Tag Archives: fingal bay

Friday Racing Tips from Exeter and Sandown plus one at Lingfield

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.

Exeter Tips

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.

Sandown Tips

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.

Lingfield Tip

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.

Friday Aintree Tips – includes a 25/1 Topham Tip

THIS IS THE 2012 POST, 2013 tips will be posted at midnight on Thursday on the home page.

2013 tips are now live.

Good evening from the Major who writes with tips for the fantastic Friday Aintree card.  The sheer quality of racing makes the heart skip a beat.

Finians was top class when seeing off Sizing Europe. This will suit…. load the large cannon

No joy from the three Aintree tips offered on Thursday.

To be fair, Crack Away Jack came in second at 50/1 after being highlighted as a possible improver.  Pearl Mix was a non runner but Grumeti’s win was a moral victory as the form lines were tied.  The other two selections fared poorly.

We need Fridays Aintree Tips to bring the Warchest for the weekend, let us review the action and see if we cannot find some opportunities to load the large cannon.

Aintree Top Novice Hurdle – 2pm

Darlan’s second in the Supreme Novices is rock solid form and to be fair, you could argue he was a little unlucky not to be the winner.

Prospect Wells was not that far behind that day but the Major is opting for a horse who finished even further behind in the Supreme… the tip is Vulcanite.

The selection is a general 10/1 shot and has been pulling very hard in his races.  If he settles I think he could be a classier act than yet shown over the obstacles as he was a decent flat horse.  Aintree is a flatter track, which I feel will suit his running style and help him settle as they will go quicker.  Now with more experience, I think there is a reasonable case to be made that Vulcanite could come improve past them all.

2.30 Mildmay Novice Chase

I can understand why the market has priced up Champion Court as favourite.  This horse likes to bowl  along and on a flat track and likely granted an easy lead, he could be hard to peg back.

Silviniaco Conti has some very good tied form with Bobs Worth who was an impressive Cheltenham winner.  Ruby opts to ride him too.

Neither of these market leaders are that convincing to the Major though who looks a little further down to find a golden nugget hiding away.

Join Together is the 11/2 tip (Stan James).  Ruby disagrees with me having chosen Silviniaco Conti over this stablemate but I think my selection has the greater form.  His last run at Cheltenham was a disappointment and I have to find a valid reason (the ground).

With a line through that run, my horse has given weight and a beating to Champion Court and has beaten subsequent Cheltenham winner Teaforthree.  Have a slice.

3.05 Melling Chase

The selection here is far more simple.  Finians Rainbow, a winner at Aintree last year and the reigning Champion Chaser, should have nothing to fear from this field and should be backed to the hilt at 11/8 with Stan James.

Albertas Run who has won the race in 2010, is now 11 and the newcomer looks more progressive.

The way Finians Rainbow finished up the Cheltenham hill suggested that 2m 4f around Aintree is well within reach.  The main danger in the Major’s eyes is Wishfull Thinking who I remain convinced has some big races to run.

Smash it up.

Topham Chase Tips

One of the trickiest contests to resolve is Thursdays Aintree Topham chase.  Tipping a winner in this is a tricky business indeed.

A couple of thoughts influence the tip, the ground is being watered and I think with a dry forecast, they are worried about it going ‘good’.  I am looking for good ground sorts and hope we don’t get that dead ground that throws up such odd results.

Secondly, there is a hugely strong Topham trend towards bottom of the handicap sorts.  Just one horse in the last twelve winners carried more than 11st and that was Gwanako.  In fact, since the turn of the century, seven winners carried 10st 4lbs or less.  To be fair, this does not rule out many as you often have a classy sort taking on unexposed players.

Peter Bowen is heavily represented again including the Topham hat-trick seeking Always Waining.  He will sure be popular again and will be in the best shape for this so has to be considered even at eleven.

Little Josh is now running off the same marks that got him a Paddy Power Gold Cup.  Liking to front run, conditions will suit so 11/1 Paddy Power is half decent.  However, 11st 4lbs on trends will be a burden.

The selection though is harder to justify than these.  Montoya’s Son has started to recover some form and the recent Newcastle show was OK.  It is not unrealistic to expect further improvement and 25/1 (Paddy Power) allows some room for that.  Many bookies are offering 5 places so do watch the terms.

