Tag Archives: brown panther

The Sermon for Royal Ascot – Thursday Tips – The Majors good form continues!

Good Evening from the Major who writes from a very humid Worcestershire scene where the gentlest of cool breezes brings welcome relief.  There is a dirty haze itching away at my clammy skin and my other comfort is a cold beer.  Such a delight on the tongue.

Now Wednesday at Ascot came and went and once more the Major was at the payout counter.  We scored another two winners advised at 4s and 8s.  Anthem Alexander and Muteela delivered and both were well backed… I am starting to believe my own hype. 

However, I backed Treve like I had Thursdays Racing Post in hand and advised anyone foolish enough to listen, to do the very same.  Oh dear, drop in trip, good ground? Heavy race against Cirrus Des Aigles…. I don’t want to think about it. 

Look, I want you to come, I want you to win but I cannot pretend that I have any of the magic beans.  No no dear friends, all I have is endeavour, attritional losses and hope – That is all your Churchillian correspondent can offer.

I am tired and I have other work to do so you will excuse me getting down to work.  Forgive me for lacking the usual verbosity, a slice of history or a touch of philosophy would normally be on offer but the guage is dropping and wavering close to the red line. 

I need to do need some sleep.  That is not always straight forward for a mind like my own.  Wandering lost in the loneliness of night, the good lady asleep beside me, I like to drift through ‘Sailing By’ and end up empathising and projecting myself into the lives of fisherman in some vast barren desolate oceanic monotony…. Utsire, Dogger or Trafalgar, the gale and storm force winds the moving systems….. losing their identity.  In that moment, my own thoughts are calmed and the fear that sits beneath, the one we all share, it is at peace in my momentarily serene self… we are all going to die but for a moment, it is OK.

Morbid, maybe.  It is the tragedy of human existence but while there is moonlight, love and romance, we shall blunder on like some thoughtless wounded animal.  To Ascot and to the mothership…. I have no idea whether landing my mothership will bring me satisfaction, pleasure or peace.  I doubt it, it won’t be enough in all likelihood.  Then again, I do not know what trinket or experience can, so I guess I will have to settle for chasing it, how empty we feel when the game is no longer afoot; I fear the morthership as much as I yearn for it.  Perhaps that is where the pleasure lies… The pursuit, the thrill, the game, adventure my friends, adventure.  To Royal Ascot.

Thursday Ascot Tips

The Norfolk opens the card and I would not be anyones friend by suggesting it could go to The Great War.  I expected him to rock up in the Coventry on Tuesday and while the Ballydoyle trooper that did go turned out to be short of the required class, I think they have a contender here.  He has not been under pressure in either of his wins to date.

However, it was 2001 when O’Brien last won a Norfolk Stakes and the price of the Great War is no fun for anyone.  As an alternate, I present the American raider, To Be Determined.  Wesley Ward has done well with his previous raiders and he is 1 from 2 this week, after Hootenanny absolutely scooted up on Tuesday.  Now I found it telling, that in the aftermath of that victory, Ward suggested he greater chances yet to run this week (confidence you see)…. since todays runner, Spanish Pipedream, was not quite as good, I am thinking that his Elusive Quality filly might offer some great value at 8/1 (Coral and a few places, 7/1 generally).  He won the Norfolk last year with a Scat Daddy colt, No Nay Never and despite the poor record for fillies in the race, I am suggesting a turn up.

Then it is the Hampton Court, or whatever they call it these days!  I have been a fan of Cannock Chase who has been performing very well indeed.  I used to cycle and walk on Cannock Chase and having lived close to Litchfield (well Rugeley if I am entirely honest) I would drive late across those darkened woods and see the huge bright eyes of the deer watching me from the forest, haunting, especially with the engine off and glorious silence heightening your senses.

Anyway, let us leave that scene and figure out who wins… Well there is one I like in this, Barley Mow.  It is a Hannon / Hughes combo and I really like the way this horse has progressed.  I think his last run on soft ground at Epsom was not a set of conditions he would handle and as such am happy to draw a thick line through it.  Prior to that he had half this rabble behind him at HQ and is one of the runners here who will enjoy the firm conditions.  13/2, have a slice.

Then the Ribblesdale and I like the look of the filly Bracelet who ran a disappointing race in the Guineas but has been a progressive filly before that.  She is a mighty price for that one stain on her record at 12/1, take your chances.

