WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and an each-way selection for the 2.15 at Naas on Sunday 17th October.
With only three matches of Euro2020 remaining overall, England football fans are speculating that captain and team talisman, Harry Kane, will finish the tournament as Top Scorer. After Italy play Spain tomorrow in the first Semi-Final, England will take on Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night and England Manager Gareth Southgate is sure to demonstrate his continuing confidence in the England Captain by including him in the team sheet. The 27-year old ended his drought of four games without a goal by scoring during the Three Lions’ emphatic Group of 16 2-0 win over Germany last week. His two goals during the 4-0 annihilation of Ukraine in the Quarter-Final match last Saturday gives him a total of three goals so far in the tournament.
It’s important to differentiate between the Golden Boot and the Top Scorer awards. Top Scorer is self-explanatory; just count up the number of goals Kane scores and if he has more than other players in the tournament, job done, he is top scorer. If another player has the same number of goals then they share the glory.
But the Golden Boot can only be won by one player. If two strikers share the same number of goals, then UEFA will factor in the number of assists; the player with the most assists will win the Golden Boot. The bookmakers are opting for either Top Scorer or Golden Boot when offering odds. So, for example, William Hill has offered odds of 1/5 that Portugal Captain Cristiano Ronaldo will win the Golden Boot. No odds are on offer for Patrik Schick of the Czech Republic because although they both scored 5 goals before their teams were ousted from Euro2020 (by Belgium and Denmark respectively), Ronaldo has one assist and Schick has none so he cannot win the Golden Boot.
Most bookies, however, are opting to offer odds for Top Scorer and, although Ronaldo and Schick are still topping the leaderboard, the odds available for Kane to win the prestigious award have shortened considerably and Kane is now third favourite with odds of 7/2 from BetVictor.
At the conclusion of Euro2016, French striker Antoine Griezmann won both categories, having been the only player to score 5 goals (with Ronaldo one of the six runners-up with three goals). This time round, of the dozen players with three or more goals, only three are still playing in the tournament. Kasper Dolberg of Denmark has scored three goals, as has Harry Kane and England winger Raheem Sterling. But of that trio, only Sterling has an assist. Despite Sterling having the edge over the other two players, the bookies don’t favour him with SBK offering odds of 13/1 that Sterling will be Top Scorer. The odds for Dolberg are a lofty 40/1 from Unibet, reflecting the fact that England are strong favourites to win the Semi-Final.
Kane’s resurgence in form has delighted the nation and hopes are soaring that England can win not only the Semi-Final against Denmark but also the Final at Wembley next Sunday where their opponents would be either Spain or Italy, the latter being favourites to reach the Final. But Kane will have to score a minimum of three goals to win the Golden Boot and be sole Top Scorer; that’s a big ask. If he does score those elusive three goals and win the Golden Boot, Kane will have a pair of Golden Boots in his trophy room – he won the 2020/21 Premier League Golden Boot in May with 23 goals this season. And would more accolades be just around the corner – arise Sir Harry!