Good evening from the Major who posts tips for tomorrows very decent action from racing HQ for the flat, Newmarket, as well as the jumps home, Cheltenham.
This is the first post since Aintree and the Grand National and now the dust has settled, some reflection is in order.
The Grand National is an anomaly of a race. As much as I embraced the affair on Saturday pointing out the institutional following the race has in Britain, the truth be told, it is unlike all other national hunt racing. While it is a race I find exciting, it is a novelty.
It is also a race that exacts its cost on the public image of racing. It is one of the few (possibly the greatest) moments of the year when the non-racing public enter the world. That public saw the majority of the field fail to complete, horrific falls causing pile-ups and commentators using the term ‘destroyed’ to describe beautiful animals.
The National should not be a risk free race. It does however need to be safer. Readers of the Monday press would have noted that the lead racing story was Synchronised and According to Pete, not Neptune Collonges.
In the Majors view, if the race cannot be significantly safer, then we should remove it from the schedule – it does not reflect the sport well.
To make the race safe, the Major thinks that all of the landing areas should be levelled including Bechers. The number of runners should be taken down to 30 and the welcome additional criteria for entry should be tightened. There should be a longer run to the first and the race should never be run on good or firmer.
The Major was very flat after Saturdays race. I am not a National Hunt fan who thinks that non-racing fans should keep their beak out, on the contrary the sport needs examination and challenge. Boxing and Formula One have gone through similar calls for bans, with both enjoying the benefit of subsequent improvements.
Cheltenham Wednesday Tip – Silver Trophy Grade 2
There is a decent Cheltenham card on Wednesday and the Major has reviewed the Grade 2.
The Nicholls yard continues in decent form and I think he has the winner of the race in Aerial. He ran back into form last time out and should not be inconvenienced by the better ground. The jockey booking suggests he is the number one choice of the yard who are also represented by Woolcombe Folly. Have a decent slice of the Cheltenham tip ‘Aerial’ and thank me later.
Newmarket Tips for Wednesday – Nell Gwyn Stakes
The Nell Gwynn is a target race for some 1,000 Guineas sorts but I would be surprised if this years classic winner is lining up here.
Starscope is favourite and the way that the Selkirk filly won her maiden was decent. Gosden has won the Nell Gwyn three times in the last fifteen years which is an advert in itself but on the negative side of the ledger, It looks alarming though that connections are reaching for the headgear at this stage.
Pimpernel probably boasts best form at this stage but that is a fine line and with huge unknowns over the development of these over the winter, it is hard to read. She does have the advantage of being match fit.
On the short list is Minidress of Godolphin who gets the benefit of rock and roll jockey Barzalona. The Nell Gwynn tip though is Nayarra who defeated Minidress over course and distance and has useful international form to her name. 16/1 is too big, have a slender piece.