Leading Light is the hot property for the Gold Cup and the Leger winner has plenty of positives on his ledger including a very good strike rate of 6 from 8.  Yet, borderline evens is not much value given the quality of the opposition and I want to be with something else.  Last years winner Estimate would be a popular repeat for Her Majesty and there are positive yard noises being made. 

Brown Panther has always been a decent sort but this season has really come into his own with two performances of high order at Chester and Sandown.  He has never been out of the first three when the ground is firm and he is a leading contender.  I am also a growing admirer of Richard Kingscote in the saddle too.  Respected, possible.

Simenon is a horse I have followed on his global adventures but to the detriment of my wealth, he could come good and I would be most displeased, Mullins has his runners well tuned…  Tac de Boistron is a fine animal but everything points to him  needing to get his toe in and he will not get that here.

At some point, you have to push your chips in and I have to think the market has things about right.  Leading Light is unexposed and a Leger winner and Brown Panther looks in the form of his life.  Both are unbeaten on the ground.  On price and on slightly superior trainer form and with a jockey I have signalled my liking for… Brown Panther – 8/1 in a place.

The schedule of Royal Ascot leaves us with two conundrums to solve at the end of the card.  If you have not made your money yet, you are in trouble!

The Brittania is a real enigma, wrapped in a puzzle and then rammed down your throat!  Idea looks one of the real unexposed sorts and after his easy win at Kempton it is hard to assess the merit of the form versus the near stone rise he has to shoulder.  Not for me, I am never sure about transferring the Kempton form, I shall leave that where it is!

Ger Lyons does not bring that many over to Ascot and so I have to think that Third Dimension is good value for his last win at Limerick.  16/1 is generally available about the gelding and drawn 31, I hope he can break, get prominent and get us another big price winner.

Then the lucky last, which helped us enormously today.  Many are of interest… Fire Fighting who would not have liked the Doncaster conditions he got bogged down in.  I do like Windshear a lot but given I have overlooked Cannock Chase earlier, I would be reneging on my line of thought to switch formlines now.  Clearly earlier results might dictate a change of position…

No, I am going to signal a great day for Team Dascombe and suggest Art of War can go well at a tasty 18/1 – He was dogged in victory rather than spectacular over 9f previously and it suggests two things.  One, his attitude is not in question and secondly, this step up is likely a good move.  Good luck to Manor House.

Courage, roll the dice.

The Saturday Sermon – Doncaster Tips (St Leger), 20/1 Chester Tip and the St Leger Curragh Action – Mr John Dunlop and the subject of patience….

Good morning from the Major who writes from the Birmingham suburb of Yardley where an overcast heaven misleads.  The air has a lightness, it will be a nice day.

Camelot bids to be the first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky…. Good luck Team Ballydoyle

This is the time of year for the Major.  It is dark enough at night and in the morning for a man who sleeps lightly to rest properly.  the sun does not burn at my fair Northern skin and my eyes relax more having to squint less against the bright light.

What a cracking day of racing too.  Both the English and Irish St Leger meets (although two entirely different races) and Camelot bids very strongly to become the first triple crown winner the Major will have had the pleasure to witness.

Fair play to connections for taking this route.  Doncaster races must be absolutely made over – The St Leger has lost a good deal of lustre over recent years.  Watching Masked Marvel struggle yesterday, I wonder what impact this grueling affair can have on three year old horses.  This might be why top owners have taken the best horses into other races, I do not know for sure.

What is certain is that the St Leger has lost some of the Group One class it is bestowed with.  The arrival of unbeaten Camelot is a shot in the arm for the last of our classics.

John Dunlop announced retirement this week and what better way to mark your retirement announcement than to have the winner in the feature race on Friday, Times Up ran the trainer proud.

Plenty of accolades have been sprayed about regarding Mr Dunlop and the Major will not try to do what others know better.  I will say something about patience though.

Last night, my father in law watched the Shawshank Redemption.  Like many, it is a film he has seen quite a few times before and knowing the outcome adds to the enjoyment.  The subtleties that transpire over a period of time are nurtured and grow.

What a different film it would be if the prison break had been effected over the course of a year., not through guile and perfection but through reaction and urgency?  Where we buy into the aloof lead character is that without uttering a word, he spent half a lifetime achieving something in silence.  A thing he was happy to carry on his soul alone.

The Major sadly is a product of the modern generation.  I am used to having desires fulfilled here and now.  Food is cheap and available and not something you grow.  Purchases of aspiration come immediately, saving is something you do not need to do when you can acquire cheap credit, why wait… This is the lesson of the modern generation.

