Horse Racing Tavern has teamed up with Doncaster Racecourse to offer three lucky winners a pair of grandstand tickets for their Derby Day meeting on Saturday 1st June!
They don’t come much bigger than the Epsom Derby. Flat racing’s Blue Riband event is second to only the Grand National in capturing the attentions of the general public.
Last year saw the Aidan O’Brien-trained Camelot sear to victory before attempting an history-making third leg of the British Triple Crown in the Ladbrokes St Leger, right here at Doncaster.
The Jim Bolger-trained 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach bids to emulate his famous sire New Approach and record victory on the Downs, but you can be sure the Ballydoyle battalions will be gearing up to retain their crown in the prestigious race.
Derby Day is the event all horse racing fans cannot miss so go to Doncaster for seven races on Town Moor PLUS all the action from Epsom will be shown LIVE on the big screen. For more information or to buy tickets, visit Doncaster Racecourse website at www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk.
We’re giving away a pair of grandstand tickets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week for three lucky winners! For your chance to win, simply either tweet the following:
I want to win the @DoncasterRaces #DerbyDayTicketGiveaway with @HRacingTavern!
Or you can simply retweet our competition tweets!
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Sir Michael Stoute’s Telescope is the 6-4 favourite to win Thursday’s Dante Stakes as the colt bids to stake his claim as a leading contender for the Investec Derby on June 1st.
The twice-raced son of Galileo – who is currently priced at 5-1 joint second favourite in Betfair’s ante-post Derby market – was an impressive winner of a hot Newmarket maiden at the back end of last season and has been the subject of good reports from the Stoute stable.
Luca Cumani’s Greatwood is also expected to line-up after the three-year-old was a late withdrawal from Saturday’s Lingfield Derby Trial because of soft ground, while Aidan O’Brien’s Indian Chief and Mark Johnson’s unbeaten Windhoek give the race a strong feel.
Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said today: ‘’As expected, Thursday’s Dante Stakes is looking like another informative Derby trial and the winner will surely become the a leading challenger to current Derby favourite Dawn Approach”
To win the Dante Stakes – Betfair Sportsbook: 6-4 Telescope, 4-1 Windhoek, 5-1 Indian Chief, Greatwood, 7-1 Secret Number, Trading Leather, 8-1 Mars, 10-1 Ghurair, 12-1 Festive Cheer, 20-1 Bar
StanJames.com have made Farhh their 2/1 favourite for Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes with the Godolphin five-year-old set to face up to 12 rivals at Newbury.
The firm’s Rory Jiwani said, “Fencing has been supplemented meaning there are a total of 13 entries for Saturday’s Lockinge. It certainly looks a competitive renewal but there is no superstar following the retirements of Frankel and Nathaniel.
“Farhh has finished second on his previous four starts but he’s 2/1 to go one better at Newbury with Aidan O’Brien’s Declaration of War and Roger Charlton’s Cityscape next best at 3/1.
“It could be a big week for Roger Charlton with Mince heading 18 declarations for Wednesday’s Duke Of York Stakes. The four-year-old was supremely progressive last season and she will relish the forecast quick ground. She’s our 11/4 favourite with another filly, Sir Henry Cecil’s Tickled Pink, next best at 5/1 after being supplemented for the race following her Abernant win on seasonal debut.
“Last year’s Haydock Sprint Cup hero Society Rock is a 6/1 shot with Champions Day victor Maarek 8/1 although he would definitely need the rain to fall on Wednesday to be seen to best effect. From 9am on raceday, we will be top price every runner in Duke Of York Stakes.
“Telescope has been all the rage for Thursday’s Dante Stakes with Sir Michael Stoute’s Derby fancy now 5/4 favourite having been 7/4 on Saturday. After missing his intended engagement in the Lingfield Derby Trial due to ground, Luca Cumani’s Greatwood is 5/1 along with Mark Johnston’s Windhoek and Indian Chief. The latter could be yet another Ballydoyle contender at Epsom and he’s 20/1 from 25/1 for the big race after support this morning.”
Lockinge Stakes antepost (EW 1/5 1,2,3): 2 Farhh 3 Cityscape, Declaration Of War 8 Aljamaaheer, Beauty Parlour 10 Trumpet Major 16 Amaron, Fencing, Penitent 20 bar
Duke Of York Stakes NRNB (EW 1/4 1,2,3): 11/4 Mince 5 Tickled Pink 6 Society Rock 8 Maarek 10 Gordon Lord Byron 12 Swiss Spirit 14 Hawkeyethenoo 16 Lethal Force, Ladies Are Forever 20 bar
Dante Stakes antepost (EW 1/5 1,2,3): 5/4 Telescope 5 Windhoek, Indian Chief, Greatwood 8 Trading Leather, Secret Number 10 Ghurair 25 bar
You’ve changed. That’s what my mother would say. My dad’s not even speaking to me. But let me quickly put into context why I’m writing an article on the Eurovision Song Contest. In our flat we decided to put together a small life changing treble together. One bet each. Any sport. Any bet we like. Only rules – the bet must be 4/1 and must be decided before the start of July.
