Local betting expert Joe Whitaker casts his eye the sporting action this weekend with the focus on horseracing and cricket’s World Cup final.
Today sees the climax of the July meeting down at Newmarket with the main race being the Bunbury Cup at 3:30.
The bookies have had a good time of it this week with some short-priced favourites getting chinned and this race looks like another tricky one for the punters.
I have followed Roger Varian’s SPANISH CITY for a while around these handicaps and whilst it has been rather expensive without a win in his last eight, I felt he was crying out for a bit further when third here last month. He gets an extra furlong today and his best should see him go very close at odds of around 7/1.
The Summer Mile over at Ascot (4:00) is always a decent race and will always take a good miler to win it. Sir Michael Stoute has a hot favourite here in his four year old gelding Zaaki, unbeaten over two starts this season.
As a bookmaker I would be looking to take him on however at a price of around 2/1, with a competitive pack behind him looking more than capable of denying him his hat-trick. Mark Johnston’s horses have been enjoying themselves lately and he has MATTERHORN in the race, priced up around 6/1. He was a nice winner of the Midsomer Stakes at Windsor last time out and could go in again here.
The first race at Ascot, the Heritage Stakes over the sprint trip of 5f sees a wide open dash and I can’t help but think specialist sprint trainer Robert Cowell has one in here overpriced.
JUMIRA BRIDGE won a sprint at Sandown in a good time last Friday and the 14/1 I saw available looks well worth an each way investment.
I am sure we have all been enjoying the cricket over the last few weeks and how good was it to see an England side get rid of Australia in such ruthless fashion.
They never looked like not winning once they removed their openers in the first overs and it’s hard to look past them in the final against New Zealand.
The return of Ross Taylor to some form will be a concern for England though it is still hard to see them not getting the job done.
It will take an inspired bowling performance from the Black Caps to limit England to a score they can chase should the hosts bat first. You can also see New Zealand’s faltering openers struggling with Woakes, Archer and Co.
He was the star man in midweek and I fancy Chris Woakes to play a huge part again. He can be backed at 16/1 to be the star man here, whilst Joe Root is having the time of his life at the moment and 10/1 for him to be the match’s top runscorer could give you a decent interest.