Good morning from the Major who writes to you from still, grey Defford. The air this morning is cool yet still feels close, a pending storm.
The coffee has bubbled away for some hours and the Major has been preparing. For some reason today, maybe it is my head cold, I am not in such a rebel rousing mood. If you came for the Victorian military history or scorching call to arms, I apologise there is none. Instead I give you one of my favourite exchanges that the late, great, Sir Clement Freud once wrote about in his Racing Post column. It concerns, Kerry Packer being asked to go elsewhere having strolled into Wynn Casino’s high stakes room. It apparently went like this…
Man: This is the private room for high rollers…
Packer: That’s OK by me
Man: No you need to go out there and play, this is out of your league
Packer: Whats your league?
Man: I’m worth sixty mill
Packer: Toss you for it
Betfred Sprint Cup – Haydock
This is the finest Sprint Cup I can remember. Worthy of Group 1 status in every sense, we have an absolute cracking line up. There are a few horses the Major has got beaten or at least shaken up.
The first is Hoof It who went down to the Majors 33/1 selection Margot Did last time out. He has looked Group class in sprint handicap company but he is not proven enough for the Major and I prefer the chances of others, I would have chalked him 10/1.
Society Rock looked so good at Ascot, he is hard to ignore. That day, my selection 50/1 Monsieur Chevalier rattled home second. He had a slightly more successful trip to France and the Deauville festival than did Dream Ahead and at 11/2, this one is on the shortlist.
Dream Ahead is the one to beat if he can put the Deauville run behind him and return to the form that gave Hayley Turner her first Group 1 win. The Major wishes her well in recovering from her broken ankle. As for Dream Ahead, he can be excused a poor run in France, it is easy to assess that he did not travel well. His form previous is enough to show that the Deauville run was all wrong.
This season has been a fantastic flat affair so far and Group 1 affairs have been littered with winners who have all had a first class view of Frankels behind! It goes to show what an absolute monster Frankel is that Dream Ahead (who, let us not forget, was champion juvenile) has been beaten by Frankel, fair and square twice and yet won the Darley July Cup with ease. Roderic O Connor and many others have shown that we have a good set of three year olds but that Frankel is an absolute star for the ages.
Such is the quality of this card that Delegator is 10/1 and Wooton Bassett, a star in the eye of Fahey is 20/1. The later I could countenance a little wager on but I think the winner will be from the 4 at the head of the market.
This is a terrific race in which it is exceptionally hard to separate the first few on merited form. The view I take is one of where the pace will unfold from. There is according to clerk of the course, little draw bias.
The Major disagrees and thinks stand side is where the winner will end up. Thus, high draw is an advantage. Society Rock is drawn one which is a crying shame as I fancied him. Dream Ahead, who I think is the best horse in the race is drawn 9 which is acceptable. Bated Breath is drawn 15 and I think it is between him and Dream Ahead.
On balance, I have to side with Dream Ahead. Put a line through the French form and this is the best form for me. Not only was the July Cup a stand out form result (Bated Breath in behind that day), it was visually stunning too with Hayley Turner producing him off the fence in the final throes. A nudge was all it seemed to require that day to go past plenty of proven horses. Given this animal has probably fared best against Frankel to date, I want it on side at 11/2 – What a price – Thank You Hills!!!
2pm Haydock – Listed Race
King Torus has been put about a lot this morning as the likely winner of the opening listed contest on the Haydock card and on ground, good to firm in places, he is a stand out.
First City is the type of horse I like to overlook. Running very credibly in higher grades does not translate to, will smash these! I just do not go for horses who are overly used tto the taste of defeat against better rivals.
Rainfall who has defeated First Type is of clear interest for Godolphin and I would side with it but this seems to be the three year olds year and so despite her fillies allowance I go elsewhere.
This reveals my hand. King Torus at 9/2 is the selection. Have a chunky slice.
Just the two selections for the Major today. May you dine well tonight on lobster and champagne. Take the showy piece, she won’t need much encouragement.
Courage followers and shuffle those cards.