Tag Archives: blue bunting

The Saturday Sermon – St Leger at Doncaster (14/1 tip) and Premier League Tips

Good morning from the Major who has been at the good coffee early to study the card and bring you the winner of the St Leger.

Sea Moon with beautiful white blaze first, noone but fresh air second

The last classic of the season is a true stayers test and unlike any other classic is open to both colts and fillies. This gives us the interesting task of assessing Blue Buntings ability against the boys, more of that in a moment.

The Major would like to land a catastrophic blow on the enemy today, let us land the perfect left right pincer movement.

We shall be decisive like Sir Robert Napiers expeditionary force of Irish, British and Indian troops in Abysinnia or Sir Hope Grants mixed British, Indian and French force which went to Peking to force the emporer to sign our trade treaty in the second Opium war. Well disciplined, well executed. Sir Hope Grant took the forts at the river head with a perfect pincer movement, infantry skirmishing ahead of his position and as the enemy approaches, the flags go up and the lights will come out like a mighty fist to run the enemy down, the heavies follow to finish the job. Swift and decisive against a far numerically superior force.

Sir Hope got to Peking and got the treaty signed but had to fight his way there. There was also subsequent outrage as the Chinese tortured to death many of the small numbers of prisoners of war they held. British and Indian troops of the Queen as well as Parkes and Loch, two envoys, were given horrendous treatment in the ‘Board of Punishment’. Their bodies were returned after peace had been negotiated which seemed a deliberate act of subterfuge.

Lord Elgin who travelled as the lead political on the embassy decided that retribution would take the form of the sacking of the Summer Palace.

It took thousands of troops to destroy the greatest collection or architecture and art ever amassed. While he was merely a descendent of the Elgin who lifted marbles from Greece, the family certainly had their vandal moments!

Lets start our own rout with the St Leger.

3.10 Doncaster St Leger

The St Leger has lost some of its lustre in recent years. Gone are the horses who want triple crown glory. Now bloodstock demand is for mile to mile and a half horses. The super rich owners want Derby horses and Arc horses, not Yorkshire Cup types.

It would have been a thing of great beauty if Sea the Stars had opted to take in the Triple Crown in his classic year…. alas, Guinea and Derby horses tend not to think St Leger any more. Perhaps we will never have another triple crown winner. If we were to, I would suggest it would be a filly.

In fact, recent St Legers have been pretty poor affairs (relatively speaking for a Group 1 and a classic!) – This year looks different though. What makes the contest an intriguing one is the ground which has hardened up and with no more rain expected until ten past three, it is changing the shape of the market.

The principle victim of the top of the ground turf seems to be Sea Moon. A long term favourite for the race after demolishing a Great Voltigeur field by nearly ten lengths, this lightly raced sort is clearly happier with cut. His form could suggest so and so does the reaction of connections to the dry weather forecast.

The Great Voltigeur also featured Seville who was third, vanquished by Sea Moon that day. Seville was second in an Irish Derby and so a serious O’Brien horse but was likely unsuited by York – This makes me question the form of the Great Voltigeur and seek a different form line for the winner. That said, O’Briens horses look like they are coming to their own of late.

We have Blue Bunting, a 2,000 guineas winner, Irish Oaks winner and Yorkshire Oaks winner – Probably filly of the season. She gets a 3lb pull on account of her being of the fairer sex and must be reckoned with at a best priced 7/2. Good to firm would be no inconvenience. Two of the last five runnings have gone to Godolphin, significantly interesting.

A regular poster Michael put up Masked Marvel last week and you can see the good points. Beating Census was great form although watching that race, I would question whether he is the better horse. 9/1 is fair but not for the Major – Good luck Michael.

Brown Panthers form is tied into Census and Masked Marvel and at 14s is arguably the best value of that trio. Yard form is also a slight concern here with just the one winner from the last twenty five runners. While Census may have taken Brown Panther on their latest run, it was notable that the Panther had a lot of picking up to do. The previous German raid did not go brilliantly but the travel may have been a factor. With Fallon booked, this is a serious contender in my view.

I really think the winner will come from Sea Moon, Brown Panther and Blue Bunting. Splitting them is tough. Sea Moon on the drift is a concern but how sure can we be he will not act on firmer ground? The Sire, Beat Hollow, has had 355 of his progeny run in Britain on good to firm and 50 won. This is not out of line with his form with more cut and so the evidence is conjecture on behalf of connections. Now, connections know their stuff but….. could we go where others dare tread?

