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Tour de France pic

Four Mad Moments in Tour de France History

The 2019 Tour de France is already underway and this year’s race is certainly more open, with Chris Froome unable to participate due to his horrific injury earlier in the season. But, if you think you can predict who will win the Tour de France bet on the winner now.

Despite being in its early stages, incidents and drama are already unfolding – with Jakob Fuglsang, Dylan Groenewegen and Geraint Thomas all suffering crashes in stage 1, but able to continue the race. Here, we take a look back at some of the craziest moments in Tour de France history, beginning with who else, but four-time winner Froome himself.

2016: Froome forced to foot it

Chaos ensued at the end of stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France. Race leader Froome was forced to run up the steep incline of Mont Ventoux after his bicycle was so heavily damaged. The route had been revised due to plummeting temperatures and strong winds and as Froome rode to the finish line with Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema in tow, a TV motorbike came to a sudden halt and the trio crashed into the back of it. Froome came off worse, with his bike hit by a second motorbike that was following the three, breaking his seat stay.

His spare bike on the team car was a lot further down the mountain, so he decided to run the route instead – in his cycling shorts and helmet. A service vehicle eventually arrived with a much smaller bike, which he rode for a while, before his spare Pinarello was brought by the team car, allowing him to ride to the finish.

But the chaos wasn’t over. Froome finished sixth, with the yellow jersey awarded to Adam Yates; however, the bike was eventually found and whisked off for checks. It was then announced that Froome would be awarded the same finish time as Mollema, not only retaining his yellow jersey, but extending his lead to 47 seconds.


2007: dogged determination from the German

It was a tour to forget for the T-Mobile team in 2007. With Michael Rogers and Mark Cavendish failing to finish stage 8 and Patrik Sinkewitz unable to start stage 9, it seemed as though the team were cursed and stage 9 wasn’t without incident.

As Marcus Burghardt was innocuously cycling through a fairly easy stretch of the course, from Val d’Isere to Briancon, the German found himself flying over the handlebars after colliding with a Labrador that had decided to cross the path. Luckily, neither the dog nor Burghardt were injured, with the bike coming off worst in the collision. He quickly replaced the buckled front wheel and carried on… eventually finishing 127th in the race.


1999: Guerini bounces back

Every year, the Tour de France sees plenty of crashes, usually between riders but in the 1999 edition of the race, Giuseppe Guerini was felled in spectacular fashion. It was during stage 10, near the end of the difficult stage, at the Alpe d’Huez.

As Guerini was ascending the Alpe, a kilometre from the summit, a spectator holding a camera jumped in front of him to take his photo, with the Italian riding straight into him. Luckily, he managed to re-mount his bike and carry on (after receiving a pat on the back and slight push from the spectator to urge him on) to win the stage, his first in the Tour de France.

1950: water into wine

One of the strangest stories to have ever unfolded at the Tour de France belongs to French-Algerian, Abdel-Kader Zaaf, riding for North Africa. It was during the 13th stage, from Perpignan to Nîmes that the legendary tale developed – and it took another 30 years for Zaaf to confirm it himself, leaving many people wondering its validity for the years in between.

With scorching temperatures of up to 40C being recorded, there was still a long way to go in the stage (200km in fact) – and despite building up an impressive lead with his teammate Marcel Molinès, here’s where the story takes a twist.

Zaaf accepted a bottle from a spectator and hoping to seek hydration, drank from it. The liquid turned out to be some kind of alcohol and that mixed with the heat, caused Zaaf to zigzag, before he decided to shelter under a tree and fall asleep. He awoke when supporters claimed the peloton was fast-approaching, but Zaaf cycled off in the direction he came from – luckily not colliding with the peloton. But he was forced to dismount and was rushed to hospital. His compatriot Molinès won the stage.




Venus Williams

Remembering Venus Williams’ Five Wimbledon Singles Titles

You won’t find Venus Williams in the Wimbledon 2019 women’s competition odds – the 39-year-old suffered a first-round shock defeat to fellow American, Cori Gauff.

The 15-year-old, who is the youngest female to qualify for a Grand Slam tournament, as well as the youngest player ever to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon, won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. However, Williams has won the Rosewater Dish on five occasions and is up there as one of the best female tennis players of the Open Era. Let’s take a look back and remember those five special wins.


2000: a first Grand Slam title

The 2000 final saw Venus Williams take on defending champion, Lindsay Davenport, with Williams victorious: 6–3, 7–6 (7-3). This was the first of her Grand Slam titles, which marked her domination of the sport.

Williams went into Wimbledon as the fifth-seed and in the early rounds, managed to avoid any of the seeded players, beating all of her opponents in straight sets. She faced the number 1 seed Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals and it was the first – and only – time that year, any of her matches went the distance. Despite losing the second set, Williams won the match: 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and found herself up against sister Serena in the semi-finals. A straight sets victory: 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) saw Venus progress to her second Grand Slam final, but a first at SW19.


