TattsBet News 3rd January

CRICKET

With Sri Lanka’s ($12) dressing room resembling a casualty ward, Australia ($1.28) is the red-hot favourite heading in to the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The tourists’ best player Kumar Sangakkara is out after a Mitchell Johnson thunderbolt caused a broken finger, while talented ‘keeper Prasanna Jayawardene was also in the left-armer’s firing line and remains in doubt for Thursday’s start. So poor was the islanders’ performance in the second Test at the MCG that most of the interest in the lead-up to this match has revolved around Australia’s XI. Victorian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell will have to wait for his baggy green cap after he was named twelfth man, as selectors made the unusual decision to go in with four pace bowlers and a spinner.

All the serious money - including one $1,500 bet - has been coming in for the home side to close out the series with a win. There has been plenty of takers for Mike Hussey to be Australia’s leading run scorer in the first innings in what will be his final Test, and he has come in from $5.50 to $5. Michael Clarke’s ($4) ongoing hamstring issue seems to be steering punters away, but he did crack an unbeaten 329 against India here last summer. Given the amount of grass there is likely to be on the wicket, and the fact he’s set to bat at six, gloveman Matthew Wade looks good value at $15 to trump the rest of the top order for most runs.

TENNIS

The summer of tennis has kicked off with the Hopman Cup and Brisbane International getting things underway. Novak Djokovic breezed through his first match against Italian Andreas Seppi in Perth and most of the smart money coming in so far has been for the Serb who is looking to make it a hat-trick of titles at Melbourne Park. When the market first opened you could get him at $2.50 but he has been wound in to $2.10, and there has been no shortage of punters willing to take him on at that price, especially with Rafael Nadal pulling out of the first Grand Slam of the year.

Ever-consistent Spaniard David Ferrer has been the big mover, coming in from $67 to $26. He has made the semis and quarters the past two years and reached the final eight of every Slam in 2012. It still appears to be a three-horse race, though, with Andy Murray second favourite at $3.50 and Roger Federer $5.

Samantha Stosur’s first round loss in Brisbane, and news she had ankle surgery five weeks ago, has made her a risky proposition for punters heading in to the Australian Open. She’s out from $21 to $23, and if she doesn’t show some form in Sydney, then expect her to drift out even further by the time the players head to Melbourne. Five-time winner Serena Williams has attracted the most attention and is a $2 favourite, while last year’s champion Victoria Azarenka is on the second line of betting at $4. Maria Sharapova’s collarbone injury which forced her out of the Brisbane event will be monitored closely, but she has moved only slightly from $7.50 to $8.

A-LEAGUE

There can be no arguments now that Western Sydney isn’t a legitimate force in the A-League this season following the debutants’ 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory on New Year’s Day. Two mecurial goals from Japanese superstar got them home, and the Wanderers ($2.65) will go in to this weekend’s big clash with league leader Central Coast ($2.55) full of confidence after winning three straight at Parramatta Stadium. The Mariners have been the form team in the competition all season, but they’ve lost their mojo the past couple of weeks. A 1-all draw with Wellington was followed up by a shock 1-0 loss to Sydney FC, and in their first match of 2013 they only just got over the line against Perth. These teams played out a scoreless draw in round 1 and there has been plenty of interest in the draw at $3.25.

RACING

Assail continues to firm for the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast with TattsBet, having been cut to win the $1.64 Million feature event following her effortless win in the Magic Millions race for 2 year-olds at Wyong. Initially a $26 chance, the Clarry Conners trained filly was cut to $4.80 after that race but sustained support now sees her as the second elect at $3.80. Clevadude holds favouritism at $3.50 following two soft wins in Melbourne and he will be hard to beat if trainer Rick Hore-Lacy is right in comparing him with multiple Group One winners Canny Lad and Redoute’s Choice that he has handled in the past.

Punters haven’t given up on Group One winner Sizzling for the Magic Millions Guineas despite his last start defeat in the Vo Rogue Plate. He remains the $3 favourite for the event following his luckless run at Doomben and holds more than two thirds of the money that TattsBet has taken on the race. Lucky Hussler, his Vo Rogue conqueror, has firmed from $31 into $9.

BIG WIN

One TattsBet punter had extra reason to cheer over the festive season by turning a $20 nine leg allup in to $30,809 on Boxing Day. The bold investor selected the winner of nine races across the cards at Caulfield, Rosehill, Eagle Farm and Morphettville.

His winning legs were MR8 Finishing Card $1.75, BR3 Master Avatar $2.00, BR6 Garozzo $2.50, BR7 Mukaddamah Son $2.25, BR8 Volkhere $1.75, SR4 Georgey Aeroplane $3.60, SR6 Le Roi $2.25, SR7 Lonace $2.30 and AR3 Swipeline $2.40.