Sports Betting Weekly by Alan Barbour.
GOLF: KLM Open, Hilversumsche GC. Begins Thursday.
Also known as the Dutch Open, this par 70 track usually yields plenty of birdies although the tightness of the course demands a degree of accuracy from the players.
Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer (last year’s winner) make up a stronger-than-usual field and consequently feature at the head of the market but this allows us to pick up some value odds on some of the players a little lower down the bookies’ lists.
Westwood once again came up short on a Sunday when dropping away tamely at last week’s European Masters at Crans in Switzerland, while McIlroy is way too short in the betting for someone who has still not secured a victory on European soil.
Kaymer however, did play well at Crans and eventually finished the tournament as the runner-up.
On that showing he looks the most likely of the ‘big three’ to be in the thick of the action on the final day.
At odds of around 35/1, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is a fair bet to add the title to the one he won here in 2005.
He has suffered from back problems (a degenerated disc) but has finished 23rd and 18th in the last two tournaments in which he has taken part and also showed his liking for Hilversumsche GC when finishing in a tie for fourth last year.
Scots taking part are:
Ben Collier, David Drysdale, Alastair Fosyth, Stephen Gallacher, Scott Jamieson, Paul Lawrie, George Murray, Steven O’Hara, Gary Orr, Richie Ramsay, Elliot Saltman, Lloyd Saltman, Marc Warren and Peter Whiteford.
HORSE RACING: ST.LEGER, Doncaster, 3.10pm. Saturday.
The final Classic of the season takes place at Town Moor over 1m and 6 furlongs and it usually pays to go with the favourite or at least one of the first few in the betting.
Sea Moon heads the market at 11/8 following his win in the Great Voltigeur at York for his trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
It is very hard to knock his win in that race (a key trial race for the St. Leger) and even given that he might be a little inexperienced for a race like this, trainer Stoute is sure to have him spot on to do himself justice.
Brown Panther, trained by Tom Dascombe and owned by footballer Michael Owen, will have plenty of support and he certainly looked capable of winning a St.Leger when he captured the King George V Handicap at Ascot.
The all-conquering Richard Hannon/Richard Hughes combination are represented by Census.
Brown Panther slammed him in the King George V at Ascot but Census exacted his revenge at Newbury and is the one for the forecast.
FOOTBALL: SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE.
Celtic v Motherwell HOME
Dundee United v Rangers AWAY
Inverness CT v Hearts DRAW
Kilmarnock v Dunfermline AWAY
St.Mirren v St. Johnstone HOME
Best Bet: Nikica Jelavic (First Goalscorer), Dundee United v Rangers.