2001: successfully defending her title

The number 2 seed this time, Williams successfully defended her Wimbledon ladies’ singles title, beating the eighth-seed Justine Henin in the final: 6-1, 3-6, 6-0. It was the Belgian’s first Grand Slam final.

Much like the previous year, she won all of her early round games in straight sets, before taking on the ninth-seed Nathalie Tauziat in the quarter-finals. The semi-finals saw a repeat of the 2000 final, with Davenport the opponent once again. She provided a sterner test this time, taking the match to the full three sets, but Williams overcame a close second set loss to win: 6-2, 6-7 (1-7), 6-1.


2005: Williams v Davenport II

After only winning the Australian Open in 2003 and failing to win a Grand Slam in 2004, Williams went into Wimbledon as the 14th seed, but managed to make the final. The 2005 final will always be remembered as it saw Williams take on her compatriot Davenport again, in what has proved to be the longest women’s final in Wimbledon history.

Straight set victories over lesser-ranked opponents in rounds one to four saw Williams face Mary Pierce in the quarter-finals. It took a second-set tiebreak to hand Williams victory 6-0, 7-6 (12-10) and her opponent in the semi-finals was defending champion, Maria Sharapova. After a close first set, the American triumphed, winning in straight sets: 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 to repeat the 2000 final. The match lasted two hours and 45 minutes, going to three sets, but Williams won her third Wimbledon – and seventh Grand Slam – title to defy the odds.


2007: a return to form

Having not won a Grand Slam title since her previous Wimbledon success, Williams went into this year’s tournament as the 23rd seed, and she was ranked 31st in the world at the time. Beating Marion Bartoli in the final: 6-4, 6-1, she was – and still is – the lowest ranked and lowest seeded woman to win Wimbledon. Interestingly that year, she was the first female champion to pocket the same prize money as the male champion (who was Roger Federer).

Williams suffered a scare in her third-round match against unseeded Akiko Morigami, but overcame that and faced Maria Sharapova in the fourth round. A straight sets victory saw her up against the fifth and sixth seeds, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic in the subsequent rounds, winning both games in straight sets to set up a final with the 18th seed Bartoli.

2008: Venus beats Serena

2008 was Venus’ last win at Wimbledon and she’s only made two finals since, but what a fitting way to win your fifth title at SW19. The two sisters had met in finals previously (2002 and 2003) with Serena the victor on both occasions, so it was certainly third time lucky for Venus, who won: 7-5, 6-4.

Venus had a fairly easy run-in to the semi-finals stage, at least. Four of her opponents were unseeded, while she also faced British wildcard Naomi Cavday and Spanish qualifier MJ Martínez Sánchez. She triumphed in her semi-final against the fifth-seed, Elena Dementieva to set-up a showdown against sister, Serena.






Is VAR Ruining Football Trading?

Anyone who’s traded football over the last few months will most likely have been affected by the operation of VAR at some stage. 

VAR (aka the Video Assistant Referee) has caused some controversy not just on the pitch and amongst fans all over the world, but in trading circles as well. Such has been the frustration some have experienced, they have gone as far as to say VAR is ruining football trading. 

Is that fair though? And what should traders be aware of now that VAR is going to be used in pretty much all the top European leagues and competitions, including the English Premier League?

We will have a look at these questions below.


How Betfair Are Dealing with VAR

The Video Assistant Referee can be used in a variety of different circumstances currently: to check on goals, penalties and red cards as to whether they have been correctly awarded by the on-field referee, or conversely to alert the referee’s attention to something he or she has missed and potentially should have awarded one of these decisions. 

Obviously this has presented a conundrum for Betfair as if left unchecked it would potentially mean people losing out because of VAR – rather unfairly – if they traded on something that occurred in a game (e.g. a goal, red card), only for that event to be reversed via VAR. 

So for example let’s say Liverpool were playing Man Utd and Liverpool scored the first goal to go 1-0 up. Their odds drop from 2.0 to 1.3.

You bet £100 on Liverpool @ 1.3 after they go 1-0 up.

But what’s that? Oh no, there’s going to be a VAR check, it looks like there may have been a minor infringement in the build-up to the goal. And yes there it is, the goal is chalked off and Liverpool’s odds go back to 2.0. 

VAR ready to intervene at any time…

You would then be sitting on a loss of around £50, through no fault of your own, if Betfair didn’t have rules in place to protect traders in such situations.

Now of course some people might say “it should be up to people to spot whether there might have been an infringement in the build up to the goal and to trade accordingly. If VAR chalked off the goal then it’s tough luck.”

Betfair don’t take this view however and think it is unfair for people to lose out due to a VAR decision. So here is what is says in Betfair’s rules regarding VAR:

“Where a Material Event is cancelled due to a determination made via a video assistant referee, Betfair will void all bets which are matched between the occurrence of the Material Event and the cancellation of it. The voiding of any such bets may take place during the event or retrospectively once a game is completed.

A Material Event on Betfair is a goal, red card or penalty. Let’s take each of them separately:

A Goal

In the case of a goal, it is pretty straightforward: if a goal is scored but then subsequently reversed (as in the example of Liverpool v Man Utd above), then:

“Bets matched between the time of the goal being scored and the time at which the video assistant referee finishes the review will be voided.”

