Monthly Archives: February 2011

Saturday Disaster – February in Loss – Monday Tip

The Saturday Service delivered yesterday morning was quite simply the most disastrous the Major has ever posted.  Oddly I felt quite confident that a few winners would be in there. Fistral Beach was disappointing, I should have steered clear of the all-weather or at least backed class over draw in the case of Anne of Kiev.  Molotof was beaten by a good-looking one, else that would have paid.  Italy hung on to lose by 8 making the handicap bet on Italy the only paying result of the weekend.  Overall ten pieces of advice, £2 returned to level £1 stakes… shocking.

I wonder if connections named Fentara after the DC comics namesake

This has left February as a loss making month, unless the tips below come home.  We are currently 7% down on the month, after a tremendous January where we finished 32% up, we are left a respectable 15% up on the year but have given away much of our earlier winnings.  Plus we have counted the stake for Stoke beating West Brom but the result will not be known until tomorrow night.

Time to move on.  The Major is relentlessly positive,  yesterdays failures are soon forgotten because we have to approach tomorrows opportunities with the same vigour, detailed approach and optimism as we would have done if we had enjoyed a blinding weekend of winners.

2.40 Monday Catterick Handicap Hurdle

Of the various handicaps and novice races available tomorrow at Catterick and Plumpton, this is the race that the Major feels we have a chance in.

The standard is typical class 4, a mixed bag of plot type horses that could be improvers and some real monkeys who may be hard to win with but have some base ability if they choose to go for it.  There are plenty of last time out winners in this one, let’s see who has the real improvement.

Sam Deng is 7/1 but I am totally unconvinced that a step up in trip is what this horse needs – While it won a maiden over 2m 6f, since then it has blown up every time they step it up, interesting that connections persist but not one for the Major.

Wor Rom is joint 5/1 favourite this evening and this is a horse that won nicely last time out.  That said it now has to defy a 14lb hike in the weights.   All four wins have come with the help of cheekpieces which again aid tomorrow.  The jockey change is probably in recognition of the weight increase.  Two of the horses three hurdle wins came in quick succession when dodging the handicapper off a mark of 80, now running off 104, I am unsure we are seeing a huge improvement in form to compensate, overlooked.

The Red Laird at 8/1 would be a nice bet if we were assured a good round of jumping but this one is hardly a reliable sort!  That said, Giles Hawkins seemed to chime really well with the horse winning his sole ride as pilot.  Not the strongest win claim but not a total shock to him in the frame.

Veronicas Boy would be a shock winner as the jumping needs work and the distance surely does not suit.

San Deng catches the eye for a couple of reasons.  The 10lb claimer onboard a Mr Joe Colliver won on board in January at this track.  It might have caught connections out as the horse was allowed to go off at 28/1 .  15/2 is the price tomorrow but I am unsure this step up in trip is a good thing for the horses chances off a 9lb higher mark.

Whatdoidowiththat is a very interesting runner already priced as joint 5/1 favourite having been off track for 4 months.  Last time this horse was seen it was winning a handicap hurdle at Hexham over half a mile shorter.  The placed horses that day have done nothing to further the form.  Although the horse was previously rated higher, being raised to 98 and off a break it might be tough.  Sue Smith has a 9% strike rate with horses returning from a 90 day or more break (now that’s the sort of detail you want from the Major), could be a contender but too much against in the Majors view.

Not Talking is also 5/1 and a pound or two out of the handicap.  The chase mark has subsided to something closet to the hurdle mark but unless the market spoke volumes, I cannot see enough to endear this one to earn your money or mine on it’s back.

This leaves two of the non outsiders to consider.  Fentara and Comeththehour.

Comeththehour is one to watch like a hawk in the market nothing in a series of novice runs suggests it will win and at 11/1 you think the price on form is skinny.  Given Moffatt does not have a huge habit of having handicap good things first time out and that the horses novice runs were over similar distances , the Major chooses to take the form as read and rule out Comeththehour.

This leaves me Fentara.  Father son team Robert and Tim Walford seem to have this gorse in pretty good nick.  A recent winner, the second went on to advertise the form well.

