Monthly Archives: November 2010

KABOOM!! The Major Doubles Stakes Again

 Well that completes a November of Saturday service posts of consistent profit.  Table below shows the results but we more than doubled our stakes yesterday.

It was a tough day and I feared the worst when my hot fancy for the Hennessy Burton Port, gallantly stayed on for second, paying the place money but never looking likely to get to the impressive winner, Diamond Harry.   Burton Port jumped very well but it is a reflection of the concentration required in the animals at this level that one mistake at the cross fence probably put pay to his winning hope.  The winner was foot perfect.

Be nice top see both of them competing in the Gold Cup this year when Denman can exact his revenge!

The NAP landed comfortably.  6/4 for Bristol City to win at home was a present from the good lord. 3-0, never in doubt.

Nick Easter was always a hopeful bet and I misread that game thinking it would be much tighter, England were well beaten.

I also got the Wigan game wrong.  They are poor and a lesson needs to be learned – They were vulnerable.  I am still unconvinced by West Ham who were lucky not to concede more, a terrible penalty and a disallowed good goal didn’t help the Latics.  Still, the call on this was wrong, overall the Hammers looked an outfit together in spirit and Parker was clearly back in full flight.

Pocket Aces never really got going which was a disappointment and the winner was one on my shortlist but one I decided to dodge, Mount Oscar.

I would back Stoke at home to beat Man City at 11/4 if they played again next week – We had the thinking right on this one but the result went against.

We had to wait until the Wolverhampton 6.20 for the goodies to come home.  The Majors suspicions were confirmed as West End Lad held off strong challenges to win at 12/1 (sadly advised at 10/1) – Would have felt happier if there had been money, I thought connections may have had the horse tuned up, still first past the post, pays for the Major!

Today, I would follow Spurs to beat Liverpool who I still consider to be vulnerable. 

The only card to survive the weather is the all weather at Kempton.  The best race is the 4.50 although that is a relative term.  Record Breaker (14/1) will run a cracker one of these days remembering what the game is about and taking advantage of a falling handicap mark.  Interestingly, todays rider is new to the horse and a 7lb claimer, could this be the day they have waited for?  Money would be significant.  You cannot escape the claims of the favourite Spensley though who has done it twice already here at the 1 mile and a half course.  9/4 is a respectable price for a horse sure to give you a run; (only penalised 6lb for latest smooth victory).  Probably Record Breaker is more th Majors style but this is Sunday and no bet is advised, make your own mind up, I’m having a break!

Advice Price Returns
Burton Port ew in the Hennessy 9/1 £1.63
Pocket Aces ew in the 3.40 Newbury 20/1 £0.00
West End Lad in the 6.20 at Wolves 10/1 £11.00
Stoke to beat Man City 11/4 £0.00
Wigan to beat West Ham 11/4 £0.00
Bristol City to beat Sheff Utd (NAP) 6/4 £2.50
Nick Easter first try scorer 25/1 £0.00
  Returns £15.13
  Stake £7.00
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Can the Major make it an all profitable November Saturday Service?

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.

Another Major Blinder – 50% profits yesterday – Rare Sunday Post

Another Saturday and another set of profitable advices – We are on a decent run and the twelve bets advised yesterday paid out at over 50% profits to level stakes. 

The real success was on track where we nailed Imperials success as well as Mastermindeds, but successfully dodged Zaynar in favour of the 7/2 winner, Siviciano Conti and rounded off with 5/1 Hitchens …. delightful.  Only the tip put up from the outside source failed to fire but to be fair, I liked James de Vassey and it travelled well before emptying quickly.

The football side turned out poorly.  We were a little unlucky with Shrewsbury who led until two minutes before time when an astonishing volley drew the game level.  Bolton did the business in style for us but West Hams utter direness meant our long shot was never in contention.  We should have bet on Blues to beat Chelsea too.

Soapbox moment fromthe Major – Why does the BBC show three decent but hardly spectacular races from Aintree in mid November in its schedule and yet is threatening to cancel Arc coverage next year or carry it behind the red button – Crazy.

