Tag Archives: bated breath

The Saturday Sermon – Haydock Sprint Cup Tips, 33/1 Ascot Tip and a 33/1 shot at Leopardstown!. Shabash

Good Evening from the Major who writes from a rural Worcestershire scene, dark at an hour forboding the coming cold of winter.

How the Major loves the change of season. Of fair complexion, I have always struggled in the sun, it makes me ill. Nice dark nights, cold air on your face and less brightness with which to ache my northern eyes, winter is my time.

The Major is in decent form with some nice winners last weekend. Let us hope the run continues and we strike gold with the huge amount of tips provided below.

I am writing the post on a Friday evening as I am running in the morning. I am taking on 9 miles and then I am going to repeat the dose on Sunday. This is all in preparation for the Berlin marathon which I run with my brother and Adam Redmond, both also avid gambling spirits.

Our cause is Whizz Kidz – A superb charity giving young disabled people mobility. The way in which their equipment and training can boost a childs confidence and change their lives is a wonderful thing. If you have a few pounds to spare, the Major urges you to consider a small donation at our justgiving page.

After all, what has the Major ever asked of you. You remain anonymous, arriving here to read these words each week. You are one of a few hundred regulars. You know me; I ask little, I know I am barely profitable – I offer my ideas for free neither expecting praise or condemnation after the result. I serve you no adverts, I don’t pester you to sign up for anything. You get the Major every weekend, unhinged and honest. Free, no strings attached. Just once, might I appeal to your generosity.

If you don’t really know me, then just donate the cost of a pint – Remain anonymous if you will, it would move me to receive such generosity. After all, you don’t have to, it is merely a choice.

Betfred Sprint Day and the main race looks a cracker. Another in the British Champions Series which has been a roaring success. Below I have compiled tips for that, alongside some racing tips for Leopardstown where the Group One Irish Champion Stakes is lit up by the presence of Snow Fairy and Nathaniel. As usual, the Major brings you the highlights and I cover the entire and I must say entirely impenetrable Ascot card. As a close colleague of the Majors, Mr Smith, is attending, should there be winners, I trust a man of considerable means, might consider a donation to the cause.

Be ready to daub thy war paint my dear followers, be ready to bear arms. Bravery in the face of our enemy; he who makes markets of the most devious nature to fool us and confound our minds. Allow me to cut through the clouds of misdirection.

For real bravery, consider the tale of Airmen Sergeant Norman Jackson VC. You have to do some magnificent things to win a Victoria Cross, in this case, he crawled onto the wing of his Lancaster which had sustained fire after a raid on Schweinfurt, a Bavarian town on the Main river. The wing was on fire and Sergeant Jackson resolved to put the fire out with an extinguisher. His parachute accidentally opened on the way out, meaning he knew that if he fell, he was doomed.

In those circumstances, would you crawl onto a plane wing at 200mph, 20,000 feet in the air? What is more, he knew that even if succesful, he would never be able to get back into the aircraft.

He fell from the wing after dropping the extinguisher, his chute partially worked and in addition to his broken bones and burns, he suffered being captured. That is the sort of action that requires recognition with our highest honour, a small cross of bronze (legend has it from the cannons at Balaclava where our thin red line and light brigade saw action… although a more likely source is Chinese bronze).

To the sports….

3.25 – Haydock Betfred Sprint Cup Tips

This is a proper Group One race with top class sprinters taking each other on – On rattling ground at Haydock it is going to be fast and furious.

Aussie sprinter Ortensia is on a hat trick bid after superb Goodwood and York wins this term. Her early form in Britain looked ropey but on balance she had plenty of excuses for those first two runs. The Nunthorpe win was particularly good and she remains of clear interest at 11/4.

Society Rock has the assistance of Kieran Fallon and if breaking on terms could be a threat to all. 11/1 is a great each way price.

Strong Suit has been on the wrong side of a Frankel beating and I think Hannon is doing the right thing dropping him back to sprint distances. Quicker ground seems the key to the horse who is a general 6/1 chance.

