Tag Archives: baily green

The Saturday Sermon – Doncaster, Navan and Kempton – 25/1+ tips in the Spring Mile and Lincoln

Good evening from the Major who writes from a warm friendly lounge at my in-laws in the Birmingham suburbs.

I have flown in and out of Edinburgh this week for my employer, yet I must confess that there was some pleasure to be had alongside the business.  As with all of the Majors travels, I file for your appraisal my report of the Scottish capital – I intend to keep it to the important facets.

The suburbs of Edinburgh are largely low angular, regular bungalow houses in cold and quiet neighbourhoods, most uninspiring, distant feeling, no.  This contrasts markedly to the City Centre where pomp and splendour is the order of the day.  The horizon is dominated by sheer faces of granite rising from the Earth in chest thumping confidence.  The properties amplify the feeling, hulking stone imposing structures, neo-classical and elegant and a little intimidating but pleasing to the eye.  Around the city walls, they grow in proportions telling of times when the only way to find space was up.

I undertook a whisky tasting session.  I tried to embrace enthusiastically the work at hand but must conclude that the drink is an abomination.  The textures and layers of a good brandy achieve the same without making you feel like you are swallowing bad medicine.

As for the folk.  The men are upright and have angular noses, speak directly and deal straight.  Perfectly acceptable.  The women folk are small, black bobs of hair, small dark eyes set into pale white faces.  They dress smartly, consistently and with warm sensible black tights and sensible shoes.  I always delight in a well turned out sort and compliment their sharp neat style with a wonderful accent of drawling soft burr and excitable inflections and the Major has found a blueprint to fall in love perpetually.

As these sorts age, their stature stiffens slightly and the lips purse but still curl at the edges, I am sure that their mind runs to fun if you can get beyond the conservative defence.  I did not have the time to test that supposition.

I stayed at the Balmoral – A friend later told me it is his favourite hotel, I do not rate it quite the same.  The views are excellent, the building is impressive, the cocktail barman an expert; yet the rooms lacked something and I felt it just short of some of the other luxury establishments I have had the good fortune to frequent.  I am not criticising it, merely applying the high levels of judgement required when someone purports something to be the best.

I am still licking my wounds on one of the most painful punting Gold Cup days in living memory – Each of my selections falling by the wayside, a relentless slaughter with no mercy shown.  Given my time again, I would have left the Gold Cup and celebrated instead National Pi day which happened to fall on the same day as the Gold Cup in this year – It would have aided my wallet and saved my emotions and energy.  Pi day is always 14th March work it out and is a worthwhile acknowledgement of one of the most beautiful aspects of mathematics.

The answer to the question, ‘What is a Circle?’,  Pi is an irrational number, it cannot be expressed completely.  Modern computational ability has calculated Pi to over a trillion places.  In the sequence, any patterns that emerge in the decimal places are purely accidental.  For example, the first five characters are 14159 and that sequence is first repeated when you get to 6954-6959 digits in.  The number 9 is repeated 6 times in a row just over 760 characters in, yet this is the only time a ‘6 in a row’ occurs in the first million decimal places.  Eventually, any pattern you wish for will emerge, if you looked deep enough into the decimal points, waves and waves of randomness but the scale of it throwing up anomalies.  The number is infinite, thus the permutations too.  That frightens me or at least unsettles me.  Eventually everything will happen – Hold on to that thought as we once again go back to the field of battle and continue our quest, concerned with landing the mothership.

To the sports.

Doncaster Tips

Now last week, the Major fared well, scoring some nice hits of which the highlight was 12/1 Pepite Rose.  I am only lightly boasting.

As the Lincoln meeting is the start of the flat season, it can be difficult to assess the form of the various strings flexing their muscles.  The Doncaster ground has come up soft and that gives us an angle to work on.  These flat horses, by and large, do not like it so and if we can find a few mudlovers, we will fare well.

I am not betting on the Brocklesby – I have enough of my faculties intact to see that as folly.

