There's an autumnal touch to the week's first betting opportunity, the opening game of the Tri-Nations between Australia and South Africa, as an appetiser for the World Cup, now just weeks away in early September.
The Australians say that the Tri-Nations is their priority while South Africa are denying that their squad, without a dozen regular internationals, is the second string.
But there are three debutants and several players yet to win 10 caps in this morning's line-up, while Australia are trying life without their talisman Matt Giteau, dropped after last Saturday's defeat to Samoa. But there's no such thing as a friendly in southern hemisphere rugby and, with wet conditions likely, a physical slog should favour South Africa – £10 win at 100-30 (William Hill), but the title goes to New Zealand, £20 win, at 1-2 (32RED).
Let's hope for some sun next week at "Glorious Goodwood". This year it can boast the equine equivalent of Muhammad Ali v George Foreman, with the unbeaten Frankel taking on last year's winner Canford Cliffs in the Sussex Stakes. Frankel took the 2,000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes with choke-out charges while Canford Cliffs accelerates into the finish. Frankel was almost caught by Zoffany at Royal Ascot and Canford Cliffs can go one better here – £20 win at 11-8 (Coral).
The summer handicap quest resumes with Swilly Ferry in the Sky Bet Dash at York today – £5 each-way, 20-1 generally.Reuse content