Good Evening from the Major who writes from an ugly Worcestershire, obnoxious grey brown warm air, eyes stinging, lips dry. Change is needed and is coming.
The family traipsed to Bristol Zoo. An evening to meander amongst the animals and picnic on the fine lawns in amongst the old buildings. It is a lovely part of Bristol and should the weather have been a clear summers night, then the chilled Chablis, chorizo, potato salad, tiger bread, salami, gammon and quiche would have made a fine spread. The breeze lifted, the air turned cool and we knew that the latest wave of precipitation flung from the Atlantic was arriving.
I am glad to be home. You might wonder how my first week in a new business (Ladbrook, an Insurance broker for charities) 100 miles from my Worcestershire pile worked out. Splendidly well is the reply. Apart from my fellow director chastising me for taking too much on, I would say we are making progress on a number of fronts.
It is only possible through the generous roof over my head that @pieayatollah27 has provided. Steve has the hottest flat known to man, I swear he could cook an egg on his kitchen table. Yet with the windows flung open to the Sheffield air, it is a very homely place.
I found that he dislikes beer bottles on bare wood, I am a poor guest. He kindly took the time to show me around Sheffield and kept his fridge full of cold Spanish beer. He cooked a fine bolognese and even provided tutelage on how it should be done. We won the pub quiz, rather Steve did, he was gracious not to play on it, though I had his measure at chess. Being a rogue, I know a good man when I see one. He is available ladies, form an orderly queue.
To give the man his space, I took a stroll one night in his area, Nether Edge. It is a liberal place where the convention is the unconventional. I cannot say I am a comfortable fit, more a happy tourist.
I must get back to the Majors traditional literary territory, some sort of victoriana. I did read some interesting things about the deepest hole ever drilled. 12km, Russian. They wanted to get to 15km where the upper crust merges but the temperature at 12k was already 180c and it made the rock more plastic and it infilled the bore behind the drill head. It was only a nine inch hole and even when they refrigerated the mud they used to force the drill to turn, they could not keep it cool enough. Well I found it interesting.
To the sports.
Darley July Cup Day, Newmarket
When I think of this race, I think of Hayley weaving through on Dream Ahead to bag that G1 she deserved (at the time). She has never been the same since that bad injury.
Anyway, let’s find this years winner.
Brazen Beau has to be considered. The July Cup would be due compensation for his effort on the Diamond Jubilee. There he was beaten by Undrafted who was excellent and fully deserving but Beau had the misfortune to be the sole serious competitor on his side and he came clear but never got to eyeball the winner across the track who had the benefit of pace on his side.
I’m not sure if the plan was always to stay on for Brazen and that worries me a little. Muhaarar looks an absolute star but this is a mighty ask for a three year old. It happens, they do win July Cups, Dream Ahead being a case in point.
Due Diligence let me down at Ascot and it is a hard horse to back at the moment. G Force has always been one I like, he could run a place at a fancy price.
No, the market is right, the lead two are the right horses. So which? Easy, Muharaar. His time at Ascot was quicker than Brazen Beau and I am having a large slice. Should be a cracker.
I also want another Hamdam horse in the opener. The very generously priced Mutasayyid at 16/1. The horse was no great shakes in maidens and had to fight to win a handicap. Last time at Haydock was poor too. Yet the Hannon team are in better spirits now than then and it is still entitled to improve. Both wins came on this ground and I sniff a place.
The Superlative – King Torus, Olympic Glory and Estidhkaar have all won this race for Richard Hannon in the last five years and so you must have a second look at 12/1 outsider of the field, Tony Curtis. He has had one run, he had to think to organise his legs but got there in the end. Interesting.
War Department was visually superb at Leicester and was arguably unlucky on the big Ascot stage. He missed the kick which although disconcerting can happen to a lot and then, after finding trouble in passage, was treated kindly up the straight.
Air Vice Marshall is an expensive US blue blood representing O’Brien. He did it very well second time up and is full of promise.
Damn hard business. Air Vice Marshall, 5/2. I have various doubts on the others, this one is solid as they come.
My final bet of the day (I know a quiet one) is Gramercy at Chester (3.35pm). He does not mind the track, it much better drawn than some previous runs and is the sort to pop up in a race like this.
Forgive the short sermon. I am tired.
The Martin Hill. Since there are only 4 tips this week, a yankee, straight.
May your dinner be spectacular and in the company of a fine darken haired Spanish temptress. One with fulsome lips and a laughter that spreads from her torso, shaking the air around you. Tip well.
Courage, roll the dice.