The Major has been in terrific form, more mid-week winners followed last week-ends fabulous winners of 12/1, 4/1, 8/13 and more – Shabash!
Let us have more of that oh happy band of punting warriors. Well done if you were on, let us go back to the breach and drive our lance point in to the enemies torso again.
Good morning and welcome to the Saturday Service, not from Defford but from rural Oxfordshire. Yes the Major has gone to sample the Oxon air and is camping. The Major has not camped in some while and after one night, I can say it has returned long forgotten dusty memories. Cold hands, tent fabrics flapping, the smell of grass….
Camping reminds you of how luxurious our lives have become. Needing to travel to collect water, using commodities like heat and dry space sparingly, carefully calculating each move. A few nights yes, any more, I can suggest some nice Oxford hotels. Nothing stops the Major from posting on a Saturday though and so I hope you appreciate the effort required to get into a wi-fi zone as equally as you understand the brief nature of the post.
To the racing. It is not the most spectacular weekend of racing and we certainly feel in the shadow of two looming racing bonanza’s. The Derby is around the corner with the interest of the Queens horse being favourite and a French upstart looking to upset the national pride. Then we have Royal Ascot where a number of cracking contests are bubbling up. We do have a few punting opportunities today though.
3.25 Newmarket – coral.co.uk Sprint
This is a tasty little 6f contest for three year olds and a number of conundrums are set to be answered. The ground could be a significant factor as it is uncertain how much rain Newmarket is set to have. The favourite and one that certainly looks likely is L’ami Louis.
This handicap debutante seems to have improved for each run, particularly when winning on second appearance this term at Salisbury, form that has been held up.
You cannot deny that the Pricewise selection, Desert Law, is interesting. Thrown in to contest the Mill Reef, this one finished a respectable 7th. That was only the second run and Desert Law finished the season with an impressive maiden win at HQ, no run this season but looks a likely sort.
Off these two, I prefer L’ami Louis mainly due to the two runs the horse has enjoyed this season. Of the others, What About You is a dangerous entry and the Major does like Avonmore Star. Not an obvious candidate, this one looks quite highly tried but represents top connections and I think 6f on the Rowley Mile will be up this ones street. 16/1 (general) is a bit dismissive.
On balance, considering that this race normally goes to a higher rated individual with a bit more experience, I am not afraid to look further up the weights. Avonmore Star is the each way selection, have a slice – Corals go 18/1, see if you can get that.
3.35pm Timeform Jury Stakes (Group 3)
Regal Parade looks all the rage this morning. A high class individual with a couple of Group 1 successes under his belt, he is due to be penalised for the second which would have meant racing off 9 stone 7 lbs, rather than his allotted 9 stone 0. From a highly respected sprinting yard, a worthy favourite. I always like my Dandy Nicholls horses when well backed in a sprint.
Beacon Lodge has started his campaign well and looks a place prospect at least. Both he and Regal could do with a drop of rain and it is uncertain as to the starting conditions, which adds to the challenge of picking a winner.
The Cheka is an interesting contender. This one looks like a semi permanent bridesmaid but I am sure there is a win out of it one day. It almost picked up a Group 3 in Ireland this season but was mugged on the line, Tom Queally is one of the Majors favourite jockeys.
Overall, I am swayed to think the ground will not soften up appreciately. This allows me to seek a bit of value from Kakatosi who will want it as firm as he can get it. He will be stripping fit and further improvement can be expected.
Two pieces of advice. Get stuck into Regal Parade who really should win and have a saver on Kakatosi who is overpriced. 2/1 and 10/1 available.
Regular readers know that the Major brings you the big races and the betting opportunities he spots at lesser meetings. Cartmel holds one of it’s bank holiday feasts – If you are ever in the lakes it is well worth a visit. The racing is basic but the course delightful.
In the 7.05 the eye catcher on jockey booking is Mighty Magnus. Denis O’ Regan turns up for just one ride.
To the sports…
Champions League Final Tips
As a win bet, I advise Barcelona at 11/10. A lot will be made of Alex Ferguson and his ability to coax a good result from the scenario but he is playing with a busted flush. Giggs and Carrick may look good against the normal Premier League fare but against an all time great looking Barcelona three, I doubt they will look as controlled.
The bet of the game for me would be 0-0 at half time. Neither side is going to be too enthusiastic in coming forward too early and 15/8 generally is a great shout.
It is well worth having a scout around the free bet offers for this game. Bet365 offer a £50 free in play bet for £50 staked before kick off (that will be popular), Paddy Power offer to refund first goalscorer and other markets if Barca win, generous!
Finally, Torquay look a terrific price at 7/4 too to win against Stevenage. The latter will be missing key defender, Jon Ashton and Torquay look like they have the tools to do the job.
Tonight, the Major eats Al Fresco, I suggest you do the same, barbecue some nice Kebabs and down a nice Prosecco. Enjoy, it is good to bet, to live under the stars, to return to basic emotion for a while, feel alive young men.