So basically it will be as if those bets never happened. The same goes for bets placed when a goal is not originally given but then subsequently awarded via VAR – all bets placed in the interim will be voided. 

A Penalty

This is a bit more complex, in that Betfair says it will aim to suspend all markets “as soon as we believe the referee will use VAR to review a penalty incident.”

Penalties are a point of controversy with VAR and traders should beware.

However, “only bets matched after the time at which the video assistant referee commences the review will be voided.” 

So potentially there could be a window for bets to stand if Betfair doesn’t suspend markets quickly enough if it looks like a VAR review is coming.

Eagle-eyed traders could for example back a team who are on the attack, have a shot blocked by a hand in the box that the ref doesn’t spot and Betfair don’t see either. Then a few seconds later the ref is alerted to it, Betfair suspend the market and a VAR check is initiated. Bets placed within those few seconds would stand under Betfair’s rules currently.

A Red Card

With red cards it is also a little complicated. In the event that a red card is awarded and then reversed by VAR, Betfair says “only bets matched after the time at which the video assistant referee commences the review will be voided.”

So again there could be a window between a red card being awarded and VAR commencing a review when bets would stand. Hopefully in most cases Betfair would keep the market suspended from the time the red card is awarded until the VAR review is completed, but this is not guaranteed so it is worth being aware of. 

In the case that a red card is not given at first, but then awarded after a VAR review, again Betfair says “as soon as we believe the referee will use VAR to review a red card incident we will aim to suspend all markets,” but that “only bets matched after the time at which the video assistant referee commences the review will be voided.”

Once again there is a window for bets to potentially be placed that won’t be voided. 


So Where Does This Leave Traders?

This can all seem quite confusing and a lot to take in at first, but essentially with goals it is reasonably straightforward and shouldn’t affect trading too much. Any bets placed between the ball hitting the back of the net and VAR completing its review are voided. It’s as if they didn’t happen. 

Traders now need to be eagle-eyed and fully aware of Betfair’s rules in relation to VAR.

The complications arise in the case of penalties and red cards, when there is a potential window between an incident happening and either Betfair suspending the market and/or a VAR review happening. 

This could work for or against you. Maybe in this window you anticipate a team is going to be awarded a penalty via VAR but Betfair hasn’t realised it yet, so you place a back bet. If you are right you could be in profit, but if you are wrong you could lose out. 

In most cases traders are relying on Betfair suspending markets quickly so these anomalies don’t happen, but there are no guarantees. 


When Confusion Reigns

One of the biggest problems with VAR has not so much been Betfair’s rules in themselves, but all the confusion that has been created. A clue comes in Betfair’s main rule where it says “The voiding of any such bets may take place during the event or retrospectively once a game is completed.”

We have emphasised “or retrospectively” because it highlights something many people have experienced, ourselves included and that is a situation where you don’t know if your bets are going to be voided or not. Sometimes they are left in the market until after the game, making it difficult to know if you should place more trades given you don’t know for sure what you current situation actually is. That can be quite frustrating.

We even had a situation recently in the Women’s World Cup match between Italy and Brazil where they cancelled bets we had put on in the over/under and correct score markets about 20 mins before a VAR check!

Someone must have got a little trigger-happy and cancelled all bets in the market rather than just those during the VAR window, but the effect was to make it very difficult to trade the rest of the game not knowing the situation regarding our bets.

It took over a day for it all to be sorted out and even affected our bets in other markets like the match odds. And in that time we had our Betfair balance going up and down as Betfair cancelled/removed/reinstated bets. Sadly the customer service we received from Betfair during this time was virtually non-existent, despite contacting them numerous times. And no apology or explanation has been received from Betfair to date. 

We are not the only ones to have reported such goings-on and it does present a serious issue for Betfair as to how they deal with VAR going forward. It is not really acceptable for customers to have their bets wrongly cancelled, their Betfair balances affected and then receive no explanation or apology!


Conclusion – Hopefully Not the End of Trading

The bottom line to all this is that it has been a frustrating time for football traders. A lot of confusion has arisen about how to handle VAR – not least from Betfair themselves about how to deal with it and implement their own rules!

We can only hope that in time this settles down and some of the more egregious errors become a thing of the past. 

The main conclusions we can draw is to avoid trading altogether around a VAR incident if the opportunity arises. Even if you get some bets on just before or during a VAR review, you are likely to be left in limbo not knowing if your bets will be cancelled or not, potentially even until well after the game has finished. 

Our advice would be to try and wait until an incident has been well and truly settled and the game has moved on. And keep a detailed record of your trades and when you placed them, in case there are any issues around cancellation that don’t fit with Betfair’s rules.

Hopefully VAR doesn’t mean the end for football traders or ruin football trading and as we say, we hope that eventually all this will settle down. In the meantime though, do trade carefully and be aware of Betfair’s rules – maybe you will be better informed than them!

