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The Punter: Beckham and Rooney ready to hit jackpot

Wayne Rooney

Now that we are in to a new year, thoughts will turn to what might be worthwhile bets over the next 12 months.

The biggest sporting event on the 2010 calender is the World Cup in South Africa and Brazil at 11-2 has to be the call, but a more interesting one for those not tempted by that, is the 7-2 offered by Coral on an England players scoring a hat-trick during the finals.

With Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe more than capable of doing such a thing at any time, their chances against Algeria, Slovenia and the USA, must be more than good.

Still on the football front, 10-1 about David Beckham scoring for Milan against Man United in the Champions’ League (Hill’s), is worth taking as it is just the sort of thing that happens on such occasions and would be a godsend to the headline writers.

It’s not beyond the imagination to see Becks giving Fergie’s boys the big ‘E’ and wouldn’t he just love to put one over his former boss and take revenge for that snub from Fergie at the Emirates Stadium back in May after the Champions’ League semi-final against Arsenal.

That will be a fun bet for many, but one which must be given more serious consideration is on the racing front and concerns trainer Paul Nicholls.

Last year at Cheltenham, he won the the Gold Cup, the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle with Kauto Star, Master Minded and Big Buck’s.

Ladbrokes are offering 12-1 that all three will hold on to their crowns come March and that looks tasty.

Big Buck’s, barring accident, is past the post while Kauto only has his stablemate Denman to worry about, leaving Master Minded as the fly in the ointment so to speak.

He was not at himself when beaten last time, suffering a rib injury, but if he turns up at the Festival in tip-top condition which he will — otherwise he won’t run — then a third Master victory is very much on.

A slightly different version of this bet — and the one preferred — comes via Betfred who go 6-1 Nicholls training the winners of each race which therefore couples Denman with Kauto Star in the Gold Cup and includes Twist Magic in tandem with Master Minded in the Champion Chase.

Staying on a Nicholls theme, 2-1 Denman and Kauto to be the first two home in the Gold Cup in any order (reverse forecast) also makes appeal.

Kauto is currently 6-4 and Denman 9-4, but those prices will shorten come race day.

When Denman beat Kauto in 2008, the CSF paid £4.53, so the 2-1 represents value.

Belfast Telegraph