It is interesting that after two good runs and two and a half miles they have chosen to step the horse up.  Being a Kayf Tara progeny, it is likely to be OK with the step up in trip, the ground is fine too.  5/1 with Victor Chandler.

I wouldn’t put anyone off each way bets on the fair prices for The Red Laird and San Deng but the advice is to support Fentara at 5/1.   The one that bothers me the most is Not Talking.  In a handicap like this, if you cannot figure out why something is not fancied, you could be in trouble.

It reminds me of my favourite poker saying.  If after 20 minutes you cannot fiure out who at the table is the worst player, it’s probably you.

Good night good warriors, rest and let us fight out our differences with the enemy under a new sun.

KABOOM The Majors Saturday Service – Horseracing Tips – Racing Post Chase, Kempton; The Eider at Newcastle – Lingfield – Premier League Tips

Good morning from wet Pershore where the pluviometer indicates significant precipitation yet the warm coffee musters good feeling.  The Major is ready for Saturdays action.

Fistral Beach, named after the legendary Newquay surfing mecca

Our February profits have sunk to just 8%.  A few things to remember.  The Major is transparent, you can see everything I advised by following the tabs in the menu bar above.  As a man that has to work full time, I am proud to return any profit, my goal is 20%.  If you include the bookmakers over-round, that puts me 40% ahead of the market at any given time, a worthy and challenging target.

It is also a sign of what life is like for an amateur punter.  It shows why you have to keep perspective about winning and losing.  Returning those profits, if I stay disciplined will mean that not only do I get to enjoy my horseracing tipping hobby but it will be profitable over time, even to the slim margin I suggest.

Consider the roulette table, playing straight numbers the house pays 36/1.  Yet there is a 37th number.  This gives the house just a 2.7% advantage.  As Einstein, who had a lot to say about roulette commented ‘No one can possibly win at roulette unless he steals money from the table while the croupier isn’t looking’. 

I am aiming for my own judgement / pricing supremacy over the enemy to be 30-40%, thats a serious improvement in judging sporting outcomes, a significant house advantage to the Major.

Should you wish to criticise or congratulate my performances, you can leave your comments, I welcome them, encourage them and enjoy them.  Should you wish to know the very moment a post is issued, then sign up to the email service in the left hand column or twitter @tdl123.  Should you wish to complain that most of my tips do not come in, please do not read on, the Major writes for those who understand the principle of value.  The messages I get tell me the mysterious readers (150 last Saturday) are a positive bunch, generally encouraging me back to the fray when things go wrong. 

In return, I will not butter up my results or advice, I will not offer aftertiming or over celebrate a result, I also ask you not to expect too much.  Be there to celebrate the 22/1 winners as well as to understand that 4 from 5 bets will not come home.   Rest assured however, that considered punters like ourselves are the enemies scourge.

Once more we saddle our chargers, sheepskin cover and blinkers and prepare to face the devious enemy on the field of battle.  He has priced his markets, I have researched my angles into the value.  I offer to you, free of charge, no strings attached, my version of the Saturday value tips. 

To war, my friends.  Let us return to the breach, or we shall be clogging up the walls with our gambling dead.

3pm – The Racing Post Chase – Kempton

Just as the football kicks off, so does the race of the day.  This looks like a cracking renewal of the race with many of last years protagonists sizing each other up again.  Conditions will play a part (Newcastle goes ahead, Chepstow might not) but Sandown will get a dousing mid to late morning and then dry up, I am going to assume soft but sticky.

The Major has been a long-term follower of Fistral Beach and the horse continues to cost me money.  That said, I expected his chances in todays race to be better advertised but seemingly, he has become a little friendless.  The money is piling in for Nacarat, (who is the Pricewise selection) and this must offer some value elsewhere, including the Majors selection.  This is the thinking…

The RP Chase is one of the better handicaps at this stage of the season.  We have seasoned King George placers, young up and comers as well as a few old monkeys trying to revive some sort of form.   The winner is normally an already known strong performer.  As it a handicap, we are looking for one either improving or on the career plateau.  This has not gone to a true outsider in some time. 