I was sifting through the ante-post lists in haste to get a handle of some of the prices knocking about. Living with a well regarded racing editor and tipster has it downfalls when you start discussing Telescope for the Dante when he’s got other ante-post angles in the race. So when looking for other avenues, I came across the Eurovision song contest. My other flat mate threw his arms in the air in disgust when I breathed Eurovision Song Contest. But I’m intrigued. Let me discuss this years Euro Vision song contest and I offer a sportsmans bet you won’t be slightly intrigued by the end of the article!
First thing to mention is the fact the scoring has changed this year, and hence suggesting the winner or the countries that will qualify from the two semi-finals has become all the more tricky. Most people will be aware of the fact that the voting system was based originally on the televote – people (most often the performers mum, dad, gran, granddad, long lost cousins etc) call up and vote for their favourite country. These votes are then given in ascending order from 1, 2, 3, 4 etc etc up to 12. Now there is a 50/50 system whereby equal weighting is supposedly given to the televoting public and a national jury of five music ‘professionals’ chosen by the broadcaster. However it’s been questioned whether the jury will make such a difference. Read Daniel Gould’s interesting analysis of the scoring development at sofabet.com.
Therefore this year it’s important to pick a performance that will come across well on the television to the millions of adoring fans across Europe, as well coming across well live in the concert hall in Malmo, Sweden. What it basically means, is whereas in the past getting the top 12 votes from a country was all important, now, wherever the country falls in the total 25 acts is important based on the juries decision (they must grade the performances in order).
Anyway, I’ll leave the fine details up to the ‘professionals’! So, where do you start with the performers? I’ll give a whistle stop tour of my thoughts of some interesting countries with links to their latest rehearsals Looking at the betting, Denmark is warm favourite at 5/4. Blimey I thought, they must be good.
The female singer, Emmelie De Forest, is only 20 years old but her voice packs a punch. She has strong vocals and the song fits into that strong, emotional song with a good blend of backing instruments. You’d expect it to be a crowd pleaser, and the jury will no doubt like the impressive vocals. Would you be backing her at 5/4? Certainly not. So lets look around for some value.
Russia have been the subject of solid support, and it’s not difficult to see why. Dina Garipova became famous in Russia when winning the TV show The Voice last year. She’s another who fits into the strong vocals category, the song being a decent ballad with decent support singers and is another which will no doubt come across well on the TV as well as a live performance. One thing I don’t get though, what’s with the throwing of the balls?!
Russia are currently best priced 12/1 with Betvictor. If you were looking to back short, I’d be taking Russia against the favourite at the current odds. Ukraine is current second favourite. The song is strong and shouldn’t be discounted, but is another that looks far too short in the betting at best priced 9/2 with SkyBet.
The Netherlands were subject of an ante-post gamble when Dutch singer Anouk –apparently a well supported singer across Western Europe (just not the UK clearly) – was confirmed and she released her song ‘Birds’. The original video had promise, but as ever a Eurovision performance depends a lot on how it’s pulled off on stage. However, as you’ll see from the video below, her rehearsals have been described as average. She’s strong vocally, but you just don’t get brought to tears like you do with Russia and Denmark (or is that just me?)…
Boring in my eyes and may not come across well on the TV. Although it’s important to remember she’ll have a strong following in Europe therefore Netherlands could score highly on this basis. However Netherlands have been on the drift since rehearsals have gone on and if you were going to take an EW stab at them, wait till the day!
One performance that won’t displease is Montenegro’s song ‘Who See’. When first watching their video, it looks like Ali G has stumbled into a lesbian brothel….
I’ve got to admit though, in the time I’ve been researching this (yes I know, I’m not proud about it..), this song has grown on me. And if the rapping duo toned it down slightly, I wouldn’t put this past being heard on the radio in the UK at some point. Question is – is it a Eurovision song? Or does it better belong in DJ Fresh’s recycle bin? There’s no denying the song is fresh and impulsive, but you have to question how it comes across both on TV and on stage, despite female singer Nina Zizic’s strong vocals. I was going to advise keeping an eye on them to get into the places at a price of 200/1, until I saw the astronaut suits they have decided to wear in rehearsals. I’ll let you make up your own mind…
So which others countries are interesting?
