Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

The Punter: Masters winner Angel delights bookies

Angel Cabrera emerged as a very popular winner of the season’s first major at Augusta for the bookmakers but not so much for those on the exchanges who laid him at odds of up to 359-1.

It was the third time in a row that a three-figure outsider has has emerged victorious in the Masters.

The Argentinian was as big as 140-1 with Bet365 at the outset but even that paled into insignificance compared to what was available on Betfair.

Cabrera, is 18-1 to win another major this year while Laddies are going 10,000-1 that he does the Grand Slam.

With one in the bag, he has to be worth a soupcon of a wager, just in case, although it’s highly unlikely.

But another intriguing bet from Ladbrokes is the offer of 100-1 that Cabrera manages to win all four majors before he retires. He only has two to collect and there have been worse 100-1 bets.

He is 66-1 for the next one up, the US Open in New York (June 18-21) — the other major he has won — and the same price to repeat his Masters victory in 2010.

Cabrera was as big as 55-1 in the Masters handicap market, getting 13.1/2. shots of a start. He was never given a mention in any of the pre-tournament analysis and was never considered by any of the experts as even a possibility of being in the running.

But a word of praise for Bet365’s Dave Bass who said about Graeme McDowell who was the best of the Europeans: “If Graeme can find the form he was in at last year’s Ryder Cup, he could get into it.”

So anyone who listened there, could have had odds of 25-1 on the Portrush man being the best of the Irish and GB players which of course he was. He was 33-1 to be the leading European and produced the shot of the tournament with his 50-foot drop at the 14th.

What a pity the media for the most part ignored his achievement (17th) and that shot, in their desire to focus on Rory McIlroy in 20th place.

Rory’s day may well come, but the story from an Irish point of view this year, was McDowell. Ok, it was Rory’s first Masters but it was only Graeme’s second.

Back to the Angel of delight for the bookies. Cabrera looked to be in all sorts of trouble when he was stuck behind a tree on the opening play-off hole against Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell but did extremely well to come away with a par.

After his opening tee-shot in the sudden -death finale, he went from being 2.9 favour-ite to 55 on the exchanges.

But it was Campbell who was the first to drop out of the sudden-death finale, having traded at 1.63 when Perry played a poor second shot .

But Campbell then found a bunker and made bogey, leaving Perry to match Cabrera with a par.

The final pair traded at evens your pick going into the second hole and the rest, as they say is history.

Perry will be kicking himself at missing a golden opportunity of becoming, at 49, the oldest Masters champion after standing on the 18th with a one-shot lead and trading at 1.52 compared to his partner Carbrera who, at a shot behind, was available at 4.5 with Campbell who missed a birdie putt to tie for the lead, trading at 5.2.

But he dealt with it in a philosophical way with the words: “If this is the worst thing that happens in my life, then my life is pretty good.” Enough said.

Luton’s plight no joke

The late comedian Eric Morecambe will be turning in his grave at the thought of his beloved Luton Town being relegated from the Football League after 89 years.

The Hatters fell through the trap door on Monday following their goalless draw with Chesterfield.

But their sad demise began with the deduction of 30 points for going into administration three times in recent years.

Luton are one of a relatively small number of teams to have played in all four divisions of the Football League. Rarer still is the fact that Luton have achieved this twice.

Their most recent spell as a top division club was from 1982 to 1992. They then fell through the leagues and were relegated to the lowest division in 2001.

After a brief rise to the renamed Football League Championship in 2005, they were relegated twice in a row, for a third stint in the bottom division.

Now they have undergone a third successive relegation and go down with the unwanted distinction of dropping from the Championship to the Conference in three straight seasons.

Most firms are keen on Luton’s chances of returning to the football league next season as Blue Square Premier champions and the best quote is 9-2 from Skybet with Hill’s and Boylesports going shorter at 4-1.

They would currently been 15th out of 24 in League Two if they had been operating on a level playing field so those odds may indeed, be very attractive.

Better still, take the 13-8 that they get promoted from the Blues Square Premier as two go up.

Burton still need a point to be sure of taking this season’s title after losing to Kidderminster.

Meanwhile, Wolves are almost certain to be also leaving the Football League but in a different direction, namely up to the Premier League after their 3-2 win at Derby.

They lead the Championship by six points and are 1-20 to win the league and 1-500 to be promoted.

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Betting on greyhound rating's Pick 7 Jackpot at Shelbourne Park has reached record levels.

And Drumbo Park patrons have been able to participate on Thursdays and Saturday nights but won’t be able to do so tonight as it is a non-racing night for Drumbo.

Last Saturday, a mammoth €118,000 was bet into the pool as the jackpot reached €256,000 — an Irish Tote record.

Four tickets remained in the penultimate leg and all four were on Droopys Noel in the second semi-final of the Easter Cup.

However, Droopys could only finish second behind Ballymac Under which meant a carryover for tonight when the jackpot is expected to reach in the region of €374,000.

Unfortunately local punters won’t be able to partake but there are plans across the border to open the Irish Board’s non-racing tracks to allow punters to play the Pick 7 via Inter Track.

Drumbo regulars will just have to hope that it is not won and is then carried over again to Saturday night to keep their hopes alive of cashing in big time.

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