Thursday, May 17, 2012

Classic impact

The predictions were good with Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham all winning on the last day, but obviously, fat chance played a big role. City finally won the game and the title after giving their supporters the biggest fright imaginable. Their title win and that of Real Madrid in La Liga made for a nice double that was fancied here for the last few months. Sports is a funny game where this kind of selection could easily have gone astray had the Citizens failed to score in injury time. It worked this time.

The excitement of the last day of the Premiership showed why it is the most thrilling league to follow. It's not the best anymore, in that the best 2 clubs in the world are in Spain. However, I don't think anyone in the FA will want to swap places with a league where the gap between 2nd and 3rd place are 39 staggering points!

Some news of the note over last week-end and in the last few days. The non-selection of Rio Ferdinand for Euro 2012 is a good one. He's become more a liability at the back nowadays and his game has slowed markedly over the past couple of years. One of the reasons Man Utd lost the title this year was because the loss of Vidic exposed the vulnerabilities of Ferdinand.

The selection of Terry is a good one too, the only reason being that there is no other accomplished central defender in the squad. Reality is there is a serious lack of a top-class English central defender and that even a regressing Terry is better than what is available. That said, with or without Terry, England will concede goals because the defence is poor.

On the racing front, the French Guineas saw the coronation of Beauty Parlour and Lucayan. The former is a daughter of Deep Impact and looks set to dominate the 3-year old division this year. If she has no rival at a mile, I wonder who will challenge her at longer distances for which her pedigree suits perfectly. This is oh-so sweet revenge for her sire, who was not given the best preparation to showcase his talent on his only foray on French soil.

Another Japanese sire that had a prominent runner in the male Classic was Hat Trick, sire of Dabirsim, the champion 2-year old. He did not have the best of trips, but he also showed he did not quite get the mile distance. He could be factor over the sprint distances in Europe this year if that is the route his connections choose for him. But all this is a far cry from the greatness he looked set for after his overly promising debut season.

This coming week-end is all about the Preakness Stakes in the US and the return of Frankel in the Lockinge at Newbury. I don't usually favour ante-post but with the race only 2 days away, the odds in that market for the superstar miler will not be reached again. It's impossible to go against Frankel, and the recommendation is to take Frankel now and on race-day as well.

Antepost win: Frankel

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