Friday, November 4, 2011

Huge Week-end

A fantastic week-end of racing and football is on the menu, and it's hoping that the punts turn out to be as great as well.

Let's start with the Breeders' Cup where I cannot see Goldikova coming out of the placings. Draw is good, track is good and she's encountered better opposition. I can foresee just 2 negatives, if any. That she could get boxed in the straight from the rails. But I hardly see that happening with a seasoned jockey like Peslier. The second negative would be if the turf turned too soft. It looks like it will be a mixture of good to yielding; obviously the firmer, the better for her, but the ground conditions should be alright for her. I think the Queen is set to win her last race, and if she doesn't, she should be in the second or third. A Place recommendation on Goldikova looks safe to me.

In the same race, I re-iterate my previous observation that Strong Suit does not have the credentials to win this race. He's too short at 4/1 and is a big lay in my books. I cannot see him winning a match-bet against Goldikova. So I recommend a Lay to Win on him, and I also confidently recommend Goldikova in a match-bet against him.

The main race is the one everyone wants to win and So You Think will carry Europe's or Australasia's hopes, whichever angle you look at it. It will be a tall order for the son of High Chaparral. Pedigree-wise, the dirt will not suit. He's going to sport blinkers which he hasn't done since a couple of years back. He comes over a difficult October with 2 hard races in the Arc and Champion Stakes. Basically, he's got hardly any decent rest for this race. Remains to be seen how jockey Ryan Moore will cope on the dirt surface. To be seen whether trainer O'Brien has mismanaged him yet again. All questions marks of note, but if there is a horse who can do it against the odds, it will be him. His critics pound him for not being the super horse he was billed out to be Down Under. Maybe he disappointed in 3 losses in Europe, but to me, there were excuses to all of them, which I've covered at length before. He gained my admiration when nearly winning the Champion Stakes after only 13 days rest from the Arc. I hope he wins the Classic, but it is more hope than confidence.

Uncle Mo is the favourite of the race and although he is possibly the best miler on dirt, he will have to stretch to cover the 10 furlongs. Any chance he had of winning was scuppered with his outside draw, in my estimate. He is a stalker of a horse that is never off the pace and things will be harder for him from the outside post. His odds are way too short and it makes sense to oppose him; I recommend to Lay him as Win.

In football, I cannot think of a better way for Man Utd to celebrate Alex Ferguson's extraordinary 25 years at the helm, by beating Sunderland. Steve Bruce's men have no chance of winning this. If they are lucky, they can squeeze in a point. But I believe the Red Devils will win this and recommend them as an outright Win.

Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City are all recommended as draw-no-bets as I don't see them being bothered by the inferior opposition they will be facing.

In La Liga, Real Madrid is a banker to beat Osasuna. I just cannot see them being held by Osasuna, so I recommend the Los Blancos as an outright Win. Barcelona face an arguably tougher task in Athletico Bilbao but they should prevail at the end, and are also recommended as a straight Win.

Win: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd
Draw-no-bet: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City
Place: Goldikova
Match-bet: Goldikova
Lay: Strong Suit, Uncle Mo

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