down cross right results icon premium content video audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner
coral logo ladbrokes logo betway logo williamHill logo bet365 logo paddypower logo 888sport logo
TODAY'S OFFERS
TODAY'S BOOKMAKER OFFERS
Exclusive to new customers
  • View offer
    £20 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £20. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code 20FREE and place £5 of bets, you'll get £20 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join betway, opt in, deposit £10 or more and you will get a 100% matched amount, up to £30 as free bets to split however you like. T&Cs apply. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock free bet. Deposit by card or paypal only.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 3 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim here
    Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join 888sport using promo code RACING and when you bet £10, you'll get £30 in free bets PLUS £10 in free bets on any horse racing market. Min deposit £10. First bet minimum odds 1-2. Free bet credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code RP40 and place £10 in bets and you'll get £40 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £10 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £10 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    £50 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £50. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 4 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply

Algarve sun should be shining on Lucas Bjerregaard

Danish dude looks dangerous defending champion

Lucas Bjerregaard is swinging beautifully
1 of 1

Sky Sports from 11.30am Thursday

The Portugal Masters is a Ryder Cup warm-up for Thorbjorn Olesen and Sergio Garcia this week – the Dane and the Spaniard will be seeking to fine tune their game before combat against the United States commences in Paris next Friday.

Olesen has less to work to do than a rusty Garcia, a late entrant who has not competed since finishing 24th in the Wyndham Championship a month ago, but neither player appeals as a Portugal betting proposition with more important matters on their mind.

Palmer's top tip
Lucas Bjerregaard 18-1
The Portugal Masters champion can be expected to provide a stout title defence over the next four days. Lucas Bjerregaard is bursting with form as he returns to his happiest hunting ground.

His compatriot Olesen may understandably be letting his focus drift forward to the Ryder Cup, but Bjerregaard is fully concentrated on claiming a second European Tour victory, something he has come close to achieving on several occasions this season.

In the last five months, Bjerregaard has posted six top-six finishes on the European Tour, including in his last two outings. His form figures are 9-6-2 after he followed up finishing as top Dane in the Made In Denmark with a playoff defeat to Matt Fitzpatrick in the European Masters.

Bjerregaard closed with a bogey-free 63 at Crans-sur-Sierre, then was beaten by a Fitzpatrick birdie in the playoff, so he could leave Switzerland knowing he did nothing wrong. The powerhouse was an unlucky loser to a high-quality player on a course which suited his opponent much more than him.

A week off reflecting on those facts will have done Bjerregaard good and there is no better tournament for him to have high hopes of going one better than Crans. The emphatic nature of his triumph 12 months ago – a four-shot romp – coupled with solid spins on the course the two years prior (ninth and 12th) mean the improving 27-year-old should probably be favourite.

Bjerregaard's swing is in fantastic order – he topped the greens in regulation stats at Crans and was fourth in the same category in Denmark – and he could leave his rivals for dust on a track which suits him much better this week. With freedom to attack off the tee at Victoria, the power-packed Dane could run riot given a half-decent week of putting.

Next best
Nacho Elvira 40-1
Three maidens can lay down a challenge to Bjerregaard, with Nacho Elvira looking the pick of them. Elvira has won four times on the Challenge Tour, one of which came across the Portuguese border in the Challenge de Madrid, and three times he has finished in the top three on the European Tour. Fourth place at Crans the week before last suggests a maiden title is close.

Victoria is an ideal track for an attacking slugger such as Elvira to make hay, underlined by finishes of ninth and seventh the last two years, and the Spaniard can take inspiration from seeing his college teammate Andrea Pavan make his breakthrough in the Czech Masters at the end of last month.

Other selections
Sam Horsfield 100-1
Phachara Khongwatmai 100-1
Complete your staking plan with two talented youngsters who seem destined to claim silverware before long. Sam Horsfield, born in Manchester but raised in Florida, quickly showed he could contend for European Tour honours at the start of this year – finishing fourth in the Perth Super 6 and second in the Tshwane Open – then continued to impress in better company.

Horsfield was 14th in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, 15th in the BMW PGA Championship, then 24th in the Irish Open and 23rd in the Scottish Open. More recently he was tenth in the Made In Denmark and the powerful 21-year-old looks ready to knock off a low-grade event at an open, low-scoring course. Victoria, where he got a sighter with 59th place last year, seems ideal terrain under Florida-like weather. He won the European Tour Q-School last year in neighbouring Spain.

