Tag Archives: court in motion

Saturday Sermon – Cheltenham Tips, Doncaster Tips and the Wolverhampton Mega Buster Bet!! Merry Christmas.

Good evening from the Major who writes from a wet and breezy Worcestershire.

What a dreadful day of tips at Cheltenhams Friday meeting, from the Major. With the exception of On Fishers Cross who won nicely as I hoped for, the rest of my advice proved expensive to follow. Most simply did not get into it. Broadbackbob a particular disappointment reinforcing an old message that proven accuracy at fences is helpful at the home of National Hunt racing.

Although excuses are weak and pointless, I wrote up the tips when the ground forecast was good to soft and it soon turned soft to heavy after more rain than I expected. The way they finished the first two races, strung out around Gloucestershire, told you it was going to be a slog of a day. Tonight we are better armed with information.

My day of tipping may have been bad but breaking events in America bring some real reflection and perspective to life.

The event is horror itself, anyone would be moved by the ages of the children killed. The innocence, the pointlessness, the incomprehensibility of motive. It is the definition of tragedy.

Massacres like this are peppered through history, read King Theodore of Abyssinia. Minds so insane, so lost that even the first trigger they pull is not enough to sober up their murderous emotion, to draw back from the insane urgings.

The product is body bags, with children inside them.

The Major provides the usual Saturday Service. As usual, no charge is made, I have no service to sell. If you subscribe to the email list in the left hand column or the twitter feed (@tdl123) then I will never peddle premium tips, hotlines or even show you a single advert on the site. No strings attached, ever.

Today, I levy a small fee though. I ask you to commit one unspecified small act of decency at your discretion before sunset.

To the sports.

Cheltenham Tips

We return to Cheltenham with a score to settle. I feel aggrieved and the enemy with his dark twinkling eye will pay.

The opener looks a tasty affair. Far West won a decent Chepstow race before taking a Grade 2 at Cheltenham. While Handazan arguably improved from finishing 12 lengths behind in the Chepstow race, he might be better now too. Still a straight forecast on Far West and Handazan is my ‘double your money’ advice.

In the second, Barry Geraghty seems to have switched allegiance to Highland Lodge from Court in Motion (surely Lingfield bound?) after the latter was smashed here by the David Pipe trained Our Father. The selection is a 6/5 shot but surely still looks a value pick – This grey could be a star and I fully expect another dominant display – back it with an eye watering amount that might help get he economy moving again.

Shooters Wood has a superb record at Cheltenham being 2 from 2 and the Paul Nicholls charge might handle the rise in weights he is allotted. Not the strongest pick though on balance and instead I am chancing my arm that Garynella at 4/1 is on a generous mark – His french form is hard to read but the ground will help and Pipe might be throwing a decent novice at this race.

The 4th is a split contest between some up and coming decent sorts and some experienced old hacks. In the young corner we have Coneygree and Boyfromnowhere, two decent looking sorts. Mon Mome leads the elder horse charge and the Grand National winner looks a forlorn hope aged 12 but may well be staying on late up that hill over this distance which is way too short! On balance, Coneygree looks like the real deal and will surely appreciate going to three miles…. unoriginal but get stuck in.

The Ironspine Charity Gold Cup is the feature race of the day (not necessarily the one I am most looking forward to) and Walkon adds sparkle to the line up. I was looking at this race on an antepost basis earlier in the week and was struggling to find many confirmed mudlarks (I was working an angle that it might be heavy and wish I’d followed it though with a bet). Cristal Bonus was one that fitted the bill and his price has halved in recent days. Walkon also won’t mind the cut. the other two I like are Quantativeeasing, Golden Chieftain and Wishfull Thinking.

Nicholls and Henderson have bagged five of the last ten runnings and there is a strong trend towards six and seven-year olds in the race (12 from last 15 years).

It really leaves me with Cristal Bonus and Quantativeeasing. At 6/1 and 18/1 we can afford to load two cannons. I do like their chances although before he tapes go up, all our dreams are intact.

Cristal Bonus went to Ireland and won nicely in this seasons debut and Quantativeeasing is a little forgotten about after a flop in the Paddy Power but let us not forget he won this last year.

The 3.05 is the race I am waiting for. This is a simmering hot race with the reigning Champion Hurdler, Rock on Ruby, taking on the best Nicholls has in that division, Zarkander and the frail but talented Henderson horse, Grandouet.

