Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Saturday Sermon on Derby Day

Good evening from the Major who writes from the dulling Worcestershire evening.  The air is chilling beautifully, the crackling ball of plasma has dipped beneath the horizon and dusk brings a calm to the soul.

The Major has been immobile this week, regular readers will have noticed the abbreviated Sermon last Saturday.  The Major suffered a sudden sporting injury and the finest medical opinions in my local surgery suggest I have torn ligaments.

Don’t rush to sympathise with me, for today I struck a minor mothership and am undeserving of your thoughts.

I cannot say I scrutinised the Oaks card with great thoughtfulness, it was just one of those days where a lack of contemplation boded well.

I had Thistle Bird in Epsoms opener, only because I have a soft spot for anything in Nathaniels colours.  Resurge was my winning selection in race two on account of Neil Callan being one of the more under rated jockeys.  Gregorian had the best Group form in the book and was my selection in the third before the fourth in which I chose Mister Music (the only leg that let me down) on account of wanting some Hughsie in my mix.  Then the Oaks, I almost took The Lark but settled on 20/1 winner Talent.  Why? Well it’s damn hard to read what these fillies are up to and I felt her listed race was open to be interpreted as better as she had fought hard for her head in it and won despite that wasted energy.  My how she repeated that tomfoolery today.

Coming down the hill towards Tattenham corner, she was on the verge of rearing, fighting viciously with Hughes.  Once he had her on the straight, he asked her to go between two tiring sorts, which seemed the wrong course to me when a simpler option lay wide.  She went through though and put the race to bed in glorious style.  It was not Hughes’ finest ride in my consideration but for a quality hard-working jockey, no other deserves to break a classic duck with two in one season more than he.  Bravo.

The Majors spoils?  Well I had each way doubles and trebles on the five selections.  The swag was enough for a holiday, not the Caribbean perhaps but maybe a weekend in a fine hotel with enough loot to satisfy some of my lascivious vices.  As I say, feel no pity for I.

The strangest part is that despite considering myself fairly level minded, after three legs, special thoughts were brewing in my mind, the opportunity of great gains lay before me.  Mister Music put pay to those.  I was lost a bit, to the point where even when Talent galloped home,  I still felt rather flat, more than I should have.  That troubled me and stayed with me, as these things will.

If it were not for the back, I would take these illicit gains and romp to Epsom tomorrow for some fun on the downs.  As it is, I shall leave those shenanigans to my good friend Mr Hadden and his merry band.  For them, I shall try to reproduce the trick but the Major is circumspect.  I am the blind squirrel and occasionally I find the odd nut.  I am the broken clock, correct twice in a day.  Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

To the sports…

Epsom Derby Day Tips

I am going to go across the Epsom card.  My principles are as follows.  You need a good jockey, for this I am going to use subjective views, my own.  You ideally also need a horse that has gone well at Epsom before where there is a significant camber.  If no Epsom form is available, I would allow Brighton, Goodwood or Bath form to correlate.  To business.

1.35 Epsom

In the opener, High Troja is current favourite.  Starting last time at 25/1 at Newbury, the horse was visually impressive but that was off an awful crawl and I am not entirely buying the form.  Plus Ed Dunlop has saddled 4 winners from 33 runners in the last two weeks, not a huge problem but not convincing either.  Plus the Newbury ground was much better than this… plenty of doubts.

Space Ship carries those Nathaniel colours as well but also has a lot of questions.  He clearly is progressing and the Chester win was fine.  He has good form tied with Telescope from last season but his win was on good to firm and Chester is a completely different proposition to Epsom.

Neil Callan is my favourite jockey in the race, I have never seen him given anything other than his best and he keeps things simple.  That said, I am struggling to find a line of form that puts St Paul de Vence in it, he would have to improve a lot from his reappearance, which is only a minor possibility in my view.

The opener is a tricky affair and I am going to chance my arm on King Muro.  Andrew Balding is a top trainer and I am sure he has not bought the horse to Epsom for a day trip.  It is in on a bottom weight of 8-2 and has the assistance of Hayley Turner for the first time in the horses career.  His only win came at Kempton in a class 6, hardly enthralling I know but last time out at Chester was interesting.  The horse was prominent and travelled well but threw an anchor out two furlongs out and the jockey was kind from there to the line.  Who knows?  The price builds in the doubts, 20/1.

