TattsBet News 27th December

SYDNEY TO HOBART 

Money has continued to come for race favourite Wild Oats X1 to take line honours in the Sydney to Hobart. Wild Oats opened at $1.40 in the original market but has firmed to $1.25 on race day. Last year's winner Ragamuffin Loyal has drifted from $3.25 out to $5.00, but one follower thinks she can repeat the dose from last year with a bet of $1500 at $5.00. The conditions are tipped to favour the bigger yachts, and the first three in the betting have been backed to the exclusion of all others. Wild Thing is another previous winner and has been a big shortener, into $7.50 after opening at $15. Wild Thing has had several modifications made to her since last year including being extended from 98 feet to a 100 footer, so it will be interesting to see if the Grant Warrington led crew can make up the necessary leeway to put pressure on the first two in the market.

Wild Thing failed to pass the conditions of the race rules and was been barred from racing. This will ensure that Wild Oats XI started as one of the shortest priced favourites in race history. 

CRICKET

The Boxing Day Test is one of the great traditions in Australian sport, and there are plenty who think that Sr Lanka can either spring a surprise win at the MCG, or at least be competitive.

Much has been made of the changes due to the rotation policy, and with an injury cloud hanging over the head of Aussie captain Michael Clark, Australia have eased from an opening $1.50 out to $1.55. There is money for them in what is shaping as a terrific betting contest, but we have seen just as much support for Sri Lanka ($7.00 into $6.75) and the draw at $3.70. The weather looks like it will remain clear for the duration, so it is surprising to see so much support for the draw as the last 14 tests played at the MCG have yielded a result. Having said that, Australia have had a lot of trouble bowling sides out this summer, maybe the Sri Lankan batting attack can hold them at bay? TattsBet will be betting live on the test as well as all of the Big Bash matches. In tonight's BB matche, money has come for Hobart ($1.80-$1.75) who travel to Sydney to take on the Sixers. Competition heavyweights Adelaide and the Melbourne Stars do battle in Adelaide on Thursday night with the Stars slight favourites at $1.85. Their main drawcard Shane Warne will be missing as he has gone to the UK for Christmas. 

GREYHOUNDS

The Sale Cup will be run Boxing night and it has drawn together a great field of middle distance performers. Proven Impala was impressive leading all of the way in a heat, and has been installed as the $3.00 favourite. There isn't much early pace in the Cup final, and Proven Impala looks the leader again.Ex Queenslander Migaloo Magic has drawn the rails box and does have the necessary pace to hold the lead as well, and looks a real hope at $6.00 as does Johnny Ringo ($3.50), another drawn favourable in box 2. Johnny Ringo has been racing well on the country circuit in fast times, and if there is a battle on up front, he looks the one to camp on the pace and outrail them.

TattsBet will also be betting on the semi-finals of the Silver Chief at the Meadows on Saturday night. 

MOTOGP


Next year we see some significant changes to the grid in motoGP.

Firstly as we all know there will be no Casey Stoner due to his retirement so his seat has been taken by Moto2 champion, and the next big thing in the 2 wheel world, Marc Marquez. Early reports suggest he has come to grips with the 1000cc Honda very quickly and he will be one of the 4 riders who have a realistic chance of winning the title. Marquez ($5.50) is a fearless character with a massive desire to win and reminds many of a younger Lorenzo when he first appeared in the top class. His team mate Danny Pedrosa will once again be a leading contender and will want to stamp his authority as the team leader early but his inconsistency is his biggest problem. One week a world beater the next an also ran is the key reason he hasn’t reached the pinnacle of the sport – if he can improve that he has the speed and the bike to win. Pedrosa is one of the $2.50 equal favourites in the opening market. Current champion Jorge Lorenzo is the other, and he will be looking to win his third title .Lorenzo has the best all round bike and more importantly the measure of most of his rivals on a consistent round to round basis. He rarely makes mistakes and even on weekends when the Yamaha doesn’t have the best package he will still be at the front end fighting for the win. Lorenzo is a winner and clearly the man to beat. His “new” team mate this year after the departure of the disappointing Ben Spies will be 7 time world champion and crowd favourite Valentino Rossi. Rossi ($4.50) returns to Yamaha after an ill-fated stint at Ducati and will be keen to return to the glory days when he was the king of the grid. There is no love lost between Rossi and both Lorenzo and Pedrosa with whom he has strained relationships. He is next seasons X factor – he is obviously good enough to win but after so long off the top step of the podium has he forgotten how to win ??

