Phil “The Power” Taylor from Stoke has been champion of the world 16 times and is the best darts player in the history of the sport….or pub game. It’s debatable whether throwing three small objects in the general direction of the board could be called a sport but I’m sure some oddball is trying to get darts to become an Olympic sport. Michael van Gerwen has taken getting three in the bed (three triple 20s) to a new level and he awaits Taylor in the final of the PDC World Championship if both players win their semi-finals matches today. The double on Taylor to beat Jamie Lewis and MVG to beat Rob Cross pays 2/5. The Dutchman is odds-on to win the tournament and prevent Taylor ending his career with a 17th world title.
There are six fixtures in the Premier League today starting at the traditional time of 3pm. In the olden days every fixture began at this time and it’s a relatively recent concept of matches being played at times that suit the TV companies. Television money finances the sport and he who pays the piper calls the tune. In modern language that translates to Sky and BT pump a fortune into football so they can dictate when matches start and that is when they can attract most viewers. The live televised match today brings together Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford. The 1976 FA Cup Final involved these teams and racehorse trainer Mick Channon played for the Saints. UNITED can win this time at 4/11 with Ladbrokes.
There have been some strange results at Leopardstown this week which have caused shake-ups in several betting markets for races at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Sizing John ran too badly to be true in the staying chase and the main beneficiary is Might Bite in the Gold Cup. The impressive King George winner at Kempton on Boxing Day is now the favourite to win the most prestigious chase of the season. The horse is a best priced 4/1 with William Hill to win the Gold Cup. The racing today is more about competitive handicaps than graded contests. The feature race is at Newbury where the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle provides the quality. Taylor first won the world darts championship WAY BACK THEN so a horse of that name would be an appropriate winner of this Newbury contest at 9/2 with Coral.