Good morning from the Major who sits at his Kitchen table concocting a wonderful weekend of gambling.
This week, advices were at times unlucky but did not pay and the great start to the year took a small hit. That said we are still hugely profitable, thanks to a number of tasty horses going in..
All advices remain on my posts, for checking and the record of them is in the menu above. The Major’s tips are always free and the thinking unhinged. If just one child is saved from a life of non-gambling as a result of what I do, I shall go to my grave content. Seal the lid Mr Undertaker, and let little Johnny know that I still think Trafford Lad can land a big prize one day.
The Major has started recording his bets again, you will find it on the top menu, along with new resources which I will expand from time to time.
The Saturday Gambling Sermon is here so relax. Gentlemen adjust your hat to a jaunty angle (26 degrees), strike up a cigar (Cohiba Siglo IV) and let us go to war once again.
We have the riches spread before us like a rich man in heaven. The grade one Victor Chandler Chase, seven grade two races and a grade three; spread across Haydock, Naas and Ascot.
The highlight is certainly the Victor Chandler which has been used, in the past, as a springboard for the best chasers.
Todays renewal is no exception with the superb Finians Rainbow versus Al Ferof. It is a clash to whet the appetite, Henderson v Nicholls, Geraghty v Walsh; in a race that also includes Somersby and Wishful Thinking. This is what Saturday sport is about.
Appetite is the focus of this mornings Saturday Sermon, well that and independent thought, which I will get to shortly.
A man’s appetites on a Saturday should be satisfied with a fine salmon and poached egg. Failing that, the Major’s favourite breakfast dish, Eggs Benedict would more than suffice – If you are not familiar with this particular morning spectacular, then live a little, order one up and allow the Major to brighten your existence. Life will not be the same again.
Appetite for risk is something the Major is familiar with from my daily pursuits both vocational and recreational. To be able to judge risk, you need to be able to weigh the likelihood of an event occurring with the impact of the resultant outcome. Your acceptance of a wager should be determined by such.
This is straightforward and is similar to the mathematical concepts of probability, odds and value which the Major has posted in the Gambling Resources section of the site.
Calculating value is one matter, your personal appetite dictates how you react to that value. In the Majors opinion, gamblers and people of business are happy to operate at the low risk with certain, low reward end of the risk spectrum. They rarely back themselves to go for the high risk but high reward opportunities that present themselves. Consider…..
I have often said, that if a horse should be 33/1 but has been priced at 100/1, you should back it. This is because it is profitable. Ultimately, that calculation is more important than what you think will happen. Yet few people will back such a prospect, even when they have calculated that it is great value.
For example, if you calculate reasonably that each of the Premier League elite teams will lose a home game, once a season to a bottom third team, then you might reasonably surmise that the odds of those away teams should be approximately 8/1. Thus if QPR were at Chelsea and priced at 12/1, this would be a value price in your book, the reward is great but the risk is high as you still believe that the outcome is 87.5% likely that your bet will not pay.
What is important is not that you think it will not happen, it is that you still think it is more likely to happen than the market price suggests.
This is fundamentally why gambling is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme but a long game dotted with regular consistent losses. What is important is that when you win, you backed outcomes at correct prices.
Don’t be a sheep. When you here someone say that Manchester United are a certainty at home, remind that they did lose at home to Blackburn…. at 28/1. Whatever outcome occurs, the test of judgement is whether you priced it correctly.
What people get confused between is value and likelihood. Just because something is likely, does not make it good value. Human nature dictates to follow likelihood more than value because we want to win more. This thought clouds the brain. Often, value dictates back Blackburn but likelihood says back Manchester United because it is more likely. Be careful of those voices in your head, remember the Major’s calculation for betting value – (Decimal Odds * Probability) / 100. Value greater than 1 – Back it. Value less than 1 – Leave to the sheep.
So I think Chelsea to win at Norwich is just a 40% probability. Their price is 1.66. 1.66*0.4 = 0.664 – Shocking value for the Major.
That is the sport of it, the intellectual thrust of judgement and calculation. The fine balance. When people ask why I gamble, I reply ‘why not?’ – The Major pities those who cannot feel the rush of blood at a sporting event where you have staked your money on the market being wrong. When you made your honourable personal choice, your own integral thoughts, that which no man can alter but thee, that which god gave you to distinguish yourself as that of the finest and highest privelege – A man with independent thought. What finer or purer thing exists?
No wonder hostages survive, able to hold on that thought – Whatever happens, my independent thought still remains. That integrity cannot be taken away.
To the Sports, daub thy war paint…..
The Victor Chandler Chase – 3.10 Ascot
First of all, The Major dops his hat to Victor Chandler who are stumping up a matched £25 bet offer for existing customers. The Major has not studied the detail but this firm have always been generous with their concessions. As a bookmaker they offer best priced markets too, so that when a horse drifts you collect the better price. One of the Major’s preferred accounts.
The market is currently full of bookmakers competing for our wagers on this race – This has forced the overround down to 103%, happy days!
