WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW – MCB’s Premier League Guide

There were plenty of FA Cup shocks last week – and a few in the Premier League in midweek. Will results be easier to predict this weekend?

Complete with the odds from your club’s betting service, we take a glance at all the games in England’s top flight.

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Chelsea v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group G

CHELSEA v ARSENAL

Saturday, 12.30pm

Draws are few and far between when these two meet – just three stalemates in the last 22 in fact – but that’s what we fancy in this one. We are on a run of nine meetings where either one or the other team failed to score, so we can probably go against the grain on that one as well. That should be a bettor’s philosophy – go against the grain, as in the long run, you may find yourself better off. Trusting our own eyes, Chelsea (10/11) looked as though they would settle for a point at Liverpool in midweek and that is what they got. They would have been un-backable to win the title had they not missed a penalty, and as it is, Arsenal (3/1) are still within sight. Yet unless they win, they can kiss any thoughts of a title goodbye. They will just be happy to remain in the top four after losing at home to Watford, who lost at Millwall in the FA Cup last week. This makes Millwall better than Arsenal in our eyes. Cue complaints from the selfie-stick brigade.

VERDICT: CHELSEA 1 ARSENAL 1 @ 11/2

BEST BET: BOTH TEAMS SCORE @ 8/11 

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CRYSTAL PALACE v SUNDERLAND

Saturday 3pm

A Championship fixture masquerading as a Premier League game. In truth, Sunderland (17/4) have been circling the relegation plug-hole for a while and you have to feel just a bit sorry for David Moyes, who started his tenure with very little to work with on the pitch, and found the cupboard was bare off it. It is a gamble selling Patrick van Aanholt to Crystal Palace (4/6) to fund a mini-recruitment drive. Getting full-back Bryan Oviedo and the oft-injured Darron Gibson from Everton was not a bad piece of business, though. They are only five points adrift of safety but while securing a valuable point against Tottenham, Sunderland could have done without fellow strugglers Hull and Palace picking up points in midweek. Palace secured three points for the first time since Sam Allardyce (above) took over when winning 2-0 at slumping Bournemouth. The Black Cats have won on their last two trips to Selhurst Park and the side playing at home has won just one of the last eight meetings. Palace are leaky, Sunderland are capable of snatching a point, but the odds suggest they won’t.

VERDICT: CRYSTAL PALACE 2 SUNDERLAND 1 @ 15/2

BEST BET: HT/FT = DRAW/CRYSTAL PALACE @ 10/3

Eddie HOWE

EVERTON v BOURNEMOUTH

Saturday 3pm

Things have gone from bad to worse for Bournemouth (4/1), with striker Callum Wilson suffering a serious knee injury. The Cherries have shipped three goals in nine of their last 14 games and conceded twice against Watford and Crystal Palace in the two outings, so it is easy to see where the problem lies. This is a critical stage of the season for the likeable Eddie Howe (above) and they have taken a big step back since beating Liverpool 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium. Everton (8/11) were a little fortunate to win 1-0 at Crystal Palace and a 1-1 draw at Stoke in midweek was commendable. Seventh in the table and one home defeat says all we need to know. It won’t be long before the players go on their holidays, as they have little to play for except mid-table jostling, but for now, the form team are a short price for a reason. We’ll take an odd result here, though. Just because.

VERDICT: EVERTON 2 BOURNEMOUTH 2 @ 14/1

BEST BET: BOTH TEAMS SCORE @ 8/11

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HULL v LIVERPOOL

Saturday 3pm

It must come as a relief to Jurgen Klopp’s (above) men to play away from Anfield, where Liverpool (4/9) have lost three of their last four in all competitions, a run only halted by a gritty 1-1 draw with Chelsea in midweek. Then again, Hull (13/2) have won two of the last three meetings at home with Liverpool, drawing the other. The last time the Reds won on Humberside was in April 2009 – and that was when Hull had a player sent off with the score at 1-1 (they went on to lose 3-1). Liverpool are out to 16/1 for the title and we don’t think they will get close to Chelsea (who are as big as 3/10 in that market with MCB, when 1/5 elsewhere). Three of Hull’s four wins have come at home and Liverpool have only lost twice on the road. We can see Klopp’s inconsistent side putting on a rare show of strength to grind out a win.

VERDICT: HULL 0 LIVERPOOL 2 @ 11/2

BEST BET: LIVERPOOL TO WIN @ 4/9

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SOUTHAMPTON v WEST HAM

Saturday 3pm

Somewhere it is written in tablets of stone that West Ham (15/4) shall not win on the South coast. They win at Southampton (3/4) as often as Andy Carroll is fit – or once in a blue moon. In fact, they have not won at St Mary’s since 2000 and those looking for an historical banker bet may wish to consider this. Four wins in 32 trips. That’s the size of it. Southampton have won the last two meetings, but you have to go back to 1998 to see a run of three successive wins against the Hammers. There have been five draws in the last 11 meetings and given their in-and-out form, a point is probably all Slaven Bilic’s men will be able to muster. However, given their 4-0 home drubbing by Manchester City in midweek, we see the Saints edging this.

VERDICT: SOUTHAMPTON 3 WEST HAM 1 @ 14/1

BEST BET: SOUTHAMPTON TO WIN @ 3/4

Everton v Watford - Premier League

WATFORD v BURNLEY

Saturday 3pm

Let’s just say it probably won’t be the first game we see on Match of the Day. Unless it finishes 5-5, but even then we’d bet against it. This game is as fashionable as your local charity shop sale rail. Yet these two sides have one thing in common – they do try and play attractive football. Five of the last seven meetings have been drawn. It is all about survival for these minnows, possibly more so in Watford’s case since they sold Ighalo (above) to some unpronounceable Chinese team you have never heard of. No less than 13 of the last 16 meetings has seen both sides score and that’s almost as good a stat as this one that we’ll give you for nothing: The New England Patriots are the visitors in Sunday’s Super Bowl, so they get to call the coin toss. They have called ‘heads’ every time in the last two seasons. Can you tell we are not too bothered about this game? Good. We aren’t.

