Monday, 11 February 2019

Darts Ace Michael van Gerwen to Ride in Grand National 2019

Ranked No 1 in the world, the Dutch professional darts player is known by millions for his ability to hit the bullseye. But the three-times PDC Worlds Champion in 2014, 2017 & 2019 harbours another passion which may surprise dart fans. 

He has a passion for the Grand National steeplechase. In particular, the possibility of riding in this year's 2019 Grand National, Aintree, Liverpool.   

Gerwen was born in 1989, the year Little Polvier won at odds of 28/1 for trainer Toby Balding ridden by Jimmy Frost. 

Whether Gerwen's father was an avid fan of the greatest steeplechase in the world no one knows. However, it is reputed he has bet on a few Aintree winners over the years. 

His confidence was high after winning the 2006 World Masters, then the youngest player at 17 to throw a televised 9-dart finish in 2007.    


Joyous times in the van Gerwen household as Mon Mome wins for Venetia Williams at odds of 100/1

Family and friends scoffed at the chances of Vida Bingham's nine-year-old when Gerwen announced he fancied the gelding to win the John Smith's Grand National while burning the midnight oil with his new Grand National Rating System. Darting legend Eric Bristow questioned the worth of his analysis. Days later, The Power Phil Taylor stated: ''His head was in the shed''. A defiant Gerwen was adamant that victory was for the taking. His analysis detailed a comfortable win. As history proved, he was spot on. Talk of a mysterious Dutch grandma placing a bet of £50 each-way would have seen winning of over £5,000 (not sure how much in guilders). Mon Mome won by 12-lengths and the longest priced winner since Foinavon back in 1967. 

Many blamed his love of the Grand National for years of inconsistent play. However, 2012 would be the year he had a breakthrough. He improved from a ranking of 38 to number 4 within that year. 


While some associated this turn of form by listening to the wise words of Bullseye's Jim Bowen (UK game show). Others detailed he had a real spring in his step after eleven-year-old Neptunes Collonges won the 2012 Grand National for Paul Nicholls. Certainly, a flood of Dutch money hit bookmakers hard as the grey gelding powered home. Sightings of a flushed-faced Bowen at Aintree racecourse went viral on social media while Tony Green struggled to contact him via phone because the line was so busy with well-wishers and pundits looking for winning tips. 

From that day, darts fan knew it was only time before van Gerwen would hit the heights. In 2014, he became the youngest player to win the PDC World Championship.

It's been something of a running joke within darting circles that Michael van Gerwen has his eye on this year's Grand National which takes place on 6th April 2019. One of the potential runners Up For Review, trained by Willie Mullins has yet to be found a jockey!

This year could be the ride of his life. 

Good luck. 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Dutch Darts Masters - Sunday’s Play

The business end of proceedings in Zwolle on the European Tour with the final days play featuring the last 16 matches on the afternoon session starting at 12pm UK time and the quarter-finals through to the final from 6:15pm.

Four times defending Champion Michael van Gerwen cruised through on Saturday night with a 6-0 whitewash over Terry Jenkins and is now best priced 4/7 for an incredible fifth consecutive Dutch Darts Masters title.

Our ante-post each-way selection Peter Wright advanced safely beating James Wilson 6-2 and is now clear second favourite at 5/1.

Daryl Gurney is Michael van Gerwen’s main rival at 11/1 from the bottom half whilst the winner of Mensur Suljovic 14/1 and Simon Whitlock appears to be the chief threats to Peter Wright’s charge to the final in the top half of the draw.  Snakebites third round opponent incidentally Gerwyn Price comes next at 33/1 and must be respected before looking too far ahead to the evening session.

The afternoon session I see three games that stand out from a betting perspective.

1pm: Jermaine Wattimena v Kim Huybrechts

Belgian ace, Kim Huybrechts, played out a solid 6-2 victory over Wayne Jones, whilst, Jermaine Wattimena, upset the seventh seed Joe Cullen, and as outsider again I don’t see the improving Dutch player going down without a fight.

Wattimena still harbours very realistic hopes to make his debut at the World Matchplay in July whilst Kim Huybrechts will never give up should he fall behind.

This has all the ingredients for a play on the TOTAL LEGS, where Over 9.5 can be backed at Evs with Sportingbet or 10/11 General in this best of 11 contest for 6-4 or 6-5 score either way to collect.

