Stan Hey: 6-5 against
Saturday 22 March 2008
The Flat turf season creeps in today, snowstorms permitting, with the William Hill Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster and you would qualify to be centrefold in a Milletts catalogue if you became deeply involved in a 22-runner race featuring horses blinking from hibernation. (Pass the anorak – £5 win, Smokey Oakey, at 9-1 with the sponsors.)
Now, to tomorrow's football. Host broadcaster Sky calls it "Grand Slam Sunday", as the top four teams come together at the sharp end of the season. The timing seems to suit Chelsea best, five points behind United after blowing three leads at Spurs – a win over a fading Arsenal (out to 9-2 for the Premier League) would re-establish their hounding of United over the last seven games, which include a home fixture against them.
Except that they miss Petr Cech in goal and seem disconcerted by Avram Grant's tactics. So, perhaps Arsenal, clinging on, can achieve a fifth draw in succession, one that will feel like a victory – £10 at 9-4 Betfred.
At Old Trafford, Liverpool arrive in fine form but with a mere point from seven games against United under Rafael Benitez. But the Spaniard seems finally to have evolved a formation equally suited to defence and attack. It's time they won – £10 at 100-30 with Skybet should help me pay my monthly subscription.
Last week's wagers
Denman delivered in the Gold Cup at 13-8 (£16.25 won). Wales clinched the Six Nations (9-1), bringing in £45. Nick Heidfeld rolled into second, at 50-1, in the Australian GP to bag £50. But like most returning Cheltenham punters, I found a failed ante-post bet on the doormat – Madison du Berlais didn't even make the Gold Cup (£20 lost).
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