Stan Hey: 6-5 Against



Chester's my vote


Punters love this time of year, with its promise of a long summer of enticing sport – they can hear the whack of bat on ball, the thwack of soaring golf shots and the pounding of hooves as top-class Flat horses begin their assault on immortality.

The most enchanting event of the next seven days is Chester's picturesque May meeting featuring the venerable Chester Cup, a whirling 2m 2f handicap. Given the race's proximity to a certain event in the real world, expect money for Gordonsville (33-1) and Swingkeel (14-1), but I'm with last year's fourth, Desert Sea (£5 each-way, 20-1 generally), who has won first time out in the last two seasons.

Newmarket's Rowley Mile is a featureless expanse of fenland by comparison, but you can't crab the significance of Guineas weekend. Bundles of money ride on long-term 2,000 Guineas' favourite St Nicholas Abbey (6-4, William Hill) today and it will be a disappointment if he doesn't oblige. The 1,000 Guineas tomorrow looks more open and Rumoush is a plausible pick – £10 win, 7-1 Ladbrokes.

Any winnings should be invested on the Players' Championship, dubbed "the fifth major", at Sawgrass, Florida. Ghouls gather around the 17th to watch millionaire golfers quake at the water they must cross to land tee-shots on an island green. Geoff Ogilvy, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk should be up to the job – £5 e-w all three.

The Twenty20 World Cup is under way. I've backed England at 12-1 – men in white coats are after me and they're not umpires.

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