Tag Archives: crown dependency

The Saturday Sermon – Ayr Gold Cup Horseracing Tips, Newbury Mill Reef Tips, Premier League Tips

Good morning from Defford, Pershore, Worcestershire, where the Major has been at the good coffee for many hours solving the riddles of the Gold and Silver Cups at Ayr.

Anne of Kiev…. 40/1 Shabash

Those sort of handicaps are manna from heaven for Pricewise and the Major has tried to take an angle on the Ayr Gold Cup. A contributing factor in the punters favour is the softening ground, recent wet weather has done us happy gambling few, a favour.

The Major always finds in unsettling to talk to people who do not gamble and almost seem allergic to it. The thrill of a sporting chance selected and backed with your own money is as close to god as you can get. The moment before the event, when your thought and reason remains untested, the scintillating opportunity yet you feel certain you are right, your heart flutters but your hand is steady. You have played the event out in your head many times over and visualised the result.

Then the event itself, you watch your horse travelling smoothly, your jockey motionless, like he were made of china. Approaching the business end, the leader is flat-out and your man has still to press the button, you come upsides, yet from the back a challenger, where did he come from. Thank god yours is a Mark Johnston tough as nails handicapper, he digs deep to find extra reserves and then in the flash of the line…. you are beaten by a short head. Unbelievable.

Christ. The heart is pumping. You lost your wager, you were wrong, by fractions. Yet, where else could you have felt that moment, that instant in which it seemed like you were touching the face of god. Gambling, a sin, then why did the good Lord make it feel so exhilarating.

Gambling is not a sin, vice or bad habit. Neither is not for fools. It is reserved for us people who understand that we drift by on the river of life just the once and we must grab hold of whatever good that floats by our way. It is good to be alive, make sure you feel it. Today bet with stakes that hurt and reward.

The Ayr Gold Cup – 3.20pm

The two big handicaps at Ayr on Friday have done little to provide a strong view on any draw bias. Both had a mix of stalls finishing the places and while stall 3 won in both instances, the way the Bronze Cup played out, it was not evident that either side had an advantage.

That said, it seemed being on a side was an advantage as few horses travelled well up the middle of the track.

The Gold Cup and the Silver Cup are puzzles, written in code, contained in an enigma which is just a figment of a madman’s mind. There is a lot of guess-work going on but there are things to grip onto.

Some trainers have a much better record in this race and it is worth following Fahey (if you have a clue which runner is fancied most!) but much more profitable following a certain Mr Nicholls, the Sprint King.

Given his awesome track record in the race, I am going to take a super keen interest in his horses. I also don’t particularly want the older horses. 4/5 years old is ideal for me, that’s my Sprint Cup specialist. Throw in a soft ground ready animal and we can whittle the mass of runners down to a few possibilities.

Tajneed will love conditions but at 8 is not the profile of the winner. He also falls into a category of horses I think are hampered, those with a weight of more than 9 stone, 2lbs. Only one horse has won off a higher weight than that in the last fifteen years.

There may be 27 runners but a soft ground horse, progressive and with a bit of big field experience and you have the winner with Fahey and Nicholls runners.

Mayson is a very interesting runner, particularly with the booking of Hanagan the odds on favourite to defend his champion jockey crown. Entitled to need a come back run, Mayson looks well handicapped. We also knows he goes OK when he gets his toe in. 18/1 is a fair price and the Majors only reservation is his relative youth and low miles on the clock. I suspect he is well handicapped but in a race of this size, you would like a horse who has a bit more experience.

Mayson is drawn 5 and while I want one low, I want one high too. So I am also opting for Anne of Kiev. At 40/1 this one is a bit of an outsider but the only key factor I do not like is the age, 6. I think the form is solid enough, particularly that which ties Anne of Kiev into Deacon Blues in the Wokingham. She also has big race experience and thrives in big fields.

So my Ayr Gold Cup Strategy is Mayson drawn low and Anne of Kiev drawn high.

2.30 Newbury Mill Reef Stakes

The Mill Reef stakes has an interesting look to it and much of your view on the winner has to be taken from your assessment of Casper Netscher.

While the Major holds the form in high enough regard, I am conscious that this horse has been on the go a lot. He is not the only horse in the race that has had a busy campaign.

The last couple of winners had a maximum of three prep runs and I think I would like to find a more lightly raced individual.

The one I am opting for is Redact. The case is that it is a Hannon horse and once again the master of the juvenile season has had a blinding year. He buys so many horses to train as juvenile winners you have to admire the yards philosophy. Richard Hughes picks this one ahead of Crown Dependency and there is little wrong with that horse.

Jockey selection was important for the Major here. Redact is a horse that looked entirely progressive until last time out. After breaking badly and racing freely, the horse never got into it and was 8l behind Gerfalcon.

