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Week on the Punt: Racing continues as AFL enters survival mode

The Championships racing news

Although Australians have been deprived of AFL, NRL and most other codes, there is some hope for sporting fans this weekend. Here are the week’s top stories and upcoming events.

Randwick and Caulfield ready for races this Saturday

Horse racing is alive and well despite everything that has taken place, and Royal Randwick will host The Championships as scheduled this Saturday.

Ten races are scheduled to take place this Saturday on the famous track, with multiple prize pools exceeding $1 million.

Races seven to nine are among the biggest in the country, starting with the 2400m Australian Derby. Boasting great longevity and status, the Derby has run every year since 1861 alongside the Melbourne Cup.

Next up is the $1.25 million T J Smith Stakes, which boasts some of the fastest horses in the business.

The main event of the day is race nine, The Star Doncaster Mile. With a $1.5 million prize pool, it is sure to draw plenty of viewers with no competition from the major sporting codes.

Caulfield in Melbourne will also be running races throughout the day, starting with the Robert Taranto Handicap at 12:25pm and concluding with the Remember Roy Higgins BM90 at 5:30pm.

AFL secures financial package from NAB and ANZ

There has been plenty of doubt surrounding the safety of several AFL clubs during this financial hit, especially the St Kilda Saints and North Melbourne Kangaroos.

Some of those fears have eased, however, now that the AFL has signed a deal with multiple banks to provide the financial stability these clubs have been asking for.

It has been suggested by many in the footy media that the amount exceeds $500 million, which could be enough to keep all 18 clubs alive.

AFL CEO Gillon McLaughlin made it clear that this is nothing more than a safety precaution, not an immediate saviour.

He said, “This is the first step in the battle to save our game but we have a long journey to go.”

Tokyo 2021 Olympics dates confirmed

To nobody’s surprise, the new dates for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games are almost identical to the original dates.

The cancelled 2020 Olympics were slated to run from the opening ceremony on Friday, July 24 to the closing ceremony on Sunday, August 9, while the new schedule goes from Friday, July 23 until Sunday, August 8.

The delaying of the Olympics by a full year is going to cost Japan a very large amount of money, with some investors suggesting it could exceed billions of dollars.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has pitched in $1.3 billion to help the host nation through this difficult time.

Get excited for the Belarusian Premier League

There is one league in the world of football that hasn’t given up yet, and it’s the Belarusian Premier League.

It may not have the big stars or any recognisable names, but most fans would agree that football is football at this point.

Most people’s sleep schedules are already ruined, so why not stay up and watch the BPL from 1am onwards over the weekend?

Online bookmakers are running a wide variety of soccer betting markets for the BPL, including match odds, handicaps, goalscorer specials and dozens of prop bets.

We are jumping on Minsk, who have scored six goals in their opening two matches, whilst Dinamo Brest are also a team to watch having dropped only one game last season.

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