For the fourth day on the bounce it’s a top notch racing and football double header, spearheaded by six races on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot, plus key three Euro 2016 matches in Groups D and E.
It’s to Ascot we’ll head first to try and unravel some each way value on a tough card, one which could see the Soft ground improve a little, but only if the showery weather stays away.
The second race on the card is the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, a mile and a half contest where a field of nine will do battle for an overall £200,000 pot.
Split between Ascot and Leopardstown trainer Aidan O’Brien enjoyed four winners yesterday, and it’s little surprise to see his Beacon Rock topping the bookies’ lists.
The comfortable Gallinule Stakes winner is the pick of Ryan Moore, but at bigger odds one who might have slipped through the net is Across The Stars, quietly fancied at big prices for the Epsom Derby, before failing to act on the track.
Today, Sir Michael Stoute has enlisted the help of Frankie Dettori for this talented sort, one who was almost certainly unlucky in-running when third to the reopposing Humphrey Bogart and Carntop at Lingfield in early May.
Effective on a range of ground, his turn might not be long in coming, with this just sixth racecourse start.
Across The Stars is 12/1 with any of bet365, Betfred, BetVictor, Betway or Paddy Power.
It’s hard not to be excited by the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup upcoming at 3.40pm, the three-year-old sprint over six furlongs.
A filly tops the market in the shape of Karl Burke’s prolific winner, Quiet Reflection, but at quadruple her price the one who was most visually impressive when I watched him win was one of the Richard Hannon runners, Log Out Island.
Admittedly it was only in listed company at Newbury in May, but lit up by a first time hood the pace he showed that day to go screeching clear of his field was incredible, and if he can reproduce that effort today he’ll have a fine chance.
It’s not as if James Doyle’s mount has come from nowhere, finishing second in the Mill Reef Stakes as well as winning the Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy in 2015.
Today he’s an 8/1 chance with Paddy Power.
Swapping racing silks for a football shirt, there could be a solid double to take advantage of among today’s big games…
The Stade Municipal in Toulouse is the venue for pace-setting Italy against Zlatan Ibrahimovich’s Sweden in Group E at 2pm, a match where Sweden would dearly love to get three points, but look likely to be undone by the Italians high energy counter attacking game.
The Swede’s limitations were exposed against Ireland in match day one, with the supply line to a largely lethargic attack sealed off efficiently.
They’re up against a much better side here, one that don’t concede very often with a tight and experienced defence run like a metronome by ‘keeper Buffon.
Azzurri boss Conte may have something that appears similar to a school janitor’s mop attached to his head, but don’t let that put you off backing his side to make it two wins from two.
Next up, there could be a similar good news story for Croatia in Group D.
They play the Czech Republic in St Etienne (5.00pm), along with Marseille’s Velodrome by some way the best grounds in the tournament, and the eastern city can become a fond memory for the team martialled on the pitch by Messrs Modric and Rakitic.
They were far too good for Turkey on matchday one, and can effectively seal their progress with a win today.
In places (such as Ladbrokes) the double pays an attractive 3/1.
Today’s best racing and football bets:
3.40 Royal Ascot – Commonwealth Cup – 6 Log Out Island (each way) @ 8/1 (Paddy Power)
Euro 2016 – Italy to beat Sweden, Croatia to beat Czech Rep – double pays 3/1Posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago