Rigat must have emptied out yesterday having traded at 1.9 in running. Getafe decided to have an off day but are a team definitely worth following, unlike Valencia who contnued their unpredictable run with a 0-0 yesterday scuppering the overs. Another mug punter accumulator bit the dust as John Arse Riise decided to take over from Sami Hyppia to score for the opposition. Elsewhere Fulham at 2/5 were worthy of laying and so it proved with 2 opportunities to trade as their opponents took the lead twice. Lyon were in no bother – 3-0 at half time and 1.96 for the half time/full time was like manna from heaven.

Good to soft at Ludlow today is not ideal.
BETTING FORECAST: 6/4 Hibiki, 11/4 Royal Rationale, 11/2 Atomic Winner, 13/2 Heroes, 15/2 Ta Peshala, 14/1 Hesivorthedriver, 16/1 Dee Cee Elle, 25/1 Cat Six, 33/1 Crickie Pitch, 40/1 Chasing Memories, 50/1 Zelos, 66/1 Ishismart, 100/1 Arabellas Homer,  Just Chrissie .

SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: HIBIKI sets the standard on form and is marginally preferred to Royal Rationale, who has shown fair form on his last two starts and could improve in a first-time visor. The two to note in the market are the hurdle newcomer Heroes, who was useful on the Flat, and Ta Peshala, who makes her debut for a new yard after scoring readily over fences in France last time.[DM]

A big field but on closer inspection this is definitely quantity over quality if we can believe the pricees. 9 horses at 40/1 or bigger brings the competitive field down to 5. Atomic Winner and Heroes for me are priced at 6/1 and 8/1 and we can assume this will enable them to be competitive for the place. Pricing suggests a 2 horse affair with Hibiki at odds on now and Royal Rationale close 2nd. The hope is this won’t finish 1-2 for those 2 named

BETTING FORECAST: 7/4 Merlin´s Magic, 11/4 Kate´s Gift, 3/1 Mealagh Valley, 6/1 The Good Guy, 10/1 Nakoma, 16/1 Lord Adonis, 33/1 Hammer Time,  Knight Of Light,  Leading Article, 100/1 Coast Of Malabar,  Dandivito,  Drumroe,  Maizy Missile,  Pasqualina Mia,  Touch Of Velvet,  Tyrana .

SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: MERLIN’S MAGIC seems honest enough despite a run of near misses and, with his Plumpton failure probably just an off day, he is taken to make the breakthrough. Not that this will be easy, as Mealagh Valley and The Good Guy are promising types and Kate’s Gift should also be on the scene if running his race in the headgear.[AWJ]

Of course preference is for smaller fields for each way betting but this race again has a number we can hopefully dismiss. Mealagh Valley each way for me looks positioned to be there at the business end in this maiden hurdle. I will put a little more on the place only part of the bet


BETTING FORECAST: 9/4 Cragganmore Creek, 3/1 Mid Valley, 8/1 Jalandy,  Piano Key,  Tabulate, 10/1 Tip Toes, 12/1 Zaffeu, 20/1 Bahhmirage,  Valart, 25/1 King Of Connacht,  Makfly .

SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Cragganmore Creek will be popular following his wide-margin success last week, but this looks a little stronger and MID VALLEY could be the one to lower his colours.[PSm]

Jalandy now trading at 3/1 , perhaps because Piano Key is a non runner. I will back Jalandy and Mid Valley to level stakes given they are both 7/2 currently. Cragganmore Creek looks to be taking on stiffer opposition and is opposable for me at 2/1

BETTING FORECAST: 2/5 Group Captain, 7/2 Colisay, 8/1 I Predict A Riot, 16/1 Mon Chevalier, 33/1 The Boat, 40/1 Petito, 50/1 Flashy Conquest,  The Langer, 66/1 Pippling, 100/1 Lord Lieutenant.

Group Captain is the shortest priced betting forecast favourite of the day. So what happened with yesterday’s candidate?  Well yesterday’s candidate was It’s a dream but I did sound a note of caution as Kruguyrova was very close in the betting. They went off 5/6 and 11/10 , this race priced up as a 2 horse affair. It is worth watching out for these 2 horse races although it must be said while I was trialling this method of selecting, results tended to even themselves out. This method is reliant on long winning runs  ( most recent is 17 which really boosted the bank) and is still worth continuing with despite the unexciting prices at present – past history has shown some 2/1 winners and candidates evens or over – this is a very good place only selection system as has been seen recently although the odds will not be anything to write home about


The lays are working well with another 2/5 biting the dust yesterday – small liabilities make these ideal bets. Another mug punter acca went south but at the odds of 1.89 worthy of support. I should have put the Arsenal up singularly as this was a late Christmas present !
Today the only team of interest looks to be Torquay at home. Normally Torquay have been great over 2.5 goal candidates but perhaps the recent fixture congestion has tempered that. The majority of recent games have been close affairs and tonight’s could be too. An under 2.5 goal trade for me I think ( cue Torquay returning to the free scoring team of a month back!)

Belenenses have not had an over 2.5 goal game in their last 6. Their opponents Nacional have not had an over 2.5 goal game in their last 3. I’ll chance under 2.5 goals here given Nacional recently kept Porto from scoring . Backing the 1-0 for either side may pay dividends and is worth a speculative shilling.

Better opportunities will come with the African Cup of Nations which is  starting soon.