When the biggest football match of the night is an international friendly between Iceland and Czech Republic you know it’s a quiet one. It’s the week of the World Cup playoffs but before then the team that humbled England at last year’s Euros host the runners-up at Euro 96 in a meaningless fixture. Iceland have done it again and qualified for the World Cup and they could have some backers at 150/1 with Coral.
There are four fixtures in the EFL Trophy but the most feisty match brings together Chester, the home team, and Wrexham in the National League. The two clubs are only 13 miles apart but one is England and the other is in Wales. Wrexham are 19 places and 14 points ahead of their opponents in this fixture but on form the hosts are not without a chance. CHESTER can win as underdogs at 21/10 with Betfair.
The theme of moderate fare continues with today’s racing. Nottingham is the principle meeting in Britain and the seven races are worth £47K in total while one of the many All Weather fixtures at Dundalk offers £27,000 more in prize money. Low prize money attracts poor horses and you can’t have a Cheltenham Festival or Aintree Grand National meeting every week. The top level of racing is flourishing but the grass roots offers abysmal prize money which could get worse if FOBT’s are restricted.
The highlight of the card at Nottingham is a race that is run in the name of the wife of the late Henry Cecil. The Lady Cecil Handicap (2.15pm) is a class 2 contest for much below the level horses generally trained by Cecil. Hoof It is a former top class handicapper who has seen better days, much like one of the owners, the golfer Lee Westwood. The horse and player are both about 25/1 to win this week.
Perfect Pasture is the top rated horse in the race. He has dropped down in the weights to a manageable mark and 7lb lower than when second in the same contest last year. The horse has won over course and distance so PERFECT PASTURE must be backed at 4/1 with William Hill to win Mrs Cecil’s race.