The Major is not a summer man. Born with a fair red head, the sun causes me pain. I cannot operate well in it, it burns my skin. It causes insects to flourish and at nights the heat of the land keeps me awake well into the troubled souls hour.
This last week, the Major has been in poor form. I tipped an Ian Williams handicap debutante yesterday to some friends and family. I was quite confident that the 10/1 shot could be a steamer. 10th. Not that many people are speaking to me, I fear some may be giving me the Agincourt Salute.
Redemption shall come. Faith can move mountains. Any road, I fear not for when the great auditor shall check my ledger, pounds and pence will not matter, the style of acquisition will only matter. I remain free, unhinged and marginally profitable.
This morning, my breakfast is soundtracking a slice of nutty bread, topped with carver ham and a duck egg, kindly donated by my generous neighbours. A little salt… lovely.
To the sports.
Tips for the Irish 2,000 Guineas – 3.15 The Curragh
The Irish 2,000 Guineas runs today on good ground where Jim Bolgers Parish Hall goes off as marginal favourite.
I have to say that there is a lot to like about the runner. He took a bit of time getting warmed up for the game in his juvenile year but came good by the end winning the Dewhurst and defeating Coventry Stakes winner, Power. No prep run is not a real concern for me normally in the Guineas but given this is a horse who seems to need to build a momentum in his season, on the watch list.
For the Major the race boils down to two.
Hermival, 6/1, was in the places in the English 1,000 Guineas behind Camelot. That day, French Fifteen (the likely best French 3 year old) occupied a place too. That form is rock solid and for me is as good as we have on offer here.
The more intriguing horse is Takar. 7/1 is probably a bit skinny but it is interesting that Murtagh has abandoned Born to Sea to get on this horse who has some form to find but was an impressive winner of a listed contest. That is a great advert and despite the price being skinny, I would want this one on side.
Finally, 16/1 shot Daddy Long Legs must not go without a mention. If an ill fated visit to the Kentucky Derby (pulled up) can be put behind him, he looked a classy horse to the Major.
On balance, I want this year to have a tuned up animal with three year old race experience. I want good form in the book too. This leaves me with Hermival and Takar and of the two, Hermival is the more compelling at 6/1 (BetVictor).
Haydock Tips – The Temple Stakes
Is there anything in the Temple Stakes that is going to trouble Black Caviar this summer?
The short answer is no – She is a machine and over any distance under a mile I consider her the worlds finest racehorse.
So what could chase her home? Well Bated Breath is a fine animal. He opposes Tangerine Trees here who got the better of him in France by a short head. I also think his July Cup defeat is the best form in this race though it is worth noting that Bated Breath did come last season needing his first run. For this reason alone I would normally overlook him. However, Roger Charlton has his string in fine form so he might have the animal better tuned today…. mmmmmm. Bated Breath is a half brother to Cityscape – This is a classy animal. Granted, he might be better over 6f but I still think he is the best horse on the track today.
Sole Power is the main threat who will also benefit from conditions. We are likely to get some hair-raising pace here with Tangerine Trees and Swiss Dream known to be the explosive sorts. On Good to Firm ground this could be very quick early quarters.
I would fancy Sole Power or Bated Breath to benefit from that sort of race, just which to pick….
Although he might drift further, I am going to stick with the best horse in the race and that in my view is Bated Breath… 4/1 Hills, have a slice.
Tips for The Eurovision Song Contest 2012
Yes you read correctly, tips for the Eurovision from the Major. Now I know a lot of my regular readers who consider themselves elegant gentleman would scream horror at the thought. Yet, the Major feels a need to provide a tip for Eurovision for those who like their Saturday evening entertainment to be easy on the mind.
This is a 26 runner event and on trends, later draws seem to help. Sweden are clear market favourites at 5/4 – No chance we will back that!
Russia have entered a pair of grannies from the Ural mountains. The one toothed cute appeal may be the sort of bizarre act to claim a win but not for the Major.
The British entry Humpadinck is 20/1 and frankly I would not take 2000/1. Britain is not popular anymore in these contests, something we should take great pride from. Plus, drawn in trap 1, we have literally no chance – Words I do not use lightly.
The Major is going to suggest you have a slice of Serbia at 10/1. The Balkan countries have the most powerful voting block of all and they are ideally drawn. The money has been coming all week and so I think an investment is required!
Tonight may dinner beal fresco. Enjoy a cold beer as the last of the suns rays warms your face. At this stage of the evening, a summers day is pleasant, I grant you. Have good company around and be merry.
Courage, roll those dice.