Tag Archives: big zeb

Cheltenham Wednesday Tips – RSA Chase, Champion Chase, Coral Cup – 18/1…

The Major’s festival was off to a flyer with two great results yesterday in the shape of Sprinter Sacre (adv 3pt bet 10/11) and Rock on Ruby (in the Major’s Cheltenham Antepost listat 14/1).

Grand Crus is a terrific bet in the RSA

The racing was top class and the atmosphere electric, there is surely no greater place to be than Prestbury Park for the Cheltenham Festival.  Good luck if you are on course today, myself I am in the best Mate enclosure and looking forward to a quality day with top company.The Trixie of Death as I named it is as follows (red = lost, green = won):

Hurricane   Fly Boston Bob Oscar Whisky (w/o   Big Bucks)
Quevega Sprinter Sacre Sizing Europe
Grand Crus Going Wrong Simonsig

So a win for Sizing Europe today would mean one of the trixies has landed.  Sprinter Sacre was a great result as he sits in the middle of so many – If you did not follow the bet, I placed doubles and trebles on each straight line.

Wednesday Cheltenham Tips

1.30 National Hunt Chase

A tricky wide open opener today and I want to rely on my visual evidence from yesterday to support my tip on Teaforthree at 13/2.  That said, as a general approach to these races, jockey is a massive factor.  The most competent jockeys will provide the winner so Katie Walsh, JT McNamara, Nina Carberry and a few others are strong pointers for the Major.

I like the horses form and he races quite prominently. That style seemed to do favours yesterday with not that much coming from off the pace.  Hunt Ball, Rock on Ruby and Cinders and Ashes all seemed to be at an advantage as others failed to peg them back.

Given Teaforthrees style, I am happy to go in, despite the drift – 13/2.  His form with Restless Harry and around Chepstow was good enough.

Both Mullins runners in Allee Garde and Soll are credible and I would put you off neither but I want the horse racing with the pace, teaforthree.

For those that like a monster price, State Benefit at 40/1 seems massive to me.

2.05 Cheltenham – The Neptune

Already Advised: Simonsig 7/2

I am very happy to be sat on my Simonsig antepost ticket given that Boston Bob came out for the Albert Bartlett.  The main danger as I see it is the Mullis stable who have won two of the last five runnings.  The longer trip for Sous Les Cieux and the assistance of Ruby will help.

Tha Major is sticking with his original tip Simonsig, wish me luck.

2.40 RSA Chase

Already Advised: Grand Crus 7/2

Put simply, this is another race where I am delighted with my antepost selection and see no reason that Grand Crus cannot win the RSA.

Conditions will be perfect and although if I owned the horse I would have been tempted to have a pop at the Gold Cup, I think on balance, connections have probably made the right decision.

I would be more concerned over First Lieutenant than Bobs Worth who I don’t think will stand up to this.

3.20 Champion Chase

Already Advised: Wishfull Thinking 20/1

Again no change from the Major, I have Sizing Europe in my death trixie so won’t mind that result but I do think he is beatable.  That thought has cost me money in the past but I am going to try again today with Wishfull Thinking.

I think the Hobbs runner will be seen in a new light here and it is hard keeping a Champion Chase crown.  Big Zeb looks like a fading light to me and so Wishfull Thinking gets the nod.

4pm Coral Cup

The Coral Cup is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle.It is currently 7/1 the field and that reflects the competitive nature of the race, no wonder a bookie sponsors it!

Balgarry was a big winner for the Major on the Saturday Service a couple of weeks ago but I would be wary of the horse going in again if he runs so freely, he was tiring last time out and the hill may find him out.

The major is going to tip up Cape Dutch at 18/1.  Ferguson could have a blinding day with a likely sort in the bumper and this horse is on the improve.  He has a good strike rate over hurdles.  Five year olds have a good record in the Coral Cup so I am happy to side with this sort near the bottom of the weights at 18/1.

Fred Winter Tips

Another incredibly competitive affair and the Fred Winter field of 24 requires some sifting!

Fred Winter handicaps have been won by top weights like Crack Away Jack as well as featherweight improvers so finding a winning trend is not simple.

