Tag Archives: fame and glory

Friday night – Santa Anita Breeders Cup Day One Tips

Good Evening from the Major who writes a very short post with my thoughts for day 1 of the Breeders Cup coming to you on ATR from Santa Anita tomorrow night.

I love the Breeders Cup meeting although have had little tipping luck overall in it, so my post comes with a health warning.  I tip winners enthusiastically, it is a shame some tips choose not to win.  Still, embark with me on the journey – Our dreams shall remain intact until just after tea time tomorrow night.

This is one of the premier world meets and this year promises to be a cracker.

Apparently the runners will be drug free, (although Lasix seems allowed) which should give the Europeans an advantage.   The ground is set to be rattling and so that probably levels it up.

I have to be brief and cut short on any reasoning because I am trying to read and study for my MBA.  What I meant to write was, this entire post is me distracting myself from the terrifying essay I have to write.

Super Ninety Nine is considered in the 8.06 Sprint (6f) – Baffert is a legend and I am sure that this is worth a place in the line up.  Yet the other market fancy is the tip, Merit Man, gets my vote after handing a right beating to South Floyd here over the exact same trip.  7/4 is fair enough with only Baffert to beat in my opinion.

In the Marathon (1m 6f on dirt – The yanks are strange with their distances), I have given up on Fame and Glory, think he is past his best and a trip to the states is probably not going to help.  I am going to take a chance on 25/1 Juniper Pass – My tip has the services of Frankie who loves the Breeders Cup and with a change in headgear (removal of), I am hoping for a run for our money.

Back on turf, the fillies mile looks a cracker and I am tempted by the Canadian Spring Venture who could be anything.  Both the fillies at the top of the market are Europeans and solid prospects but I am tempted by a long price again in that of 20/1 Kittens Point.  My tip is less exposed than most and looks more progressive than Moonwalk who beat her a nose last time out.  Moonwalk has been trading places with a few of these but I think mine can improve past them all to finish best of the home team – Let’s see if it is good enough.

In the Grey Goose runs my nap of the night.  Kauai Katie might be a sprinter on paper and has been beating everything she meets impressively.  The presence of proven 1m+ horses keeps the price honest and although she might look the second stable string to Dreaming of Julia, I think my selection might have the class to surprise.  6/1 have a large slice.

Staying on the turf for the fillies and mare turf race, we have some serious European contenders.  the Fugue has been playing in the top leagues but is not quite top class in my view.  No, for me, the tip is going to be 14/1 shot Lady of Shamrock who will be ideally suited by trip and ground and has a fantastic strike rate.

Breeders Champions meet in the last and Awesome Feather who is unbeaten after ten starts including facile wins at Grade 1 level is the tip in the lucky last.

Stock the fridge with some cold beer, have a lucky 31 or some other combination bet on my selections and enjoy.  Let’s see if we can get the weekend paid for!

Saturday Sermon – Racing Tips from Ascot, Cheltenham and Cork, plus Frankel – Time at Ascot…

Good evening from the Major who writes to you from a Defford where the sky hangs heavy with the threat of a downpour, it feels as if it were sagging and clinging to my cheek, cold and damp… my sort of weather.

The Household Cavalry dressed in Sheikh Abdulla’s colours in honour of Frankel, the finest horse of our generation

Tomorrow I ride for Ascot, I am taking my father and meeting a friend there for a beer too. Whatever happens we are in for a terrific day of racing but it would be dishonest to say that if Frankel fails to run, it would not be a touch deflating.The way they have handled this horse has given us every chance to enjoy the champion that he is. On Twitter (@tdl123) I rated my top three Frankel races and decided that my favourite was the Queen Anne. Having had longer to reflect I have changed the order slightly and now have a top four in the following order.

4th – The Guineas

This will be top of most peoples lists – The way he flew from the gates and had them at it from half way. A stunning performance and the way they finished strung out like 3 mile chasers was testament to what the great horse had achieved.