Ireland has a solid dance song which can only be best described as Boyzone lost in Soho on a Saturday night…
I’d suggest it’s too far detached from the Eurovision ballad to make a mark, and with some poor rehearsals and average choreography, Ireland won’t be creating waves this year.
No UK I hear you say?! Well good old Bonnie Tyler won’t appear until this week, as the UK falls into the ‘big 5’ category who don’t need to qualify for the final (includes France, Germany, UK, Spain and Italy). Interestingly, it used to be the top 4, but when Italy was added to the four to make a five, Turkey decided to pull out, citing that move as one of the reasons - politics ey.
Greece’s song ‘Alcohol is Free’ (clearly they’ve never been to central London then) is a mix between madness and Mcfly on drugs. It shouldn’t get through to the final a week on next Saturday but could creep through, however choreography has apparently been a concern during rehearsals. Don’t expect to see them in the top 10 for sure.
Romania have an absolute gem this year. The guys name is Cesar. If anything happens this Eurovision, I hope he qualifies for the final. I’ll let Cesar ‘The Voice’ explain….
Whilst discussing hilarious entries, look no further than Sebia’s Moje 3. I thought I’d stumbled into Anne Summers when watching the video and the Atomic Kitten re-union was happening with a few too many sherbets flying about….
If it was a male only audience, Moje 3 could win by landslide for their costume choices. Speaking of sherbets, anyone seen my Candy outfits….
Don’t be expecting to see them in the finals – their poor dress sense and poor choreography will be holding them back. Oh and did I mention the terrible vocals?
Other countries that have been performing well in rehearsals and are worth a watch if you really are that bored is Israel (a strong song and vocals, but the accent at the start is a concern) and Azerbaijan, who have been pleasing spectators in rehearsals as apparently they have a wizard of choreography working with them. Bulgaria’s song ‘Samo Shampioni’ has lots of energy and is well choreographed – it’s like a Bulgarian equivalent of stomp with fluorescent drum sticks. It’s unlikely to win but makes a good performance and could be a jury pleaser. They could easily out perform their odds of 400/1 with Betvictor, but a more sensible bet may be to take the 17/2 on them hitting the top 10.
‘So Simon Cowell, who wins?’ I hear you say. Well, there’s no denying the top two are strong and will be up there in the points tally throughout. However there are two acts that have interested me at more generous odds.
Firstly Georgia’s ‘Watefall’ looks overpriced at 25/1 and could be an EW play to hit the front four. The song has impressive lyrics and good vocals in rehearsals, they appear to have a strong presence on stage, and according to reports coming out of Malmo they are nailing it. You have to get over the slow start at the start of the song, but it warms up nicely. They were the subject of money but still looked over priced with the top two so short in the betting. Check out their song here:
Check out their first rehearsal here:
The second bet I would recommend at this stage is Moldova at a whopping 125/1 with Betfred. Aliona Moon has very strong vocals and has apparently had the spectators on the edges of their seats. Did someone not tell her dress was on fire though…
This performance looks a solid TV performance and may not necessarily score as highly in the Televoters as some of the shorter favourites, but Moldova could easy get those 7’s and 8’s and she’ll no doubt get solid marks from the jurors. She has a simple choreography and gets raised on a plinth which doesn’t distract from her excellent voice. Watch her latest rehearsal here:
So that’s my current standing on the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m off to watch some rugby and drink some beer. Good luck all.
2013 Eurovision Song Contest
Georgia 25/1 (Bet with Betvictor, 4 places, ¼ odds)
Moldova 125/1 (Bet with Betvictor, 4 places, ¼ odds)
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A small field of five line up to put their Derby credentials on the line in the Betfred Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield tomorrow, and Mark Duncan tries to point you in direction of the most likely winner!
The Betfred Derby Trial Stakes was downgraded from a Group 3 to a Listed event this year,which came as no surprise with only eight winners going on to achieve victory in the Derby since its first running in 1932. The most recent of those was the Luca Cumani-trained High Rise in 1998. This years race has turned into a five runner tactical affair, and on paper would suggest that the 15 year duck won’t be broken tomorrow. However that’s not to say the five runners are not good quality racehorses in their own right.
Current favourite is Greatwood, trained by the aforementioned Luca Cumani. His form behind Windhoek at Newmarket over 1m2f looks rock solid with Windhoek looking a top quality horse, since winning comfortably off a mark of 104. On that run alone, Greatwood holds a solid chance, and if improving for the additional distance, he could take all the beating.