Sea Moon is a horse that looked a true star. What he did to the Great Voltigeur field was highly impressive, not just the beaten foe but the turn of foot. He was eased down at the finish that day and the Major has a simple belief, if he shows the Great Voltigeur form today, he will win. It is hard to leave him but those ground worries are ominous.

I have settled on Brown Panther. 14/1 is a good price for one whose form is mixing it up with the best here. We have the services of Fallon doing the steering – Come on the Panther.

3.15 The Curragh – Goffs National Stakes Group 1

The Curragh hosts the Irish St Leger card and although it is a fine race, I fancied a crack at the Goffs Stakes for juveniles.

Soft conditions in Ireland make it interesting working through this card and the Majors choice is Dragon Pulse a 11/4 joint favourite.

Dragon Pulse on breeding is fancied to handle the soft and did win a maiden in conditions too. While Power, is the main rival, I suspect he will not like the cut in the ground at all.

Have a chunky slice of the Dragon.

There are other great races at Doncaster, the Curragh, Goodwood and Chester. The Major does think Berling is the most reliable in Chesters listed race but overall I am going to stick with Brown Panther and Dragon Pulse to bring home the weekend beans.

In other sports…. Villa are a massive 3/1 to win at Everton, given the Toffees current woes, it could well effect the team on the pitch who are now without Arteta. Villa are organised if not spectacular and 3/1 (Victor Chandler) is a price to take on them stealing the goodies from Goodison. Everton have protesting fans as well as a shortage of options in the final third with Yakubu and Beckford joining Arteta on the outward transfer pile. The new boys may take time to settle in and I am willing to take a chunky slice of the Villa pie at a lovely 3/1.

May your dining this evening be punctuated by a fine string quartet and a magnificent lady of grace who steals the attention of any dining room. For all of her well-heeled manner, her thoughts will run the same way as the rest of them when good lobster and Sancerre have been devoured.

Courage and shuffle those cards….

Thursday York Card – Yorkshire Oaks Day – Big Price Tips 25/1, 20/1, 12/1 and the rest – Set your stakes to dangerous

Good evening from the Major – Our one shot wonder tip on Monday came romping in at an SP of 5/2, advised 7/2 and while the Major had no time last night to review the opening card of the Ebor meeting, I have had a look at the riches of tomorrows races.

To York, to battle, Shabash young Pathan

Good luck to Mike, Holly, Chris and the Stickeyes team at York – Hope you have a great time, that link is for you and from such a major internet hub as themajorversusthebookie, it will have an impact on your business – I hope between the conversations held tomorrow around how you can get Holly’s party bus #reactivated, you find some winners in the card preview I have prepared.

To all – The Major is taking a summer break. I may have a few brief posts from France, I may have the odd guest tipster pop in but normal service including the recently highly profitable Saturday sermons will return from 30th August.

Let us see if I can board that ferry with a wedge of Euros fit to permit an English gentleman to romp through the provinces of France enjoying the best of their food, wine, brandy and women of darken eye with wanton glint.

The Majors trip to France coincides with next Sundays Prix Morny card from Deauville. I may try to make it, I will file a report if I do – Petetre, this will require a significant draw down on the bank of Brownie Points, n’est pas, c’est la vie.

To York, the Knavesmire and a battle with that filthy enemy, lying low in the gutter a tinge of red in his eye, dark sodden heavy clothes swathe his wire frame. With an air of wickedness and a smell of decomposition, do not be fooled, his mind is a devious swirling vortex, his prices set to fool those of weak mind.

Fear not, the Major is here to help. We shall daub our war paint and I shall slam my staff into the ground, to battle.

2pm Yearling Stakes

The prize money on show for this Class 2 is such that it attracts some of the finest juveniles. I am sure this deserves group status, maybe this will change next year.

There are plenty of interest in the twenty runners and perhaps the one that has shown best form has been Crown Dependency. This Hannon entry (one of three for the famed juvenile specialist) was defeated a mere two and a quarter lengths in the high class Norfolk Stakes.

That day Crown Dependency was pinched for room and so you could argue was unlucky. He was however well drawn and raced on the right side of the track and overall 3/1 seems very stingy against this field. That said, big race and big field experience is a benefit. Well regarded for top connections but not for the Major.

So where do we go? Last year this race was won by Wootton Bassett the Fahey horse who had a stablemate back in third. His best filly this year, Miss Work of Art seems exposed and so the Majors search for a winner…. continues.

