My losing betting slips from the Rugby World Cup will start the bonfire next Saturday night, but as the clocks go back it's time to look forward to a rich calendar of winter punting opportunities.
Principally, we have the Premier League, which was set alight by Manchester City's spectacular win over Manchester United last Sunday.
City were tipped for the title here at 9-2 (now only 6-5) but my "smug alert" tells me that United will start a charge in January and that Chelsea will be contenders if discipline improves. City must also play Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal before Christmas.
In today's lunchtime games, Everton can dig in to draw against United – £10 at 14-5, Victor Chandler; and £5 goes on Arsenal to win at Chelsea, at 5-1, Ladbrokes.
Rugby Union's Premiership resumes with World Cup players back on duty. While they were away, Leicester and Northampton slumped to 11th and ninth respectively. Our tip, Saracens, lie second on 22 points, four behind Harlequins. Sarries, without the scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth for the season, face a tough game at Gloucester but loyalty says they win – £10 at 11-10, Chandler.
The Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby today is the first big race of an enticing jumps season, whip bans permitting. Weird Al, a promising chaser pitched too early into the 2011 Gold Cup, could resume progress – £10 each-way, 14-1 at William Hill.Reuse content