Weekend musing – Tour de France, British Open, Arsene Wenger and England

Chris Barwin HillsI commented last week on a number of topics including the Tour de France, the England soccer team’s poor display in the European Championships and the British Open.

It looks like I was on the money picking Chris Froome as the winner of the race. With 19 stages complete and only a couple to go Froome froome
seems to have the field covered. Great display by Aussie Richie Porte in the tough mountain section but looks like he will just fall short of a podium finish. Certainly looks like a rider to watch for the 2017 Tour.

As much as I was on the money with the Tour de France, I was way off in my assessment of the British Open. I didn’t see Swede, Henrik 1363998228672Stenson winning. Stenson and Phil Mickelson showed a mastery of the Royal Troon course that the rest of the field struggled with. Mickelson at 17 under had an 11 shot buffer between he and the third placed golfer. The leading Australian was world number 1, Jason Day at one over par tied for equal 22nd. My selection of Adam Scott was poor as he finished at 5 over par. Our golfers need to improve their performances in major tournaments!

My suggestion for the English soccer team is to go all out for Arsene Wenger. They could do a lot worse. He is the shot in the arm that thealexis-sanchez-arsenal-burnley_3223813 English need and his time at Arsenal is limited. It would be a good move for England, Arsenal and Wenger.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s red hot tips for Flemington on 23 July 2016

Feb 6 2011 005The Gelding is still away on his European sojourn enjoying the summer time on the Riviera. He is clearly following what is happening in Melbourne as his big warning for punters today is the state of the Flemington track and how that will affect the chances of some of his tips.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Flemington

Race 1 Horse 3 – Loch Oir
Race 5 Horse 1 – Deal with It
Race 6 Horse 2 – Voodoo Lad (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 12 – Jerilderie Letter (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 9 Horse 11 – World of Hope

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Gelding’s red hotties for Caulfield races on 16 July 2016

Feb 6 2011 020The Gelding’s tips failed to make the trip from Europe last week so apologies to all the punters out their, including the ladies at the Tennis club, who were relying on him. This week, he got the mail in early so he has made a few assumptions about the state of the track.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Caulfield

Race 5 Horse 2 – Divine Mr Artie (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 6 Horse 1 – So Does He
Race 7 Horse 3 – Duke of Brunswick (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 1 – Fast and Rocking
Race 9 Horse 3 – Miss Softhands

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing – AFL bye rounds, European Cup, Tour de France, British Open….

Chris Barwin HillsRound 17 of the AFL season started on Thursday night and these Thursday night games have been aptly called ‘Pie night’ games by Fox Footy. The games are largely only possible due to the bye rounds where only six games are played each round across three weekends. Many people do not like the 6 x 6 x 6 way of having a bye, but in my opinion, I think it is fine. Igunston would rather that method than a complete break in the mid-season. It affords every side a break, there is still a good number of games for each weekend and it allows for the introduction of these Thursday night games which appear to have attracted good crowds and TV ratings. I have heard some in the media saying the bye rounds mean the AFL season loses momentum. I do not agree or see it as a problem. After all, if you think about it, the old VFL competition only had six games a week and we thought that was plenty back then.

The round also started with another Hawthorn escape and I think the Swans would be ruing the three 50 metre penalties which resulted in two goals in a game that was decided by five points. The HANNEBERY50 metre penalties were there, but it is massive penalty for innocuous incidents that had little to no impact on the play. There was also a big disparity in the free kick count, especially up to 3/4 time. The Hawthorn free kicks were probably there, but there were a lot of free kicks not paid to Sydney that should have been paid. Again, in a tight game it makes a difference.

In the Euro Cup, Portugal continued the run of outsiders winning big competitions this year and without a meaningful contribution fromronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo. The highlight of the tournament though still has to be Iceland’s defeat of England. One wonders how such a result could occur when one considers the disparity between the two nations in population and football history. Clearly England need to re-invent themselves if they wish to seriously challenge for major silverware in the future.

froomeThe Tour de France continues on and I must say even with the halfway mark just reached, it looks like Chris Froome will again be in front at the end. He seems a cut above the rest and barring some unfortunate accident he is over the line.

The British Open continues to be a major Championship that eludes Australian golfers even now that we have some of the top golfers inscott the world. Greg Norman ‘was our last winner and that was a very long time ago. I see our best chance with Adam Scott, but I am far from confident that any Aussie will be lifting the claret mug this year.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s tips for Caulfield races on 2 July 2016

Mar 13 2011 021The Gelding’s attention is on European holidays at the moment but he is conscientious enough to be able to semaphore the tips through for today’s race meeting.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Caulfield

Race 3 Horse 1 – Royal Rapture (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 5 Horse 2 – Belesron
Race 8 Horse 4 – Plymouth Road (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 9 Horse 2 – Forgeress

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing – Moto GP, Jack Miller, AFL local derbies….

Chris Barwin HillsWith Leicester City being the surprise winner of the EPL this year it seems to have started a bit of a trend with some surprising results in sport of the last week. First you had Jack Miller winningjack miller the Dutch Moto Grand Prix at 500/1 and then Iceland beat England in the Euro Cup. Iceland was not as big a surprise as the team is currently ranked 34 in the world, but what an amazing effort for a country with a population similar to the City of Greater Geelong!

