10 Things To Watch This Weekend

June 25, 2021

Formula One: The Red Bull Ring is holding a double header for the second time in as many years due to the cancellation of the Turkish Grand Prix. The first race will run under the Styrian GP banner this weekend, followed by the Austrian GP next weekend. Red Bull head to its home races on the back of a trio of successes in Monaco, Azerbaijan and Baku, giving it a handsome lead over Mercedes in the standings. But Mercedes won both races in Austria last year, with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton scoring a victory apiece. Bottas, at 8-1, might be worth a wager for pole position. He’s 12-1 to win the race itself.

MotoGP: The Dutch MotoGP takes place this weekend before there’s a five-week summer break. Assen, the circuit where they’re racing, is called the Cathedral of Speed for a reason. There will be 11,500 Dutch spectators allowed in to watch from the famous grandstands. Fabio Quartararo, at 5-2, is our selection to win.

Euro 2020: We’ve reached the knockout rounds of the world’s second biggest tournament. There are 16 teams standing from the original 32 and now it’s a straight head-to-head until we find the winner. Saturday’s games see Wales play Denmark and Italy come up against Austria. On Sunday it’s the Netherlands against the Czech Republic and the mouth-watering encounter between Belgium and Portugal, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo can’t stop scoring. A Denmark-Italy-Netherlands-Belgium win all to come is 12-1.

Currie Cup: The domestic rugby competition sees two matches played this weekend with the Blue Bulls hosting the Pumas at 7pm on Friday night and Griquas at home to the Cheetahs at 3pm on Saturday. The Bulls are 9-10 to win by 12.5 points but the bet might be for the Pumas to get within that margin. Griquas are favourites to beat a weakened Cheetahs, but the Currie Cup often throws up the “wrong” result.

International rugby: The British & Irish Lions play their first game since coming together as a squad, ahead of their trip to South Africa starting next week. The B&I Lions take on Japan in a warm-up and should win the game but their biggest concern won’t be the opposition, but rather the hope to stay injury free.

Racing: The local meeting highlighting Saturday’s racing is at Kenilworth, but with the cold fronts that have been sweeping the Cape, the soft going could prove the undoing of several horses. There are a number of short-priced favourites on a day where trainers Justin Snaith and Candice Bass-Robinson hold strong hands. Marina looks one of the best bets on the card for Bass-Robinson, but Waiting For Summer, Barzalona, Santa Maria and Amanzimtoti all have strong prospects earlier in the day. In the fifth race she also sends out Marmalisa and Iris and while the former is the stable elect, Iris is a small filly with a big heart and could spring an upset. A Santa Maria-Marina-Hoedspruit treble is 14-1.

Cricket: After winning the Test series 2-0, South Africa will want to keep the momentum going when the T20I series starts on Saturday. The hosts have actually been priced up as the favourites to win the opening game and there’s little doubt that they are better in the shorter format of the game. The result might seem like a coin toss, given the lack of “form” and also that the hosts will be a lot more competitive in the 20-over-a-side games.

Cricket: England have won the first two matches in their T20I series and look to make it a clean sweep in the third match, in Southampton on Saturday. In boh earlier games England batted second and easily chased down the Sri Lankans’ targets, winning by eight wickets and five wickets, respectively. They again look far too strong for the Sri Lankans.

Golf: There’s golf on both sides of the Atlantic this week with the European Tour action staging the BMW International Open, where 15 South Africans teed it up in the opening two rounds.  Across in the USA it was the PGA Tour’s Traveler’s Championship and here only two South Africans – Garrick Higgo and Dylan Frittelli – entered the event. Frittelli has struggled for form lately, while Higgo might just be a bit emotionally fatigued after a run which saw him win on the PGA Tour and then take part in the US Open.

Cycling: The famous Tour de France gets going on Saturday and while it’s true that you can’t win the Tour in the first week, you can certainly lose it through a crash or injury. However, Saturday’s start is no more than a stretching of the legs for the big guns. Defending champion Tadej Pogacar will have his supporters – he is after all the race favourite – but our choice of winner in three weeks time is Primoz Roglic. Geraint Thomas, Richard Carapez, Richie Porte and Julian Alaphilippe could be the best of the rest. South Africa’s leading hope is Louis Meintjes, who will be targeting a top 10 overall.

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