A rare set of Sunday advices for you:

12.35 Aintree – Private Be if keeping his old zest could win; last weekends big father and son Twiston-Davies combination run presentandcorrect, now dropped to a more preferable trip is preferred in the market to number one jockey Brennans Nikola – Could be revelaing.  Victoria Groom was considered and so was Frankie Figg who likes to tank a fence or two and Aintrees fences are not obstacles for the feint hearted!  With soft conditions I am going to plum for an each way bet that will get round – El Maintenant is a sound jumper, will be stripping fit, 14/1 right now with Skybet and VC.

The handicap hurdle at 1.10 has an interesting contender in 9/1 Ramsden Boy.  He has a fine hurdle record winning 4 from 5 and seems to act on any surface.  Ladbrookes offer 10/1 and I suggest you take it with Sam Twiston-Davies’ 3lb claim meaning this is the lightest thing going round in the soft conditions…. unclip the money roll.

The last terrestrial TV race is the Becher chase.  The two I like are top weight Notre Pere who is the class animal in the race.  The Major once thought Notre Pere might be a gold cup horse but while that was a bit strechy, it is a top class chaser whose jumping and strong travelling style will go well around Aintree.  Probably too exposed to be a real national contender but good enough to pick up a few more decent grade races, could go well today.  Newman des Plages could go OK but any jumping flaws will be exposed.  I offer you a repeat prescription of Meanus dandy who won nicely for the Major at 8/1 two weeks ago – Have a slice and thank me later.  Merigo, the Scottish national winner would also enter calculations.

The 1.05 at Navan is a nice looking novice hurdle with some potential festival bound horses.  Although les has been achieved in form Gift of Dgab might be a tasy price – Its too early to have any prices yet!

The Navan 2.45 is a decent chase handicap.  Hold the Pin is well weighted if at 11 he can find a touch of old form.  The one I like for a small stakes each way is 8/1 Got Attitude.  8/1 with the assistance of Geraghty and you have to say that this 7 year old could have more improvement to come.

Fulham are 2/1 to beat Man City and I think that is a fair price.  Hughes will be foired up to entertain a Man City team that have spent more money yet accrued the same number of points since Hughes was fired (4 games from now) last season.  Man City are under pressure and they have not scored in their last two.  Not all is right in the camp and a well organised Fulham could nick this 1-0.

May your bets be be blessed and return you glorious winnings from the enemies satchel.

THE MAJORS ADVICE SAT 20TH
Bet Odds Returns
West Ham to beat Liverpool 13/2 £0.00
Wolves to beat Blackpool 2/1 £0.00
Shrewsbury to beat Southend evens £0.00
Bolton to beat Newcastle 6/5 £2.10
England -24 point handicap 10/11 £0.00
New Zealand -14 point handicap 10/11 £1.91
England / NZ Hancdcp Double c5/2 £0.00
Imperial Commander wins the Betfair evens £2.00
Masterminded wins the Amlin evens £2.00
Siliciano Conti wins the Grade 2 Ascot hurdle 7/2 £4.50
Hitchens to win the lastat Lingfield 5/1 £6.00
James de Vassey to win at Haydock 13/2 £0.00

Double your money last weekend – The Major says repeat prescription

 Good morning from fine Pershore where the Major prepares for another fine weekends sporting action in usual fashion.  Good coffee has been bubbling away since 6am and the Major has been hard at work on your behalf securing you some of the finest value available.  The world that a sporting gentleman occupies thrusts utterly relentless opportunity towards us.  We have to navigate this torrent of golden reward and devious trickery with composed skill and a deft touch. 

Significant profits like last week are always based on fine decision.  The next layer of the onion contains losses, we were so close to losing, but we did win.

So today, celebrate this balance, this tightrope, this dance.  Get involved, bet large, bet like a man, bet for the excitement, bet for the thrill, the interest, bet for no reason, bet with style, just make sure you take a bet and allow the tide to take you.

To recap The Majors last week, we had some tasty winning action and more than doubled our stakes (table below shows results to level stakes).   The Major never gloats and never allows despondency.  What else can we do though but celebrate last weekend, I hope you were involved.  This has been a good few months and today we will take the enemy back to the schoolyard and once more spank his insolence from him.  Enough, lets gamble.

