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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Cambridge can see off Oxford in Boat Race

Punters should shy away from troubled dark side

The Cambridge University men's crew
1 of 1

Women's University Boat Race
BBC1, 4.31pm Saturday
Men's University Boat Race
BBC1, 5.31pm Saturday

The old joke about Oxford and Cambridge being in the final again this year could be a touchy subject with the men's crews - as both Blue boats were beaten by Oxford Brookes University in warm-up races.

The holders could be upset for the third straight year as Oxford's build-up has been choppy to say the least.

Cambridge are strong favourites and that looks the right call by bookmakers.

Oxford have drifted out to 2-1 shots after losing one of their best oarsmen, Josh Bugajski, just four days before the race. Illness was given as the official reason but stories of unrest in the camp have been widespread.

The late change leaves the Dark Blues with only one member of last year's victorious crew, Vassilis Ragoussis. Not only was Bugajski replaced, a further reshuffle was needed with sub Benedict Aldous taking the six seat and Anders Weiss moving from six to four.

That's a major late change after weeks of honing a crew and Cambridge's warm-up form suggests they are ready to give coach Steve Trapmore a third success in his eighth Boat Race before he leaves to join the national team.

With the Light Blues a short price, backing them to win by less than three lengths makes most appeal. 

Cambridge women won for only the second time in the last decade 12 months ago but they are fancied to score back-to-back wins for the first time since 1999.

The holders are a short price but can set up a famous double with their performance an hour before the men's race.

Cambridge to win men's race by under three lengths
1pt 7-4 Ladbrokes

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The late change leaves the Dark Blues with only one member of last year's victorious crew
E.W. Terms
Sky bet