Tag Archives: flemenstar

Friday Aintree Tips.. Sprinter Sacre v Cue Card v Flemenstar

Good evening from the Major who writes from a clear and cold Worcestershire.  Turning my head to the heavens, the sky is a black blanket brightened by speckles of fiery light, it will be cold.

The Thursday tips for Aintree did not perform well.  If you are new to these parts and have arrived seeking profitable advice for Fridays racing, I issue fair warning that I am on the cold list.

Sadly, we had a lot of visitors yesterday, I hope all saw sense and choose their own way.  Only Captain Conan saved us from the whitewash, beyond that it was carnage.

The Major blunders on, lashing out like a great wounded animal, as the boxer near defeat throws punches, or the frustrated darts leave the ochey without thought; perhaps some luck is required.

Yesterday I concentrated on good ground horses and tried to find some either targeted at Aintree, or at least lightly raced or spring sorts.  I believe this to be the formula and will maintain the philosophy as I interrogate Friday’s card.  Come with me brace warrior, remain purposeful as fickle fortune weaves and wanes, our resolve to see it through is undeterred.  To the racing.

Friday Aintree Tips

My Tent or Yours is quite rightly a warm order at 4/9 in the first, not a working mans price I know but I still think it is value.  He looked the winner of the Supreme but found little on the hill over the last at Cheltenham.  That looked a warm renewal to me as this horse also had tied form with The New One who won the Neptune Novices and narrowly failed to beat Zarkander here yesterday.  Bank job.

The Mildmay is a tougher nut to crack.  Dynaste owes a big run to his followers (including your unfortunate correspondent) after failing to sparkle in the Jewson.  Go back to a flat track (Kempton) and his performance in the Feltham and you would have to say that this one had the world at his feet.  His two runs on good though have not even yielded a place, which has to be a concern, as does the hard race he had at Cheltenham.

The Major thinks a lot of Super Duty.  McCain hardly had a sparkling festival but this one certainly did him proud only just going down to Same Difference in the Kim Muir, I like the look of his spirit that day.  I think 5/1 is a reasonable price.

Rocky Creek has impressed this campaign and is a certain threat, particularly as he has not had a Cheltenham race – It is worth noting that this is the tactic employed by his Ditcheat when Silviniaco Conti won last years Mildmay and a 5/2 bet is advised.

The Melling Chase is possibly the best race of the season.  What a prospect, punters get to see the Aeroplane that is Sprinter Sacre serve it up to another two top class, yet unworthy opponents, in Flemenstar and Cue Card.  The latter is a horse I have a lot of respect for, he was a fine Ryanair winner and will test Sprinters stamina.

Some will think Sprinter may struggle to see out two and a half miles having suffered his only timber defeat over hurdles when stepped up to this distance.  I disagree with every ounce of my self.  Anyone who watches Sprinter Sacre in action can only think he will improve for the step up.  He just won a Champion Chase (Cheltenham’s undulations over 2m are worth at least 2m 2f around Aintree) hard held beating a multiple Grade 1 winner in Sizing Europe by half the hill.

Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  It is time for us to stop thinking this horse is anything other than top draw.  I expect us to talk about his for a long time as one of the finest staying chasers of all time, even held up to the mighty Arkle.  If I am right he hoses up again here.

Flemenstar is a horse I must say something about.  Peter Casey is an eccentric trainer and great for the sport.  He seems a damn good laugh and sporting to boot.  Yet, his handling of this horse in my eyes leaves something to be desired.  Prior to the horse picking up a slight set back which precluded him from Cheltenham, connections were undecided on whether to run their star in a two mile contest (Champion Chase) or the Gold Cup.  Surely after the time they have spent with the horse and the evidence they have from his stunning top-level victories (and defeats) they should be training him with a plan in mind.  I think this is the ideal trip for Flemenstar and he should lead Sprinter Sacre into the home straight nicely.

Given my views on the National Course, articulated in yesterday’s post, there is no tip from me for the Topham.  It was an unfortunate occurrence that Batttlegroup died on the course today and while the course cannot be blamed for what seems a heart attack, the risks inherent on this course (4 fallers today in the Foxhunters) just make it less palatable for me.

The Sefton see At Fishers Cross, fine winner of the Albert Bartlett try good ground for the first time and I am not convinced he is going to act on it.  Noel Meades yard send out unbeaten hurdler Road to Riches who rates a threat even if the trainer is not on a hot streak.  The Major though is going to chance a better run from Gevrey Chambertin at 11/1.  The selection was a poor show at Cheltenham after hosing up in fine style in his debut over timber previously.  A brother to Grand Crus, there could yet be a star to emerge here.

