Good morning fair punters of Britain (and those followers from Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong!). The Major reaches out to you this fair morning from his kitchen table in lowly Pershore. Another bright May morning, Britain’s turf is slightly parched but the Major has ensured a good liquid intake this last week which may explain the later post today.
For those that like to track my results, I have finally updated them. It took some time but showed April at nearly 20% profit, May is off to a good start too and we shall not rest today from our ceaseless battle with the enemy.
I was provoked into updating the results by a good friend who follows the Major. He is to emigrate to the United States next week and a few evenings before, we set about a last Hoorah which was an event in itself. Suffice to say that the evening culminated in a police incident, thankfully no-one was hurt and the Majors likely inferior wrestling skills were left untried. My friend, the ever upstanding citizen ensured that justice prevailed.
A life in the States… I would say I am excited for him but lack envy. St Louis is the destination for the good man of Yorkshire.
At the turn of the 19th century, it is hard to believe that only one town in the States had a population of more than 50,000, New York. A total population of less than 6 million lived there lives in small dwellings and farms. The 20th century bought an explosion in growth that is breathtaking. A 14 fold increase in population including the creation of three cities with over 1 million inhabitants.
No greater catalyst for growth existed than the railway. Originally conceived to enable cattle to be sold at more expensive Northern prices, by 1893, the States had a transcontinental railway which had line running from Kansas City to St Louis, a lifeline for the city.
St Louis was a fur station unsurprising given it’s position where the great Mississippi and Missouri rivers join before continuing their journey south ultimately joinging the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement developed as part of the westward expansion throughout the 19th century.
In the early 20th century during prohibition, the town had a fair share of gang based crime. Bootlegging was the game and it led to men being gunned down on the streets of St Louis – I am sure my friend, young Adam, will use his crime fighting prowess to effect should any dissident souls remain. They do not know who they are messing with, he is from Barnsley you know….
Those great rivers that converge near St Louis, roll on relentlessly like our own quest for sporting profit. Good luck to you young Adam, there may be less gold, fur or pig iron empires to be built but the dice said you would prosper and they never lie. This Saturday Service is for you.
To the sports……
The Temple Stakes, 3pm Haydock - The Budapest Bullet
Hype is part of horseracing and there is plenty surrounding the British debut of Overdose, the Budapest Bullet. The winner of 15 races from 16 starts, this sprint sensation comes with a fan base – The Temple Stakes from Haydock will be televised in Hungary!
Despite the visual impact of the horses victories (often winning by 10l+ in 5f sprint contests!), it is hard to weigh up this horses achievements given many of his wins have been in Germany, Italy and Austria. In fact there is only one piece of form the Major would use as a benchmark. In 2008, at the Arc meeting, Overdose contested the 5f sprint.
The race was a farce as one set of gates failed to open, unawares (although the flags were prominent), half the field contested a race which Overdose won. The race was void and re-run. Half the field stood down including Overdose and the official winner was the lovely grey sprint machine Marchand D’Or.
It might not be on the official records but the opposition and the time of that non-race were impressive – Any of that form and Overdose wins. He has been off with serious injury in-between but has also won a further 5 races, losing the once.
Tangerine Trees looked impressive in the Palace Stakes. He is one of a few front-runners and on good ground, I suspect we want a closer at Haydock.
Sole Power fits that bill. 12/1 with Bet365 this is the selection – The York run last year was in similar conditions and I think this race will suit.
As for the Bullet, well he is friendless in the market. He has drifted to 10/3 with Stan James and I am going to suggest we take a piece of that too. I think it is the fair price with a lot of questions remaining to be answered. I hope he destroys them, it will be great for the sport. Even better if Henry Cecil announces afterwards that Frankel is going to step back to 5f to settle the score! Unlikely.
The Irish 2,000 Guineas, 3.45 The Curragh
This is about the weakest running of the 2,000 Irish Guineas as I can remember.
The way Frankel set about the British Guineas field was explosive but made the race a bit of a farce. While Richard Hughes is confident that the form of Dubawi Gold was solid and fair, the Major is less certain. Frankel had so many horses off the bridle in under 2 furlongs , it both took the breath and ensured that no other horse was likely to run it’s planned race. I think the form should be thrown out and get back to basics.
That day the Major fancied, Roderic O’Connor, the O’Brien horse. If you take the face value 38l defeat, you would send it to a seller! Clearly this was not the expected running and I think back in Ireland, this horse might show us why he was the choice to be number one miler for O’Brien at the Guineas.
Currently 4/1 with Stan James, load up the cannon and thank me later.
It is the second of the American classics tonight with the Pimlico Preakness. Animal Kingdom was impressive in the Kentucky derby.
You could argue that the way the race panned out with slow early sectional times, that Animal Kingdom may well be better tonight and represents terrific value as 2/1 favourite.
The Major is less sure. The weather contributed to track conditions for the Derby and although I am sure the experience helped Animal Kingdom, I fancy others to come good this evening.
Top of my list is Dialed In. He will be better primed for this than the Kentucky as he stands to gain a whopping 5.5$m bonus. He has improved with every run, I have great expectations.
6/1 generally, a win bet is required. Quarter past eleven, channel 415!
The Major sniffs an opportunity in this with handicap debutante Poltergeist. Currently 4/1 I expect it to be smashed up a bit given the 1 in 3 strike rate of Haggas horses on their initial handicap marks! Fallon on board too, it is a money printing exercise…. Reboot it young Powell and change the toner cartridge!
I have been waiting for Ewell Place to reappear for the Robert Mills yard. Last time out at Goodwood, the horse finished up second and was unfortunate to run into one of the many riches of juvenile talents that Richard Hannon trains.
There seems to be a similar story today with Richard Hannons Trumpet Major probably much better for the outing at Newbury given he seemed to run green before staying on to take a reasonable third.
Update: Before I finished the post, Ewell Place was a non runner. the advice is 8/13 with Paddy Power get stuck into Trumpet Major.
Have Ewell Place on your watch list though. Last time out, it was backed into 3s from 8s….. someone thinks it has a decent maiden race in it.
To the sports fields….
Premier League action is all tomorrow but I advise you now to take Manchester United at 4/6 to beat Blackpool, Liverpool 13/10 to win at a lifeless Villa.
If you believe that Blackpool will lose at Manchester and that Spurs will beat Blues at home. You are left with some tricky conundrums. If Blues are losing by two goals, Wigan only need a point. Likewise, Wolves Blackburn might be happy to share the spoils the longer the game goes on.
This makes the 9/4 about a draw at Molineux attractive too, get stuck in.
It is Henieken Cup day and I have to say that Northampton +6 in the handicap looks appealing. The Irish are strong, but Northampton have a great front row and it should be a tight exciting affair. Have a slice.
May your evening be graceful and elegant. Entertain at home is the suggestion, how about that bright-eyed well decorated sort, great fun not likely one to want you to turn Bloomberg on. Wine, spanish red. Food, Hearty pasta with Chorizo, pepper, tomato, a nice oil and a grated fine parmesan…… enjoy. As her taxi arrives, allow the quarry to see the roll of notes you extract from your jacket. That should take her breath and she may even send the driver packing.
Courage followers and roll those dice.