Win A $1,000 Tournament Ticket To The Event Of Your Choice!


by Roy Brindley |  Published: May 01, 2010


Deadlines can wreak havoc with antepost betting advice, although when selecting a horse at the head of the betting for a classic flat race in mid-winter there is little reason for their market price, like my opinion, to move significantly.

The horse in question is Special Duty, the race is the 1000 Guineas, the one-mile classic for three-year-old-fillies at Newmarket on May 2.

Firstly I much prefer backing fillies antepost for the 1000 Guineas than colts for the 2000 Guineas or the Derby, as the fairer sex always carry their form into their second season whereas numerous top-class two-year-old colts have failed to train-on down the years.

Statistically the list of previous 1000 Guineas winners clearly indicates the 2010 champion will most probably have been successful in Group class as a two-year-old.

Similarly, like 2007 hero Finsceal Beo, 2006 winner Speciosa, 2004 victor Attraction, and 2003 champion Russian Rhythm, the 2010 winner will need to have been successful as a two-year-old at Newmarket.

Additionally, the French have an outstanding record in the 1000 Guineas. It was won in 2008 by the French-trained Natagora, and on three occasions Chantilly-based Criquette Head has landed the race — in 1983 with Ma Biche, 1988 with Ravinella, and 1992 with Hatoof.

Natagora started favourite in 2008 following her victory in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket — a race that Special Duty picked up in authoritative fashion last year.

Combined there are four very big ticks in favour of Special Duty, and a fifth came when her trainer was recently quoted in the Racing Post as saying, “I am absolutely delighted with Special Duty. Physically she has done really well and she is just hacking for the moment. It’s so far so good and we’re on our way to England.”

All but confirmed as a runner, I declare she will almost certainly start at a shorter price than the 7/2 currently available and will win the 1000 Guineas.

Just How Big is Poker?
I declare a lot smaller than poker players and online poker sites would like to believe or have us believe.

In the UK and Ireland, would poker be as popular as snooker was in the 1980s or is now? Not by a long way. Snooker still attains plenty of prime-time terrestrial television coverage and at its height boasted a live audience of 17 million people — approximately one person in three of the population.

Walk down a high-street with Ronnie O’Sullivan and he is besieged by autograph hunters. Take the entire sponsored player roster of a big site into a shopping mall one afternoon and they are likely to be challenged by undercover store officials before a poker fan.

Face facts, poker is a poor distant cousin that resides in the post 11 p.m. satellite domain, like it or not. It rarely makes the newspapers in a meaningful way. The Times has both a bridge and a chess column, yet a poker column is probably still sometime away.

Google “poker” and nearly 50 percent of the news stories it unearths are related to Poker Face star Lady Gaga. That’s because celebrity is king and that’s the reason more and more poker sites are taking a celebrity (or five) under their wing and pulling out all the stops to attract them to their high profile events. Spade Suit