National Hunt racing is firmly put on the back burner this week as the Flat Racing season starts with a bang with action from Dubai and Doncaster.
Horse Racing Meydan (Dubai) – 3.03pm
The Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint sees the return of last year’s champion Shea Shea and the South African sprinter should prove up to the task of defending his crown. Three weeks ago he took the Group 3 Meydan Sprint, a race he also won last year, and it was hard not to be impressed by regular jockey Christopher Soumillon’s confidence as he steered his mount from a middle-draw to the outside rail before shooting clear at the furlong post and hanging-on as nearest pursuer Ahtoug tried to wear him down approaching the line. Last year, Shea Shea needed a prep race before the Meydan Sprint to reach his peak – and he should improve loads for his first run of the season. He’s a confident nap – and anything in excess of 6/4 should be snapped up as he arguably should be nearer the even-money mark.
Shea Shea 6/4 or better
Horse Racing – Meydan – 1.10pm
The next-best bet of the day is Godolphin’s Shuruq who goes extremely well on the Meydan track and has won her last two races there including the Group 3 Burj Nahar last time out. A back-to-form Soft Falling Rain will be no pushover but the Godolphin filly looks a solid each-way shout at around 4/1 with ¼ odds 3 places.
Shuruq each-way 4/1 or better
Horse Racing – Doncaster – 3.15pm
It’s Lincoln day on Turf Moor but the best bet on the card runs in the consolation race the Spring Mile in the shape of Brae Hill. Trainer Richard Fahey has done a marvellous job in getting his charge well handicapped for this day three years on the trot – so much so that Brae Hill gets in here off a handicap mark of 91 despite being first and third in the last two runnings of the Lincoln off a mark of 95. Despite Brae Hill may now be an eight-year-old, but the Spring Mile represents a drop in class and has undoubtedly been targeted by Fahey. Odds of 10/1 or more each-way look very reasonable, especially if you’re bookie is paying out on 5 places.
Brae Hill each-way 10/1 or better
Football – Premiership – Saturday/Sunday
With the Premiership Title now looking very much a three horse-race between Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, a treble on the three of them may well be the best play of the weekend. Crystal Palace will surely struggle to contain Chelsea, whilst Manchester City may have to travel to Arsenal but the gunners may not be at 100% now there chance has gone. Meanwhile, Liverpool have to entertain Tottenham (who may still be suffering from their European exit) but the tough opposition means the treble is paying pretty decent odds this week.
Treble: Chelsea, Manchester City & Liverpool all to win at around 7/2 best prices