The listed mile race however….. well.  Guest of Honour, Fencing and Emell I suspect all want decent ground and so have the lines through them.  Andrew Balding is starting the season in scintillating form with 8 winners from his 17 runners in the last fortnight.  He saddles the outsider of the field in Butterfly McQueen who gets a handy fillies allowance and has arguably given her best in her two runs (resulted in a win and a place) on heavy ground.  Let it rain.  16/1 in a place, 14/1 generally.

In the 2.40 listed 6f race, I only have eyes for the favourite Jack Dexter who has looked a group horse at 6f on his favoured soft ground.  Heavens Guest might be the main danger but I am loading a cannon for the fans favourite.

In the spring mile, I am looking for a soft ground horse that has been drawn in the low numbers.  I want a four year old and the ground is key.  I have settled therefore on Freewheel at 28/1 with the assistance of the experienced and capable Fortune doing the steering.

Then the big one, the Lincoln.  I cannot find an ideal profile horse at all so it is with a little trepidation that I place a small stake on Unsinkable at 25/1 with Skybet (I have no affiliation – The Major is advert free, affiliate free…. always just mildly profitable and slightly unhinged).


One sniper shot tip for Navan and it is to take the 5/2 about Bog Warrior with all your available capital!  My favourite horse in training needed his last run and I promise he will put Baily Green to the sword.  He gallops for fun and while he is prone to incredible error, he will win!  Even if he does not, you will get the pleasure of backing a horse who runs without a care in the world, head in his chest!

Kempton Tips

The second and third races are the ones I am interested in.  In the second race, I like Trumpet Major as a competitor, he has proven class.  Yet, I am going with the gal, Modernstone who boasts excellent all-weather form including a second to Grandeur and I am backing her at 7/2.

In the 2.55, I like Rebellious Guest and Uramazin.  I have settled on the former.  No explanation, 13/2.

In the football, I shall try to deliver a hat trick of winners as per last week… Leicester have checked out a bit and Burnley pack enough punch that 9/5 is a bet.  Chelsea are a bet at 4/9 to beat Palace… they will not slip up.  Wolves are taking a small army to MK Dons and the fans will be rewarded 11/10…

The Martin Hill bet is Jack Dexter, Rebellious Guest and Unsinkable in an each way trixie.  I would also recommend a coverage on Bog Warrior doubled with Burnley.

I hope your dinner is excellent and in the finest of company, a goddess and a sage.  Allow yourself to be wineflown for the spring is here and that is cause to celebrate.  Tip well.

Courage friends and roll the dice.

Irish Champion Hurdle Day – Leopardstown Tips – The Return of the Fly

Good morning from the Major who sits typing on this cold frosty morning – A whiteness has descended, the plants look brittle at the edges, like they might shatter.

Hurricane Fly

It could be one of these but the Major is daring to oppose the Fly

Let’s hope racing goes ahead.

The Saturday Service was unprofitable.  While Grumeti was controversially awarded the race in the stewards room, the other mortars the Major aimed fell adrift.  Reload followers and trust in the greatest force of all, your own independent mind.

Of those other mortars, Charminster ran a race into fourth, Diamond Harry looked scruffy at the fences and surely is not suited to Cheltenham, having never raced comfortably, I would take that one straight to Aintree.

Not the best Saturday.  The Majors January profit has plunged to 13%…

January Results
Sport Stakes Profit
Racing 32 38.53%
Football 14 -42.79%
Total 46 13.78%

To Sunday and redemption….

Leopardstown Tips

 I have resolved to stop giving out footballing bets looking at the charts, they simply never pay for me!  Either that or I am going to have someone who is better at it provide them.  Mr Dipper, Mr Hill or Mr Redmond spring to mind.

I am going to concentrate more on my core subject, the sport of Kings.  Leopardstown hold a sumptuous banquet of a card today, how I wish I was there.

Let’s tackle the Grade 1 races first…

Leopardstown 1.25 Arkle Chase

The market is hugely focussed on the leading three chances, Flemenstar, Notus de la Tour and Blackstairmountain; 14/1 bar.

