Good evening from the Major who writes from a clear and cold Worcestershire. Turning my head to the heavens, the sky is a black blanket brightened by speckles of fiery light, it will be cold.
The Thursday tips for Aintree did not perform well. If you are new to these parts and have arrived seeking profitable advice for Fridays racing, I issue fair warning that I am on the cold list.
Sadly, we had a lot of visitors yesterday, I hope all saw sense and choose their own way. Only Captain Conan saved us from the whitewash, beyond that it was carnage.
The Major blunders on, lashing out like a great wounded animal, as the boxer near defeat throws punches, or the frustrated darts leave the ochey without thought; perhaps some luck is required.
Yesterday I concentrated on good ground horses and tried to find some either targeted at Aintree, or at least lightly raced or spring sorts. I believe this to be the formula and will maintain the philosophy as I interrogate Friday’s card. Come with me brace warrior, remain purposeful as fickle fortune weaves and wanes, our resolve to see it through is undeterred. To the racing.
Friday Aintree Tips
My Tent or Yours is quite rightly a warm order at 4/9 in the first, not a working mans price I know but I still think it is value. He looked the winner of the Supreme but found little on the hill over the last at Cheltenham. That looked a warm renewal to me as this horse also had tied form with The New One who won the Neptune Novices and narrowly failed to beat Zarkander here yesterday. Bank job.
The Mildmay is a tougher nut to crack. Dynaste owes a big run to his followers (including your unfortunate correspondent) after failing to sparkle in the Jewson. Go back to a flat track (Kempton) and his performance in the Feltham and you would have to say that this one had the world at his feet. His two runs on good though have not even yielded a place, which has to be a concern, as does the hard race he had at Cheltenham.
The Major thinks a lot of Super Duty. McCain hardly had a sparkling festival but this one certainly did him proud only just going down to Same Difference in the Kim Muir, I like the look of his spirit that day. I think 5/1 is a reasonable price.
Rocky Creek has impressed this campaign and is a certain threat, particularly as he has not had a Cheltenham race – It is worth noting that this is the tactic employed by his Ditcheat when Silviniaco Conti won last years Mildmay and a 5/2 bet is advised.
The Melling Chase is possibly the best race of the season. What a prospect, punters get to see the Aeroplane that is Sprinter Sacre serve it up to another two top class, yet unworthy opponents, in Flemenstar and Cue Card. The latter is a horse I have a lot of respect for, he was a fine Ryanair winner and will test Sprinters stamina.
Some will think Sprinter may struggle to see out two and a half miles having suffered his only timber defeat over hurdles when stepped up to this distance. I disagree with every ounce of my self. Anyone who watches Sprinter Sacre in action can only think he will improve for the step up. He just won a Champion Chase (Cheltenham’s undulations over 2m are worth at least 2m 2f around Aintree) hard held beating a multiple Grade 1 winner in Sizing Europe by half the hill.
Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. It is time for us to stop thinking this horse is anything other than top draw. I expect us to talk about his for a long time as one of the finest staying chasers of all time, even held up to the mighty Arkle. If I am right he hoses up again here.
Flemenstar is a horse I must say something about. Peter Casey is an eccentric trainer and great for the sport. He seems a damn good laugh and sporting to boot. Yet, his handling of this horse in my eyes leaves something to be desired. Prior to the horse picking up a slight set back which precluded him from Cheltenham, connections were undecided on whether to run their star in a two mile contest (Champion Chase) or the Gold Cup. Surely after the time they have spent with the horse and the evidence they have from his stunning top-level victories (and defeats) they should be training him with a plan in mind. I think this is the ideal trip for Flemenstar and he should lead Sprinter Sacre into the home straight nicely.
Given my views on the National Course, articulated in yesterday’s post, there is no tip from me for the Topham. It was an unfortunate occurrence that Batttlegroup died on the course today and while the course cannot be blamed for what seems a heart attack, the risks inherent on this course (4 fallers today in the Foxhunters) just make it less palatable for me.
The Sefton see At Fishers Cross, fine winner of the Albert Bartlett try good ground for the first time and I am not convinced he is going to act on it. Noel Meades yard send out unbeaten hurdler Road to Riches who rates a threat even if the trainer is not on a hot streak. The Major though is going to chance a better run from Gevrey Chambertin at 11/1. The selection was a poor show at Cheltenham after hosing up in fine style in his debut over timber previously. A brother to Grand Crus, there could yet be a star to emerge here.
The 4.50 handicap hurdle is a puzzle from hell. Cotton Mill has form beating My Tent or Yours which clearly rates him a chief threat. Salubrious is the Martin Pipe conditional winner, of interest but unsure about conditions. Broadway Buffalo , 8/1, has been unbeaten this season in lower company but absolutely tanked up last time and could be anything, bigger fields seem to have been no problem and I take him to keep improving and give the Pipe yard a quick fire double.
Four year old mares have a decent record in the bumper and The Pirates Queen is a profile I like at 8/1. I am going a little bit longer though and backing another Pipe horse Centasia at 14/1 who looked a bit green last time and is sure to be better for the narrow defeat. Conditions should be fine.
Courage and roll those dice.