Nacarat has probably shown the best class in the field.  As a result he gets top weight.  He is well weighted though if you consider his efforts in the 09 and 10 renewals of the race.  Pricewise has to be well-respected, he is certainly better than me.  That does not mean that you changes your mind though when your line of thought was different though.  It is these differences that you need to exploit to find the elusive value.  I cannot help but think that at age ten, we know everything about Nacarat and I am not sure rain is going to suit his chances, he would be fine on genuine soft but I think the likely tacky stuff Kempton will serve up may not suit.. 

Remember, we are looking for something rated just short of very good.  Perhaps 145ish.  The horses that brings into focus are:

Tatenen, Free World, Quinz, Bakbenscher, Razor Royale and I am going to throw in my personal horse to follow, Fistral Beach.

I ruled out Mostly Bob who is interesting but Johnson deserted in favour of Quinz and although he said it was a tight decision, I think Mostly Bob might find things happening a bit too quickly today, although O’Brien in the saddle is a favoured jockey for the Major and he looks like he will appreciate a right-handed track, this seems to be too much of a step up at this stage. 

Both Quinz and Mostly Bob also get lines through them due to trainer form.  Just 1 win from the last 25 runners for Hobbs does not convince you that his string are in top-notch form, thus they are overlooked.

Ringaroses looks suspiciously well handicapped but you need more than that for a RP chase win, you need proven quality and recent form and that is not there for Ringaroses.

The horses well suited to conditions in the Majors view are Hey Big Spender (who I think will struggle to cart weight just 1lb short of Nacarat around), Fistral Beach and Bakbenscher. 

Before I make comment on the couple I have it down to, a word for Razor Royale.  Twiston Davies will have him tuned up and I am sure this is his possible moment in the sun this season.  That said, I am unsure a repeat of the previous battle with Nacarat is certain.

For the Major, there are two of clear interest in the market.  Bakbenscher and Fistral Beach.

Followers of Fistral Beach have lost a lot of money backing him to win races – He has been a beaten favourite more often than anything else in the race.  I find it interesting then that champion trainer Nicholls still comments today that ‘I think Fistral Beach has a lot in his favour, he has a nice weight and is on a fair mark.’

It is not often that Mr Nicholls proclaims he has one in and the Major has listened. 

Fistral beach is 2 from 4 on soft and I think that is where the ground will go.  Although he has only tried 3m once, I think he will get it well and the breathing op he had in the summer seemed to have worked wonders.  Nicholls looks set tot have this as the target, this looks like a champion trainer special to me.

Bakbenscher is 3 from 5 on soft and I cannot ignore him either.  He could be the fly in the ointment.  I just don’t trust his jumping enough for this although if King has straightened that out, he could be a major threat.

Fistral Beach for the Major and I really like this one, so lump in for the win.  13/2 at the moment with Hills but I suspect with Nacarat clearly fancied everywhere but here, that price may drift.

3.15pm The Eider, Newcastle

4m 1f around Newcastle when it is bottomless is more than a stamina test it is an insane non stop energy sapping war of attrition.  This really will be a race that will suit a careful deliberate jumper.  We might only get two / three finishers so a huge priced outsider that would definitely get round may not be the worse selection ever either… 

That said, there are only two horses in the race who have won at the distance.  Comply or Die, the Murphy national hero horse who was the Majors first ever Grand National winner; is one.

The other is the selection, Belon Gale.  This sort fits the bill perfectly and to be honest I would take a slice of the National antepost too .  11/2 is generally available.  The Northumberland National it won last time stepping up beyond 3m for the first time was a significant step up in form, this looks like the National plot horse for the Howard Johnson team. 

Minella Boys could be a threat but the Sussex National while requiring a staying type, is not the same extreme test as this. 

Have a slice and send me the postcard.

The Other Horseracing Tips

With the two big races out of the way, let us review a couple of other fancies. 

Back to Sandown, the Majors betting resolutions dictated that you should not get too stuck in to novice / juvenile types. 

That said, the Henderson horse, Molotof, looks very interesting in the opener at Sandown (1.55).  It is second favourite to a Nicholls horse, Tonic Mellysse, but incredibly the ownership is the same.  The Munir clan look to have sourced two good sorts from France.  The reason I like the second of the two is that Henderson clearly targets some of his better novices (from his embarrassment of riches) at this race.  Previous winners include two of Hendersons Champion Hurdle sorts in Punjabi and Binocular.

