November is a month with plentiful punting opportunities and we must begin with Australia’s biggest one day sporting event, the Melbourne Cup.
Sorry AFL Grand Final. Sorry NRL Grand Final. Sorry The Everest. We love the lot of you, but when it comes to a day when even the non-gamblers will be reading form sheets and look for a punt, the Melbourne Cup is the fairest of the dinkums.
This year’s race is on 6 November and track manager Mick Goodie will need to be at his best in the two days he has to get the track in shape following the 3 November weekend meeting that will feature four Group 1 races, the Victoria Derby, the Cantala Stakes, the Coolmore Stud stakes and the Myer Classic.
Group 2 racing on the day consists of the Linlithgow Stakes and the Wakeful Stakes. Group 3 races are The Lexus Stakes, the Begonia Belle Stakes and the Carbine Club Stakes.
At the time of this writing the official word is that the track is a Good 4, but a lot of hooves will be giving it a pounding, but the weather forecast looks like fine weather.
Those with an eye for the international races might want to pay attention to the U.S. the day prior, as the $US 6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (2011 metres). Saeed bin Suroor, after failing to deny Winx in the Cox Plate, will be fielding Irish horse Thunder Snow and Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien will trot out Mendelssohn. Both are currently priced at 12 – 1, which in modern decimal terminology equals $13.
The Melbourne Cup favourite at this time is Yucatan, who is now known as Yucatan Ire, so as to eliminate punters possibly trying to back the retired Yucatan from 1987’s crop or Michael Seyers’ young gelding.
The Wallabies will be spending November in the northern hemisphere, playing Tests with Wales, Italy and England. Italy should be temperate this time of year, but the U.K. less so. Australia will be prepping for later in 2019, when the Rugby World Cup will go off. At the moment, Australia looks a pretty good chance to come out a winner in Rugby World Cup Pool D, but Wales may have something to say about that.
Soccer fans have the A-League going domestically, the EPL, and other major European leagues in action, making November one of the best months of the year.
Manchester City and Liverpool are the head of the class 10 games into the competition The A-League is just getting started and with two games down, four clubs are undefeated and each has been drawn once, leading us to speculate that this is going to be a tight season.
Some of you may want to have a punt on American gridiron footy. If you happen across a match on the telly, quite possible because the NFL seems to be staging half its matches in London this year, and you see a group of men standing around in black stripes, holding long discussions, those are game officials and you have not stumbled onto a Collingwood Magpies rebroadcast.
NCAA Division One gridiron is also in the heat of things. The action there is a little faster-paced, save frequent pauses for sponsor messages.
The Canadians are at it too.
Other major sports leagues in the U.S. are in full swing. We had hoped to tell you that early November was a good time to watch the final games of the 2018 World Series, but the Boston Red Sox ground the Los Angeles Dodgers to pulp before October was over.
The NBA is well into its 82-game regular season, with about six games down, but at this early juncture, some of the top teams are a bit of a surprise, but at the end of the year, it will be Golden State at or near the top, with this year’s finals looking to be the Warriors and the Boston Celtics, or possibly Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Let’s just hope the Celtics do not take it all, as with the Red Sox holding the baseball crown and the Patriots always a good chance in the NFL, the already tough to accommodate Bostonians may rise to a new level of insufferability.
Let’s see. Hmmm…cricket. November is a big month for all grades any place the sun is shining. Steve Smith and David Warner will be out until December, but there seems to be some intrigue in the Sheffield Shield and some emerging stars. The Australian men are not doing so well of late, but the women are another story entirely.
The men will be playing ODIs with South Africa and T20 with the Proteas as well, and then there will be T20 nearer the end of the month with India.
While the men were being whitewashed by the Pakis, the women were returning the favour to their Pakistani counterparts. The women will be trotting the globe in November, playing England, South Africa, Pakistan and Ireland in the Bahamas and all signs are that they will do well in the T20 format.
There are two Formula 1 races in November, but Lewis Hamilton has clinched his fifth championship, so the main drama will be whether or not Daniel Ricciardo can finish a race for Red Bull before he departs for Renault for the 2019 season.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is still undecided, but the only two drivers in contention are leader Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen, who trails by only 14 points with just the ITM Auckland SuperSprint and the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 remaining to decide things.