Expect O’Brien to wave his Magic Wand at The Curragh

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

Joe Whitaker of ValueBet bookmakers looks the Darley Irish Oaks this weekend and ahead to the forthcoming football season

As you would expect this Irish classic tends to be dominated by the powerful Irish stables and this year is no different. The favourite is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Magic Wand at odds of around 7/4 currently. This filly realised her potential when she scooped the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot by four lengths last month.

Sean Maguire

Sean Maguire

Whilst that form is solid, she is up against some horses who have ran very well in Classics such as Forever Together who won the Oaks at Epsom and late three year old developers such as Sea of Class trained by William Haggas. It is the Haggas-trained filly that I most like the look of, at odds of around 5/2. The daughter of the legendary Sea The Stars has been kept somewhat under wraps with only three runs this year, though sometimes horses can develop later than the rest of their age group and I fancy her to get a Classic to her name.

She goes well on the firm ground that has been declared and won the Abingdon Stakes over 1m2f at Newbury last month rather snuggly.

The Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury is a decent, entertaining race over the minimum 5f distance and you can usually get some decent each-way value. Richard Fahey’s Red Balloons has an entry with Paul Hanagan booked and I like the way the horse won her race at Nottingham two weeks ago. The stables horses are in decent form and they tend to improve as the season goes on.

With the football season only a fortnight away, it’s time to start getting your antepost bets sorted for your interest over the next 10 months.

We have already taken some early money for Liverpool to win the Premier League at 5/1 and North End to get promoted at 9/1, so you could argue I’ve already had my summer holiday paid for risk-free. There is no such thing in this game, however, and it will be interesting to see how Preston do next season. If they keep the likes of Sean Maguire fit and Ben Pearson available, it wouldn’t be a surprise should they figure prominently.

In the top flight, the 6/4 on Huddersfield to go down looks like a decent attempt to buy a few quid.

They excelled themselves last year though how often do we see teams struggle the second season around, once the experienced sides have worked them out a bit more.

The betting to finish in the top four looks incredibly tight as expected.

Chelsea look no value to me at 4/6, with a new manager in his first season in England not guaranteed to be a success. The 10/11 available for Tottenham looks much better with proven performers such as Harry Kane and Dele Alli sure to do the business again.