Online betting and gambling at williamhill.com, the world’s biggest bookmaker
A devastated Phil Mickelson made no secret that finishing runner-up at the US Open for the sixth-time was “heart-breaking”, but the American will have the chance to bounce back next month at the Open in Scotland.
The left-hander, a perennial favourite in the British Open betting, started the final round at Merion with a single-shot lead over the rest of the field, but two early double-bogeys at the third and fifth holes completely threw Mickelson’s round off track.
A sensational eagle at the 10th gave the American renewed hope, but further shots went at 13 and 15 when he hit two poor wedge approaches and from there it was Justin Rose who went on to win his first US Open title, with Mickelson once again leaving the tournament wondering what might have been.
“For me it’s very heart-breaking. This could have been a really big turnaround for me in how I look at the US Open. This week was my best opportunity I felt, the way I was playing and the position I was in and to not do it, it hurts.”
“This is probably the toughest for me because at 42, to be so close, you know, it was really set up for me,” admitted a downbeat Mickelson after seeing Englishman Rose lifting the trophy at Merion.
But instead of feeling sorry for himself for the next couple of months, Mickelson will be able to use his latest US Open disappointment as motivation in the run-up to July’s Open at Muirfield in Scotland.
Despite never being the happiest hunting ground for Mickelson, a shortcoming that the latest British Open odds reflect, a third place finish in 2004 and a tied for second in 2011 have shown that the left-hander is capable of handling the different conditions posed by the links courses of the UK.
Napoli striker Edison Cavani has hinted at a move away from Serie A as he described Real Madrid as a ‘beautiful team’ and some believe he could be on the way to the Bernabeu in during the summer transfer window.
The Uruguay international is regarded as one of the top strikers in the game right now and hit an impressive 29 goals in 34 appearances for Napoli last season, so certainly knows where the back of the net is.
His superb form has of course meant that a number of big clubs are keen on him and it does look as though Cavani might be on the way out of Napoli during the summer.
In his most recent press conference, the Uruguayan said he wasn’t too bothered by the speculation, but did admit he is an admirer of Real Madrid: “I am very calm. Real Madrid are a beautiful team, every player dreams of playing there when he is a child.
“Those are things that they are talking from behind, as it will soon be seen. But officially nobody has talked with me.”
There could be somewhat of a bidding war for the striker as not only are Real keen, but Premier League duo Manchester City and Chelsea have been keeping tabs on Cavani over recent months.
Napoli have kept onto their star man during the most recent transfer windows, but he looks to be on the move this summer and the player could have the final say in where he ends up.
As long as Real Madrid meet the Italian club’s demands, it looks as though the Bernabeu is the most likely destination. When it comes to football betting, you can see Real lead the way as they are at 5/4 to sign the player during the summer.
However, if they don’t offer enough money or Cavani can’t agree personal terms, then we could see the goal-scorer in the Premier League come next season, which is something many would love to see.
Northern trained three-year-old colts have been hitting the racing betting news this season, and after Middleham’s Libertarian ran a cracker to finish runner-up in the Investec Derby at Epsom, Willie The Whipper, trained by Ann Duffield at nearby Constable Burton ran a fine race to stay on into sixth in the French equivalent.
Ideally suited by give in the ground, Willie The Whipper bounced back from a disappointing effort at Chester in May when only fourth of the five runners in the Group 3 BetVictor.com Dee Stakes behind the classy Magician – where he clearly failed to handle the sharp Roodeye circuit – with a much better effort at Chantilly.
The son of Whipper appeared in a hopeless position after dwelling as the stalls opened but battled his way through all the traffic jams to stay on well in the closing stages to finish a six-length sixth to the tremendously impressive Andre Fabre-trained colt, Intello.
Duffield expressed her delight at the way the Qatar Racing-owned colt stuck to his task through the final quarter-mile of the French Derby, a performance that suggested that a possible bid for the final classic of the season, the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster could well be on the cards.
More immediately, connections of Willie The Whipper will weigh up their next target with a bid for the German Derby at Hamburg in July a distinct possibility. The Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York’s Ebor meeting in mid-August is another potential target and a race seen as a key trial for the St Leger on Town Moor the following month.
The winner of a listed contest at Pontefract last season before finishing a fine runner-up in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint Cloud, Willie The Whipper looks set to take Ann Duffield to some of the top international fixtures around Europe for the rest of this season.
Get the latest racing live betting updates on the bet365 website.
The Richard Hannon-trained Qipco 1000 Guineas winner Sky Lantern looks all set to renew rivalry with the Newmarket runner-up Just The Judge after connections decided not to bid for the French Oaks at Chantilly over 10 furlongs.
