Good morning from fine Worcestershire where the hard frosty ground gives a beautiful backdrop to the Majors Saturday preachings.
Another fine sporting weekend to be enjoyed. Two groups of people to thank for the fine sporting offerings today, the good folk at BHA, Newbury, Newcastle and sponsors sportingbet who pushed through the move to get the fighting fifth to Newbury – Well done, good show. Well done also to the small army of people required to cover the majority of the Newbury track with frost covers last night to ensure that the gods of weather could not upset the Majors eggs on toast.
The coffee is simple, Gold Blend, we ran out of the expensive stuff and the Major needs to restock for Christmas. The environment is wholesome and we all know a pure heart and a clear head is required when going into battle against the old enemy, him with the satchel who shall try to deceive with his dark and twisted approach.
The Major has been working for your benefit for some hours and today, the results are important for a few reasons. Firstly, every Saturday service in November has been fantastically profitable. The lowest return was 148% of stake, lovely. Let’s complete the month with another stunner. Secondly, it is building towards Christmas and the Major understands that in the time of credit crunches, recessions, student fee increases and swinging cuts; the Major has an obligation to return a profit…. let’s see what the art of the possible is….
Hennessy Day. What a great day, let’s start with a look at the race. Denman bids for a third Hennessy which would be a first. This is a moment of horseracing history but we need to reflect. Denman is an amazing animal. A twice Hennessy victor, a Gold Cup winner and a top class chaser. ‘The tank’ was an apt nickname, on his day he travels powerfully with an arrogance to match his class. It is a measure of his success that he puts more than half of the field out of the handicap today, shouldering 11-12 giving 8lbs to horses like Niche Market (an Irish National Grade 1 winner) who still remains 8lb the wrong side of the handicap, unbelievable.
However, before we get too breathless at what this horse has already achieved and hopes to achieve today, we need to consider the greatest chaser of them all. It is unfair to consider Denman in the category of the greatest without considering Himself, Arkle.
Arkle, for those who do not know (please do not return), was a bay gelding and was simply the best chaser to ever race. In a similar style to Denman he came to prominence when many suspected he was second fiddle to Mill House, the stables other top chaser. However Arkle proved to be in a different class. He was a freak winning 27 of his 35 starts. His losses were usually injuries. His sole loss in the Hennessy was finishing second to a horse that went on to place twice in the Gold Cup ( a great white chaser called Stalbridge Colonist) – On Hennessy day, Arkle who lost by half a length was trying to give him best part of three stone. Watch the film, if Arkle had not got so close to the last fence, maybe he would have been the first three times winner of the Hennessy.
I love Denman (although admit to being a Kauto man), I love his brashness, his attitude, I dearly hope he can win. Let’s enjoy the day,a great day. Just have in mind though the greatest of the all. If Arkle ran today, Denman would be out of the handicap by 4lbs.
So who wins the Hennessy after all this is a sport tipping service!
This is a puzzle. It is a huge ask of Denman and as much as I wish him well, I have to consider that at ten and with lots of second season improvers queuing up to have a pop, Denman is very vulnerable today.
Burton Port is a very interesting contender having the services of Geraghty. I think it is a testament to the way this 6yo is considered at home that Barry Geraghty, no spring chicken but one of the Majors favourites is getting 3lb below his lowest riding weight for 3 years to take the ride. Well done Barry, enjoy the sauna. The horse looks an out and ou stayer to me and I suspect there is a lot of improvement. This is my each way advice to you, let’s hope Barry is not too dizzy and can steer us round for a decent winner. Bet 365 bless have gone 9/1 paying 1/4 to FIVE PLACES. Very generous chaps, you shall be remembered in the Majors prayers. Get stuck into the port faithful followers. Pandorama could be the fly in the ointment, consider a saver. Lots of other fascinating runners, how is Neptune Collonges who was looking good prior to injury, Weird Al who deadheated the impressive Little Josh at Carlisle last time out, Taranis returning from a knock…. this is a class field
Before the Hennessy kicks off at 3.05, we have the delectable delight of the return to track of Big Bucks. The only one of the big four horses expected to give the bookies a thrashing at the festival, Big Bucks is going off 2/7 – Not a price for the Major but what on earth could beat it? What bank would give you a 28% return by mid afternoon?? Stick it in the accumulators!!