On pricing, I like Edeymi at 16/1 with Sportingbet – This looks a classy sort and the price offers a nice each way piece of value.  Sportingbet are four places, if you prefer a different horse, Bet365 are five places but their Edeymi price is 12s.

The Champion Bumper

@kingofbumpers is an absolute twitter tipping legend (and makes my top horseracing twitter list) who is never afraid to put up bigger priced sorts.  He specialises as the name suggests in the bumper races and I am happy to simply put up his selection and I advise you to follow his twitter feed.

Cool George 28/1 – This bet will not appear in my register as it is a selection by @KingofBumpers.

Good luck one and all.

The Majors Antepost Tips for Cheltenham Festival – 40/1, 25/1 and more

The time has come for the Major to reveal exactly which horses I want in my portfolio before the tapes go up on Tuesday 13th March and the famous roar echos around the Gloucestershire air.

Antepost betting can be terrific fun and equally incredibly frustrating and the Major normally would recommend getting involved in Cheltenham betting only at this stage.

Markets for the main Cheltenham races open immediately after the preceding years event has been run.  However, getting on early means you do not have the benefit of an entire years form knowledge, you do not see the improvers or judge the injury, prep or yard form; you do not know which horses are planned to be stepped up in trip or to go chasing.

Crucially, the vast majority of bookmakers have now gone non-runner, no-bet.  This simply means a refund if your horse does not make it to the start line!  Now is the time for the Major to roll out his Cheltenham antepost tips.

The festival is such a competitive betting commercial space, you also get the plethora of offers from bookies keen to get you in the habit of using their account ahead of the week.  The Major will make no bones about advising which offers you should go for.  The stand out must be Paddy Power who are offering a refund on your horse in the Arkle, if Sprinter Sacre is beaten.  That will cost them a lot of money and we should be in the queue to take advantage.

I have broken my thoughts down into each day – I am not trying to cover every race, just my main thoughts……

One horse I don’t think will turn up (unless the heavens open) and I will miss is the Gigginstown horse, Bog Warrior.  I think this is the best chaser in the making and look forward to an exciting future but his runs require soft conditions…  Lets hope Aintree or Punchestown is soft enough.

Champion Trainer and Champion Jockey

My first antepost bet of the week has to be in the top trainer market where you can get 25/1 about Alan King (William Hill).  He has a decent portfolio of chances in the handicaps and in Grumeti, looks to have a warm prospect, it can be just a handful of horses required to win a top trainer prize at the festival. 

I would also recommend a small stake on Daryl Jacob to pick up top jockey at 40/1.  If some of the Mullins horses do not travel over well or are faced by very good conditions, then I fancy getting some Mullins / Walsh mounts turned over.  This then gives Daryl Jacob a great chance of winning a few on the best alternate Nicholls rides…. just a thought. 

Cheltenham Tuesday Tips – Champion Hurdle, The Arkle….

Firstly, go to Ladbrokes and claim your free £5 bet!  You have to do it online and you have to deposit but that’s it; a completely free £5 bet for Cheltenham’s Tuesday card….

The racing – Let’s start with the Arkle.  There is no way that you should back anything unless it is with Paddy Power in this race. 

Cue Card, 8/1, has been touted by his jockey as a likely front runner, which I do not think will do him much favour.  Peddlers Cross, 9/2, is likely to line up here but may take his chances in the Champion Chase, where he is a top price 20/1, or the Jewson, 6/1.  I would put him in the Champion Chase if I owned him as I think it is a weak Champion Chase this year, more of that later.  Al Ferof at 4/1 is too short for me, although Ruby wants to oppose Sprinter Sacre with him, I am not sure there is enough in the price for a horse that has looked just short of top class.  Sprinter Sacre has been described as an aeroplane and does look top drawer, the likely winner but in a race that has a habit of turning those sorts over!

Thus, the antepost Arkle selection for the Major is Menorah at 11/1 with Paddy Power.   I cannot forget that the placed form in last years Champion Hurdle and despite the horse needing to put many excuses behind, it is entirely possible that the festival is the place to do it.  Plus with a refund available is Sprinter Sacre does go in…. well, value indeed.