2.05 Woodcote Stakes

These big early season contests for two year olds offer less evidence but we can still apply reason.

This is the type of race where you would expect to see the plethora of riches from the Hannon juvenile camp dominate but he has only won it once in fifteen years.  That said, Thunder Strike comes with obvious credentials having won two sprints very nicely, a step up of a furlong should not be a problem either.

Two reasons make me opt for Riverboat Springs though at 11/2.  Firstly, Thunder Strike only has form at Doncaster and Newbury – Two flat straight easy courses, this is a different world.  Riverboat Springs won at Bath, a swerving dipping and cambered course – That win was also on good to soft.  I also like the fact that Channon has targeted this race in recent years winning it twice in the last ten years, including the last running with Chilworth Icon.

2.40 Epsom Coronation Cup

The first of the two Group One races and the Coronation Cup renewal is a disappointment.  Only five runners, one of which looks to be a pace horse.

It is incredible to consider that Ballydoyle have such spoils that they can deploy listed winners to be a hare for their top animals to aim at.  That seems to be the lot of Chamonix.  It may also be the job of Chapter Seven who may be leading Dunaden.  This should make for an interesting early pace duel.

St Nicholas Abbey has won the last two runnings of this race and I have no clue how to oppose him.  Joshua Tree is a Grade One winner in Canada, winning their top race for the globe-trotting Ed Dunlop stable – This is tougher.  Dunlop knows Dunaden well as he was responsible for the defeat of Red Cadeaux by a shadow in the Melbourne Cup in 2011.

Since then, St Nicholas Abbey has given him a good hiding and as far as I can see another dose is due to be served up in the race that St Nick has made his own.  4/11 is not sexy I know.

The Dash

The dash is all about the draw.   It is also a punters graveyard.  In the last three years we have had winners at 33/1 and 50/1.  Kudos throughout the season of sprinting swings from one horse to another so I have less faith in the science of prediction than in other races.

Nothing I just told you is new.  The top four in the betting come from stalls 15 and upwards.   What glimpses may have the winner left though, what can we analyse that might allude to the true signal, the one horse that will cross the line mere fractions of seconds before the next?

Captain Dunne ticks a number of boxes, he is almost a stone lower than when running well in this last year  A reappearance run will have him spot on, he likes the ground and is well drawn.  A contender, no doubt and I expect the money to come flying.

It is merely in search of value that brings me to my more interesting selection.  Ballesteros is available at 22/1 and I think it dismisses his chances.  He was 4th in a Prix de l’Abbaye behind Wizz Kid but in front of Sole Power, that is well franked form, c’est vrai?  In the saddle is William Buick, a pilot who won this just five years ago.  Have a slice.

Derby Tip

I am surprised that this evening the books are out to get Dawn Approach.  At the start of this week, the colt was odds on but has drifted to 11/8 and Ladbrokes are going 7/4 in the morning for 15 minutes from 8.15… I kid you not!

Dawn Approach gave me and a few Business School pals a terrific thrill in the 2,000 Guineas.  Listening to the race on the radio and the commentators excitable description of him powering away at the bushes, well… it was better than watching it.

On what grounds do we see him beaten?  Trip is the one that is being trotted out. He has only raced over a mile and so will he get a distance 50% further.  When we don’t have the evidence to go on we look to the clues…. Breeding and Visual evidence from former races.  On breeding, the favourite is out of New Approach (who himself is a Galileo horse).  New Approach was a derby winner and sire of yesterdays Oaks winner.  The Dam, Hymn of the Dawn, gives us no clues.  She was a poor racer and kept to short distances in Ireland with Jim Bolger.

Visually, Dawn Approach hardly looks the sort to be inconvenienced by a well run mile and a half.  If anything, you could argue he will improve for the step up. His sire did.

Back for the verdict on Dawn Approach in a moment.  Ocavango was of serious interest to the Major but being drawn in stall 1 has a sobering effect as was highlighted in todays stats, it is definitely a penalty.

Battle of Marengo is unbeaten in five and out of the O’Brien camp so has to be taken seriously but it concerns me that the horse is yet to compete at the top-level.  Last years Ballydoyle derby winner Camelot had already taken in the Racing Post Trophy as a juvenile and the 1,000 guineas as a seasonal debut before the derby.  I question the strength of the O’Brien classic crop this year and will swerve this one.  If you wanted a Ballydoyle horse, I would prefer Mars who did compete in the 1,000 guineas and gets Hughsie who knows every roll of these Epsom Downs.

