Good evening from the Major who writes from a breezy but fair Worcestershire scene where the fire crackles, the beer is cold and the good lady is preparing a king prawn curry – Ah, it is good to be alive.
There are moments, flickers, moments in the script when the sense of being alive seems inexplicably to come to the fore of your mind. Recently, you will recall the Majors sojourn to the emerald isle. A most satisfactory time was had. While driving through Dublin, Daniel, number one son and heir to the Majors fortune (not that there will be a fortune, more likely a debt) spied an unusual building and exclaimed that ‘how could anyone build that?’
The simplicity of the question took me by some surprise. It is the wonderment that made my heart skip, the sheer astonishment that as a child you can experience but as a spark from the fire diminishes as we weary.
Such spirit, waking moments, it is the reason why I refuse to lay off when on a bet. I was drinking with my brother a few weeks back and bought him a treble, in which the first two legs landed. He felt uncomfortable, even before he spoke I knew it, he was rubbing the ticket and twitching at the prospect of saying something. The thing is, the win would have been useful and the conflict he felt was talking to me about laying off.
Now, I am a humble soul and would not begrudge you or any other man your own opinion. Yet, my own brother, a man who knows his own mind well felt an impulsive hesitancy in my company.
As it happened, he was waiting on a Kidderminster win. He played a few safety bets and it was financially rewarding as Kidderminster failed in the last leg of the treble, rather miserably losing with ten men.
Was this right? Was his correction emotionally as well as rationally good value? I am unsure. A gift, the urge to see it through, his understanding of my own reluctance to lie down in the face of a gamble – I just feel it is cheating, it is robbing yourself of the thrill you might enjoy… After all, we spin by just the once and whatever raises the heart, engages the mind, brings the lust of blood, well… it is a rarer and most beautiful thing.
Leave your chips on the table my friends, to the sports…
The Liquidator looks the bet to me being 9/4 and with obvious advantages. I must confess to not being a fan of the Pipe stable but The Liquidator carries great form into the race and unlike my other fancy (Garde La Victoire) he has proven mudlark status. Upazo does not appeal on pure form terms to me and the Henderson yard (who are in fine form, with fewer than usual runners in the last fortnight) send out two but both are overlooked. Of them, Josses Hill is clearly the most interesting but I do not like the form as he has had to battle to victory the last twice – That said, greenness could be a factor and I would not be outraged to be corrected.
All the dogs are barking for Captain Chris but I cannot have him. He is not the sort I trust at all, for a start I think three flat miles on good ground is his bag and this, while shorter and on softer (thus an acceptable compromise for many) will not be his ideal conditions. Twinlight has been talked down by the trainer but honestly, I feel he has an excellent chance, one might question why they are bringing him across otherwise – The yard seem to be in perpetual good form which is something the Ditcheat team cannot boast and Ghizao while loving the ground is short on the required form.
Black Thunder won in a small field last time which might put some off his short odds but I have to admit to being impressed enough to lump on today at 4/6 in this better company. Corrin Wood is a decent opponent but my selection won going away and Nicholls is bringing him along quietly.
I am also a fan of African Gold, yes it is deep ground, yes he carries top weight but make no doubt, he is the class act.
At Wetherby, I am looking to have a bet on McMurrough who is back hurdling after some smart chasing appearances. He looks well placed for a win and races off almost a stone lighter than his chase mark. At first glance his soft ground form is not great but this is a distraction, he is certainly ground versatile and the yard is are in absolute awesome form… I suspect this is bet of the day. 6/1 – Major stakes required.
To the football….
Southampton are a fine 20/17 to beat West Brom with the latter not yet benefiting from the new managers guidance. Likewise, long-term team to follow this season, Wigan, are 13/15 to win at home to Bournemouth, have a big slice. I would also be a buyer of Burnley at 19/20 away at Yeovil.
May your dinner be magnificent, resplendent in its glorious elegance both in cuisine and company. Of the latter, I trust it is well-mannered, not too gentle, more outrageously good fun…. She may be entertaining the idea, which gets settled as your wallet falls open to settle the bill, spilling the good fortune of the day.
The Martin hill bet, sure to be a winner is doubles and trebles on all horses selected -20 bets.
Courage, roll the dice.