In the JLT Handicap Chase, I do quite fancy Walkon at 20/1 who likes Cheltenham and has some fair class; these staying handicap chases often suit a classy horse and I want this one on my side.

The Champion Hurdle – The antepost market for the Champion Hurdle has been dominated by Hurricane Fly.  The injury prone Irish star showed all his class last year to smash his field, although on reflection, was it the strongest? 

Although Binocular was reported back to his all time best at Wincanton last time, the Major has severe doubts about whether we will see that form or what it adds up to. 

Zarkander looks good but has to overcome a serious lack of experience and 5/1 is no price. 

Once again, the Major is looking down the list at something that might run a bigger race and the pen stops at Rock on Ruby at 14/1.  This horse will be staying on to best effect at the end of the race and I just have a feeling that things might fall in his lap rather.  It could be a fairly small Champion Hurdle field and things may get messy.

Cheltenham Wednesday Tips – The Champion Chase, The Neptune, Coral Cup and RSA Chase

This years Champion Chase looks a fairly poor renewal.  As much as I know the yard can prepare for the big run, it looks like Big Zebs best days are behind him.

This leaves Sizing Europe, a best priced 11/10 shot and Finians Rainbow at 5/1.  Now it has cost me money, but I am still of the view that Sizing Europe is very beatable and I am going to keep that instinct.  My issue is that I do not think the horse to do it is Finians Rainbow, at least not this year.

Once again the Major’s eyes are wandering down the list and I settle on Wishfull Thinking a general 16/1 shot.  Again a horse with some questions to answer but one with definite talent and not just place claims in my view.

The Coral Cup may be a handicap where we are yet to see the well weighted horse.  Therefore I am holding my judgement until after the Imperial Cup next weekend but would register an early interest in Smad Place at 16/1.

The RSA chase is all about whether Grand Crus turns up or not.  Personally I would run him in the Gold Cup.  I suspect though that connections will go for the RSA and use Kauto’s declaration of fitness (Assuming that comes) as  the decision point.  Whichever race he turns up in, I am very interested in Grand Crus who has taken to regulation fences extremely well.  9/4 therefore that he wins the RSA is a price from heaven and we should all be relieving Sportingbet of the weight of their satchel.

The Neptune is another race in which I fancy the favourite.  Now that Henderson has declared this the target for Simonsig, I think the 7/2 with Boylesports represents great value.  There is not a massive amount of quality in behind this (spare Boston Bob who may not line up) so I have no hesitation in getting on early and large.  This is an ideal antepost market to tip as it looks like the favourites price will only go one way.

If you want a tip for the Champion Bumper, you are in the wrong place!  Try @kingofbumpers on Twitter on the day!

Cheltenham Thursday Tips – World Hurdle, Jewson and Ryanair

Big Bucks is so dominant in the World Hurdle market, it is hard to find an obvious piece of value.  It is there though, in the w/o Big Bucks prices.

Oscar Whisky has been touted as a real credible threat to the champion and while the Major will believe that when he can see it, 7/4 (Hills, Power, Coral and Boylesports) is a fine price. 

Although the market says he will, I don’t think Peddlers Cross will line up ion the Jewson which makes last years festival winner, Sir Des Champs, my selection at 6/1.

The Ryanair could be a cracking race this year and while Riverside Theatre returning from injury to great form shapes the market, it is Irish raider Noble Prince who the Major wants on side.  6/1 is the price, have a big slice and thank me later.

Cheltenham Friday – The Gold Cup, The Triumph

The Triumph has been shaping up well in the last month with the principles being taking each other.  I am putting two up to back at win stakes; Pearl Swan, 8/1 Paddy Power) and Grumeti, 5/1 (Generally).  I think this is the best form line and neither will mind the Cheltenham hill, a test many others in the field are to face into yet.

The Gold Cup is hugely interesting race this year.  I am assuming that Kauto turns up, which is no certainty.  If he does, he has been racing with the mind of a six year old, clearly noone has told the great horse that he is in his veteran years!  That said, I would urge anyone who would back Kauto with money and not just heart, to rewatch last years Gold Cup and King George.  There lies all the evidence you need that despite Long Run being scruffy at fences, he will outstay Kauto.