Three year olds have a reasonable record in the Haydock Sprint Cup but Es Que Love is surely outclassed.

The Major is going instead to rely on my old favourite Bated Breath at 7/2 with Totesport and Betfred. My selection set a course record in the Temple Stakes and I think the quick ground we get here is the key to him. His Haydock record is outstanding and I fancy him to go one better than his second here last year.

A forecast with Ortensia is also a bet I would like to take on.

Ascot Tips – The Full Ascot Card

1.30 Juvenile Maiden

There is not a lot of form evidence with these two year olds and so the Major advises you to keep stakes at a minimum.

Telescope and Meshardal are very interesting debutantes, both have derby entries. On breeding, this looks like it might be a bit sharp for the former, a son of Galileo. The Sharmadal bred Mershardal might go well on debut. Mershadal is from the Hannon yard, possibly the most effective trainer for bringing the best from two year olds, even if other trainers seem to surpass him with older horses.

Interestingly, with Richard Hughes not available for Hannon, Pat Dobbs, the next stable pick is on Bursledon, a horse I would be interested in.

In these races, money can be crucial and at this stage, no market is open and so the Major is advising blind. Keep stakes small but I would chance a small bet on King Muro at 33/1 or so (guessing the price here so use your own judgement!)

2pm – Fillies Juvenile Maiden

Half an hour later and it is the turn of the girls. Only seven runners and three of them are representatives of the Mohammed Al Zarooni stable. That is an interesting yard for juveniles, they are focussed on their breeding operation. The market seems to have little feel for the genuine chances suggesting that they are not a gambling yard. The Major likes this as if you find one at a price, you need not be put off.

While there are less runners, the quality is all there.

Taking Al Zarooni’s runners, then jockey booking suggests they are happiest with Desert Blossom, who won her debut race with the field strung out. I would not jump to judge the bare form as superb but clearly she has ability.

Fleeting Spirit is an interesting runner, a big filly, she is sure to improve with time as she comes to herself. She had the bad luck of meeting the ill-fated Newfangled on debut and went one better subsequently. Her last third was a bit dissapointing off what looked like a winnable mark.

While I think Desert Blossom is the likeliest winner, I prefer at the prices, rank outsider, 12/1 shot Nice Story. The Chepstow race she won was entirely ordinary. We do not get many Suave bred horses in the UK, the sire is out of AP Indy and the Major is happy that this could be a well bred sort. While the Chepstow run was only OK, the ground here will be more suitable and at 12/1 I fancy a slice.

This is also not a race to get too involved in. I might have a small reverse forecast with Desert Blossom too.

2.35 Ascot – Class 2 Nursery Sprint

Another two year old race, this time over a sprint distance. A very difficult contest to tip.

The market is wide open at 9/2 the field and that reflects the open nature of the affair.

Kodiac bred, Foxy Forever is very interesting. The yard have used young Barzalona twice and have won with him on board twice. His debut win at Wolverhampton followed some significant support and so you have to be interested at 15/2 (Paddy Power).

Experience brings Opt Out into the frame with this being the seventh race of the colts career. He has moved on in leaps and bounds in the last two although the last win at Warwick saw another 5lbs lumped on. I love the toughness of Johnstones horses but prefer Fanning in the saddle.

While Foxy Forever is a very interesting horse with an eye catching booking, it is 6/1 shot Stand of Glory that the Major is going to tip in the Ascot nursery sprint. The ground at Thirsk was pretty rattling and Ascot can dry to include firm tomorrow – There is no way that the Ripon race is true form having led in unsuitable ground, I am sure a place is the minimum we could expect.

3.10 Fillies Handicap

Sharmadal filly Wahylah probably ran her best race at Beverley last time out and the manner of the race suggests that this step up in trip is well in favour.

Ted Durcan gets a rare eye catching ride (2 wins from 3 in last two years) for the yard or Mrs Greeley who has a fair each way chance.