2pm: Stephen Bunting v Krzysztof Ratajski 

Two very accomplished performances in round two as Stephen Bunting stunned the bang in-form Michael Smith whilst Ratajski saw off Jelle Klaasen 6-2 impressively.

Micheal Smith has been struggling with fitness prior to his premier league match on Thursday so the 6-0 may have flattered Bunting in that one.  I have been really impressed with Ratajski who has a pro tour title to his name this season and is one of the most 
improved players in the World over the past 12 months.

I’m siding with the underdog who looks big at 6/4 General and can see him putting Bunting to the sword. 

3pm: Kyle Anderson v Cameron Menzies

Two players that caused upsets on Saturday as Kyle Anderson beat the In-form Ian White 6-3 and Cameron Menzies dumped out Dave Chisnal 6-4.

Kyle Anderson is the star player in this match-up and I don’t see Menzies keeping this close.
I feel he will struggle to back up the Chizzy win and Kyle Anderson who is 8/15 for the victory is far better value to cover the -1.5 leg Handicap at 5/6 General for a 6-4 scoreline or greater margin win.


Jermaine Wattimena v Kim Huybrechts - Total Legs Over 9.5 @ Evs Sportingbet or 10/11 General.

Krzysztof Ratajski to beat Stephen Bunting @ 6/4 General.

Kyle Anderson -1.5 Handicap the beat Cameron Menzies @ 5/6 General.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Dutch Darts Masters 2018 Ante-Post Guide

Tournament: European Tour.

Location: Zwolle, Netherlands.

Players: 48

Last years Champion: Michael van Gerwen (x4 Years consecutive).

Format: Best of 11 until Semi-Final - best of 13 and - best of 15 Final.

When to bet: (Starts 12 Noon UK Time Friday).

1st Round 12pm Friday & 6.15pm Friday 

2nd Round 12pm Saturday & 6.15pm Saturday.

3rd Round Sunday 12pm

Quarter-Finals Sunday 6.15pm 
Semi Finals & Final follow on.

Michael van Gerwen has dominated this event and is aiming to capture a fifth consecutive success at the Dutch Darts Masters.
Installed at 4/5 with Betfred for yet another European Tour victory that will tempt in many big hitters considering his main rival and Thursday nights nemesis in the Premier League, Gary Anderson, is absent from the event.

Dangers in his bottom half could come from the likes of Premier League regular season runner-up Michael Smith at 16/1 who is currently hampered by injury but more than capable of an upset on the European Tour format if not struggling for fitness come the business end on Sunday.
The winner of a mouthwatering potential second round clash between 5th seed Daryl Gurney 20/1 and last weeks runner-up in Germany James Wade 28/1  could also test Van Gerwen should his level drop slightly.

The top half is where the value lies however, Peter Wright has been excellent in the European Tour again this season and he is very much suited to the big crowds where he raises his game with the better atmospheres.
Snakebite is 6/1 General for success this weekend and is set to go far. He is my selection Each-Way at half the odds to make the final with bookmaker ‘Winner’, or I wouldn’t put anyone off the third of the odds returns at 2/1 with Betfred and Betway should he reach the show-piece match on Sunday evening.

Their will be little to worry Peter Wright from a far weaker top half of the draw. 
Main rivals include Rob Cross 7/1 who laboured to a 6-6 draw on Thursday night in Aberdeen at the Premier League averaging just 90 and will be looking to peak at finals night at the O2 next week not at a lesser event such as this.  Peter Wright incidentally averaged a ton in his respectable draw with Daryl Gurney on the same card last night.

Mensur Suljovic looks the only other threat and at 25/1 will have to prove his Premier League debut which resulted in relegation after nine weeks hasn’t taken too much out of his confidence and resolve, where he wouldn’t be the first player to take a long time to rediscover the form that gained him selection in the first place to the Premier League roadshow.

Snakebite looks a good bet to reach the final and the 2 or 3/1 appears better value than the predictable odds on price for Michael van Gerwen to win again.
If the World number one was to suffer a shock defeat our man would then go favourite for the event so fingers crossed we get a bit of luck along the way, however, should he make the final and a free pop at Van Gerwen with Place money guaranteed at that stage, he would be one of a select few in this field that would have a chance in a final and not beat mentally before toeing the oche.
A brief mention must go to the excellent Terry Jenkins. The Raging Bull who has had a difficult time of things in recent months following a severe car crash and would be a potential second round opponent for Mighty Mike.  He has beaten him before and would really give it his all so best of luck this weekend to a gentleman and all round nice guy.


