Megan Williamson has a couple of bets to consider as eventing features at the Olympics on Friday – check out her full preview and analysis here.
2pts Michael Jung to win the individual eventing at 4/1 (Sky Bet)
1pt Laura Collet to win the individual eventing at 20/1 (General)
Team GB head into this year’s Olympics with arguably their strongest ever complement of riders, with it seemingly a straight shootout between them and perennial foes Germany for the Team Gold. The fact that current World Champions Ros Canter and Allstar B were merely a late replacement for the alternate slot shows the real strength in depth in British eventing now and they will be tough to beat.
Given the nature of the competition, however, taking a short price in the Team Gold market with so much pressure on all three team members to deliver makes little appeal.
Another reason to tread carefully in that market is with a pandemic-impacted schedule over the past 18 months and no Badminton or Burghley since 2019, there haven’t been many opportunities for combinations to get match practice at the elite level.
It therefore isn’t a surprise that Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class are made individual favourite based on their Kentucky success in the spring. That is by far the best piece of form to go off and with a stellar record in recent 5* events, they rightly have the target on their back.
The second main challenge competitors face this year are the conditions, with the cross-country element due to take place in over 30c and 60% humidity. As a result, the examination may not be as stiff as one would expect at this level and concessions have already been made with a shorter target time.
Taking this into account, preference is for Townend’s primary rival in the market – serial winner and defending Olympic champion MICHAEL JUNG. This year he brings European silver medalist Chipmunk FRH, who moved from his teammate Julia Krajewski two years ago. A winning machine since, at the prices they need to be kept onside.
With the dressage likely to be even more crucial than usual, there is a strong desire to complement with another bigger priced selection. The Manchester born Tom Carlile and his young mare Birmane looked to fit the bill perfectly, but the French pair were cruelly robbed of their chance with her struggling to acclimatize and disappointing in her final pieces of work.
It’s therefore the biggest price of the British trio, LAURA COLLETT, and her bay gelding London 52 that makes most appeal, at general odds of 20/1 having been available at even bigger during the week. Many racing fans will recognize the name with her association with legendary Kauto Star and there is real live chance of her being a household name by Sunday evening. With a 5* win at Pau last year and an impressive recent strike-rate, her price disparity with her teammates makes her a bet.
Posted at 1400 BST on 29/07/21
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