Trainer Anthony Honeyball’s horses have hit form with a vengeance over the last few weeks and Velator returns to try and win this race for a second consecutive time.
He has to race off an 8lb higher mark than last year, but the horse has a superb record when the stable is in form. 13/2 looks a solid each-way bet, whilst Vif Argent is the horse I’m most scared of.
Velator each-way 13/2 or better
Horse Racing – Aintree – Aintree Hurdle & Betfred Bowl (Thursday)
Grand National fever will grip the nation on Saturday, but National Hunt purists can enjoy some high-quality action on the first day of the meeting. The New One return to the scene of last year’s head second and, after his unlucky third in the Champion Hurdle, he deserves to take the Aintree Hurdle. 4/9 isn’t much of a price but it looks worth doubling with Dynaste at around 9/4 in the Betfred Bowl. Dynaste faces much stiffer opposition but didn’t have as hard a race at Cheltenham as main rival Silvianco Conti, and First Lieutenant may prove a bigger danger.
The New One & Dynaste win double best prices
Football – Champions League – PSG v Chelsea 7.45pm
Chelsea fans will be hoping Jose Mourinho can emulate his first European game in charge of Chelsea, when in 2004 the Blues inflicted a 3-0 defeat on PSG. However, PSG are undefeated in their last 28 European home games going back to November 2006.
PSG’s attacking force also looks in much better form than Chelsea’s, and Mourinho’s men look to be faltering at the wrong time. A shade of odds-against about PSG to win in 90 minutes looks the wrong side of evens – and should be taken.
Golf – PGA Tour – Shell Houston Open (Thursday – Sunday)
With the US Master just over a week away, many high-profile players may be reluctant to put themselves into contention this week. And, with that in mind, it may be worth backing three value long-shots to clinch a top-10 spot.
Louis Oosthuisen boasts both good recent form and three year tournament figures of 16/3/10. The South African finished third here in 2012 before losing a play-off for the Masters the following week. Expect a good showing this week and next – and 11/2 looks real value.
Second-up is Geoff Ogilvy, another player who has often shown good form in the same two week period. Top-10’s here in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009 shows his liking for the course, and he finished 11th in his last event. 11/1 looks well worth getting stuck into.
Another Aussie makes up the trio, and the 20/1 about Stuart Appleby looks too big. Admittedly you have to go back to 2007 to find his last worthwhile performance here but that was his third 1st or 2nd place finish here in four years. He’s also made the cut in six of his last seven events, one of which resulted in a top-10 finish.
Louis Oosthuisen 11/2 top-10 finish
Geoff Ogilvy 11/1 top-10 finish
Stuart Appleby 20/1 top-10 finish