Firm racing ground is usually bad news for bookmakers because races tend to run to the form book and the percentage of winning favourites increases.
So it proved in the feature race at Haydock Park on Saturday, the Betfred.com Temple Stakes. The Group 2 contest was won by Roger Charlton’s Bated Breath (2/1f), just a neck ahead of Sole Power (3/1 second favourite). A combination of the firm ground and a strong following win down the straight meant the winner easily broke the track record for 5 furlongs, recording a time of 56.39 seconds.
At the Curragh, the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas was won by Power (5/1), trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Joseph O’Brien. There was further success for the trainer-jockey combination when So You Think (2/11 favourite) won the Tattersalls Gold Cup with ease.
Carl Froch was the underdog (6/4) to beat Lucian Bute (8/15) in the IBF super-middleweight title fight but defied the odds to beat the Romanian with a fifth round stoppage.
Elsewhere, Audley Harrison was odds-on to beat Ali Adams and justified that favouritism with a fourth round knock-down.
England (1/2) beat Norway (5/2) in their pre-Euro 2012 friendly but looked far from tournament winners in the first game under manager Roy Hodgson.
The Eurovision song contest largely went to form – favourites Sweden won (5/4) with the singing Russian grannies (5/1 second favourites) a distant second.