Today is Betfair chase day, coupled with some fascinating premier league clashes and the eggball autumn internationals in full swing and the Major is a contented gambler.

I am going to start, as is custom on the Football Association pitches.

Last week we drew money from the Majors belief that Liverpools form was not a permanent fixture and that their win over Chelsea was an exaggerated piece of collateral form.  I go into today looking at their home fixture with West Ham as equally precarious for them.  They can ill afford to lose Gerrard and with Lucas also out and the non firing Joe Cole also absent, they are wholly over reliant on a touch of class from Torres in my view.  13/2 about West Ham with Victor Chandler would be my advice – Even with Scott Parker missing, the key to this fixture is what there is to lose.  West Ham can play uninhibited, Hodgson could put himself under intense scrutiny if he loses.

Chelsea who visit St Andrews could desperately do with a win.  The Major had this one right when suggesting there was something amiss at Stamford Bridge and although Alex makes a surprise and welcome return to bolster the centre back position, who knows if the issues are put to bed.  This one is a watching brief only.

My favourite football bet of the weekend is Wolves to win at Blackpool.  I have already given my view that Holloway would be best to focus on galvanizing his resources.  I suspect the train will come of the tracks at Blackpool as a result of histrionics – Yes they will be unlucky, yes they will be unfairly treated, they probably won’t deserve it but I think Holloway is starting to line up his excuses.  Mick McCarthy on the other hand remains utterly focussed on the job and feels like a proper leader.  If Matt Jarvis doesn’t overcome injury then it is a huge absence but I fancy Wolves to take it anyway so 2/1 is a tasty betting proposition.  Blackpools poor home form is also a factor – as is their inability to take Wolves effectively down the right flank where possibly the worst left back in the Premier League presides.

Shrewsbury will beat Southend and I am majorly shocked by the evens available.  I thought this would be a strong odds against bet.  Southend are injury ravaged and the noises muffling away inside Roots Hall are not good.  Ten points already separate these outfits and with Robinson a good outlet for the Shrews, surely they would win this 3 times from 5 so evens is a super bet.  Load the large cannon for this one.

I am tempted to put West Brom up to beat Stoke but was surprised at the pricing and so no bet advised.  However, with Jara returning after the horror tackle that earned him a three match ban, I fancied the Baggies.  Stokes recent win at home to Liverpool was shouted up by the Major as part of our superb last weekend but there shocking away form makes them vulnerable to an Albion outfit who play good football and will resume winning ways again if they discover that touch.  Tempting but betting on your own team is one of the Majors fastest routes to the Poor House – Put the revolver hammer back gently.

Arsenal are a nice price to beat Spurs too in my other no bet.  With key Spurs centre halves missing at the Emirates I would have fancied the Gunners to take advantage of a Kaboul / Gallas partnership that is less than ideal; particularly with Huddlestone out too.  However, 4/6 about a team that can turn up in one of two minds, not for the Major thank you.

Bolton can beat Newcastle who are less organised.  HAve a small slice at 6/5 odds against at home – Coyle knows his beans and this will be tough for the toon.

On the eggball fields, I fancy two in the handicap.  Don’t say the Major is nothing but fair tipping up Englands return to form recently.  Today I don’t think the 21 point handicap for Samoa will be enough – The pack will win it well before half time, 11/10 lovely.

Doubling that up with the All Blacks in their -14 handicap makes sense – A tasty rugby bet advised on the double.  Nearly 4/1 that.