In the AFL the local derbies seem to have a lot of traction with the local supporters. The AFL is trying to push the Queensland haw v northand NSW derbies, but what about Tasmania? Both Hawthorn and North Melbourne play in Tassie and yet there is no local derby. The rivalry between Hobart (North) and Launceston (Hawks) is as big a rivalry as any in Australia, but both games this year are in Melbourne. To me this short changes the Tasmanian connection for those two clubs and I think at least one game a year should be held in Tasmania with the venue alternating each year. Good for football and good for Tasmania!

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s red hot tips for Flemington and Eagle Farm on 25 June 2016

gelding & dalliganThe Gelding’s attention is again divided between Victoria and Queensland and after a couple of good wins last week is chock full of confidence.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Flemington

Race 4 Horse 1 – Spieth
Race 5 Horse 6 – Del Prado

Eagle Farm

Race 3 Horse 1 – Hopfgarten (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 1 – Azkadellia (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 10 Horse 3 – Perfect Dare

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing – Journalists, Lindsay Thomas, LeBron James….

Chris Barwin HillsThe biggest story this week in sport again had nothing really to do with sport and those that play it. I passed comment a few weeks ago about journalists creating stories around themselves and this week maguireit has gone to a whole new level. I am not going to give a view on the rights and wrongs of the whole debate, but it is time we moved on and concentrated on the sport. Richmond’s decision to ban Triple M seems somewhat hypocritical given the Dustin Martin situation earlier this year. Their response would be that the allegations were unfounded but let’s have some consistency in the way these matters are treated.

It was not really a surprise to see Lindsay Thomas not paid free kicks in last Friday nights game against Hawthorn. While Brad Scott’s thomascomments about the umpires was proved to be factually incorrect and he and North paid a hefty price, I have no doubt that the umpires saw the vision and heard the ongoing commentary of and about Thomas in the game against Sydney and were always going to react. No one likes being made a fool of. I harken back to 1999/2000 when Matthew Lloyd was highlighted for diving in a game against Richmond where he received three free kicks. Lloyd got a reputation for diving on the back of that game and while he did take it out of his repertoire, he very rarely received a free kick for being pushed in the back in a marking contest after that game. James Sicily could be next on the list!

An amazing performance by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA and I think it does emphasise that LeBron James is one of the greatest Unknown-1players of all time and probably the best since Michael Jordan. What has been missed in this is that in culminates in a hat trick of NBA wins by Australian players. Mills & Baynes in 2014, Bogut in 2015 and Dellavedova this year. It is great to see Australians playing on the big stage and hopefully they can all be fit for the Olympics because they have a genuine medal chance.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s red hot tips for Moonee Valley and Ipswich on 18 June 2016

gelding2The Gelding splits his attention this weekend between Moonee Valley and Ipswich. After an inglorious outing last Saturday, he is looking to redeem himself in the eyes of the ladies at the Tennis club today.

As always the bets are on an all up and each way basis

Moonee Valley

Race 3 Horse 7 – Raw Impulse (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 5 Horse 4 – World of Hope
Race 7 Horse 12 – First Hand (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Ipswich

Race 6 Horse 2 – Maurus
Race 7 Horse 7 – Trubia
Race 8 Horse 10 – Serenade

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing – Essendon FC and the #1 draft pick, US Open, Jason Day

Chris Barwin HillsThere has been heated discussion over recent weeks as to whether Essendon should get the number one draft pick should they finish on the bottom of the ladder. Speaking from a purely one eyed position, surely if they finish last they get the number one pick. Hasn’t the Unknownteam been punished enough? three years of investigations combined with the most severe penalties ever dished out to a club….and all this when the Tribunal could not establish clearly that banned substances had been administered. Personally, I would prefer they didn’t justify the number one pick as the club has not won the wooden spoon since 1933 which is well before I was born, so in my life time I have not experienced the ignominy of finishing last. In 1933 there was only twelve teams, so they would be finishing six places lower this time!

I also noted with interest the comments from Mark Thompson during the week regarding the Essendon style of play. Bomber is watsonpart of the media and certainly entitled to his opinion, but I must say apart from the last two weeks I think their progress has been quite good. Even in the big loss to Fremantle, the Bombers won the last quarter. The loss to Hawthorn was certainly on the cards and I picked the Hawks to win by 100pts so I was not far off. One thing I will say about Mark Thompson’s comments is that they weren’t vindictive like Mick Malthouse’s continued comments about Collingwood. I think Bomber’s comments at least showed that he still cared.

OK, Essendon rant over for now.

The US Open is on at the fearsome Oakmont course. I was surprised to hear that Jason Day is feeling weighed down by the number one 1363998228672tag. That is unfortunate as surely that is what every sportsman strives for. His form has certainly dropped off since getting to the number one spot. I can’t get excited about the Aussie contingent this time around. Adam Scott is talking a good talk but his confidence seems to be lacking. I think the most likely winner is the home grown Jordan Spieth.

Have a great weekend!