Our transparent tipping records has passed +4000 points
Our transparent tipping records has passed +4000 points

Sporting Life writers reflect on best tips as transparent tipping record passes +4000 points

Our transparent tipping record passed +4000 points this week, and to celebrate we're taking a trip down memory lane with some familiar names.

The milestone was reached when Tom Carnduff landed a 50/1 winner in the Bundesliga, and comes after a hugely profitable February took our six-month tally to over 600 points' profit.

Sporting Life's previews are not only free to read but every single recommended bet is logged in our record, including bookmakers and each-way terms, and advised prices are confirmed with a time stamp at the foot of the copy.

This combined with our proven track record makes us the number one sports betting website in the UK and we are proud to take profits since inception beyond 4000, with our sights now set on reaching 5000.

To mark the occasion, below are some of the best winning selections we've put up over the years, from the days The Life first went digital, through to the years of bettingzone.co.uk, to the current make-up of the website.

Our team have generated an average of +50pts per month over the past year
Our team have generated an average of +50pts per month over the past year

De Rasher Counter wins the Ladbrokes Trophy at 33/1

By Matt Brocklebank

It’s not often the angle into a major National Hunt handicap strikes you quite like it did me 17 days prior to the 2019 edition of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, and thankfully it all fell into place for 33/1 fancy De Rasher Counter, who won by a length and a half at 12/1 on the day.

This horse had everything going for him – there were barely enough boxes for all of the ticks, including a bunch of over-rated second-season chasers in opposition, proven course form and no issues over proper winter ground.

Trainer Emma Lavelle was enjoying a hot run of form, she’d booked the rising star of the weighing room Ben Jones, who was still claiming 5lb at the time, while the prep run over hurdles at Uttoxeter a little over a month before the Newbury race was clearly an inspired move.

Jones was brilliant throughout the three and a quarter miles after the tapes went up, belying his inexperience to gain a really good early pitch and getting into a lovely rhythm just behind the leaders.

Sent on to challenge at the cross fence, De Rasher Counter led approaching the turn in before safely negotiating the four fences in the straight and holding The Conditional at bay.

200/1 Landry tops the lot

By Ben Coley

Wins for Russell Henley at 300/1 and Sami Valimaki at 250s might've topped the list when it comes to both prices and drama, both of them winning play-offs, but it's Andrew Landry in the 2018 Texas Open who stands out as my favourite selection.

Landry was one of just three outright tips for the event, and the opening paragraph of the preview was more bullish than I'd usually write. "If you were to dream up a set of circumstances ripe for each-way punting, they'd include 14/1 the field, a vulnerable favourite, a bunch of infrequent winners right in behind, none of the world's truly elite players and a golf course we know a bit about," wrote a younger, more innocent version of me. "That's exactly what we have in front of us at the Valero Texas Open."

Despite that conclusion I struggled to find compelling selections but with just three batting for me, Landry did all that was hoped for and more, fending off Trey Mullinax to win by two as a 200/1 chance. He'd appeared in command for most of the final round and just as Mullinax looked set to reel him in, nerves got the better of the younger man, whereas Landry was seemingly unmoved by the experience. It's not surprising he's gone on to win again.

But the main reason he tops the list, aside from the fact I kept to a full point each-way which meant around +250 points on the preview, is that the factors which led me to him are often sniffed at. Landry was a new dad, playing in just his second event since the arrival of his first child. And he was returning to Texas, his home state, having grown up not far from the course. Those things combined with an eye-catching effort a week earlier, and the fact TPC San Antonio so obviously suits, made for the sort of case I've always fallen for.

Just this once, everything went to plan.

Andrew Landry celebrates his maiden victory on the PGA Tour
Andrew Landry celebrates his maiden victory on the PGA Tour

Çağlar Söyüncü to score anytime at 28/1

By Tom Carnduff

Leicester faced a Manchester United side struggling at set-piece defending - it was a contest the Foxes would win 4-2, and thankfully the route taken into the betting proved to be the right one.

Given those issues at the back, and the potential for Leicester to capitalise, Çağlar Söyüncü looked an interesting bet at a huge price of 28/1 anytime.

He did just that, scoring in the 78th minute to put the hosts 2-1 up in a contest that produced a manic finish.

The reason I loved this one was because he'd delivered a big-priced winner just a few months earlier - scoring at Old Trafford against Manchester United at 30/1.

There have been a few centre-backs who have delivered across the years, but Söyüncü stands out because he did it twice against the same opponent in such a short space of time. What a player.

Nathan Aspinall wins the UK Open at 125/1

By Chris Hammer

In a sport where big-priced major winners are at a premium, my most rewarding tipping moment came when Nathan Aspinall began his accent to darting stardom by winning the 2019 UK Open at 125/1.

The inspiration for making such a bold selection had come a few months earlier at the Ally Pally when I watched him stageside come from 2-0 down to beat Gerwyn Price 3-2 en route to the World Championship semi-finals on debut.

Since then the Asp continued his rapid rankings climb with some early season form, making such a three-figure price ahead of the UK Open seem ludicrous.

The Stockport thrower had to come through some nerve-jangling matches on his way to the semi-finals, where he edged out Price 11-9 before landing a 170 checkout to complete his title triumph over Rob Cross.

I’d also tipped up Price at 20/1 and Cross at 18/1 so to have three of the final four in such a lottery of an event was the icing on the cake.

25/1 Clijsters claims US Open glory

By Andy Schooler

Having a bet on any sporting event can sometimes have the effect of taking away the romantic in you but at the 2009 US Open, those two worlds collided.

