Saturday's Bets of the Day: Racing, tennis and Sunday World Cup final

Saturday's best bets
Saturday's best bets

Our team provide their best bets for Saturday and, as England are in the World Cup final on Sunday, we've extended the goodwill to include that, too.

Racing

Matt Brocklebank

Obsessing over sprint handicappers who keep just coming up short is a dangerous business but Eeh Bah Gum not only keeps running well in defeat but keeps running like he’s still got something in hand from the handicapper when everything falls his way.

It is hoped that Ascot’s Betfred Handicap over five furlongs represents the perfect scenario for Tim Easterby’s charge who was given a more positive ride when a good fourth in the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle.

He shaped very well there from what turned out to be a bad draw and, from stall 10 this weekend, he should be able to get a good pitch and a fair crack of the whip.

He sneaks into this valuable contest under a low weight and can finally record his first success of 2019 having scored five times throughout a highly productive season last term.

David Ord

Michael Bell’s charge was a major eyecatcher behind Kurious in the Coral Charge last week and looks overpriced in the opener at York on Saturday.

She was anchored at the rear of the field at Sandown by Jamie Spencer having been drawn wide and was still hard on the bridle a furlong and a half out. She made headway only to be short of room twice but was still only two lengths off the winner at the line.

Caspian Prince was a neck in front there and reopposes here but the selection is two pounds better off and twice his price. She needs a strong pace, and will get it with Caspian Prince, Deia Glory, Copper Knight and Final Venture in the line-up, and could have the race set up perfectly.

There’s more to come from Poetry and if that improvement arrives here she’s a big player.

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Simon Holt

There are almost too many races and betting opportunities to cope with on Britain's busiest Saturday but Solar Gold is my idea of the day's best in the bet365 Bunbury Cup at Newmarket.

William Haggas's filly, who has a fascinatingly mixed pedigree by Sea The Stars out of the high class sprinter Jessica's Dream, could be the most progressive runner in the field and her rating has gone up 21lb after just two starts this season.

On the first occasion, she went down by just three-quarters of a length to the subsequent Commonwealth Cup runner-up Forever In Dreams at Haydock, keeping on well in the sixth furlong, and then had to wait too long to mount a serious challenge before staying on takingly behind Billesdon Brook and the re-opposing Crossing The Line in a listed race over seven furlongs at Chelmsford.

Forced to switch and race wide down the home straight that day, Solar Gold is fancied to turn the tables on the runner-up on 4lb better terms and could prove ideally suited by the uphill finish here back in handicap company.

Ben Linfoot

Back Royal Birth at a big price in the Betfred Heritage Handicap over five furlongs at Ascot at 1.45.

Stuart Williams’ horse won this race three years ago off a mark of 92 and he was placed in similar contests off 94 and 95 at the same track later that season.

That’s significant evidence that he goes well here, then, and all of those efforts were on good to firm ground as well, conditions that he’ll encounter on Saturday. He looks well treated off a reduced turf mark of 86.

I like all-weather form at sand-based Ascot and I like that Royal Birth seems to be as good as ever at the age of eight.

With pace drawn around him towards the stands’ side in the shape of Watchable, Machree and Tis Marvellous, this race could well be run to suit, so he’s a big price off a light weight at a track he goes well at.

Oli Bell

Won this last season and arrives here off the back of a huge run in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. Is fancied to get the better of Zaaki and maintain his 100% record at this level.

Cricket

Richard Mann

Ben Stokes cannot be ignored in the top England batsman market in the Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s against New Zealand on Sundaybe.

Stokes wasn't even required with the bat in the semi-finals but he has enjoyed a brilliant six weeks, making 381 runs at an average of 54.42, and he has top scored for England three times in 10 matches at this World Cup.

Stokes has looked a man on a mission this summer as he bids to finally close the door on those regrettable events in Bristol almost two years ago and if redemption is driving him, what better place to complete the turnaround than in a World Cup final.

Tennis

Scott Ferguson

The head to head stands at 9-1 to Serena, with Halep's only triumph coming in the group stages of the WTA Championships of 2014 (6-0 6-2). And that result was such a shock, when they met again in that final, Serena unleashed and won 6-3 6-0.

Since then they have clashed five times. Three of them went to a third set, and every time, Serena won the first set comfortably, took her foot off the pedal slightly allowing Halep to bring it back to a set apiece, and then claimed victory in a tighter final set. In set exacta terms, a Sky Bet market, that's Serena WLW.

Only once in ten clashes has Halep ever taken the first set, in their first meeting at Wimbledon in 2011. Serena knows she has to start fast and get in front early, more so than against opponents with fewer weapons.

Darts

Chris Hammer

Snakebite did endure a dreamful Premier League campaign which featured just two wins and five draws from 16 games and a six-game losing run to finish but it looks like he's building back up again ahead of Blackpool.

His run to the semi-finals Stateside was actually the fifth time he'd fallen at the last four in events this season - including at May's Dutch Darts Masters - and he did average 100 during his narrow defeat to Aspinall, having also done the same in a triumph over Gurney in the quarters.

Hopp has a very tough opening fixture against Rob Cross but he did beat him 7-6 en route to winning his first senior PDC title at the German Darts Open last year. He made match winning 121 checkouts on the bullseye in the deciding leg before remarkably repeating the trick against Michael Smith in the final, so he can handle the home pressures and expectation under the lights.

Since then, he picked up another PDC title in August as well as reaching the European Championship semi-final on home soil, agonisingly losing out to eventual champion Wade after missing three match darts, while another two were spurned when losing to Simon Whitlock in this year's German Darts Grand Prix semis.

Many observers feel Clemens is arguably the most dangerous German player around at the moment despite the fact Hopp and Schindler, who teamed up for the country in the World Cup of Darts, are still ranked higher.

The 'German Giant' has reached two Players Championship finals this season, losing them to Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton, and maybe this is the perfect opportunity to show the world his talents on a big televised stage now that his experience and confidence is starting to build.

Formula One

F1 Insider

Hamilton's troubled run to fifth place in the Austrian Grand Prix can safely be cast aside as an outlier. Cooling issues with the Mercedes consigned him and team-mate Valtteri Bottas to roles as also-rans, but breezy Silverstone should be a different prospect for the dominant duo. Hamilton's results since his home race last season comprise 14 wins, four second places, a third, a fourth and a fifth, so slight odds-on for a event in which he has excelled over the years looks a solid investment. A sixth home win would see him move ahead of the legendary Jim Clark into history-making territory and the stars are aligned for the championship leader to hammer home his superiority.

Gasly has two fastest laps to his credit already this season and will be favourite for the accolade again if he can qualify his Red Bull ahead of the midfield runners on Saturday. The Frenchman has been an inconsistent presence in what Max Verstappen proved was race-winning machinery in Austria, but Silverstone shouldn't pose the Frenchman too many problems. P6 on the grid should translate to a comfortable margin over the McLarens and Renaults by the time the chequered flag approaches, giving Gasly the gap to pit for fresh rubber and deliver a championship point for fastest race lap.

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