As someone whose hungers are avaricious and grasping, I think I am able to spot a patient man better than most and Mr Dunlop strikes me as such.  The manner in which he built a training empire.  The manner in which his main owner won the Gold Cup (his stated personal dream) the year before he died after decades of trying.  The manner in which Mr Dunlop carries himself.  Ah yes, I recognise what I do not exhibit.

Mr Dunlop leaves a racing legacy through his sons, again something deliberate which he created.  Spoils of satisfaction are greater for those who built rather than bought.  I imagine he is a content man and wish him all the best for retirement.

To the sports

Doncaster St Leger Tips

Camelot has brushed aside all opposition he has faced and is n better than 4/9 to complete his triple crown bid at Donnie this afternoon.  His turn of foot when putting the derby to bed was devastating and why would we think that staying would be an issue over this 500m odd further?  He won the derby by five lengths being eased, why would the St Leger distance pose a greater problem?

Main Sequence, second in the derby has no right to be reversing the form in my view.  Yet O’Brien has issued a slight warning about staying the distance.  If you ask me, that is simply bluster, the sort of thing a Premier League manager does to deflect potential blame – Camelot should win and O’Brien should accept that as fact.

It is a race in which you can score terrific each way value.  Gosden has a terrific record in this race and when pushed, Buick has selected to ride Thought Worthy.  I am not sure he has got this choice right but perhaps the sluggish look to his Irish Derby race might be ground connected, it was slow that day.

I am going to suggest two lively outsiders for you.

Thomas Chippendale is lightly raced but was beaten well by Thought Worthy at York.  I am not reading too much into that as conditions were rattling and I do not think that this one acted on it – I would not put you off an each way slice at 28/1.

However, the Major is going for a 16/1 tip for the St Leger (Ladbrokes go quarter odds the place) with Guarantee.

If we are going to get Camelot beat, it will be the unlikely circumstance that the favourite does not stay.  Dartford is in the race to ensure a decent pace and I think they might go quickly enough to try to exploit any potential stamina issues – This would set things up well enough for Guarantee who will be doing his best work at the death.

Late and fast, grimly staying on…. Let us see if Guarantee can give us the each way value.  If you can take it, have a lumpy bet on the favourite too at 4/9.

The Irish St Leger – Tips for the Curragh

the Irish St Leger is an open aged affair and Gosden sends Aiken over on a raid.  This could bear fruit as the Chantilly race he won was a very good Group affair.  That said, his form in the Hardwicke was not brilliant.

Fame and Glory has won several times at the Curragh and the O’Brien trained favourite will no doubt be popular.

Brown Panther is another British raider with a sporting chance and the form with the others is well tied.

Hartani looks progressive to me and while he did not win his Leger trial, it was an eye-catching run all the same.  The classic generation gets a generous lump of weight in this race but do not have a great race record.  Interesting but I am not convinced this will be the first three year old in the last eleven years to win the Irish St Leger.  Incidentally the last horse to do so was the incredible Vinnie Roe who won the first of four St Leger crowns for Dermot Weld at the age of three.

The Major has thought long about the likely way the race will pan out and in the finish I am going to suggest that Britain can complete a hat-trick of wins in this race.

I am opting for Aiken, his trainer works miracles with these sorts and 5/1 looks generous to me.

2.40 Chester – Listed Mile

After the loss of Never Can Tell yesterday, what better result that if Area Fifty One or Good Morning Star could win the feature Chester race for Dr Khoukash.

The market seems to think that Modun is the main threat but the Major has some serious doubts about this 13/8 favourite.  He has been tried at a higher level than this and I am pretty sure he is under-priced here.

Instead the Major is going to stick with a horse that I still think has some class to show, if they can crack the code.

Naseem Alyasmeen is 20/1 with Ladbrokes and at this price, I suggest an investment.  The Hamilton run did not look right to the Major and I remain optimistic that we will get a tune out of this girl sooner or later.  Crucially she has form around the tight turns of Chester winning a handicap here in the summer (although off a lowly mark).  Have a slice and thank me later.

Doncaster Tips – Champagne Stakes

Having covered the St Leger, I am back to Donnie for the second race of the day, the Group Two Champagne Stakes.

Toronado won a decent listed Ascot contest and looks well worth a crack at the Champagne Stakes.  Representing last years winning trainer, surely a decent chance.

