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Bdo world darts betting watch for wolfie to emerge from the pack

If you've ever read Matthew Syed's book "Bounce" you'll know a bit about the issue of choking - how top sportsmen reach a major event and are suddenly completely unable to function.

They want it so much, they are trying so hard, that the bit of the brain which normally lets them produce their skills without even thinking about it shuts off. Instead they go back to being a virtual beginner, thinking too hard about what to do, and the whole thing goes to pieces. The performance is not just bad, it's awful.

It's why the big secret on the big stage for the top players in any sport is to relax, treat it as a bit of fun rather than life and death, and suddenly all the skills come flowing.

All of which leads us to Martin "Wolfie" Adams who is suddenly emerging as a fantastic [18.5] outside bet to scoop his fourth BDO World Darts title this weekend.

At 60 years old, Adams is a legend of the Lakeside. Champion in 2007, 2010 and 2011, he's been one of the characters most loved by the BBC audience down the years. Surprisingly knocked out in the first round last year by Jeff Smith, he took his revenge in emphatic style beating the Canadian 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals.

Wolfie's story is heartwarming. Diagnosed earlier this year with prostate cancer, he's been through the agonies of radiotherapy and hormone treatment and is responding well. Initial tests say he's all clear now.

What's also happened is that his mind has cleared. As he says: "I have a massively different perspective. What is more important - my health or a game of darts? If I am lucky enough to win I am happy. If I lose, I lose."

The upshot of that is that Adams, a year ago unable to deal with the pressure of being one of the favourites, is now producing performances that take you back to his pomp, throwing seven 180s as he booked his place in the last eight.

He even shook off the effects of a hot flush while he was throwing, one of the side effects of his cancer treatment which will take time to go away.

He now faces number four seed Jamie Hughes, the 30-year-old from Wolverhampton who reached the semi-final last year. That will be a tough match - Hughes is [15.0] for the title - which could well come down to who better handles the pressure, and if that's the case then Adams has every chance.

Glen Durrant remains the massive [2.2] favourite to win the tournament after surviving a huge scare when he came back from 3-0 down to beat Paul Hogan. That was also a sign that he's feeling the weight of expectation, which as I said last week is the one thing that could stop him winning.

Durrant even admitted that himself. "A lot of people travelled a long way to support me and maybe that affected me," he said.

As for Wolfie? Well, nothing is going to worry him. And that makes him just about the most dangerous man in the pack.

Swale stakes 2016 at gulfstream park

ef="/racetracks/GP/gulfstream_park.html" title="Gulfstream Park">Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the Grade 2 Swale Stakes on Saturday, January 30. A group of three year olds will take to Gulfstream's dirt track and race seven furlongs for the winner's portion of the $150,000 purse.

A field of six have been confirmed for the Swale Stakes - race 4 on Gulfstream's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 1:35 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 2 stakes.

2016 Swale Stakes Race Preview

Awesome Banner - has two career starts for trainer Stanley Gold - both wins. He debuted with a 9 3/4 length maiden score on this track in record time for 4 1/2 furlongs way back in June and posted a great win by 4 3/4 lengths last time out in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes also on this track January 2 - that after a seven month layoff. Awesome Banner hasn't been touched so far and is expected to be the one to catch again Saturday. Jose Carabello has been tabbed to ride from post 3.

Noholdingback Bear - has a win and two second place finishes in three career starts for trainer Michael De Paulo. He arrives on the heels of consecutive respectable runner-up finishes - behind Awesome Banner last time out in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes on this track January 2 and behind Sheikh of Sheikhs in the minor $100,000 Juvenile Dirt Sprint Stakes at Keeneland October 31. He also had a maiden score by 5 3/4 lengths at first asking at Woodbine in September. Noholdingback Bear has been competitive every time out, recorded a bullet five-furlong breeze in :58.94 at Gulfstream Jan. 23 and will have Luis Saez aboard from gate 4.

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Richie the Bull - has three wins and a third place finish in four career starts for trainer Joan Scott - very good so far in his career. Last time out was a win in the minor Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity at Hawthorne December 12 after a third in the minor Juvenile Dirt Sprint Stakes at Keeneland October 31, an Allowance and a MSW score to start his career. Richie the Bull takes a leap up in competition Saturday but looks ready. Javier Castellano gets the call from gate 2.

Cardio Cowboy - will hit the track for just the second time for trainer Edward Coletti having posted a win at first asking - by an impressive 4 3/4 lengths at Parx December 12. He takes a major leap up in competition Saturday when he leaves from post 5 with Frankie Pennington in the irons.

Ready Dancer - debuted with a third place finish July 4 and got better in his next two starts for trainer Todd Pletcher - a 2 1/2 length maiden score in his third career start August 29 and a second in a MSW August 1. Ready Dancer made a rather unsuccessful graded stakes debut October 3 - an eighth after getting bumped and being forced wide in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and hasn't been great in two starts since either. Last time out was a tenth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here December 13 after a fourth in the Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park October 17. He now has a win, a second and a third place finish in six career starts and hopes for a bounce back Saturday from the rail - with John Velazquez in the reins.

Economic Model - Chad Brown trained colt has just one career start and it was a good one - a maiden score at Saratoga August 8. He makes his stakes debut and his first start in nearly five months - from the outside gate 6 with Joel Rosario guiding him.