this year's bikefest.
These are buggers, and today they start with one, and pretty much end with one. Those 'lucky' pedalers will have just over 40 km's of uphill on the itinery today, and the forecast is for very hot weather.
If you have a chance to look at Eurosport today, I would encourage you to do it. There's something slightly sadistic about viewing this kind of sporting spectacle and I find it much more to my tastes than the rather bass puerility of pugilism (apologies to boxing fans, just not typically my bag) and, possibly, more physically demanding of the combatants.
I expect the field of possible overall race winners to be much reduced after a very tough stage, but finding today's stage winner is likely no easy task.
The reason for this is that the last 35km or so are downhill, which means that a lone breakaway rider could well open up a time gap early on and stay clear, as long as he is no threat to the overall race lead.
Rasmussen will surely not be allowed the length of leash that has made him a genuine Tour contender (though his pathetic time trialling will add a touch of reality to that claim on Saturday, in my opinion). Any move by the Great Dane will be covered by all serious aspirants for this year's maillot jaune, so long as they can stay with him.
Interestingly, the stage route today meanders (if that's the right term for a road that straddles three very large Alps!) along the French-Italian border, and this may be a day when a strong Italian climber who is no threat to the overall classification strikes a bid for glory.
There are a few contenders: Cristian Moreni, Dario Cioni, and Alessandro Ballan are all triple figure odds and, of the trio, perhaps Ballan (160 on betfair at time of writing), the winner of the Trois Jours De La Panne and the Tour of Flanders this year, can embellish his impressive portfolio still further.
All of the big boys are atop the stage market, but I reckon a rider like Ballan - who is more than half an hour behind on the general classification - may get clear. Forza Azzurri! (as they say, down my way...)
It is interesting to note how many strong riders from Spain there are this year and, while I reckon most will be saving themselves for a bid nearer the Basque territory in the Pyrenees, the 11/8 offered by Sportingodds for a Spanish rider to win the stage is a little tempting (if also a little short in what can be something of an 'educated crapshoot').
Savour today's stage if you have a chance - Eurosport have put together a real A Team, with the best presenter in TV sport, James Richardson, joined by 1987 Tour winner Sean Roche (if anyone knows how these boys are feeling, he does), and the legendary and fabulously eccentric 'Duffers' (David Duffield).
There is real banter in the studio and real drama on the roads, so today promises to be a very entertaining afternoon in front of the gogglebox. Bring it on!!