Tha’ir continues to run well for Godolphin who have won the race twice in the last five years.  The last run at Sandown in Group Three company was pretty good – I just wonder if the bridesmaid position beckons again for this one who looks difficult to place.

5/4 shot Dundonnell won the Acomb Stakes very well last time out and you can see why he heads the market.  Under pressure at the end of that race, he seemed to lug right for the Major though and that is enough to put me off.

On balance, I am tipping Toronado for the Champagne at 11/4 (Hills or Ladbrokes) – Decent price that.

Football Tips

International breaks give teams a chance to regroup and I would not be over-keen to read too much into the form of teams entering the break.

As such, the football tips the Major likes are 17/19 shots, Spurs to win at Reading and 16/11 Villa to do the business at home to Swansea.  Have a double on that!

May your dinner be fuelled by a long-awaited 20/1 winner.  A generous hearty meal awaits where wine may flow and hours pass.  With good company a man can be simply content.

Courage, roll those dice.

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….

The Majors Saturday Gambling Sermon – Ripon tips, The Hungerford – Tasty horseracing tips plus Best Premier League Bet – Kaboooom

Good morning from murky heavy Defford where the sky weighs heavy on the earth, holding all in a cold and damp embrace.  Let us awaken the heavens with a punting celebration.

The Royal Ascot win of Brown Panther with Dubawi Gold in behind (red white arm stripe)

What a fantastic sporting weekend we have laid out before us.  The Premier League is back and I have the best bet of the weekend (in the Majors humble opinion), maybe Ipswich winning 3-0 last weekend after being offered to you at 2/1 is a sign that this is my football season?  Unlikely, the Major prefers math to superstition.

We have the 4th day of the test which may well be weather effected.  1/16 for England to win with two days left?  What other bank pays out at near on 7% for a maximum two-day investment??  Not for the Major…

We have Group 2 racing at Newbury with the Hungerford.  A sign of the quality, is that 6/1 is freely available about Delegator.  No Frankel and no Dream Ahead but with Dubawi Gold and Excelebration, we have plenty of options from the classic generation, see the Majors view below.

Test matches, premier league, group racing, Wales v England rugby, Tri nations rugby….. it is like a great banquet.

There is a far eastern parable of heaven and hell which may well be of Buddhist origin.  As a child, I remember my vicar telling us about a heaven and hell.  In this hell, men (there is probably a ladies section too) sit around a grand table on which is a mighty feast.  The insanity is that each man has only chop stick creating a bedlam as noone is able to eat the great delights before them.

In heaven, the scene is much the same but each man works with his neighbour to feast.  In this way, I urge you to join the Major today to find winners.  Let us meet the enemy on the field of battle with a steel eye, ready for the coolness of battle.  Daub your war paint on your face young man, it is time.  To the sports…

3.30 Ripon – Great St Wilfred Stakes

Let us start with the mother ship of the days selections.  The ground so often a key factor is an essential element today.

I do like it when ground gives you a real advantage.  It is the Majors view that ground specialists, especially when conditions are reasonable extreme (and soft with rain expected for 6f sprinters is definitely extreme!).

Not only are we looking for something that can handle true soft, we want to be drawn low that can take advantage of a significant advantage on Ripons 6f course when the ground is soft.  On this note, the Major is happy to share something – This is where I go to check my draw bias data, just so you know I am not always winging it!

This takes a huge field of 20 conundrums and filters it down to three for the Major.  Atlantic Sport, Parisian Pyramid, Fathsta and Confessional.  28/1, 16/1, 14/1 and 12/1 respectably…. tasty.

There may be others lurking that will be fine in the more testing conditions but the Major thinks that these are the likely 4.  For example, Tajneed, handles good to soft but on 3 runs on anything worse has yet to place.  Plus 9 stone 7 lbs may be a fair weight to lump in these conditions.

Splitting the final four has worked through like this.  Atlantic Sport is a Mick Channon horse and I am not sure his string are in the best touch.  He has had a few winners in the last few weeks but less than a quarter of his horses are placing.

The one that appeals the most is Fastha.  Simcock is in reasonable touch and this horse has placed 9 from 12 runs on good to soft or soft.  Interestingly, Robert Winston gets a debut ride for the stable and stall 2 is a nice spot to be in with speedsters Tajneed and Evens and Odds ready to set it up for this soft loving closer.  William Hill are holding their 12/1, get involved.

