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It’s a big weekend at the Curragh. I’m a big Midday fan and think she’ll win the Pretty Polly Stakes on Saturday.

Sunday’s Irish Derby looks less straight-forward. Many will side with Treasure Beach (4.3) to confirm the Epsom form but I feel he may have been flattered by the way the Derby was run. Carlton House had a horrible passage before and during the race, with all the trouble at Tattenham Corner and the injury scare in the build-up. In the circumstances Carlton House ran a blinder and I’m keen to give him another chance to prove his star quality. I’m told things have gone very smoothly with him since the Derby and Sir Michael Stoute was mad keen to run so a big performance is expected. He’s been trading at around 2.4 on Betdaq for the last few days but I’m hopeful the Queen’s colt will trade bigger than that on Sunday. I think Carlton House will win.
 
Just a week to go until the start of one of my favourite events of the year – the Tour de France. Continually marred by drug scandals yet still compelling and a superb betting medium. This year’s race has a major scandal hanging over it before it’s even started with hot favourite and reigning champion Alberto Contador still to be cleared after a failed test nearly a year ago. He’s landed two big punts for us in the last two years but can we back the brilliant Spaniard again this year?

The race is an out and out two-horse race in my eyes. Contador v Andy Schleck – the one-two last year. On Betdaq Contador is trading at 1.69 to back and 1.72 to lay. Andy Schleck at 3.55/3.75.

Would you rather back Contador who has the weight of the world on his shoulders with serious pressure being put on him to pull out? Further, last week he said “right now I’m tired. My muscles still feel the Giro. It is very difficult to win the Tour anyway, because it requires a specific approach. The Giro was not the ideal preparation, because it was extremely difficult.” It’s a mighty task to win the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France these days.

Or would you rather back Andy Schleck who skipped the Giro and has prepared solely for the Tour? He showed plenty of signs that he’s in great condition in the Tour of Switzeland last week.

I am firmly with Andy Schleck at 3.55.
 
Final word this week must be left to the brilliant Rory McIlroy, who produced some compelling golf and television to win the US Open last weekend. Unlike Tiger Woods, McIlroy has won over the galleries with his charm and grace, capturing the public’s imagination. It’s no surprise to see McIlroy trading at just 7.2 on Betdaq to win the Open at Sandwich next month.