VERDICT: WATFORD 3 BURNLEY 2 @ 33/1

BEST BET: OVER 2.5 GOALS @ 13/10

MARK HUGHES

WEST BROM v STOKE

Saturday 3pm

Eighth-placed West Brom (5/4) take on nine-placed Stoke (9/4) in a game only a mother could love. West Brom are enjoying a great season under Tony Pulis, while Mark Hughes’ (above) side have been quietly climbing the table without getting too much attention. The Baggies have scored as many goals as Manchester City at home this season, while Stoke’s three wins and three draws from 11 on the road is not too shabby, either. With respective managers who demand discipline, it is no huge surprise that they have shared just one red card between them all season. Neither side is going anywhere, but it is a ‘Derby’, so the intensity should be ramped up a little. Stoke have not won a game in the last four meetings and the last time they went five in a row without getting one over on West Brom was in 1969. A rare home defeat is the call.

VERDICT: WEST BROM 0 STOKE 1 @ 7/1

BEST BET: STOKE TO WIN @ 9/4

Harry Kane

TOTTENHAM v MIDDLESBROUGH

Saturday 5.30pm

The title door was open a jar when Chelsea were held at Liverpool, but as is invariably the case, Tottenham (1/4) fluffed their lines in failing to beat Sunderland, having previously fluked their way past Wycombe in a 4-3 FA Cup thriller – with a goal in the seventh minute of added time. Even our in-house ref, who played 40 minutes in the first half of his Sunday game (because he forgot it was 45 mins) and added it on in the second half, still didn’t play 97-plus minutes. Some of the refereeing in the EPL is bordering on shambolic. We digress. Tottenham still have the most realistic shot of catching Chelsea, even if they have played below-par in the last couple of weeks. At Sunderland they had one shot in the first half but were better after the break, yet they failed to close the nine-point gap. One of Boro’s (11/1) more creative players Gaston Ramirez has a knee injury and with the want-away midfielder seemingly unhappy, you have to wonder what the mood in the camp is, particularly since they are embroiled in a relegation dogfight. They have collected just three points form their last six games and a trip to a Spurs side keen to put matters right won’t be pretty. No doubt Harry Kane (above) will get on the scoresheet if he plays, but we go for the HT/FT Spurs win instead as our best bet.

VERDICT: TOTTENHAM 4 MIDDLESBROUGH 0

BEST BET: HT/FT = TOTTENHAM/TOTTENHAM @ 4/5

aguero

MAN CITY v SWANSEA

Sunday 1.30pm

A touch of normalcy returned to the sky blue half of Manchester in midweek. A trip to West Ham is as great a tonic as seeing near neighbours United held to a goalless draw with Hull. City’s (1/5) goal difference summarily boosted, they welcome a Swansea (12/1) side that have never managed to take a point on any of the last seven trips to City. And the hosts have a bloke called Jesus playing for them now. Life can be a bit cruel sometimes.

VERDICT: MAN CITY 3 SWANSEA 0 @ 6/1

BEST BET: HT/FT = MAN CITY/MAN CITY @ 4/6

Wayne Rooney1

LEICESTER v MAN UTD

Sunday 4pm

They said Leicester (9/2) could never win the title – until they did. They said a title winner could never be relegated the following season… The sad fact is, one player can, indeed make a team. The loss of Ngolo Kante to Chelsea has produced some horrifying results. Leicester simply don’t do the basis well any more. Kante closed space, harried opponents and gave his teammates time. They defended from the front. They can’t even defend at the back, now. It isn’t difficult. It is basic hard work. But when you are paid that much, why work for it? And that’s the problem with Premier League football. Too much money. Too much lethargy. Or that is the simplistic view, in any case. We could go on about how to defend between the lines etc, but sometimes it really is teaching you lot to suck eggs. You’ve got the talking TV heads for that. United (4/6) have been mid-table ordinary but rarely lose here and have failed to score just once in their last 12 visits. Wayne Rooney (above) is always a viable bet to score at any time but we go for Over 2.5 Goals as our best bet.

VERDICT: LEICESTER 0 MAN UTD 3 @ 10/1

BEST BET: OVER 2.5 GOALS @ 21/20

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Horse racing Lucky 15 – Sunday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will provide you with a preview of the day’s racing, offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British and Irish meetings on Sunday, July 17, 2016.

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LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

LUCIDA (Curragh 4.15) is the class act in a highly competitive renewal of the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes, a 1m1f contest for fillies and mares. She has lost her way a bit since landing the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket in September 2014. However, all but two of her subsequent seven runs have been in Group 1 company. Her best runs have come on quicker ground and she has run on Yielding or soft ground on her last three runs. Jim Bolger’s four-year-old was upped in trip to 10f for the first time last time here for the Irish Pretty Polly but was well held by Minding and we did not learn much, as the ground was against her. It is hard to gauge whether she truly got this trip, but he drops back to 1m1f and at least will hopefully get ground officially described as Good.

INVOCATION (Newton Abbot 2.05) does not have a great deal of experience, having had just five runs on the level (when rated 77) before producing a fair first run over hurdles for Alan King, when beaten 5½l by Jazzy over 2m½f at Stratford. While he was half a length behind the re-opposing Schoolboy Error, the feeling is the selection will have a little more scope for improvement and this juvenile hurdle over a similar trip won’t take a great deal of winning.

TIME IS MONEY (Stratford 3.55) represents Emma Lavelle, who sends a strong team to the Warwickshire venue. The seven-year-old underwent a significant leap in form when scoring in an extended 2m4f mares’ maiden hurdle at Southwell after a two-month break. She had previously ran down the field in two novice hurdles, but had won a Wincanton bumper on her debut last year. Decent ground is key for this seven-year-old daughter of Presenting and Emma’s form is in great heart following the recent move to spectacular new premises at Ogbourne Maizey. The selection makes her debut in a handicap off a mark of 112, which seems a little high for what she has achieved, but she rates a value play in the 2m6f event.

