Good evening from the major who writes to you while enjoying the calming effects of a tasty takeaway treat of Butty Bach ale from the village pub.
Tomorrow they race at Cheltenham and the Major will feel a pang in his heart as he is tied to his office a mere seven miles away.
What a great meeting the Paddy Power is. I used to attend every year with a good friend on the Saturday but then we drifted apart… Life is constantly changing, shame, the memories are blindingly good, particularly the year Our Vic went in, that night was a live band, fine restaurant and the sort of drunk that leaves you blissfully blind.
The major remains troubled. Many things. Gaza, emptiness, isolation… I don’t know, sleep comes rarely and sketchy at best.
Yet, moments of fleeting beauty still stir the spirit. Take Sizing Europe today in the Clonmel Oil Chase. Clearing the birch perfectly, never troubled by the inferior beasts who kept him company for two miles. It is why National Hunt is better than flat racing in my earnest yet humble opinion.
The way a top class chaser might deceive rivals hypnotising them into a metronomic pace but then stealthily up the ante, cranking up the pace and moving through the gears from adagio through allegro and continue the accelerando to presto….. Stunning and worthy of our existence. What we owe these fine beasts… Shabash!
a few tips for Cheltenhams Friday card, let me know if any pleasure was derived (@tdl123)
First of all, I am putting my mortgage on Fingal Bay when Hobbs described him as the best he has had, eyebrows were raised. Some of that gloss has gone after the Sefton at Aintree but that was a horrible race in which to trust form. OK, it would have been nicer to see, on Chepstow reappearance, a bit more distance between him and reliable yardstick Tiger O Toole but he still looked a little idle to me in front. Strong tip, to go mad to 5/4.
If my mortgage is intact after the opener, then I might just sit the second out as it is a rough handicap to solve. I do want to offer an opinion and am looking for value so the Major is going to tip the most interesting competitor. Wetak is a French raider and if you treat the thrashing handed out by My Tent or Yours; on British debut as a stroll out, then this becomes the main target…. Interesting enough for me to suggest a slice of Boylesports 16/1.
In the third, the novice hurdle, I am struggling to recommend Dodging Bullets who while having some top class form seems to lack a winning touch. Tominator might have been the tip but two things trouble me, firstly the yard is in limited form and secondly, his hurdling debut saw him a sloppy footed leaper. So the Major is opting for River Maigue a bumper winner in the right hands.. Make no mistake about it, the winner of this race is a serious prospect.
The cross country is a filthy betting race and many will be seduced by Orphee des Blins the winner of the Czech Pardubicka, a sort of brutal mix of cross country and Grand National. Mix form, ability and a dash if ambition and there will be plenty of backers for this. Yet, the Major thinks that there will be another day for this intriguing sort. Instead the tip is an outsider in Wedger Pardy who has a handy turn in the weights on the fancied sorts and
When amateur or conditional jockeys go to war, all sorts can happen and the Major always wants the best warriors in such an event, over the beast they ride. There are 24 of the so carnage aplenty will grace the turf… Teak, an Ian Williams (dual licence, Birmingham trainer) inmate is of some interest. The Major took my young masters off to Salisbury to watch Teak win showing a tough edge.. Titan de Sarti represents Henderson and is the Majors tip, yet a save on Akbabend mind not be foolish.
In the last, Jamsie Hall and Pentiffic are my choices at massive prices with decent jockeys.