Good morning from the Major who writes from a cold Worcestershire rural scene where conditions lack dignity of ice or frost. Instead we are treated to a wind chill – It is somehow a dirtier cold. If we are to be in winter, we should do it properly.
My post yesterday was a disaster. Conditions at Santa Anita are set up for upsets. A tight turning turf track on firm which is unusual for all European horses and a dirt track that most have never raced upon.
My selections went from bad to worse and the only thing I got right was Fame and Glory being finished. Even in his best conditions he is a done deal so the time to retire is right. I cannot claim too much glory for this correct premonition. Talking to my brother he said: Well done you got one horse not to win… ouch.
This is going to be fairly brief because I have an essay to write and this is simply a distraction from the lofty studies of business.
You will be glad to hear that the sermon has been reduced. Suffice to say this, enjoy yourself today.
Santa Anita – Breeders Cup Tips
Draw is essential – That was the lesson I learned last night. You do not want the inner berth, those horses get trapped on the rail – Look what happened to The Fugue and Sky Lantern, finishing full of running but having nowhere to go. Getting out is not easy from the inside position, you are better to come slightly wider (like Flotilla).
6.50 Juvenile Turf – Gervinho has been reportedly putting in good track work and I am going to take a 16/1 chance that this could be the best of the home team.
Tips for the 7.35 Fillie and Mare Sprint – Groupie Doll has been transformed by headgear but has some ground to make up so I am going to opt for Dust and Diamonds at 11/2 (Hills) – Lost as to why this 7f contest is a sprint!
8.14 – Dirt Mile – Shackleford needs to have the race run to suit and I am not sure it will be. I am going to take a chance that Bob Baffert has got to the bottom of Fed Biz poor latest show and the 6/1 (Coral) shot puts his best foot forward here.
8.57 Turf Sprint – Starspangledbanner has had some injury problems and is polaxed by draw 14, it would be one of the best performances ever to beat this field from there. Yet my tip is only 5 berths left. 8/1 Bridgetown is the call and will be doing his best work at the finish with Mizdirection and Corporate Jungle.
9.36 Grey Goose Juvenile – Shanghai Bobby looks a class act to me… Go lumpy at 2/1.
10.18 – 1m 4f Breeders Cup Turf Tips – A cracking race in which St Nicholas Abbey bids to win again. There is some tough opposition though and the one that the Major fancies is 5/1 (Paddy) Shareta – The Japanese raider is a danger to all.
10.58 Sprint – Call me crazy but I am opting for 40/1 (Betvictor) Hamazing Destiny. My tip has finished in the top 5 in this race twice already and while drawn wide, will get the help of a suicidal pace in the field.
11.40 Santa Anita – Breeders Cup Mile
Then the race we wait all night for. It is worth staying up just to get a look at Wise Dan. This chestnut monster looks like he would rip your face off given a chance! An absolute herculean looking animal, he is in at 11/4.
I am not sure Moonlight Cloud who was so close to downing Black Caviars colours in the summer will enjoy these conditions.
Excelebration has obvious form claims and a win would only go on to stamp Frankels authority on the global racing scene through collateral form.
On balance though, I think Wise Dan for the home team is a strong win tip.
Charlie Hall Chase Tips
What a shame only 6 make it to the start for the Charlie Hall. Surely a grade 2 chase with £50k+ for the winner could command a greater turn out?
Planet of Sound probably needs genuine good ground to be seen at his best and so is ruled out.
Master of the Hall goes well fresh and is a big price at 10/1. Yet I cannot see how he will give 5lbs to exciting second season chaser Silviniaco Conti who should take the Charlie Hall for Team Ditcheat at 6/4.
Down Royal – JNWine Chase Tips
The JNwine is the feature track race of the year and it is a shame they have lost Sizing Europe from the card this morning.
I like Kauto Stone but think he might fall just short of top class and would be happier with a slice of the 10/3 about Quito De La Roque who goes well fresh and will enjoy it today.
In the football, Sunderland odds against to beat a lacklustre Villa is appealing at 6/5. So is 8/11 Man Utd to beat Arsenal. Tottenham are too short at 8/15 but it is no punters price.
May your dinner be delightful and the company generous. I apologise for the rushed edition but I have work to do. Wish me luck.
Courage, roll the dice.