Juventus spoiled the Real Madrid party in the Spanish capital midweek and it looks increasingly likely that the Whites will have a barren season which – history dictates – is likely to lead to a change at the Bernabeu.
With that in mind, BetVictor’s market for the next permanent Manchester City manager makes fascinating reading. Bayern boss Pep Guardiola insists he will see out his contract in Munich and so City are faced with a choice: do they persevere with Manuel Pellegrini for another 12 months and then make a bid for the former Barcelona legend? What about promoting Patrick Vieira internally whilst keeping negotiations open with Guardiola? Or do they turn to Ancelotti?
It is only 12 months since Los Blancos won the Champions League under Ancelotti and the City owners must be frustrated by their side’s lack of progress in Europe. Remember there is no timescale on this market:
Next Manchester City manager: prices from BetVictor
Pep Guardiola 11/8
Carlo Ancelotti 13/8
Jurgen Klopp 4/1
Patrick Vieira 6/1
Others on request
The great Steven Gerrard takes his final Anfield bow on Saturday on what is sure to be an emotionally charged evening. Two Gerrard headers have won Liverpool an extra three points in their last couple of games evoking memories of that headed goal which was the catalyst for, arguably, the greatest night in the history of Liverpool FC against Milan in Istanbul.
Gerrard is 14/1 to score a headed goal and 9/5 to find the back of the net at any time on his final appearance in front of the Anfield faithful.
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The Yorkshire Cup is the feature race on the final day of York’s three-day May meeting and I was fortunate enough to catch up with BetVictor’s Brand Ambassador Michael Owen to discuss the chances of his Brown Panther in the feature event.
“Brown Panther seems in great form and this has been the plan since Dubai; we have to give weight away to five talented rivals which is less than ideal but Panther was, arguably, as good as ever in Dubai last time and we are looking forward to what promises to be a terrific renewal of this valuable and prestigious event.”
Brown Panther (3.15) is 9/4 at BetVictor to won on the Knavesmire this afternoon and 20/1 to win both the Yorkshire Cup and next month’s Ascot Gold Cup which is his next target. He didn’t appear to quite get home in the Gold Cup 12 months ago but connections are convinced he will stay the 2m 4f trip.
It will be no easy task giving 5lbs to last season’s Leger runner up Romsdal and I liked the way the latter was keeping on over 12f at Newbury last time; this step back up in trip looks sure to suit but Brown Panther gets a narrow vote.
The Channel 4 cameras are also at Newbury and there is a competitive 6f handicap which sees the reappearance of Fast Track (2.55) for David Barron. Jimmy Fortune takes the ride on this gelded son of Rail Link who was a most progressive sprinter last term until disappointing on his final start at York. The Barron stable are in good form and there is a big race in Fast Track him I believe this season.
There is a tremendous evening card at Aintree and Virgilio (7.05) carries a 7lbs penalty for a recent Warwick success and can follow up for the excellent Dan Skelton. The selection would be running from a mark 13lbs higher if this race were run tomorrow and this looks an excellent piece of placing.
Royal Irish Hussar has disappointed in recent starts but remains open to improvement over timber and would be one to consider if the market spoke in his favour; remember he was once antepost favourite for the Triumph Hurdle having won his first three starts over timber and ran well on ground too soft when last seen back in January.
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