Well, having spent some time trying to read which maiden races may be the ones to track, I am interested in the twice raced Gerfalcon. The Salisbury race is proving to be the source of other future winners and so that Class 5 win is worth more than the bare result. Of some interest.

Hestian is a real eye catcher. The Naas race which this rather fetching bay colt took could not look better with second An Ghalanta going on to win again and earning a rating of 95. This one looks decent and I much prefer this 6/1 to the 3/1 about Crown Dependency.

This is not the selection though, although it probably should be. For that I go to a horse that is priced at 20/1, Roger Sez. This horse has enough experience for these big races having raced 4 times and won 3. It is overpriced in my view based on its ugly way of winning. It tends to be off the bridle before most but is a scrapper and will punch on regardless. The last Newmarket win was in a good standard of race and I am willing to risk that the horse is under rated at the price.

2.30 Lowther Stakes – Group 2

What a cracking little renewal, here come the girls – Some of the best European fillies do battle. A Queen Mary winner, the Cherry Hinton winner and Fire Lily who is well regarded, not to mention Angels will Fall, a previous winning tip from the Major.

Best Terms, the Hannon horse must be feared and would be a serious candidate but in good to soft at York, I am not convinced that her prominent style will suit. That said, I think 8/1 is a great each way bet.

The give under foot is a a significant factor and one that gives us decent evidence of a likely big run from Angels will Fall.

This is a tougher contest than the Group 3 won by her when tipped up by the Major at 8/1 and she beat some decent sorts. The way she finished that day suggested there was still more to come. Some edging was involved near the finishing and so it is reasonable to expect further improvement with experience, 4/1 feels about right maybe with a little of the pricing on our side, I would not put you off.

However, the Major opts for a piece of value again. At 12/1 Hello Glory seems ignored. The maiden she won near the end of July was good. She took it well, coming from deep. The second that day went on to win another maiden with comfort and I suspect that Hello Glory has plenty more to give.

I think her price is helped by the fact that she is not involved in the form lines of the main protagonists and so less considered. Shabash, get stuck in – Right or wrong, I never hesitate to follow a thought that is against the crowd, come on Hello Glory, show me I am right!

I love racing – that sense before you witness how the event which you planned so well in your head, that moment where every opinion you have is certain fact… It is as though the whole universe was created solely for your own purpose, moulded about you.

3.05 Goddard Stakes

This mile handicap is a tricky conundrum in a puzzle, disguised as a mystery. 20 runners improvers, suspicious horses on kind marks on old forms, the enemy slinks in the shadows of such cards. Where to cast thy eye with trust?

The Major spent most time on this race but feel I remain least informed. That said, a few things caught my eye.

On Ground – Axiom, Harrison George, Pintura, Masked Dance, Leviathan?, Roker Park (if more rain)

On Recent Form – Pintura, Markazzi, Axiom, Smarty Socks

Pintura looks quite well treated for his Ascot run, up just 2lbs for a tasty 3rd.

Lovelace (40/1) is one to watch like a hawk in the market. It has dropped like a stone in water through the weights and a bit of cash might just signify a return to form. Harrison George has a similar profile as does Cashelger and Mont Agel.

Accepting we might be beaten by a horse returning to form off a plummeting mark, I am looking for an improver. The one I opt for is the unlikely 25/1 shot Roker Park. I will be more interested if there is more precipitation but this mud lover has had decent recent form with the exception of the run last time. He was staying on at the finish though and Hoof It the winner is widely accepted as a group horse masquerading as a handicapper. 25/1, have a tasty slice and send me the postcard!

Of the rest, Axiom and Pintura are of greatest interest.

3.40 Yorkshire Oaks

This Group One, champions series race is another reason that if God were walking the Earth, he would head up the M1 on his motorbike wearing no crash helmet and spend an afternoon in the good Yorkshire air.

Banimpire is a tough cookie, she has improved and battled through every race. It is with hesitation I suggest she won’t have the class to win this. 6/1 is very fair.

Blue Bunting, the 1,000 Guineas winner is of most interest. 11/4 is an honest price held up by the other quality in the field.

Crystal Capella while looking better than ever this year, is probably held, although I think the Stoute yards string are looking well of late. Laughing Lashes is one I would consider to be better than 10/1.

Overall, 11/4 Blue Bunting is a price for me. Here is some analysis for you that only the Major would provide… In the last ten years, 5 winners of the Yorkshire Oaks have been classic generation (3 year olds) and 5 older horses. In the last twenty years, of the eleven classic generation winners, the biggest priced winner of all eleven was just 7/2. When there is a fancied 3yo running, it bodes well.

