Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

McDowell could sneak it at unpredictable SPOTY
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The Independent Online

It's all gone Perth-shaped for England in the Ashes, on the wrong end of a two-day, 23-wicket-fest – indeed, the match might well be over before our sports section hits your breakfast table this morning. So the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne becomes even more compelling.

Today's meeting at Ascot, traditionally the punter's last chance of bagging the Christmas expenses, fell victim to the now – Alan King's Mille Chief would have been the selection for the Ladbroke Hurdle and his day will come.

Tomorrow's big match, Chelsea v Manchester United, should survive and, though Didier Drogba let us down on our bet to beat Spurs, they should be backed again as their self-belief is returning; £10 win Chelsea at Ladbrokes' 5-4.

Tomorrow night's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award seems destined to go to jump jockey A P McCoy but, in an unpredictable vote, his countryman Graeme McDowell – who won the US Open and holed the winning putt in the Ryder Cup – might sneak it; £10 win at 9-2 (bet365).

Fingers crossed for the two big holiday races – the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton belongs to the evens favourite Kauto Star, but Riverside Theatre (14-1 Stan James) is each-way value, with four Kempton wins to his name. The Welsh National at Chepstow, usually a slog, may suit Donald McCain's lightly weighted Comhla Ri Coig – £5 each-way at 33-1 with Sky Bet. Happy Christmas!