The Saturday Sermon – Welsh Grand National Day, Chepstow and Leopardstown

Good morning from the Major who writes from a glorious Worcestershire scene where Gods palette of pastel shades kisses the dark horizon.

The Major is writing a very short sermon on account of a stinging headache.  I must have had a bad pint for my brain feels detached and rolls around my skull like an egg yolk, my eyes are yellow, streaked with red.  When will the madness end.

The King George, well wasn’t that delightful!  Conti absolutely schooled a top class field, an impeccable run of jumping that was a pleasure to watch, especially with my money on him.

The rest of the card fared less well.  Sapphire crashed out, Vautour made an error but didn’t seem to travel with the same ease as expected and that race, hopefully, is just an aberration to be struck from the records soon enough.

Faugheen was spectacular, travelling like a powerful machine.  Now is the time to back The New One for the festival though because the race is littered with stories of the best horse being beaten by hard luck or inexperience.  The way, Faugheen bunny-hopped the last, he looks prime to be the horse who all declare as the moral winner.  However, moral victories don’t put steaks on the table, The New One at 7/2 does.

I wish someone would stop the Christmas madness.  I want to get off.  It is spinning so quickly.  Thankfully we lose two adults and three children from the household today.  That leaves 5 adults and 2 dogs plus the Majors own.  Christ, the maelstrom is clearing slowly.

Anyway, as much as I would like to find a quiet hole and crawl into it, I have not missed a Saturday post in five years and that is not a routine I plan on breaking.

Courage, roll the dice.

Chepstow – Welsh National

When Chepstow declare it as heavy, you need a beast of a stayer who revels in the mud, simple.  The Welsh National will be attritional.  When it has been heavy, only horses bearing less than 11 stone have won.  So a mud lover on a light weight… hmmm…..

Well the one that I settled upon in Woodfood County.  He is unexposed, particularly as a marathon horse but Hobbs is good at preparing them and I know the horse likes the mud.  He looks the type to probably benefit from a thorough test and I take confidence from the steady stream of cash pouring onto the beast.

In the juvenile hurdle which is a Grade 1, in spite of the drift, 11/2 about Old Guard looks a price to me.  He picked off two good horses in the style of a proper stayer last time out and while Karezak arguably was the better horse in the race, Ditcheat runners normally come on a bundle after their debut and the action of Old Guard suggested he is a proper battler.

Leopardstown Thoughts

The Dial a Bet Grade 1 chase is not as classy as I would have liked but I still would back Ballycasey at 4/1 in a place to get the better of Uxizandre who is surprisingly well positioned in the Champion Chase market.  That is more about the weakness in-depth of the top table two mile chasers than it is about the ability of Uxizandre in my view and Ruby can deliver at that price.

Willie Mullins had any number of weapons grade juveniles to point at the Grade 1 juvenile hurdle and so his choice of Nichols Canyon at 4/7  is mine too.  Keep it simple, one for the multiples.

That is it.  Four selections.  Poor stuff?  You carry this hangover and see how it fits you.

I trust that your dinner is taken in fine state, full regalia, good company.

Courage, roll the dice.


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