Listen to the Jesus voice in your head, you know it speaks the truth … Now back Blue Bunting with a roll of notes fit to choke a reasonably sized European mammal …… thank me later.

4.15 – Galtres Stakes

How Mirror Lake was dropped two pounds for a very decent second in a listed race last time is a mystery to the Major. That said, 8/1 as a price is OK but the Major is uncertain of the form of the Perrett string. Considered with a luke warm view.

Wild Coco is a Stoute horse who if you put a line through the last run on the grounds that the conditions did not have enough cut, looks like a horse on the improve. Interesting.

The same has to be said of Field of Miracles whose Banimpire form gets tested in the Yorkshire Oaks – If the firmer conditions were against last time, then this will be more like it and a big run should be anticipated. Exciting.

All of these are contenders but the Major opts for Amazing Beauty at 8/1. This O’Brien horse stayed on well over this distance at the Curragh and while her form is a little hit and miss, there is enough to suggest she could have more to follow.

4.50 – The Lucky Last – Eventmasters.co.uk Stakes

Mother of Mary. Another 20 runners, another puzzle. Let’s get lucky.

Sea Change could be of interest if tuned up after a long time away from the track. Interesting and money would be significant.

The one the major is attracted to though is 7/1 Tuscan Gold. This 4 year old is up 20lbs since May 2010 and the improvement is unlikely to have stopped. Already gelded, this horse looks like he has a decent chance of bagging a race at this level and in the hands of Sir Michael Stoute, I am happy to back a big run today.

Good luck to you. In the last few weeks, one regular follower has dropped me notes of thanks. The Major has a simple view, none are required. You can read the information for free, that is as far as my obligation goes. Either choose to follow it or choose not to. I do not profess to have miracle answers but I do back horses to profit on the blog which is proven in my results (not updated in many months as lost the motivation too!). Do not blame the information provided, only question how you used it! In this relationship, the Major refuses to accept your criticism as much as I cannot accept the praise for a decision you made.

Courage and shuffle the cards.

Horseracing Tips from Epsom on Oaks Day

The third British classic of the season is run tomorrow at Epsom Downs and the Major has worked his way through the card this evening to advise on each Epsom Downs race.  What a lovely looking day to be racing.  There is something whole hearted and wonderful about a days racing of such quality in such fine surround.  If there I hope you eat good salmon and drink fine wines including great champagne.

Misty for Me - KABOOOOOOM - Has the Major ever let you down? C'mon Seamie get the job done

May continues to be a profitable month, particularly for racing tips.  With the Oaks and the Derby to come in the next 48 hours, here we go!  Load up the cannons and ensure your lancers are readied.

A quick word about the Derby.  A couple of people have asked me to have a look at it.  The Queens horse, winner of the Dante, Carlton House, has according to the Racing Post been declared fit.

I was always looking to get Carlton House beaten on Saturday anyway so with him declared fit and still in the market, it makes sense to get on my selection now.  If only I had a selection!

The main Derby horse of interest as I write is Memphis Tennessee for Aidan O’Brien.  33/1 seems a fancy price for this Derby horse.  Recital, the 5/1 stable-mate beat Memphis in May by 1 and a half lengths which is not a huge distance for such a swing in pricing.  In addition, this was the first run of the season for Memphis Tennessee and the O’Brien team have really needed to get that first run into their horses this year, take Roderic O’Connor the Irish Derby winner as an example, or Recital for that matter.

No bet yet, I want to see what is said of the 5 O’Brien runners.  I think Colm O Donoghue will be sacrificed as a pace maker and Memphis may be run prominently but maybe not burned, remember that O’Brien jnr was trusted with the ride on Roderic, interesting.  That said, the same jockey looks set for pacemaking later in the day so maybe 33/1 is a shocking price!  I will sleep on it.

To tomorrows Epsom action….. three mouth-watering group races….

1.40pm Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes

Antara will have a big role to play if on top form but I prefer the chances of Timepiece.  This beautiful bay filly trained by Henry Cecil is likely to be better at 4 and will be fitter for a reappearance run – This was always the first target and we will find out if she is good enough.

However, neither of the two market principals are the Majors selection. Instead I opt for the lightly raced three year old Clinical.  Wrapped up as a juvenile with a couple of runs, the handy weight allowance for three year olds mean this girl races off just 8-8.  Sir Mark Prescott is in fine form with 4 winners from 12 runners.  The form is not in the book, the maiden win has mixed messages and the Group 3 defeat following it up was concrete.