The champion trainer has long reckoned that the grey daughter of Red Clubs would stay beyond a mile, but for the time being has decided to stick at eight furlongs and bid for glory on one of the biggest racing stages in the world at Royal Ascot where she will seek to add the Group 1 Coronation Stakes to her classic success of last month.
The form of her win at HQ was well and truly franked when the half-length runner-up Just The Judge put up a convincing performance at the Curragh a few weeks later in the Group 1 Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas, and many form students believe that Charles Hills’ filly will gain her revenge on her Newmarket conqueror on a track that is likely to suit her better than the Rowley Mile.
Just The Judge, a daughter of Lawman who is owned jointly by Qatar Racing and the Sangster Family, had been unbeaten prior to losing out to Sky Lantern, having won all three starts as a juvenile including the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket last season and was making her seasonal reappearance in the Qipco 1000 Guineas, unlike the eventual winner who had blown the cobwebs away at the April meeting at Newmarket when runner-up to the Sir Henry Cecil-trained Hot Snap in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes.
According to the racing betting news on the bet365 website, Hot Snap might also bid for the Coronation Stakes, having disappointed badly when sent off favourite for the Guineas in the racing live betting – a performance just too bad to be true – and could well prove the fly in the ointment for the two classic winners.
Rory McIlroy will head to Merion early in order to try and acclimatise himself to the conditions he will face at next week’s US Open, with the Northern Irishman desperately trying to end a dismal run of form this year.
Despite maintaining his number two ranking, McIlroy, a perennial favourite in the US Open odds, will arrive at Merion without a victory to his name this season and looking nothing like the player that he was last year.
A disappointing performance at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio culminated in the 2011 US Open champion finishing 18-shots behind winner Matt Kuchar. It was another bad week for the two-time major winner with the putter and that has been behind McIlroy’s decision to arrive at Merion early with coach Dave Stockton.
Rather than play in any of the various warm-up events, McIlroy and Stockton will spend a week working together on the course at Merion in the run-up to the second major of the year.
“The ball striking has not really been an issue this year. I’ve actually hit the ball pretty well from tee to green, and I’ve given myself a lot of opportunities but didn’t take as many as I should have.”
“I’m playing pretty well. I need it all to click into place and once I do that, I’ll be off and running,” insisted McIlroy to US Open betting pundits.
Despite his total lack of form this year, McIlroy will still tee off at Merion as one of the favourites to win the tournament.
It certainly isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that McIlroy could return to form in spectacular fashion by winning this month’s US Open, but it would certainly need a dramatic improvement if the world number two is going to be able to be a genuine contender.
Trainer of Mince, Roger Charlton, has all but ruled out his horse heading to Royal Ascot this year after a disappointing display in her last run.
The four-year-old was odds-on favourite for a clash in Windsor, but only managed to finish in third, which means it is no win from her first two races of the year.
There is no doubt she has a lot of quality, but Charlton clearly doesn’t want to test her too much at this stage and will skip Ascot.
The trainer told his website: “She got the perfect lead but in the last two furlongs she was not able to produce any extra.
“She is unlikely to run at Royal Ascot and we will give her plenty of time before making a decision where or when she will run next.”
In truth, this might be a smart move from Charlton as a trip to Ascot might be a little but too tough for the filly and she clearly isn’t in the best of form.
What she needs is a few more runs to get some confidence back and once she is running at her best, there is no doubt Mince can challenge for some big races.
She holds an entry for a race at Newmarket next week and horse racing betting experts are sure to still have a punt on her winning, should she run.
Charlton is an experienced trainer that doesn’t make too many rash decisions and his treatment of the filly seems to be perfect right now.
At just four-years-old, he knows the horse has a bright future and that there is no need to rush anything. With the right care, treatment and of course form, we could see Mince taking part in some big encounters later on in the year.
For now though, it is all about working out why things haven’t got all that well.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell could prove to be Australia’s key player in the ICC Champions Trophy this summer after impressing over the past 12 months with some scintillating cricket.
Australia’s squad for the ODI tournament is littered with unknowns and Maxwell is certainly a talent likely to turn the heads of ICC Champions Trophy Tips writers over the coming month. Despite his newness on the international scene, the 24-year-old has risen to become a vital member of Australia’s ODI squad and will prove himself capable of great things against the best bowling attacks in the game.
The big-hitter is no stranger to short-form cricket after T20 stints for Australia and a successful IPL campaign with the Mumbai Indians that landed him a cool $1m this April. He made his Test debut for Australia against India in March and although he didn’t impress too much at least got the experience under his belt.
Indeed, experience at his age is a real rarity and Maxwell also has an understanding of English wickets thanks to a season spell at South Wilts CC last summer. He will use his nous to Australia’s advantage in the Champions Trophy, where many betting fans have the Baggy Greens as outside favourites to win the tournament.
