PUNTING SPECTATOR: Golden Slipper

Flush from the success of tipping Richmond at $5.50 last week, Dr Turf's attention shifts to the action at Rosehill. But after watching the Super 14s for ten minutes he now considers himself an expert on rugby league as well.

How are we going punters? There have been some mixed results to date in both codes but we came up for oxygen last week, took a big gulp and I reckon things are on the up. The form has begun to sort itself out and for those of you who backed the Tigers at the big odds in the AFL last week, wasn’t it lovely to collect with so little pain? Let’s look at the AFL first up this week, and I’ve got to say there doesn’t appear to be much value for week five. It’s hard to see any of the eight favourites under much threat this week and in those games that may see a minor upset, the betting is pretty tight anyway. So, perhaps we should look at those faves who appear over the odds. This week's prices are from Betstar.

TeamPrice
St Kilda
1.38
Essendon
3.20
Geelong
1.23
Sydney Swans
4.45
Adelaide Crows
1.38
Fremantle
3.15
Brisbane Lions
2.15
Hawthorn
1.74
Collingwood
1.68
Kangaroos
2.25
Melbourne Demons
3.15
Carlton
1.38
Western Bulldogs
1.41
Richmond
3.05
West Coast
2.10
Port Adelaide
1.77


Fremantle were absolutely horrible last week. Many would expect them to bounce back this week given that their performance at home was assessed as being somewhere between insipid and pathetic. I’ve got pathetic as a $1.80 favourite. I know they were backing up from the Derby but I’ve got a sneaky feeling that they’re gawn. The $1.43 Adelaide looks ok to me, perhaps if you like as an anchor in a multi. Carlton’s win over the Bombers last week was no fluke and Melbourne are completely, utterly and absolutely awful. The small Melbourne backline will be under pressure from the first bounce with the Carlton midfield of Judd, Stevens and co humming. This could be wholesale slaughter.

The double Adelaide into Carlton at even money looks like a nice spoil. Of the outsiders, I reckon the Swans will try and shut the game down at Geelong as only they can. This could help them make the line and Brisbane aren’t without a chance at home to the rampaging Hawks but the bookies look to have got the betting right. The Tigers owe us nothing, in fact, we are in debt to them and I can see myself having something small on them against the Bulldogs with three goals start.

Melbourne in the AFL are winless so far this season, that won’t change on Sunday but it will on Tuesday. The Demons will win a Grand Final when Russell Robertson wins the final of It Takes Two. Robbo is favourite at $1.60 to win and that will do me. I may not even get to the Melbourne-Carlton game on the weekend as I will be too busy texting his name through to the voting site. I just have to get him over the line, we Melbourne supporters will take anything at the moment.


TeamPrice
Gold Coast Titans
2.00
Brisbane Broncos
1.85
Paramatta Eels
1.71
Manly Sea Eagles
2.20
Bulldogs
1.58
St George Illawarra
2.45
Nth Qld Cowboys
1.48
NZ Warriors
2.75
Cronulla Sharks
1.48
Penrith Panthers
2.70
Sydney Roosters
1.37
Newcastle Knight
3.20
West Tigers
1.65
South Sydney
2.30
Canberra Raiders
3.85
Melbourne Storm
1.27


I am not afraid of jumping on a bandwagon, especially an ever expanding one, so I intend being on the Titans to beat the Broncos in the NRL tonight. The Titans are perched near the top of the ladder, as are the Broncos, but the Gold Coast haven’t been beaten at home in three appearances this season. Justin Hodges has been named in the Brisbane side but "they” say he’s doubtful. If he is a late scratching then unload all available cash (bank tellers take note ) on the Titans at around the $2 mark and even if he does play, I think the defensive skills of the Titans will get them home.

Whatever early season problems the North Queensland Cowboys were having appear to have been ironed out and they can continue on their winning way against the Warriors on Saturday night. Most Kiwis love coming to Australia ( and staying ) but you can’t put the Warriors in that basket. Their last five visits to Townsville have resulted in five duck eggs on their form guide. The -6 ½ pts for North Queensland seems a little light on to me, and if little Matty Bowen is a late inclusion, then it’s definitely too light.