Have you been affected by VAR decisions or noticed any anomalies? Please let us know in the comments below.







Britannia's Gold Ltd

Britannia’s Gold – The Quest For £300bn in Lost Gold

One of the most exciting gold salvage operations in history is currently underway and they could be about to bring back an estimated €1bn in gold – and there’s a way you can get a share of whatever they bring back – but more on that below. 

The company leading the work is called Britannia’s Gold Ltd and it is attempting to recover gold from merchant ships that were sunk during WW1 and WW2. 

During the World Wars the British Government shipped gold bullion to pay for munitions and goods. The estimated present day value of these shipments is between 125 and 300 Billion pounds. During both wars, some 7500 merchant ships were sunk and Britannia’s Gold research has identified more than 700 to have been specific gold & silver carriers.

They have spent 25 years researching archives all over the world and have pieced together evidence of which ships were carrying valuable cargoes and where those ships were sunk by German U-boats.

They are working in conjunction with James Fisher & Sons, world-leading marine salvage experts and a FTSE250 company on the London Stock Exchange and Atlantic Subsea Ventures – a specialist salvage crew employed to carry out such missions. 


Current Salvage Operation – The Empress of Britain

Right now as we write this Britannia’s Gold are embarking on a salvage operation to recover cargoes from the once mighty passenger ship the Empress of Britain. She was requisitioned by the British government early in the war effort to transport gold from Durban in South Africa to the UK and then to the Americas to pay for goods and munitions, but was sunk off the coast of Ireland in 1940. The Empress of Britain was the largest merchant ship sunk during the Second World War.

The Empress of Britain was sunk in 1940 by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland

The gold has apparently never been recovered from the Empress of Britain and if reports are correct, could still sit there to this day. Although a salvage attempt was contemplated in 1999 it was considered “too difficult” by the potential salvors. 

There are alternative reports indicating that salvage attempts were made previously but were unsuccessful. However, these appear to have focused on the stern of the vessel, whereas Britannia’s Gold are searching “for’ard of midships” – or in other words at the front of the boat, which appears to have not previously been disturbed. 

What is particularly exciting about this salvage operation is that Britannia’s Gold have recently uncovered new research suggesting there was an additional cargo of gold loaded onto the ship in Suez that they did not previously know about.

Here is Philip Reid – Chairman of Britannia’s Gold Ltd – with an update on the new research and the current status of the salvage operation:

That means that whilst they had originally considered the potential value of the gold on board the Empress to be around $450m, it could now be more than double that amount, closer to $1bn. It also means that even if one of their pieces of research proves to be inaccurate, there is now the chance that the other will prove accurate and there is indeed some gold still aboard the ship.

Britannia’s Gold are now working on the three main cargo holds at the front of the ship in the hope that some gold is stored in at least one of the holds and if it is, that they are able to recover it.


How You Can Get a Piece of the Treasure

All shares in Britannia’s Gold Ltd have now been allocated, however there is still a way you can benefit from any cargoes that are successfully recovered from the Empress of Britain

This is through the Angel Business Club, who own 70 shares in Britannia’s Gold out of 16,000 shares in total. The Angel Business Club will distribute the proceeds of any recovery from those shares to members on a proportional basis to how many “BGL Dividend Units” they hold. If you become a member of the Angel Business Club, you will be entitled to some of those dividend units. 

The great thing about it is that if BGL are successful, there is the potential to be paid out not just for this salvage operation but for any further successful ventures in future. With over 700 ships believed to have been carrying gold, there is the potential for years – or even decades – worth of dividend payouts to be received!

As we say there is only one way you can still benefit from this incredible expedition and that is to become a paying member of the Angel Business Club. As a paying member you will not only receive free allocations of BGL Dividend Units but also free shares in a number of very promising early-stage companies as well.

But if you want a share of any gold recovered you will need to act quickly – they could find gold any day now and when they do, there may be no more dividend units to allocate. So don’t miss out!

You can become a member of the Angel Business Club from just €89 per month here.


No Guarantees – But A Great Opportunity

Of course there are no guarantees that the current salvage operation of the Empress of Britain will be successful and there are risks involved. It could be that the research proves to be inaccurate and no gold was stored on the ship, or in the places reported. Or it could be that the gold has already been removed, either before the ship was sunk (whilst still on fire) or subsequently. Or it may not be possible to recover the gold even if it is there. Plus of course any number of unforeseen obstacles could prevent a successful recovery.

Overall though the potential returns from the operation are enormous if it is successful so we will just have to wait and see. Whatever happens we should know in the next few weeks if Britannia’s Gold have been successful.  God speed to them! 

Don’t forget, the only way you can get a portion of the gold dividends now is as a member of the Angel Business Club – so don’t miss out!

You can get your portion of any gold recovered via membership of the Angel Business Club here. 










Man City goal celebration

Man City Look Set to Stroll to FA Cup Glory

Pep Guardiola would not have been able to believe his luck after seeing how the quarterfinals of the FA Cup played out. With arch-rivals Man United being rolled over by an impressive Wolves team at Molineux, the door has been left wide open for City to stroll through and pick up their second trophy of the season.

