32Red’s betting expert Jack Milner takes a look at the FA Cup final between Watford and Manchester City as well as this weekend’s racing at Newbury.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are 90 minutes away from history, with The Citizens odds-on favourites to complete the domestic treble when 1/4 favourites to beat Watford at Wembley.
City recovered from a potential banana-skin at Brighton on the last day of the Premier League season Sunday, falling behind early but battling back to win 4-1 and successfully defend their league crown.
That success, coupled with the League Cup wrapped up earlier in the campaign, ensures City can become the first English side in history to do a domestic clean sweep.
It would take a brave man to bet against them, with City 1/9 with 32Red to lift the trophy, and Watford 6/1. It is 6/1 the tie goes beyond the 90 minutes.
The latter have had another excellent season, with Javi Gracia’s side missing out on a top-half position in the Premier League after a disappointing finish to the campaign.
The Hornets arrive at Wembley winless in their las four games; far from ideal form entering a cup final. Watford have won just five of their last 15 games but have conceded in each of those five successes, and it would be extremely surprising to see them shut City out at the home of football. 32Red are 22/1 for Watford to win and both teams to score, which strikes as much more appealing than the 6/1 for them to lift trophy.
City won both league fixtures in the top-flight this term, winning 2-1 at Vicarage Road and 3-1 at home, and I’d expect a similar scenario on Saturday.
Guardiola’s side are often prone to defensive lapses, as seen at The Amex last weekend, and they offer punters plenty of value at 19/10 to win and both teams to score.
I expect Pep to setup very attack-minded and they could get a hatful.
City are 10/1 to beat Watford by the same 3-1 scoreline that was seen in Manchester, but I can see them getting even more, and similarly prefer the 4-1 and 5-1 scorelines at 14/1 and 25s respectively with 32Red.
Elsewhere, there is excellent racing at Newbury where ‘The Queen of the North’ Laurens (3.35) bids to win for a sixth time at the highest level. Karl Burke’s star filly won four Group 1s last year, over three countries, and on ground ranging from good-to-firm to soft.
She is incredibly versatile and will take some beating if ready to go first time out. The four-year-old is 5/1 with 32Red for The Lockinge and, with four places to each way punters, I can’t have her out of the frame.
Aidan O’Brien’s Le Brivido is the current favourite but I think her biggest dangers are Beat The Bank and Sharja Bridge, who finished 1-2 in the Bet365 Mile last month at Sandown.
Saturday’s banker has to be Crystal Ocean (2.25) in the Group 3 Aston Park Stakes, but there’s little value in Sir Michael Stoute’s colt at around the 4/7 mark.
Contrast that to The London Gold Cup, which is a terrific handicap for three-year-oldhandicappers.
The race is often a stepping stone to pattern company with Stoute and Ryan Moore bidding for a quickfire double, with Solid Stone (3.00) boasting the profile of an unexposed animal on the improve.
The son of Shamardal is a typical improver for the master trainer and, after his winning reappearance last month at Newmarket, can defy a 6lb rise at the weights.