There was a feeling that the Champion Hurdle was not the strongest – A bit bitchy if you ask me, what has Rock on Ruby done wrong?

Nevertheless, Rock on Ruby seems in a vulnerable position and Nicholls will fancy a pop with Zarkander who looked all the better for a summer of sun on his back when reappearing in the Elite Hurdle.

Grandouet is my tip. It is a dicey one in some senses, his price probably does not reflect the stuttered build up to here. He missed several assignments, including the Champion Hurdle. Yet, I have always felt that Henderson really fancies this one and the most eye-catching form was when winning this race last year, smashing Overturn…. Have a thick slice, pour on the custard and thank me later.

Oscar Whiskey has a penalty kick in the last race, he will love conditions. and won this last year. If this is the day that Crack Away Jack proves top class, it would not surprise me as I have finally given up backing him, less my burden, he will probably scoot up.

The Wolverhampton MegaCard

Can you believe Wolverhampton have a racecard with 14 events on it, all for a tenner. On one hand it is value, on the other, it is like a large fish and chips, serves a purpose but too voluminous.

Every race bar one is sub £3k winners pot so do not expect much quality – My tip comes in the one race of reasonable merit, the 8.50pm. Forest Edge gets the assistance of Adam Kirby who is having a fine season. He gets a 4lb hike for his Lingfield win but the manner of that victory looked more impressive to me – 4/1 is a gift from the gods.

If you have the stamina for every race then all power to you!

Doncaster Grade Two Tip

By the time, the favourite Vasco Du Ronceray goes off at Doncaster, we will have the manner of Key Wests performance to provide comparative clues as their form is well tied. This is a graded race though and the apprentice aboard the favourite cannot make his claim which effectively penalises the horse.

I am going to chance a tip on Kashmir Peak each way at 8/1 – This one might have more to offer even if this represents a significant step up from the Market Rasen run.

To the football….

Crystal Palace have some talent and I would fancy them to win at St Andrews at 9/5. Bolton are strong but I like 3/1 Charlton who have a very strong squad. Leicester are a tip, they can beat Millwall away (7/5) to make a nice away trixie.

The Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Coneygree, Our Father, Grandouet and Forest Edge – That can pay for Christmas.

I hope your dinner is unhurried, relaxing and in fine company.

Courage and roll those dice.

Saturday Sermon – Wincanton Badger Ale Day Tips plus The Criterium and some Premier League…. SHABASH

Good evening from the Major who writes from a perfectly acceptable autumn evening in the Worcestershire countryside.

Tonight I lit the wood burner for the first time this season. The job requires matches and mine were in the converted stable block which having given up the job of stabling now performs very well as a perfectly reasonable one bedroom annexe. The building also compromises of an outside convenience and a boiler room which is where the matches are to be found. I lit the weak bulb and peering in the gloomy murk found a nasty surprise.

On the floor was the carcass of a Goldfinch. I am no twitcher but the Goldfinch is a striking bird with explosive flashes of red and gold. This one lacked most of the elements that it once possessed. We were down to feathers and a few bones. I suspect the cat. It feels like a bad omen.

Maybe it is a good omen. Godly sacrifice though having little statistical proof has enough popular backing to suggest that there is something to it. Take your pick. Whatever you think, I will invest in some better wattage bulbs.

Personally I think I stink of losing. I just feel a veil of defeat clinging to me like an effervescent cloak, a silver lining of loss and my wallet of diminishing power. Yet as Fuller once wrote ‘the hour is darkest just before the day dawneth’

Personally I think that’s nonsense too. In my gambling life, it is darkest before it gets darker.

Fearing the complexities of life, tonight I ate simply. Steak, cooked for a mere flash in the hottest oil my stove can muster – turned once after 20 seconds. Served alone, with a dash of mustard to the side.

Earlier this week, a steak caused my usually rock solid constitution to become imbalanced. Read into those delicate words what you will. Maybe that is the cause of my unsettled sense.

Doubts, damn doubts… Uncertainty over your own judgement. It is the beauty and curse of life that we are given independent thought to enable us to conceive beyond binary.

Each week, the Major hopes to enrich the life of one casual reader. I don’t care who, and i don’t care how many innocent victims have to read the wild thoughts of my mind, percolated through a swirling vortex of confusion before that one person draws some surprising meaning. Into the sports we shall go this week with perhaps, the most beautiful thing that one can say about such uncertainty…..

Khalil Gibran, the great Lebanese poet…. ‘doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother’…

Courage my faithful few….

