Just over a week until the start of the World Cup in Qatar. This weekend is the last chance to view the Premier League until Boxing Day, with five games being shown live. It’s also the Open Meeting at Cheltenham and the Rugby League World Cup semis! A busy weekend at BetConnect and with the World Cup coming, it’s only going to get busier!
Weekend Best Bet
The 12.55 at Naas on Saturday is a race that Gordon Elliott has won three years on the bounce. He is represented by Fil D’Or here who was just short of the best in his age group last season. He looks set to struggle to give nine pounds and a beating to a race fit rival in Brazil on this occasion.
Brazil wouldn’t have been quite to the same level of his main rival last season. He overcame all sorts of trouble to win the Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival in March, not close to that level at Aintree just a few weeks later. He shaped in need of the run on his return at Tipperary in October but that gives him the fitness edge. 5/4 looks a fair price.
Cheltenham’s 2.20 is the first of a long list of major two and a half mile handicap chases that the track have during the season. Deyrann De Carjac was only 7th in this race last season but that was his first run of the campaign. He has had a run at Wetherby this season to blow away the cobwebs, arriving here seven pounds lower than in 2021.
Smart conditional Harry Kimber takes a further five pounds off which leaves the Alan King-trained gelding looking temptingly treated. There is an abundance of pace in here so this can set up for a closer to pick up the pieces up the hill. Four of his top eight career runs have come at Cheltenham and 25/1 is too big for a horse who was rated twenty pounds higher in his pomp.
The Premier League lunchtime kickoff on Saturday sees Manchester City at home to Brentford. City have scored 29 goals in 7 home games in the Premier League so far. Brentford have given up 11 in their last 3 away from home in the league and could be in for a drubbing here. City -3 on the Asian Handicap is a surprisingly big 37/20 at time of writing.
Away from the Premier League, AFC Wimbledon are starting to string together some decent efforts of late. They are on a six game unbeaten run in all competitions, including inflicting a first away defeat of the season on top of the league Leyton Orient on Tuesday. They visit Salford who by contrast have won just one in seven in all competitions and have failed to score in four of their last five. AFC Wimbledon at 2/1 draw no bet looks the play.
It’s the two semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup this weekend. The hosts England take on Samoa on Saturday afternoon. England beat Samoa 60-6 in the opening game of the tournament, a match that Samoa were actually favourites for with most bookmakers.
This will surely be a much tighter game than that initial contest, with Samoa producing improved performances with each week. Although we’re predicting a lower scoring affair, over 40.5 points at 11/10 still looks a solid bet with England producing that alone on their stiffest task last week in the quarter-finals.