When the answer is right in front of you, do not be afraid.  Dawn Approach is the obvious selection and I find his case entirely compelling.  I would want 6/4 or bigger to account for the risk we are taking that he will handle the track but he is in good hands to do so (as his Sire did).  He delivered the goods in the Guineas and I am getting stuck into a follow up in the second classic he is eligible for.

4.50 Handicap

Moore riding Sirvino for David Barron catches the eye as it is a rare booking.  However, it has not been one that has reaped rewards either (no wins, three runners in last two years).  He did at least serve up a stronger performance last time out when winning at York, staying on well to score at last.

I am prepared to have a pop at another at bigger odds in 11/1 shot Scatter Dice.  My selection might be a typical Johnstone horse and if he gets in front two furlongs out may just prove hard to catch.

The other horse that caught my eye was Sheikhzayedroad who I think will enjoy this new trip.

5.25 Handicap

If you are not ahead by the time of the handicap, you need a bit of luck in this last race because it is a minefield.

I am going for Seeking Magic at 9/1 with the strong Adam Kirby in the saddle, I could tell you why but I won’t.

The each way Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Seeking Magic, Scatter Dice, King Muro, Riverboat Springs.

I hope your dinner is bought with the bountiful catch of the day and the company you keep is elegant and charismatic.

Courage, roll those dice.

Shortest Saturday Sermon ever….

Good day from the Major who writes from a bright Worcestershire scene.

I am writing out of duty. In many years I have not missed a Saturday post but today I type in pain. I am the victim of a sporting injury incurred yesterday. I felt the muscles gently tear in the base of my back and now am reduced to a shuffling motion, grimaced features and mainly horizontal rest.

Thank god for the modern facet of our lives that is 24 hour live sports coverage. I am currently watching Storm versus Highlanders, some Australian Rugby Union action. I will be switching into the Italian cycling and the test match before watching the racing from Chester, Goodwood and of course Ireland where it is 2,000 guineas day. All of this before tonight’s Champions League Final.

As for tips today, to keep the post brief, I am backing a Dortmund win tonight, Van der Neer to win (I like his form but question his breeding) in Ireland and I have two at Chester. The first is Intransigent and the second Dr Red Eye.

I hope your dinner is not an agonising affair and as always wish you the courage to roll those dice.

The Saturday Sermon – The Lockinge at Newbury | Last Weekend of Premier League | The Preakness

Good morning from the Major who writes from his bed gazing our across the green Worcestershire rural scene towards Bredon Hill with a low but bright cloud hugging the Earth.  Cool air, thoroughly underwhelming conditions leading to a malaise in my mind which I shall share with you to lift the burden somewhat.  Come take a seat.

The Major is planning on spending some time in the garden this weekend.  By tea time, I will be engaged in the gardening activity of men from time immemorial…. burning.  I intent to build a fire so considerable that several military intelligence organisations record it as a global event.

I have borrowed my fathers pressure washer and its usage is a thoroughly addictive activity.  Endlessly cleaning, my mind spirals as I do it, realising the futility, it leaves me hollow. It is why I both love and despise gardening.  It is a pleasant enough activity with a payoff when enjoying the fruits of labour, relaxing in glorious green serenity on a fine day.  Yet it also touches the inevitability of life, death.  Killing weeds, trying to keep plants alive, the steady decay of things.  This weekend I am hoping to treat some wood to prolong its life.  Not to save it, simply to prolong, to keep stumbling on.  We are all on the same cycle, our clocks are ticking, we too are in steady decay as is everything you can see.  Nothing is permanent.

Sport offers me salvation.  I would struggle to do justice to the feeling I get watching a top class equine athlete changing gears after a subtle and simple nudge of the reins, or a jockey well-balanced on a powerfully travelling horse.  The thrill transcends our terminable existence, just for the moment.  Such things surround us in life and your only hope is to absorb them and be temporarily distracted from your own irreparable decline.

To the sports.