Speedi Mouse is a most interesting runner seeking a hat-trick. The inexperienced jockey has clearly got a good tune out of the horse and the mild weights increase won’t stop further improvement. Of interest.

The Major though is going to tip Honeymead at 12/1. My selection only managed fifth last time out but that was only a few lengths down to the very useful Dutch Rose. That was probably the best run for some time and while many will overlook on the grounds of being exposed, the Major has a sense that there might be a bit more to come.

3.45 Ascot – Class 2 Handicap

A series of the usual handicap suspects have turned up for this class 2 Ascot handicap.

There are few easy races at Ascot today with either mind bendingly difficult handicaps or juvenile guesswork at the heart of these difficult connundrums.

Ladbrokes are generous offering 14/1 about Global Village from the Ellison yard. I would suggest that ground conditions are not ideal and I have given up on trying to guess when the yard have one ready – Money would be significant.

Primaeval is very interesting to the Major who would have hated the soft draining conditions last time out. Returned to suitable conditions, a big run could be on the cards.

In these sorts of races though, the Major prefers the class acts playing off higher weights and the sort that fits the bill is Johnstones Bannock. 10/1 is generally available this evening for my tip who benefits from the best 7lb claimer in Michael Murphy. Get involved.

4.15pm Ascot – 12f Handicap

This is another mind bending puzzle with many horses that enter the equation.

Gospel Choir beat the very useful Sun Central who went on to win again, that form has pushed Gospel Choir to the top of the market. Sir Michael Stoute has a successful relationship with Baker and this horse has won two handicaps here from three wins this year. Very interesting.

Stencive, narrowly defeated by Gospel Choir has to be in the calculation too with some pretty blue blood. In fact the horse is closely related to my favourite ever horse, George Washington. Clearly very useful and on balance, irresistible – the Major tips 10/1 Stencive. My selection, a son of Dansili, should give us a decent run at a decent price.

Incidentally, Fennell Bay is no way a 33/1 shot. OK, the busy schedule may have effected recent performances but if Johnstone has freshened up this outsider then he could make a mockery of that price.

Castilo Del Diablo is another witha great chance. Entirely unexposed, well drawn and a formerly expensive purchase, who knows? I would not put you off.

4.50 Ascot Food and Wine Handicap

Last Sovereign is a rejuvenated animal under the inexperienced jockey Jacob Butterfield, I think the improvement may be stopped by the best part of half a stone extra burden.

Fitz Flyer is the 5/1 favourite and did well just behind the Majors tip Tax Free last time out. Hardly a strike rate to fill you with confidence but signs of a big run are there.

The Major has to decide between Intransigent at 8/1 – A potentially progressive beast whose latest all weather win was decisive and there is little reason why it cannot be replicated on turf. My other fancy is equal 8/1 shot Ajjaadd, who looks like he sort that has been laid out for the race. It is coming to his time of year, the market knows it and while a few more pounds off the weight would help, surely he will be tuned up.

On balance, I just think Ajjaadd will be a major player at 8/1.

5.45 Leopardstown – Irish Champion Tips

The weight allowance normally means that the classic generation have a very good chance in the Champion but this year, the proven class is in the older horses.

Snow Fairy at 2/1 would be my favourite of them, the admirable mare has won 6 group one affairs including her last race at Deauville.

Good luck to Buick who is making the helicopter dash across the Irish Sea to ride Nathaniel. The favourite is clearly a talented animal but I am not sure this is his race.

As for St Nicholas Abbey, the shortness of the trip is one concern but the effect that Frankel inflicted with his Juddmonte demolition act is as much a concern.

Instead the Major opts for 33/1 shot Daddy Long Legs and I ask for your imagination. My tip won the UAE derby and looked set for a globe trotting career but his runs in the states were awful. Given a fresh turf chance back at home, with the three year old allowances, I’m not ruling out some chance for the horse in what might be a tactical affair.

That’s it from the Major who gives you nine sporting horsey tips. If I had to pick a nap, then I would be hard pressed between Bated Breath and Stencive.

