Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic moment

Maybe the greatest spectacle on earth, the Summer Olympics get underway in London. To me, only the World Cup of football garners better prestige and attention. As all Olympics, there will be drama, great stories that will unfold, unsung heroes will come to the fore, and inevitably drug-related scandals will surface. In the end, many moments will be there to be remembered for a lifetime.

The Olympics is not the forte of this blog, but there are some screaming certainties over the week-end that cannot be missed. In tennis, the quadruple of Ferrer/Federer/Djokovic/Del Potro should be winning their first matches and will do a good accumulator. In swimming, Lochte and Phelps should do a 1-2, in any order, in the 400m medley. In basketball, the US men's and women's team should make it a double against France and Croatia. In fact, US should go all the way to gold in both events.

The biggest value lay so far is the GB team in soccer. I don't see them winning gold. In fact, they'll be lucky to win a medal. If I am to border on the sarcastic, the only 3 good things in this team is Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs and Ryan Giggs. Okay, I'm sounding overly negative, but with Stuart Pearce at the helm and the horrible show they've portrayed in the last few games, including a drab 1-1 draw against Senegal, how can one not be despondent on their chances? This is not an event where Brits should have their spirits high on.

Besides the Olympics, it's racing in the US that takes the eye on Sunday with the running of the Haskell. It's gathered a small field of 6, but with 3 main pretenders in Paynter, Gemologist and Dullahan. I favour the first 2 here. Although Dullahan was a fast-finishing third in the Kentucky Derby, he is winless on the dirt and it looks that he looks better on synthetics. Gemologist hasn't been seen since his flop in the Derby but connections sound confident that he is back to form. Whenever Todd Pletcher gives an air of confidence, it's generally a positive thing regarding the expectations on the horse. Paynter looks a really good colt from the Baffert stable. He was just touched off by Union Rags in the Belmont Classic and he is the deserving favourite of the race. I see Gemologist and Paynter in the first 2 in any order, so an exacta is my confident punt here.

Exacta: Paynter-Gemologist.
Lay: GB soccer team to win gold

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