3rd – Royal Lodge

The more I watch the Royal Lodge he won, the more I love it. The move he makes on the bend to put the race to bed was stunning and although Treasure Beach was stopped in his tracks, Frankel would still have won by half a furlong!

2nd – The Queen Anne

What a way to open Royal Ascot – As a performance, this was his highest rated in my view. He did not just win, he destroyed a field of top horses and left everyone gasping for air. Awesome.

1st – His First Sussex Stakes versus Canford Cliffs

Context is important and this race was full of it. Goldikova a winner of more Group One races than seems possible was reaching the end of her career. Canford Cliffs, one of the best Hannon has ever had, lowered her colours and rightfully claimed the best miler in Europe crown. Then Frankel met him at Goodwood. The camber at Goodwood means many horses do not act there. The combination of factors meant that the Major tipped Canford… Then this happened…

Let us hope that Frankel runs – The generosity of connections have given us more than we needed but we are like gluttons and want it all. Treasure the moment. The only possible upside of him not running tomorrow is a possible crack at the States and the breeders cup meeting… Personally I would like him to finish his career at Ascot tomorrow.

To the sports….

Ascot Tips – 1.50 – The Stayers

At this stage of the season, I am looking for the slightly more lightly raced sorts. The Ascot ground will also be very soft which should rule a few out…

In the opener, most of the animals will be fine with the soft conditions. Gold Cup winner Colour Vision beat a number of these including Fame and Glory back in July. Opinion Poll, the other Godolphin horse was second that day and goes off as 3/1 favourite here. Aiken is a horse I really like but feels like he might just be a bit short of top draw. Ile de Re is an interesting runner but has to make a big step up in class. Rite of Passage is a fascinating runner and could play a part at 8/1 if well tuned up.

After some thought though, the Major is going to offer Fame and Glory at 11/2 – A former winner of the race who has lost some of his lustre – If he wins tomorrow, it will be a fitting end to a sparkling career… words that we may well repeated later in the day!

2.20 Ascot – Tips for the Sprint

The sprint is a fascinating contest and I would love to back Maarek, especially with the booking of Jamie Spencer. I am wondering though whether the horse is feeling the effect of the campaign and I may well give him a miss. The muddier the better for that one so if more rain arrives, it may be a persuading factor.

The Major is siding with a horse packed with potential in Slade Power who looked a horse going places in the summer. After a break to freshen him up, I expect a top draw performance and although there are proven G1 horses in the field, I do not want to back Wizz Kid unless in France and Society Rock is the main danger. Blue Square offer 15/2 and a quarter odds the place, have a slice.

2.55 Ascot – Group 2 Mile and a Half

The two to concentrate on seem to be Great Heavens and Sapphire. The former took an Irish Classic in the slop and loves these conditions. She was my idea of the Arc winner as I am a massive fan. She cruised into the straight at Longchamp looking a likely challenger but faded badly and I just wonder if the season and he travels are catching up.

Thus the tip is Sapphire for the Weld team. She is a horse of immense talent and seems to be much better the further she goes, seemingly tapped for toe over 400m shorter in the Pretty Polly. She is a true mud lark and at 10/3 generally I think a great bet to beat Great Heavens who I would like to see racing agin next year where hopefully connections might give her a light schedule with a hopefully soft ground Arc as the target.

QE II 3.30 Ascot

Excelebration is an absolute bolt on here and I suggest a reasonable investment at just shading odds on. He has been beaten by Frankel so often yet is still a top class horse and now placed to avoid a battle with the inevitable, he is gaining very well deserved Group One successes.

The Queen is in attendance and so Carlton House would be a popular winner but it is Excelebration for the Major.

Ascot Champion Stakes

It is not often that the Major here whispers but I have it on good authority that Frankel might be a decent sort! This race requires no bet, it is a moment of historic racing importance. I hope Frankel serves it up to Cirrus Des Aigles

Enjoy it…

4.45 Amateur Riders Handicap

I find it disappointing that this race exists on the card of what is meant to be the climax of the flat season. It really seems out of place.