2.15 Wincanton – Grade 2 Novice Chase Tips

In the last week, Silvianaco Conti showed that he is a player as a chaser this season when showing he has trained on from his superb novice year. He started that year with a win in this race and so it is of some interest that Paul Nicholls targets Poungach at this contest. He starts favourite and if the slip at the first at Chepstow has done little damage then on balance he is a threat to all.

Many of the others have not seen a racetrack in over a year although Court in Motion is an interesting runner. A solid bet would be ‘King of the Night’. Trained in what was the satellite yard of Paul Nicholls last season, I fancy Harry Fry to be a rising trainer.

The Major though is going to opt for one of those that has not seen action for some time. Aegean Dawn had some very good hurdle form. While he has been missing for some time, his trainer has had success with a handful of runners in recent weeks and I suspect that Aegean Dawn might be a strong chasing prospect and at 13/2 rates a strong tip.

2.50 Wincanton – Elite Hurdle

What a fantastic race – The main question here for the major is over the jockey bookings of Ditcheat. Maybe with the benefit of the post in the morning, we would have greater clarity but why is Ruby on what seems the second string?

Is Zarkander tuned up? Surely the staying on fifth in the Champions Hurdle signalled some intent for this year and the grade 1 novice wins he secured were solid. Prospect Wells has solid form of which the clear best is the Triumph Hurdle 5th but given there are no wins in graded company for a horse that is 2/7 over hurdles…. Hmmmmm

Zarkander is giving a stone and three to Prospect and while Daryl Jacob has been aboard Zarkander before when it has won and Ruby has been on a loser (Sam Winner) but that didn’t look planned either.

Sod it. Zarkander is the better horse. 9/4, have a slice. One word of caution for Baby Mix who I have not given up on yet.

3.25 Badger Ales Trophy – Wincanton Tips

Well I am going to keep this short and simple.

Diamond Harry won a Hennessy off a mark 6lbs higher than this and 7/1 is a steal…. He is dropped in grade and while clearly prone to injury is the class act in the field. Michael le Bon is the danger to all, very lightly raced….

Tips for the Criterium de Saint Cloud

Group one flat action for the two year olds and the Major wants a slice of Sempre Medici who will go off at a sporting price and has already proven himself in the testing conditions he faces tomorrow. He is a Medicean colt out of a line of Dansili Dancer… Few markets and no liquidity but I’m guessing 5/2 second favourite.

To the football….

The 11/5 about West Brom coming away from the Latics with maximum points is sent from heaven. Albion have looked excellent in defeat against Man City and away to Newcastle, scoring against both. They dispatched Southampton with ease and look like 6/4 chances at Wigan so the Major has to be involved.

Stoke at evens at home to QPR is a decent bet. Probably the last thing a team without a win (hanging over their heads like the sword of Damocles) needs is a trip to the Potteries. Stoke are predictable, tough and Mark Hughes has a greater stench of defeat hanging about him than I, at least I hope so, because if I don’t have that….

Newcastle 19/20 is an amazing price, they should beat West Ham tomorrow.

For a good man who asked me to start including it again…. The lucky 15 is Aegean Dawn, Zarkander, Diamond Harry and Stoke.

May your dinner be simple as mine was. Remove doubt and realise the thin slither that pares it from certainty. I hope your companion is entertaining but that you might have serenity in your own company is my ultimate hope for us all.

Courage, roll those dice.

The Majors Saturday Service – 15th January Sports Tips | Five Star Kauto?

Good morning fair punters of Britain from Defford where the skies are still dark as I type these words on a momentous day for all racing fans.

Thats how we want it...... Kauto first, fresh air in second

The frozen conditions over Christmas meant that the traditional King George boxing day race was postponed.  Today, we find out if Kauto Star, the greatest chaser I have personally seen, can win a fifth King George.

The Major salutes all equine greats who take on such great challenge.  Anyone who enjoys racing cannot fail to admire Kauto Stars jumping style which is stag like.  Beautifully efficient, economic at times, flamboyant at others.  He clearly loves Kempton and seems to reserve a few of his magnificent leaps for the crowd there.  He can also hit a fence and is an occassional faller – Excitement is Kautos middle name. 

The Major has already posted his views on the outcome of the race – My ante post King George Tips piece suggested Riverside Theatre.  4/6 is probably the right price for Kauto but his Down Royal win on his seasonal reappearance was workmanlike and the Major just feels that the spark has gone a bit from Kauto – How I dearly want to be proved incorrect. 