Those four riders look the only logical hopes as they have full factory support and unlimited resources at their disposal. Dovizioso joins Hayden at Ducati next year and it will be interesting to see if he can do what Rossi was unable to do – get the Ducati competing for victories. Others we are expecting to make improvement would be Stefan Bradl (had a good rookie year after winning moto2 championship) and Aleix Espargaro who won the leading CRT rider last year ; he is a big talent going places. 

FORMULA1

There are no major changes to the grid next year other than Perez going to Mclaren to replace Hamilton who replaces the retiring Schumacher at Mercedes . Hulkenberg leaves Force India to go to Sauber and is joined there by their test driver Gutierrez, but neither is considered a major threat in the title betting. Felipe Massa and Mark Webber have re-signed on 1 year deals. Unless anything out of the ordinary occurs in the off season ,then the powerful teams of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mclaren should be the leading contenders for the 2013 season. Sebastian Vettel ($2.35) will be the man to beat once more based purely on the fact he is more than likely going to be in the best “packaged” car coupled with his fierce desire to win. Red Bull team mate Webber ($12) doesn’t seem to get the internal support that the champion does and by his own admission is nearing the end of his driving career. He may win the odd race but it is hard to see him as a championship factor. Fernando Alonso’s performance last year in an inferior car was beyond belief – he looked to be the best driver on the grid, and again he will be there at the business end of the year with Ferrari promising to do whatever it takes to compete on a level playing field with Red Bull. Alonso was written off before the start of the last season but is well in comission at $3.25 to beat Vettel.

Jenson Button ($7.00) is the other obvious championship candidate with the Mclaren still expected to be a major factor in race wins. Button knows what it takes to win a title and is certainly the best driver in changeable conditions, and no longer has to live in the shadow of Hamilton as the team leader – he is now the leader. McLaren team mate Sergio Perez ($17) is a massive talent and should do well at Mclaren, but will need to cut down his DNF’s as well as improve his qualifying performances to be a factor in the title chase. Lotus Renault should be strong and competitive once more but they just don’t have the winning culture of the top 3 teams, however expect to see Kimi Raikonnen featuring on the podium again. There will be a lot of interest in the performance of Mercedes next year and in particular Lewis Hamilton. Most think he has made a questionable decision to move based upon Mercedes poor results, but like Alonso at Ferrari he is capable of extracting performances from an under-performing team. In a nutshell it looks like it may be a battle between Vettel,Alonso and Button for ultimate honors and look for improvement this year from Niko Hulkenberg who is a big talent now in slightly more competitive Sauber. Hulkenberg is the one at big odds to look out for each race in top 6 and podium place betting. 

TENNIS

The Hopman Cup gets underway in Perth this week, and Serbia has been best backed, into $1.90 after opening at $2.10. The USA occupy the second line of betting at $4.50 ahead of Germany at $8.00. Australia are the second outsider at $17, and Queensland youngster Ash Barty has replaced Casey Dellacqua. Betting will be available on all of the matches unless the match is a 'dead rubber'.

There has been huge interest in the WTA Brisbane tournament beginning next week, and punters are betting around the favourite Serena Williams. This will be the major lead-up to the Australian Open, and features 8 of the top 10 womens players in the world. Williams opened at $2.30 but is out to $2.50 with constant support coming for Victoria Azarenka at $3.75 and Maria Sharapova at $5.25. It is worth noting that Sharapova was a shock quarter final loser in Auckland at $1.06 in a lead up to this year's Australian Open, so it will be interesting to see if she is 100% focussed in Brisbane. Petra Kvitova is next in line at $8.00, and local hope Sam Stosur is another to meet with big support, now a $10 chance. Betting will be available on all matches as well as the usual list of exotics.