Smarty Socks would be the one I would want but I am dubious that these are his conditions. Boring as it may seem, Jack Dexter is the 5/1 selection. The Ayr Bronze Cup winner loves a bit of mud and is surely goi to have a big say. Kingscroft (16/1) and Atlantic Sport (33/1) also make some appeal.

Cheltenham Selections

It is so good to see racing back at Cheltenham. Fridays action saw The New One take a decent Novice hurdle. Given that he hit most of them, he must be some animal to still win, I expect a big season.

Rendl Beach should be a good thing in the opener at 6/4. Curtis horses often need a warm up but this one won smartly on reappearance and a big run is surely on the cards tomorrow.

In the second race, I am going to take a chance on 22/1 shot Quito Du Tresor. I think that there may be more to come from this one. The Henderson horse Nadiya De La Vega at 10/1 is decent value too.

Baby Mix and Dodging Bullets are two rising stars and the latter looks a great evens bet based on the 4th position achieved in the Triumph.

In the 4th race, I like the look of two Qianshan Leader at 22/1 catches the eye as does Darna at 16/1. The latter looks an intriguing sort.

In the 4.20 I am a big fan of Irish raider Defence of Duress and suggest a decent investment.

Third Intention should see the field off in the penultimate race if match fit. 3/1 is a very fair price as he should be much better than this field, many of whom have a readiness advantage.

In the last maybe Southfield Theatre on a strict reading of form with The New One but honestly, stick a pin in!

Cork Tip

I like Rock Critic in the listed contest and at 2/1 am having it in several selections…

May your dinner be fine, in the company of someone nice. Each day we are above ground is an opportunity so do not waste yours. Let us hope that Frankel gives us something to cheer.

Courage, roll the dice.

Royal Ascot Thursday Tips – 20/1 Tip plus Gold Cup advice… Can the Major land more Ascot spoils?

Well the Major failed in the Jersey yesterday but came good with the strong advice to back So You Think which was only in doubt for  a brief moment as the Queens Carlton House stalked up.

To Thursday and a day of terrific action at Ascot.  Last weekend was a relatives birthday and I bought him a treble on Germany (winning the Euros, So You Think and Fame and Glory) at 11/4, 7/4 and 5/4 respectively.  Leg one in… fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Royal Ascot Tips – The Norfolk Stakes

We start Ascots Thursday card with a sprint over 5f for juveniles.  Both favourites are owned by Qatar Racing.

Cay Verde and Ahern are both sprint bred (Ahern is out of Dutch Art) and although the former (favourite) has won at Ascot already this term, I would prefer the chances of the latter until I saw Hototo go in today which gave Cay Verde a good form boost..  Neither though offer the value I am seeking from this sort of contest.

Dutch Art won this race in 2006, for Peter Chappell Hyam before going on to being one of the finest sires of sprint horses, it is a shame that Chappel-Hyams do not have a runner today.

Dawn Approach won on Tuesday in a workmanlike fashion but that form line gives Mister Marc more than a squeak.

Annunciation has received the vote of Richard Hughes after a facile win in a very hard to assess 3 runner affair at Windsor.  Previously that horse had finished runner up to fellow debutante Reckless Abandon.

Gale Force Ten is a very interesting runner over the minimum trip and with a strong pace, I think he will be doing his best work at the end of the race.

The Major though is going to offer Marawij as the tip in the Norfolk.  12/1 with BetVictor is a fair price.  I am a big fan of Varian / Callan and this horse had several subsequent winners in behind on what might prove a hot maiden win.

Ribblesdale Stakes

Plenty of Oaks contenders reopposing here and I am not at all surprised that The Fugue is favourite.  She seemed unlucky that day and closed like a train to take a close up third at the death.

Shirocco Star also had an unlucky Oaks after being struck into but still made fourth.

In the Majors view, Vow needs them to go off like 5f sprinters to win this although she could be good for a place.

The Major though is settling on Princess Highway who won a Group 3 in Ireland, relegating Was (subsequent Oaks winner third) to the places.  13/2 seems a very fair price.