Tips for Newbury – The Lockinge 

To me this looks a below average standard for the Lockinge.  The favourite is Declaration of War a Ballydoyle raider who won his Leopardstown reappearance.  O’Brien has a poor record in the Lockinge, having won the race just once in the last fifteen years with the magnificent Hawk Wing ten years ago.  I think yard reputation has carried Declaration of Independence into favouritism and 5/2 is a bit short for me.

One trend I am mindful of is age.  Of the last eighteen winners, seventeen were four or five and just one runner was aged six.  Following this line, I reluctantly put a line through Cityscape.  The global traveller boasts damn fine form and can be ready first time up but at aged seven, does not boast the profile I am after.  I am a little reluctant because Cityscape has chased Frankel home a few times and as Roosevelt said, it is better to have dared even if chequered by failure.

Beauty Parlour is the horse I would like to be selecting.  On French form, I think it is a serious challenger but I am fearful that the firming ground will be against.

The forecast is for dry weather but a small risk of rain around midday.  With the ground good to firm, this is a factor to be reckoned in our calculation.  It leads me to my selection.

My horse comes from the yard that has won the race two times in the last three years.  The horse has a record on good to firm of raced 4, placed in all, won 3 of them.  My horse has had a reappearance run already, and won it.  It represents a yard with a current 19% strike rate.  The jockey has a 22% strike rate in the last two years, the best of all competing jockeys.  I am talking about Trumpet Major.

He has been dismissed by many and I can’t blame them – He is definitely a sort that has two ways of running.  Yet he is in excellent hands.  If anyone can cajole the best from a reluctant sort, it is Mr Hannon.

Not the best Lockinge and I am on the Trumpet Major to bring us some joy.

In the 3.15 I am willing to stick with Hillstar at 5/4.  On reappearance there was plenty of support for the horse who took silver prize – In the context of todays opposition, that was still pretty good form and so I am in again.

At Newmarket, there are a series of impenetrable races which I haven’t the inclination to work through.  Instead, I am having a punt on Dundonnell.  Connections made clear that he needed the reappearance run last month and so third can be forgiven.  Nothing in the field boasts his juvenile credentials and 2/1 is plenty of encouragement for me.  Tha’ir also looks an obvious pick in the following 4.05 contest, again, he might not be perfect but he has an entry in the big one at Epsom so clearly has been well thought of at some point – Plus again, the two year old form is best in field… another 2/1 shot.

The Preakness

The second leg of the US Triple Crown runs tonight at 11.20 but sadly it appears not to be on At The Races.  Hopefully I will find a feed later but I am watching it to see Orb strut his stuff.

This one is potentially a triple crown winner and remains unbeaten in a 5 race career.  The talent was proved in the Kentucky and I don’t think rain will be any hindrance.  Get stuck right in.

The Football

Last day of the season and I have just one bet but it is going to be a sizeable investment.  I really think Villa, 13/5,  are entirely the wrong price to win at Wigan.  OK, they are missing Benteke but they have other dangers and from a preparation point of view, surely Wigan are cooked.  They looked weary at Arsenal and after receiving a tanking and being relegated, I am confident that the upper hand lies with Villa who would want to put a big gap between them and relegation to prove it was never a real risk.

The Martin Hill lucky 15 is Villa, Hillstar, Dundonnell and Orb – Not as much Napalm as you like but confident picks.

I wish you the finest of dinners in the best company.  Courage and roll those dice.

The Saturday Sermon – Ascot and Lingfield Tips, Derby Trial Day… Bredon Hill

Good morning from the Major who writes from his bed gazing across the rural Worcestershire vista towards the lonely Bredon Hill, looking like a geological afterthought but in reality as a consequence of erosion, Bredon Hill is last man standing.

The ‘balance of nature’ is an old argument, which suggested that ecological systems return to an equilibrium. That population explosions may occur but will be checked by increased predator activity or other disease of habitat issues. For humans graced and cursed by our intelligence superiority, I think we are relying on our environment to do the job.

We are still quite self centred. Our beliefs used to be that the earth was the centre of all. The erosion of that idea was never instantaneous, pockets of resistance remained who refused to accept scientific knowledge – I think what drove that reluctance was not reason but fear. The picture ‘Earthrise’ taken by Apollo 8 must have done more than any scientific argument to help humans understand a basic truth. We are isolated. What a picture, the Earth, alone and the inky cold blackness we swirl in.

