BETTING ODDITIES: In his latest weekly blog, DAVID STEWART takes a sideways look at some of the stories making the news in the betting world and beyond.


…. We Are The Champions sang Queen but at the Royal racecourse on Saturday many were quick to condemn Champions Day as a ‘damp squib’ and ‘one of the worst renewals ever’.

I’m just wondering if Stradivarius, Palace Pier and Magical had all won the same critics would have been proclaiming it as a ‘vintage renewal’.

The results on the track shouldn’t really be the only factor – maybe it’s just racing turning the tide?

Earlier this month Iga Swiatek beat Sofia Kenin in the French Open final. Despite the relatively unfamiliar names, I didn’t hear tennis fans moan that it was one of the worst Grand Slam finals ever. Far from it, there was a recognition that these two young players were emerging new talent in the game.

The Hollie Doyle, Tom Marquand story alone surely made Champions Day this year memorable? A money can’t buy positive story for the sport when we damn well need one.

Throw in a winner for Pierre-Charles Boudot, plus French and Irish trained winners on the card and a potential real staying star of the future in Trueshan.

The meeting actually had some Champions – if you are willing to look beyond the SP’s of the winners.


They always used to say in newspaper land that the perfect time for companies to ‘bury’ bad news is when there is a distraction of a major news story.

There’s nothing more major than a global pandemic so what kind of sorcery is at play from Sky Sports that dictates I can’t watch Sunday night’s Leicester City v Aston Villa Premier League game because it is deemed ‘Box Office’ ?

Excuse me. What do you mean on top of my subscription to Sky Sports?

However the blame shouldn’t be levelled at Sky Sports or BT for that matter. In this instance they are purely the messengers.

It’s the Premier League clubs themselves who voted 19-1 in favour of covering the additional fixtures on a pay per view basis.

Who was the stray ‘1’ – Leicester City – ironically hosting the game that I refuse to pay to watch.


Words are not needed.


DAVID STEWART is a freelance digital betting producer and journalist. His CV includes: The Sun, The Sporting Life, Racing Post, At The Races, The Sportsman, lead feature writer for Sky’s Betview magazine and senior producer Timeform Radio.

Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.