May your winnings pay for a dinner to which you can take the classiest of sorts. Bedecked in expensive trinkets and reeking of perfume, she might be full of herself, but after a decent bottle or three and a sight of a fat wallet, the look in the eye will run to more than decent steak. Airs and graces or not, we are all the same in the end.

Courage, roll those dice.

Tuesday Royal Ascot Tips – 11/2 and 8/1

Flying post from the Major this morning to get us started on a Royal Ascot winfest.

I hope you took up the Saturday advice and backed my horse in the handicap at York, if so you have a free £20 VC bet to use and I have a strong suggestion as to how you might use it.

The second race of the day is the group one Kings Stand a 5f sprint of some of the finest. Only some mind, really I would have liked the three main market principles to wait until Saturday and run against Black Caviar but sadly not so. I can understand connections wanting to avoid the wondermare but it is disappointing.

Mainly I am disappointed for Black Caviar. I am wondering what the trip was for and wonder if that is the feeling in the yard too. She has come to Ascot to race for less money than she would in Dubai, Signapore or Hong Kong so the motive is not financial.

She is also not facing our top sprinter (revealed in one second!) or Frankel or Camelot because either connections are 1. Running scared or 2. Trying their damnedest to win a group one in their own way… Depending on how you look at it.

This leaves the only motivation as one of pride. Black Caviars connections want to say they came to Europe faced a field in one of our top sprints and won leaving her the undisputed sprint champion. Well that title was never in question in the Majors view and I wish she had a bit more on her plate but alas, these thoughts carry the weight of a man who owns none of the thoroughbred flesh I am debating.

tips for the King Stand – Royal Ascot Tuesday

The three market principles are all around the 5/1 mark – Ortensia, Wizz Kid and Bated Breath.

Of the two raiders, the Australian Wizz Kid makes most appeal having won the last three and seemingly improving.

Ortensia, the French filly, represents a yard which won the race in the eighties but I don’t consider her a main danger.

Indeed, with confidence I promote the chances of BATED BREATH who broke the track record and showed admirable spirit last time out, when also carrying the Majors advice. Along with Dream Ahead, I think we have to consider BB our best sprinter and I think the home guard is good enough to win this. 11/2 is widely available.

St James Palace Tips

Power is the 7/2 favourite for the St James and I think we can get him beaten. Ok the Coventry winner saw a lot of this field off in the Irish 2000 guineas and although that race was strongly run which might give some hope of reversing the form, the Major is not convinced.

Instead I am going to tip MOST IMPROVED at 8/1 who I think could be better than we have seen.

My selection has also lost to Power, in the Dewhurst as a juvenile but the distance was negligible. An interrupted season has meant that no classics have been on the card. The French Derby was the messiest race you can imagine so i have a line through that form too but the Major thinks Ascot is where the horse might eventually come back to hand. 8/1 is a fine price so have a slice.

The Saturday Service – Sprint Cup Tips for Haydock

Good morning from the Major who writes to you from still, grey Defford.  The air this morning is cool yet still feels close, a pending storm.

Dream Ahead for the Major

The coffee has bubbled away for some hours and the Major has been preparing.  For some reason today, maybe it is my head cold, I am not in such a rebel rousing mood.  If you came for the Victorian military history or scorching call to arms, I apologise there is none.  Instead I give you one of my favourite exchanges that the late, great, Sir Clement Freud once wrote about in his Racing Post column.  It concerns, Kerry Packer being asked to go elsewhere having strolled into Wynn Casino’s high stakes room.  It apparently went like this…

Man: This is the private room for high rollers…

Packer: That’s OK by me

Man: No you need to go out there and play, this is out of your league

Packer: Whats your league?

Man: I’m worth sixty mill

Packer: Toss you for it

Betfred Sprint Cup – Haydock

This is the finest Sprint Cup I can remember.  Worthy of Group 1 status in every sense, we have an absolute cracking line up.  There are a few horses the Major has got beaten or at least shaken up.