On track, I fancy Imperial Commander, especially as his price continues to drift.  Pricewise plums for What a Friend and why not, this Nicholls horse has had a wind op (often the key at Ditcheat) and loves to go fresh.  Imperial though is reported further forward than last year when he lost by a hair; although he was given a stone by the the mighty Kauto.  It is interesting that Nicholls runs here given that as a Hennessy horse, What a Friend would carry one of the most lenient marks, take from that what you will.  Nacarat was tipped up two weeks ago and won nicely for us, I don’t think he is capable of a repeat but wouldn’t put you off an each way slice on the big white hope.  Chief Dan George has superb form in the book and if he found it again 66/1 would be huge, especially as he has a victory over Imperial in his locker.  Tidal Bay equally could make 40/1 look absurd on one of his good days.  The Major however sticks with the Commander.  Let’s be honest he has all the form.  His price will be honest because of two factors, Pricewise plumbing for What a Friend and the fact that apart from a novice hurdle at Newcastle, Imperial has done all of his winning at Cheltenham.  Major followers understand this – Trends are there to be scrutinised, not trusted.  I can accept that Imperial is a better horse going left-handed (conditions he has today), I could also accept that some horses are course specialists (Mr McGoldrick at Wetherby as a case in point) but not top class horses.  Watch last years Betfair Chase, It was Kauto a dubious first; Imperial Commander second and fresh air all the way back to the trailers.  There were good horses behind that day and today it is off level weights with the form in the book on the favourites side……. the prosecution rests and advises a strong Imperial bet but leave it until an hour before the off, or take Paddy Powers online price guarantee as you the advantage of the predicted drift.

Another Nicholls horse, another wind op, will Masterminded win on debut, hmmmm.  It is incredible to think this horse is just 7 given his achievements.   I believe he is back and will destroy them all bar Albertas Run who although class in his own right, is not the same – there you go, simples….  evens again.

Zaynar is the other hot fancy to rock up in the hurdle on debut.  I thought it was interesting to hear Henderson talk about this as a World Hurdle horse which gives me concerns that today’s trip might not be enough on this seasons debut – Why is he also in cheekpieces for his last two runs, is he really going to give it the best on reappearance, might be wrong but I am staying clear.  I do like Zaynar for future Grade 1 success but am going to stick with Silciniaco Conti who was an impressive winner when tipped up by the Major at Chepstow a few weeks ago.  This Nicholls / Fehily team (36% strike rate this year!) have the unexposed horse and with Lough Derg in the field, they will go at a fair clip, small stake advised.

Great listed all-weather action today for hardcore fans.  Hitchens to win the 3.40 at Lingfield is a decent bet with many of the other market leaders needing to prove they go on the poly.  5/1 is available with Laddies and Sportingbet.

One that was given to the Major by a master of the dark arts was James de Vassey in the Haydock 2.50, 13/2 is around, take a piece each way and I shall thank the tipster for you.

May this evenings fine dinner be Italian with a hearty Barolo to wash it down with.  Tip generously, its what the Commander wanted as he pinged the last.

THE MAJORS ADVICE LAST WEEK
Bet Stake Returns
Hearts to win at St Johnstone 6/4 £2.50
More than 3 goals West Ham v Blackpool 8/11 £0.00
Norwich to win at Reading  16/5 £0.00
Stoke to beat Liverpool 3/1 £4.00
Haye to win in the third 9/1 £10.00
Haye to win in the fourth 9/1 £0.00
Haye to win by stoppage 1/3 £1.33
Long Run to win the Paddy Power 7/2 £0.00
Berties Dream to win 9/2 £0.00
Sam Winner to win the Cheltenham Novice Hurdle 9/2 £5.50
Serious Drinking in the last at Wolverhampton 10/3 £0.00

Another Magnificent Sporting Weekend for the Major – Cheltenham Tips

Well it is Saturday, the coffee is gurgling away and we have yet another superb weekend of sport to consider.

Following a heavy, but marvelously enjoyable, day at Cheltenham in dampness, financial losses and booze, the Major shall solve some of the puzzles from the track, pitch and ring for your delectable consideration.

Lets start as usual with the football.  Hearts make a super bet north of the border as they travel to St Johnstone.  The latter have significant injury problems and although Hearts are inconsistent, 6/4 is a price that more than makes allowances.  Have some.

What will happen when West Ham entertain Blackpool is anyones guess.  There is value in the 3 goals or more market at 8/11 and I would recommend a small stake on that.  West Ham are not a good team and whatever quality issues they have, Blackpool do play an honest attacking game.  My main concern with recommending the sea-siders at a tasty 3/1 is the sense I get that Holloway has his finger hovering over the self destruct button.  Clearly he is a talented manager and fantastically entertaining too.  He plays up his West Country bumpkin image.  I just wonder whether at times his insatiable appetite for the limelight would be better curbed against focussing on getting the best from his players. 