3.05 Newbury – Geoffrey Freer – Group 3

I can forgive Brown Panthers poor show in Germany and suggest backing the Michael Owen owned horse for this.  The race looks like a decent trial for the St Leger and on those grounds, the Highclere horse (not that many in the Hannon stable?) must rate as a major danger.

I like Brown Panthers chances here.  Racing off the same price as Census does not seem right.  Don’t get me wrong, Census could win but my market would be 3/1 Brown Panther, 13/2 Census.  On these grounds, 5/1 is a bit of a price in my view and advise you to take a slice.

p.s. Claremont could be a huge 14/1 shot if putting his best foot forward.

3.40 Newbury CGA Hungerford Stakes – Group 2

This is a decent enough renewal, and we have a warm enough favourite in Excelebration.

There is a very even record between the older generations and the classic generation in the Hungerford.  Given that many three-year olds are showing this is a decent crop with major prizes like the King George going top Nathaniel, you have to fancy the two feasible winners that start here.  Dubawi Gold and Excelebration.

Of the two I have to say I think the hot favourite Excelebration is the horse for me.  Although the ground is currently good, I think good to soft will be more likely at the off and it is probably that way already.  I read with interest Richard Hughes article recently in the Racing Post regarding the reticence of courses to declare the word soft in order to keep horses in races…. interesting!

Excelebration won on the continent in soft conditions and the form behind Frankel has a certainty to it.  Dropping to 7f is not a problem.  5/2 is available with Ladbrokes and William Hill, smash that in is the Majors strong advice.

11.15 Arlington Million – Chicago

We have a number of European raiders for the card that holds the Arlington Million.  I think the racing story of the day will unfold here too.

After we have seen Treasure Beach try to take the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes (9.52pm) (Secretariat being the Majors favourite ever horse watch the Belmont win) which I think will be too short for him, we get a cracking Arlington Million.

The story that I think will make the front page of the Sunday morning Racing Post is Hayley Turner winning a Grade One in the States and catapulting herself into the international racing centre stage.

Make no mistake, I think Hayley is a cracking jockey but not being too shabby a looking lass as well, she has a touch of star quality too.  Her ride in a premier American race tonight on Wigmore Hall is no forlorn hope.  In fact, 5/1 shows it is seriously considered.  I just have a sense that the race might pan out with the two big guns, Cape Blanco (O’Brien horse praying for rain) and Gio Ponti going at each others throats and allowing Hayley to come over the top of them as the Americans say… ‘on the drive, down the stretch’ a strange people.

On that note, this week I finally realised that if I were not British, I would want to be Indian.  Not American or Australian or Canadian or any other English speaking nation.  Indian culture sits well alongside British culture.  Watching the whole episode of British rioting you cannot fail to be impressed with the demonstration of family and community values in the Sikh community.  That…. and who can refuse a decent Chicken Tikka Massala?

Off the track and to the sports……

In the 4th day of the test, I fancy Graeme Swann to make the most of the pitch and 5/2 that he is the top English bowler is a good bet in my view.

In the Premier League I think it is useful to think of what happens on opening days.  There is a perception and an overplay in books that the Major has examined.  It is to do with promoted teams showing they are better than expected.

I think there is a touch of overpricing on matches involving average Premier League teams and newly promoted clubs that people think might be good.

No better example than the Majors big tip of the day.  I love the 23/10 about Bolton to win at QPR (Victor Chandler).  Bolton have a couple of injuries notably to Elmander, but they are still a respectable Premier League club.  I am not sure all is well at QPR.  They have not bought in the summer and at one point the dogs were barking that Warnock was on his way out (traded at evens).  No smoke without fire.  I would back QPR for the drop and I would back Warnock to be the first manager out of work.  I would definitely back Owen Coyles outfit to win today at better than 2/1…. Shabash!  Take a hefty slice and if you are brave enough to wager the stake that Jesus tells you to, send me a postcard.

Cardiff look a certainty to take Bristol City at 8/11 – Maybe the double with Bolton appeals to you.

That is it from the Major this week.  I hope your dinner is fine.  I suggest seafood, a medley of fish, scallop and other various shell-fish.  Drink with a nice New Zealand white wine and do this in good company with a sparkling attractive sort that knows not to talk too much.  As the bill arrives it is rude to show her the roll of notes fresh from the enemies grasp but she will be looking eagle-eyed so as long as your deliberate revelation is subtle, well, you will be at partners that very night, see if I am wrong.

Courage, roll those dice.