The first is Hoof It who went down to the Majors 33/1 selection Margot Did last time out.  He has looked Group class in sprint handicap company but he is not proven enough for the Major and I prefer the chances of others, I would have chalked him 10/1.

Society Rock looked so good at Ascot, he is hard to ignore.  That day, my selection 50/1 Monsieur Chevalier rattled home second.  He had a slightly more successful trip to France and the Deauville festival than did Dream Ahead and at 11/2, this one is on the shortlist.

Dream Ahead is the one to beat if he can put the Deauville run behind him and return to the form that gave Hayley Turner her first Group 1 win.  The Major wishes her well in recovering from her broken ankle.  As for Dream Ahead, he can be excused a poor run in France, it is easy to assess that he did not travel well.  His form previous is enough to show that the Deauville run was all wrong.

This season has been a fantastic flat affair so far and Group 1 affairs have been littered with winners who have all had a first class view of Frankels behind!  It goes to show what an absolute monster Frankel is that Dream Ahead (who, let us not forget, was champion juvenile) has been beaten by Frankel, fair and square twice and yet won the Darley July Cup with ease.  Roderic O Connor and many others have shown that we have a good set of three year olds but that Frankel is an absolute star for the ages.

Such is the quality of this card that Delegator is 10/1 and Wooton Bassett, a star in the eye of Fahey is 20/1.  The later I could countenance a little wager on but I think the winner will be from the 4 at the head of the market.

This is a terrific race in which it is exceptionally hard to separate the first few on merited form.  The view I take is one of where the pace will unfold from.  There is according to clerk of the course, little draw bias.

The Major disagrees and thinks stand side is where the winner will end up.  Thus, high draw is an advantage.  Society Rock is drawn one which is a crying shame as I fancied him.  Dream Ahead, who I think is the best horse in the race is drawn 9 which is acceptable.  Bated Breath is drawn 15 and I think it is between him and Dream Ahead.

On balance, I have to side with Dream Ahead.  Put a line through the French form and this is the best form for me.  Not only was the July Cup a stand out form result (Bated Breath in behind that day), it was visually stunning too with Hayley Turner producing him off the fence in the final throes.  A nudge was all it seemed to require that day to go past plenty of proven horses.  Given this animal has probably fared best against Frankel to date, I want it on side at 11/2 – What a price – Thank You Hills!!!

2pm Haydock – Listed Race

King Torus has been put about a lot this morning as the likely winner of the opening listed contest on the Haydock card and on ground, good to firm in places,  he is a stand out.

First City is the type of horse I like to overlook.  Running very credibly in higher grades does not translate to, will smash these!  I just do not go for horses who are overly used tto the taste of defeat against better rivals.

Rainfall who has defeated First Type is of clear interest for Godolphin and I would side with it but this seems to be the three year olds year and so despite her fillies allowance I go elsewhere.

This reveals my hand.  King Torus at 9/2 is the selection.  Have a chunky slice.

Just the two selections for the Major today.  May you dine well tonight on lobster and champagne.  Take the showy piece, she won’t need much encouragement.

Courage followers and shuffle those cards.

The Majors Saturday Service – July Cup Tips

Good morning from fine Defford where the Major welcomes you warmly into his Saturday Service.

It has been many weeks since I last updated the results.  My apologies for the tardiness but raising the effort is difficult when you know the last few weeks have been utterly barren.  The Major has not had a good Saturday in a long time and we are in desperate need of a decent day.

Never forget the Majors motto though, relentless positivity.  We will try again and we will find ourselves a tasty set of tips to boost those accounts back into the green

Beachfire was an eye catcher at Ascot – Lots of headgear though, reliable?

Never give in.  Churchill had that right.  The master of oratory once raised the men of Thermopylae as a standard in one of his great speeches and surely those brave Spartans fighting in their impenetrable square would make the right reading to set our minds for a days battle with our old enemy.

