6.50 Windsor, Monday, May 14

In the catchily-titled Weatherbys Racing Bank Supporting Mental Health Foundation Stakes (6.50) at Windsor on Monday evening, Oh This Is Us escapes a penalty for winning the Listed Spring Trophy Stakes, over 7 furlongs, at Haydock at this time last year. Richard Hannon’s 5-year-old returns from a 74-day break, but has been at the top of his game at Meydan in Dubai in recent months and appears to have been found a decent opportunity to gain some more ‘black type’.

The son of Acclamation has winning form over a mile and shaped as though stepping back up in distance wouldn’t do him any harm when a never-nearer third of 13, beaten just three-quarters of a length, behind Top Score in a valuable handicap over 7 furlongs at Meydan on his most recent start in March. Top Score subsequently ran creditably in defeat when third, on disadvantageous terms, in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, over 6 furlongs, at Meydan, so the form looks rock solid.

 

All seven of his wins on turf have come on good, or faster, going and, although he has 3lb to find with Sovereign Debt on official figures, he may be a little further forward, fitness-wise, than Ruth Carr’s stalwart, who’s now a 9-year-old. Richard Hannon complicates matters by also saddling Khafoo Shememi, who is 1lb better off for 2 lengths with Oh This Is Us on their running at Meydan in March, but Oh This Is Us should have the edge over his stable companion once again.

 

Selection: Windsor 6.50 Oh This Is Us to win  3/1

 

Liverpool vs Manchester City – Champions League

On Wednesday at 19:45 Liverpool take on Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final. The game, to be held at Anfield, is highly anticipated and evenly matched. Both teams have their injury concerns, with Pep Guardiola confirming that Sergio Ageuro will be abscent, and Liverpool missing a trio of defenders (Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez).

It’s a busy time for Manchester City, and Liverpool may be hoping they’re preoccupied with Premier League success (Man City will clinch the league title this Saturday if they beat Manchester United). Despite City’s success this season it’s unlikely that Liverpool will be intimidated by this golden opportunity, they are after all five times winners of the European Cup. With Mohamed Salah on the pitch too, they have good reason to feel that this game is not beyond them. What a season he’s had. They’re also the top scoring team in the Champions League, another reason to go into the game with optimism.

With both teams full of confidence from good form, we can expect to see an attacking and entertaining game with a few goals. With that in mind, over 2.5 goals at 8/13 seems like a reasonably good bet and keeps an interest in the game no matter which team is pilling the goals away. Along the same lines, both teams to score at 1/2 is another option. Enjoy the game!

2.20 Warwick, Sunday, March 11

The Sunday before the Cheltenham Festival inevitably feels like the calm before the storm, but the Warwick card is competitive enough, at least numerically, and may provide an opportunity to swell the coffers ahead of the potential minefield later in the week. The suggestion is Piton Pete in the opening Newark Livestock Market (2.20). Oliver Sherwood’s 7-year-old missed the whole of the 2016/17 season through injury, but gained just reward for a couple of decent efforts in defeat, after an absence of 546 days, when winning a maiden hurdle at Towcester last time.

 

The Westerner gelding had looked like opening his account on his previous start, over 2 miles 3½ furlongs, at Hereford, but was outstayed by the front pair from the home turn, eventually finishing third, beaten 8½ lengths. Despite his pedigree and the fact that he has apparently filled out during his time off, Piton Pete doesn’t look the strongest of stayers, so the minimum trip, on rain-softened ground, on a sharp course such as Warwick should play to his strengths. He carries a 6lb penalty against 16, largely unexposed, rivals, but jumps well and appeals as the late maturing type with whom his trainer traditionally does well.

 

Selection: Warwick 2.20 Piton Pete to win

 

Playing Favourites at Cheltenham Festival

favourite

As we’re always on the look out for winning favourites here at Favourites.net and the Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner, it seems like as good a time as any to take a trip down memory lane and highlight how favourites performed over the four day festival by year (for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015). Here we can see that in 2012 you’d have been sitting pretty with a favourite focused approach, but in following years this would have been nothing short of a dreadful approach. Ill have to see if I can fish out favourite related data for the 2016 and 2017 Cheltenham Festival before turning my focus to short odds horses with potential in the upcoming 2018 event.