Friday, February 10, 2012

Restricted Choice

Pardon, am still in celebratory mood after this fantastic Meydan Thursday meeting. Besides the disappointment of Bold Silvano, every selection was bang on. The calls on Mendip, Spring of Fame (both available at double figures), Kinglet, Mutahadee were as good as expected, while Dubai Prince, Mr Brock and Dark Matter proved rewarding lays as well. The analysis of Meydan form is working wonders since the start of the Carnival and may it continue!

It's also been an eventful last couple of days in football where Capello resigned as England manager at the same time that Harry Redknapp was found non-guilty of his tax evasion charges. Talk about timing. No doubt that Redknapp is the best man for the job. If not him, give it to Martin O'Neill. I would take either one of them. O'Neill is not English, so what? If tomorrow Mourinho expressed interest in the job, all those voicing on the rooftops that "the manager has to be English", would welcome the Portuguese in a flash. Would they rather have Stuart Pearce who's accomplished nothing but who's English? Come on, the manager has to be "preferably" English, but if not, as long as he's been part of English football and understands the players he's working with and he speaks English well (no loss in translation), he should be considered. Stuart Pearce at 6/1 to become England permanent manager, makes me laugh. Well, what has he accomplished? If Mc Laren was a total disaster, then the FA can ponder what kind of failure appointing Pearce would be.

Ok, here's my selections for this week-end's football; Man Utd take on Liverpool, a rivalry which has somewhat lost its lustre for the past years because of the diverging fortunes of both teams. Man Utd have been tops for the past decades, Liverpool have been perennial disappointments year after year. The Red Devils are again gunning for the title, Liverpool are fighting for a 4th place finish. Rooney and Chicharito look to be back in form and I see Man Utd either winning or drawing this. A draw-no-bet on them looks safe, even if Johnny Evans looks set to start.

Newcastle have been admirable this year but they are in for a tough match at Tottenham. Having Harry Redknapp back (at least for the moment until he signs for England), and more importantly worry-free of off-field problems, should boost the players. It's essentially a must-win for them if they are to keep pace with the Manchester teams at the top. I recommend Tottenham as a draw-no-bet as well.

In Spain, Barcelona travel to Osasuna and must go get the 3 points there to realistically have any chance to retain the title this year. I don't think it's a certain deal they will win, but I cannot see them losing either, so I  go draw-no-bet on the Blaugrana. Real Madrid play Levante at the Bernabeu and they should get maximum points from this game. They are a Win.

I also see a Win for Bayern against Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga.

My value punt of the week-end is in racing Stateside where the Group 1 Donn Handicap will be run at Gulfstream Park. The main pretenders are last year's Preakness winner Shackleford and Belmont's winner Ruler on Ice. Word from Shackleford's camp is that the colt is in great form, and definitely the distance will suit. I cannot see him out of the first 3 in this race, so Shackleford looks a safe Place bet.

Win: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich
Draw-no-bet: Man Utd, Tottenham, Barcelona
Place: Shackleford

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