Guest Saturday Blog: @frankelslobro

I have to admit following in the footsteps of the Major is not an easy task. Continue down his well trodden paths and I’m simply a clone. Deviate too much and I risk frustrating a loyal following. Basically I have turned into David Moyes. Not a pleasant thought nor one to linger on. Particularly given his success rate. I haven’t followed his career in Spain but vaguely remember reading he was at a make or break point with Sociedad despite a good start. He must sometimes wonder whether it’s was the right call to leave Everton- sometimes it’s really is better the devil you know.
I write this sat on a balcony in sunny Portugal. An 11 o’clock strawberry daiquiri has passed me by and a lunch consisting of all sorts of salads and meats. The term all inclusive often makes me laugh when I come to places such as these. Watching people who clearly would normally have a chicken and stuffing sandwich for lunch stuff two tonnes of meat, fish and pasta down their neck along with a bottle of wine citing ‘ getting my money’s worth’ troubles me although I am not sure why. Each to their own I guess. Suffice to say I could easily have a nap right now but my two year old is trying to dose and I fear my weapon grade snoring would awaken her. 
If you have never been to Portugal I thoroughly recommend it for two reasons. The food is divine. The part we are staying in (the name escapes me) is right on the beach and fishing is the local way of life. All sorts of fresh fish are banded around like the cheap chicken and chip shops we have back home. Swordfish in a ragu style sauce, John Dory fillets fried and crispy, salty prawns with a chilli dressing, razor clams in a simple garlic dressing, red fish stew. If you love fresh fish and fresh food this place would be your Mecca. Ironically, and rather sadly, the longest queue is still for the chips and chicken nuggets. We live in odd times.
Secondly the locals attitudes towards children. If you have a young family and are considering your first trip abroad look no further. Children are sacred here and I haven’t met a local who hasn’t stopped to talk or ruffle my young ones hair. At first I found it hard not to be over protective or suspicious. However, once you learn to let go and understand the culture towards children you can’t help but not want to embrace it. A good example would be when we went to the beach this morning and a lady randomly had a chat to my daughter. 10 minutes later the lady came bounding up the sand with loads of shells she had collected and passed them to my daughter. Would that happen in England? She would more likely come at me to tell my daughter to keep it down or to stop punching her head rest on her seat. The horror we see played out in our media on a daily basis blinds us at times. People are on the whole good.
I digress and need to move onto the sport. Before I do so I would urge all you loyal followers to take on the mantle and help the Major through this time of disillusionment. Knowing the Major I am not sure he could live with himself if the sermon was left unpublished for a week. We all need our anchors in life and this one is his. Join together band of brothers- if in doubt ask yourself would he help you? 
Football.
I am going to turn this round as my lean is always more towards football punting. I will peruse the race cards as well but football is often an area I have more success in given the amount I read and watch. To mix it up we have two different bets. A handicap trixie and an accy2baccy. Any handicap trixie must start North of the border in Dunfermline. These boys are knocking it in for fun and whilst hit prone to a bad day they are worth a punt at 8/5 for -1. Add in the Robins of Cheltenham who have been in magnificent form and in Gary Johnson have a manager who has been there and seen that- another -1 handicap against Eastleigh at a lovely 11/5. Lastly Koemans boys are starting to look tasty to me again. Pelle has found his shooting boots and looks the force he was at the start of last season. A handicap of -1 sees you 2/1. Have the lots in a trixie and thank me later.
The accy2baccy is a lovely 48/1 monster. Starting in the north west we have Man U to win away to Everton. This will be a tasty affair and LVG will have the boys up for this. If you a feeling flush back a red card- I can see Rooneys frustration boiling over here. Add in a win for Liverpool against Spurs. I can’t guarantee this isn’t my heart talking. Feel free to swap out with your own beloved. Palace at evens is silly money. Drink it in. The mighty Gills have had a cracking start and with Dack up top they have goals. Lastly AFC Wimbledon at home. All to win. Stick a fiver on and put your feet up.

Racing

With limited reception it’s difficult to really do the cards justice. However during some a brief respite today we managed to see the Ascot card. I write this having no perception of the weather so forgive me any obvious indiscretions. I write this from my gambling heart- often a better place than my scientific head
The 1245 is where we begin our journey and I can’t see past Wicklow Brave. At 10/1 he is worth the place money but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the flash of that Moore smile (!) on the winners podium. He’s been out of the place money once in his last 5 starts. That’s good enough for me.
1320. This is horrible. All the signs from the gods of gambling say Muhaarar. Class trainer. class jockey. But I can never look past Jack Dexter. Put simply I love that horse. He owes me nothing but I feel I owe him my silver. Come on the Dexter!
1355. Tapestry and Journey. Put them in a reverse forecast and count your winnings when they roll in. 
1430. Take paper. Tear into 5 pieces. Write sollow on one. Glen Eagles on another. Integral on the third. Top notch tonto and Elm Park round off the famous five. Put into a hat. Go for a really long walk and take in some fresh air. Return to hat. Burn it. Wait until 5 minutes before the race and see where the money has gone. Back it. Lose. Who knows on this one lets be honest… Truth of the matter the top two in the market are class but Elm Park looked over priced today at 8/1.
305. I am a sucker for a french raider. Vandamos gets my ticket although racing history would get a saver on it as well.
345. Jesus I picked the wrong card. This is worse than those Chinese puzzles you always get for Christmas. You know the ones. Your Gran gets you them thinking you are clever and 12 hours later you are desperately trying to wrestle your fingers out of something that feels like it should be used to trap bears. 3 catch the eye. Gm Hopkins would be no surprise. Balty boys a la Ellison feels like it has some legs. For an outside Farlow for me at 25/1 looks a touch generous. On reflection the Ellison runner gets the vote.
Sorry it couldn’t be more people but it’s pitch black and I’m sat on a balcony in silence with my beloved staring at me. I have to sign off with a heavy heart and hope the above tips brings you some glory. Whoever takes over next week good luck and God speed. To all those others- let’s see if we can get #bringbackthemajor trending off the back of this tomorrow. I can see why he wanted a rest!

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