Chelsea to win the Premier League. Arsenal to win the FA Cup. Jordan Spieth to win the US Open. Novak Djokovic to win the Australian Open. Coneygree to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It looks so straightforward in hindsight. A cheeky £10 tenner on that fivefold at the start of the year would have given us a good few months of anticipation and probably would have resulted in us sitting on a beach drinking rum in July, rather than sat behind the desk in Power Tower.
But it’s never too late to live the dream.
We’ve pieced together a new fivefold for the second half of the year, and the traders have kindly offered us odds of 105/1 that it comes good. A £10 bet would return a tidy £1,050 and hopefully pay for a cracking week of socialising over Christmas.
August: Chelsea to lift the Community Shield: 4/6
Arsene Wenger has faced Jose Mourinho 13 times in his managerial career and never won. There have been six draws and seven wins for the Special One, and we don’t fancy the trend being bucked at Wembley in this season’s curtain raiser. Mourinho labelled Wenger ‘a specialist in failure’ last year, and it’s hard to see him letting his old rival get one up on him, even if this is deemed somewhat of a ‘glorified friendly’ in some corners. It might go the distance, but we fancy a Chelsea win all the same.
September: Dublin to win the All-Ireland Football: 10/11
The Dublin bandwagon keeps rolling on, and the 2013 All-Ireland champs look fairly unstoppable. They crushed Kildare in June, winning by a 19 point margin and kicking a score of 4-14 from open play, and the Dubs are an un-backable 1/500 to beat Westmeath in the Leinster Final on Sunday. There is no doubting the Dub’s attacking strength, and Jim Gavin appears to have made them harder to break down defensively. Donegal and Kerry will put up bigger challenges than Kildare or Westmeath, but the Jacks look a solid punt for the Sam Maguire.
October: Treve to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe: 5/2
Dual L’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve is back at Longchamp for a potential history-making third win on the bounce. The superstar mare would appreciate any kind of cut there is in the ground, and only 10 of the last 27 renewals of the Arc have been on good ground or better. The draw is clearly going to be important, and Golden Horn has been undoubtedly impressive winning the Dante, Derby and the Eclipse this season – but can anybody deny Treve a hat-trick of Arcs? She has bags of quality and ability, and no matter what Golden Horn has done this season, we can’t oppose the French mare.
October: New Zealand to win the Rugby World Cup: 11/8
The All Blacks are the current World Cup holders, and widely regarded as the best team on the planet. Bar the 2007 quarterfinal defeat to France, New Zealand had reached the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup in every tournament and have won the competition twice. In 2014 they lost just one of 14 games – beating England four times, including once in Twickenham. Forget the home support and the patriotic pennies, New Zealand are simply unstoppable when they’re on form. The 2011 win shook the monkey off their backs, and we expect New Zealand to kick on in style in October.
December: Lewis Hamilton to win Sports Personality of the Year: 3/1
The chances are it isn’t going to be a prime year for British sport. England are the underdogs for the Ashes, Andy Murray is likely to come unstuck against either Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, and the rugby team are unlikely to lift the World Cup. One Englishman who is flying though is Lewis Hamilton, and the F1 man is 1/6 to win the World Championship this year. He might not be the most likeable man in sport, however Hamilton pulled enough votes to win last year, despite being up against Rory McIlroy who had won two Majors and the Ryder Cup. In a weaker year Hamilton could well lift it again, despite the rarity of back-to-back winners.
It’s an accumulator that certainly has potential and one that might look painfully obvious come the end of the year. Here’s hoping for a slice of luck and then we can celebrate the festive season in style.