Champion day in store
It's a crucial day for racing at Ascot with the launch of the new-look Champions Day, says Ed Chamberlin.
Last Updated: 13/10/11 3:54pm
It's a crucial day for racing at Ascot on Saturday with the launch of the new-look Champions Day.
It can't be any worse than the original Champions Day at Newmarket and the vast sums of money pumped in to the day seems to have worked as it's an outstanding six-race card.
Frankel is the star of the show and will hopefully confirm himself as the best horse on the planet in the QEII at 3.50pm.
My bet of the meeting runs in the day's first race - the Long Distance Cup at 1.50pm. I'm keen to take on Skybet's two market leaders, Opinion Poll (7/4 - ground too quick) and Fame And Glory (3/1 - not the same horse since gruelling Gold Cup).
I'm going with the in-form and progressive horse in the field, Times Up. I was hugely impressed by him at Newmarket last month where he looked like a stayer with real potential.
Times Up is one horse who will be suited by the quick conditions at Ascot and looks a great bet at 7/2 with Sky Bet.
Sky Bet's title odds: 10/11 Man Utd, 5/2 Man City, 7/2 Chelsea, 20/1 Liverpool, 40/1 Tottenham,66/1 Arsenal, 500/1 bar
Liverpool have had the upper hand in recent years, winning four of the last six Premier League meetings, and they were hugely impressive in this fixture last season. Liverpool have also managed to score 14 goals in the last six Premier League matches against United.
Liverpool have won the last three meetings at Anfield - their best winning run at home against Man Utd since a seven-game sequence between 1972 and 1979 under Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley. It's going to be fascinating to see if Liverpool can continue that run this weekend.
City have won more points (50) and scored more goals (46) against Villa than they have against any other side. City have won ten of the last 11 meetings at home in all competitions, including each of the last five, and look hard to oppose this weekend.
I was surprised to see Chelsea haven't beaten Everton in the Premier League for over three years. The Blues' last win was 1-0 at Goodison Park in April 2008 - Michael Essien with the goal.
These two sides met four times last season, three of which ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, which is a 17/2 chance on Saturday.
The last five PL meetings at Chelsea have been drawn and stalemate could be a big price at 4/1.
It's also been a low scoring affair in recent years with just eight goals scored in the last seven PL meetings. Less than 2.5 goals is an 11/10 chance.
Sunderland have never won at Arsenal in the Premier League - ten games, seven defeats, and their last league win at Arsenal was 2-1 at Highbury in November 1983. That same month was the Brinks Mat robbery.
After that game we'll see two bang in-form sides meet at St James' Park - Newcastle (15/8) v Tottenham (7/5). Entertainment looks guaranteed as there has not been a goalless draw in last 63 meetings between these two, since a 0-0 in August 1971 at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham successfully landed our last two 'bets of the week' but I'm going with Norwich this time to make it five winners from the last six selections.
Norwich are always going to be tough to beat at home and their win against Sunderland on the Monday Night Football should give their season real momentum. I was then really impressed with their performance at Old Trafford and am confident they can make it back-to-back wins at Carrow Road. Norwich are my 'bet of the week' to beat Swansea at 6/5.
Rugby World Cup
Sky Bet's semi-final odds: New Zealand 4/11 Australia 2/1, France 6/5, Wales 4/6.
My financial interest in the World Cup with South Africa's unfortunate defeat against Australia. I have spent the week since England's demise trying to uncover some Welsh relations. I have failed but will still be cheering them on against the French. They promise to be two brilliant semi-finals and both are tough to call.
One of the most exciting news stories of the week was Mark Cavendish officially signing for Team Sky next season.
Sky Bet have chalked Cavendish up at 6/4 to retain his Tour de France green jersey and 5/2 to win the Olympic road race on the Mall six days later. Now that would be a win double.