Stan Hey: 6-5 against
Saturday 10 May 2008
There is a scene in the film The Wicker Man when Christopher Lee leads his pagans in the song "Summer is a-Coming In", and punters must be tempted to revive the ditty: a first Test starts next Thursday; there are several trials around for next month's Oaks and the Derby; the sun is out.
Punters can go a bit giddy but, fortunately, England's series against New Zealand offers few real betting attractions – England are 1-4 to win, with the Black Caps 9-1 and the draw 4-1. England's superiority in the recent series owed most to the bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad, but there were questions about the batting and captaincy.
New Zealand will need Daniel Vettori's gritty leadership to stop them going under. We can expect fireworks from the bat of Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee's spectacular debut with bat and ball promised much. So England to win, but New Zealand to salvage something – £10 on the 2-1 series score at 6-1 with VC Bet.
The Classic trials move to Lingfield today, Leopardstown tomorrow and York on Wednesday. I liked Sail's win in the Cheshire Oaks,so a fiver each-way is on her for the Oaks (16-1 Ladbrokes). The Derby remains a mystery, and it's shocking to realise that Aidan O'Brien ha not won since 2002. Even so, I'm nibbling at his Kingdom Of Naples (20-1 Totesport) before a possible run in York's Dante Stakes.
Last week's wagers
The accumulator on the last Championship games was fun, with three out of seven results correct and the other four out by just a goal. Ibn Khaldun ran like a drain in the 2,000 Guineas, but Spacious was a good second in the 1,000 (£25 lost).
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