Our small blue marble

Our small blue marble, photographer Rowell called it the most influential environmental photograph ever taken

The modern debate around climate change have a touch of the centric about them too. Today, our fossil fuel consumption leading to high record CO2 emissions has been in the news. Our own selfish agenda drives the notion that this is disastrous for the Earth. What we really mean is that it is disastrous for ourselves. Life on earth exists in extreme environments, there is life living at 80 degrees celsius in Black Smokers on the ocean floor. There is life found 4km inside the Earth’s crust, the Earth has gone through regular ice ages, climate change is our risk not the earths which will swirl on regardless even if dramatic climate changes have risen ocean levels and caused more weather disasters which check the spread of the human population.

We have spilled far and wide across our earth, we no longer live in a specific environment, we are generalists, less vulnerable as a species.

There a beetle that lives in the decaying moulds in the base of ash trees – That is a pretty specific home. The Violet Click Beetle is endangered because it only has three remaining habitats in the UK. One of which are the ancient forests on the slopes of Bredon Hill. As I look upon it now, that splendid isolation is a beautiful contrast… good luck to you Violet Click.

There was a horse of the name Bredon Hill, raced twice, thoroughly unsuccessfully and is now retired. Bredon Hill Lad is a horse that may ring a bell too – This one is still in training yet to win or place after seven starts under rules and reaching the dizzying heights of a mark of 82 over hurdles.

Enough meandering nonsense, to the sports…

Lingfield Derby Trial Day Tips

Let us start with the 2.20 Oaks trial. Secret Gesture is a hot ticket for this, already odds on but the Major is not sure that is the right price. She has run well on heavy which seems to translate to the all weather a little better than good ground animals but it is not a strong tie.

None of these have run at Lingfield and none of these have won on the all weather. Three year old fillies early in the season can give some volatile form and so I am wary of getting involved in any of these at short prices without a most compelling argument.

The thing is Secret Gesture does look quite bullet proof. Many of the others are more exposed and although decent, not top class. This is an Oaks trial and Beckett used the race for the route of Look Here who was placed in the Oaks – Secret Gesture might be just the wrong side on evens but I think it wins so it is in the portfolio today.

The Derby Trial should also go the way of the obvious with Greatwood looking a shoe in at 8/11. I thought he was unlucky not to get to Windhoek on his seasonal start, a horse that went on to win well at last weekends Guineas meeting. Greatwood has the best form in the book and comes from quarters that are used to using this race for their top class sorts.

Ascot Tips

Clearly I need to find you better morsels than 4/5 and 8/11 and so we venture to Ascot to see what is available to us.

At 7/4 I like Westwiththenight who won with so much in hand at Doncaster that you have to think a follow up victory is on the cards. There are some concerns that the horse is best on reappearance but I think that is just keeping the price honest.

The Victoria Cup

I need to provide you with something that is a working mans price and so I have reviewed the Victoria Cup and there is a horse I like in the field. In fact there are three I like and I suggest you have a small slice of them but focus your attention on my main bet.

Khubala comes with one of my favourite jockeys aboard in Jimmy Fortune who gives us some saddle based advantage. He is fit and ready after a decent warm up race and I think this has been the plan. 22/1 is a big price for a horse that won for Ed Dunlop last season and I just have a tingling feeling.

The other two I want on my side are Lightning Cloud and Tartiflette. The former has form tied in with Jack Dexter who should be competing in group races on the right ground. Lightning Cloud is available at 14/1 and that is a royal price. Tartiflette tuned up well with a win at Haydock and although can run a little bit in snatches, looks talented.


I have been surprised that Liverpool were not impacted more by the loss of Suarez. 11/10 looks massive that they win at a leaky looking Fulham. Norwich have been dreadful of late but I think they might come good at home to West Brom and 5/4 looks fair.

May your dinner be in the best company and with the finest wines.

The Martin Hill lucky 15 today is not a lucky 15 at all but instead trebles at £2 from: Secret Gesture, Greatwood, Westwiththenight, Gregoria (4.05 Haydock) and Liverpool. £20 investment.

Courage, roll those dice.

The Saturday Sermon – The 2,000 Guineas Edition

Good evening from the Major who writes weary from his bed.

I have spent the day studying, the macroeconomic performance of Turkey to be specific.  My mind feels full, spilling over at the edges.  Sleep is coming to me but not before I pen a brief post.