I have such good memories.  The boxing day where the brother-in-law took up the Majors advice and fell in love with a horse who won the race while still heading out into country on lap 2.  The time he broke Nacarat who seemed to be travelling like a challenger.  The horrible fall when still learning in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.  Knuckling down to see off L’ami who was challenging as a featherweight.  Beating Imperial Commander by a nose.  The classic Denman v Kauto Gold Cup, watching it with my father and brother and being dissapointed.  The elation of him regaining his crown.  4 boxing day delights as he imperiously stamped his ownership on each race.  The first time I backed him, winning tidily up at Kelso. 

Kauto is special.  Stylish, superb, wonderfully french, charismatic and a winner.  What better partner for today than AP McCoy.  I would be the first to agree that I think Fehily or Walsh would have a more suited racing style for Kauto but AP feels an appropriate passenger for KAuto if he wins today.

Heart….. Kauto Star, Head…… Riverside Theatre each way, Pocket….. Mossley in Warwicks 2.45.

Let’s set about the day’s action.  Today the Major urges you once more through his Saturday sports tips service to bet like real men (and women as I was recently reminded… you know who you are!).  Bet with an amount that would make you blush if your mother asked.  Irresponsible gambling is the key to a long life of debauchery, fun and fulfillment.  At those final gates, at your final destination, what do you think St Peter wants to hear? … he wants to know that when the moment came, you were not found wanting, no not you; you dashing young blade, you set your mind on blood, glory and honour and charged alongside the Major into the theatre and turmoil of war, at full gallop, wearing your war face, chin proud, your sabre aloft and flashing with a streak of the enemies claret running down the edge.  Watch your shirt young man, your valet will have a ghastly time getting that out.

Let us see what goes at the races.

First things first, the tidy little hurdle at Warwick, which passed a precautionary 8am inspection, the 2.45 Leamington Novices Hurdle (Grade 2).  There is a previously tipped Major winner going in this, Mossley.  A nice little winner at Cheltenham, Henderson trained (Quote: he has plenty of pace and is unlikely to be inconvenienced by this drop in trip) – I agree with Henderson and think this horse makes a decent bet at 15/8 with Corals.  It is not a big stakes race as Saffran de Cotte could be much better on this surface  (I wouldn’t put anyone off at 25/1 with Corals, it is easy enough to put a line through his last time out performance), Jetnova could be a decent horse and Court in Motion on a strict line of form is a couple of pounds ahead of Mossley on the Majors reckoning.  However, I have liked the way Mossley goes about his races and 15/8 is a monster price.  Have a slice.  Remember though the Majors betting resolutions, don’t get too excited, it is a novice hurdle.

At 3.20 at Warwick, another handicap puzzle and this is one that I have spent a good 40 minutes on this morning.  There are many I like.  Officier de Reserve threatens to run a race one day.Companero is a fascinating runner and could be a big threat if Howard Johnson has him well prepped after a big break from racing.  Bobby Gee looks on the upgrade and Le Beau Bai in his penultimate race showed the requisite form and has a useful 7lb claimer in Jake Greenall.  A hugely interesting outsider for the Major is Noun de la Thinte.  This mare will not be inconvenienced by the ground and although has been below par this season, I suspect this ten year old still has a decent run to give.  It is 38/1 with Red32, 45/1 for those with a Betfair account.  Have an each way interest.

The Christmas Hurdle is a race (2.25 Kempton) which I think has been set up as the long term target for Starluck.    Starluck is no Binocular but Twiston-Davies will have been targeting this race.  I like horses set out for a race even when their bare form suggests they might not have the quality to take the spoils.  Make no mistake, this is Starlucks Champion Hurdle.  Binocular if on form will hammer him but Binocular is massive and famously difficult to get right.  That said, the advice is still Binocular who is available at 11/4 with both Hills and Coral.  He is the best horse in it and Henderson is 41% winners to runners in the last fortnight, have a piece of that!  Khyber Kim while a very good horse I think will need more than Kemptons flat 2 miles.  Binocular, Starluck to fight it out, Overturn to challenge the Khyber for third.

Now as previously highlighted, the Major brings you the big race analysis and also delves into the small print to find hidden gems.  I like the look of Dream of Fortune who goes in the 1.15 at Lingfield on the all weather.  Now, the bare recent form looks horrible and that is why 5/1 is so suspicious.  David Evans can ready a gamble and this is a horse that previously has won in claimers with the likes of Tom Queally on board.  Todays 7lb claimer takes the ride for a second time and racing of an effective featherweight, a win bet is advised and take it early.

