The Saturday Sermon – Tips for all Cheltenham G1s, Sandowns Imperial Cup…. Close ranks now for the final Cheltenham assault

Good evening from the Major who writes from a peaceful and beautiful Worcestershire scene.  The day was spring like, the sun framing the lush green landscape, bringing out the deep colours in full glory.

The Major is tired, very tired.  This week, I have been burning the candle at both ends, with evening shifts, compiling thoughts on the grade one racing to come from Cheltenham.  You can read my thoughts on the 13 G1s on this page.

Having written so much, being on the verge of such an epic week, I am sure you will forgive the brevity of this weeks sermon.  Before the maelstrom begins, I wish to be peaceful and at rest for a few days.  Calmness.

The year before last, the Major attended the festival and drank at pace for four days.  Amongst the drinking, I gambled with an intensity that the situation deserved.  Financially it was a rewarding year.  Emotionally and physically, it was exhausting.  I was glad when it was over, when the merry-go-round stopped.

I am only reviewing a few of tomorrows races and if I am perfectly honest, I did them a little half-hearted.  The fatigue of my mind is two-fold, one is the sheer waves of sleep beginning to wash over me.  The other is the many hours of race reading ahead of next week.  I need rest from both.

Short sermon, rest, gentle betting tomorrow.  To Sandown.

Sandown Tips

I have not had much luck with the Imperial Cup and so my investments will always be limited on this race.  We are all familiar with the bonus paid for the double with a Cheltenham race and it attracts trainers with a solid gold handicap horse ready to go.

From 2002 to 2008, the Pipes won it five years from seven.  I remember Gaspara, the little mare, best of those, she went on to win at Cheltenham too and there were scenes… heavily backed!

Pipe has two in the race, top weight Swing Bowler and then, the seeming first string, Baltimore Rock – The latter is of interest, being the improver of the two but 9lbs for a heavy ground Ludlow win tempers enthusiasm a little.

Regal Encore gets the tentative nod.  He was my Champion Bumper horse last year and did not disgrace me, finishing second.  Dangers lurk, go easy 7/2.

Sound Investment looks a penalty kick in the 4.25 Novice Chase.  It is a race that Nicholls has targeted and this horse was spectacular at Taunton latest.

One for Chepstow

It is another favourite but Consigliere travelled really well at Newcastle but emptied near the finish.  I think he will be better for that and can win a race of this quality.  Although he has only won once from six shots on heavy, I don’t think it is too much of an issue.  13/8.

In the football, Chelsea to beat Spurs (8/13) is a bet and so is Wolves at Walsall (15/13).

The Martin Hill bet landed last week and I was very pleased for him!  Patience of a saint that man.  To keep it simple, it is a Consigliere, Chelsea and Sound Investment treble.  Won’t buy a new suit but might buy a few more bullets for the final assault on Cheltenham.

May your dinner be simple but the company excellent.

Courage and roll the dice.


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