No, the Major evokes a different spirit.  Given the parlous state of the account right now, it seems more apt to think back to the sinking of HMS Birkenhead, 1852.

Named after her yard, the Birkenhead was a transport iron frigate used to ferry troops to our war in South Africa, the Kaffir War, more commonly known now as the Xhosa War.

HAving left Portsmouth, HMS Birkenhead collected Irish troops before docking at Cape Town.  A short hop around the treacherous waters of the cape to the destination Algoa Bay was the doomed final leg.

In pitch black, HMS Birkenhead struck rock and foundered leaving 643 souls on a sinking piece of wreckage.  100 men are thought to have drowned in their beds as water poured in through the fissure in the bulkhead.

On deck, the survivors had to deal in quandary, there were only enough lifeboats for maybe a third of the people.  Step forward Captain Seton, who was given command not of the vessel but of the military personnel.

There were women and children of the officers being transported and realising the carnage that could ensue, Captain Seton called on high discipline on board a 2,000 lump of wood and metal, fast sinking into the cool Southern Ocean and into the shark occupied, hideous depths.

This is where the phrase ‘women and children’ was coined.  Survivors recall the utter discipline of our armed men as they stood silently to attention while the last of the lifeboats was launched, knowing fully what this meant but not one man breaking rank.

The ship foundered 2 miles from shore and some men managed to swim.  Most were taken by shark and some died trying to land on the rocky South Africa shoreline.  Just shy of 200 survived, most in the lifeboats.  Afterwards, our great rouser of youth, Kipling wrote a wonderful line….

But to stand an’ be still to the Birken’ead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew

The Prussian military so impressed by the account of discipline ordered it be read and postered at every barracks in the land.  You see, British military discipline is famed the world over.  Where else bar Balaclava has such strong evidence of our conviction been given to Johnny Foreigner, which brings to mind the response to the famous charge of the lights from a Frenchman ‘C’est magnifique, mais c’est ne pas guerre’.

The Major calls on this discipline today.  Bet like men, with calm mind and steady hand.  Losses in recent times do not shake our unfounded belief in the 16/1 price mistakenly put up by our enemy.  His time cometh, and that right soon.

To the sports…..

The Darley July Cup – Newmarket

This is the best sprint in Europe and at 3.35 we have a cracking field.  The real key to this is what the weather does.  The BBC says cloudy and dry and I am going to put my faith in Auntie.

This puts in favour Delegator and Bated Breath while Monsieur Chevalier*, Dream Ahead and Regal Parade are negatives.

Of the two I think will go well, Delegator makes the most appeal.  While he was a quality miler and was a little unlucky in his classic year, the recent drop to sprinting class has reawakened him and his best season could well be this one.

What I really like about Delegator is the gears.  This years Derby showed that at Group One level, having the gears is the crucial element between top class and very good.  Watch his York reappearance over a sprint distance and Delegator moves smoothly away when asked.  Todays race will be off equally a strong pace and so I expect Frankie to get him settled off the pace and at the crunch moment, let’s see what he can do.

He does not look that popular in the market and 5/1 is available.  Dream Ahead is my selection if the ground gets more moisture.  While the Middle Park form looks a little exaggerated, let us not forget that he was joint champion juvenile with Frankel.  This could be just his thing in receipt of handy weight from Delegator.  Unbeaten at 6f, a right danger if the rain comes.

*Monsieur Chevalier is also one that will drift as unfancied on anything without soft in the title.  I am less sure that proper good will be a hindrance.  MC was a sterling 50/1 placed bet for the Major at Royal Ascot and you might wonder why I do not press up on him at 9/1.  Well, I do think that Royal Ascot form is as good as anything this set of horses has produced this season, arguably the best.  Society Rock looked a superb horse and MC was best of the rest.  My concerns more lie in that I am unsure he will race twice the same in any consecutive outings – He looks unreliable to me but has the ability and 10/1 prices that in.

Overall I am looking at Delegator 5/1 with Hills.  Incidentally, the Racing Post app are out to get Delegator so if you fancy another in the Darley July Cup, bet on their app with William Hill and you get your money back if Delegator wins… nice.

