South African and European racing might be suspended for the next few weeks, but there are still betting opportunities to be had. The TAB and bookmakers (all online, of course) are still in business – though they’ve had to search in some unlikely places for punting fodder.
On Friday morning, tabonline.co.za had live cards up for Australian venues such as Pakenham, Beaudesert, Albion Park and Gloucester. Saturday’s Aussie fare comes from Bendigo, Kalgoorlie, Bunbury and Port Macquarie – as well as the better-known venue of Rosehill.
Much closer to home on Friday is Borrowdale Park, a meeting featuring only Zimbabwe jockeys as the usual coterie of South African riders can’t be there.
The Harare action starts at 1.30pm, the headliner being the Group 3 Zimababwe 2000 – a three-year-old classic that forms part of the local Triple Crown.
Only four runners face the starter and the nicely named grey Zimbabwe Rapids, ridden by old friend Kevin Derere, will be a sentimental choice. His main opposition is Wantage.
Alongside Borrowdale runs a meeting at Kranji in Singapore, where racing continues behind closed doors. The main event is Race 7, in which another snazzy name jumps out: Viva Papaya, who chalked up near the top of the boards. His threats are many, with Inherit, Glasgow and Minister all having an arguable case.
Friday evening’s principal action is from Gulfstream Park in the US, backed up by the much-maligned harness racing from Solvalla in Sweden.
South African jockey Grant van Niekerk is in hot form in Hong Kong and takes a Wednesday hat-trick of wins into Sunday’s meeting at Sha Tin.
“GvN” is now firmly among the top five jocks in the racing-mad city, but bettors must refrain from blindly following his bookings – Joao Moreira and Zac Purton still have a stranglehold on the best rides and must be included in most bet combos.
TAB’s money-spinning soccer bets – Soccer 6 and 10 – are still being offered even though no top-flight leagues are in play.
In the first weekend of the lockdown, the thrills of Bujumbura City versus Bumamuru in Burundi lurk among the choices – alongside a hectic Russian derby between Minsk and Dinamo Minsk and a needle clash in Sweden between Mjallby and Trelleborgs.
Time-consuming research might be needed, but what else are you doing?
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