INGLEBY HOLLOW (Redcar 5.50) bids for a hat-trick, having scored at Ayr (1m5f, soft) and at Thirsk (2m, good) with cheekpieces seemingly working the oracle for the David O’Meara-trained four-year-old. He is a big, scopey individual who did well to back-up so quickly after his exertions in bad ground and while shouldering a double penalty today, he may well defy it in a competitive 0-70 1m6f apprentices’ handicap for which he is 6lb well in, given his rider’s claim.

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OTHER SELECTIONS

CURRAGH: 2.00 Canberra Cliffs, 2.35 Istan, 3.05 Flight Risk, 3.40 Rayisa, 4.15 LUCIDA (NAP), 4.50 Glamorous Approach, 5.25 Surprisingly, 5.55 Hard Times

NEWTON ABBOT: 2.05 Invocation (nb), 2.40 As You Like, 3.10 Gabrial The Great, 3.45 Sheer Poetry, 4.20 Ruddy Article, 4.55 Kentford Myth, 5.30 Crazy Train

REDCAR: 1.55 Poet’s Charm, 2.30 Spirit Of The Sea, 3.00 Grandest, 3.35 Roaring Rory, 4.10 Our Boy Jack, 4.45 Explain, 5.20 Barwah, 5.50 Ingleby Hollow

STRATFORD: 2.15 Kudu County, 2.50 Tahira, 3.20 Set List, 3.55 Time Is Money, 4.30 Presenting Streak, 5.05 Marley Joe, 5.40 Vendredi Trois, 6.10 Oscar Rose

TIPPERARY: 2.20 Killarney Lakes, 2.55 Steamboat Bill, 3.25 Lettermacaward, 4.00 King Leon, 4.35 Show And Go, 5.10 Samanntom, 5.45 Black Ace

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If you are not affiliated to a club, you can bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood, World Horse Welfare and StreetGames.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Thursday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will provide you with a preview of the day’s racing, offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British and Irish meetings on Thursday, July 14, 2016.

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LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

WHIRL ME ROUND (Hamilton Park 2.00) was a little unfortunate not to get off to a winning start when beaten at Beverley by fellow newcomer Naples Bay. Kevin Ryan’s representative had a few with experience in behind and the form of that debut looks solid, as the pair drew a little way clear of the remainder. That was over 5f in soft ground and the good ground today should be ideal. He has plenty of speed in his pedigree (dam is a half-sister to Nunthorpe winner La Cucaracha among others) and should get off the mark in a race won last year by the smart sprinter and last week’s July Cup third Quiet Reflection.

CLEF (Doncaster 6.35) won a Beverley 5f maiden on her second start, accounting for subsequent winner Lonely The Brave, with the third home, Jeanie, somewhat franking the form yesterday when second at Catterick to a smart filly in Queen Kindly. This daughter of top-class juvenile Dutch Art and Group 3 winner Humouresque goes up in trip to a more suitable 6f today and Richard Fahey’s runner, ridden by Paul Hanagan, would appear to hold a fair chance of following up off a mark of 73 in the fillies’ nursery.

TOFFEE APPLE (Hamilton Park 5.15) won at Hamilton over a mile on Saturday and won again under a 6lb penalty at Beverley on Tuesday when upped in trip to 1m2f. She bids for a quick hat-trick under an extra 6lb penalty, so races off a mark of 57. She had to work hard for her latest success and it may be that she is better on softer ground. However, dropping back in trip to an extended mile and carrying bottom weight, while not necessarily negating fears of being able to back up so quickly, Keith Dalgliesh’s filly is worth sticking with.

MISS RANGER (Chepstow 5.25) landed a Doncaster fillies’ handicap on her penultimate start and upped 3lb, went close last time at Pontefract off today’s mark of 68. She did not have the cleanest run, coming wide and late to get within a length of Azzir, but there is no doubt Brian Ellison’s four-year-old is on good terms with herself at present and she should be competitive again in the 1m2f handicap under her regular pilot Callum Shepherd, who claims 5lb.

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OTHER SELECTIONS

CHEPSTOW: 2.10 Mission Authorized, 2.40 Feed The Goater, 3.15 Gulland Rock, 3.45 Ocean Bentley, 4.15 Layla’s Hero, 4.50 Triple Dream, 5.25 Miss Ranger, 5.55 Mexican Mick

HAMILTON PARK: 2.00 WHIRL ME ROUND (NAP), 2.30 Tinsill, 3.05 Run Rio Run, 3.35 Faithful Mount, 4.05 Muhaafiz, 4.40 Haraz, 5.15 Toffee Apple

LEICESTER: 1.50 Hedging, 2.20 Smirnova, 2.50 On The Bill, 3.25 Honeysuckle Lil, 3.55 Great Order, 4.25 Theydon Bois, 5.00 Consistent

DONCASTER: 6.00 Hit The Lights, 6.35 Clef (nb), 7.05 Blue Point, 7.35 Naifah, 8.10 Commodore, 8.40 Goodwood Mirage, 9.10 Cacica

EPSOM DOWNS: 6.10 Dubawi Light, 6.45 Alyssa, 7.15 Bear Valley, 7.50 Arnold Lane, 8.20 Rosy Morning, 8.50 Dawn Mirage

KILLARNEY: 2.25 Penhill, 2.55 Icelip, 3.30 Ancient Sands, 4.00 Sizing Alberta, 4.30 The Plan Man, 5.05 Galboystown Lady, 5.35 General Trickery

LEOPARDSTOWN: 5.50 Sportsmanship, 6.25 Slaney Street, 6.55 Seville Star, 7.25 Sufoof, 8.00 Tennessee Wildcat, 8.30 Arya Tara, 9.00 Settle For Red

Get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.

Feeling-Lucky_B4C_1024x512 (2)

If you are not affiliated to a club, you can bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood, World Horse Welfare and StreetGames.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Wednesday’s top picks

Each day Bet4Causes will provide you with a preview of the day’s racing, offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British and Irish meetings on Wednesday, June 1, 2016…

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LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

FRANK N FAIR (Fontwell 3.10) took a couple of Class 5 handicap hurdles in April, here and at Plumpton, so is bidding for a hat-trick off a 7lb higher mark than when scoring over 3m1f last time. Zoe Davidson’s representative would have to record a career-best to win this 3m1½f handicap, but the eight-year-old meets a couple of rivals who are either out of form, or look handicapped to their best. A bold bid can be expected.