The fighting fifth is a sit out race for the Major too. Peddlers Cross has to show plenty on official form but there was plenty to like about the Cheltenham novice win. If the real Binocular turns up then 4/5 could look daft. The Majors winner from a fortnight ago (Nearby) looks out of his depth.
The 3.40 is a race in which I have spent some time considering options. Of 15, I have it down to a few. One of which, I think the enemy is making a considerable mistake with. Mount Oscar will strip fit for a blow at Chepstow and on a winning mark could take this, 10s available with Paddy but not for the Major. The favourite stands a great chance converting back to the bigger obstacles, a transfer of form (not a certainty) would make Working Title a threat to all. The Majors advice though is to play Pocket Aces at 20/1 (sportingbet) to three places (although 16/1 Skybet go 4 places) – This horse has a 7lb useful claim in young Mr Cannon and is well weighted on better form. Last time out at Cheltenham, over shorter, it looked like the penny had dropped making good late headway. Have a chunky slice and thank the Major later.
The Major wants you to have advice for the big Saturday events as well as a few tasty morsels from things you won’t have picked up. Why you would have looked at the 6.50 at Wolverhampton for example, is a question without answer. The Major has. This means he can give you West End Lad. The Major is curious, verging on the suspicious over why they insist on running this horse over trips such as this when his best form is much shorter. Russ Kennemore rides again after a decent second last time out… 10/1 generally, get involved.
To the frosty football fields of Britain.
Some no bets are Arsenal and Liverpool who I suspect will both get beaten as I think they both have a soft underbelly. Watching brief.
I do like the look of Stoke to beat an overrated Man City. 11/4 is a great price – Stoke beat Liverpool at home and fear no-one. Man City might struggle, this is one that the Major likes to go after.
Leeds are a great 3/1 price to win at Reading, they are unbeaten in six and Reading are not a consistently good defensive team. Andy O’Brien is a key player for Leeds now who have attacking options and now a rock to build on. I think they are play off good things, they can get Reading today at a tasty price.
I like Martinez, the Spaniard in charge of Wigan. I have often used his team to effect this season and todays trip to West Ham is a great opportunity. Thankfully for the Major, the West Ham headcases have made a strong campaign of save our season around this game and this could play into Wigans hands. Maybe the Major is wrong but Wigan can use the nonsense campaign as a springboard of their own – They are being told to turn up and play the part of the defeated. West Ham have their own problems. Noble is out and Parker will probably return but who knows if he is in top shape after his chest infection. Wigan are 14/5 and with Cleverley returning, I fancy a plunge on this one.
Bristol City are a super price to win at home to a shockingly poor Sheffield United. The red half of Bristol have had a season of two halves already but the new boss has them firing and recent performances have been strong. 6/4 with Hills is an unbelievable price. Bristol City are on the up and have beaten Swansea away and Leicester at home in two of their last three. Their loss was no disgrace, away to Leeds. 6/4, I cannot get over that! Load the heavy cannon for this one.
In the eggball, the England international looks to be a terrific encounter with a bruised South Africa likely to prove tricky opponents. I have been backing England in their autumn internationals as you know and think a slight victory is on the cards today too. 1/2 though is way too skinny. In a tight contest, maybe take a small interest with Stan James that Nick Easter is first try scorer at 25/1.
Difficult week this week. We need one of the bigger priced advised bets to pay if we are to maintain our streak.
The nap is simple enough, Bristol City at home is to be trusted at 6/4. £20 returns £50. A purple for a red is a good exchange in my humble opinion.
All the talk of Hennessy has me thinking that a late night brandy might be the calling today. I hope yours is VSOP and in some fine crystal. All the MAjor asks is that as you shift your bank note wedge which was digging into your ribcage, drink to the Majors health and then be upstanding for the Queen. Ask the man to top that brandy up, tell him the Major sent you.