Royal Ascot Feature Race – Tips for the Gold Cup

This race is simple for the Major, Fame and Glory has been well prepared for this race and I am certain O’Brien has him tip top.

Marathon distances have been the making of this horse and coming from the yard that nurtured Yeats to record breaking Gold Cup heroics, I am fairly convinced that this field holds no major fears.

Fame and Glory has the class where others have some promise.  Get stuck right in.

The Brittania

I am going to side with the Irish raider Piri Wango who after winning on debut and again this season, seemingly disappointed into fourth at Dundalk.

That race though could not have panned out better with the winner (1.25L) being Ishvana who went in well today – 20/1 tip.. boom Piri Wango.  I have an unusually strong feeling about this outsider… The fact Dettori is booked too which is unusual for Ger Lyons….. have a slice.

5.35 Ascot – Tips for the King George V

The last is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle, set on fire with an incendiary fluid of confusion.

Anomaly is [possibly the most interesting runner after a facile maiden win that had put him in as favourite for the Derby.  Clearly things have not gone quite to plan but he seems back in form and is of interest.

Uriah Heap was a fancied runner in the Dee Stakes and needs to put that behind.

The one the Major is tipping though is the Luca Cumani trained Commitment.  This horse has had this as the plan for some time and I always like that.  I have to put a line through the last run in Scotland but the trainer said the gelding had excuses.  Lots of risk but 16/1 prices it in….

Good luck with whatever you back!

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.

Derby Day

With work taking an unfortunate precedence, few posts this week and neither myself or Ade (who seems to have gone to ground since the German ousted him as taking someone elses work!) have kicked off the contest.  I am changing that with some action today.

Derby Day, its raining.  After getting up at 5.30 with my two young boys, I have taken the opportunity to fill my belly with coffee and found moments to read the RP and think through much of the Derby evidence.  Maybe it is fatigue but I am convinced I have the winner.  This is not normally a good sign – My winning bets are directly inverse to the level of confidence I have in them, which really hints that I should give the game up.

However, with May showing a tidy profit, June needs a decent start so here goes. 

The Derby.

Current Market (Betfair)

Sea The Stars 3.95
Fame And Glory 5.1
Rip Van Winkle 7.8
Gan Amhras 8.4
Black Bear Island 9.4
Masterofthehorse 18.5
Crowded House 22
Age Of Aquarius 23
Kite Wood 48
Golden Sword 36
Montaff 80
Debussy 80

Here are my views and selections:

Seas the Stars – John Oxx has had a fantastic season and his sole Derby representative is likely to start as favourite after many people liked his 2,000 Guineas win.  I am less sure of this runner and have a few reservations.  Firstly, the trip is unsure both on breeding and form.  I am not saying he definitely will not get it but it is not a nice question to have in the Derby.  I am also not enamered as many are with the 2,000 Guineas form.  Delegator failed to frank it when expected to take the Irish version, which may not have been a damning piece of form given the heavy conditions faced but Sea The Stars (although tipped by the Major in the 2,000) is overlooked here.  If anything I think he might be a place lay.  O’Brien is a master of tactics – He is running half of the field!  I am sure Golden Sword will be put to good use and will draw the sting from STS.  Plus, 2000 Guineas winners have not had a great recent record in the Derby.

Fame and Glory – I am glad to see FAG (how unfortunate) is the favourite of the O’Brien contingent.  Ultimately he has a right to be.  Unbeaten in four starts and taking the same winning route many other Ballydoyle stars have on route to Derby success.  Much more likely to get the trip, this is better opposition than he has ever faced but I fancy a step up in class.

Rip Van Winkle – RVW is a puzzle to me.  This horse has been heavily fancied and I must admit to having some antepost action on him at 12s which I later got out of at 7s.  Johnny Murtagh has picked him and as Ballydoyles number one jockey this is influential.  It has been very influential in the market and I am sure that Fame and Glory would be hot property and a certain favourite if the emporers thumb had gone the other way.  I am unsure this will get the trip as well and since I am not sure of the 2000 Guineas form, it’s fourth there is not great form.  It would not be the first time Johnny has made the wrong selection and to be fair it is not an easy choice.  I for one think he will be regretting his selection at 3.50pm today.

