Halep can book semi-final place in Melbourne

Simona Halep (tipped at 9.0) is yet to drop a set at the Australian Open this year and has moved into the quarter-finals where she meets Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. Simona Halep The Romanian will surely taste Grand Slam success at some point this year after a fantastic 2014. She reached the quarter-finals here last year before losing to Dominika Cibulkova. She learned from that experience and reached the final… Read More »

Sharapova to maintain dominance over Bouchard

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova is set to clash with Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Maria Sharapova The Russian last won the Australian title in 2008 but showed that she was in peak form by beating Shuai Peng 6-3, 6-0. The world number two had been similarly dominant when brushing aside Zarina Diyas 6-1, 6-1 in the previous round and will be hoping… Read More »

Arsenal too classy for Seagulls

The FA Cup holders Arsenal travel to the south coast on Sunday to face Brighton in the fourth round. Victory over Hull in the competition ended a long wait for silverware for Arsene Wenger’s team who will start clear favourites after a famous victory over champions Manchester City. Arsenal Injuries in the first half of the season have plagued the side and they are still without Jack Wilshere, Mathiew Debuchy,… Read More »

West Ham to extend Cup run at Bristol City

Apart from Southampton, no team has exceeded expectations more than West Ham in the Premiership so far this season. Sam Allardyce has led his side into seventh place in the table and they have a chance to move into the 5th round of the FA Cup on Sunday when they travel to Bristol City. West Ham James Collins is likely to miss out with a back problem after being substituted in… Read More »

Liverpool to edge past Bolton at Anfield

Liverpool forced Premiership leaders Chelsea to pull out all the stops in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash at Anfield. A brilliant solo-goal by Raheem Sterling rescued a 1-1 draw for the Reds who visit Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night in the hope of securing a Wembley Cup final place. Liverpool The Merseysiders, already eliminated from the Champions League, are determined to get to Wembley for Captain Steven Gerrard who recently… Read More »

Schurrle to fire Blues into FA Cup 5th round

Premiership leaders Chelsea continue to campaign on four fronts with their attention now switched to the FA Cup fourth round. Chelsea Jose Mourinho’s side suffered a heavy defeat at Tottenham to allow Man City to draw level at the top but they now appear to be firmly back in control. A comfortable 3-0 victory over Watford in the previous round has been followed by Premier League wins over Newcastle and… Read More »

If In Doubt well weighted in Sky Bet Chase

The feature race at Doncaster on Saturday is the Sky Bet Chase over three miles at 3.15. If In Doubt Tony McCoy has switched from Cheltenham to partner If In Doubt for Philip Hobbs. The seven-year-old was a comfortable winner at Catterick last month but will be having only his fourth start over fences on Saturday. He was runner-up to Saphir Du Rheu in last year’s Lanzarote Hurdle and could… Read More »

Value At Risk a wise choice at Cheltenham

The 3.00 race on Cheltenham Festival Trials day is the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles. Value At Risk The likely favourite is Value At Risk, a six-year-old son of Kayf Tara trained by Dan Skelton. He won twice in Bumper races in Ireland last season when trained by Philip Fenton and was allowed to take his chance at the festival in March. He met interference… Read More »

Dynaste ready to rule in Betbright Cup

The feature race at Cheltenham on Saturday is the £100,000 BetBright Cup Chase, a Grade 2 event over three miles and a furlong. Dynaste The likely favourite here is Dynaste, trained by David Pipe at Nicholashayne in Devon. The grey won the Ryanair Chase at last year’s festival meeting and is currently joint-favourite to defend his crown in March. He also holds an entry in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and… Read More »

Peace And Co to boost Triumph Hurdle claims

There are no reported weather problems at Cheltenham ahead of Saturday’s important festival trials day. The going is officially soft and the action gets under way with the Triumph Hurdle Trial at 12.40. Peace And Co The hot favourite is the Nicky Henderson-trained Peace And Co, a French import who cruised to victory on his UK debut at Doncaster last month. The son of Falco was always travelling keenly for… Read More »