TIP:Jaguares to beat the Waratahs ($2.30)
Brooks Koepka is building a rather impressive CV of Major wins after victory in the US PGA Championship last weekend. That brings his tally of Majors to four now, and that total has been delivered in his last eight starts in Majors, and 22 starts in Majors overall. The other amazing statistic with Koepka is that he has only won two ‘regular’ events on the US PGA Tour, but no doubt that number will improve. After a flying start Koepka dominated the market, and was an odds-on chance from half-way through day one until the finish. He did enter the last round at $1.05 and got to $1.50 when faltering late on the back nine but steadied to win, and provide a handy payday to those who took the $17 pre-post. In a revamped calendar the US Open is next and Koepka is the favourite at $7.00 to win that (already one bet of $3,000) and $8.00 favourite to win the British Open.
The US Tour event this week will be the Charles Schwab Challenge, formerly known as the Fort Worth Invitational. A lot of the bigger names from last week will be going around again and defending champion Justin Rose is our second elect at $12 behind Jon Rahm at $11 from Rickie Fowler at $13. Ironically Rose defeated Koepka in this very event last year but Koepka is having the week off.
Matt Wallace finished third in the PGA Championship, and won the ‘Made in Denmark’ last year, so on that form-line alone, the Englishman deserves top billing at $9.00 to win in Denmark again this week. The field does lack a bit of depth, so the $9.00 looks a nice price, but of course the travel factor may come into play here.
TIP: Jordan Spieth to win the Charles Schwab Challenge ($12)
The French Open gets underway this weekend and TAB have been betting on all of the qualifying matches before the draw is conducted on Friday. Rafael Nadal was back in the winner’s circle in Rome last week, and that has seen a price change, $2.50 in to $2.10 to win the title for a staggering 12th time. Novak Djokovic was runner-up in Rome and is solid at $3.00 with Dominic Thiem the only other player rated any chance at all by TAB punters at $6.00.
In the women’s draw, Simona Halep is $5.00 favourite to grab back-to-back French titles, ahead of Kiki Bertens at $9.00 (in from $21) and then at $13 we have Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka. Sloane Stephens is next in line at $15 alongside Karolina Pliskova. Stephens was runner-up to Halep in last year’s final, and while Bertens and Kvitova have been in some sort of form, both Serena Williams and particularly Naomi Osaka have had a rough trot with injuries. Aussie Ash Barty is well up in the market at $17.
Scott McLaughlin has claimed the last four poles at Winton, Victoria, and going on what we have seen of his Mustang this season, he should make it five in a row for race 1 on Saturday. Those four pole positions have resulted in only one win, the first race in 2017, but McLaughlin, and the Mustangs, have completely dominated the Supercar season so far. Teammate Fabian Coulthard won race 1 at the recent meeting in Perth, but McLaughlin bounced back to win race two after finishing second to Coulthard in race 1. The opening market for race 1 on Saturday has McLaughlin clear favourite, and best-backed, at $2.30 with some interest in Coulthard at $5.00. Rick Kelly won race 1 at the corresponding meeting last year but it is worth noting that Coulthard won race 2.
TIP:Supercars race 1 – McLaughlin ($2.30)
Daniel Ricciardo delivered a big pay day for his fans when he won the Monaco Grand Prix last year, but although only a supreme optimist would suggest he could do it again in his Renault this week, there has been money for him at huge odds. Ricciardo opened at $501, and on displayed form that is ‘unders’, but we had to cut the price to $251, and he has also shortened up in ‘top 3’ and ‘top 10’ markets. Lewis Hamilton won in Spain two weeks ago, and is $2.00 with the TAB this week ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes at $3.50, but there is genuine interest in the Red Bull of Max Verstappen at $3.75. Hamilton and Bottas have finished 1-2 in every race this season but Verstappen has shown enough speed in races so far to suggest that he is some hope of grabbing an all-important spot on the front of the grid, a big start to winning around the tight street circuit of Monaco.
TIP:Bottas to win the Monaco Grand Prix ($3.50)
Aussie Will Power won the Indy 500 last year, and Power is one of the $9.00 favourites to win the iconic race on Monday morning Australian time. Power shares that line with Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, ahead of Kiwi Scott Dixon at $10.00. Dixon is also a previous winner of the Indy 500 back in 2008, and we could nearly claim him as an Aussie as he was born in Brisbane! The big shock of qualifying this year was the failure of ex-F1 winner Fernando Alonso to gain a start in the 36-car field, but that won’t detract from what is always an intense race around Indianapolis Speedway. Helio Castroneves has won the Indy three times, and there has been solid interest in him at $11.
* Prices correct 12pm (AEST) Wednesday 13th February 2019