Good evening from the Major who writes from a frozen Worcestershire landscape, the brittle white crust compresses with a rustle under boot but beneath is tough as teak.
A thoroughly decent day for the Major with my Newbury tips, even if I say so myself. Well, who else is going to thank me, apart from ‘john’ who posted a nice acknowledgement in the comments? The rest of you can hang for all I care, miserable sods.
Actually, that is not quite true. You need not thank me at all, in fact I have always carried transparency on my terms and conditions of usage. You must behave yourself and act with decorum, no cads allowed. I must write up my thoughts on a regular basis and at least score a few good days, I am also free to embellish any tips and racing information with the ramblings from the dark vortex swirling in my mind. You must listen patiently as I disgorge them.
Then you are free to do as you please. Your usage of the information is entirely at your own liability and any rewards are entirely yours. I accept neither praise nor abuse. Quid pro quo.
What a great day for the Major, seven tips, three winners all at odds against, a placed 20/1 shot (adv. 14/1) and a placed 9/1 shot, a 2/1 second and one best forgotten.
A couple of chaps, tourists in the punting world, took an interest today. I laid them 11/8 about Fago who romped home the class act of the field. Tomorrow they want more… Well Pierre and Oliver… more you shall get but be warned, the T&Cs are clear, caveat emptor or perhaps more accurate volenti non fit injuria.
Thursday Tips from Thurles and Wincanton
At one point, the horse in training which the Major has the softest spot for was engaged at Thurles tomorrow over fences. Thank goodness, that folly did not come to fruition, I am of the mind that Bog Warrior should never see a chase fence again, apart from the ones he passes on his route to winning the World Hurdle.
Wincanton is a day of handicaps and the Major has precious little time to unpick them. Hence, my visit there will be quick and simple, pulling out the likeliest and leaving the puzzles to my betters. Let us all hope that racing goes ahead, a 9am inspection is called for.
Shutthefrontdoor is no bet but a massive odds on shot in the last. If he wins well, expect the Cheltenham novice books to change!
In the 3.20, Brick Red is a hugely obvious sort. Evens is available this evening (Ladbrokes) and will be a long forgotten price in my view when the tapes go up. There is nothing in this field to challenge that I can find and the only thing that might beat him is if he has not fully recovered from his exertions of a week ago.
In the stayers race (2.50), we have an old favourite Mike de Beauchene turning up but aged 13 and without a win since his prolific winter of 07/08, he can only be watched and let’s be honest, do we want to see him toiling round Wincanton mid-week…. well-earned retirement would be my wish for him. The one I want to be on is Dusky Bob (despite my solemn vow not to back Ellison horses) who won last time out in soft conditions. He showed good heart at Musselburgh and this extra three furlongs and track should bring out the best in him, it could be a walking finish and that’s when I expect Dusky to be doing his best work! 9/2 generally.
At Thurles, we have two Graded events to whet the Thursday appetite.
The opener at Thurles unfurls a French Mullins import that looks a likely / shot. In a field of 19, I am minded to avoid it, even if it does look a likely sort.
The second looks like a good opportunity for Mikhael D’Haguenet but if you want to back him at 4/11 then I will seek to have you sectioned. Who knows which version will turn up.
The Kinloch Brae Chase is a Grade 2 chase and has attracted a reasonable field. Some old sorts line up and they are not the ones I want to concentrate on. Joncol, Oscar Time and Tranquil Sea are top class horses but surely past their prime.
Quito de la Roque has been a real let down this year and Davy Russell seems to have given up hope and takes the ride on Roi de Mee. That one has been in fine form this year winning all of his starts since a strange reappearance where he was thrashed. That was by Sizing Europe but I suspect the summer ground did for him more than anything. A danger to all as I don’t think we have seen the best yet, he has not really been challenged this season.
Days Hotel looks very exciting too. He had been off track for some time before beating a reasonable (if a little exposed) field on reappearance. It may not have been much but he did it in style I think this step up in trip will be advantageous if anything (ex pointer and bred for it).
In summary, I am really struggling to split the two at the top of the market. It promises to be an excellent race. I am going to make a call and at the prices suggest we go with Roi de Mee or Days Hotel.. or both… Oh god, I can’t do it. Back them both, or why not try a reverse forecast. I give up on the Kinloch Brae.
Tarla is just 4/9 to take the grade 2 Mares Novice Chase at 2.40. I was a supporter of hers when she fell when dominating at the last in a race at Cork on my birthday. She has had a little time to get over her exertions and should take this. There is not that much more to fancy really.
In the 3.10, its odds on again for the Major as I fancy 4/6 Ballycasey to beat Milborough.
In the 3.40, Drawn N Drunk gets the nod, up the best part of a stone for a convincing win last time out might not be enough. Sure to be prominent and make it a real test, lets see if we can bag a 6/1 winner. Away We Go will be popular but I don’t think good enough.
Courage and roll the dice.