In many respects, Guardiola was probably also quite stunned at how his side were able to find themselves 2-0 down to Swansea before completing an incredible comeback to win 3-2. It could have been a weekend of shocks, but in true Manchester City fashion, they were able to restore parity and then managed to find a winner, all in the space of 30 minutes.

The Citizens’ reward for that stirring comeback is a place in the last four, where they will be accompanied by Brighton, Watford and Wolves. The closest domestic challengers out of that lot are Wolves, some five places and 30 points behind City in the table. Watford find themselves six places and 31 points off City, whilst Brighton, who are City’s opponents in the semi-finals, are 41 points off the Sky Blues and 13 places below them in the league.

City were able to beat Brighton 2-0 when they played in the league in September and should find it easy going against the Seasiders when they meet at Wembley for their last-four clash.

In actual fact, the closest anyone in the last four of the competition has come to beating City this season were Wolves, who were able to hold Guardiola’s men to a 1-1 draw at Molineux. Punters should keep in mind that Wolves’ goal on the day was a clear handball but on the balance of play, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men did deserve something out of the game back in August.

Wolves are certainly a decent side and their performance in the quarterfinals shows that they are able to spring an upset or two. After all, they were hosting a Manchester United side that had beaten PSG in Paris ten days earlier, so very few would have expected them to have it their own way. The best betting tips at social gambling platform betconnect, however, suggested that United were set for misery at Molineux and that proved to be exactly how it went.

On that evidence, punters may be tempted to think Wolves could still spoil the party for City but first, they have to get past Watford.

Even if Wolves were able to beat Watford at Wembley, asking them to do it again in the final against City seems an improbable task. Guardiola’s men have won every final they have played in at England’s national stadium this season. They won’t freeze up on the hallowed turf and under the famous arch, no matter who they may play – and you can be sure they won’t be allowed to be complacent, either, not with Pep Guardiola at the wheel.

Winning the Premier League or Champions League is far from guaranteed for Guardiola, but the same can’t be said for the FA Cup: City are surely going to stroll to FA Cup glory and look almost-certain to lift their third trophy of the season on the 18th of May.





man winning bet

What Is The Maximum Bet On Betfair?

Different betting sites impose different rules regarding maximum bets and maximum winnings. While these are unlikely to affect the average punter, they can make a big difference to high rollers. Here, however, our focus is on Betfair and other betting exchanges.

Fundamentally, you are not betting against the bookmaker, but instead you are betting against other punters. So, at a basic level, there should be no maximum amount you can bet. But is that really the case?

Drilling down through the Betfair terms and conditions, while Betfair does not stipulate a maximum allowable bet, it does specify maximum payout limits. These are dependent on the market, varying according to the sport and, in the case of football, to the division and/or event. Here is a summary of these limits, but don’t worry, they are unlikely to affect many of us.

Football maximum payouts

The maximum payout Betfair allows is £1 million, though this is restricted to top divisions and competitions including the English Premier League, UEFA, Bundesliga, World Cup and more. For lower leagues such as Leagues 1 & 2, Scottish Premier League and the UEFA Europa League the maximum payout is £500,000.

Horseracing maximum payouts

Betfair offers a maximum payout of £1 million for most national hunt and flat racing. However, for ante-post markets, the limit is £100,000.

Tennis and golf maximum payouts

Betfair limits the maximum payout for tennis and golf to £500,000

Other Sports Maximum Payouts

Typical maximum Betfair payouts are:

  • – Snooker – £100,000
  • – Darts – £250,000
  • – Greyhounds – £25,000
  • – Rugby World Cup – £100,000
  • – NFL American Football – £100,000
  • – NBA Basketball – £100,000

Other exchanges

Naturally, what Betfair and all other betting exchanges have in common is the stipulation that your maximum bet is the amount of cleared funds you have in your account less your potential liabilities. But apart from that do the other exchanges impose limits on the maximum bet?


Smarkets state that the minimum stake is £0.05, and the maximum stake is £99,999.99 if the market allows. However, if you are inclined, you may bet more than this on any market by splitting your stake into multiple smaller bets. 


Betdaq does not impose on maximum bets on its betting exchange, but the business also runs an online casino where it has maximum payouts from multiple bets. The maximum payout to any one customer from multiple bets is £250,000 in any single day’s business.


Matchbook does not stipulate maximum bets or maximum winnings.


One of the significant benefits of betting exchanges, especially for high rollers, is that there are no restrictions on maximum bets. All too often bookmakers impose ridiculously low maximums to punters who prove to be successful. The bottom line is that if the market can sustain it and you can find another punter willing to match it, then you can bet as much as you wish to.

Want to start winning on Betfair? Check out this top betting system that bets directly on Betfair.





Cheltenham 2019 – Day Four Diary

I am tracking my results from this year’s Cheltenham festival here on the blog and the first three days all produced a profit which is excellent stuff.

On to Friday then, which is Gold Cup Day of course but there were plenty of other high quality races to enjoy too.