Many tennis fans will immediately realise this was the event in which Kim Clijsters, barely a month into her comeback after two years in retirement, produced an against-the-odds triumph.

Those odds were 25/1 – not the biggest winner I’ve had but I was told from a young age not to brag – and Life followers were very much on, delighted as the Belgian took down both Williams sisters before toppling another top-10 star, Caroline Wozniacki, in the final.

It truly was memorable stuff – whether you were on at the price or not.

Clijsters herself was not even ranked, such was the early stage of what she called her ‘second career’. Definitely NOT a comeback.

Narrative is a word used a lot these days but the 2009 Clijsters tale certainly did not fit it.

It wasn’t supposed to be possible for a player who hadn’t played for two years to do this. The fact she’d become a mother in that period made it even more unlikely.

But it was a punt with plenty of logic to it and a classic case of following what was happening on the ground rather than what history said was ‘supposed to happen’.

Clijsters had played two warm-up tournaments in the weeks prior to arriving in New York and beaten four top-20 players at them. Her two losses were both to top-four opponents.

She was also a former champion at the US Open and still only 26.

In short, there was lots to like about the likeable star. And she was liked a lot more after delivering at 25s.

Woakes ends Ashes with 20/1 winner

By Richard Mann

For England fans, the 2021/2022 Ashes series was one to forget, though Sporting Life readers at least finished on a high as 20/1 in-play selection Chris Woakes top scored in the tourists’ first innings.

So inept had England’s batting been throughout the series, only Joe Root inspiring any real confidence in the top order, taking a punt at big prices lower down the batting line-up always appealed as a potentially profitable way into this market.

In fact, having used the same strategy to tip Woakes in England’s first innings of the second Test, only to see him top score with 44 in England’s second innings, redemption in Hobart was most welcome.

Woakes actually sat out the third and fourth Tests, before returning for the final day/night match when England’s already fragile batting line-up was shot to pieces and clearly incapable of matching up to an Australian pace assault that had dominated all winter.

The Ashes in-play previews on Sporting Life had already enjoyed some success by the time the Hobart Test rolled around, but with Root once again the only stumbling block, Woakes’ fluent 36 was enough to reward readers with a big payday.

Woakes rode his luck early on, being forced to bat in the worst of conditions as the lights came on and the pink ball started to move around, but the Warwickshire man grew in stature as his innings went on and having essentially crossed the winning line, it was something of a surprise when he was eventually dismissed strangled down the leg side.

Still, Woakes had done enough to ensure the Hobart Test wasn’t all doom and gloom, not for Sporting Life followers anyway. Sadly for England, they were bowled out cheaply for a second time the following day, confirming their 146-run defeat.

Chris Woakes top scored in Adelaide
Chris Woakes top scored in Adelaide

Pinging the lids on the PGA Tour

By Dave Tindall

When the Sporting Life went digital in 1997, many said it was akin to Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Actually, no-one said that but both seem an awfully long time ago.

I put my hand up as the golf bloke having bagged a role on the new team of tipsters so was keen to impress.

Course form was all the rage in golf tipping back then and I leant on that heavily for the West Coast Swing. I've a feeling we weren't quite ready to launch for Tiger's win at the 1997 Mercedes (Sentry in new money) but I certainly remember what happened next: a quite ridiculous run of winners at good prices.

Golf betting historians could well correct me but I'm fairly sure I swept the board through the rest of January and all February. So we cheered home 33/1 John Cook at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 16/1 Steve Jones in the Phoenix Open, 40/1 Mark O'Meara at Pebble Beach, 20/1 O'Meara again at the Buick Invitational and 50/1 Paul Stankowski at the Hawaiian Open.

That's how I remember it anyway and, to be honest, it seems a slight shame that I peaked 25 years ago.

Major winners always stick in the memory so the 33/1 ante-post tip of Phil Mickelson for the 2004 Masters is another real favourite. I think he went off at around 12/1.

Watching your then favourite golfer win his first major when you've put him up at a daft price was certainly a thrill. Not so keen on him these days, mind.

40/1 Levitate leaves it late

By Ben Linfoot

As an unashamed Flat racing fan (you have to whisper those words quietly in March) the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster is always an eagerly-awaited contest and it has been a lucky one for me over the years.

I remember tipping Secret Brief at 25/1 for the Value Bet column in 2016, the Godolphin horse ending a woeful winter on the tipping front in style. Those horses that end the barren spells are remembered fondly!

However, a better tip than that came in the same race three years earlier when Levitate won a rearranged Lincoln a week after it was meant to have taken place for John Quinn and Darren Egan.

Snow on Town Moor had seen the Lincoln meeting abandoned on March 23 and I had tipped Brae Hill to go back-to-back for Richard Fahey, with Levitate not in the original race as he wasn’t rated highly enough.

However, seven days on he’d got in and the bookies had inserted him at a bonkers 40/1 as they introduced a handful of new challengers into what had previously been an established market.

This was a horse with some very solid Doncaster form to his name, it was obviously soft ground after the snow and that suited, too, while it was his first start for Quinn who had a knack of improving new recruits from other yards.

He went off 20s and won thanks to a late surge in a frantic finish under 3lb claimer Egan, with the previous week’s headline tip, Brae Hill, also involved as he lost out by a short head and a nose in third.

That kicked off a golden Flat season if memory serves and he certainly paid for some new golf clubs, so it was a great start to the summer in more ways than one.

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