Good Evening from the Major who writes to you with tips for the three big Wednesday races. We have the Grade A Kerry National as well as two listed races at Sandown and Yarmouth. Shabash, let us win money and eat well.
Let us start in Ireland with the Kerry National.
4.10 Listowel Kerry National
This sort of big race handicap in Ireland always looks the most incredible puzzle to solve but actually there are plenty of clues. Hourigan, Mullins and McNamara have all targeted the race in the past with strong entries and they are always a great place to start.
Both the Mullins wins were with his fancied horses. Uncle Junior is of obvious interest on this criteria but at 10, simply does not match the profile of the likely winner, with no ten-year old winning in the last 15 years and so the Major goes elsewhere.
Blazing Tempo is the really fancied Mullins horse and is a fit with Walsh on board but surely the rise for the last win makes life tougher. That said you cannot knock the spirit of this mare and I am sure a place is on the cards and at 6/1 that is a profit.
At 10/1 in the market, you find Dancing Tornado – Hourigan has a great record in this race and it is interesting he sends this one back for more. Once again though, I feel it likely that there is a better younger horse.
The two the Major has been wrestling with are Charles Byrnes runner which has been evidently pointed at this, Bideford Legend…. and the Thomas Mullins runner, Dr Whizz.
The case for the 9/1 main selection is simple. Charles Byrnes won this last year and in setting out the path for Bideford Legend, it looks like another raid is planned. Bideford legend matches much of the required profile for the Major and in a couple of Killarney wins, he has shown himself an accomplished jumper.
The second case is a little harder to make out. Particularly as many will think dr Whizz has little chance of seeing out the trip. The trainer, Mr T Mullins, fears not stamina issues and i think this is key. He is lightly raced, a potential improver and one I feel a 25/1 price is a touch too generous, have a slice.
4.05 Sandown Fortune Stakes – Listed
King Torus was a recent 9/2 winner for the Major and having been a proven Group winner, has to be respected. That said, he has a style of running that is less than ideal, coming off the bridle early before asserting late last time out.
For the major, there are not at lot of reads into this race and so the winner comes from either King Torus or the Andrew Balding runner Laytime at 6/1. This one has finished his last race well, which would be a concern given the better ground tomorrow. If he is not caught for toe, I expect his earlier form where he looked a progressive sort to carry on and from the bottom of the card given his lack of big race wins and classic year status, I think there could be a decent run from the Andrew Balding runner.
3.20 John Musker Fillies Stakes
There is a great shape to this particular race from a punting perspective. The market offers you two likely winners in the shape of Modeyra and Principle Role with the field 7/1 bar. Of the two I much prefer Modeyra but that is priced into the market already.
The Major though has spotted a 33/1 chance that I am willing to risk a wager on in the hope that significant improvement occurs.
Celestial Girl is a Hughie Morrison runner at 33/1 that is on a hat-trick bid. Sounds good until you consider that she was competing off a mark below 80. Granted that form is unlikely to put her in the frame but there are a few things that the Major considers to be clues to a better run to come.
Firstly, her last Epsom run was in a reasonably competitive handicap and she came from off the pace. Those sorts of runs often hide a better handicap mark.
I am also attracted to the jockey booking. Chris Catlin might not be a star name but is an effective jockey who, like Seb Sanders, gets a fair amount of winners from a no-nonsense riding style. Morrison has booked him ten times in the last two years, 3 wins, 5 places.
7 of Morrisons last 19 runners placed and so I offer no hesitation in suggesting the step up in class for Celestial Girl might not be overwhelming.
Courage and shuffle those cards.