Long Run at 13/8 with a clear round is a great price but it is the clear round that bothers me.  I also do not think this is the horses fault but rather the amateur jockey – I am afraid that the Major is in the camp that would like to see Geraghty on board and really see how great this horse can be.

The antepost tip though is two-fold and buried way down the list.  I think this years Gold Cup has got the hallmarks of a race that could go to a massive outsider.  Long Run might jump his way out of it, Kauto and Grand Crus might not be there, Burton Port might bounce.

The two I am interested in are What a Friend and Captain Chris, both at 40/1 – What a Friend ran to a place last year and is sure to be in the mix, Captain Chris has quality but has run a season of shockers.  That said, he has always looked a spring horse and so I am relying on him coming back to form.  Mainly, let’s hope that Kauto gets there and gives a good race to bow out on.

That is it, the full Cheltenham portfolio.  Whatever you do, bet an amount that makes you nervous, else you won’t enjoy it as you should!

Pandora’s Box is open – Champion Chase Cheltenham Tips

BOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!

The Major is off to a flyer on the opening day. 

That said, understanding followers appreciate that it was wonderful watching my nap get beaten by Hurricane Fly, Peddlers Cross ran a race and in the Majors view if Peddlers had held a greater lead, Hurricane would have reeled him in anyway, breathtaking.

If you fall low, like Lazarus, then awake my child, Lazarus started lowly and yet finished canonised - In the same way let us re-birth

We had winners though.  Reve de Sivola was a decent place, losing to the highlighted Bensalem.  9/1 Divers was the result of the day.

Day one was a firecracker of emotion.  Electricity crackled.  The fly made it good to be a racing man.  Drink was served.  Food delivered.  The Major held his own.

To all those whose day one battle was fruitless.  Well I say to thee that Lazarus started as a beggar and finished a saint.  The Major has not stooped so low, yet we shall raise ourselves higher still.

Get that harness on young man, ensure your preparation is complete.  We are engaged in the melee  The danger is to go to the front too soon.  With too much excitement you might exclude consideration, if in this mood, you find are rash and in over-optimism peak early……… well then draw breath, be still and settle thyself.  The battle dictates that you shall ready your stamina.

The Majors followers know this is right, this is a four day conflict.  There will be some warm work at the gate, a little skirmish perhaps, be prepared.

To Champion Chase day, have courage and shuffle the cards

First of all I offer you no advice for the opener simply because the Major refuses to truck with witchcraft.  If a beady eyed hobgoblin should stop thee and challenge, simply say ‘BESHABAR – Now get behind me SATAN’ – Does that constitute advice, probably, I shall count it as an each way bet.

The Neptune

In the second, Oscars Well needs a bigger trip, leaving Rock on Ruby and So Young for the Major.

So Young has been dismissive of the opposition in Ireland. Very impressive and a price to match.

On a strict line of form with Megastar, Minella Class holds Rock on Ruby – I support that. Both of them are held?

The one that appeals most on faster ground is Tornado Bob.  All of the form is on ‘probable’ unsuitable ground.  12/1 – Stick it in the microwave, let your taste buds explode when it goes ping!

RSA Chase

This is simple.  Time for Rupert is a quality animal that the Major has ignored before at a cost.  That said it is without a run this year.

Mullins knows that Mikael D’Haguenet has always been a champion of something in the making.  The Major thinks it is the RSA chase.  Ruby, on a high, surely he can get Mikael D’Haguenet into the rhythm that his trainer thinks could win a major event. 10/1 KABBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!

Champion Chase

OK Masterminded looks back to form.  However do you think his thin margin defeat of Somersby adds up to more that a Big Zeb defeat to Golden Silver?

The Major reckons that on times Big Zeb was the master.  On strictly the clock, Masterminded has something to find.

A tentative 3/1 is advised in the understanding that the Major would gladly tear up his ticket to see that stag like Masterminded leap at the last as he puts the field to bed.