That must be a good indicator that this is one of the better novices in an outstanding yard and thus, 10/3 Bet365 is a must bet price for the Major.

3.35 Kempton – Pullyourfingerout could win this grade 2.

Toubab has been the subject of a talking down from the yard and while I really respect Celtus (again a Munir owned horse), I think there will plenty here trying to cut each others throats.  If AP McCoy can get pullyourfingerout to settle, it is well worth a bet that he can pick these off in the home straight.  10/1 generally available.  The Powell horses are in fine order (31% strike rate the last two weeks).  Smash into this one.

At Lingfield, the 2.10 Blue Square Sprint Series Final is a 6f affair that is a tasty conundrum.  nothing appeals more than Qadar whose change of home seems to have lit up the horse.  I am certain a 5lb rise will not stop this one … 6/1 Bet365 is a serious mistake.  While Qadar may have fallen from grace, the new stable seem to have resparked some passion and he is still 23lbs inferior to the height of his racing mark.  Artic Lynx is a danger to all looking for a hat-trick and 100% record at Lingfield.

Duff is the class act in the Lingfield 3.10 and the Major has backed Hitchens many times in quality races like this listed affair.  I have to say that Anne of Kiev would have carried the dough but stall 1 is a nightmare.  The one the Major plumps for is rank outsider, Elna Bright.  33/1 with Bet 365,   trainer form a slight concern but visor fitted and a sharper effort last time out give this one a small shout, 33/1 it is not.

To the sports fields of Britain…..

I always seem to back teams against my own club West Brom, I promise it is not some sort of self-abuse, I just think Albion are there for the taking.  The last two home games, our opposition has been 3/1 for the win and both ended in score draws.  I maintain this line on Albion being lesser value to Stoke today where you can back the home team at an incredible EVENS with Hills.  Get stuck in, load the large cannon and KABBBOOOOOOOMMMM! Although the Major will not celebrate, it is like scoring against an old club, it is not the done thing – Martin I promise this is not a wind up.

Victor Chandler have lost their minds offering Nottingham Forest at 2/1 to win in south London.  Millwall are alright but nowhere as good as Forest who are quietly going about their business in an impressive style.  The squad is big enough to cope with the current injury list, I want them on my side today.

Bolton look overpriced too at 14/5 to win at St James Park. Sturridge has added an extra dimension to Bolton who are in with a far better chance than that of picking up three points.

Equally Sunderland at 4/1 to win at Goodison is a must bet for the Major.  Everton may be missing Cahill too which is a significant blow, they are a really hot and cold team where Sunderland have earned their Europa League chasing position.

In the Rugby, I think the French will hunker down and make it a tight game at Twickenham.  This makes the first try scorer bet on Ashton a no bet despite the appeal that the young gun clearly has. 

I prefer to back Italy with a plus ten handicap mark against Wales at evens (Bet 365) – This is normally a close encounter and despite the drubbing last time out, I think this is a decent Italy team, home advantage could see them win today without the need for the handicap reassurance.

Being smacked around the pitch by the Dutch is not a good warm up when your next ODI is against Tendulkar and Sehwag.  1/2 on for India who should beat England comfortably.

The NAP has to be Fistral Beach at 13/2 – He has carried my money too often without return, he will come good today.

The lucky 15 will be Fistral Beach, Molotof, Belon Gale and Notts Forest – That should pay for Christmas!

William Hill Offer

Now before you start thinking, has the Major sold out, please understand that I have no affiliation to any bookmaker and earn no income from this site.

However, a word must be said today for William Hill.  they are offering a £25 free bet on sign up (fairly standard I hear you say) PLUS a £30 free bet for using the Racing Post Iphone / Android app.

This must be a go for it scenario.  Sign up an account with £30, you know they are going to give you a £25 free bet.  then go for the app too and place your bet through it.  You have to email in to confirm it but you will get £55 of free bets to your original £30 stake. 

Hills are best price on the NAP too!  Have a chunky slice of that and thank me at tea time.

