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Betting News with Nigel Ridgway of bet365 - May 19th 2017

ITV or ITV4 Offer on Horse Racing
With ITV or ITV4 showing seven live races on Saturday, including the Irish 2000 Guineas from the Curragh, this looks an ideal opportunity to take advantage of our fantastic ITV or ITV4 Offer. Simply back a winner at 4/1 or over in any of the following races, and we will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50) on the next ITV or ITV4 race. Check out our home page for full details, races are subject to change.

Newmarket: 14.10; 14.20; 14.50 and 15.25.
Ayr: 13.00 and 15.15.
Curragh: 15.20 (Guineas).

At Newmarket, watch out for Henry Candy's Spliff in the Coral Sprint Handicap (15.25). He has been well backed when winning his last two starts, and appeared to have plenty in hand when coming off the pace to win at Salisbury's, last time out. The trainer does well with sprinters, and this progressive sort looks one to follow this season. On the same card Peak To Creek can reap some compensation for missing the 2000 Guineas with a temperature by lifting the Charles II Stakes. A prolific winner last season when winning half of his twelve starts, he proved he had trained, when third to subsequent Guineas winner Haafhd in the Craven Stakes last time out.

In this Saturday's Irish 2000 Guineas, the stage is set for a big run from Azamour after his excellent third in the English version at Newmarket earlier this month. Providing he gets the good ground he needs, he is expected to confirm placings with Grey Swallow, who was a length away in fourth at Newmarket. Azamour finished as well as anything that day on what was only his third run of his life, and can be expected to come on for that run.

Attraction will be all the rage for the Irish 1000 Guineas (not part of the 4/1 offer) on Sunday, after her emphatic win at Newmarket. No filly has ever completed the Newmarket-Curragh Guineas double, however. Connections of Secret Charm, fifth in the big race after a troubled run, are quite hopeful of reversing the form with the winner. Slow to come to hand this season, Secret Charm has thrived since the race and a big run is expected.

totepool Victoria Cup, Ascot
Sa May 22 - 14.45 BST (BBC)
Polar Bear looks to have good claims in the feature race at Ascot on Saturday. However, the draw is going to play an important part in what is likely to be a big field, with low numbers having a massive advantage at the last meeting here. If the ground were to dry out then don't rule out the high drawn horses, the best advice being to watch the effect of the draw on previous races. Polar Bear caught the eye when third on his appearance at Lingfield a fortnight ago, and still looks to have plenty of improvement in him.
totepool Silver Bowl, Haydock
Saturday May 22 - 14.30 BST (BBC)
Zonus is the one to have on your side here after showing good handicap form on his last two starts. He came home fourth in a red hot handicap at Newbury – African Dream (1st), Red Lancer (2nd) and Gatwick (3rd) have all won since – and was then a fast finishing second in a decent race at Chester last time out. Chester winner, Oasis Star, is likely to re-oppose on Saturday, but the slightly longer trip and more galloping track will be to the advantage of Zonus.
PGA Tour Golf, The Colonial
starts Th May 20 - 13.00 BST
Sergio Garcia has spent much of the last two seasons wrestling with his game, but there have been signs recently that things were beginning to drop into place, and last week's Byron Nelson win underlines the fact that he is now back at the highest level where he belongs. There may still be improvement to come, especially with the flat stick – only 66th in putting among the 80 qualifiers last week – but when you are hitting over 80% of the greens in regulation you can get away with nearly thirty putts per round! Since 1970 a player has won consecutive events on Tour 41 times, including Vijay Singh this season and Kenny Perry who took this event last year before going back to back at Memorial, so it would not be a great surprise to see Garcia follow-up this week. Shigeki Maruyama can also be expected to shine this week. His five Colonial starts have resulted in four top-20 finishes and no missed cuts, while his game is in good nick judging on a 66-66 finish in the Byron. Also watch out for native Texan Harrison Frazar who was tied for ninth here last year - his best performance since being placed fourth on his Colonial debut back in 1998.

bet365 pre-tournament prices … Mickelson 6/1, Love 12/1, Garcia 16/1, Weir 22/1, Maruyama 33/1, Frazar 125/1. Each way ¼ odds, Bet In-Running subject to TV coverage

European Tour golf, Deutsche Bank Open
starts early Th May 20 – 10:30 BST
With Tiger having the week off, the mantle of favouritism falls on Ernie Els, and on a course suited to the longer hitters he could well justify it. Massively in form, he is undoubtedly the man to beat, but this could be the week that young Justin Rose wins his first tournament for two years. Rose has already shown a liking for this course when only a shot off a play-off the last time the tournament was played here back in 2017. He has been playing with a growing maturity in the States this season, leading the Masters field for two days, followed-up with a 5th and a 7th place in recent weeks. This US style course should be ideal, while he will also be keen to take advantage of the huge prize money on offer this week in his quest for an automatic Ryder Cup place. It is interesting that PGA tour veteran Nick Price makes the journey over rather than playing Colonial. Only a shot off a place last week in 6th – the fate of many a good each way bet – he made the frame on his only visit to this course back in1999.

bet365 pre-tournament prices … Els 11/2, Clarke 12/1, Harrington 14/1, Goosen 16/1, Rose 20/1, Price 33/1. Each way ¼ odds, Bet in-running subject to TV coverage.

FA Cup Final - Man Utd v Millwall
Sa May 22 - 15.00 BST ko, (Sky)
There is no doubting the gulf in class between the two teams and, although there have been giant-killing acts in the Finals before – Sunderland in 1973 and West Ham in 1980 – it is hard to imagine anything other than a win for the Red Devils. A case could have been made for Millwall if they had come into the Final with any momentum, but their win against already relegated Bradford on Saturday was their first in eight games. United's record in the Cup is exemplary, winning the trophy a record ten times, being victorious on each occasion they have reached the final, and conceding only in the 1993 showpiece.

At the shortish odds, a play on the United/United half time/full time result at 8/11 makes sense, with a 2-0 (6/1) or 3-1 (9/1) result the most likely score. Paul Scholes, on the scoresheet when United last appeared in the final against Newcastle in 1999, could easily repeat the dose here at odds of 6/1.

bet365 match odds … United 2/7, Draw 4/1, Millwall 15/2.

Scottish Cup Final - Dunfermline v Celtic
Sa - May 22 - 15.00 BST ko, (Sky)
A similar scoreline looks likely north of the border, where the short match odds don't appeal, so a play on our correct score market looks the best option. With two goals in his final game at Parkhead last weekend, Henrik Larsson can again deliver the goods before he leaves the SPL.

Take Celtic to win 2-0 (6/1) and 3-0 (9/1), combined with Larsson to score first in a Scorecast – 12/1 and 18/1 respectively!

bet365 match odds … Dunfermline 15/2, Draw 4/1, Celtic 2/7.

Bet both the above games In-Running, where our markets will include: Total Goals; Match Winner; Next Goal; Next Card; Total Corners; Total Bookings; and Correct Score.

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