Edinburgh and Old Firm Derbies, Cheltenham and Australian Open Tennis

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Edinburgh and Old Firm Derbies, Cheltenham and Australian Open Tennis.

FOOTBALL

Saturday and Sunday see the football derbies at Tynecastle and Ibrox respectively.

As always these matches are very difficult to call and it often pays to go with a hunch rather than which team is playing the better football in the run up to the match.

With that in mind, I am going to go for a win for Hibs who came back well after going two down to Dundee United to earn a draw and even though Hearts are the form team in this one, the best odds of 9/2 available for the away side (William Hill) have to be worth a small bet.

In the Old Firm Derby I can’t see anything other than a draw. A confident selection at odds of 5/2 (Victor Chandler).

01 JAN K.O 12.30   HEARTS  v HIBS    4/6   3/1   9/2

02 JAN K.O 12.45   RANGERS  v CELTIC  11/10  5/2  3/1

 

HORSE RACING

Raceodds Handicap Chase, Cheltenham, Saturday 01 Jan  3m 2f.

Cheltenham has an uphill finish of around 300 yards which places a premium on stamina and is also a track on which to note previous winners who have shown they can handle the undulations.

Character Building, a previous Cheltenham Festival winner and quite lightly raced, appeals as a good bet at the odds of 14/1 if you forgive his poor run on his most recent outing.  He was touted last year as a possible Grand National winner for top female jockey Nina Carberry and showed his stamina there by staying on at the end to finish seventh.

Buffalo Bob  6/1
Qhilimar  13/2
Maljimar  8/1
The Sliotar  8/1
Officier De Reserve  10/1
Richards Sundance  12/1
Character Building  14/1
Blazing Bailey  14/1
Etxalar  14/1
My Will  16/1
Dashing George  16/1
Joe Lively  20/1
Brooklyn Brownie  20/1
Il Duce  20/1
Knowhere  25/1
Lead On  25/1
Victorias Groom  33/1

Cheltenham and Three Counties Race Club Hurdle, Cheltenham, Saturday 01 Jan  2m 4f.

Karabak put himself back in the mix for the Staying Hurdle at the big meeting in March with his win last time out in the Relkeel Hurdle here at Cheltenham (beating Any Given Day and Celestial Halo in the process)

Second that day was Any Given Day and he is the one i’m going for at odds of 3/1.
Trainer Donald McCain (son of Ginger, synonymous with Red Rum) is an up and coming handler in his own right and this horse, two years younger than the favourite, is open to more improvement and that could be decisive.

Karabak  9/4
Any Given Day  3/1
Celestial Halo  7/2
Oscar Whisky  7/2
Duke of Lucca  10/1
Barizan  33/1
Secret Dancer  50/1

HOOFNOTE:  All thoroughbred racehorses have their birthday on January 1st each year so some might be feeling their age! 

TENNIS

Finally an early tip for the Australian Tennis Open and a confident one at that.

Andy Murray at best available odds of 7/1 (bwin) should be snapped up.
Murray is destined to win a few Grand Slams and I think this will be the beginning of his rise to the very top so make sure you have your saltires handy!