Tonight, I suggest Game Pie.  A hearty ale to accompany.  Try the Butty Bach from the Wye valley – Light, tasty and refreshing.  Throw a log on the fire as the evening draws in, sit content, take your dog to the pub and allow him to lie on the flagstone floor, throw him the odd scratching. 

When you feel that wad of notes in your pocket, smile and order the good brandy, the Major is happy for you.  Don’t consider this the comeback, we were never gone.

Friday Special – Bolster the weekend funds with Clouseau 11/4

The Majors return to form continued with a tasty win for the Midnight Club.  Thank you for the emails and texts, it was worrying for a while but we are back to winning form.  Order has been restored, the planets are realigned and the yin and yang have perfect universal harmony.

The 2.20 at Sandown is a serious matter - You will be kept informed

I cannot tell you how much interest I have in this weekends sporting action.  I am particularly interested in the Eider at Newcastle where we may see the Grand National winner.  The Racing Post Chase promises to be interesting with the Major very interested in Fistral Beach although we shall wait and see – I shall start work on the Saturday service tonight, it promises to be a stunner.

To bolster these weekend funds, the Major urges you to invest in Clouseau.  It runs today in the 2.20 at Sandown at 11/4 with Bet365.

The Charlie and Lola (I kid you not) Handicap Chase is a class 3 £8k 0-130 handicap.  It is not a bad little contest having sat and considered the runners.

The favourite Dinarius is a genral 9/4 and I can understand the suppot given two big positives.  Last time out at Exeter it walked home in a mudbath.  It was raised 13lbs in the handicap for that win but because it was after 12th Feb, it only carries a 7lb penalty into this race, essentially keeping the horse 6lb ahead of its handicap mark.

So what has the Major got against this one that looks like it is a significant improver over fences?  The main issue I have is the trip.  The Exeter win was over a further half mile and I cannot help but think we will see the best from Dinarius at perhaps even 3 miles.  2 miles around Sandown is probably too sharp.

Kilkenny All Star is a likely threat to the Majors selection.  Following back to back wins, this horse was contesting a hat-trick under a further 7lb rise in the weights at Wetherby last time out when falling at the opening fence.  The previous two wins came in field sizes of 5 and 6 and I am not sure this horse will appreciate this rise in quality.  I am not at all sure it prefers the cut it will get in the ground either, looking like a top of the ground sort.  At 10, there should not be significant improvement to come, place chances in the Majors view.

The two I like the most at the prices though are Russian Flag with useful 3lb claimer Alex Merriam and Clouseau with Daryl Jacob at 8/1 and 11/4.

Russian Flag has always placed in soft ground and so the conditions at Sandown will suit.  While the horse has not covered itself in glory this year, it was winning at the course off higher marks just a year ago.  At 8, there is no telling whether he will spark that old form, but the Major would not give up on him just yet.  That said, the yard have not had a placed horse in their last 8 runners – Overall the handicapper might have to relent a little further before we see Russian Flag back at a handicap mark he can win from.

The Major is hopeful that the same cannot be said about Clouseau who goes for the dangerous Williams / Jacob combination (Trainer 2 wins, 1 placed from last 6 runners).  This nice looking chestnut seven year old may not have shown us the whole picture of his ability just yet. 

Clouseau was third last time out at Hereford, 13l inferior on the day to Cadoudlas.  Two lengths behind that day Cantabilly looked to be staying on to get on top and win a Taunton affair and the winner, Bedarra Boy,  has been raised to a still modest 112 but looked marginally better. 

The horse finishing second on the day (4l clear) Oscar Gogo has yet to race since but is off 117. 

The winner of the Hereford contest, Cadoudlas has run again and franked this form marvelously too.  Although making a few mistakes it was driven out to win by a neck to useful yardstick, Indian Groom.  Cadoudlas now has a mark of 140. 

This is a mark 23lbs higher than Clouseau who looks a very fair sort off 117 given the 13l defeat to Cadoudlas.  This is particularly true if you watch the Hereford affair and see the mistake made half way round by Clouseau which must have taken something from the horse.

A suitable 6 week break will have allowed for the exertions of that Hereford tilt.  I don’t think the shorter distance will inconvenience the horse and with the services of the reliable Daryl Jacob I am sure Clouseau will be involved today. 11/4 Bet 365 and Sportingbet, have a slice, I think they might come for it.