We are looking at some of the upcoming stars heading the market in the shape of Al Ferof and Finians Rainbow. These two, with the possible addition of Wishfull Thinking seem the progressive sorts and that is what the Major wants.
Wishfull Thinking has disappointed a bit this term in the Tingle Creek and the Paddy Power but looked a top prospect at the close of last season, it is possible we are getting to his time of year and he is a dangerous sort to rule out. That said, he has reportedly had breathing problems which two wind ops do not seem to have solved, not without a chance but in this company, overlooked.
Al Ferof has won both starts over fences and although that does not equate to much experience, visually he looked very comfortable. The form line with For Non Stop is not the strongest, but hugely respectable. Remember we are comparing him though to the best potential Grade 1 chasers mind and he might still need to improve more.
Finians Rainbow however ticks more boxes. His Kempton win last time (beating Wishfull Thinking) showed plenty of guts and a decent turn of foot; having been pretty much on the deck with half a mile to go. His novice campaign was exceptionally strong and Henderson clearly thinks highly of him. His Arkle defeat for me, remains amongst the best pieces of form on show, the time evidence supports that view.
I think the Victor Chandler will pan out with Forpadytheplasterer and Wishfull Thinking taking them along. This should suit Finians Rainbow.
Get stuck right in and thank me later: 5/2 Victor Chandler with their additional concession.
1.45 Champion Hurdle Trial – Haydock
In name this is a Grade 2 Champion Hurdle trial, in truth, it is not a great show. Just four go to post and the 1/2 favourite is Celestial Halo.
The resaon for throwing the race into the Saturday Sermon in is that I am not sure 1/2 is at all value for the favourite. The race is sure going to be tactical. It is heavy ground and with a small field, they will probably go at a dawdle until the business end.
A further concern is that Celestial Halo has never run on heavy ground and this will be bottomless. While his soft ground form suggests it will be fine, after coming out of a hrad last race, 1/2 is no price.
Instead, I suggest Marsh Warbler who I think will thrive in the mud. 7/2 Skybet, have a slice.
1.00 Ascot – Novice Handicap Chase
It is hugely difficult to evaluate the form of my selection Triolo D’Alene who is available to back at 10/3 with Betfred but 127 gives plenty of opportunity if the ability is there. Top connections might have an easy score here and 10/3 might look the price of fools at ten past one.
10lbs of weight conceded from Oldrik who rates the danger, persuaded me to get on the Henderson unknown quantity.
Bet of the day for me is in the Novice Chase over two and a half miles at Haydock.
While State Benefit looks like being another of the riches spilling from the Henderson yard, the Major would be concerned that the bottomless ground may get to him. Certainly his Exeter win on soft seems to suggest he likes getting his toe in but Haydock in these conditions is a different prospect.
This is why I place great weight on the two wins Cotswold Charmer has collected on heavy. His chase debut win at Bangor was on soft and he has scope to keep improving.
5/1 is generally available and is overpriced for the Major.
To the football….
African Cup of Nations
The African cup of nations kicks off today and I am very pleased to be sat on an ante-post ticket backing Senegal at 10/1. They have been backed into 11/2 across the board and you can see why. They should have a relatively trouble-free passage to the Semi-Finals and their squad is littered with European striking talents. In fact, they boast seven strikers of which, we would be most familiar with Demba Ba. If you want a tournament interest, have a slice – I fully expect the ageing Ivory Coast squad, who start the tournament 13/8 favourites, to flop once again.
In the Premier League, I am following my belief that Chelsea are weaker than the market thinks and suggesting a Norwich win at 5/1 with 188Bet. While my tip for Chelsea to fail to beat Sunderland did not pay, after watching the game, surely you would not want to be on Chelsea today at 4/6 best price? Incidentally the draw is a best price 16/5, making that a 100% overround. £6 with Ladbrokes (6/4), returns £10, so does £2.40 with 16/5 Victor Chandler and so does £1.70 with 188bet at 5/1.
I know Fulham have a decent home record but Newcastle still look great value at 3/1. I think the price is inflated because markets believe they will miss Tiote and Ba too much but in reality it is more their no nonsense 4-4-2 sensible approach that has been winning them games. They have kept it simple and they work hard. They have adequate players to drop in and while their 1-0 QPR win was not spectacular, it again showed their organisational strength. 3/1 is too dismissive.
Finally Wigan look better than 3/1 to get a result at QPR. Wigan play nice football, a fact not helped by their shocking pitch. QPR will suit them and the Major has never been convinced by Mark Hughes, not a fan.
Mr Hill – The Lucky 15 Order is: Finians Rainbow, Norwich, Cotswold Charmer and Senegal – That should pay for a new pair of shoes or two! Put Triolo d’Alene in if you feel the football is not to your particular taste.
Tonight may your dinner be beautiful, akin to the Major who took a ‘diet break’ eating a fine Chateaubriand in the week. The tenderloin has to be the best cut of beef and I recommend you try it. Have for company a country sort that won’t be offended by the bloodiness of your dish. Dine well for tomorrow may never come.
Courage and roll those dice.