The Saturday Sermon… Juddmonte Royal Lodge, Cambridgeshire… The beginning of the end for the flat

Good evening from the Major who writes from an unparalleled vista of autumnal Worcestershire.  Cool air, the blazing orb sinking cooly into oblivion, slanted by the angle of our heavenly globe, unable to strike us with burning heat, dying gloriously in the sky in a bath of orange and pink.

I was able to admire this vast canvas as I hacked my way around 9 holes just before dusk with good friends.  I am no golfer, I have probably only played a dozen or so times.  There is a lovely feeling upon hearing a clean strike, a tinny ping with a small lasting resonance, all the better in fine company.

The sermon is late, a long week, a late night, the mind wandering and unable to provide the requisite focus.  I have been lost in the late hours all week.

With Steve away, I have been flat sitting his place in Sheffield.  Unable to sleep in the small hours, my heart racing, I needed a release.  The casino.  Alone.  It is 2am, a crisp night, walking alone in Sheffield, a cobweb covering a modern street light.  Coffee, good coffee, bright lights, 10 minutes of fruitless roulette and a long walk home.  There are funny folk in those casinos.  The lost sheep, the hopeful, the hopeless and the money launderers.  My ship has also gotten loose, the anchor dragging across the ocean floor occasionally jolting but not catching something solid to hold onto.

A life in transit.  In Worcestershire the home is being packed up by the good lady.  Furniture no longer needed is being sold and plans are being made for our new home in Clumber Park.  The National Trust have accepted us and soon these sermons will report the climate and conditions from Nottinghamshire.  Perhaps this is the rock, perhaps not.

Last weekend, Japan beat South Africa in one of the greatest sporting moments of the year.  Faced with a simple penalty to draw the game, which would have been a startling result, the Japanese played on to get the try to win the game.  I was on my feet crying SHABASH!!! Absolutely fantastic sport.

The Major is on the cold list.  We need some winners, the mothership signal is feint and distant, hard to detect the signal from the noise.  Bring unto me the sports.

Tonight, we are drinking with friends in the village.  She is Welsh and Number 2 son claims his same heritage on account of being born at Abergavenny hospital.  I am taking him to buy a shirt this afternoon.  He will be guest of honour tonight.

A recommendation.

I have been seeking a new hero for years, since the passing of Sir Clement Freud. There have been candidates, Chris Morris being one, Malala being another.  Joining the shortlist in the longest job application in history is James Randi.  His life dedicated to exposing the fraudsters involved in psychic and faith healing scams.  A man dedicated to reason.  May I recommend 100 minutes of your time be spent here.

To the sports, unleash the large cannon, load in the chain and grape shot, pack the charge and let us drop shot on the enemy with all of our skill.

Newmarket Cambridgeshire Tips

The Royal Lodge does not often produce the star of the following classic season, with the exceptional exception of Frankel, the winners do not always go on.

Only six line up this year and it seems a likely shoot out between Deauville and Foundation.  The pick is easy, Deauville, 11/8.  Very confident that the benefits of O’Brien and Moore outweigh all concerns.  As a footnote, Beast Mode is 28/1 and that seems a bit disrespectful for a Cape Cross colt out of a Dubawi mare who could well leave previous form behind.

then the Cheveley Park.  While O’Brien has a strong record in the Royal Lodge, he has never won this race and 6f looks a bit sharp already for Alice Springs who has already had headgear thrust upon her.  Not for me.  Besharah and Illuminate head the market and their form is tied in.  I prefer the former who I think will prove the better filly.  I am having a long shot in the mix too.  Sunflower should not be 50s (William Hill) – Out of Dutch Art, winner of her sole race and reportedly very good in the early season.  She could set the fractions.  I am definitely having a saver and hoping all eight run.  However, Besharah is the main bet, 3/1.

The Middle Park has a 4/9 shot in Shalaa, unbeaten since debut defeat, including a very god Group 1 in France last time.  I do not know I would want to be punting too heavily on that and fancy two against.  Ajaya who won a very good Gimcrack and Buratino who was very impressive at the end in the Coventry.  Buratino has seen plenty of racing but Johnstone sorts can take it and I fancy the 10/1.

Treve aims to win an historic third Arc this year in what will be a gripping few minutes of my life.  Equally unlikely is Bronze Angels attempt to win a third Cambridgeshire.  He won his first two off 95 and 99 and so 109 with a field of hidden talents makes it a hard task.  Good luck to you Tregoning, I shall cheer you on but another shall be burdened with the Majors money.

My selection in a naturally wide open affair is Halation who can be backed at 28/1.  They have gone for the headgear and I hope it can draw a bit more improvement.  These conditions are optimal and I do like Atzeni.  Watch your place terms.  SkyBet are generously offering 6, Red32, the scoundrels 4!

One at Haydock.  McCreery can defy a stone hike in the weights for a bloodless win last time out.  11/10, stick that in your multiples.

In the football…. Man City will should win at Spurs, they are a better and stronger team but I would fancy 0-0 at half time.  City often don’t do things in hurry and with no Silva…. You can also back Martial to score any time at 9/10 and that looks like printing money, he is in blinding form.

The Martin Hill: Deauville, Martial and McCreery…. treble of glory.

May your dinner be splendid and wholesome and taken with family.  Break bread and be thankful.

Courage, roll the dice.

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