Hughes sticking with the horse tells me that was not his running. 9/1, have a slice and thank me later.

To the sports.

At the start of the season, I drew up my own handicap score for the premier league, blind to the industry edition calculated by the Racing Post team. I found that the teams I wanted to be with were Man United (I felt they would win by a clearer margin), Newcastle and Stoke. My teams so far have done me proud. I wanted to get QPR, Villa, Blackburn and Arsenal. Again, I feel I had this right although Villa are outperforming my expectation.

QPR pretty much bought a new squad on transfer deadline day and that makes reading their chances away at Wolves difficult. Normally I would opt for a home win but with players like Wright-Phillips in the QPR team… well who knows. That project could still go up in flames.

Given that one of my positive teams, Stoke are away at one of my negatives, Sunderland and are 23/10, you would think I would be racing to get a bet down. The truth is that I would jump at it if Stoke had not had a hard European trip mid-week. Off putting.

I have four football bets this weekend.

1. Manchester United to bt Chelsea 10/11 – Man United have looked devastating in the EPL this season and Chelsea do not have it together yet, I would be very surprised if United were not to overcome them at home.

2. Bolton to beat Norwich 5/6 – Again a nearly evens price about a home team I fully expect to do the business. Norwich although they looked decent enough against the Albion on Saturday… are not that good.

3. Manchester City to win at Fulham 8/13 – City have looked very very good this season and an average Fulham team should not hold them.

4. Swansea to beat the Majors West Brom 9/5 – Bottom line is that Swansea are half useful and West Brom looked shaky at Norwich. A better team would have beaten them. Swansea can be that team.

Collect your winnings today with a smile reserved for the enemy that has a touch of all-knowing. You will need the bundle for dinner.

May that dinner be served on fine china and come with exceptionally fine in-season ingredients. For company take the one you have your eye on with that simple, almost plain but pretty look, she brings a flashing smile to light her canvas on which god painted a work which was outstanding for its simplicity not loud in it’s glory. Perfectly nice and there is nothing wrong in that, an innocence that is sweet too, genuinely a lovely person. They all want their fun though, mark the Majors words. When the bill comes, tip well, no recession, you can afford it.

Courage and shuffle those cards.

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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.

Day Two Galway, Day One Goodwood Shabooooom

Goodwood Racecourse Stand, West Sussex, England
Goodwood is Open for Business

The opening day of Galway and the Major could not find a winner from the two fancied selections in the feature race.

Tomorrow Goodwood opens and we are into day two of Galway.  The Major has a couple of races in which I think there is a value selection.

Before we get on to that I want to repeat a view I have of racing on terrestrial TV.  Channel 4 = legends.  BBC = bit part, part-time and irritating.

Here is my case… OK John McC is a bit of a clown but he is a racing man with an opinion – I might not choose to dine with him but I am interested in his views on the whip and he is racing every week.  That is my main point.  Channel 4 are there every week.  Rain or shine, Group 1s or the lowly fare served up the Saturday before some major festivals.  They run a morning show as well as the main event.  In my view they deserve the lot.

The BBC have been cutting back on racing consistently.  Balding I do not mind.  Rishi, I think is weak.  Most of the rest are simply not great presenters.  As they only drift in and out of the big race days they have lost their common racing touch.  It is all show and nonsense.  Too many hats not enough serious racing.  They choose to keep the Welsh National on the schedule but the Arc this year is behind the red button.  Does that not say it all.

I would like to see channel 4 get all of the racing on terrestrial, they would do a better job and they deserve it.  Lecture over.

Goodwood Day One Tips…..

OK.  I am going for the Gordon Stakes as an opener.

There is a hot favourite in the Stoute trained Fiorente.  The warm way in which this one is being treated in the market reflects the manner in which Nathaniel won the King George.  Fiorente was a decent second to Nathaniel last time out, that form is serious.  Now Nathaniel is a first-rate Group 1 performer, down in Group 3 company, Fiorente only need show the same level of form to be well involved.  Is there anything that could?

Well the one that I think could possibly do it and the each way selection is 12/1 Hunters Light.  The listed race at Hamilton it narrowly won was pretty impressive and with Saeed Bin Suroor in good form, this three year old may just have improvement to come.

If this were a handicap, Fiorente would be in receipt of 9lbs which makes you think that Sir Michael Stoute must know he has a good horse to go straight into Group company, there are valuable handicaps he could target with Fiorente who would be on an absolute featherweight.  In a way that is a sign of great confidence but there is plenty of that baked into a price of 11/10 already.  No it is the less fashionable Hunters Light for the Major.

Now for the Group 2 Lennox Stakes….

This is a cracker, no doubt.  Delegator who last was seen racing over 6f which was an interesting move and one the Major thought would suit… it did not work out!  Now tried back over 7f, is it a class horse but at 5, we know plenty about it – one for a place… the 3l 5th to Dream Ahead was good.

