The Betfair Chase lights up the racing weekend, while the Premier League returns and Conor Benn steps back into the ring, so plenty of free tips from the Sporting Life team for you to consider.
Evan Williams and the Ruckers landed a bit of a gamble with Bold Plan in one of the principal handicap hurdles on this card last year and their Secret Reprieve looks another very likely type in the Betfair Supports Safer Gambling Week Handicap Chase.
The lightly-raced six-year-old was beaten by Cloudy Glen here last December but that two-runner race over two and a half miles wouldn’t have suited him and he’s better judged on his second to Newtide off level weights at Ffos Las over three miles.
He’s 12lb better off with that rival on this occasion and has significant potential to go a fair way in the staying handicap division this season.
It’s another big Saturday for Paul Nicholls and Master Tommytucker can play his part by landing the Back And Lay On Betfair Exchange Graduation Chase.
It hasn’t always been plain sailing with the nine-year-old but the signs are things are starting to click and he was an impressive winner over Precious Cargo at Huntingdon last time.
He travelled and jumped well there – although going left at the last which suggest the switch to this track will help. He’s always been a horse of rich potential and can start delivering that with victory here, especially as he’s unlikely to face much pressure for the early lead.
Rebecca Curtis has a fine record with staying novice handicap chasers and Minella Bobo looks another likely type in the 12.55 Ascot. He shaped very nicely on his first start for over 500 days in a hot race at Uttoxeter last time out before fitness told late on.
A 13lb pull with Saturday’s favourite helps enormously and this former point winner should strip fitter for his latest outing so he’s not without a chance of reversing that form with Demachine.
Chelsea's convincing margins of victory in mind, the 11/8 available on the away side on the -1 handicap looks great value. Chelsea's seven wins across all competitions this season have all been by two goals or more, while the last four have all ended in victory with at least a three-goal margin.
Newcastle's home form has been hit-and-miss. They beat an injury-hit Everton, but they have been beaten by three-goal margins against both Brighton and Manchester United.
Manchester United have been seeing cards on a regular basis. They have had 20+ booking points in four of their last six contests, while they have had 10+ in all 12 of their competitive games this season. It doesn't matter which opponent they are against, Solskjaer's men are regularly picking up bookings.
The bonus for this bet is that West Brom have seen plenty of fouls committed against them. They sit second in the Premier League in this area (13 per game), only Aston Villa with Jack Grealish have seen more. There is also David Coote's appointment as referee, an official who has shown at least three yellow cards in six of his seven outings this season.
Son has been in great form this season with eight goals in eight Premier League appearances. Son loves to face Manchester City too, scoring five in eight career games against them.
Five of the pair’s last eight meetings have seen the opener go the distance, including both matches at this venue.
Thiem has already played two opening-set tie-breaks this week (four in total). Outside the match with Rublev, he’s served very well.
Such is the quality of Djokovic’s returning that he doesn’t play as many breakers but clearly the Thiem serve is one he’s had difficulty with in the past.
The top seed looked better on serve against Alex Zverev on Friday and was teak tough on the break points he did face, saving all three.
OK, this sort of price isn’t for everyone but Thiem has done this in 10 of their previous 11 meetings. The make-ups have been: 5-4-4-2-5-3-1-3-3-5-3.
He’s also landed the bet in all three matches in London this week (3-2-2).
Up against arguably the greatest returner of all time, the Austrian’s serve is almost certainly going to come under pressure at times and I’d be very surprised if at least two double faults didn’t spring from his racquet.
The judges look likely to be called upon as it would be some statement for Benn to halt Formella if Shawn Porter, a very sturdy puncher, couldn't get him down in their fight just three months ago, and it's hard to see the German inflicting enough damage on Benn to get an early night.
Formella's negative style may not prove too popular with the judges and he might have to win very clearly in order to get the nod if it goes to the scorecards, especially with the Matchroom shows in the UK developing a reputation for 'home cooking'.
Lipski came into the UFC with a lot of potential, but has suffered from the step-up in competition. Her striking output has not rivalled her opponents’, which has caused her to fall behind and lose decisions in fights.
I expect the same fate on Saturday night, as Shevchenko is possibly the best striker she will have faced so far in her career. La Pantera’s striking is more diverse and effective at different ranges. Despite her dominant records across the different combat sports, Shevchenko only has nine stoppage victories from 50 bouts.
Figueirdo is on a hot streak, with two submission wins and a KO win in his last three fights, with all three of those stoppages coming within the first two rounds.An easier weight cut should mean we see an even better performance from the Brazilian, who already possesses brutal knockout power and fantastic grappling skills.
Valentina Shevchenko takes on Jennifer Maia, who will not give the champion any problems. For this fight, look for Shevchenko to control the centre of the cage, while using her punches to set up her high roundhouse kick that will put Maia to sleep if it connects.
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