With the bat he can find the boundary when required and has a 25.25 average, not bad for his first 11 games in the middle order. Yet it’s his off-spin credentials that makes Maxwell so valuable to the side, for he adds balance in this bat-heavy line-up and knows the wickets well enough to turn the ball when required.
If Australia are to win the Champions Trophy they need players like Maxwell to have a good tournament, something few cricket betting fans would back against.
Joseph O’Brien is all set to defend the race he won on board Camelot last year – The Investec Derby at Epsom Downs.
The ride that O’Brien got out of one of the most talented horses Flat racing has seen in recent times last year was superb and this time out, he partners Battle Of Marengo, who is talented, but not quite as strong as Camelot.
It was clearly a race that meant a lot to the jockey, who is the son of trainer, Aidan, and he admitted that he it was like a dream come true – which is no surprise when you consider he is part of a huge racing family and the Derby is the richest of them all.
He said: “It was a dream come true from the time I was a baby. It was a dream to ride in the race, let alone win it.
“Pressure is a great thing to have because it means you have a great chance of winning the race.”
The jockey is clearly a man that loves to ride in the big races and he doesn’t shy away from the pressure. If anything, having the odds-on favourite in Camelot last year made him even hungrier for success, which is a great thing to see.
This year, it is going to take possibly the best performance of them all for team O’Brien to win with Battle OF Marengo. If you are looking at the latest Epsom Derby odds, you can back this horse at 7/1.
The trainer, Aidan, has as many as five entries in this clash, so he has a strong chance of winning. if he were to pick one that he would love to come out on top though, it would surely be the horse that is son is riding.
With Joseph on board, you can’t write this colt off and he might just be the pick of the bunch at this year’s Epsom Derby.
Bring it on.
There were no Brits in the second round of the French Open for the first time since 2007 but UK tennis fans shouldn’t be too disappointed after the national contingent all faced tough challenges to progress.
World number two Andy Murray failed to recover from a back strain picked up earlier in May and withdrew from Roland Garros a week before the first round in effort to right his body before the grass season. Murray is a top favourite in the men’s French Open betting to win Wimbledon this year and rightly sacrificed a painful French Open campaign to concentrate on SW19.
As for Britain’s WTA representatives, Laura Robson cannot be disappointed with her exit after unluckily meeting former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the first round. Robson has been in bad form on clay and Wozniacki is looking to boost her reputation in the tennis betting world, so there was no surprise when the Dane dispatched of her opponent 6-3 6-2.
Two other British women lasted but a short time on the Parisian clay, but both Heather Watson and Elena Baltacha had come into the Grand Slam off major injuries and were not even expected to win a set.
So while Britain’s participation in the singles events may have come to an early close there is no reason for fans who bet on Betfair tennis to be ashamed of the quartet. At Wimbledon this summer we can expect a much stronger contingent and Murray is certainly the man to watch as he goes for the men’s title.
Both Robson and Watson will hope for a good run into the second week of their home Slam, while Baltacha may make round two if she’s lucky. Now the grass season is upon us there are reasons to be positive and Wimbledon’s influence should bring out the very best of British tennis.
Nick Compton must score runs for Somerset before the start of July if he’s to impress during the Ashes this summer, according to England team director Andy Flower.
The warning comes after a disappointing series with the bat against New Zealand, in which Compton averaged just 9.75 from four innings. With just over a month to go before the first Test with Australia at Trent Bridge, the 29-year-old needs to find some form to give England any sort of chance in the top of the order.
“He’s got to go away and get back into form, score some heavy runs for Somerset,” Flower told BBC Sport. “He has a few days off, then plays in a couple of one-day games before playing first-class cricket.”
Indeed, Compton has not had a good series and struggled on the unpredictable English wickets, yet Betfair pundit, Michael Vaughan accepts it is almost too late for Flower to now change plans regarding England’s opening partnership.
Compton has been trained specifically for this Ashes series – he only made his debut against India last winter and the point of his inclusion was to give him a baptism of fire so as to prepare him for the vigorous Australian bowling attack.
The India experiment worked and Compton proved himself a worthy opener yet failed to perform both on the tour of New Zealand and now back at home. If he is to meet the standard required to open with Alastair Cook he must bat well for Somerset against Derbyshire and during a first-class warm-up versus Australia.
It’s too late to change the top order now and Flower knows it, so his words are more of a hopeful spur to get his batsman firing rather than a direct threat of losing his place in the team.
Compton, along with each member of the team, must perform to give England a chance of retaining the Urn against an unknown and dangerous Australian pack.
Get the latest ICC Champions Trophy betting odds on the Betfair website