What happens next?

Our team reflects on the weekend's sport with an eye on future betting opportunities in racing, football, F1 and rugby league.

Racing

William Haggas was left disappointed by Rivet's narrow victory in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September but his colt proved that his hopes were not so wide of the mark after all with victory in the Racing Post Trophy on Saturday.

Rivet disappointed in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in between, finishing some three and a half lengths behind Sky Bet's 6/4 Qipco 2000 Guineas favourite Churchill, and that run led Haggas to suggest that his Fastnet Rock colt would not be returning for next season's Classic.

He backed off that view on Sunday to some extent which is understandable as there's a lot of water to flow under the bridge before then but there are two very smart colts ahead of him in the betting and the 16/1 makes no great appeal.

Backing a 5/2 shot 12 months beforehand isn't for everyone but Sky Bet's price about Winx landing a third Cox Plate seems entirely reasonable.

Chris Waller's brilliant mare was sent off at 4/5 on Saturday with the in-form and progressive Hartnell expected to give her a thorough examination but she absolutely blitzed the field to win by eight lengths.

Talk of a trip to Royal Ascot has been mooted but we've seen time and again that it's not easy to lure the top Australian horses to our shores where the prize money comes up short in comparison; connections collected £950k on Saturday whereas the Queen Anne – one of her likelier targets – was worth a 'mere' £340k last season.

Some of Australia's greats have won two Cox Plates such as So You Think and Phar Lap and the temptation to add her name to the list of triple winners is top of her connections' list.

The Street Cry mare seems to be getting better and better and there's no reason why her form should decline over the next 12 months. If she remains in one piece, she will be a lot shorter than 5/2 regardless of who lines up against her at Moonee Valley.

Ian Ogg

Click here for all of Sky Bet's Winx specials

Football

Chelsea were the big winners of the weekend in the Premier League as they walloped Jose Mourinho's Manchester United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Blues are into 6/1 for the title but I'd rather be with Tottenham as the value pick in the outright odds at 10/1.

Spurs, who drew 0-0 at Bournemouth in Saturday's early game, currently sit in the fifth in the top-flight as the leading five teams are only separated by one point.

I still consider Manchester City worthy favourites but 11/8 is too short for the Etihad Stadium outfit as Pep Guardiola struggles to get consistency out of the talent at his disposal.

Lower down the football pyramid, MK Dons parted company with manager Karl Robinson on Sunday night.

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The Dons were highly fancied to get amongst the Sky Bet League One promotion contenders but they are all the way down the standings in 19th after Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Southend.

There is still hope though for all of the clubs struggling in the third tier of English football.

Barnsley went from bottom to play-off winners in the second half of last term and I think there are more opportunities to shock in this campaign.

MK Dons are 11/1 to return to the Sky Bet Championship at the first attempt, a price I'm sure that will come in if they make an impressive managerial appointment.

I'd also recommend a look at the 4/1 for the Dons to finish in the top six. The Buckinghamshire outfit are only seven points behind sixth-placed AFC Wimbledon despite their slow start and I fully expect to see an upturn in fortunes.

Nick Hext

Click here for Sky Bet's latest Premier League odds

Click here for Sky Bet's latest League One odds

Formula 1

It's been a trying couple of months for racing driver and snapchat enthusiast Lewis Hamilton, but the Briton extended his dominance of the United States Grand Prix – winning in Texas for the fourth time in five years and securing a fifth US victory overall – to keep his faltering drivers' title defence just about on the rails.

He's now 10/3 to overhaul team-mate Nico Rosberg and take the title, but it still looks a tough task. Rosberg has been by far the more consistent of the pair this season, and even victories in all three remaining races will not be enough for Hamilton if the German follows him home each time.

Indeed, Rosberg can afford to finish third once and still walk off with the title. Hamilton's chances, then, appear to hinge on Daniel Ricciardo managing to get his Red Bull between the Mercedes a couple of times – Sunday's race showed again how unlikely this is – or Rosberg being forced out of a race through mechanical failure or a crash.

Rosberg also has the better record of the pair at the remaining three tracks, having won twice in Brazil to Hamilton's none and prevailing last year in Mexico.

The pair have a win apiece in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where, if anything, the German looks slightly too big even at 1/4 to walk off with a maiden individual crown.

Dave Tickner

Click here for Sky Bet's latest Formula 1 odds

Rugby league

England made a winning start under new head coach Wayne Bennett at the weekend with a 40-6 victory over France and will head into the Four Nations tournament in confident mood.

The arrival of the highly-regarded Australian head coach – and of course the return of Sam Burgess from rugby union – could well be the factors which can finally end the national team's 44-year wait for major silverware.

They weren't too far from toppling both Australia and New Zealand in their own backyards back in 2014 when suffering two narrow defeats while they went on to claim a 2-1 series win over the Kiwis last year.

On the evidence of Saturday's impressive triumph, which was inspired by two tries from Ryan Hall, they could well push tournament favourites Australia and New Zealand all the way.

England and New Zealand can both be backed at 3/1 to win the tournament while the Kangeroos are 8/13. Scotland are the 100/1 outsiders.

I think England are the team to back from the prices available, especially as they can get off to a good start on Saturday afternoon with victory over New Zealand.

Chris Hammer

Click here for Sky Bet's Four Nations odds

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