Gunner Lindley can shoot down rivals
I'VE worked at many jobs over the years including barman, writer, TV salesman, shelf stacker, professional punter and even a pub cleaner; but my role as a librarian has probably proved the most interesting, as I get asked the strangest questions at times.
People seem to think librarians know everything and I regularly get quizzed by the lads down the local on every topic under the sun. While I do have a good grip of history and general knowledge, I'm no smarter than the next man and I must admit that I was stumped when a mate asked me the other day what I thought about Sri Lanka. I told him all I really knew about the place was that the population is 20 million or so -- and that the delicious spice Cinnamon is native to the South Asian country.
When he frowned and stared at me like I had two heads, the penny dropped and I realised he was talking about cricket; more specifically the tip I put in this newspaper on Sri Lanka to win the World Cup at 11/2.
I'd completely forgotten about that bet and after some frantic searching through the sock drawer, I eventually found my docket.
The final takes place this morning at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai (10.0 Irish time) and Sri Lanka now trade at 13/8; with India the short-priced favourites at 4/7. If you took the advice in this column and backed Sri Lanka at 11/2, and you are reading this early enough, I would now suggest that you get on to the exchanges and lay off your stake.
This is known as hedging and because the price has moved in your favour, you can now enjoy a risk-free bet. Some people get a bit confused about hedging but it's quite simple really.
Assuming you had a tenner on Sri Lanka at 11/2 and assuming Sri Lanka win the World Cup, you will gain €55. But if you now lay them for a tenner, you will owe €16.20 on the exchanges.
So your net profit would be €38.80. They could lose of course, and in that case, you are down the original tenner but you gain as much for the lay bet.
So to summarise; if you lay off your stake, you will break even if Sri Lanka lose and gain €38.80 if they win. Some people are not into hedging and would prefer to hold out for the €55, but when the odds have moved significantly in your favour, eliminating your risk is always the sensible option. If you don't have an account with Betfair or Betdaq, you could simply throw a score on India to keep yourself in the clear.
In the racing, the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster (3.10) is the feature and, having spent some time studying this race, I reckon Gunner Lindley could be the one to side with each-way at around 8/1.
I'm a little concerned about the going as both his wins have come on soft ground -- but he's been runner-up a few times on good ground so hopefully he can handle today's conditions.
The Barry Hills-trained colt just about made it into the race at the bottom of the weights and I think he's fairly unexposed off a mark of 93.
He finished off last season with a well-deserved victory at York and while the likely favourite Taqleed will be hard to beat, the selection is much better value at these weights.
The Michael Dodds-trained Breakheart tops my ratings for the Spring Mile at Doncaster (2.05) but his trainer has said that he's lazy at home and will need the run.
I hope I won't regret this but I'm therefore going to swerve Breakheart in favour of another 16/1 shot, Pintura.
He rarely finished out of the top three in 2010 (winning three times) but the handicapper hasn't been too harsh and I reckon he could have a couple of pounds to play with here.
Kalk Bay is the obvious danger with Johnny Murtagh on board but his draw in stall one could prove to be a hindrance.
2.05 Doncaster: Pintura (e/w)
3.10 Doncaster: Gunner Lindley (e/w)
4.15 Doncaster: Nabah