The 4.50 handicap hurdle is a puzzle from hell.  Cotton Mill has form beating My Tent or Yours which clearly rates him a chief threat.   Salubrious is the Martin Pipe conditional winner, of interest but unsure about conditions.  Broadway Buffalo , 8/1, has been unbeaten this season in lower company but absolutely tanked up last time and could be anything, bigger fields seem to have been no problem and I take him to keep improving and give the Pipe yard a quick fire double.

Four year old mares have a decent record in the bumper and The Pirates Queen is a profile I like at 8/1.  I am going a little bit longer though and backing another Pipe horse Centasia at 14/1 who looked a bit green last time and is sure to be better for the narrow defeat.  Conditions should be fine.

Courage and roll those dice.

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Fridays Racing Tips – Leopardstown Lexus Chase, Christmas Hurdle and Novice Chase – Load the cannons again my friends

Good evening from Worcestershire where the Major writes from the lounge. The good lady has joined me and while that scuppers the darts action, she compromised to ‘Escape to Victory’ so karmic forces remain balanced.

What a glorious day of betting for the Major. Winners were plastered all over yesterday’s blog. A double in Ireland and three from five at Kempton was a resounding success. Excellent but just shy of the mothership, it was close, as close as Bourne getting up on Dildar….. Aaahhhh the sweet sanguine feeling of loss.

Bad losers are awful gamblers, they get confused. Nothing is personal, if you need a refresher in how to lose, watch my favourite film , The Sting…. A sharp intake of breath, a tilt of the hat and as Kipling said, never breath a word about your loss.

Leopardstown on Friday completes a fantastic schedule of Christmas racing. Let us do battle once again, join me, I feel a final 2012 push, we shall take the ridge and repel the counter, we shall meet them man for man, with bayonets fixed. To Leopardstown.

Leopardstown Tips

I am going to start with tips for the Lexus. It is being run on heavy ground, which will be cut up but most in the field will enjoy it. What a race we have, we have all been waiting for it. Surely the Lexus Chase only concerns the first two in the market.

The highest profile horse I am ignoring is Tidal Bay. He was conceding 6lbs to Bobs Worth when providing a worthy challenge in the Hennessy but I think that was the extent of his abilities. He has been quirky in time and I am not convinced travel will be for him. That said, Ruby is in the seat and might choose to make the running as Tidal Bay will be best suited by a searching stitching stamina test. Turning twelve though and after a hard race last time, he is first of the main protagonists with a line through.

Midnight chase did once beat Tidal Bay but on this ground, I can’t see him landing a blow here.

So the front two…. Flemenstar leapt to the head of the Gold Cup market when serving up a beating to Sir Des Champs last time out. Peter Casey is a colourful owner and it will be good for the sport to see Flemenstar remain a top class horse winning good races.

This is over a further half mile which possibly plays for Sir Des Champs’s chances. When he lost to Flemenstar it was over arguably too short a trip and his seasonal debut and so it is fair to expect better from him.

Sir Des Champs is a two time festival winner and his RSA quarterbacked a decent betting Cheltenham for the Major. My heart is with him. He has an extra year on Flemenstar and I think he is an excellent prospect for the Gold Cup.

I am pretty convinced by the argument that Sir des Champs can reverse placings. Davy Russell was quite kind to him in the John Durkan, these conditions will play into his hands. This sthe start and the finish of the Majors search for a Lexus tip.

11/4 is available on Sir Des Champs and at that price, the Major is a big buyer.

Tips for the Christmas Hurdle

The 1.35 Christmas hurdle has a air of utter quality about it.

Zaidpour is installed as favourite after taking the Hattons Grace last time up but I am not sure of that race. It was a steadily run affair and not form I trust entirely. Monksland was pretty close to Zaidpour that day with Voler la Vedette back in third.

That mare is a wonderful horse and a bloody good yardstick so if I am wrong about the race then Zaidpour is damn good. He is a horse that was kept busy in the summer but not to much effect, his French raid was poor and I just find him hard to trust.

I like So Young, but if they insist on cutting out the pace with him then he won’t be winning this.

Weapons Amnesty was a mighty impressive winner of the RSA who has been plagued with injury. I had him earmarked as a Gold Cup sort prior to his extended spell on the mend list. Given he is returning to hurdles first, I expect this is an exploratory mission and we can expect more next time up. That said, he is receiving some handy weight off some of these due to the construct of the penalties.