The Major also thinks the winner is in there and with just seven runners, I feel opposed to finding each way value, even though Gift of Dgab and Baily Green both look overpriced to me. 

I also find some merit in the claims of Lucky William whose second in a Grade 2 at Punchestown is not disgraceful.

The truth is that Bog Warrior seems to have held all of these Irish novices and looks the far better horse. 

The closest I can get to that in here is Flemenstar.  He chased Bog Warrior to within 7 lengths earlier in the season and seems to have improved over fences since.  The trainer / jockey strike rate is impressive and I think it is a reliable choice.

I will admit that Mullins is in tremendous form and it is hard not to get on Blackstairmountain but overall, my tip Flemenstar at 2/1, feels better value. 

2.30 Leopardstown – Irish Champion Hurdle

I love racing because I love stories.  Hurricane Fly is a tremendous example of a racing story that makes the sport great.

This horse has suffered a few setbacks and it was not until last March that we finally got him to Cheltenham.  His hurdling record ahead of that was sensational.  In total, Hurricane Fly has started thirteen races and has lost just two.

The first was a summer hurdle in France, probably not his season, where he finished second by two lengths without his usual sparkle.  The last loss, seven races ago, to Solwhit was in bottomless ground and the Fly simply did not show up.

Yet this horse has had many doubters.  Five of those wins since 2009 have been against Solwhit, the critics argue this is not strong.  He is also a fragile horse, he has suffered several setbacks over the years, including this campaign, where the Major believes this is the Fly’s third intended start.

There is no doubt the horse is a mercurial talent but is he fit?

If he is, is there credible opposition?

Well, yes is the answer to the second question.  Last years Triumph form has worked out very well.  The mare that finished second that day, lines up this afternoon and is in receipt of a handy 9lbs mares allowance.

Unaccompanied is surely the one if any, to give Hurricane Fly a scare.  In receipt of 10lbs, she beat Thousand Stars relatively comfortably last time out and is entitled to be better yet.  She is still 5 and so improvement is expected.

Strictly that form is probably not good enough to get to the Fly but then there is the first question, the really tricky one, is Hurricane Fly at 100%?

A further complication in the Majors mind is that there is no obvious front runner in a field of five.  I am pretty sure the versatile Thousand Stars out of the same stable as Hurricane Fly will take the job but we are not assured of a strong pace.  This could be very tactical.  This is also more solid ground than the Fly is used to, that should not be a problem but the combination of those two factors does make me wonder if the Fly’s usual turn of foot, so devastating, will be seen to the same effect.

This promises to be a cracker so where should you put your money?

The Major believes the Fly is the best horse.  The Major also thinks that 1/2 is plenty skinny enough.  There is no doubt that Mullins would not race him unless he was ready, they think too much of him and have held him back plenty of times, even when the trainer knew it would be an unpopular decision.

I still think that making a seasonal debut in this hot race against an unexposed potential wonder-mare in receipt of a sack full of weight….

Maybe I will look stupid later but Unaccompanied 4/1.

I was going to look at the novice hurdle that follows the Irish Champion Hurdle but thought I would throw a slightly different arrow at another that caught the eye.

Ffos Las – 2.55 Handicap Hurdle

The Welsh ground is heavy and for the Major, I always appreciate an extreme of condition, it helps create value.

The selection is a horse I think may go off a gamble…. Tarateeno 5/1.

It is only the third horse that Pat Murphy has sent all the way from Berkshire to Wales and he makes the long trip for a £3k contest with just this one horse in the box.

Tarateeno is racing off a mark of 90, yet just at the start of 2010, he had a mark of 124 over hurdles.  He probably did not deserve that but to tumble so far, it has taken a long consistent run of shocking performances.

Many of those performances have also been over fences rather than hurdles and his recent two spins over the smaller obstacles have been marginally better, even if they have not halted his slide.

His form on heavy ground is decent.  Three miles in this is probably just right.

Courage, roll those dice!