Norwich look a good bet with Victor Chandler to get maximum points from their trip to Reading.  Like many championship teams, Norwich are capable of promotion if they are able to mount a sustained run.  16/5 is a great price and is lengthened by Norwich’s failure to win in three.  Bear in mind that they are 5th, admittedly in a tight table, just 2 points clear of todays opponents who are 10th.  Take a slice.

I think Stoke could beat Liverpool.  I must admit to being shocked that Liverpool overturned Chelsea on Sunday and there is definitely something amiss at Stamford Bridge.  When their coach and club legend, Ray Wilkins left earlier this week it suggest to me something behind the scenes is going wrong.  Therefore I am going to maintain my view that Liverpool are pretty poor with the exception of Gerrard and a back to form Torres.  Liverpool have not won at Stoke in the last few seasons, it is a tough place to go to.  I think the reds will be happy to sit back as is their style and Stoke may make them pay.

Despite Sky trying their damnedest, I cannot accept that Harrison is anything other than Haye Fodder tonight.  This is not a fair fight, it is a joke.   Harrison was contesting TV circuit boxing contests last year and if we are basing a new-found ability on that then we should examine our minds.  Haye is a serious heavyweight and has beaten serious heavyweights, 22 from 25 times by stoppage.  He will have no problem winning by stoppage tonight.  3rd and 4th rounds are both 9/1, have a taste of that and then pile in at 1/3 that Haye will win before they count the scores.

On track we have the Paddy Power Gold Cup – Normally an annual pilgrimage for the Major and a close friend, this year, due to a house move, I shall be relying on Channel 4 racing.  As for a bet, well I have a strong fancy.  while you need to be wary of Great Endeavour representing Pipe, whose fathers name adorned the trophy an incredible nine times, I have to say that 7/2 Long Run is incredible.  At the festival last year, Long Run disappointed by running third.  At that very moment I was metres from Nicky Henderson who was watching the race with a group of associates many of whom recognisable.  The mood when he finished third told its own story.  A little bit like my pre Arc Workforce 13/2 tip, Long Run was not expected to lose at last years festival and it looked a clear shock to connections.  This was Frances top novice and the stable (who are first-rate) really think this is a star.  They have been working hard to eliminate jumping errors.  The only reason you can see 7/2 is that there are other good horses running and Long Run is prone to a mistake.  I think he will win coming away with minimal urgings from Sam Waley-Cohen.  Poquelin helps by taking top weight.  Catch Me as an Irish Raider could go well for last years winning trainer.

Grade 1 entrant Berties Dream can fight out the finish of the 1.20 with Chicago Grey (9/2 and 11/2).  At the prices, I like Berties Dream at 9/2 the most – Win bet advised.

The 3 and a half mile handicap (1.55 Cheltenham) is a real puzzle and I have lines through many but cannot separate my leading contenders easily.  The one I like the most is Ogee, just.  There is a chance Ogee (9/1 generally) will have developed more from 6 to 7, particularly in the jumping stakes.  Ogee is an out and out stayer and I expect a decent run – The third in the William Hill last year looks like good form to me.  One day Zacharova will run a good race but it won’t be carrying my wager.

I know one of the owners of Two Kisses who runs in the Cheltenham 12.50 Triumph Hurdle trial.  This is the best company the horse has run in but 40/1 is a touch generous.  My idea of the winner is Sam Winner at 9/2 for Nicholls.  Good luck to Two Kisses though, hope she comes home safely and successfully.

For those needing a late night wager, Serious Drinking in the 9.20 at Wolverhampton is the best 10/3 shot you will find.  This horse has run in snatches previously and got going at Kempton late last time out.  I have had it on my watch list and advise an early bet, if The Major is right it will be 9/4 at the off and will find improvement for the step up in trip.

May your punts be blessed and proven virtuous and wise.  Consider the Major your guide, but your shall pull the trigger.

I think the best bets about are Long Run, Hearts, Berties Dream and Haye by Stoppage.  The NAP is Hearts who have been priced at 6/4 by a madman on the verge of reality.

I hope your dinner is accompanied by more than the water I am consoling my aching head with.  I just hope that my hangover has not effected my judgement.  If you are betting today, stake more than you planned.   This may sound irresponsible but trust me, its more fun.