Libranno is one of those horses that will never carry the Majors money.  Good but now insanely difficult to place in my view.  Not quite group class, has run way to well to find handicap company easy…. not one for me.

The selection is Strong Suit.  This is a horse that Hannon has always fancied strongly.  A little bit like Monsieur Chevalier, it has flattered to deceive at times or perhaps, more accurately, not quite fulfilled potential.  It has a strong tendency to edge left under pressure but I do think it is an improver and the Chantilly Group 1 it contested was strong, although third, it was within a half length.  In receipt of 10lbs from Delegator, it is my 11/4 selection.

Then the Molecomb….

This Group 3 is a real puzzle, there are no obvious answers at all.  Hannons Crown Dependency and O’Briens Boris Grigoriev are the two that the Major fancies the most.

While the latter has not excelled in every race, Ryan Moores booking and the fact that O’Brien has targeted this race for his juvenile is enough to suggest that there could be more to come.

Crown Dependency is more of a sensible suggestion.  A good third in decent company last time, this good looking bay Acclamation colt would have learned a lot.  Hmmm

Charles the Great is also on the shortlist after a great listed win…. also gets the assistance of Jimmy Fortune, one of the Majors favourites.

Hard to call, on  balance a win stake is suggested on Crown Dependency who, in an embarrassment of riches in the two year old stables of the Hannon yard, is the sole representative here….

Although I have not covered the 4.20, 9/4 is still available tonight about Warcrown.  This debut runner for Fahey has the dogs barking – the Major warned you before the midnight hour… it is apparently the yard pigeon catcher

To Galway…

Galway Festival Day Two

In the opener, I do not fancy any of the first few in the market.

Sublime Talent has achieved little so far although lightly exposed over hurdles.  Never dismiss a Weld horse at Galway but 7/2 has way too much trainer-factor baked in…

Princeton Plain was knocked over  by Sulwaan last time out – With that one doing little to frank the form yesterday, I am unconvinced.

The one the Major opts for is First in the Queue – This is a Henderson raider who gets the benefit of one of the finest, Barry Geraghty..

8/1 reflects the fact that improvement is needed but I am sure that Nicky has not made the trip for the air.  Although the experience is mixed, it has a lot of it.  Some of it is quite good, under this pilot I back it to get me a result.

Day Three – Thursdays Royal Ascot Horseracing Tips

Disaster…. Day two at Ascot was unmitigated and relentless in its sheer awfulness.  Not only did the Major’s selections not win, several I shortlisted did win.  The best example being the 12/1 Strong Suit who I was so close to backing it was untrue.  Frustration is not a good recipe for further betting, say no more.

Yeats the Wonder Horse – The Gold Cup is not the same without him

I very nearly abandoned ship and offered no suggestion for Day Three but for what it is worth (not a lot this week it seems), I give you some of my thoughts for day three.

I have only covered the Group races as have not the time to go through the handicaps tonight.

2.30 The Norfolk Stakes

I would dearly love to back Bapak Chinta who had Frederik Engels, Mondays victorious youngster behind last time out.  However, while my strong belief is that he is the best horse in the race, stall 2 might be difficult to overcome.  This week the stand side bias has been notable and even if Bapak Chinta were to race the far side, he might be alone or without pace.

That said he is joined by what I think will be a popular Hannon / Hughes horse in Crown Dependency.  An easy winner first time up, it is hard to deny connections look like they might play a part.  Stall 5 means an honest 15/2.

The one I have settled on is Silverheels who is well drawn, like many could be anything, the booking of Moore looks interesting.

3.05 The Ribblesdale

This race looks a mess to solve.

The most obvious candidate is the one the Major opts for and that is Zain Al Boldan.  If you put a line through her Oaks run, her previous form is as good as anything.  Kieran Fallon is booked and I expect a big run from this girl.

3.45 Ascot Gold Cup

The Gold Cup is an enthralling contest and for my generation will always be associated with Yeats.

Rain could be hugely significant and it is in the forecast.

The significance is largely for the favourite.  Fame and Glory is a very worthy head of the market horse and 2/1 is good value.  The main risk is whether he will last stepped up to this trip, being from Montjeu.  Extra rain and Good to Soft could make that ask tougher.

It is a lively outsider in Opinion Poll that the Major has selected – 22/1 is damn generous for one I suspect will step up to this marathon distance well and will happily roll in the mud if the good lord turns the taps on.

5.00 Tercentenary Stakes

I have had a look through the card and can see a number of potentials but am persuaded to give another chance to 20/1 shot Pisco Sour.  This horse has some good soft ground experience so if the expected rain comes, he will not be inconvenienced.  As a Dante third, I am hopeful to get a place.