Monday 10 October 2016

4.20 Nottingham, Wednesday, October 12

In the 4.20 at Nottingham on Wednesday, Waseem Faris makes a quick reappearance after being beaten, but not disgraced, in a better race at York last Friday and returns to the scene of his last victory. In fact, the Exceed And Excel gelding can race off the same mark as when keeping on to beat El Viento by 1¼ lengths in this race last year and is similarly well drawn, so warrants close inspection. Joseph Tuite’s 7-year-old has raced just once in this grade in the interim, when beaten half a length off a 1lb higher mark over 5½ furlongs at Brighton in August, so would appear to hold every chance if anywhere near his best. He’s won on going ranging from firm to soft, so should run his race regardless of the vagaries of the British weather and, with a couple of ‘duck eggs’ next to his name, could represent a shade of value.

Selection: Nottingham 4.20 Waseem Faris to win

Wednesday 5 October 2016

England versus Malta, Saturday, October 8

‘Ignominious exit’ is a phrase that has become synonymous with the England national football team in recent months, but defeat against Malta – officially rated 164 places worse than their hosts, according to FIFA – at Wembley on Saturday would be plumbing new depths, even for the Three Lions. Interim manager Gareth Southgate is without Raheem Sterling and Glen Johnson due to injury but, even so, anything other than a resounding victory will feel like a defeat for the home team.

England did manage a last-gasp victory in their opening World Cup qualifying match against 10-man Slovakia in Trvana, while Malta were on the wrong end of 5-0 hammering by Scotland in Attard, a match in which Falcons’ defender Jonathan Caruana was controversially dismissed after an hour. At odds of 1/50, only a routine away victory, with a clean sheet to boot, will do for England but, while Vardy, Rashford and company could run riot, let’s err on the side of caution and try England to win 3-0 at 13/2 with Paddy Power or William Hill.

Selection: England to win 3-0 (13/2 with Paddy Power or William Hill).