Gan Amhras for me has a better curve than many others at the head of the market.  He is likely to appreciate the step up in trip and has great claims for a place, if not a shot at the title.  More than any other 2000 Guineas rival, this one to me looked like he would be a Derby horse – In my thoughts.

Black Bear Island – This was my early Derby favourite and I must admit to having some antepost slips in his favour.  A full brother to a previous Derby winner, this Dante winner will definitely favour a mile and a half.  I think of the O’Brien runners this is the best closer from deep and that could be crucial.  Ryan Moore picks up the ride and while I am not a big fan (I think he likes the glory of holding up far superior horses, delivering it as late as possible to have commentators cooing over his timing!  Occassionally he gets this badly wrong and gets considerably and justified stick).  For my criticism, I think that style will suit BBI.  I dont think this one has to improve that much to feature and with tactics in this crucial, the race may be run to suit…  hmmm.

Other mentions – The masterofthehorse poor run (see previous post on JMs bad week at Chester) may mask a better horse.  Golden Sword held him that day after being given far too comfortable a lead.  Surely Golden Sword has a tactical role today.  Plus, if O’Brien needs to pressure Sea the Stars and test that stamina, Golden Sword will be put to more use and therefore more useless in the final 2f.  Kite Wood requires significant improvement and I am sure some will come but not enough – outside place hope with Frankie up top especially if he settles better (was keen in the Dante).  Montaff is also overpriced with Hills to help this horse – I will overrule this horse from entering the frame so I am not backing too much but essentially the second to Age of Aquarius when entitled to the run is not bad form for this.  For me the right price is 25/1 not 50/1, thats all I am saying.  Debussy has ground to make up on horses I dont fancy so is easy to rule through.

How will it pan out?

I fancy Golden Sword to bowl along at a generous gallop.  O’Brien will want to ask Sea the Stars the crucial stamina question and I am sure the riding instructions for GS will be to make the most of him.  I would be surprised if Fame and Glory was held up and I fancy Heffernan to have this one cruising in fourth at the top of the hill.   Held up, Black Bear Island and Age of Aquarius will be suited by a generous pace and I expect them to be flashing home at the finish.

 What a great Derby – Five Questions Answered by 3.50pm (My predictions too)

Was RVW the right choice for Johnny Murtagh?

No I think he will regret it – I think the prize will go to Ballydoyle but not with VW

Will the recent death of Vincent O’Brien mean an emotional win for his son?

No doubt his fathers death will be on Aidans mind today and noone would fail not to see a fitting tribute witha  Ballydoyle winner.  Vincent was the king of all trainers on the flat and over the obstacles – It is never wise to be on emtional outcomes but racing has a habit of writing its own tale and I think an O’Brien trained one two is the right result.

Does Sea the Stars have star quality?

No, I do not think his 2,000 uineas win was as impressive as many others do – Happy to be proved wrong but too many questions on this one and I would be happy to place lay at 1.6.

A surpise on the books?

To me the race has a flavour of that but history says no.  You have to go back to ’98 to find a double priced winner-  This leaves RVW, Gan ahmras, Sea the Stars, Black Bear Island and Fame and Glory to choose from.

What is the result then?

1. Fame and Glory 2. Black Bear Island 3. Gan Amhras 4. Sea the Stars 5. RVW 6. Age of Aquarius 7. Kite Wood 8. Masterofthehorse 9. Montaff 10. Golden Sword 11. Crowded House  12. Debussy

Advice: Fame and Glory Win £20 4/1 generally available and £10 win and place on Black Bear Island 9.4 and 2.96

Tim Versus Ade: £250 on Fame and Glory at 4/1 £200 ew on Black Bear Island 9.4 and 2.96 – Good Luck