Peter Wright to win Outright Each Way @ 6/1 General. 

(1/2 odds 1-2 Finish Winner & 1/3 odds 1-2 Finish Betfred and Betway).
Other firms will be priced up Friday morning so please shop around for best place terms.

Best of luck Guys and any darts related questions or chat please give me a shout on Twitter @ReddenCarl

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Unibet European Championship Darts Finals.

Friday from 12.45pm live on ITV4 kickstarts three days and six sessions of play to determine the winner of this latest PDC major as the best in the World return to Hasselt, Belgium to find the 2016 European Champion.

The best of 11 leg format is difficult to call or find any real betting edge to this format in an event that has thrown up many tricky opening round encounters.

Rather than go for some red or black coin toss markets with little margin for error I thought it would be best to play a straight match win treble at slightly shorter prices than I would normally put forward but feel it is the safest approach to follow throughout the opening day's play over the afternoon and evening session to give us a juiced up more attractive price.

Selection 1: 

1.15pm: Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price 

The second game on stage in the afternoon session will see the progressive talent from Northern Ireland Daryl Gurney take on Welsh battler and former Rugby professional Gerwyn Price. 

Gurney is best priced 4/6 with Betfred in a match the pair toe the Oche against each other for the very first time and I give the edge to the in-form player who scores heavier and is playing with more confidence right having shown over the past month he is over the broken bone he had suffered on his throwing hand that laid him off for 6 weeks prior to October so happy with Gurney as the first pick of this 3/1 treble and see a 6-3 or 6-4 scoreline likely.

Selection 2:

1.45pm: Joe Cullen v Chris Dobey

Following on from our opening selection this offers up a very fluent match between two players full of confidence right now.

Rockstar, as Joe Cullen is nicknamed, has, in my opinion, turned a corner in terms of self-belief and sense of real belonging at the top end of the PDC rankings where it has been slower than expected in his progression for a man of his enormous talents since arriving on the PDC tour around 2007.

Chris Dobey is a hugely talented Geordie who is enjoying a breakthrough season on the PDC tour and comes into this event on the back of some solid qualifying at the upcoming Grand Slam of Darts. 

Both are heavy scorers but I feel Cullen edges this one 6-3 or 6-4 due to his slightly sharper form and far greater TV experience so happy to put up as selection number two for our all-day treble at 4/6 best priced again with Betfred.

Selection 3:

7pm: Jelle Klaasen v Steve West

Another very pleasing on the eye match between two more fluent and confident tungsten talents which gets the evening session underway live on ITV4. 

Jelle Klaasen was beaten in the final European tour event a fortnight back and looks in excellent form coming into this to major. Steve West is one of the most improved players I feel of this year in terms of his consistency levels that have most notably gathered pace. West has been around for a while as a professional darts player but never really translated his floor form to TV nor has he made much of an impact since switching to the PDC from the BDO a while back now. West has however recently made the headlines for his surprise 1st round win over Phil Taylor at the World Grand Prix in Dublin during the first week of this month at the unique double to start format that was live on Sky Sports.

Klaasen at 8/15 for me takes this one by a 6-2 to 6-4 scoreline and therefore enhancing is dominating 5-1 head to head lead over West and hopefully putting the Icing on the cake for our 1st round treble which pays a touch over 3/1 with Betfred.


1st round treble (Best treble odds with Betfred)


Daryl Gurney to beat Gerwyn Price @ 4/7 


Joe Cullen to beat Chris Dobey @ 4/6


Jelle Klaasen to beat Steve West @ 8/15

Friday, 14 October 2016

Chisnall & Klaasen are both value EachWay picks in opposing half to Van Gerwen at 14/1 & 28's. In Euro Tour Finale

The HappyBet German Darts Championship from Hildesheim is the final stop on the European Tour before the order of merit is confirmed ahead of the European Championships in two weeks time which will be live on ITV4.

The host qualifiers were confirmed on Thursday night and the draw is now made ahead of a 12pm Start on Friday however prices are unlikely to fluctuate due to all the big guns not entering the competition until Saturday's second round.

