Good morning from the rail lines of Britain where the Major is hurtling from the provincial backwaters of my native Pershore to the nation’s capital. Today I am visiting the Emirates for a game of association football in which I hope my own team, West Brom, can repeat the unlikely heroics of last years three-two victory.
The dank and overcast conditions weigh heavy on the heart but there is plenty to pierce this seemingly impregnable depression in the weather. The Breeders Cup, the JNwine, all of the top premier clubs in action and the opportunity of staking your hard-won monies against the enemy.
Last week was not a good Saturday Sermon with bad luck and poor decision-making costing me and any followers who went in after me a wedge. Sunday was much better advising Nephrite, the 5/2 conqueror of Born to Sea and then getting so close to the advised double as Bonfire ran into a wall of horses when surely unleashing a winning move off the home turn at Saint-Cloud in the Criterium. Alas.
Daub thy war paint young warrior, feel the blood rushing in your veins and embrace the metallic taste in your mouth as your body rises on the tide of adrenaline. It is good to be alive in England right now. Mount your charger, sharpen your lance point, prepare for battle, we shall draw a bead on the enemy and allow skill and our razor-like mind, devoid of the misty confusion of emotion, to guide our actions, be strong and decisive. Once the maelstrom is complete, we will stand in our fine military fig with brandy in hand and smoke in our nostrils…. Shabash!
Breeders Cup Tips
I do love the Breeders Cup, European trainers locked in battle with their American counterparts, top quality action on dirt and grass.
It is always a meeting tinged with sadness for the Major too. It was following a Kentucky storm that George Washington, one of those horses I just felt a connection to lost his life on the sloppy Churchill Downs track.
Breeders Cup Classic
Lets start with the Breeders Cup Classic. I think we can get Uncle Mo beaten. The yanks love this classic winner and the trainer has stated he thinks he would beat Frankel over a mile (who is he kidding, he is not fit to pony Frankel to the start!). I am not sure he is as good as his reputation suggests. There is also a significant concern that Uncle Mo might not stay 10 furlongs, one to avoid.
There is also a big question mark over So You Think, who knows if he will act on the surface and Aidan O’Brien has a questionable record at the Breeders Cup.
Havre de Grace would be the Majors choice but again she might not quite last the trip and we need a true stayer, especially as the dirt is sodden, plus filly records in the classic are poor.
This leaves the Major with Flat Out at 7/1 with Corals, proven on surface and sure to get the trip, I think the extra distance will allow him to reverse placings with Havre, win bet advised.
Breeders Cup Turf Mile
What quality we have on show for our delectable pleasure. I am looking forward to seeing Sarafina strutting her stuff, she was my idea of the Arc winner as many of you will remember. I don’t think that was her running that day and 3/1 with Hills is fair, I would not put you off. Midday and St Nicholas Abbey could fill the places but no better than that.
Sea Moon is lightly raced and is the selection. Sir Michael Stout was confident enough to play this one in the Arc and although that did not work out, he has a profile of a Stoute Breeders Cup winner and the trainer has an excellent record in this race.
The Breeders Cup Juvenile
I am a big fan of Daddy Long Legs who is an American bred inmate at Ballydoyle. At 9/1, I think we might see the best of him on this surface. Although tapped for toe in the Champagne, I think his style of running will suit the dirt and of all the O’Brien raiders, this is one I think is well priced. He will get the pace he desperately needs to aim at.
Of course we need to get Union Rags beaten (2/1 fav) and this might not be easy. The ease of his victories suggests a star in the making but this is a stiffer challenge than anything he has yet faced, a small saver advised for the weak of mind.
Casper Netscher has been tipped up for the juvenile mile on turf but I have to say that it will not carry the Majors money. The owner is a yank and I am sure he envisages glory. The horse is good too but asking it to travel to the states for its tenth run of the year is too much.
JNwine Champion Chase
No Kauto Star this year but an interesting contest at Down Royal where Irish hotpot and quiet gold cup fancy, Quito De La Roque attempts to boost his reputation in this Grade 1 contest.
I cannot have the Irish horse for this as his trainer has already declared that his preparation has not been ideal. I am sure connections would not have had him firing at 100% for this anyway as he has bigger targets later and this encourages the Major to look elsewhere.
The place to look in my view is dictated by trainer comment, trainer record and ground. This gives The Nightingale a tremendous chance. This Nicholls inmate has won every start on soft which is a terrific advert and the trainer comment of ‘this is his gold cup’ gives confidence that the horse is fully wound up. Finally, Nicholls has a tremendous record in a race that Kauto Star has dominated in recent years, I am sure he would be sending a decent sort to win again and protect that record. 9/2 is available with Coral, treat them with disdain for their utter ignorance.
Tips from the other sports
Victor Chandler has gone insane and I fully recommend the big six 11/1 accumulator of…. Spurs to win at Fulham (where I advise a significant 11/8 stake in addition, Man City to win at QPR, Chelsea to win at Blackburn, Man U to beat Sunderland at home and Liverpool to see off Swansea……. OK you only need one slip but 11/1 is a tremendous special and I recommend a double stake.
Many Exmoor trainers will struggle with the M5 closure. Watching the scenes of burning carnage late last night, you are reminded that safety and security are not rights and we are all vulnerable vessels of blood, bone and tissue.
Tonight dine well, at home. You need to watch the Breeders Cup after all and see if Goldikova can make history and also to observe your well guided wagers causing the enemy pain immeasurable. Eat curry, drink cold beer, lie back and close your eyes. In the depth of slumber, true peace can be attained but take that roll of notes from your pocket first, if you turn into it, it could jam into your ribcage and wake you up.
Courage followers and roll those dice.