Good morning faithful followers and welcome to the Majors Saturday tipping service bought to you from the dark, cold and overcast conditions of Pershore.
The greatest commander in our history, the Duke of Wellington once said ‘All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know by what you do; that’s what I called ‘guess what was at the other side of the hill’
The Saturday Service is written with this endeavour at heart. The Iron Duke would have been a ‘straight on the nose’ sort of gentleman gambler I suspect, we shall do our best to honour him with the product of our research today. At tea time, we shall see whether we were right about the other side of the hill.
Our relentless assault on the turf accountant community has resulted so far this year in a 12.45% profit. The Major is delighted to have finished January in profit. Particularly pleasing is the profit made across the disciplines, although horseracing (22%) has been a more profitable than football (2%).
The football came back into profit this week with a lovely couple of tips landing in the shape of away wins at tasty prices for Villa and Burnley. Back to profit on football tips…. Do not call it a comeback, the Major had never gone.
Once more we shall return today to the field of battle. Our sabre gleams clean, our eye is hard, cold and resolute.
Cheltenham has called a second inspection for 10.45am. Good lord, allow the temperature to rise and racing to go ahead. The Major is hungry for the Prestbury action. I am prepared. My enemy awaits my moves. To all those on course, enjoy.
A few points of order. Can I call to your attention the email service on the left menu. Twitter users can follow @tdl123. Plus, we do get hundreds of visitors a week as the growing mass of followers decides to read the Majors nonsense tips before doing something more sensible. Feel free to contribute, you can click comment and leave your thoughts, communication welcome. On that score, if you feel you have a particular thought you want to share with the followers, guest posts would be welcome, let me know if you have an angle on an upcoming event.
Finally, thank you to the advocate followers. You know who you are. Shad, Redmond, Hill and the rest. Stay loyal to the cause, I feel a monster bet being landed will be our just reward.
Let us start at Cheltenham. I have focussed the write up on a couple of key races. I have also included an across the card tipping service for all of you lucky people attending today (assuming the frost crust is off the ground).
One of the Majors betting resolutions for the year was not to get too enthusiastic about novice hurdlers. However, there is one that the Major fins a likeable profile.
The 3.05 Neptune Novices is probably my favourite race on the card today as it is the one where a true star could emerge. There are plenty in the race that could be anything and so this is not one to get carried away with. For example, Drive Time did absolutely nothing wrong on his winning hurdle debut and probably boasts one of the better flat forms of these sorts. He has a better than 20/1 chance in the Majors view. Backspin is a Grade 1 winner already but at 7/4 the Major would like to have seen a previous strong run at Prestbury Park.
Bobs Worth is a clear contender and a much better bet for the red hot Henderson yard (16 winners from 47 in the last two weeks – worth following again today!). Clearly a promising sort and a much better bet than the 7/4 favourite at 9/2. Considered.
The one carrying the Majors money though is Champion Court. Hot favourite before being pulled out of a heavy ground race in Ireland last week, this horse needs to run past it’s previous form to take this. However, this horse is one that has had the opportunity to run at Cheltenham and shaped well, winning here back in November. Impressions that day suggested he could get further, I think conditions are ideal today – 11/1 is available with Skybet who are also one of the two bookmakers to go quarter odds the place, honourable stuff. Have an each way slice.
The 2pm Murphy Group Chase is an interesting puzzle which the Major has wrestled with before conclusively solving. A lot of my thinking about this contest revolves around what you make of Little Josh. If you take his run in the Paddy Power on a form line through Long Run, then he will make mincemeat of this lot. So the question is what do you make of that form when asked to shoulder a nine pound rise, Little Josh fluffed his lines in Decembers Vote AP (the old Boylesports) Chase – My original view that the Paddy Power run was a reliable yardstick has changed. Long Run clearly was below his best that day (I am unsure of his suitability for Cheltenham) – Little Josh won the Paddy Power when given an uncontested lead and he certainly won’t get that today with 4 or 5 likely prominent racers.
OK, considering this race is going to have a lot of pace on with several likely sorts wanting to dictate the tempo (Little Josh amongst them). Buffalo Bob needs assessing as another ‘from the front’ sort. I like his chances and he races off a significant weight advantage.
Pricewise suggested Bakbenscher – You can see why, he fancies it to close to win on the hill. The Major prefers to take a gamble on the well being of another closer, Chapoturgeon. On his best form, only 18 months ago, Chapo has as good as record as anyone. Course form is not a problem. If he had shaped more promisingly on reappearance from injury then he would be a leading fancy for this. At 11/1 quarter odds with Corals, I advise you to have a healthy touch. Yes we take a chance on his well being but let’s hope that he can travel well enough at the back of the field with Timmy Murphy, one of the finest exponents of turning a horse off at the back of the field and kidding it into the race for the closing stages. A nice looking grey horse too, eye catching.