If the Major is right, market support would be encouraging and so take anything down to 9/4.

Thank me at tea time.  Incidentally if you do not know what or who Charlie and Lola are, the Major shall inform.  As a young father I have the privelege of reviewing childrens programming.  While Charlie and Lola is no Bagpuss, there is something to be said about the jaunty 70’s style title music which I offer for your delectation.

Horseracing Tips – Bobbyjo, Fairyhouse – The Midnight Club 15/8 | Antepost, Albert Bartlett Novices – Moonlight Drive

Weapon's Amnesty

Weapons Amnesty was a Gold Cup horse in the Majors eyes, third at the festival behind WA, The Midnight Club should romp home in the Bobbyjo

Well the Major has had a poor run but it comes to an end tomorrow with one of the best value bets I have seen in a while.  The recent run of poor form was eased last night when the second half of the Stoke, West Ham double came in.  That has restored profit levels to 11% for the month, below expectation but still respectable. 

Well done to Le Grand Fromage, his top wicket taker bet advised at 40s (Mitchell Johnson) – After a four wicket haul for the Aussies in the opening game, dreams of 40/1 are long gone and 12s is now your best price, keep on rolling Mitch.

So where is the value tomorrow…

Fairyhouse – Bobbyjo Chase – The Midnight Club – 15/8 Hills

The Midnight Club runs in the Bobbyjo (3.45 Fairyhouse) in what looks like a warm up for the Grand National. 

The horse is a 16/1 shot best price for the marathon Aintree trip and after tomorrow I suspect it will go favourite.  It is the horse Mullins seems to targeting the nations favourite race with and as a profile horse is interesting.

Two years ago The Midnight Club finished a 3l third to Weapons Amnesty at the festival.  That form was mustard but when sent chasing three initial runs looked pretty poor – The penny seemed to drop though when finishing second to Kempes (recent Irish Hennessy winner) in April 2010.  A significant break was over when The Midnight Club made a return to action 3 weeks ago.  Finishing close up to Siegemaster in the Thyestes was great form following a 9 month break and considering the horse belted a fence a third of the way through, it was impressive.

The only risk tomorrow in the Majors view is the bounce factor which is a largely superstitious risk anyway!

If you fancy The Midnight Club for the Aintree showpiece, this would be the time to back it.  The Major would not take 16s now or even following the good win I expect tomorrow.  I am not sure it is the right horse for the Grand National.

I do however expect the horse to put these away tomorrow and show it is progressive over fences still, even at 10.

Albert Bartlett Antepost Tip – 33/1 Moonlight Drive

A couple of sources often drop the Major noises about fancied horses.  It is not often that the information makes it to the blog.  This is mainly because I like it to be my own work (with the exception of recent guest posts).  It is also worth noting that the strike rate of such information is mixed.  Rarely is the information completely wrong but there is a many a slip between the crouch and the leap.

However, a piece of information was proffered to the Major today as an antepost tip for the Albert Bartlett at the festival.

With the sources permission, I post it here…

Moonlight Drive is the selection at 33/1 in places (Boylesports / Victor Chandler) and is a hugely fancied horse apparently at home.  This is a horse that is in the same stable as Recession Proof who would be a fine yardstick.  The antepost price has already trimmed in from an original 66/1.

Bobs Worth and Oscars Well are not certain to go in the Albert Bartlett as they have Neptune entries too.  Court in Motion has blown his lines and overall the Albert Bartlett looks open enough.

Take an each way piece of the action.

Another Profit-Threatening Weekend – Horseracing Tips for Mondays Hereford and Carlisle Cards

Following the Major can seriously damage your wealth from time to time.  The last few Saturday services have been loss making and we are down to a skimpy 4% profit for February.

Rebecca Curtis - An eye-catching turn-up at Hereford....

West Ham winning on Monday night will restore a bit more respect to proceedings as we have them backed at 12/5 in a double with Stoke.  Equally we were a little unlucky with Dibella tipped as an outlandish win bet at anything over 16/1 (SP 20/1) – Watching that race was a little frustrating, my take was that the jockey didn’t get Dibella into it, although the horse looked green.  When the penny dropped it ran on well into third.  I would definitely have it in the notebook.  I hope some of you backed it each way, the Major advised it as a win bet (all results are published in the tabs above), thus a loss.

