Good evening or good morning from a grey sodden Worcestershire where the Major is at the Kitchen table to pen the Saturday Tipping Service early.
The reason being that the Major has an engagement at the Emirates and has to catch the early morning London Paddington bound Great Western Train from Pershore. Forgive then, this shorter than normal post.It is a fantastic day of sport including the first classic of the season and the FA Cup final. I have a whirlwind tour of the action with the Majors thoughts below.
First of all, my usual soapbox moment. I found it incredible this week the sheer abuse that Roy Hodgson got as he was named England manager. As an intelligent, polite, internationally experienced, multi-lingual candidate, I think he is as good as anyone for the job. Yet the Sun managed to focus on his speech impediment.
I should not be too surprised, the UK press includes The Express, a publication whose headline today was ‘EU want to shut down Britain’ or words to that effect.
Depressing. I do not mind awfulness, misery, stupidity or arrogance in measure, live and let live is the Majors mantra. Remember we float by just the once and we have little time for small matters such as anger. Yet, the fact that someone buys these rags somehow does leave a mark.
I shall let it wash away with the wine, which this evening is a nice South American Malbec which is currently breathing and awaiting it’s certain fate.
To the sports.
Tips for the 2,000 Guineas – Newmarket
Ever since George Washington won the 2,000 Guineas, the sparkle of this race has diminished a little for the Major.
I know they are not my possessions and thus my view is only the wish of an interested party but…… I so wish that owners would aim the best horses at the triple crown. There are probably some sorts that are better milers than these being held back for the Derby. So many decisions these days are based on stud value and less on the excitement of the racing calendar.
Frankel did a wonderful job of returning some razzamatazz to the race last year. Who will forget his barnstorming surge from the gates, leaving his poor pacemaker floundering and unable to get on terms. I distinctly remember Richard Hughes paddling away from halfway in a vain effort to close the gap but the machine was not for catching.
It seems that no Frankel exists in this 2,000 Guineas field but the race has to be won. Earlier suggestions that the ground would be very very soft have eased and the Major expects good to soft ground, siding towards soft, perhaps a little dead.
There are two that the Major is putting up as 2,000 Guineas tips. Firstly, I am not convinced at all by Ballydoyle favourite Camelot with suggestions that he prefers good ground. However, the second of the O’Brien team Power has plenty to like about it. Second in the Dewhurst with many of these rivals in behind, Power won the National Stakes on softer going and will be fine with these conditions. 11/1 with Betvictor is too big.
The second Guineas tip is the French raider Abtaal. The Group 3 Prix Djebel at Maisons Lafitte is starting to look like an exceptional race and Abtaals second looks very solid – 7/1 and shortening, they aren’t coming over for the air.
Goodwood Saturday Tips
The Major was asked to put up some Goodwood tips so here we go….
In the listed contest at 2.15, I would expect Vita Nova to go off as 4/7 favourite. Not a working mans price but the form to Blue Bunting is streets ahead of anything else on show. At a more workable each way price in the race, Western Pearl is one of only two horses that has raced at Goodwood and experienced the track – That could prove vital as Goodwood has a particular camber and some just don’t like it. The selection is 14/1 and the French pattern form is fine.
In the 3.30 I am a very big fan of Spice Fair at 9/1 (Bet365). This horse was solid and arguably progressive as a four year old and if tuned up could go well. A Goodwood winner, a soft ground winner and a jockey (Neil Callan is one of the Major’s favourites) who has ridden once for the yard (a winner) in the last two years……. shabash! Have an obscene slice and thank me later.
Finally a tip in the second listed contest which goes off at 4.05. This is a cracking open contest in which Esentepe, the Nell Gwyn winner takes on last years Nell Gwyn champ, Barefoot Lady. Of the two I prefer the latter who has proven her ability to go well fresh. The Major however, suggests Winters Night who herself showed a good level of ability at Ascot last term and if primed, could be a danger to all… 5/1.
The FA Cup Tips
Chelsea… simple. 13/8… pay for dinner.
May that dinner be exquisite, the company fine, why not entertain a group of friends, cook and be social.
Courage to you all and roll those dice…..