That said, Clinical has some bigger race entries and they are unlikely to be fanciful, a chance is taken at 9/1.

2.10 The Mile Handicap

This is a tricky affair and having spent half an hour ruling a few out, I am still left with a decidedly dodgy task trying to decide where the value lies.

The favourite looks very interesting, Dance and Dance is available at 13/2 and while no certainty, it is very interesting to see that Ryan Moore gets the ride, the first he has had for the stable.

The Major would be tempted with that and also with Sowaylm who is the Godolphin and Frankie horse.  Available at 16/1, this is an interesting contender.  Watching its second only ever run, it veered right out of the stalls, ran green and lost by a short head.  Its final run of the season, qualifying Sowaylm for a handicap mark was on soft ground and it looked all wrong.  A line through that run and 16/1 is tasty if it has come on again from 3 to 4.

2.45 Coronation Cup Group One

This is a race!

St Nicholas Abbey, apple of O’Briens eye and constant disappointment in injury and race running in it’s classic season has returned in style this year.  After being beaten by a triumph runner up and filly, St Nicholas Abbey has seemingly come good, he is a warm favourite here at evens money, I think he will go odds on.

Midday though is a top class animal and I think 6/4 is way too much.  5/4 the pair for the Major and that means a chunky slice is advised on Midday.  If St Nick puts his best foot forward he may just yet be a wonder horse, Midday is a great benchmark and I am far from convinced that she will be beaten tomorrow.

A quick word for Dandino, if allowed to get his head in front, he will go down fighting, although he should not be good enough in this company.

3.25 Investec Investment Handicap

This is just as tricky as the first handicap on the cards and there are many in with decent chances.

Again Ryan Moore gets an eye-catching ride on Right Step for Alan Jarvis and at 13/2 this one is not bad value.  The York second last time out looked OK.

I have an allergy for horses that constantly look like they are improving without getting their head in front at the crucial moment.  They tend to rise up the handicap steadily mirroring their apparent improvement.

Beaumonts Party the High Chapparal progeny is 3/1 favourite and is well in with the handicapper despite a penalty following an easy Chepstow win.  I have always like David Probert, some trainers seem to have left him out after he lost his claim, interesting but not much love in 3/1.

Dhaamer has a dangerous look about it.

The one the Major settles on as worth a punt is the 10/1 shot Resurge.  Not the most spectacular sort but it has course form.  Epsom can be a difficult course, up down, hard lefts, cambers, it counts if you can rely on a horse not having to change legs throughout.  12/1 it is worth an each way shot.

4.05 Investec Oaks

The Oaks.  The finest test for the three year old fillies.  An absolute punting minefield in some years.  Trying to judge which fillies will step up well to a mile and a half is tough work

Blue Bunting battled well to win a 1,000 Guineas and at 9/4 I have to say it is poor value in the Majors view.  Godolphin are a major force again in the classics but despite this horse being bred to be better at a mile and a half, it is no 9/4 shot for me.  There is plenty of slip between the crouch and the leap is an old saying and so despite the breeding suggesting a mile and a half should see Blue Bunting in better light, the Major believes this is over-considered in the price.

There is a clear and obvious candidate for the Major….. 8/1 priced Misty for Me.

Bet like men, bet on the nose.

This horse is well rehearsed at the top level having won three Group ones.  It has never competed over more than a mile but the way she stays on, it does not look an issue.  Losing by a distance in the 1,000 – I can write that off as the first run of the season which many O’Brien horses have shown they have badly needed.

It is the stable second string to Wonder of Wonders who at 7/2 is just too short to be the Majors selection.  I would not put anyone off but no thank you to 7/2.

Get stuck into Misty for Me.  Thank me later.

4.50 Investec Surrey Stakes

Sometimes things have to be simple.  Hoorah looks classy and this race is far more compatible being dropped back a furlong.

The rest look substandard and at evens, I have to say you would have to work hard to find better value.

I know some people cannot bring themselves to a backing a short price sort so I need to offer something.  Chilworth Lad at 9/1 would be my idea of the best priced alternative but I expect that to be a place prospect only.

5.20 Investec Opportunity Stakes

Fityaan looks like the winner.  The Warwick win last time out was achieved with a minimum of fuss, tracking the leader and going clear with a quick shake up.

I cannot find a reasonable alternative and suggest that Paddy Powers 11/4 is a price to take.

Wish I was there.