Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 11 October 2008
None of us would wish to be without a World Cup every four years but the most of the qualifying games have all the interest of a drum solo at a rock concert. And as a punter you can't get interested – 25 quid on England to beat Kazakhstan to win two back – though as a bank you might be.
Instead, we turn to rugby union's versions of the Champions League, the Heineken Cup, started last night, with the first round of pool matches continuing over the weekend. Bath (14-1) face favourites Toulouse (9-2) and Gloucester (14-1) hosting Biarritz (33-1). It's a long haul to May's Final, and durable squads are required. I fancy Wasps – £10 win at 16-1 (Blue Square) – who have the know-how to progress.
The Japanese Grand Prix unfurls tomorrow, summoning memories of James Hunt's championship in 1976 and the intentional Alain Prost-Ayrton Senna crashes of the late 1980s. Ferrari wouldn't try to "take out" Lewis Hamilton – Max Mosley would crack the whip – but team tactics may help Felipe Massa cut the Brit's lead. If Ferrari have fixed their scary pit-stops, Massa can win (£10, 2-1 general) to set up a thrilling finale.
Finally, to the NFL where pre-season fancies have struggled – two of them, the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots, meet on Sunday, both having been beaten by the Miami Dolphins, the Hull City of the NFL. The Patriots are value to win – £10 at 21-10, Paddy Power.
*Good luck to those who backed Yaddree each-way (I didn't), as some bookies paid out on fifth in the Cambridgeshire. Vision D'Etat was also fifth, in the Arc, but Zarkava was a one-horse race. St Helens couldn't handle Leeds, the wet conditions, or my bet in the Grand Final.
Latest in Sport
WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of WWE event
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
Gareth Bale to Chelsea: Real Madrid to be 'tempted by £75m offer' this summer
Manchester United transfer news: Chris Smalling and Phil Jones face uncertain future with contract renewal talks on hold
Malaysia Grand Prix 2015 LIVE: Sebastian Vettel wins in just his second race with Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton second and Nico Rosberg third
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...