These are the two advised Cheltenham Trials Day tips written up. The best of the rest:
12.55 Triumph Hurdle Trial – Local Hero looked the best of these on the flat and showed he can convert that to hurdle form, take to win well at 2/1 with Coral to get the day off to a flyer.
1.30 Timeform Novices – Ikorodu Road is a bigger price because of his mistake which caused him to finish third at Newbury. This also meant a lenient handicap mark and I take him to use that to advantage today, no mistakes and 5/1 is a monster price, get stuck in. Shakalakaboomboom looks a useful handicapper for the red hot Henderson yard but the Major suspects his racing may catch up with him today.
2.30 – The Argento is the feature on the card. I cannot have the price of Punchestowns and although Tidal Bay is a danger to all if he plays his A game, I take Neptune Collonges at 9/1 to show that injury and a fall have not dulled the shine.
3.35 – Fingers crossed we will get a stand out impressive winner of this to at least ask Big Bucks a question come March in the World Hurdle. It is hard to believe Fair Along is just 9, he seems to have been around for ever and he would be a popular winner. While he will go well in my view, his front running style will be picked off by something in this field. Corals are 11/4 about Grand Crus and I think you should punish them for their error. Couple this with a saver on Knockara Beau at 33/1 who is intriguing switched back to hurdles even if Jan Faltejsek in the saddle hardly inspires confidence.
4.10 If you need this one then we are in trouble. The handicapper has made a fundamental error when rating Alarazi, who races off a featherweight. 12/1 Sportingbet, have a slice and thank me later.
If Cheltenham is called off then let us at least take succour from the fact Punchestown goes ahead. The 2.40 handicap is hardly going to throw up a star but Artic Mick will run well for O’Hare who has had 2 winners in the last fortnight from 4 runners. 6/4 is a bit steep for the Major though who priced this one at 15/8. Therefore a chance is taken on a second plausible run in a row (not a certainty) from Andreas Answer, 12/1 Bet 365.
Fistral Beach is a great price for the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster, 3.20. 11/2 is too big, smash it up. Equally, 33/1 about Etxalar who looks unlucky at times is too big. We may not find out whether it is or not as Doncaster looks more weather prone.
To the football fields of Britain and fourth round FA Cup day. For those that remember back, we had a great day on FAC3 weekend when the Majors profitable assertion paid out…. that turf accountants overpriced Premier League teams who treat this as a second competition .
There are no matches which match that profile today but we do have a number of games where pricing has been incorrectly applied.
The first for me is Bolton who should have no problems seeing off Wigan. 8/11 probably is not short enough for an organised outfit. Coyle could have a proper crack at the Cup, Martinez is likely to have other priorities!
Reading are the best fit for the Majors profiling in the FA Cup. Think about it, if Stevenage had not beaten Newcastle then you would never get ODDS AGAINST on Reading to beat them. There were lots of contributing factors that day that do not apply. OK, so Stevenage will be up for this and the third round antics may play on Readings minds but 6/5 is absurd – Speak to your money man and free up some funds!
West Ham could have a distraction from their troubles at home to the Tricky Trees. 5/4 is too big for a team that boasts better talent than the visitors.
Australia will revert to winning ways and continue their domination in the one day series against England. 10/11 is a great price for them to go 4-1 up. England’s last win had a sense of fortune about it and the seamers are just not effective enough to suppress the Aussies surging ahead again.
Remember the Majors advice. Bet big. Be irresponsible. Give yourself a chance of glory. If you are uncomfortable with the stake then you have done the right thing. It has to be worth winning and it has to hurt losing.
The Naps this year are off to a flyer and this week the Major will shirk not. A treble on Bolton, Reading and West Ham is advised. For those who like the lucky 15, you know who you are Martin, stick Bobs Worth in at 9/2.
Tonight, a gentle evenings dining. Enjoy some mussels in white wine. Eat fish and have a bottle of New Zealand white. It is good for the soul. Remember to tip well. If the man thanks you, tell him it was your pleasure and that you are one of the Majors.
Final thanks to the young Master Hobday who, as his legendary playboy status dictates, has organised his own gentleman’s trip to Aintree for Grand National day and the invitation list is delectable, superb company, stylish times ahead chaps. It will not be long before the Major stakes an ante post selection in your name designed to more than recoup any outlays for the days entertainment. Charge the brandy flask.