When it comes down to it, probably the winner is one of the Hattons Grace finishers. Of them, Monksland appeals the most at 4/1. Zaidpour makes me nervous and I think my tip is more progressive and in receipt of an extra 2lbs and stepping up in distance, I am taking a slice.

2.25 Topaz Novice Chase

Goodness me there are some puzzles in here. Some excellent horses and this will be very informative.

Aupcharlie looks second of the Mullins string but could be anything after an impressive chase win with impeccable jumping.

Avrika Ligeonniere gave a good beating to Dedigout last time out and the former looks a top class novice, it is fair to say Mullins will know where he stands with Dedigout. Avrika went on to beat Benefficient in the Drinmore.

The main Mullins horse heads the market. Back In Focus looked a top class horse and another natural at the obstacles, clearly a that to all. 5/4 just seems a bit short, although he looks the likely winner.

Instead the Major is going to tip Tofino Bay at 10/1. The Troytown win was brave, particularly so as a novice. He is a less fashionable sort having taken the handicap route but I think the form is good. He is fine on soft and has a likeable attitude – have a slice.

Good luck tomorrow troops, courage… Roll those dice.

Sunday Racing Tips at Cork and Punchestown for the awesome John Durkan

Good morning from the Major who writes from the warm bed. Sausages are being prepared downstairs, all is well in the world.

Could we have had a better weekend of racing?

Firstly the class act. Sprinter Sacre did exactly what your spirit wants. Winning on the bridle and hammering Sanctuaire. The Nicholls horse may have over-stretched as Kumbeshwar stole second from him, murdering a few forecasts no doubt in the process. In a bout of spectacular aftertiming I was going to suggest that forecast to younyesterday morning as I thought it might pan out that way.

Still, enough of my own brilliance, you know enough of that, after all you are here and that can only be tacit acknowledgement of my minds power.

Sprinter was in a different league to the best we have, the form lines are insane. I put Sprinter Sacre 10lbs ahead of Jesus.

If that was not enough for you, you gluttonous fool, then the wins of Captain Conan and Golden Hoof were good watches too but merely accoutrements to a piece of racing history.

The biggest cheer on a racecourse was at Aintree not Sandown. 14 years young Hello Bud winning the Becher was eye wateringly good. As stories go this is unbeatable. You don’t get much better symbiosis of horse and rider than this. How the old boy held grimly on to win by a head was inspiring and the crowd duly lapped it up.. Bravo. Little Josh a hard working sort was a popular winner too in the last.

Is that enough? No! Red Cadeaux, globe trotting servant of the Ed Dunlop yard wins his first group 1 at Sha Tin in the early hours….

The stage is set for a magnificent Sunday but surely we have been given too many treats already. How do we beat the gourmet of delights already served up… We’re we deserving of them, have we been over-fed? No.

If you are near Punchestown you have to go. It is my birthday and I would love nothing more than to attend the John Durkan today. Plus, entry is €10 – for that you get one of the best races of the season….

Punchestown Tips

The John Durkan is a fabulous renewal. There are only four going to post but each is a worthy sort and put together it is an intriguing field.

Flemenstar has gone from strength to strength and is favourite today. You can understand why but this is the toughest task to date and I don’t want to be short changed. Sir Des Champs is the current head of the Gold Cup market after travelling and jumping like a dream in the Jewson. Great engine, great jumper, probably the best of these in my view but I am concerned that he might strip fitter for this.

The third of the second season chasers gets my vote. Regular readers know that Bog Warrior is my favourite horse in training. I love him. I also think he has a chance and 11/1 is dismissive. Firstly I think this is his best distance. He will be fit after demolishing a hurdles field last time out. He has also beaten Flemenstar all be it under different circumstances. Have a slice and thank me later.

Good luck to Mikael D’Haguenet who is odds on in the beginners chase…. Not for me.

I do like 3/1 shot Balnaslow in the earlier novice event though – point and bumper form is OK but Mullins introducing him into this company is an advert in itself.

Cork Tips

Three graded races at Cork, it’s a good day there too…

Tarla is not a punters price but 4/9 is probably still lenient and I advise the horse for some multiples. Same applies to Road to Riches.

In the Hilly Way Chase, I think the is a bit of value to be had. Of course the Mullins horse looks progressive but there are some seasoned campaigners here and some are very talented, if not altogether trusted to put their race in.

The one I like the most is 6/1 shot Foildubh who is still potentially improving and has some reasonable tied form with Flemenstar.