4.15 Sefton Novices

When connections described Fingal Bay as the best they have had, the Major made a big mark in the book and left it there.  6/4 is very reasonable for a horse that has shown terrific form.

Having bypassed Cheltenham, Fingal bay turns up at Aintree fresher than many and if he has most of the form that his reputation suggests, then he should carry these before him.

For those that like a bigger price, Knock a Hand looks extremely progressive and could well take a place.

4.50 Handicap Hurdle

I have been through this card and cannot decide between two so am serving both up.

Bourne, I think, was unsuited last time and has plenty of potential left in what was a progressive profile before the festival.  9/1 is a win bet.

Like Minded is a 25/1 Paul Nicholls inmate who has not done much winning but would be closely matched with 14/1 Ataglance now on these revised terms.  Harry Derham has had a high profile winner for the yard this term and is well worth his claim.

The other big price horse that I considered is 25/1 shot Saphir River who did not give a decent run on British debut and has to prove some worth out of confusing French form.  It is notable though that there was a quarter of a million fee for the horse – Market support could be significant on second UK start.

The Bumper

Go to twitter… follow @kingofbumpers… do not ask the Major!

The Saturday Sermon – Tips for the Challow Hurdle and a Lingfield Steamer.. all aboard choo choooooo

Good morning from another impermeable grey early hour in Worcestershire, where the Majors central heating creaks into gear and the wood burner spits and crackles alive.  The coffee pot has bubbled away and the Major has studied in the knowledge that this is the final chance to serve up some winners in 2011.

Fingal Bay, apple of Hobbs eye

Until a fortnight ago, recent racing form was pretty bad.  Then it went disastrous and bottomed out in the worst run the Major has ever had.  I gave up monitoring performance in the top tabs some time ago because it was a lot of hassle to keep recording all bets.  At the time, horseracing was definitely profitable, football and other sports much more dubious.

With the recent run, even the horse racing profitability for the year must surely be in doubt.  Still, the Major blunders on blind, like a wounded animal, stumbling forever forwards, onwards and relentless, recklessly positive.  Remember, even the blinded squirrel will find the odd nut. 

The Major has fallen very low, but shall rise up.

A New Year tomorrow and the Major will probably make a face-lift to the site, let us all hope it is on the back of a post that closes 2011 with some winners. Shabash!

The Major may well start the New Year with a visit to Cheltenham.  Oscar Whisky is the star turn out and I may pop down to watch, may see you there?

It hammered down last night and the Major is pleased to see Uttoxeter pass its inspection, soft ground is the order of the day, we shall try to find some horses that enjoy having their toe in the mud.

The Challow Hurdle – Newbury

Fingal Bay can only be backed at 4/11 and given that Hobbs described his as one of the best he has had, you have to think that he is by far the likeliest winner of a shallow looking Challow Hurdle field.  Hobbs has yet to declare which race at Cheltenham he is aiming Fingal Bay at, he is clearly well loved at home though and it would be a surprise to see him beaten here.

This is no bet to serve up to the Majors followers though, when we are seeking funding for a New Years Eve celebration.

Therefore, I suggest backing Fill the Power each way at 22/1 with Corals and sticking that selection in a reverse forecast with Fingal Bay too.

Fingal Bay should really win readily, his Graded novice hurdle wins already look impressive enough and there seems to be more improvement to come, an exciting prospect.

1.40 and 2.45 Lingfield – The Fancy and the Steamer

The Major offered up Irons on Fire a few weeks ago when 8/1 on the previous evening and went off at an astonishing 6/4.  See, the Major always smells a gamble.

That day, Irons on Fire and Rowan Ridge pulled clear of the pack and my selection was second and reported a tendon injury.  They re-oppose today with a 3lb pull for Irons on Fire and the booking of Kieran Fallon suggesting that better is expected.  He can entitled to be better for the last turnout and Irons on Fire is still well below his best marks from a couple of years previous so I advise a strong win bet.

In the 2.40, I have another steamer at 6/1 that I urge you to back early because I think the money will come.

Taajub is my selection who I think could be coming back to hand from a handy draw and a mark that has fallen 25lbs since his glory days finishing a quarter length second in an Ascot Group 3 to Our Jonathan.  That old form is far better than anything else can boast in the field and so all hope is pinned on a return to something near like it.