BUTNEY ISLAND (Fontwell 2.10) is not easy to catch right, but he showed some ability in a novice hurdle at Plumpton before popping up to score in a 2m 2 ½ f maiden hurdle at Newton Abbot last time. The quicker ground appeared to suit Nick Mitchells’ six-year-old, who travelled well in a weak race to score by 16 lengths. As long as yesterday’s rain has not eased the going too much, the selection looks well up to the task of landing the opening 2m5½f novices’ hurdle.

NORMADIE LADY (Nottingham 3.00) may not have beaten a lot at Catterick in a 7f fillies’ maiden on her last start in April, but she stayed on really well, duly delivering on the promise she had shown on her debut at Wolverhampton when fourth to a subsequent winner. She scored with a bit in hand at Catterick and gets into today’s extended 1m fillies’ handicap off what may well be a workable mark of 73. This is a tougher race, however, but Richard Fahey’s string may well have started to turn the corner in the last few days after a barren spell.

MISTIME (Chelmsford 6.10) makes his third start for Mark Johnstone, having finished a similar distance behind the winners of two 5f novices’ events at York and Bath a week apart last month. She showed plenty of promise on each occasion, coming from off the pace at Bath to get within 4½l of the well-bred Battaash. While she is bred for further, her form in defeat stacks up well against a couple of rivals who have won previously and she receives weight from those rivals in tonight’s 5f novices’ event. It could make the difference.

OTHER SELECTIONS

CARTMEL: 2.20 Taylor, 2.50 Tullyglush, 3.20 Endeavor, 3.50 Tradewinds, 4.20 Railway Dillon, 4.50 Sirpertan, 5.20 Cape Caster

FONTWELL: 2.10 Butney Island (nb), 2.40 Easy Street, 3.10 FRANK N FAIR (NAP), 3.40 King Of Milan, 4.10 Amber Flush, 4.40 Flaming Gorge

NOTTINGHAM: 2.00 Bletchley, 2.30 Darma, 3.00 Normandie Lady, 3.30 You’re Fired, 4.00 Intimation, 4.30 Scarpeta, 5.00 Ifan

CHELMSFORD: 6.10 Mistime, 6.40 Bowson Fred, 7.10 Vibrant Chords, 7.40 Persuasive, 8.10 Jabbaar, 8.40 Patriotic, 9.10 Unex Modigliani

RIPON: 6.30 Flawlessly, 7.00 Briyouni, 7.30 Flowing Clarets, 8.00 Red Pike, 8.30 Initially, 9.00 Stormin Tom

PUNCHESTOWN: 5.50 Sizing Platinum, 6.20 First Lieutenant, 6.50 Drumhart, 7.20 Ekbaal, 7.50 Asthuria, 8.20 Ancient Sands, 8.50 Robin De Roost

Get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.

Feeling-Lucky_B4C_1024x512 (2)

If you are not affiliated to a club, you can bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood, World Horse Welfare and StreetGames.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Friday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will provide you with a preview of the day’s racing, offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

The tipsters have been on fire this week, with Wednesday winners priced at 20/1, 14/1 and 4/1 at Wetherby, while at Chelmsford they gave winners at odds of 7/1, 5/4 and 6/5. On Thursday, they successfully gave you 6/4, 7/1, 2/1 and 10/3 winners at Uttoxeter.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British and Irish meetings on Friday, May 6, 2016…

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LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

COOK ISLANDS (Chester 2.40) can continue Aidan O’Brien’s good form with a win in the Dee Stakes. A big, green baby last year, he won a mile maiden at Navan in October, looking for all the world like a step up in trip was required. Quite what he beat is open to question, although a couple in behind have won since. He made his seasonal bow at Leopardstown last month, but was well beaten by Harzand, with the heavy ground and a lack of fitness against him. If prepared to forgive that run, he holds a fair chance against a less-than-stellar bunch in a weak renewal of this 1m2f Listed contest.

ENCORE D’OR (Lingfield 3.00) was a winner for Jim Crowley (read his Yahoo Sport UK/Racing Plus column on Saturday) over 5f at Wolverhampton last month and while he got home by half a length, he travelled supremely well. Formerly with Ralph Beckett, he is now with Robert Cowell who has given him a King’s Stand entry, which shows the esteem in which the Oasis Dream four-year-old is held. Martin Harley takes the ride today and he should take some beating in the 5f handicap.

TABARRAK (Ascot 7.40) justified odds-on favouritism in ground that was plenty deep enough for him over 7f at Newbury last September. Though beaten over 6f a couple of weeks later, he looked as though he had matured physically over the winter when chasing home Thikriyaat at Newmarket on his seasonal debut last month. He was in front most of the way and almost held on. Richard Hannon’s representative will be worth following this summer, regardless of whether he wins the 7f handicap or not tonight.

LITTLE AVON (Nottingham 7.20) has had just the one run, making a winning debut at Leicester last October. There isn’t much of Ralph Beckett’s filly but she has a very willing attitude and that 1m½f maiden has not worked out too badly. A half-sister to Group-placed juvenile Swizzler, she is the value pick in this extended 1m fillies’ handicap against a likely warm order in Shufoog, who is also making her seasonal debut.