Brief itw ill be.  By necessity.  I have been posting Saturday Sermons for many years and the fact that I need to begin study again early enough to warrant a 5.45am alarm call shall not be impediment enough.  No your humble correspondent is here some rain or shine.

To be honest, after a day of interest rates, inflationary pressures, aggregate demand, marginal costs et al, the opportunity to allow thoughts to pour from me is welcoming.  Even tired, I draw to the jug like a thirsty man, I shall drink just a little at a time.

Economics… It is founded on a principle that agents shall act rationally.  How awful if life were that predictable, I am grateful that it is not.  Rationality would dictate that each of you is here to maximise your own position, presumably you are after a ‘read’ on a race that will bring great wealth to you (unlikely to happen I am afraid).

Still I wish for you bountiful golden coins spilling from the enemies satchel, you bent of knee scooping them greedily into your arms.  Scant chance, the Major’s form is not great.  Still we shall try for the mothership once more.  Daub thy war paint young warriors, the sun blazes in the sky, the cool early summer air is on our faces and we feel alive, which is good as the alternate is much more sobering.

Newmarket – 2,000 Guineas Tips

It always seems so early in the season when the first classic is thrust upon us.  Some of the contestants have only been on a racecourse a few times, in the case of Mars, just the once.  We are trying to piece together what in a few months would look far more obvious.  What is missing is part of the fun.

So much of our work is done on guessing the comparative form of trials, trends, breeding and hype.  The last is a worthy component to calculate with, do not dismiss the hype, instead, interrogate it – Consider its source and weigh it in the balance.

An obvious place to start for the Guineas is the O’Brien team.  Ballydoyle have won 6 of the last 15 starts and I have an even more interesting observation.  They often arrive mob handed for these affairs but every time they have taken the bounty, it has been with their number one jockey.  Some yards are not so reliable but in the big races, Ballydoyle seem to know their best chance… so they should, they have had the chance to work them together!

That takes us to Cristoforo Colombo whose form figures of 132S4 hardly scream top three year old.  He has also been fitted with cheekpieces, another slightly odd sign.  His form with Dawn Approach in the Coventry gives hope but on balance, I am not convinced.

George Vancouver is an interesting runner for Ballydoyle.  He has already been to the States to take on North Americas best at the Breeders Cup, given he finished third in the Juvenile there (arguably the best form on offer) – He seems out of favour here but I think it is an each way bet.

For win purposes though, I look no further than Dawn Approach.  Not exciting I know but the two genuine top class looking colts here are my tip and Toronado.  I favour mine (best price 15/8) because the Dewhurst has a better prep run trend than the Craven.  What a great piece of business a win would be for his sire, New Approach .

Time flies, it was five years ago that Kevin Manning was riding the sire to within a whisker of winning the 2,000 Guineas himself.  He was rallying in the final furlong and just failed to get up to beat Henrythenavigator, the Ballydoyle favourite.  New Approach had his day in the derby as we well know but let’s hope that tomorrow, his son can exact some family revenge….. I’m in large.

Other Newmarket thoughts

At a price I like Tangerine Trees in the Palace House Stakes who can be backed with BetVictor at 16/1.  This is a Prix De L’Abbaye winner let us not forget who has been poor in many runs, as these sprinters will be.  A return to some sort of winning ways last time at Musselburgh might signal that the kettle is starting to boil again, so I am dipping in my tea bag…. oh christ, did I follow that metaphor through?

My final bet at Newmarket is Country Western who is freely available at 2/1.  This is a smash up sort of price for a horse that looks thoroughly on the upgrade.  Load the cannons.

It is a short post so no time to review much else.  Instead I suggest a few in the football I like…

Villa are 2/1 to win at Norwich but they will be buzzing after their demolition of Sunderland and this could be the day they put relegation fears away.  I like Swansea at 9/2 to beat Man City.  I often think they are underrated and could well take the spoils.  In the Championship, Wolves look a spent force and Brighton at 18/19 is a must bet.

The Martin Hill Lucky 15: Dawn Approach, Tangerine Trees, Country Western and Wolves.

I trust your dinner is fine and taken in good company.  I hope your wallet falls to the table bursting at the seam with the plunder from the days pillage.

Courage, roll those dice.