Good morning from a bright Worcestershire rural picture. The air has mellowed, dropping its aggressively cold tones and becoming thoroughly more agreeable.
Sound tracking my breakfast – Fine Wiltshire pork sausages with local free range eggs, peppered and orange juice.
Facts and stories. Which of these is the greater? To a gambling man who likes a model of statistical value, you might argue the former always trumps. The tangible can be valued, a feeling cannot. We are trying to get to truth aren’t we, no sentimentality can come into it.
Yet, through human history though, people discard reason regularly, sometimes with disastrous consequences, sometimes for good reason.
Last night, a colleague and old friend lost an earring – her distress was not related to the cost but the fact that it had been her grandmothers. Time adds value that the jeweller or insurer cannot recognise.
In the same way, evaluating a business decision or a gambling opportunity carries the same dilemma. All in life is made of two elements. Fact and story. Your ability to fathom a good and useful story is more important in life than your ability to handle data. Fact. Not time to explain why, just trust in the Major and my sermon. Do your research, calculate your pricing model and then leave the last bit to personal feeling. Add a little of what cannot be explained. Life is like that. Enjoy it.
Not much time to hang about today, let’s get down to the sports. She found it by the way.
Sandown Tingle Creek Day Tips
The opening novice hurdle will be won by Golden Hoof – OK it’s a shade of odds against but Henderson has won the last three running of this race with some decent types so all points to my tip being a useful sort.
In the 1.25, despite the unbelievable form of Team Ditcheat, I cannot be on Sam Winner. I give a squeak to Gilbarry at 16/1. Gilbarry is racing of a potentially lenient mark over the smaller obstacles having shown much better chase form. He has been backed into that price so maybe something is expected.
Captain Conan looks to have a simple opportunity to pick up a grade 1 chase in the Markel Novices. Hinterland did not look the same horse over the big obstacles and might have struggled to cope with Hendersons horse even if he did handle it.
This is a good a Tingle Creek as I can remember because both Sanctuare and Sprinter Sacre look as good as we have seen in this division for some time. I love the Tingle Creek, remember Kauto winnng it! I know Denman had a swaggering style but I loved The class of Kauto (made even more special by his ability to smack a fence when cruising!). No more proof can I give than reminding you that the great Kauto had the speed for a Tingle Creek before taking in a King George and the Gold Cup in the same season!
Although its hard to imagine a horse repeating those exploits, in Sanctuaire and Sprinter Sacre we have two that I could conceive scaling similar heights. My heart is with the Aeroplane, the way Sprinter put away Al Ferof and Cue Card who have both thoroughly franked the Arkle form is damn impressive. Sanctuaire is Nicholls highest rated novice chaser and so if ratings lead you then 5/2 is a gift. My story is different though, Sprinter Sacre might be the best chaser we have seen in a generation. Geraghty says he has never ridden anything like it.
I cannot wait for the Tingle Creek.
Rule the World has a strong form line with Bonisland suggesting he should have his measure and so 11/10 is fine by me in the novice event at 1.20.
I don’t care that I am in danger of stating the obvious but Oscars Well should win the novice chase affair too. This horse was a multiple grade 1 winner over hurdles and loves heavy ground which is a question for many of these. 8/11 is not prohibitive for this.
Aintree Becher Chase Day Tips
The Becher is as wide open as usual. Join Together and Problema Tic are both young talented looking chasers and the former looks a thorough stayer which is crucial over these fences. My problem is the profile of these horses. This race suits an animal who is older and has been around the block a bit more. Proven fence experience is far more important than handicap mark. That makes the selection of last years winner West End Rocker – he slammed the opposition last year, likes conditions, loves the national fences and is only 5lbs higher than last year. 6/1 is a great price.
Cannot see why Quito de la Roque won’t win in the 1.05 at 10/11, the Kauto Stone race was a decent affair and he will be fitter today.
In the 1.30, I am going to give a squeak to Caroles Destiny at 8/1, my tip was a decent hurdler and often shows a likeable attitude.
Such is the form of the Nicholls yard that I am tipping Royal Charm in the 2.05 – the mark is more workable these days and Sona Sasta is likely to set a good clip to aim at.
Chepstow when heavy takes a lot of getting. I would want proven form on the surface and. Get it from the progressive horse Noble Legend at 9/2 in the 3.15.
To the football…
I like going against clubs in trouble and so 5/1 Sunderland and 11/2 West Brom will be backed. More solid claims are Swansea who should be good enough to beat even a rejuvenated Norwich. Southampton have started going and evens is a gift at home to a leaky Reading.
The Martin Hill Lucky 15 Mothership is Southampton, Oscars Well, Noble Legend and Golden Hoof.
The each way Trixie is Carole’s Destiny, West End Rocker and Gilbarry.
May your dinner be in good company in a restaurant run by competent sorts.
Courage and roll those dice.