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OTHER SELECTIONS

CHESTER: 2.10 Bold Prediction, 2.40 COOK ISLANDS (NAP), 3.10 Dartmouth, 3.45 Mont Kiara, 4.20 Deauville Prince, 4.50 Angelic Guest, 5.20 Graceland

LINGFIELD: 1.30 Sherdat, 2.00 Slovak, 2.30 Ice Age, 3.00 Encore d’Or (nb), 3.35 Cinders, 4.05 Frenchman, 4.40 Caledonia Laird

MARKET RASEN: 1.50 Ballycamp, 2.20 Eminent Poet, 2.50 Trespassers Will, 3.25 For Good Measure, 3.55 Three Colours Red, 4.30 Cloudy Bob, 5.00 Flying Solo

ASCOT: 5.30 Shades Of Silver, 6.00 Romantic View, 6.30 Abingdon, 7.05 Muir Lodge, 7.40 Tabarrak, 8.10 Taurean Star

NOTTINGHAM: 5.10 Rapacity Alexandrer, 5.40 Point Of View, 6.10 Pietrafiore, 6.45 Cornborough, 7.20 Little Avon, 7.50 Shadow Spirit, 8.20 Goadby

RIPON: 5.50 Katrine, 6.20 Italian Beauty, 6.55 Explain, 7.30 Salman Sushi, 8.00 Wishing Well, 8.30 Thankyou Stars

CORK: 5.05 Island Remede, 5.35 Lofgren, 6.05 Making Shapes, 6.35 Seeyouallincoppers, 7.10 Emily Ana, 7.45 De Waluigi, 8.15 Definite Winner

DOWNPATRICK: 5.20 Henry Howard, 5.55 More Than Ever, 6.25 Halls Bridge, 7.00 Ben Button, 7.35 One Cool Clarkson, 8.05 Kilna Shane, 8.35 River Dun

Get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.

Feeling-Lucky_B4C_1024x512 (2)

If you are not affiliated to a club, you can bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood, World Horse Welfare and StreetGames.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

RACING LUCKY 15 – SATURDAY’S TOP TIPS

While the Cheltenham Festival was thrilling, the build-up begins in earnest towards Aintree’s Grand National meeting, with Uttoxeter staging the Midlands National this afternoon. In total, there are five British cards and one Irish meeting.

Here is the preview of the big race, complete with all Saturday’s selections and our idea of a Lucky 15 (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold).

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RACE OF THE DAY: MIDLANDS GRAND NATIONAL

4.10 UTTOXETER (4m, 1f 92y) 

FORECAST: Sizing Coal (7/1), Milansbar (15/2), Cogry (8/1), Fourovakind (8/1), Berea Boru (11/1), Firebird Flyer (12/1), Spookydooky (12/1), Cultram Abbey (14/1), Katkeau (14/1), Shotgun Paddy (14/1), Count Guido Deiro (16/1), Golden Chieftain (16/1), No Planning (16/1), Subtle Grey (16/1), Woodford County (16/1), Courtown Oscar (20/1), Mad Brian (20/1), Red Devil Lads (20/1), Rigadin De Beauchene (20/1), Standing Ovation (20/1), Bob Ford (25/1), Summery Justice (25/1)

ANALYSIS: Sizing Coal has won just one of his five chases to date – that coming in a novice event at Navan 14 months ago. However, Jim Dreaper’s eight-year-old is fast developing into one of Ireland’s top staying chasers and signed off last season with a fine third in the Irish Grand National. Though pulled up on his seasonal return last May, he made an encouraging return from 10 months off at Navan last month, when staying on well behind Jury Duty and Go Darsi Go in a handicap hurdle. An Irish National return looks on the cards, but this may be the softer option.

Cogry, who hails from the in-form Nigel Twiston-Davies stable, was favourite for the Welsh National at Chepstow, but sensibly pulled up before the final lap. He hated the heavy ground and ran a fine third to Tarquin Di Seuil at Warwick subsequently. He should be a different proposition this afternoon.

Milansbar had plenty of use made of him on his handicap chasing debut at Exeter and he won with ease. Neil King’s runner is a nine-year-old but relatively inexperienced. He has been upped 8lb for that win but is capable of taking it in his stride.

KatKeau heads the weights and hails from the David Pipe stable that landed this four years running from 2011. He won a beginners’ Chase at Fakenham in November and a competitive 3m handicap at Ludlow in December (Red Devil Lads second), before not travelling well when beaten favourite over an inadequate 2m3f at Wetherby last time. This is much more his trip.

The yard also run Standing Ovation, who has a bit to find on his distant third to Forgotten Gold at Wincanton when last seen in October. He was well fancied for the Topham at Aintree last year and that may be the aim again.

Borea Boru has win his last two starts – at Chepstow and at Ffos Las – and any overnight rain would help as his wins have all come on heavy ground. He is an improving type though.

Firebird Flyer produced a career best when second to Mountainous in bottomless ground in the Welsh National, with SHOTGUN PADDY 11 lengths back in third and Woodford County fifth.

That form looks informative as the selection has since run a fine second in the 4m Eider Chase at Newcastle and his trainer, Emma Lavelle, says he has come out of the race in fine shape and a bold bid is expected.

Woodford County since blotted his copybook with a relatively disappointing sixth. He is better than that and is still at the right end of the weights.

WINNER: SHOTGUN PADDY

EACH-WAY: KATKEAU

LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

TAGRITA (Fontwell 3.10) is on a hat-trick, having won two handicap hurdles at Wincanton with relative ease, the later coming off a 6lb higher mark. She is up another 7lb today and that will make life more difficult, but she looks progressive and may handle that extra weight.

VENDREDI TROIS (Kempton 5.00) was progressive over hurdles and made a pleasing debut over fences at Taunton when last seen in November, landing a modest nine-runner affair with a bit to spare. He has needed time to fill out his frame but has improved physically and his astute trainer, Emma Lavelle, has been waiting for the right ground conditions for him.  He should go well in a 3m handicap.

TANIT RVER (Fontwell 4.55) went up 9lb for winning an extended 2m3f handicap hurdle at Bangor 17 days ago, beating Quincy Des Pictons by 12 lengths. That was in heavy ground but he has been in prime form at home, according to Tim Vaughan and the weight rise may not anchor him in what looks a relatively uncompetitive 13-runner handicap.

OSCAR LATEEN (Newcastle 2.50) was up 4lb for finishing runner-up at Musselburgh when contesting a five-runner 2m5½f handicap chase at Kelso last week. He attempted to make all the running but was too keen in front in first-time blinkers and did not last home. The blinkers are retained, so connections obviously think they will work this time.