The third round will be played on Sunday afternoon at the last 16 stage before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final played out on Sunday evening.
Michael van Gerwen fresh from a dominating World Grand Prix triumph will look to make it an incredible seven titles from ten tournaments on the European tour in 2016 however the 8/13 on offer is not really a backable price or odds that will get the pulses racing.

Mensur Suljovic is the only other European tour winner in this weekend's field and would have been if interest however even at 50/1 is by-passed being housed in the same half of the draw to Mighty Michael van Gerwen.

Kim Huybrechts is the only other player that could cause MVG problems over this best of 11 leg format I feel on current form but again the 33/1 represents the task at hand for the in-form Belgian against a red hot MVG.

We concentrate on the top half of the draw for a punting angle where the EachWay route is recommended with firms that offer half the odds to make the final should they meet Van Gerwen and lose come Sunday evening, although it is possible MVG could slip up before or we have a free pop at him in a short format final if one of our selections make the championship match with half the odds already in the bag.

We have some big prices in what looks a wide open half. However, European tour pedigree and current form narrows it down to four players to choose from in a section where I will pick two in the hope one of them secures a finals berth at worst.

Dave Chisnall is the 3rd seed this weekend and has a fairly easy opener on Saturday's 2nd round card against the winner of the steady Peter Hudson or the out of form Vincent van de Voort before a likely clash with 14th seed Simon Whitlock who could prove the hardest match on route to the final.

Chisnall is 14/1 with BetBright and crucially one of the handful of firms offering half the odds to make the final. Other firms offering these best terms include Bet365, SkyBet, BetVictor, and Betway so please be careful you are not receiving a 1/3rd of the odds that many firms are offering.

Jelle Klaasen is my second selection and at the price of 28/1 general to go with the 14/1 of Chizzy where attractive prices allows us freedom to go with more than one pick from this top half. 

Klaasen was edged out 2-1 in the opening round of the World Grand Prix to Adrian Lewis however it is the best of 11 Euro tour where I see Klaasen at his most potent. 

 Kaalsen is the 10th seed and is scheduled to play fellow rapid countryman Benito van de Pas. The former Lakeside World Champion Klaasen leads this head to head 5-1 and could prove a great warm up for what would be his biggest task on route to the final against 2nd seed Peter Wright who is second favourite at 10/1 and obviously makes my short list from the easier half of the draw and leads Klaasen 6-3 in their mini-series, however the constant tweaking with Snakebites equipment is showing no signs of coming to an end and he has looked below par in recent weeks losing in round one of the World Grand Prix to Brendan Dolan and also failed to shine at the Euro events prior to that TV major in Ireland last week so feel he can be taken on this weekend.

Simon Whitlock would be my fourth to make the shortlist, he is in great form but has a very tricky draw hence the 50/1 and preference is for Chisnall and Klaasen to extract some ante-post profit from the Darts this weekend.

Recommendations - Europen Tour Darts.

Dave Chisnall to win Outright Each Way @ 14/1 BetBright or 10/1 Bet365, Betvictor, SkyBet or Betway.

Jelle Klaasen to win Outright Each Way @ 28/1 Bet365, Betvictor, Betway or BetBright.

Each Way Terms (1/2 Odds 1-2 Finish with firms highlighted above).

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The World Grand Prix Darts Final - Michael van Gerwen

We are live on Sky Sports1 at the later time of 8.30pm tonight for the final of the World Grand Prix at the City West Hotel in Dublin for this unique double to start/double finish tournament. 

It is the mouth-watering final we all wanted the best two players in the World in terms of ranking, and we have not only the prolific Michael van Gerwen who seems to be winning almost everything he enters again during 2016 taking on the reigning back to back World Champion Gary Anderson. 

Van Gerwen is aiming for a third title in five years on the Emerald Isle whilst The Flying Scotsman is motivated due ton this being one of only a few majors he is yet to claim.

I see this one being close in terms of scoreline with a 5-3 result likely in favour of the World number one Michael van Gerwen at 5/1 however the market that appeals is for MVG to register a clean sweep in terms of getting the highest checkout, the most 180's, and winning the match. The price is 2/1 with Skybet or 13/8 with Betfred of the firms offering this market.