Te reason that the Major thinks Taajub may well be about to turn a small corner is his last run which went into the notebook.  Over 6f around Kempton, he met a wall of horses coming into the straight and had to veer sharply left before getting his run, he then stayed on well to finish 5th but was less than 2l from being the winner. 

That run suggests better to come and that 7f holds no fears too.  I wish Novellen Lad was not in the field because the booking of Fallon makes you fearful that he is also handily placed but I am going to stick my neck out with a 6/1 (Skybet) tip for Taajub.

2.05 Newbury Novice Chase

Finally on the horseracing front, I wanted to offer my tip for the Novice Chase.  Three absolutely cracking prospects line up in Cue Card, For Non Stop and Walkon. 

The first has the most experience over fences but seems a little short of top class.  This is a shame because the Champion Bumper that Cue Card won seemed to single him out as a future champion, since then he has not quite gone on.

Walkon had a superb debut over fences at Exeter and certainly looks to be a worth favourite.  He never quite recaptured his Triumph Hurdle form from 2009 when coming back from injury last season but the Exeter run seems to have marked a new era for Walkon and he could be a first-rate chaser.

With that said, the Major is going to tip 11/4 shot, For Non Stop.  My selection is 11/4 and on chase debut finished runner-up to the exciting Al Ferof.  This is a race that should suit and I expect further progress.

Finally, if you need one more tip!  1.45 Warwick, Great Reason 6/4 should win readily enough.

To the football…

Ironically as the racing star has dulled in recent week, the Majors football tipping has been OK.  From a jam packed New Years Eve coupon, the Major has picked out a handful of tips…

Norwich at 28/17 are a good thing to beat Fulham at home, Norwich have enough firepower up top to take three points here.

I continue to mine the seam of Spurs and expect them to win at Swansea so 8/11 is a backable proposition.

Finally Hull at 9/4 to win at Burnley is a monster price for the Major.  Get stuck in and send me a postcard.

May dinner be generous and enjoyable.  It is your last of the year.  Indulge.  Make sure that company is forgiving and fun, after all, it is New Year and to breeze in the fresh annum with anything else is a waste.

Courage, roll those dice.

The Sunday Gambling Sermon – Greatwood Hurdle Tips

A fine morning to you from the Major.  Sadly yesterday was not quite the tide turning event that I envisaged and although we went close with a few, including a 2nd foir 20/1 Divers, we are still awaiting glorious redemption.

It is Greatwood Hurdle day at Cheltenham and another decent card with two Grade two races, a grade three and a listed contest.

1.10 Novice Chase

Al Ferof missed a Bangor engagement this week which would have seen him tackle the high potential chaser, Peddlers Cross.  If he jumps well he should win this but these novice events can be extremely difficult to predict with the horses likely to learn from the experience.

Restless Harry was a classic case yesterday, travelled OK but his jumping was defintely novicey and he is likely to be better after a few more efforts over top obstacles.

I am willing to take the same gamble on Al Ferof though.  That was a good Supreme Novice and since he was the top 2m novice hurdler a half decent translation to the big fences and he must win.

For those who prefer their bets in this sort of race, each way, I would sugest Lancetto at 10s.

Greatwood Handicap Hurdle

The third race of the day is the Greatwood Hurdle.  I am interested in two, 8/1 Moon Dice and 9/1 A Media Luz.

The former looked highly impressive when taking the Galway Hurdle.  Moon Dice goes well fresh and surely a big run is expected.

A Media Luz has more question marks.  He travelled beautifully into the Aintree race on reappearance but emptied quite quickly.  Let’s hope that was match fitness only.  He has not got a good Cheltenham record but that is only based on two runs.

If you like a big punt, there is no way Harry Tricker should be 66/1.  OK, I accept that there are plenty of questions to answer but this horse was able to claim a runner up spot in this a couple of years ago.  There are not that many miles on the clock and he is in good hands.  I suggest a small each way interest.

On balance, Moon Dice…. Have a slice.

Neptune Novice Hurdle

Fingal Bay looked like he was oozing quality when pouring it on at Chepstow and the Major cannot see him getting beaten here.  Horses without Cheltenham form can be risky propositions on debut at Prestbury but Fingal Bay got round Chepstow with no problem and that is a similar track.

11/10 have a big slice.