Just a reminder that I am using a twofold strategy this week, which is:

1. To use all the bookies offers, brought together via Profit Maximiser; and

2. Use two of my favourite tipsters – Quentin Franks Racing and the Bet Alchemist – to find the best bets for Cheltenham. Both have excellent records at the festival so I am following their tips for the week.

By combining the above two together, this should give me a good chance of beating the bookies this week.

So how did this strategy get on today? Let’s have a look below.


Day Four Results

It’s been a great week so far with a profit of £608 made to date, so let’s hope we can finish things off in style.

Here are my results from the final day of the Cheltenham festival. My stakes were £20 per point (or £10 each-way) once again.


1.30 – Triumph Hurdle

A disappointing start to the day with the favourite Sir Eric from Quentin Franks finishing nowhere, but with bookies offering money back on the first race my stake was returned so no harm done.

Profit/Loss from Race: £0


2.10 – Handicap Hurdle

The day got a lot better in the second race with Ch’tibello winning at 12/1 (BOG) for the Bet Alchemist, and his other tip We Have A Dream finishing second at 33/1. That’s quite an effort picking the 1-2 in the race, just a shame we didn’t have a forecast on it!

Profit/Loss from Race: £198


2.50 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

No return in this race with both Quentin’s tip Lisnagar Oscar and the Bet Alchemist’s selection Salsaretta failing to make the grade. 

Profit/Loss from Race: -£40


3.30 – Gold Cup

Well once again my free bet from Bet365 was wasted as Quentin’s tip Clan Des Obeaux finished fifth. If I’d “matched bet” those free bets during the week I could have made an extra £120, but then again wouldn’t have had the excitement of a potentially big win. 

There was also the Bet Alchemist’s tip Belshill which came up short too. 

Profit/Loss from Race: -£20


4.50 – Grand Annual Challenge Cup

With no bets in the 4.10 it was on to the 4.50 and unfortunately both of the Bet Alchemist’s tips finished well down the field in this one. 

Profit/Loss from Race: -£40


5.30 – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

To round off the week the Bet Alchemist managed a place with Defi Blue at 14/1, whilst his other selection was never in it. 

Profit/Loss from Race: £5



So that’s it for the festival and what a week it’s been! A profit made every day and an overall return of £711 profit from Cheltenham this year.

The strategy of combining the bookies’ offers with the tips from two of the best tipsters out there certainly worked very well. Sometimes Cheltenham can go against you in a bad way when you’re having lots of bets each day so I’m really pleased to have come away with a strong profit from the week. 

The highlight of the festival from a betting point of view was probably the Bet Alchemist picking the 1-2 today and the 1-3 yesterday, which is an excellent effort. From a racing point of view it’s difficult to get away from Paisley’s Park win yesterday and Al Boum Photo’s victory in the Gold Cup today. 

That’s all from me for Cheltenham this year, it’s back to reality tomorrow from a racing point of view but I hope you enjoyed the festival and had a few winners too, whether from following tipsters or your own selections. 





horse racing pic

Cheltenham 2019 – Day Three Diary

I am tracking my results from this year’s Cheltenham festival here on the blog and the first two days went very well, with a profit made on both days.

Onto day three then, which is referred to as St Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham and there were some cracking races on the card today.

Just a reminder that I am using a twofold strategy this week, which is:

1. To use all the bookies offers, brought together via Profit Maximiser; and

2. Use two of my favourite tipsters – Quentin Franks Racing and the Bet Alchemist – to find the best bets for Cheltenham. Both have excellent records at the festival so I am following their tips for the week.

By combining the above two together, this should give me a good chance of beating the bookies this week.

So how did this strategy get on today? Let’s have a look below.


Day Three Results

After a good start on the first two days with a profit of £287, I was hoping to continue the progress today.

So here are my results from Thursday at Cheltenham. My stakes were £20 per point once again.


1.30 – JLT Novices Chase

A good start to the day with the Bet Alchemist picking the winner, Defi Du Seuil, at 3/1. My other bet on the race, Lostintranslation from Quentin Franks, was second but with bookies offering money back on the first race my stake was returned so no harm done. 

Profit/Loss from Race: £60


2.10 – Pertemps Network Final

A great result in this one with Sire Du Berlais just getting home by a neck for Quentin Franks at 7/1. There was also a place for Cuneo from the Bet Alchemist at 16/1, although his other tip Boyhood finished out of the places. 

Profit/Loss from Race: £142


2.50 – Ryanair Chase

No tips from my tipsters in this race but I did have a free bet from Bet365, which once again failed to deliver for me as the other free bets from Bet365 have also done this week. This time I went for Road to Respect which finished third.

Profit/Loss from Race: £0


3.30 – Stayers Hurdle

Just the one bet in this race and it was on Supasundae from the Bet Alchemist, which sadly finished 7th so a loss here.

Profit/Loss from Race: -£20


4.10 – Stable Plate

No bets from Quentin on this one but two from the Bet Alchemist, with one placing at 8/1 in the form of Spiritofthegames, whilst the other one Azzerti finished down the field, which in effect cancelled each other out.  

