Tag Archives: census

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.