Tag Archives: de boitron

The Saturday Sermon – Tips for Scottish Champion Hurdle from Musselburgh plus Naas

Good evening from Fuerteventura where despite sunset being two hours ago, a blustery cool violence disrupts a seemingly permanent base layer of glorious warmth. Good for the soul.

The Major has indeed retired to nearer the equator for respite from the satanic ice which has gripped my own Britain. That said, winter is my favourite season, less insects, no sunburn and the best sport.

It is the first time in the Canaries and while many may find the landscape dramatic and impressive, for me it is a little bleak. Much black volcanic rock, cactus and scrubland. Being so close to the Sahara, the dusty arid condition pervades.

It is not a condition that passes to the local demeanour. An economy dependent on tourism is boosted by the locals aptitude to it. They love the children and although not masters of the exquisite service you might expect in a top notch London club, they approach visitors with smiles as warm as the clime and a vigour and appetite to ensuring you enjoy their hospitality.

The Majors February form has not been good, a poor start and we are in catch up mode. Frozen ground has played havoc with the national hunt fixture list.

Let the Major be clear in praising the relevant bodies for getting the terrific Newbury card moved to next Friday. It was already a monster card but then it inherited the Scilly, a grade 1 novice event to give it a further quality boost. It now looks top class and it would have been a shame to lose it.

Most pleasing is the fact that the sponsors (Betfair) and the course are offering free entry and Channel 4 are covering the card too. Well done all round. The Major has a vague possibly vain hope of making it… We shall see what is possible, any King George members fancy it?

While the Majors form is not strong, losing is part of learning and nowhere else but in gambling is that more pronounced. Nowhere else with the exception of nature.

Spiders. One of natures great wonders. The material they produce from simple glands is stronger than steel by a factor of 20 and several times tougher than Kevlar. Imagine the uses. One of natures great materials that we are yet to synthetically reproduce to harness those wondrous qualities.

The Adanson House Jumper is a curious looking arachnid. Four jet black eyes protrude from his head, no doubt sensitive enough to light for the hunter to work in the dark. Hararius adansoni preys by jumping. To do this it has to judge distance expertly and it achieves this in an unusual way. It’s retinas have several light sensitive layers. On the second deepest layer, the image is blurred, as the spider moves towards its victim, the image on this layer blurs further and it is this error and the contrast to the crystal clear image formed on the layer below that allows the spider to judge distance.

Such a lesson in nature for us gamblers….. Error, loss and that sharp intake of breathe, it allows us to judge better the mystical swirling vortex that is the ether in which we hunt. It is the contrast to focus on not the loss.

To the sports…..

1.15 Naas

Betfair is the only open market. I would get stuck into any odds against on Midnight Oil who looks a top prospect. Gigginstown have a fair few rich prospects coming through the ranks.

While Ruby gets the ride on Tony Martins well regarded Wingtips, I just fancy that Mullins who is having the finest of seasons has a hot one here.

Strong advice to back Midnight Oil at the present 13/8.

3.10 Musselburgh – Scottish Champion Hurdle

In name a champion hurdle, in reality a class 3 handicap. Still plenty of quality in the line up and given the drought of national hunt racing of late, it is good that like the thirsty man, the schedule will give us drink a little at a time….

The Ellison runner Ultimate gets the Majors nod at 5/1. Take that price now as I fancy it going off at 3/1 favourite. I think the horse could be better than the rest and the price offers plenty of scope.

The one that catches the eye at a bigger price is De Boitron who earned a mark of 150 after running a place at last years festival. That has tumbled since and now off 137, perhaps Ferdy Murphy can eek a decent run out of the animal. 14/1 is a super price, very close to being the Majors selection but the margins though this suggest it is second best value.

The selection remains Ultimate.

To the football

Fulham at 21/20, Sunderland at 11/4 and Middlesbrough at 9/4 but be warned my stats, which are always available in the menu will show my inability to make football profitable – I shall blunder stumbling onwards until I learn how to use the blurry images I see on my retina and contrast them better with reality!