Onto the sports fields of our great nation. 

The big premier league games all happen tomorrow.  I fancy Spurs to give Manchester United a decent game.  Surely, Ferguson will not play Neville against Bale!  Regardless, I feel 2/1 does not do free flowing Tottenham justice and Van der Vaart will relish the challenge, I see him arriving late into the box to open the scoring…

With such a poor run West Brom will be hoping the return of Tamaz at centre half will galvanise them at home to Blackpool.  I cannot trust them at odds on though to beat a Blackpool team who play without fear.  Odemwingie is a big miss for West Brom as is Ollson.  Sadly, I feel a tangerine bet brewing at a generous 15/4 with Stan James – Take a piece.

A bet I quite like is Man City v Wolves, nil nil at half time which is 12/5 with Victor Chandler.  Man City are 4/11 on to take this game and as short as 2/7 in places.  Now, they have invested again in this new big burly signing (Dzeko is 7/2 as first goalscorer) – Wolves though are not in free fall yet, they have organisation and determination.  They have taken wins from Liverpool and Chelsea lately.  Man City can be eye wateringly boring at times and a chance is taken that Wolves hold out to half time.

Wigan versus Fulham being played on a continous loop could be what Dante and his Divine Comedy had in mind for the tee totallers in the tenth circle of hell, if he had got that far. 

He looks less than happy - He would definitely have imprisoned Satan in the JJB

Wigan are not good but they do have threat.  Today N’Zogbia is back but Cleverley is out, as is Kirkland.  Fulham lose their best player in Schwarzer who is on Asian Cup duty with Australia.  Wigan have only won two of their last ten home games, Fulham just one win in ten away games.  Kamara could be a 7/1 each way first goalscorer bet with Bet365 who go one third odds and unlimited places giving a tidy profit as long as he nets at some point.  The Major though goes for 3 goals or more at 11/8 with Victor Chandler.  Both teams will be looking to win.

QPR as table topping Championship travellers to Burnley look value at 9/4 with Victor Chandler.  They might have had an interesting defeat at Blackburn with Diouf and Warnock embracing controversy as is their way, however, todays trip to Burnley is clearly an easier fixture and 9/4 is way too generous.  Load the big cannon.

There is an interesting long term bet to take an interest in which is with Ladbrokes.  They go 4/1 about West Ham getting the Olympic stadium.  This is a must bet.  I cannot see Spurs plan of removing the athletics facilities garnering enough favour.  Views are strongly opposed on this but West Ham 4/1 who have a long term interest and clearly stated ambition for the project are a great price.

Bristol Rovers make an OK bet too at 7/2 to win at Carlisle.  I suspect the Carlisle team are in a down turn after just one draw from their last three, which included a defeat at Torquay.  New signing Michalak from Leeds may strengthen the team but Rovers who are just 5 points behind, admittedly in the relegation zone, have found the net 4 times in their last two games – Not convincing but neither 7/2.

Norwich make a nice 13/10 home bet against Cardiff.  While the bluebirds are well fancied this year by the Major, they have a few hurdles to get over.  Firstly, Bellamy being arrested is not going to help.  Then the imminent sale of Boothroyd to Newcastle just gives a sense of instability at the club.  Why cash in on Boothroyd for £750k when the great prize of promotion is there, surely that’s worth risking losing him on a free in the summer?  This lack of ambition is obviously a result of a club in financial trouble. 

Palace can be backed at 11/2 with Victor Chandler at Swansea.  On the surface of things, Palace are a terrible bet, they are rubbish on the road and not much better at home.  They do not have the worst squad in the world and I can see them climbing out of trouble.  This bet is taken on the grounds that new manager and ex player Freedman can galvanise the team.

The Nap is …… Mossley at 15/8. 

May the enemy tremble as he sees you approach.  Remember to wager an amount that you would be embarrassed to admit to family.  Tonight, I think you should drink pastis before eating duck prepared in a traditional french country style with green peppercorn.  When the man removes your plate, insist on the manager bringing the bottle of his best brandy and joining you.  It would be crass to let him see the bankroll which is moving uncomfortably in your finely tailored pocket.  Thank him for his hospitality and tell him you are one of the Majors and we will return.