Weekly column by Fred Done, co-founder of Birchwood-based Betfred

IT'S a puzzle to me but Lewis Hamilton, who has won his fifth career F1 World Championship, remains only third favourite at Betfred to be the 2018 Sports Personality of the Year.

And that’s despite him now officially the joint second most successful driver in the sport’s history.

The Mercedes driver finished fourth in Sunday’s Mexico Grand Prix, but that was enough to secure the title after yet another near-perfect season for the 33-year-old.

Hamilton is now a 5/1 shot with us for the award that will be decided by public vote on December 16.

Favourite for the honour, at 13/8, is Geraint Thomas, who was victorious at the Tour de France earlier this year – joining an elite list alongside Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins as the only Brits to ever win the race.

Harry Kane is 3/1 second favourite for the award after leading England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia this summer, taking home the Golden Boot after finishing the tournament’s top scorer.

Behind Hamilton in the odds is cricketer Alastair Cook at 10/1, athlete Dina Asher-Smith, 16/1 and heavyweight champion boxer Anthony Joshua, at 20/1.

A boxer who could be a dark horse for the award is Tyson Fury, at 33/1 with Betfred, should he win his scheduled bout with Deontay Wilder on December 1.

Victory would make the 30-year-old a two-time, unbeaten heavyweight champion and would encapsulate an incredible comeback journey, becoming an advocate for overcoming struggles with mental health and addiction.

Other names in the mix include motorcyclist Jonathan Rea, 28/1 and Southport based golfer Tommy Fleetwood, 33/1.

For the first time in history, the contenders will be revealed on the night live from Birmingham and the public will then be allowed to vote.

So it’s anyone’s bet this year. Really it should be record-breaker Hamilton who triumphs but our traders here in Birchwood assure me there is big money still going on Kane and Welsh cycling star Thomas. Meanwhile Chelsea, with “born again” Ross Barkley scoring and setting up two in a convincing win at Burnley, were the big movers at Betfred as the race for the Premier League title intensified.

Midfielder Barkley, who moved from Everton for £15m in January, has ambitions of becoming Chelsea’s new Frank Lampard.

That’s despite him having a stuttering start to life in West London – although he’s certainly in favour with boss Maurizio Sarri who replaced Antonio Conte in the summer.

I would have absolutely loved Barkley to have moved to Old Trafford but clearly Jose Mourinho wasn’t interested.

Shame that, for he’d have done a smashing job for us Reds. He’s a 200/1 shot to be the PFA player of the year but those odds are most certainly going to tumble if he carries on his weekend form.