Abu Dhabi and Bob Hope Classic Golf and Racing from Gowran Park, Ascot and Leopardstown



The Abu Dhabi Championship is the first of a now four-tournament ‘Desert Swing’ as Bahrain joins Qatar and Dubai to supply us with a month’s ‘Golf in the Gulf’.

Six of the world’s top ten players, including all of last year’s Major winners are taking part at the demanding 7,590 yard Abu Dhabi course and it will probably be the case that one of them comes out on top.

Martin Kaymer has form figures of: 1st, 2nd, 1st for his last three appearances in the tournament and is therefore very difficult to ignore.

I’m going for Paul Casey however, as he seems to be really well suited to the course, having won here in 2007 and also in 2009.  The 33 year old from Cheltenham is a class act and could be in for a big year.


Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. United Arab Emirates.
  M Kaymer  8/1  
  L Westwood  10/1  
  R McIlroy  12/1  
  G McDowell  16/1  
  P Mickelson  16/1  
  P Casey  16/1 
  I Poulter  16/1 
  L Oosthuizen  16/1  
  F Molinari  25/1  
  P Harrington  33/1  
  R Fisher  33/1  
  R Goosen  33/1  
  C Schwartzel  33/1  
  M Manassero  40/1 
  A Quiros  40/1 
  H Stenson  40/1  
  E Molinari  40/1  
  P Hanson  40/1 
  Chris Wood  50/1  
Each-way bets 1/4 odds first 5

The Bob Hope Classic is played over 5 days and 90 holes and is a basically a test of concentration and patience as the professionals have to play the first four rounds with amateurs and celebrities, with rounds taking anything up to six hours to complete.

With that in mind, i think the best policy is to look for someone who has shown previously that they are
comfortable with this style of play and that means last year’s joint second, Matt Kuchar, should be worth a punt.

Kuchar is very consistent (15 top-15’s last season and 2 top 6’s already this season, including tied 5th last week at the Sony Open)  


 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. California.
  M Kuchar  10/1  
  T Clark  14/1  
  B Haas  16/1  
  R Moore  20/1  
  C Campbell  25/1
  R Sabbatini  25/1 
  Bubba Watson  25/1 
  J Senden  33/1  
  D Toms  33/1  
  C Hoffman  33/1 
  M Laird  33/1  
  S Marino  33/1  
  B Gay  33/1 
  S Cink  33/1 
  C Howell  33/1 
  B Van Pelt  40/1  
  M Wilson  40/1  
  J Overton  40/1 
  J Kelly  40/1  
  K Na  40/1  
  K Streelman  40/1 
  B Snedeker  50/1  
  D J Trahan  50/1 
  H Slocum  50/1  
  M Weir  50/1  
Each-way bets 1/4 odds first 5



The Thyestes Chase is sure to take some winning as it will come down to a slog in the testing conditions.

The one i like here is Alpha Ridge. Paul Nolan’s nine year old has won over 3m on heavy ground at Gowran Park and looks the type to do well in a race such as this.

Thyestes Chase.  2.35pm 20th January.Gowran Park.

 Pomme Tiepy  7/2  
 The Midnight Club  10/1  
 Alpha Ridge  9/1 
 Agus A Vic 12/1 
 Selection Box  12/1  
 Whinstone Boy  12/1  
 Sam Adams  14/1  
 Siegemaster  14/1  
 Telenor  14/1 
 Ten Fires  14/1  
 Hangover  14/1

 16/1 Bar.
Each-way bets 1/4 odds first 4

Without doubt the form horse in the Irish Champion Hurdle is the hot favourite Hurricane Fly but in looking for a little bit of value, i’m going with Dunguib to come good here.  

He was rated one of the Irish bankers for last year’s festival in the Supreme Novices Hurdle but disappointed the visitors when finishing third to Menorah.

He again disappointed on his seasonal bow behind both Hurricane Fly and Solwhit in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown but i think he is worth another chance to show his undoubted talent.  

Bhp Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle.  2.45pm 23rd January.Leopardstown.

 Hurricane Fly  8/11  
 Solwhit  7/4  
 Dunguib  6/1  
 Voler La Vedette  10/1  
 Luska Lad  14/1  
 Blackstairmountain  16/1  
 Sublimity  20/1  
 Thousand Stars  20/1  
 Donnas Palm  25/1  
 Silent Oscar  33/1  
 Secant Star  33/1

Each-way bets 1/5 odds first 3

It is impossible to oppose Master Minded in this one.

The 2008 and 2009 Champion Chase winner at the Cheltenham Festival came back to form when beating Petit Robin in the re-arranged Tingle Creek.

Paul Nicholls’s chaser was off the boil last season but looks likely to make up for lost time this year.

Victor Chandler Chase. 2.25pm 22nd January.Ascot.
 Master Minded  4/7  
 Somersby  6/1  
 Petit Robin  9/1  
 Crack Away Jack  10/1  
 Mad Max  12/1 
 Gauvain  14/1  
 Tchico Polos  20/1  
 Kalahari King  20/1  
 Im So Lucky  25/1 

Each-way bets 1/5 odds first 3

All odds supplied by Ladbrokes.