OTHER SELECTIONS:

FONTWELL: 2.00 Mystic Sky, 2.35 Edlomond, 3.10 Tagrita, 3.45 Flight Commander, 4.20 Wilberdragon, 4.55 Tanit River, 5.30 Tikkapick

KEMPTON PARK: 2.05 Authorized Too, 2.40 Notnowsam, 3.15 A Hare Breath, 3.50 Cernunnos, 4.25 Crimson Ark, 5.00 Vendredi Trois, 5.35 Thomas Shelby

NEWCASTLE: 2.15 Always Resolute, 2.50 Oscar Lateen, 3.25 Nuts Well, 4.00 Touch Back, 4.35 Castlelawn, 5.10 Redkalani, 5.45 Mister Hendrie

UTTOXETER: 1.50 Ballyoptic, 2.25 Fort Carson, 3.00 Blameitonmyroots, 3.35 Rollin Dylan, 4.10 Shotgun Paddy, 4.45 One For The Boss, 5.20 Amber Flush, 5.55 Black Mischief

WOLVERHAMPTON: 6.15 Twaakkol, 6.45 Sheila’s Buddy, 7.15 My Mo, 7.45 Three Gracez, 8.10 Astra Hall, 8.45 Multi Quest

GOWRAN PARK: 2.10 Mustadaam, 2.45 Paper Lantern, 3.20 Black Zero, 3.55 Fu’s Island, 4.30 Whisper Rock, 5.05 Garrai Phaidin, 5.40 Grotesque

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Cheltenham Festival 2016 preview – Day Four: Friday’s top tips

It is the greatest racing Festival around and  Bet4Causes provides you with some fabulous special offers for Cheltenham today, including:

Faller at the Last Cash Back

Beaten Less than a Length Cash Back

There are many more, so take a look at the comprehensive Cheltenham Specials markets and check out the value.

Cheltenham Specials

Not only does Bet4Causes come complete with an extensive suite of horseracing markets, we try to provide a few winners as well!

Each day we will be providing you with a preview of the day’s racing, offering what our experts feel will be the value bets of the day. Here is the preview for the final day of the Cheltenham Festival…

Stands-Cheltenham1 (1)

1.30 JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE (GRADE 1)

2m 179y

FORECAST: Ivanovich Gorbatov (4/1), Zubayr (9/2), Sceau Royal (6/1), Footpad (8/1), Connetable (10/1), Who Dares Wins (10/1), Let’s Dance (12/1), Clan Des Obeaux (14/1), Tommy Silver (14/1), Apple’s Jade (16/1), Frodon (16/1), Gibralfaro (16/1), Leoncavallo (20/1), Consul De Thaix (25/1), Big McIntosh (100/1)

ANALYSIS: Alan King is a master at training juvenile hurdlers and he relies on Sceau Royal, Gibralfaro and Who Dares Wins. The former has won on four of his first five British starts (although was demoted to second in his debut at Chepstow) and had his colours lowered by Leoncavallo at Wetherby after that. His last three runs have all been winning efforts and he had the measure of Adrien Du Pont in a trial here in December (Leoncavallo unseated).

Gibralfaro won his first two starts for King before finding Zubayr too good at Kempton. It was a disappointing run, despite conceding weight.

Zubayr is trained by Paul Nicholls, who sees him as a similar performer to the stable’s Zarkandar, who won this in 2001. He looks to hold a big chance.

Who Dares Wins is 2-3 over hurdles, having got bogged down in the mud here in January, conceding weight all round. Drying ground is in his favour. Clan Des Obeaux, who sports a first-time hood today, was a couple of lengths in front of him but is weighted to have that form reversed.

Connetable was beaten by Gibralfaro at Ascot but beat subsequent scorer Rayvin Black at Sandown in soft ground and that form looks solid.

IVANOVICH GORBATOV was similarly bogged down when beaten by Footpad in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown last month but Aidan O’Brien’s runner should be able to reverse that on this faster surface. He accounted for Let’s Dance on his debut and the son of Montjeu may have the turn of foot required to land this for the Irish.

Since Willie Mullins won the Triumph with Scolardy in 2002, he has had just one placed runner in 15 attempts, so the stats are against Let’s Dance and Apple’s Jade.

WINNER: IVANOVICH GORBATOV

EACH-WAY: SCEAU ROYAL

County Hurdle

2.10 VINCENT O’BRIEN COUNTY HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE 3)

2m 179y

FORECAST: Blue Hell (13/2), Great Field (7/1), Superb Story (8/1), All Yours (10/1), Henry Higgins (12/1), John Constable (12/1), Modus (12/1), Starchitect (12/1), Wait For Me (12/1), Cardinal Walter (16/1), Dicosimo (16/1), Sternrubin (16/1), Mad Jack Mytton (20/1), Montbazon (20/1), Some Plan (20/1), Cheltenian (25/1), Devilment (25/1), Fethard Player (25/1), Sizing Tennessee (25/1), Bentelimar (33/1), Draco (33/1), Francis Of Assisi (33/1), Hawk High (33/1), Ivan Grozny (33/1), Kayf Blanco (33/1), Zamdy Man (33/1)

ANALYSIS: The last 10 winners were rated between 131 and 139 and eight of the last 11 winners carried more than 10-11. Traditionally a poor race for favourites, Irish-trained horses have won the last seven renewals, with Willie Mullins has saddling three of the last five winners.

The ground has come for Starchitect, who was fourth in this race last year. He was a fair second on his comeback at Newbury in February on his debut for David Pipe in a decent heat (Modus hampered when the inexperienced Dicosimo fell) and should not be far away. Montbazon, who was having his season debut in that race, was third in this two years ago and fourth in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock. He is well treated on that old form.

JOHN CONSTABLE, who is still a colt, was second on his return following a 234-day lay-off in the Gerry Fielden at Newbury. He was rated 92 on the Flat and is a brother to St Leger winner Leading Light. He is inexperienced but open to plenty of progression.