Second favourite on the tissue is the Aidan O’Brien trained Nevis. He won a weak maiden at Leopardstown, and then raced in the National Stakes at the Curragh in behind Dawn Approach. He never got involved in the that race over seven furlongs, with this longer trip sure to suit. He’s a son of Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, and could easily step up on the National Stakes effort. Aidan O’Brien clearly has his string coming to the boil nicely following a successful Chester May Meeting. At 5/2, he looks short enough to prove whether he can step up on that.
Elidor and Pasaka Boy both look up against it and it would be a massive shock if they took this trial. The final horse in the line-up who certainly deserves a mention is Hughie Morrison-trained Another Cocktail, who is a sister to Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory. His easy victory over 1m4f over C&D was visually impressive, however the quality of the race looks weak.
For me this looks a race for GREATWOOD to lose. He has rock solid form in the book, and with a trainer who knows how to win this race. The early 5/6 on offer has already disappeared, and the value looks to have gone. If he drifts on the day I may have a nibble, but for the sake of value I’ll recommend Greatwood to beat Nevis in the straight forecast!
3.25 Lingfield Betfred Derby Trial Stakes – Greatwood to beat Nevis
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2.15 Chester – BetVictor.com Dee Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f75y
As often is the case in the Dee Stakes, just a small field of 6 go to post for the Group 3 contest. Some of the smaller UK trainers have pitched in this year to take on the might of Ballydoyle, who themselves saddle another 3 year old colt after Ruler Of The World’s taking display on Thursday in the MBNA Chester Vase.
It may not be so much of a surprise, but the Aidan O’Brien trained Magician (3/1 BetVictor) looks another nice sort and should run well. A son of Galileo, Magician is on a recovery mission after bombing out on his last start, finishing 7/7 in Group 3 company at Leopardstown in October 2012. Prior to that he had acquitted himself well enough and took a maiden on heavy ground on his third start. Evidently he has not shown himself to be a top notcher yet, but has all the right entries later in the season, and has to be respected under these conditions.
At the head of the market is the Ed Dunlop trained Contributer (7/4 Bet365). This galloping son of High Chaparral looks a real nice prospect and will take all the beating on the Roodee. Contributer started life in a very hot maiden at Newmarket last July, finishing 6th behind Ghurair and Dundonnell to name but a few. That promise was realized after taking a maiden very easily at Wolverhampton in November, before following up in a conditions event at Newbury in April. That latest performance was quite taking when beating off some fairly lofty rated individuals, proving he is a force to be reckoned with over middle distances. Graham Lee is in the saddle on this Dante Stakes entry (who has also partnered Willie The Whipper previously) and looks sure to be in with a big shout.
For the in-form Fahey stable is Gabrial’s Kaka (8/1 BetVictor) for the Chester regular, Dr Marwan Koukash. He has a course win to his name already after winning on debut here last back end, but is out of Jeremy and not suited by a strongly run middle distance race in my opinion. He has won over 9f but was found wanting at Epsom over 1m2f a few weeks ago and can’t be backed here on that basis. Glacial Age (20/1 SkyBet) looks to be a shade above his station, but you can’t blame Jo Hughes for having a go for some Group glory in a small field – he will need to improve to get involved in this one.
Of the remainder, Holy Warrior and WILLE THE WHIPPER are joint top rated on official figures at 101. The former is an interesting contender having already taken a Listed race in France this year, followed by a decent display in the Group 3 Prix La Force at Longchamp in April. Holy Warrior (8/1 Bet365) will have no issues with the trip but the ground may be a concern if significant rainfall arrives. If he does take his chance, he has broken from the stalls handily before which could suit to assist in getting out to dictate matters here at tightly cornering Chester; Neil Callan is aboard and bids to give Gay Kelleway a big winner on the Roodee. The latter, Willie The Whipper (4/1 BetVictor), arguably has the best form on offer after finishing 2nd to Morandi in the Criterium De Saint-Cloud (1m2f Group 1) in November. He has already won at Listed level and looks like a true stayer in the making. The forecast rain will not harm his chances and he looks to have a great chance with Jamie Spencer aboard. I anticipate that he will be getting going late on, but if fit and ready then should give the favourite most to think about. The only real concern is that trainer Ann Duffield stated after his win at Pontefract that she doesn’t work him at home, thus, fitness needs to be taken on trust after a 181 day break.
