Weekend Review: Layers get the upper hand in Premier League

Bookies cheer bore-draw between Arsenal and Man Utd as well as a 40/1 upset in Saturday’s Sky Bet Handicap Chase

It was the bookmakers who toasted a satisfactory weekend’s work on Sunday night after Tottenham’s defeat at the hands of strugglers Brighton, and Leeds’ surprise victory away at high-flying Leicester busted plenty of accas and multiples.

The previous day also largely went the layers’ way as Arsenal and Man United played out a 0-0 draw (14/1) in what was billed the encounter of the weekend. Meanwhile, Newcastle (11/2) caused an upset by beating Everton 2-0 away from home in the lunchtime match to get the bookies off to a flyer.

That said, favourites Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool all won this weekend, leaving Man City at the top of the pile three points clear and with a game in hand on the chasing pack headed by rivals Man United.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “As is always the case, a 0-0 bore fest in the big games never makes for much of a spectacle, but it keeps the layers happy, and Arsenal versus Man Utd was no exception as that went heavily in our favour.”

Gill added: “Spurs’ shock defeat to Brighton and Newcastle’s impressive victory over high-flying Everton were other very layer-friendly results in what was a bookmakers’ weekend all told in the Premier League.”

While William Hill’s Rupert Adams described it as a “weekend to savour”, helped by Real Madrid (1/3) suffering a surprise defeat at home to Levante, Betway’s Chad Yeomans said results were a “mixed bag”.

“Two draws, including in the day’s big fixture between Arsenal and Man Utd and some low scoring matches elsewhere, meant that it remained a good day, although the well-backed Aston Villa beating Southampton took the shine off somewhat.”

Yeomans added: “While Liverpool and Chelsea’s victories are often well supported by the Betway punters, Leeds beating Leicester and Brighton beating Tottenham rounded off a largely good weekend.”

On the turf, the wet weather caused the Cheltenham’s Festival Trials Day to be abandoned on Saturday, which meant the big race of the day was the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster.

In the end, 40/1-shot Takingrisks ridden by Sean Quinlan stayed on resolutely to cause an upset. At 12-years-old, Takingrisks was the oldest horse in the 13-runner field as he saw off Aye Right and 4/1 favourite Cap du Nord to land the first prize of almost £43,000.

Earlier, the red-hot jumps prospect Shishkin made his reappearance in a Grade 2 at Doncaster as he cruised to victory at 1/7 in the four-runner race.

With six wins on the bounce under his belt, Nicky Henderson’s charge is the odd-on favourite for the Cheltenham Festival’s Arkle Chase next month.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “The Saturday spotlight was firmly on Shishkin, who dotted up at Donny to promote perhaps fanciful comparisons with Nicky Henderson’s great two-mile chasing superstar Sprinter Sacre.

Only time will tell on that front, but for now he’s Betfred’s red-hot 4/6 favourite for the Arkle, currently the shortest price in any of the ante-post lists for the Festival,” Firkins added.

Come 6pm one bet365 punter was probably cursing his luck that the pubs were shut due to lockdown after landing a once-in-a-lifetime multiple on four horses.

Liam Carr posted a screenshot of his digital betslip showing he’d managed to find winners at odds of 9/1, 16/1, 12/1 and 33/1.

The 16p each-way Lucky 15 (four singles, six-doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) cost him just £4.80 but went on to win almost £18,000.

So far, the Twitter post has had over 400 retweets, 500 replies and 19,000 likes, which probably means the Stoke-headquartered bookie will get it all back next weekend as punters try to replicate the feat.

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