After watching the Super 14s for ten minutes and tipping a winner last week I now consider myself an expert and although I’m still trying to work out the rules and nuances, (it is entirely possible there are none of either) I will be punching in again this week. Here are the odds:


TeamPrice
Chiefs
3.05
Crusaders
1.40
QLD Reds
2.40
Western Force
1.60
Waratahs
1.10
Lions
7.50
Brumbies
2.02
Sharks
1.83
Bulls
1.50
Highlanders
2.70
Stormers
1.72
Hurricanes
2.18


I haven’t yet truly embraced the code and I believe the true charm and appeal of the game is that it fills that punting void between the last at Bendigo races today and the bounce of the real footy at Telstra Dome tonight. Seriously though, there is a absolute cracker of a clash between the Crusaders and the Chiefs to be played across the ditch, and I’m tipping an upset. The Crusaders are the form team of the competition, but have been experimenting with their side. I don’t like that, and although they eventually flogged the Lions last week they were well held in the first half. This match will be settled in the defensive lines and there looks to be real value backing the Chiefs with 6½ pts start.

Monstrous day of racing at Rosehill this Saturday. The rain throws a bit of a spanner in the works and it’s of absolute importance to try and detect any pattern early in the day. Mind you, that’s not easy considering the jockeys these days go looking for patterns where there simply aren’t any. I don’t like bagging the gnomes, well yes I do, but I do think that some of the riding performances last week were absurd. All they wanted to do from the get go was to look for better going out wide. Sorry boys but it wasn’t out there. Try walking the track or actually watching a race you’re not involved in. Here are the odds for Saturday's big race:


Horse
Price
All American
9.50
Krupt
21.00
Sidereus
26.00
Over the wicket
18.00
Related
12.00
Reaan
18.00
Von Costa De Hero
12.00
Sebring
6.00
Hips don't lie
15.00
Portillo
17.00
Stripper
Scr
Sugar Babe
15.00
Anatomica
14.00
Augusta Proud
9.50
Burgeis
18.00
She's meaner
15.00
Siennas Fury (1st Em)
41.00
Typhoon Fury (2nd Em)
61.00


The big race, of course, is the Golden Slipper. This is a $3.5 million two year old affair whose relevance and status are overcooked to say the least. This year it is impossible. The equine influenza crisis has affected preparations resulting in the fact that some horses are still on their first preparations when they would be far better equipped in their second. Luck in running and the ability to handle the expected wet ground is compounding the existing difficulties faced by punters assessing what is a very even race on paper. I won’t be having a bet on the Slipper, the last time I looked it wasn’t compulsory but my tips, for what they’re worth, are Von Costa De Hero, although he’s drawn next to the pie stand and I’ve no idea whether he handle the slow, and Bart’s colt Related was an absolute certainty beaten on debut at the Canterbury dog track. The favourite Sebring can be slow out which is usually suicide in a race like this and I did notice on the telly during the week that the omen tip, and 2nd favourite, Augusta Proud worked sluggishly.

Whatever you like, look for value. I love Hot Danish in the Coolmore Classic. She is an absolute star. She’ll start short, she’s got weight and she’s drawn wide but if the bookies let you on then get on. The BMW looks like a two horse race but I reckon Princess Coup will beat the pre-post favourite Tuesday Joy. Guy Walter’s filly Bernicia is trying to win the Oaks at her first preparation, a big ask but she looks one out of the box to me. I like her for the Arrowfield Stud Stakes. Now here could be one for you at odds. Bart’s got a horse called Moatize who is still a maiden running in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes. That’s a big ask but he is trained by the best trainer this country has ever seen. He’ll be double figure odds and worth an interest. I know it’s a tough day but you can’t let them go around naked.

Good look and good punting and hey, remember, let’s be careful out there.