Courage, roll those dice!

Sunday Tips for Fairyhouse – Powers Gold Cup

Good morning from the Major with a few Sunday thoughts.

A little unlucky yesterday – the credentials of the favourite were strong on the Carlisle tip and after watching that win and my 12/1 selection finish 4th, I did think of what could have been.

My US tip finished 2nd by a nose! Ouch.

Thankfully the three footie tips bore plenty of fruit with the two advised draws at the stadium Of light and anfield both paying out.

Powers Gold Cup day and Easter Sunday has a greater standard of racing than yesterday. The Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse is a superb line up.

It is a difficult race to call as two separate factors are in play. The ground is fairly good which is completely different to that which many of these horses have races on. Secondly we are at the end of the season where over the top horses can throw in a shocker.

For these reasons I am not backing form (which would put me on Flemenstar) but instead backing a horse that loves good ground in False Economy at 10/1. This yard are in sparkling form an Geraghty up is eye catching.

In the third at Fairyhoise I am going to back Ipsos Du Berlais who has shown decent form, also gets a Geraghty ride and has bigger assignments booked in the future.

In the football I am happy to back Man United to win without conceding and Arsenal to win at 5/6 and 6/4 respectably.

Bog Warrior, Pique Sous and Ante Post Champion Bumper

The Major enjoyed a profitable Saturday with the 33/1 advised Chesil Beach Boy running on into a place in the Imperial Cup as well as 33/10 Sunderland getting the better of Liverpool at the Stadium of Light – This from four advised bets, which include Manchester City, yet to play at 7/10.

Bog Warrior - The Major has a lot of faith invested

That did the Cheltenham war chest no harm what so ever.

2.45 Naas – Bog Warrior

The Major has made it clear that I am really disappointed not to see Bog Warrior at Cheltenham.  The fact he needs softer ground has meant we do not get to see him test his mettle against the best.

The turnout for this novice chase is very disappointing with only four runners.  No doubting the quality of the field but even with Cheltenham upon us, I would have expected a better field today at Naas with 18k (Euros) up for grabs.

Today he lines up against Flemenstar, a horse the Major tipped just a few weeks ago, successfully.  Although clearly very good himself, today I am sticking with Bog Warrior.

The Major strongly feels that this is the best upcoming chaser in Ireland and I would be gutted not to see him beat Flemenstar today.

He likes to lead and should get that easily enough here and I am looking forward to a demolition job from the front.  If you sense a touch of emotive in this tip, then I congratulate you on an accurate political radar.  The Major has a definite soft spot for Bog Warrior who must be the most aptly named horse in racing.  He is bold at his fences, brave and loves to take it on from the front, lots of heart.  Reminds me of a big Gold Cup winner from Ditcheat, I have a feeling Bog Warrior might be the same class as Denman but maybe that’s too far.

Strong win bet at 11/10 with Paddy Power advised.  If you want to know at what point I started feeling that way, it was as Bog Warrior landed over the last at Fairyhouse in the Drinmore, just watch how he picks up and moves on again.  He is all heart and I love a galloping sort that wants to wind it up from the front.  Watch the video from about 4 minutes and you will see him force error from Rivage D’Or – I hope I am right, Bog Warrior is a machine of a horse and has an enormous appetite, I feel a people’s champion being created.  I have tried to attach the video of the Drinmore here – Hope it works.  Might not be that often that you see Bog Warrior wearing the third couloured hat of Gigginstown!

Pique Sous – Champion Bumper Antepost.

In my Cheltenham ante-post blog, I suggested following King of Bumpers on Twitter for the Champion Bumper tips.

That said, I am increasingly looking towards the Mullins raiders to get myself a little ticket ahead of Wednesday.  As a result, Pique Sous is of massive interest to me.

So many of the Champion Bumper runners are hard to assess on form and it is often reputation and the market that gives you a better idea on the horses chance.  Although jockey bookings are yet to be confirmed, I suspect Champagne Fever will get Ruby’s services and that will leave my selection looking second best.

I am not too worried about that and hope that Pique Sous can show the best of the way home at 12/1.

Of the others, loads look promising sorts – After all this is a Champion Bumper and I am trying the impossible to tip the best in a field of high potential sorts.

Both Greatrex horses are 33/1, Circular Quay and Chain Reaction – They both have top class assistance in the saddle with Brennan and Maguire piloting respectively.

I am going to stick my pin in with Pique Sous though, at 5.20 on Wednesday, when the music stops, let’s see if our head is in front!