Head – Big Zeb, heart – Masterminded.  3/1.

Coral Cup

The Coral Cup is always a challenge.  The Major has settled on Call the Police – Mullins and Walsh have an improver on their hands that the Major feels is able to take this, 6/1 WHAAAAMMMMMM!.

Fred Winter

The Major has been puzzling over the Fred Winter for some time.  The bottom line is that Whitby Jack is 12/1 and too damn intriguing!

The Lucky Last – The Bumper

Wow what a bumper – The Major fancied Keys but in the absence of the flat trained specialist, surely Cheltenian stands a better than 12/1 chance on a track going left-handed?  Dickie in the saddle – BOOM.

Good luck warriors, suffer thy losses well at the setting of the sun, tis only a while until daybreak, then we see the enemies eye, deep, dark, unmoving. Have vigour, be relentless.  Then peace, sleep, it is right.  Till dawn awakens the soul once more.

Tips for each Cheltenham Festival Championship Race – Guest Post, The Hearty Ploughman

Another guest blogger has thrown us some sporting viewpoint in our relentless quest for value.  The Hearty Ploughman is well-known to the Major and a respected punter.  He has kindly offered a view on the four championship races of the festival – Cheltenham tips aplenty.

He is the one on the right in the cap!

His analysis is often heavily statistics based and follows plenty of work.  Kindly he has proffered his thoughts for our benefit at no cost.

Included is a 14/1 Gold Cup contender and is a very interesting bet – Please remember to ensure you get NRNB (Non runner no bet), most bookies are there now but some are shamefully still letting you down.  Well worth the extra protection, this week saw the withdrawal of Diamond Harry and Riverside Theatre from their respective races, there are always a couple of high proile late non runners…. over to the Hearty Ploughman.

The Hearty Ploughman – Tips for the Four Cheltenham Festival Championship Races

Punters of the world, the time of year is almost upon us when once again we invade Prestbury Park to do battle with the old enemy the bookmaker. My good friend the Major has bestowed upon me the great honour of writing this piece on his website giving my thoughts and tips for the four big races at the meeting.

Day 1 – The Champion Hurdle

This race is normally won by horses that have had more than one race this season are aged over 5 and less than 11, have won or been placed at the festival before (providing it has run at the festival), ran within the last 2 months and finished in the top three in its last race. Using these trends we can narrow the field down to just a few horses, it helps focus the mind.

I believe the winner will come from one of the following, Binocular, Peddlers Cross or Hurricane Fly. Hurricane Fly as good as he is does not have the course experience, so by backing him you are taking on trust that he will handle the conditions. Peddlers Cross is a real battler, expect him to be off the bridle first but will be running all the way to the line.

However my selection is Binocular, he ticks all the boxes and the way he won round Cheltenham last year and again at Kempton in the Christmas hurdle was mighty impressive. That and the fact that Nicky Henderson is the master at getting one spot on for Cheltenham mean he is the choice for me.

Day 2 The Champion Chase

This race is normally won by a horse that was 1st, 2nd or 3rd last time out, ran 1-4 times this season and is in the top 4 of the betting. This leaves us with just the 4 horses to concentrate on, Master Minded, Big Zeb, Woolcombe Folly and Somersby.

Master Minded does not seem to have totally re captured the form he had before his injury, Somersby continues to be a nearly horse and Woolcome Folly still have to prove he can do it in a grade 1 at Cheltenham.

This leaves me with just the remaining horse Big Zeb.  One of my favourite horses in training, travels well, will like the better ground he should encounter at Cheltenham so am expecting a repeat of last years success.

Day 3 – The World Hurdle

Surely bearing major accidents this race is between Big Bucks and Grand Crus. Big Bucks is a class act and Grand Crus is improving all the time. Not much to choose between the two but preference is for Big Bucks.

Day 4 – The Gold Cup 

Looking at the trends we have to discount horses older than 10. That immediately takes out Kauto and Denman. Another trend is that the horse must have run 2-5 times this season. This takes out last year’s winner Imperial Commander. 