Superb Story was second to Old Guard in the Greatwood and should benefit enormously from this drying ground. He looks fairly well treated, too.

Kempton winner Wait For Me and easy Leopardstown scorer Great Field are others to consider.

WINNER: JOHN CONSTABLE

EACH-WAY: SUPERB STORY 

Shantou Village
Shantou Village: Good chance

2.50 ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE 1)

2m 7f 213y

FORECAST: Barters Hill (11/4), Shantou Village (4/1), Gangster (6/1), Bleu Et Rouge (8/1), Long Dog (8/1), Unowhatimeanharry (12/1), Up For Review (12/1), Bachasson (16/1), Balko Des Flos (16/1), Open Eagle (20/1), Aurillac (25/1), Champers On Ice (25/1), Allysson Monterg (33/1), Definite Outcome (33/1), Fagan (33/1), Jonniesofa (33/1), Solstice Star (50/1), Atlantic Gold (66/1), Hit The Highway (66/1), West Approach (100/1)

ANALYSIS: Six of the last 10 winners of this race have come from the first four in the betting and eight of the last 11 winners had an official rating of 139 or higher. Nine of the last 11 winners had finished in the first two on their last run.

SHANTOU VILLAGE won a Grade 2 here by 15 lengths in November and came up against the smart Yanworth in the Classic Novices’ Hurdle here last time. Though he went down by seven lengths, Neil Mulholland’s runner would not have relished the heavy ground, but the race was run at a sound gallop and the expected conditions will play to his strengths. He holds Champers On Ice on previous Cheltenham form.

Barters Hill is rated 4lb superior on official figures and will be out to extend an unbeaten record to eight starts. He has won three over hurdles, including the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle here in December and the River Don at Doncaster last time, making all the running. There is plenty to recommend him. Willie Mullins saddles seven runners including Gangster, who scored in pattern company at Fairyhouse in December, and Long Dog, who has only been beaten once in eight starts. He takes a step up in trip today and is sure to find this a much tougher assignment.

Blue Et Rouge had the useful Tombstone behind when taking the Deloitte Novices’ Hurdle at Leopardstown over 2m3f last month, with well-backed stablemate Bellshill in third. That is smart form and his pedigree suggests he will stay the trip, which he tries for the first time.

WINNER: SHANTOU VILLAGE

EACH-WAY: BLUE ET ROUGE

Coneygree
Reigning Champion: Coneygree

3.30 CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP
(GRADE 1)

3m 2f 70y

FORECAST: Don Cossack (11/4), Djakadam (10/3), Cue Card (7/2), Don Poli (4/1), Smad Place (8/1), Road To Riches (12/1), Carlingford Lough (16/1), O’Faolains Boy (50/1), On His Own (66/1), Irish Cavalier (100/1)

ANALYSIS: Last year, Coneygree became the first novice since Captain Christy in 1974 to win the Gold Cup but he is not in the line-up to defend his title. Kauto Star is the only horse to regain the Gold Cup (2007 and 2009). In addition to Kauto Star, six others have won the race twice or more. The longest-priced winner was Norton’s Coin, who started at 100/1 in 1990.

Six of the last nine winners came from the first two in the betting. The last 15 winners had been successful at Grade 1 level and nine of the last 12 winners had an official rating of 166 or more.

This looks a strong renewal despite the defection of Vautour to the Ryanair Chase (which he won) and Coneygree. Willie Mullins holds two aces in DJAKADAM and Don Poli, while Don Cossack, a faller in the King George, and the subsequent winner Cue Card give this an open feel. The two Dons are owned by Gigginstown Stud and Bryan Cooper has elected to ride Don Cossack, who will enjoy better ground than he got at Kempton in December. He was closing on the leader two out when falling. He had a confidence-boosting win at Thurles since and the Punchestown Gold Cup hero has been strongly supported with better ground in his favour.

Cue Card went on to land the King George, with Smad Place fourth and Irish Cavalier fifth. Colin Tizzard’s 10yo would be a popular winner but there are some concerns that he was emptying over the 3m at Kempton and while the drying ground is sure to help, does he truly stay this extra two furlongs? He is a front-runner, so could set his own fractions, but is likely to get taken on.

Don Poli is a resolute galloper who outlasted First Leiutenant in the Lexus Chase. He stays all day but may just not have that touch of class possessed by his rivals.

Djakadam was beaten a length and a half by Coneygree in this last year and then held by Don Cossack at Punchestown. He took the John Durkan in style though, and the issue with him is that he has fallen twice in three starts round here, including last time in the Costwold Chase.

On His Own and Carlingford Lough appear held by Don Poli on Lexus form.

WINNER: DJAKADAM

EACH-WAY: SMAD PLACE

Pendleton
Inexperienced: Victoria Pendleton

4.10 FOXHUNTER CHASE
CHALLENGE CUP

3m 2f 70y

FORECAST: On The Fringe (11/4), Paint The Clouds (6/1), Marito (7/1), Mendip Express (7/1), Aupcharlie (8/1), It Came To Pass (12/1), Pacha Du Polder (14/1), Current Event (16/1), Mr Mercurial (16/1), Dark Lover (20/1), Twirling Magnet (20/1), Chapoturgeon (25/1), Current Exchange (25/1), Impact Area (25/1), Major Malarkey (25/1), Alskamatic (33/1), Camden (33/1), Indiana Bay (33/1), Need To Know (33/1), Richmond (33/1), Brackloon High (50/1), Cave Hunter (50/1), Pena Dorada (50/1), Temple Grandin (100/1)

ANALYSIS: The focus of attention will be on former Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who rides Pacha Du Polder, but while the horse is good enough, the rider surely lacks the experience for a race of this nature against Britain and Ireland’s top amateur riders. She will do very well to get round.

On The Fringe heads the market and beat Pacha Du Polder in the Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree last season, having taken this race 12 months ago. The 11-year-old may be vulnerable to a few younger rivals, however.

PAINT THE CLOUDS was favourite last year but was only third. He still had Alskamatic, Current Event and Brackloon High in behind. His recent win at Doncaster told us nothing other than he is a consistent performer in these races.