Profit/Loss from Race: £0


4.50 – Mares Novices Hurdle

No return in this race with Quentin’s tip Posh Trish disappointing. 

Profit/Loss from Race: -£20


5.30 – Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase

A great result for the Bet Alchemist, who managed to pick the first and third-placed horses, with Any Second Now winning at advised odds of 10/1 and The Young Master finishing second at 22/1 (BOG). 

Profit/Loss from Race: +£159



So a cracking day in the end, with the luck finally going our way. An excellent profit of £321 on the day, taking our total profit for the week to £608.

The festival wraps up tomorrow with the feature race being the Gold Cup, so let’s hope for more of the same and to finish off a great week in style. 





Faugheen pic

Will Faugheen Have One Last Hurrah in Stayers’ Hurdle?

Faugheen won the Champion Hurdle in 2015” by Tim Anthony (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Faugheen will try to do what only one 11-year-old has since the mid-1920s – win the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

This popular Irish raider has enjoyed a glittering if somewhat injury-hit career landing nine Grade 1 races for trainer Willie Mullins and owners Rich and Susannah Ricci. Faugheen has always got the three-mile trip of the Stayers’ Hurdle after winning his maiden point-to-point as a four-year-old.

An impressive bumper win and novice campaign under Rules followed. After starting at staying trips, Faugheen dropped down in distance to two miles for the first of his three Punchestown Festival victories.

He became known as The Machine, as reported on www.theguardian.com, when landing the Champion Hurdle in 2015, but after taking the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown the following year spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Faugheen has won two of seven starts since his injury, but by far his most impressive performance of his later career came in the Champion Stayers last April.

Penhill belied his own long racecourse absence to win the Cheltenham race 12 months ago, but Faugheen was smartly away at Punchestown to make all and beat his younger stable companion by 13 lengths. As that other Mullins mount is now an injury absentee, the veteran is their Stayers’ Hurdle first string.

Faugheen” (CC BY 2.0) by danheap77

Faugheen hasn’t won since Punchestown – finishing second to Sharjah in the Morgiana Hurdle when back down over two miles, then falling at the penultimate flight when trailing Apple’s Jade by two lengths at Christmas. The Stayers’ Hurdle has cut-up in the meantime, with reigning champion Penhill one of a few big names to miss the race.

Absences for Samcro and Apple’s Jade, who goes down the Champion Hurdle route, have left Faugheen as second-favourite to Paisley Park in the Cheltenham Festival betting at https://www.paddypower.com/horse-racing/cheltenham-festival. He’s into 7/2 for the Stayers’ Hurdle, but that price is as much a reflection of the sudden dearth in quality in the race which gives him every chance.

With the exception of Supasundae, who has proved a versatile and consistent Grade 1 performer at a variety of distances, most other hopefuls have question marks hanging over them. Bar Paisley Park, Faugheen and Jessica Harrington’s horse who could also run in the Champion Hurdle, there are big prices available on the rest of the possible field.

Paisley Park is a horse on a serious upward curve as his www.racingpost.com profile shows and entitled in the circumstances to be a warm favourite. Faugheen, who is four years older than Emma Lavelle’s stable star, comes with sentiment attached. He’s been a public horse in the spotlight for a long time and this might be the best opportunity for one last hurrah that he’ll get.

A weak renewal of the Stayers’ Hurdle may be a loss to racing and the Cheltenham Festival, but a major gain for Faugheen. The way is clear from him to be involved in the finish, because there aren’t that many horses on paper who look capable of winning it. If he can go to the well one last time, then The Machine might just be back in the winners’ enclosure.





tennis match

Courtsiding – Does It Still Work?

“Courtsiding” is the art of attending a sporting event with the express purpose of placing bets ahead of the televised coverage reaching viewers at home and therefore gaining an advantage.

It has been most widely used in tennis, hence the term “court-siding,” but has been used in other sports as well. 

The practice became common after the founding of exchanges like Betfair who were alot less likely to try and prevent people from doing it than traditional bookmakers. 

However, in recent years there have been notable crackdowns against the practice and Betfair has become more vigilant in implementing measures to safeguard fairness. 

So the question is, does courtsiding still work and perhaps more significantly, should it even be allowed?


What Is Courtsiding?

Courtsiding involves attending a sporting event with the express purpose of placing a bet as quickly as possible as events unfold, to gain an advantage over the vast majority of other punters who are watching on TV. 

In the early days courtsiding was carried out with people sat in the crowd using laptops to place bets directly themselves, but due to authorities cracking down on the practice it is now primarily operated via syndicates, with the courtsider pressing a button on a phone to alert someone elsewhere to place a bet. 

Its name implies association with tennis (i.e. being “by the side of the court”), but the practice has also been used widely in other sports including horse racing and football. 

It was particularly prevalent in the early years of Betfair at jumps meetings in horse racing for example, with rows of people with laptops laying horses who had just fallen, seconds before the rest of the market would see it happen on TV.

