Good evening from the Major who writes dead tired from a pretty Worcestershire evening whose full value I cannot absorb.
It has been a long week and some rest is in sight. The 9pm at Leopardstown is about to go off and I am hoping the hot thing will go in and shortly be followed by Cabuchon at Bath for a late boost to the war chest. Let us use those picks as a barometer for Fridays thinking!
Certainly today we failed to land any sort of mothership. In fact, we fired relentless blind bullets that ricocheted off betting slips, casually burning our monies until it was all gone. Only Hughsie on a very nice looking Ivawood restored any pride.
It was a shame, the Major has been in reasonable form. What excuses might I reach for? Well, the ground was a bit funny, I scored up the card on very decent ground but clearly the rain had an impact. Look, I am not one to claim victim-hood, I had the forecast from our meteorological friends, I just failed to acknowledge it.
I would let rip with a tale of derring-do from the suppression of one of the Indian Mutinees but I am tired. Plus, I am recording the new drama on BBC, the Honourable Woman – It has been created by the man who bought us The Shadow Line and is cut from the same cloth.
Sometimes, when I write a blog, I can feel it was good. Some part of me was left on the page, part of my soul, captured and buzzing gently inside this digital realm. Tonight I am jaded and am firing only on the starter motor. I feel like I am short-changing you.
Alors, les sports…
Friday Newmarket Tips
A juvenile fillies handicap gets the day underway and it is a bit of a puzzle. Some progressive sorts of course and some contrasting form-lines.
The form I am opting for is that belonging to Etaab who ran well on debut at HQ before two wins, the first on the all-weather and then subsequently beating Halation, a Botti horse at Yarmouth. The Botti horse has upheld the form by going on to win well at Newcastle, only a narrow margin but always looking better of the two out front and they were a good few lengths clear.
Halation is now off 85 and looking progressive so Etaab off just a pound higher looks OK to me, I give my vote to the Haggas Street Cry girl at a general 5/1.
I am calling the second race the Cherry Hinton simply because it is a beautiful old name for a race. We have a hot favourite in High Celebrity who was very good at Chantilly and Fabre hardly brings his string over for the air and the good food, I cannot look elsewhere, this one did not win at Chantilly, she destroyed them, she had scooted a dozen lengths clear and was heavily eased at the finish. An Invincible Spirit filly, 10/11 is available and any reproduction of that form and I think she will serve orders to this lot too. Load the cannon.
Then the big one, the Falmouth. I love Sky Lantern but I am worried that she likes to be held up and there might not be a lot of pace on here. The same issue will face Purr Along. One that will set a tidy pace and thus is the recipient of the Majors touch of death is Rizeena. This Clive Brittain star is a very, very good horse. Having not performed to expectation in the Guineas, she showed her true colours when taking a decent renewal of the Coronation and since I have doubts about both market principals, she is the one…. 5/1, pile in strong.
The handicap at 3.15 is wide open, I liked the look of High on Life for a lucrative Osbourne and Hughes combination (6 from 18 last year) but surely this will be tough to see them all off from the sharp end – That said, it really caught the eye because Hannon has released Richard from Remember to ride….. Interesting but No Thankee sir.
My sensible choice is Golden Steps at 8/1 who won most recently at Doncaster and looks progressive. Botti knows the score and I am happy enough to be on it but not until I have had a saver on 40/1 Supplicant. Richard Fahey can pull off some shocks and it takes a bit of imagination but there is some form hidden away in the history.
Then the maiden and in the circumstances I am happy to go with a bit of proven form, even if it is only half decent. The thing is at Newmarket, previous race experience is a big plus and Lexington Times is going for the top juvenile handlers – SP 2/1?
The following maiden at 4.25pm is likely to also go to the market favourite in Obsidian who has already beaten a subsequent winner and is going for Gosden.
In the lucky last, I like Johnno but he has gone up the weights and is competing here in a better class of race. The same can be said of Billingsgate too. The unknown quantity I am chancing is Zeshov in a race where I can see some of the main actors not playing their role. Clearly the horse has had a few issues and has missed some racing but that is the attraction. This is a curious route to go if they do not think there is some talent and so I am taking some of the 12/1.
Now for that health check… Starlet hosed up in the 9pm but Cabuchon travelled well, was held up ridiculously far back and never really got into it… Hmmmmm I don’t know what to tell you.
Courage, roll the dice.