Good evening from the Major who writes from a damp and cold Worcestershire evening air. The rain is coming down, I can the occasional vehicle passing, wheels kissing the wet road.
I followed a fire engine for a few miles earlier on my way home. It was responding to an emergency call and against a dark blue sky, the vivid blue flashing lights looked beautiful. There was something poetic about the big machine which couldn’t reach top speed due to the numerous turns in the road, each draining momentum from the beast. Think Denman around Chester.
There is something beautiful in tragedy. A tinge of life that comes from the machine doing it’s best to get to someone in trouble that adds to the aesthetic quality of its calming blue light. That is unless it is your tragedy.
Mrs Major, never mentioned on the blog, received a job offer today. I did not understand why she wanted to work but then I haven’t spent the last five years looking after our two boys day in day out. I imagine that would do it.
Perhaps she could invest her new income in a 3yo flat horse with a profile to go hurdling and perhaps graduate to chases. I’m thinking Ian Williams to start with but maybe Rebecca Curtis later… No Mrs M won’t have that, she knows my mind too well.
To The Thursday tips and gods punting luck to all of you. Mixed bag today, not the best but the horses I really fancied were at Market Rasen which we lost to the frost.
Fingal Bay goes at Exeter tomorrow. Normally when a horse owes me money, I have a warm feeling towards them but Fingal Bay evokes distrust. He is 1/6 tomorrow and should go in but I am watching only. I accept that I underestimated Dynaste but Fingal had such a lofty reputation and I really thought he was the business. Disappointment you can taste.
I cannot really get a big angle into the opening handicap. Ripoff, Gizzit and Uimhir a Seacht all have some appeal and the latter is priced at 14/1 overnight with Bet365 so is a value uneasy selection.
1.30 strikes me as a tough handicap too and so it will be small stakes for me on Shaking Hands at 8/1. The tip competed in this last year (2nd) runs off the same mark (2lbs up) has a useful claimed aboard and a warm up spin over hurdles – this will be the main target but there are plenty of other Interesting sorts so small stakes stuff.
The 2.05 will see a hot favourite in The Italian Yob but I am following my nose with Kap Gun. Richard Johnson could have been on Orabara who was a damn lucky winner last time out when his main market rival fell when holding the winning chance and Johnson has got off him to get on my tip at a forecast 4/1. Orabara holds a decent chance too having at least got that winning experience under the belt, also on soft, but Kap Gun represents a Hobbs yard in form.
The first of the novice hurdle races can go to the promising looking Irish Bucaneer, the penultimate race can go to Musical Wedge at 7/4 who looks unlikely to be stopped by a half stone rise after a simple Taunton win last time out.
To finish the day with a hat trick of favourites going in, I wouldn’t at all be put off a bet on Vibrato Valtat who is a French import in the right hands.
Nicholls looks like he has the Exeter canons loaded and I am backing at least a treble for the team who reap rich rewards at all of the South West tracks.
In the opener, I cannot go against Valco de Touzaine who looks another useful French import for Team Ditcheat.
In the second, I am struggling to split the chances of Wings of Smoke who has more experience and Thanks for Coming who is a Henderson novice and plenty of potential now chasing. On balance, Geraghty swings it for me and so Thanks for Coming gets the nod.
The Grade 2 novice is a tasty little morsel, even with jus the five runners. Let’s have a look at them. Dunlough Bay has the weakest credentials despite winning a Lingfield useful event last time up, yard not firing so overlooked. Le Bec looks interesting but Lavelle hasn’t got them going yet either and the seasonal debut win at this track looked average. Tarquin de Seuil is the 6/4 favourite on account of the useful looking My Tent or Yours form (2nd in the champion bumper). Southfield Theatre warrants massive respect for the Nicholls team, the horse was four lengths fourth to subsequent champion bumper winner The New One in January and will be well rehearsed. I am going to chance 9/2 shot Up and Go though who is also a thoroughly exciting prospect. If I am right, consider changing Kap Gun at Exeter for Key to the West who has strongly tied form from a Uttoxeter bumper.
In the 2.20, I am continuing the Nicholls theme and tipping Pacha Du Polder going in at 2/1.
The amateur riders are at it in the 2.55 and jockey quality is paramount in guiding the selection. State Benefit will win one day off what looks a workable mark and goes well fresh, considered. Brackloon High looks a good animal on his day. Relax though is an 8/1 shot and his chances look better than that to me, extra distance could be a bonus.
Tanerko Emery is a sensible place to stop at 3/1.
Fast Pace is well bred and was unlucky on debut finishing well after meeting trouble. With the experience, I expect a big run but this will be short in the market.
The ‘Hill Mothership’ Lucky 15
Valco de Touzaine, Tanerko Emery, Fast Pace and Vibrato Valtat.
Each Way Trixie Tip
Relax, Uimhir a Seacht and Shaking Hands
Courage and roll the dice.