As highlighted I feel Michael van Gerwen will continue his dominance and win the match, he has notched 10 maximums in the last two games to Anderson's 6 so is proving more prolific in this department leaving the head-scratcher that is the 'highest checkout' to land the selection.

Van Gerwen is 4/6 to win this individual market so with the process of elimination feel we would be sat on a 2/1 bet for a 4/6 chance offering great value for money in a final where we usually see Van Gerwen power in a box office three dart checkout followed by his extrovert fist pump celebration.

Recommendation - World Grand Prix Final. 

8.30pm: Michael van Gerwen to get Highest Checkout, Most 180's, and match treble @ 2/1 SkyBet or 13/8 Betfred.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

2nd Round at the World Grand Prix of Darts

The 2nd Round at the World Grand Prix of Darts.

We remain level from our opening round selections as two of the four picks came in at 4/5 & 11/10. Onto round two with a further four selections spread over Tuesday and Wednesday evenings sessions. 


7.15pm: Terry Jenkins v Benito van De Pas

The first player through to the quarter-finals will be either 'the raging bull' Terry Jenkins or 'Big Ben' Benito van de Pas as two players at either end of their darting careers clash.
Veteran Jenkins fought back from the brink to beat James Wade who was our ante-post selection this week and he has a real opportunity to progress further.

Benito had a slightly easier assignment in dumping out an off form Gerwyn Price and this game has the makings of being a very good one.  The market that appeals is for Terry Jenkins to get the most 180's at 5/6 with Skybet, Coral, or Betfred where TJ can hit a purple patch on tv in this department when in front or chasing the game whilst his young Dutch opponent's throwing style, in particular his high grip on the stem often means his darts enter the board at strange angles which in turn results in regular visits to the 19's cover shot ruling out many 180 possibilities.

This round is extended to a best of five set format and Jenkins can win the 180 count in a match that could go either way in terms of progression. 

8.15pm: Kim Huybrechts v Stephen Bunting

This match is another on paper that could go either way and coolness under pressure could win the day, something I have been very impressed with over the past few months from Kim Huybrechts who has wracked up some close fought wins on the Euro tour recently.

Huybrechts was a straight win selection from round one at 4/5 and I am happy to side with him again at the same price where he is 4/5 general to beat Stephen Bunting who got the win over defending champion and out of sorts Robert Thornton but didn't play great in the process and feel the Belgian Ace Huybrechts is worth siding with here.


7.15pm: Simon Whitlock v Alan Norris

Two players who are not frightened to use the whole of the board take to the stage first up on Wednesday night to determine who advances to the last eight.

'The Wizard of Oz' Simon Whitlock is flying right now, a 6-3 victory over Michael van Gerwen on route to his first PDC tour title since 2014 on Saturday will set him up nicely for this TV event and a round one victory over the inform Joe Cullen 2-1 will only add to his self-belief.

Norris beat the eight seed Michael Smith last night however Smith was there for the taking being in such poor form and I don't see Norris being able to match Whitlock here.

The beard of Simon Whitlock is to be feared once again and can take this where the 4/5 with Coral and Betfred looks a standout price.

8.15pm: Dave Chisnall v Brendan Dolan

A slightly more speculative one but at the prices and how I see the match unfolding i am happy to include as good enough to be alongside the rounds strongest picks.

Chizzy a former finalist here scraped through last night against the dangerous Robbie Green. Brendan Dolan's love affair with the City West Hotel's stage continued as he dumped out the number five seed Peter Wright and the 2011 Runner-up who famously hit the first televised 9 dart finish from a double start will not go down lightly against Chisnall.

Dave Chisnall's 180's is set at 4.5 and is 5/4 with Bet365 and Skybet for the Overs which I like. The 8/13 under is based on the probability of a 3-0 whitewash for the 1/4 Chizzy but Dolan loves playing here as with the double start a leveller in the scoring department can see four or five sets played out and in doing so producing at least five maximums for the man from St Helens.

Recommendations (Round Two)


Terry Jenkins to get Most 180's v Benito van de Pas @ 5/6 Skybet, Coral & Betfred.

Kim Huybrechts to beat Stephen Bunting @ 4/5 General.


Simon Whitlock to beat Alan Norris @ 4/5 Coral & Betfred.

Dave Chisnall Over 4.5 180's @ 5/4 Bet365 & Skybet or Evs Coral.