May your dinner be an appropriate Tapas, beautiful fish, tasty morsels and company to set the pulse racing, a Spanish dark haired temptress with a wicked curl of the lip that lets you know where her mind is at.

Courage and roll those dice.

Midweek Horseracing Tips – A couple from Cheltenham plus tips for The Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket – The Majors Wednesday Selections

Nell Gwyn.

Now far be it for the Major to criticise Charles II but old Nell was hardly a looker, you could have done better your majesty.

Shabash!  Thanks to a recent rich vein of form, the Major is having the best month of the year so far. 

Cheltenham has a card tomorrow that includes a graded race, there must be a couple of money making opportunities….

Good ground is a consideration, the track is likely to ride fast. 

3.55 Cheltenham Grade 2 Silver Trophy sponsored by Matersons

Poquelin is an odds on favourite for the big race of the day and it is clear to see why.  Based on his festival run, he has the form in the book and going for the champion trainer with Ruby over to ride, Pokey will be all the rage.  Cleanish jumper, fairly reliable, course and distance winner in December in a better race.  His handicap mark of 170 means he is the only horse to race off his proper mark.

What is not to like.  All of this is accounted for in a 4/6 on price.

The Major seeks a bit of value elsewhere though. 

Regular followers know that the Major has a soft spot for horses with good form in the books where I can make a case for some sort of recovery.

The way this race shapes I simply do not think Holmwood Legend or De Boitron who both showed decent Cheltenham festival form are classy enough to trouble Pokey.

One that fits a profile I like is Copper Bleu.  Let us not forget that this is a Jewson winner.  In receipt of a stone and a half on ground he will like and with the admirable Richard Johnson on board…. 10/1 is a fair price.  Take a slice and put it in the reverse forecast with Pokey if you feel brave.  You know what to do.

Lets leave Cheltenham and have a look at the big race at HQ.

4.10 Newmarket – The Nell Gwyn Stakes

HQ kicks off the Craven meeting with a lovely card including the group rated Nell Gwyn Stakes.

I am a fan of selecting flat horses at this stage of the season who have had a prep run.  Fitness both physical and mental is more assured.  That said to win a Nell Gwyn you need a touch of class.  Those that have the suitable class are Sing Softly, Maqaasid and Sweet Cecily.

The favourite is Sing Softly, an O’Brien trained horse who boasts the best form having won a listed race in April at the Curragh on heavy ground.  Here lies the problem.  Sing Softly has never run on ground with the word good in it, let alone firm.  The stallion record does not fill you with confidence either. 

I am not saying the 11/4 shot cannot win but I prefer to look elsewhere.

A few trainers have been sending out early winners but surely the early season form of the Bailey yard needs noting.  They have had 5 winners from 9 runners in the last two weeks.  He sends out Strictly Pink with Cathy Gannon on board who seems to be a go to jockey (35% strike rate in last two years).  Interesting thrown in at this far superior level but surely going to be outgunned. 

The one the Major settles on is Ladies are Forever.  8/1 is a good price for a horse with sharp sprinting form in the book from a decent 2yo cv.  It will not mind the ground. 

Sweet Cecily could be an improver at 3.  Elshabakiya looks short of the required form. 

5.05 Cheltenham Novice Chase

The third midweek horseracing tip sees the Major return to Prestbury Park.  There is a half decent novice chase in the penultimate event.

It really looks like it is between Adams Island and Balthazars Gift.   

Of the two, the Major is going to side with Adams Island.  I cannot help but feel that the Captain Chris form is stronger than anything Balthazars Gift offers.  Tipping up Adams Island is also partly due to the return to the saddle of A P McCoy.  He is 29% for this trainer, it looks like a serious run is planned.

Magical Legend is not without chance.

May your bets be blessed by the good lord of gambling.