Aupcharlie gets the assistance of Jamie Codd, one of the leading amateurs, and he beat the odds-on Marito at Oldtown last month. This longer trip should bring out the best in Marito though, and it would not be a surprise to see the tables turned.

It Came To Pass ran well behind You Know Me at Leopardstown but he lacks a little experience and is the youngest in the field at the age of six.

WINNER: PAINT THE CLOUDS

EACH-WAY: CURRENT EVENT

Gordon Elliott.jpg
Top trainer: Gordon Elliott

4.50 MARTIN PIPE CONDITIONAL
JOCKEYS’ HANDICAP HURDLE

2m 4f 56y

FORECAST: Squouateur (9/2), Qualando (7/1), Jetstream Jack (10/1), Childrens List (12/1), Flying Angel (12/1), Ibis Du Rheu (12/1), Montdragon (12/1), Label Des Obeaux (14/1), Mr Mix (14/1), Westend Star (14/1), Work In Progress (16/1), Zulu Oscar (16/1), Buiseness Sivola (20/1), Laurium (20/1), Nabucco (20/1), Tully East (20/1), Whiteout (20/1), Bivouac (25/1), Goodwood Mirage (25/1), Matorico (25/1), Urano (25/1), Handiwork (33/1), Roadie Joe (33/1), Sky Khan (50/1)

ANALYSIS: Six-year-olds have won four out of the last five runnings and second-season hurdlers have landed all five runnings. No previous winner has raced more than four times in the current season.

Gordon Elliott has a trio of runners and each holds a fair chance. SQUOUATEUR won at Leopardstown on his handicap debut and followed up at Fairyhouse last month, being played late and showing plenty of determination when he did hit the front. He is clearly a smart performer and that was a competitive 2m4f handicap in heavy ground. He will be better for the drying surface. The third home that day, Mall Dini, won here yesterday.

Stablemates Westend Star and Jetstream Jack are also no back numbers. The former was conceding 3lb when beaten narrowly by a decent Mullins horse in Arkwrisht at Clonmel, while Jetstream Jack conceded a penalty in beating Blue Rambler at Musselburgh, idling at the last. He can be marked up a good bit for a narrow win.

Flying Angel landed the Imperial Cup at Sandown on Saturday and has a penalty for his easy win on deep ground. Irish raiders Childrens List, Whiteout and Urano are a little more exposed than some.

Qualando may be 8lb higher than when landing last year’s Fred Winter, but he was not beaten far by Royal Vacation at Taunton last time and holds a fair chance. He is the best of the Paul Nicholls’ trio, with Mr Mix looking like he needs fences now and Ibris Du Rheu rarely finding much in a finish.

WINNER: SQUOUATEUR

EACH-WAY: FLYING ANGEL

Nicky Henderson.jpg
Great record: Nicky Henderson

5.30 JOHNNY HENDERSON GRAND
ANNUAL HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE 3)

FORECAST: Next Sensation (15/2), Velvet Maker (8/1), Dandridge (10/1), Rock The World (10/1), Arthur’s Oak (12/1), Eastlake (12/1), Sizing Codelco (12/1), The Saint James (12/1), Bright New Dawn (14/1), Lough Kent (14/1), Bold Henry (16/1), Croco Bay (16/1), Red Spinner (16/1), Savello (16/1), Chris Pea Green (20/1), Dresden (20/1), Germany Calling (20/1), Pearls Legend (20/1), Dunraven Storm (25/1), Raven’s Tower (25/1), Workbench (25/1), Gardefort (33/1), Solar Impulse (33/1), Surf And Turf (33/1)

ANALYSIS: Seven of the last nine winners were rated between 129 and 134, so traditionally it is tough for those at the top of the handicap, such as Chepstow winner Arthur’s Oak and Clonmel winner Bright New Dawn.

Since the race was renamed in 2004, Nicky Henderson has saddled two winners and seven placed horses. He relies upon LOUGH KENT, who was last seen in November being pulled up in the Jim Joel Trophy at Newbury in soft ground that he hated. He is a speculative selection in a trappy finale.

Next Sensation won this last year and is only 1lb higher, and while largely out of form this season, he likes the track and the drying ground. Runner-up Eastlake is 2lb lower but has lost his verve lately and is passed over.

The Saint James throws in the odd tardy leap but he has an engine and looks potentially well handicapped. Chris Pea Green drops back to the mark he last won off at Plumpton in December 2014 but has a bit to find with Arthur’s Oak on his Sandown run.

Dandridge produced a career best when scoring at Doncaster and the quicker ground may bring forth more improvement. The form looks solid and he should go well from the foot of the weights.

Velvet Maker was beaten twice by top-class Douvan after winning a beginners’ chase at Naas. He is quite well regarded and this represents a drop in class.

The trends say Rock The World has too high a rating to win this but there was much to like about his win here in a three-runner affair back in October and Jessica Harrington’s 8yo may not be far away.

WINNER: LOUGH KENT

EACH-WAY: ROCK THE WORLD

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OTHER MEETINGS

FAKENHAM: 1.55 Changing The Guard (nb), 2.35 Bon Chic, 3.15 Deadly Approach, 3.55 Qasser, 4.35 Wings Attract, 5.10 Larteta

LINGFIELD PARK: 1.15 Ballista, 1.45 Silver Quay, 2.25 MISHWAAR (NAP), 3.05 Esteemable, 3.45 Sunbaked, 4.25 Guapo Boy, 5.05 Templier

WOLVERHAMPTON: 6.10 Mrs Burbidge, 6.40 Let Me In, 7.10 Gabrial The Duke, 7.40 Phoenix Beat, 8.10 Little Indian, 8.40 Foylesideview

DUNDALK: 6.00 Charlies Missile, 6.30 Like A Prayer, 7.00 Ishebayorgrey, 7.30 Zorba The Greek, 8.00 Prove The Point, 8.30 Ringside Humour, 9.00 Locus Standi

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160113_FREE-KIT_TW

If you are not affiliated to a club, you can bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood, World Horse Welfare and StreetGames.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk