PCB’s Betting Week – 8th July

We all know that specialisation is the key to winning money betting but how do we know where we should best apply our energies?

That’s a question I’ve been giving some thought to not least because of a thought-provoking interview in the current SBC mag which is out today.

Ben Aitken is certainly someone with an impressive take on things. His service and blog Narrow The Field focuses on dosage theory – a kind of genetic Da Vinci Code. Like me, he believes that poor quality races are a minefield for punters where a winner can literally emerge simply for being slightly fitter than the others on the day.

A Potential Punter Bonanza Tomorrow

At the top of the tree, fitness, motivation and quality can be taken on greater trust and there are solid reasons to stick with the top class action with tomorrow’s meetings at Newmarket, Ascot and York offering a potential bonanza for punters.

Indeed the only gripe is that the current emphasis on selling corporate packages to race-goers at our Grade One venues is leading to a situation whereby weekend racing – with a few notable exceptions such as Ascot and Cheltenham – is now the only game in town for shrewd punters. In fact, commercial concerns are holding so much sway at Epsom that the track is actually obscured by the concert stage at big meetings. You have to ask: Are they racing or music promoters on the Surrey Downs?

Tomorrow’s embarrassment of riches does throw up one obvious angle and that is: you must pay close heed to where the top stable jockeys are choosing their rides. With first dibs on the best animals the top jocks clearly have a great line on the form and in this scenario what they choose to ride (and what they pass up) should have a massive bearing on where our money goes.

With that in mind, Keiron Fallon’s partnership with Walter Swinburn’s Crown Choice, in the Bunbury Cup at York,  is a real eye-catcher at 14/1. The race also sees the reappearance of Green Destiny a horse that flopped badly after being backed off the boards as if he couldn’t lose last time out.

The same race also contains another live runner in Mont Agel (at 16/1) and if it rains overnight Michael Bell’s runner will surely run a big race.

In Newmarket’sJuly Cup Elzaam would be a solid selection at 6/1 and an each way bet to nothing – with the proviso that conditions stay dry at HQ.

Opposing Arsenal and Why Money Talks Down The Leagues…

The class theme is very much in evidence in The Premiership too and Arsenal look like a side we can oppose in match bets against their title rivals if Fabregas and Nasri, as seems likely, exit stage left.

The signings of Gervinho (Lille) and Finland U21 defender Carl Jenkinson (Charlton) hardly sets the pulses racing. Arsene Wenger has built his reputation on finding unpolished gems from relative backwaters but after six years without a trophy  The Gunners boss is clearly now being called to account by both fans and his own board. Wenger’s aversion to spending big on proven quality was once the hallmark of genius – latterly it looks like a recalcitrant caprice that could cost him his job.

Further down the league’s from an antepost perspective both Sven Goran Eriksson’s Leicester, 5/1 favourites, and Gus Poyet’s Brighton (20/1) appear to have money to burn in The Championship – a division where money often talks.

Leicester’s signing of star centre back Matt Mills from Reading, could prove as significant as it is shrewd.

Brighton, bankrolled by the imperiously enigmatic pro-gambler Tony Bloom have done well too by pinching Peterborough’s in demand striker Craig Mackail-Smith from under the noses of Sven and a host of supposedly bigger clubs. The word from Brighton’s scouting network is that The Seagulls have funds to invest and could be real dark horses this season at a nice big price. If they get their midfield targets, they could be a great each way shout.


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