Good evening from the Major who has been reviewing tomorrows racing cards while watching the continuing free fall of Aston Villa Football Club.
Like a Member of Parliament, I feel I need to declare an interest, the Major for those who do not know, has a soft spot for West Brom. Since a young man, I was outnumbered in my social group by Villa fans, oh how the times have changed.
My early memories were following Albion down to the old second division where, ably aided by Bob Taylors goals, we did battle through the season with Brentford and Stoke, finishing 4th (I think) before an epic play off semi final battle with Swansea (the home leg of which was the most sensational atmosphere) and then a victory over Port Vale in the final. Hazy memories of a seven-foot (exaggeration) striker for Stockport that would always score against us, maybe his name was Williams.
Albion played some dreadful football, we played some awful teams. The heart of the awfulness was reserved for the referees. Listening to fans of Premier League teams complain about poor refereeing is hard to take when you have seen the standard lower down the leagues.
At this time in my life, Villa fans were cavorting about the top ten clubs in the land flaunting Saunders, Atkinson, Yorke and co. They were a decent team, their safety was never in doubt, they were never quite the best but they were at least in that game.
I am not a man who harbours grudges, the anger some conjure over a rival’s team is lost on me. It just is not that important. On your death-bed will you consider it energy well spent?
Yet I do think that Villa fans would be well served a dose of Championship football. They would learn something. I am aware this sounds patronising and I advertised my vested views up front. In life, your sense of entitlement is tempered if at times you did not get all the Christmas presents you wanted.
Yesterday, the Major scored three winners from four tips. They came in at 8/11, 6/5 and 6/4. I missed with Lovcen. What do you want from me? Riches? Well, you won’t get them. You will get my unhinged views but I am no golden source. Tonight, I again look at the cards, seeking inspiration. Stick with me if you please, I ask nothing of you but to be good to your fellow men.
If you play an active part of the Twitter community, say hello sometime (@tdl123). Twitter hosts a plethora of racing minds, I shall bring one to your attention. Over the Last is a podcast put together with some love by @pghenn and co. Well worth a listen.
To Wednesdays racing… let us see if there are more short price horses worth backing.
I am curious that Overturn steps up in trip in the 2.15. His Arkle price is as short as 5/1 and while he is sure to be effective over this extra 3f, it is interesting to see a step up in trip. He is way better than the opposition here, let us not forget last seasons Champion Hurdle runner-up spot to Rock on Ruby. Lucy Wadhams runner is interesting, the race is a no bet scenario for the Major.
In the opener, Handazan is out and has plenty of experience after chasing Far West home this season. That form puts him in the mix but you have to feel he would be vulnerable to something else top class emerging. I think another unfortunate brave effort in defeat is in line again and Jonjo makes a fairly rare foray to Doncaster to unleash the highly talked of Last Shadow. There is a risky element to the tip given the lack of jumping experience but this horse was decent on the flat (beating Swynmor) and is reportedly a very viable Triumph sort where he is currently not available in any market other than Betfair (25s).
While I might be forgiven a little sentimentality given it is my mantra, Roll the Dice looks a very backable 9/4. The tip still has the measure of Last Shot in the Major’s view and the rise for the last win is manageable. I like Tom O’Brien in the saddle and Hobbs has a good record at Ludlow. Back it.
It could be a good day for Hobbs as I fancy his hotpot in the opener. Whatsupjack might be the best of those with experience but Tiqris looks a very able recruit to the jumps game having shown good bumper form.
I am a fan of Longsden and Fehily as a team and Tidal Way at 3/1 looks a nice candidate for me. His last race was a decent affair and the second and third went on to win races of their own. Tidal Way was in charge that day and looks on an entirely workable mark.
Bordoni and Amoralist look the obvious two to concentrate on in the juvenile hurdle at 3.05, but I am not sure they are the only two. In this juvenile contest, there might be a fly in the ointment with King of Dudes, this Irish import is in the right hands and will likely go off at a tastier price (6/1+).
Forjoethepainter has gone up somewhat in the weights since his last easy win but that rise is offset by a claim made by this capable jockey. The ground offers no problem and the last win was impressive and so 7/4 is impressive.
Courage and roll those dice.
The Martin Hill Lucky 15 is: Tiqris, Tidal Way, Roll the Dice and Forjoethepainter