An equal dissapointment was the tipping of Riverside Theatre which the Major put up as the likely winner and suggested 7/4 was the value but was too nervous about Pride of Dulcotes potential and so it went down as a no bet.  Terrible news about the fatal injury to Pride of Dulcote who fell at the mid way point.

We must drive on, sticking to the resolutions, we will find more value bets and get our profits back where they should be.

Herefords 3.20 is an interesting little novice and while noone has priced the market yet, I think there will be a value bet.

The weights for this novice make it interesting with only horses who have won less than 3 qualifying.  There is a 7lb allowance for mares and fillies while 7lb penalties apply for each hurdle race won so far.

Listenlook is no doubt a decent point to point recruit for Twiston-Davies.  It  surprised on hurdle debut, when landing odds of 25/1 at Chepstow beating the well fancied and well backed Our Father in a decent contest.  Upthemsteps was a fair way behind that day and taking a line of form on that ones former Taunton win, you have to take Listenlook as a decent sort.

There are only seven runners at the moment and more might drop out of the heavy conditions, I think we are looking for the winner.

Old Wigmore has an eye-catching jockey booking in Tony McCoy for Rebecca Curtis there is a 32% strike rate for that trainer, jockey combination over the last two years.  The horse has great claims.  The debut win at Hereford has been well supported with the placed horses following up in reasonable fashion.  Second and Third that day Super Villain and Iron Chancellor are now rated in excess of 120.

The following race Old Wigmore contested at Cheltenham was even hotter.  It finished a 15l 5th to Mossley,another of the unbelievably strong Henderson army!  Reading the form of the horses who finished 2nd to 4th that day, 120 looks a super light reading of Old Wigmores ability.  Mossley himself has been allocated 145.

Cocacobana is an interesting horse and surely one capable of winning a race like this.  Whether tomorrow will be the day I do not know.  It is the only other horse capable of winning this race in the Majors view.  The second in the Hereford bumper a few weeks back to Mono Man (yet another absurdly promising Henderson horse!)  reads very well.  Mono Man already introduced to the Champion Bumper market at 20/1 was reduced further after beating Persian Snow on Saturday.  I have to admit to being on (sorry it was not on the service, it was a last-minute decision) – I watched the Hereford bumper and have to say that although it beat not a lot, Mono Man looked visually stunning.  It was not that it didn’t get off the bridle, it never looked like it might.

As an advert for Cocacabana it reads very nicely.  When considered though, Cocacabana had a 10lb claimer aboard that day and has not yet faced a hurdle.  No such claimer tomorrow, not easily dismissed but we are looking for the winner.

Simply Wings will be close to the head of the market but is one to be dismissed in the Majors view – It looks like we have seen its true ability already as a well established handicapper and I would be very surprised if anything other than a place was the outcome, even at the 2/1 forecast.  This could be a bit dismissive as it is probably the horse in the race most suited by conditions.

So is it to be Listenlook or Old Wigmore….

I am settling on Old Wigmore.  The ground is a slight concern but being by Old Vic whose progeny seem to go on most, I am not overly concerned. I like the jockey booking and think the form is the best on show.   Rebecca Curtis has not had that many winners lately but the string she has seem to be running OK.  She also has a good strike rate at Hereford.  7/2 on Betfair, will wait until midnight to see if an early market opens…… have a slice.

The 3.10 at Carlisle could go to the returning Bishops Heir, having reviewed the line up, this is the one who could be ahead of the handicapper.  On its last outing at Kelso (a year ago) it looked tapped for toe before rallying and finishing well.  I think the main thing against the horse that day was the ground.  On ground reading soft / heavy the record reads 1115 (the 5 is a 30l defeat to Bygones of Brid in a Grade 2 contest) – When good appears in the going, the record is 434.  It all comes down to readiness in the Majors view.  James Ewart can prepare one, 13% strike rate with horses off course for more than 3 months.  It might need the run but back it anyway, 13/2 currently (Victor Chandler), I would take that but I would also advise to wait and see if a better price can be garnered.