Your Best Bet
Sky Bet's tipsters pick out the best odds on this weekend's racing, formula 1 and football.
Last Updated: 10/05/13 1:18pm
This week's Your Best Bet looks into Friday's Racing, Saturday's F1 qualifying and the latest transfer betting specials.
First up, Sporting Life's racing expert Simon Holt previews the feature action on day three of Chester's May meeting, with Mount Athos firmly on his slip.
On top of that, Sky Bet's Jamie Casey previews the Spanish Grand Prix but focuses on the value in qualifying, before offering a tip on this summer's transfer window.
On all known form, the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes on the final day of Chester's May meeting boils down to a match between Mount Athos and Memphis Tennessee who are rated at least 19lb superior to their rivals.
These smart middle-distance/staying performers share an official mark of 117 but they have very different profiles; Memphis Tennessee, who finished fourth in Pour Moi's Derby and third behind stable-mate Treasure Beach in the Irish version two years ago, managed just two outings last season, beating a modest field in this corresponding race and then disappearing following a poor run at Royal Ascot.
Aidan O'Brien's charge, a big imposing type of horse, is clearly difficult to keep right and may prefer some give in the ground whereas his chief rival here is as tough and durable as they come and has shown all his best form on a fastish surface.
Mount Athos, whose locally-based owner Dr Marwan Koukash enjoyed Chester Cup success on Wednesday with Address Unknown, was a sharply progressive horse last season winning his first three starts (culminating in an impressive Group Three success at Newbury) before finishing strongly into fifth behind Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup.
There can be little doubt that, had the Luca Cumani-trained six-year-old been positioned closer to the pace in Australia's iconic horse race, he would have gone very close to winning.
Kimi Raikkonen is one of only four Formula 1 drivers to be a multiple winner at the Circuit de Catalunya and the Finn is a good price at 4/1 to make it a hat-trick on Sunday. However, qualifying will prove crucial and it's difficult to predict how the Lotus will perform on Saturday, so perhaps hang fire on that bet until the grid takes shape.
Sky Bet have boosted the price on either Lotus driver to bet the fastest in qualifying to 9/1, which should be weighed up by punters in the early stages of the first practice, depending on how the team performs in their first few runs. Lewis Hamilton to set the fastest lap of the race (10/1) is another price boost, but the former McLaren driver is more likely to have success on Saturday.
There is a case for arguing that Mercedes are the quickest over one lap this season. Indeed, the F1 W04 has proved the downfall of the bookmakers on several occasions already this season, particularly in qualifying. The model seems too tough on its rear tyres over the race distance, though, so avoid backing the team to win the race (17/2) and instead invest in Mercedes to win qualifying at 3/1.
Red Bull struggled here last season and although it's a different model they take to Barcelona this season, the track, as ever, demands aerodynamic efficiency, an attribute not overly prominent in the RB9's strengths. For that reason, I'd avoid backing Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber for pole position or a race win as the odds are just too short to risk, but there's reasonable value in backing the Australian for a podium finish at 2/1.
I'm going to break with the Your Best Bet tradition here by offering a long-term tip instead of the customary weekend slip advice, but only because there's value to be exploited. Amid all the speculation surrounding the revelation of Sir Alex Ferguson's imminent retirement, few punters have taken into consideration who David Moyes could bring with him as his replacement.
So, which current Everton players would strengthen Man Utd's squad for next season? In my opinion, there are only two who could do a job for the champions - Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. United have expressed interest in Baines in the past as they look to replace the aging and under-performing Patrice Evra, and Baines more than fits the bill.
Sky Bet go 2/1 that he'll be at Manchester United next season but act fast if you fancy them odds as the price could shift to evens, or indeed odds-on, now the Moyes deal is confirmed. Granted, those odds are a little short, given the fact that Baines has enjoyed the best football of his career at Goodison Park and has never suggested any sort of desire to move on.
The same cannot be said of Fellaini, though, who has flirted with the notion of joining Chelsea (5/4) already this season, but Moyes' arrival at Old Trafford would surely tempt him to make the short move from Merseyside to Manchester, rather than re-locate altogether in London.
Early birds would have backed the move at 4/1, a tip I tweeted on Wednesday, but at the current price of 9/4 he still offers greater value than Baines, though don't be surprised to see both players at the Red Devils come September.
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