Good morning from the Major who writes from his bed, comfortable but busy as is the home of a young family.
A very short post as family duties call so, as disappointed as you loyal few will be, I declare no great rambling thoughts shall spill from my mind today, no Sir, a more direct to sports version.
I was contemplating some commentary on the reaction of ordinary folk to the death of Margaret Thatcher this week. I wanted to make observations over the polarisation of views and the lack of moderate voices. No time. I wanted to question whether conviction over compromise in leadership (and gambling) was indeed a virtue, as has been attributed to the late Baroness, no time.
Instead, I leave it to a labour MP from my hometown, Gisela Stuart: When you get to my age, there are no enemies any more; there are just people who are still alive with you…
Beyond that, the Major must confess to being fashionably classless myself. There is no membership here, my sporting advice remains free, barely profitable and certainly unhinged but we do encourage and discourage followers on their behaviours. Please act with decorum at all times.
The opening two year old maiden is a typical event for this time of year. It offers us precious little evidence to work on and we have to base our judgement on breeding and hype. We shall avoid it.
The 2.20 is the listed Doncaster Mile and there are some interesting runners in a smallish field. Highland Knight and Sovereign Doubt have tied form that looks solid, I prefer the former but his prominent racing style might be setting this up. I have a line through Don’t Call Me as Nicholls tends not to be at his best at Doncaster.
Instead I am having a reasonably lumpy bet on Chandlery. Richard Hannon is a master of nursing horses back to their best and this is a Group 2 winner who has an entry in the G1 Lockinge. That is an advert in itself and the season out bears no ill concern for the Major in these capable hands.
In the 3.30 I am sticking with Jack Dexter, 6/1, whose rise through handicapping ranks last season has been admirable. I was taken by him when he won at Ascot and was delighted to see him go in at Doncaster on seasonal debut. I think he is a group sprinter ultimately and the way he keeps dealing with these big fields is magnificent. How he handles the better ground is clearly some concern as is the Majors admission that there is some heart in the selection of this tip.
In the 4.40 maiden, Lewisham is going to be a hot bet as has posted efforts in much better contests than this. I am always nervous though about horses that are gallant in defeat, even when stepping back in class. As such, I am suggesting a small speculative slice of Flirtinaskirt at 6/1 who ran with enough credit on the only racecourse appearance and is not here for the air.
Just one tip, I think the 3.50 may go the obvious way of Solar Deity at 7/4. He has won four of his last five races, the last in listed company. Martin Harley has a decent ride.
Keeneland – The Blue Grass
Having watched Black Caviar strut her stuff again this morning (please come to Ascot!), the Major makes another foray on the global racing scene to up the quality of the fare we are offered.
Keeneland host the Blue Grass a race that is an excellent prep for the Kentucky Derby. Ladbrokes have a market open and I suggest the following are of interest.
Palace Malice had a horrific trip last time out in the Louisiana Derby – This Todd Pletcher horse is likely to be involved.
Tesseron is no 33/1 shot having come from a prep race that has thrown up plenty of winners.
Java Man is also one that had a horrible trip last time out but still closed to a second behind Verrazano who is the current favourite for the Kentucky Derby. Java Man has an excellent chance to show that the form of his Tampa derby run is enough to make him a serious player and come and have a pop again at Verrazano in the big one.
My advice is to take a win bet on Java Man, 7/2, and an each way saver on Tesseron, 33/1.
I am surprised that Villa are 13/10 – With such a wind in their sales, I suspect they will secure the three points that moves them much closer to Premier League safety. Equally surprising is the price on Southampton who are home to West Ham. Southampton are a team not getting enough credit for how dangerous they can be and just the wrong size of evens is a decent price.
I like Hull to win away at Ipswich (13/8) and urge all to remain aboard the Watford money train which admittedly has been momentarily derailed but shall be stopping at Peterborough at 6/4 on its way to Profitown.
The Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Chandlery, Solar Deity, Watford and Southampton. (No napalm)
May your dinner be glorious and the company divine. Courage, roll those dice.