Unless the word soft appears in the going, Pandorama may not even run. For me there are only 2 horses to concentrate on. Long Run and Midnight Chase. Long Run has run at Cheltenham twice and on both occasions has been placed. Is it that he doesn’t like the course or does his jumping need brushing up a bit? Having watched both races it would suggest that his jumping needs improving. At Kempton he jumped much better and connections have employed the services of Yogi again to make further improvements. I am sure he will go close once again.

However at a bigger price I prefer Midnight Chase, another horse who is a real battler. He has course form, been placed at the festival and is a front runner who does not like to be passed. At a price of around 14/1 provides good  value and is my idea of the winner.

Celebrate Good Times – Huge Saturday Tipping Profits – Sunday Advices – Big Zeb to win Tied Cottage at Punchestown as well as across the Punchestown Card

The Major enjoyed the best Saturday service of the year yesterday offering 14 selections which have already paid out £25.82 to level £1 stakes.  Plus we still have West Ham who could add another £2 to the result if they beat Nottingham Forest at 2pm.

Big Zeb pinging one

Highlights were picking the terrible value in Punchestown and opposing on 9/1 morning price Neptune Collonges who demonstrated a great return to form.  I was proud to see Knockara Beau come home second with credit making a mockery of 33/1 and the winner Grand Crus, advised at 11/4 made this a sensational race for the Major, if only I had advised the forecast!

On the pitches of Britain, FA Cup pricing helped us again with Reading a stand out result at 6/5 but we had to rely on a late goal. 

That will make January a special start to the year and a harder act to follow. 

Sunday and time to offer a handful of things to follow for those who like to reinvest!

1.50pm Punchestown Tied Cottage Chase – Easy pickings.  Firstly, as you may know the Major had Big Zeb as a huge part of my ante post piece for Cheltenham.  The 7/2 for the Champion Chase has all gone now.  I expect his preparation to go smoothly and would even suggest that the way he will demolish Sizing Europe and Golden Silver today may just flip flop the head of the market for the big one. 

I see nothing to change my mind about Big Zebs chances as they race today.  OK so you may shout at your screen right now ‘Come on Major how did you pick that one!’ but value resides in odds on, odds against and virtual no hope situations.  Big Zeb should win.  In my head if they ran the race ten times, he wins seven.  To break even you have to price him just over 1/2.  8/11 is available, smash it.

Already advised is a West Ham home win.  Consider having the two in a little double.

The Punchestown card is a good as anything, in fact better, than anything on offer at Cheltenham yesterday. 

4.20 The Bumper – On the surface of things there does not look an obvious champion bumper sort here but this is the time of year when the Irish trainers get their Cheltenham bound hopes out.  Victor Chandler are offering an early market and they may get taken up on 5/2 about Celtic Folklore just because of connections.  Carbon Credit though won a point to point well last time out and with the services of Rubys sister in the saddle, could bring home the bacon.  No bet advised, how could you seriously advise with so little to go on!

The 2.20 is a punting nightmare best left alone and so I will but not before buying a ticket on Karanga Queen at 50/1 with one of my favourite jockeys, Slippers Madden on board.  Could he get a decent tune out of this unreliable and fully exposed sort.  Probably not.

The Novice graded hurdle is a great race but this years renewal looks average.  That said Gagewell Flyer seems to have finally got his act together and is a graded winner causing a 6lb penalty which I don’t think will stop him.  7/4 is the price, bet like men – Mullins and Townend will not let us down.

The 3.20 maiden is also a hard to bet on encounter.  Too little is known of many of these.  Westmeath would be a class bet at 11/2 if I didn’t suspect the soft ground may be responsible for his latest flop.  Jetson looks more exposed.  I like the 10/3 about Harpsy Chord – Have a small nugget of this one and save the bank.

The 3.50 is the last race to look at and I take two potentially progressive types.  Flemensford in the McNamara colours and Kerb Appeal, again for the inform Mullins yard.  12/1 and 14/1 dutched up, thank you.

In the coming week, I aim to get a post up summarising January in detail, looking at the Superbowl and a couple of midweek quick posts advising some cheeky side orders.

Thank you for reading, hope you are on the big winners today.