3.15 John Smiths Cup York

This was a conundrum of a race but a few things stood out.

I was really taken by the manner of Beachfires win at Royal Ascot, this might not be the track to attempt such back to front tactics again but with a clear run, I would be very interested in 9/1.

Modun had excuses at rain-soaked Ascot and he could put the record straight today.  Pricewise clearly thinks a lot of Pekan Star who with the Majors favourite Neil Callan aboard is now 10/3 favourite after trading earlier at 5/1.

At a big price, I think Kay Gee Bee could be interesting.

Overall though, I am settling on 9/1 Beachfire, I hope he gets a cleanish run for young star William Buick and he is certain to be finishing well.

I am going to back an outsider to in Tepmokea.  The reappearance run has to be questioned a little for value but that factor and a wide draw, which is not necessarily a hindrance any more, I think create a false price at 20/1.  Lee Topliss takes off 5lbs and gives the Major a strong sense of value.

In other races, 8.55 Salisbury, interesting to see Michael Hills make the trip for just one ride on Rougette.  12/1 is available.

In the States – The Man o War stakes, Belmont Park can go to Gio Ponti – Closely matched with the O’Brien traveller Capo Blanco, I fancy the globe-trotting Gio Ponti to prove his worth.  9/4 is too good to resist in a race he took last year.

In other sports…

Javeen Mendis look completely over-priced at 8/1 to be Sri Lankas top wicket taker, have a slice of that – The slow pitch should suit…

We have not beaten the French women for decades so why we think we will start now I am not sure, 5/4 France to beat England is a must bet.

You could double that with 2/7 German ladies to beat Japan, that pays close to 2/1.

Tonight may you dine on fresh fish, bake yourself a simple fish pie, simply acquire some nice steaks of cod, smoked haddock as well as some mussels and maybe prawn.  Cook in a little cream and white wine before putting in the base of a nice ceramic pot, topping with mash and finishing off.  Invite a simple sort who will delight in home cooking, she need not be too well-heeled, watch a simple film and let nature take his course.  She may well be encouraged to the gallop when your money clip falls from your breast pocket.  Tell her the Major had his lucky 15 come in, and you were there.  If you are lucky enough to retire up the flight of stairs in company, remember Captain Seton and those steely minded chaps on the Birkenhead, ‘women and children first’

Courage men and roll those dice.

Saturdays Gambling Selections from The Major

LAST WEEKS PROFIT 72% (table of bets below*) – The Majors strong form continues (SOME TREMENDOUS VALUE TODAY) and unlike those dastardly bankers he takes not one jot for himself merely leading my crusade for merry adventurous punters across the land to put a blow across the old enemies cheek.  As in the bible, the turf accountant duly turns and allows us to have a pop at the other one too, marvelous.

The weather has perked up in sunny Pershore although the ground is dead and sodden which must be a consideration in our selections today.  Action aplenty and opportunities as ever…… Load the heavy cannons and let us plunder….

Firtsly on track.  A great card at Goodwood awaits and the 3.40 is a race where heart rules the head.  Date with Destiny is the sole progeny of the only racehorse that made me cry, the great George Washington.  After successfully backing George to win the 2,000 Guineas, I fell in love with the champion who had his own way of doing things.  That day he planted his feet and refused to enter the winning enclosure, a horse of his own mind but one who when on song demonstrated a trmendous turn of foot.  Retired at three as a classic winner, a lucrative stud career awaited (I am considering this option myself) but sadly, the pencil lead was not very effective and at 4 he went back into training.  I remember O’Brien saying he was having a hard time getting Georges mind back on racing after a winter covering some of the finest racehorses.  Tragedy struck in the states when at a sloppy Belmont Park, George collapsed and instantly died on course.  I have grown attached to many horses I have backed, some of far lesser quality than George but  none as personable. 