Teen terror Phachara Khongwatmai may be ready to win outside of Asia for the first time. The Thai has been putting superbly over the last month, finishing ninth in Prague, 12th in Denmark and eighth at Crans, before running out of gas in round two of the KLM Open last week. A 67 was followed by a 79 and a missed cut – he seemed to throw the towel in around the turn – but it was an understandable wobble from the whippersnapper after an intense spell on leaderboards.

The weekend off has probably freshened Khongwatmai, who finished 12th on his Victoria debut last year despite having missed the cut in five of his previous seven tournaments. The straightforward Victoria layout, and benign weather, should see the gifted but raw prodigy feast on birdies.

Others to note
Paul Waring
The Birkenhead man won his maiden European Tour title a month ago and was third in the 2013 Portugal Masters at Victoria, but he picked up a forearm niggle and has missed his three cuts since his breakthrough.

Gavin Green
The powerful and improving Malaysian was third in the Czech Masters last month and should take a shine to Victoria on his course debut.

Hideto Tanihara
The Japanese ace – brilliant in full flow – has hit form with sixth place at Crans and third in the KLM Open. Another dangerous debutant.

Jordan Smith
Smith appears to be getting his act together again, with European Tour form of 36-20-10, but, like Green and Tanihara, he is competing in this event for the first time.

Tom Lewis
The 2011 Victoria champion has failed to triumph since, but a recent drop to the Challenge Tour appears to have revived him, with a five-shot win and a third-place finish in the last fortnight.

Andy Sullivan
The Midlander loves Victoria, where he won by nine shots in 2015, before finishing runner-up in his title defence.

Staking plan
L Bjerregaard
3pts each-way 18-1 Sky Bet
N Elvira
2pts each-way 40-1 Sky Bet
S Horsfield
1pt each-way 100-1 Sky Bet
P Khongwatmai
1pt each-way 100-1 Ladbrokes

The lowdown

Course Dom Pedro Victoria, Victoria Clube de Golfe, Vilamoura, Portugal

Prize money €2m (€333,330 to the winner)

Length 7,146 yards Par 71 Field 144

Course records – 72 holes 261 Andy Sullivan (2015), Padraig Harrington (2016) 18 holes 60 Scott Jamieson (2013), Nicolas Colsaerts (2014)

Course winners taking part Steve Webster, Alvaro Quiros, Richard Green, Tom Lewis, Shane Lowry, Alexander Levy, Andy Sullivan, Padraig Harrington, Lucas Bjerregaard

When to bet By 8am Thursday

Where to watch Live on Sky Sports from 11.30am Thursday

Last week – KLM Open 1 A Wu (125-1), 2 C Wood (25-1), T3 T Detry (40-1), H Tanihara (66-1), 5 P Harrington (60-1)

Course overview This venue has hosted this tournament since 2007. An investment of €18m in 2004 created the track, designed by Arnold Palmer, with a view to staging professional events.

The 2005 World Cup also took place there. It is a flat, exposed course which has been ludicrously straightforward for the last three winners, who all reached 20 under par or better.

The 481-yard third, the 510-yard seventh and the 463-yard 18th are the three most difficult par-fours. There are numerous water hazards and huge, undulating greens, but the fairways are wide, and players can get away with loose driving.

Changes were made to the track in 2012, with the third becoming a stiff par-four (from an easy five), and there have been only three par-fives since (the fifth, 12th and 17th).

They, along with the 315-yard, water-free, driveable par-four 15th, are fantastic birdie opportunities.

The story of last year Lucas Bjerregaard romped to a maiden European Tour victory, closing with a 65 to triumph by four shots.

Weather forecast Hot, sunny and relatively calm all week.

Type of player suited to challenge Length has always been an advantage at Victoria, with plenty of enforced carries from the tee and many holes setting up well for big-hitters.

The driveable 15th is an easy birdie for the bombers. Power, plus the touch to hole enough putts to reach the super-low annual winning score, are the ingredients for success.

Key attribute Touch/putting


Read Racing Post Sport every day for no-nonsense previews and expert sports betting tips


Sign up to emails from Racing Post Sport and get all the latest news and tips


Today's top sports betting stories

Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport

With freedom to attack off the tee at Victoria, the power-packed six-footer could run riot given a half-decent week of putting
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Sky bet
Boylesport
RaceBets