Weekend betting: Race action at Newbury & Manny Pacquiao back in action

Ventura Rebel (left) is fancied in Saturday's top race at Newbury (photos: Getty Images)Ventura Rebel (left) is fancied in Saturday's top race at Newbury (photos: Getty Images)
Ventura Rebel (left) is fancied in Saturday's top race at Newbury (photos: Getty Images)
Local betting expert Joe Whitaker casts his eye the sporting action this weekend focusing on horseracing and boxing.

The Weatherby’s Super Sprint Stakes is the pick of the English racing on Saturday, with two-year-old speedsters tackling each other over the minimum trip at Newbury.

Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey is sending down a clear favourite in VENTURA REBEL, with the bookies currently pricing him up as a 6/4 chance. He has the standout form in the race, being beaten by a neck in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot by a potentially very smart colt.

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It will take a very good horse to beat him here, though given their juvenile age, the layers will be looking for an improver to get the jolly beat.

Fancy a flutter this weekend?Fancy a flutter this weekend?
Fancy a flutter this weekend?

Looking down the price list, NEVER IN PARIS could potentially be just as good as his rival, having won his only start at Nottingham two weeks ago with a bit in hand.

Trained by Karl Burke and being well bred out of Dutch Art, at 7/1 he looks worth taking the favourite on with, and can be backed each way for some insurance.

The second race on the card at Newbury, the Marsh Cup is always an interesting race over 2miles and Ian Williams has moved early to book the services of top jockey James Doyle for his long-distance specialist THE GRAND VISIR. This son of Frankel won the Ascot Stakes over two miles, three furlongs, though the shorter distance here won’t work against him. The bookies have been quoting 7/1 for his chances during the week and again he looks a good thing for each-way investments.

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The Irish Oaks fills the teatime slot over at The Curragh and between father and son the O’Briens dominate the race as you would expect. Joseph trains the current favourite in Pretty Polly stakes winner IRIDESSA at 2/1, whilst Aidan gives another chance to Epsom Oaks runner up PINK DOGWOOD who isn’t far behind at 3/1. I think it could be worth taking on both of these at such short prices though and I like the look of John Gosden’s English raider STAR CATCHER.

The winner of the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot looked a nice filly and is still lightly raced after only four outings. She should relish this extra furlong and Gosden must fancy his chances of turning over the O’Brien’s in their own backyard.

The timeless Manny Pacquiao fights at the MGM Grand once again (4am Sunday, BST) and it is hard to know just how much he has left.

He looks as good as ever, though he must surely have his work cut out against the naturally bigger and younger Keith Thurman. The bookies don’t seem to think so, making him a 4/5 favourite, though I am not so sure and the 9/4 for Thurman to pinch a win on points looks good enough for me.