There are reports some people were placing large bets in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars using this practice, gaining a significant advantage on all the other people betting on the event.

The practice was even given something of a romantic feel by people like Brad Hutchins, whose book “Game, Set and Cash” chronicled his globe-trotting adventures as a courtsider, filled with tales of fun and intrigue whilst making money simply by pressing a button on his phone at tennis matches.


Is Courtsiding Legal?

The question of whether courtsiding is legal is a thorny one. Essentially it is not actually illegal in most countries, although is illegal in Australia under the Integrity in Sports Act and offenders could face serious prison time. 

In most countries though whilst it is not actually illegal, the authorities of sporting events take a dim view of it and are increasingly cracking down. 

Most tennis events now employ “spotters” to see if anyone is courtsiding and if so, to eject them from the event. In the USA it has been reported that courtsiders have been arrested for “trespassing” after being banned from events previously. 

Wimbledon in particular has been noted for having a zero-tolerance attitude towards courtsiders, with offenders being caught very quickly and banned for life. 

The ATP and WTA Tours have also become increasingly vigilant, seeing it as an infringement of the rights to data they have negotiated with various providers and requiring umpires to enter scores into their tablets immediately after points are won to reduce the advantage of courtsiders.  

The effect of all this has been to make courtsiding in tennis much more difficult and those wishing to do it have to do so as secretly as possible. 

Many have decided the hassle is not worth it and some have even declared that courtsiders are a dying breed – certainly when it comes to tennis at least. 


What About “Pitch-siders” or “Green-Siders”

Tennis presented the most obvious choice for people wanting to get ahead of the betting game due to its liquidity, the volatility of odds – which can shift hugely from point to point – and being able to sit in a settled position very close to the action. 

As described above though, that also made it a target for crackdowns by the authorities and now it is becoming more challenging to courtside in tennis. 

Other sports may present better opportunities now for live event betting. What about someone betting live at football matches for example (a “pitch-sider?”) or a “green-sider” – someone betting live at a golf event.

A lot less is known about courtsiding in sports other than tennis. Someone at football would no doubt face the same problems of being spotted as in tennis, unless they were lucky enough to be in the media box or another private box for example. 

And supposedly racecourses are increasingly clamping down on the practice in horse racing, pushing for bans on all exchange trading at racetracks. 

Betfair for its part has made the practice more difficult too by operating longer time delays on bets being placed, thus reducing the potential advantage of courtsiders. On some football matches from South America for example delays can be as much as 10 seconds, obviating the potential of pitch-siders to benefit.  

Courtsiding is of course also more difficult in a sport like football where Betfair suspends the action when there is a goal, penalty or red card. 

In reality courtsiding may be more of an option in sports like golf where monitoring crowd activity isn’t so easy with people moving around all the time and action going on across multiple holes simultaneously. A team of people could potentially coordinate to cover a number of holes at once, as TV cannot show everything at the same time or may not show some lesser names’ shots at all. Doing this successfully though would require quite some coordination and often there is not the liquidity in golf events to make it viable.


Where to Now for Courtsiders?

With authorities increasingly cracking down on the practice and Betfair operating longer time delays on in-play bet placement, many have concluded that courtsiding is a dying art. 

Some would say this is welcome and courtsiding should never have been allowed in the first place. After all, why should someone be able to gain an advantage over everyone else just because they are able to attend an event? And the association of courtsiding with shady gambling syndicates and the like has not helped its reputation either. 

On the other hand some people believe that as courtsiding is legal in most parts of the world it is legitimate for people to try and gain a small advantage if they are prepared to spend the time and money attending a sporting event to get maybe a second or two ahead of other punters.  After all, there is no guarantee you will succeed even if you do manage to place live bets at an event.

Whatever your views on courtsiding however, it’s important if you are betting in-play to ensure you are not caught on the wrong side of it. 

Often on sports like golf you will see the price move before a player has taken a shot. For example their price may drop just before they are about to hit a 10-foot putt – then of course they go on to hole it. 

This may not be because of courtsiders directly, rather just that TV coverage in the US is slightly ahead of UK/Europe (or vice versa depending on where the event is being held), but either way it is important not to get caught out by being behind other punters. 

If you are seeing this happening then it is best to wait until the end of the hole or after shots have been hit and the price has moved, not just before shots are hit. 

Similarly that can apply to sports like cricket, in that you should wait until a boundary has been hit or a break between overs to place a bet rather than right before a bowler is about to bowl. 



In the end it is probably impossible to eliminate courtsiding entirely but recently the practice has certainly been restricted, which we see as a good thing for the vast majority of punters who don’t bet live at the event. 

Ultimately we want to see a level playing field for punters and those who succeed doing so on the basis of their dedication, skills and discipline rather than trying to gain an unfair advantage over other punters. 

So if you do see someone at a tennis match pressing a button on their phone every time a point is won, might be worth mentioning it to one of the officials. After all, it’s our money they are trying to take – probably on behalf of a syndicate.

Forget about trying to make money courtsiding, check out this top tennis betting system instead.