To summarise, Holy Warrior looks sure to run a race if taking his chance on the ground an,d may take them along here after breaking smartly. Magician has to be respected but could get out pointed in this battle, whilst the favourite, Contributer looks primed to run a big race. At the prices, Ann Duffield’s Wille The Whipper is worth a bet at 4/1 and may have shown enough already to take this from the favourite. He has a Derby entry, will go in the rain softened ground and is obviously thought of very highly at home. A reverse forecast with the favourite, Contributer, would also be a sensible play.
Recommended Bet – Willie The Whipper WIN @ 4/1 with BetVictor
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Rory Jiwani of StanJames.com said, “Ruler Of The World won well under Ryan Moore, stretching clear of his rivals impressively in the home straight. That was just his second run and he looks an excellent prospect.
“We’ve cut him from 20/1 to 8/1 for the Derby for which Dawn Approach is our 6/4 favourite. Battle Of Marengo runs for O’Brien in the Derrinstown Derby Trial on Sunday and, at present, he appears to be the stable’s main hope for Epsom. We’ll find out how good he is then but we like what we’ve seen from Ruler Of The World so far.”
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Billy Barratt, Barratt Southern Counties mascot, positively flew down the final furlong at Kempton Park to win the BetVictor Mascot Grand National at the Surrey racecourse on Monday, May 6th.
Mascot fans turned out on Bank Holiday Monday to watch the hilarious spectacle of a multitude of mascots taking to the track in aid of charity. Last year’s winner Mr Bumble from Barnett FC was unable to overcome the power of Billy Barratt and finished in second place, closely followed by Hotshot who was representing Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders Basketball Club.
Mascots came from far and wide to take part including Paramedic Bob from Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance, Trotter from Delaford Colts FC, Digger from London Irish and Zampa the Lion from Milwall FC.
BBC Television’s The One Show featured the race on their Bank Holiday Monday evening show after entering their mascot Onesie to take part. Celebrity guest runner Iwan Thomas ran as Onsie on The One Show’s behalf but even a former European Champion was no match for Billy Barratt!
Kempton Park worked in partnership with Princess Alice Hospice to raise funds for the nominated charity of this year’s mascot race. Every mascot in the race donated their entry fee to the cause and a bucket collection was also held on the day at the racecourse resulting in £1100 being raised for the charity.
Racegoers, who came to the Sunbury on Thames racecourse, enjoyed the afternoon Flat racing and plenty of free family entertainment including a mini mobile petting farm, face painting, balloon modellers and free children’s rides.
Phil White, Kempton Park’s General Manager, commented: “The BetVictor Mascot Grand National was a fabulous spectacle and we were delighted that so many mascots entered and to see so many supporters cheering their favourite mascot home”.
“The Mascot Grand National is great fun and Kempton Park was pleased to be able to showcase it in the London area for the second year running and to raise valuable funds for such a great local charity” Phil continued.
Stephanie King from BetVictor presented the trophy to Billy Barratt following the race.
Pictures of many of the mascots and the race itself can be viewed on Kempton Park Racecourse’s Facebook page!
The Horse Racing Tavern has teamed up with Ayr Racecourse to offer a pair of tickets to their Scottish Sun Raceday on 22nd June 2013!
Scottish Sun Raceday at Ayr Racecourse is one of the very best race days at Ayr throughout the year. Feature races are The Scottish Sun Handicap Stakes and The EBF Land O’ Burns Fillies Stakes and there are always large entries for all contests throughout the card!
The day is also a superb social occasion – a leading local band will play in the Horseshoe Bar after racing with a disco in the Ayrshire Suite to make sure everyone has a day to remember.
Best Dressed Ladies Competition
The Scottish Sun Raceday sees the launch of the 2013 Best Dressed Ladies Competition with the first prize – a Vauxhall Adam Jam 1.4 with an ‘Urban Pack’ ‘Intellinik Infotainment System’ in white with ‘I’ll be black roof’!
One of Ayr’s most popular fixtures, not to be missed!
For your chance to win a pair of tickets, you need to do the following:
1. Go to the Horse Racing Tavern Facebook Page below and ‘like’ the page or competition link!
2. Send your name, address and contact details (including your mobile number) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Competition closes on Friday 8 June 2013! Get your entries in early!
Follow Ayr Racecourse on Twitter @ayrracecourse!
T & C’s:
1) Only one entry per household.
2) To be included in the prize draw, the successful entrant must have completed both elements for entry into the prize draw (Facebook and Email).
2) The competition closes on Friday 8th June 2013 at 12 noon. Any entries after this time will not be included in the draw.
3) The winner is entitled to two grandstand enclosure tickets for Ayr Scottish Sun Raceday.
4) The decision of the Horse Racing Tavern & Ayr Racecourse is final.