Date with Destiny, George Washintons only progeny runs in the 3.40 – Sadly for the promising looking filly, it carries my money; in respect of her sire.  Cochabamab at 10/1 is the ew head selection which will carry none of my cash.

Drunken Sailor in the 2.30 looks a good bet at 11/8 given the shaky opposition.  Who knows whether Golden Sword will ever recapture some of that younger form but the rest look shaky and anything greater than double your dough looks a good bet on this one.

What a dissapointment that the Celebration Mile, 3.05, only draws four entries – What is that about.  This Group 2 contest with £56k for the winner will see Main Aim go off as favourite.  On form and ground it is a worthy favourite but with Poets Voice an easy to back 15/8, I am tempted to see if it drifts to 2s or 9/4 before backing.  Frankie is the master of taming these small field events, get in front, slow them at the turn, steal 4 lengths at 2 and a half furlongs, see you in the winning enclosure!

The 3.20 at Newmarket is one of those where form is expected to be overturned.  In this case Bated Breath who was held by Dafeef is expected to overturn today in receipt of 3lbs.  I have to say that these scenarios always throw up great value.  People get carried away with the narrative of bad luck and reversing it today.  As such, Dafeef is appealing at 4/1.  More intruguing is Caledonia Princess at 40/1.  OK this is a step up in class entirely but this horse just completed the hat-trick and of Kyllachy is likely to be a significant improver at 4.

In the most valuable race of the day, there is a 1/2 favourite in Zebedee and it is notable that Richard Hughes goes to Newmarket, 3.55, instead of booking Goodwood rides.  However 12 two year olds, most handling soft for the first time and a 1/2 favourite makes this an each way race and not one to get stuck into the tasty looking good thing.  I like Child Bride at 16/1 – Paul Colehas his horses in good order and it intrigues me that this horse who did not handle the dips and turns of Bath last time out is styepped up in class by his trainer.

Now for the football.  The early kick off offers some value in opposing Arsenal simply because Sam Allardice loves bullying Wengers southern softies!  He did it last year and they will get more of the same today.  I like the both teams to score market with Paddy Power which is just under evens but I am not going to get excited by this one.

One I love is Evertons price to win at Villa.  Villa look in free fall and the players do not look enamered playing for the caretaker boss.  The 6-0 thumping and dropping out of Europe surely have taken a mental toll and 2/1 Everton to win is unbelievable value.  Surely in these circumstances the toffees would come away with three points more than 1 in 3 times?  My advice on the villa manager was given a little time ago.

Millwall at evens to beat Coventry is fair.  I fancied Coventry to get beaten at home by Derby last week and while they won, they were not the better team.  I think their position is false.  Marlon King joining the camp cannot  be a positive can it?  Not a massive bet for me but I like this Millwall team.

Berwick have scored ten goals in their last two outings so a win today at 17/10 is absurd pricing – Get stuck in!

Finally it is Challenge Cup Final day.  Leeds have beaten Warrington three times this year and to win today at 11/10 I think is a great price – Could be a great final – Have something on the Rhinos.

The nap is Everton 2/1 NAP NAP NAPPETY NAP NAP.

I wish you betting success and dearly hope that your bookmaker need close his doors while he visits his bank to complete your payout.  Let him know the Major sent you…… and we will return again!

By the way, the Major is running the Birmingham Half Marathon – Follow the link to follow the training.

Last Weeks Results*

Selection Odds Stake Returns
Titus Mills 8/1 NR NR
Captain Coke 9/4 £1.00 £0.00
Banimipire 11/2 £1.00 £6.50
Glor Na Mara Ev £1.00 £0.00
All Blacks -3 Ev £1.00 £2.00
Darlington 13/8 £1.00 £0.00
Stoke 5/2 £1.00 £0.00
Colchester 7/4 £1.00 £2.75
Burnley 11/10 £1.00 £2.10
East Stirling 5/4 £1.00 £2.20
Derby  9/4 £1.00 £0.00
Bolton 12/5 £1.00 £3.40
    £11.00 £18.95