Tag Archives: fury

The Saturday Sermon – Tips for the Lincoln (40/1) and Dubai World Cup

Good morning from rural Worcestershire where the air seems less charged and a frantically heated week.  The Major is at the kitchen table having slept like the dead, the coffee is bubbling away and once more I prepare for battle with the enemy.

Am I backing Chantal Sutherlands ride in the Dubai World Cup? Well no... erm, I just thought readers would like to know the Candian rider..... The Major, helpfully at your service

After having a great time at Stratford races last week, the Major is considering taking the two young boys back today.  They enjoy the space, they love the horses and Stratford has such an intimate feel to it, it is ideal for a family day out.

What great news that Channel Four are getting all domestic coverage of racing.  If you use the search bar, you will find that this has been a long term campaign for the Major.  Put simply, the dedication of the Channel 4 team is there.  Every week they are racing and include the excellent morning line in their schedules.I always felt it unfair that the BBC had some of the crown jewels like the Arc, the National and the Derby.  I also found it odd that they chose to include the Welsh National in their chosen fixture list too!

I have always rated the Channel 4 team far superior and I believe they do not need Clare Balding to move over.  Don’t change a winning formula.

What a great day of sport; the Majors appetite is whetted; the racing includes the Lincoln and the World Cup in Meydan while the Premier League has some fixtures which look incorrectly priced to the Major.

Let us be thankful for being alive in this moment and let us find that elusive winner at odds that will put a smile on your bank managers face.  There are followers of this blog who back blindly the advice they read.  I hope that today, they all land for you as well as me!

The March form is strong; there are some numbers to be updated in the betting register and results tabs in the menu but it is only about a week out of date.

As ever, the Major remains profitable… just.  If that is your sole aim though, you are not welcome.  The Major is more than just a tipster seeking profit.

In fact, I charge you not for being here but I do ask that you merit your welcome.  The criteria are simple.  You must be a gentleman.  You must take losing as well as winning.  You must enjoy the sport in the knowledge that it is a diorama of life itself with success and failure decided on a whim.  You must appreciate your own frailty and understand that we drift by on this tide just the once; grab on to what you can and enjoy.  Lap it up my friend and ask no questions.  Oh, and a passing interest in Victorian military history helps.

The Major is free, barely profitable and certainly unhinged.  If this is the sort of tipster you are after then read on.  Every week, the Saturday Sermon tries to land the mothership; join my immortal battle; daub your war paint, sharpen your lance point and let us pick our enemy off at the trot.

I accept no criticism for bets that fail; I take no thanks for those that win.  Your mind is your own; the last thing a man can take from you; do with it as you please.

Can I also point out the fancy new banner that has replaced my Cheltenham special.  Given the flat season is here, I thought the highest rated horse in the world should grace our banner.

To the sports.

3.15 Doncaster – Tips for The Lincoln

The big flat curtain raiser is a handicap woven together by the devil to fox us, teasing us with intrigue.  22 runners charging down Doncasters straight.  Firstly, fair play to Paddy Power Racing who go five places on their each way terms, credit where it is due.

What makes it so damned difficult to solve the Lincoln is that this race is the first run of the season for so many of these horses.  Which of the four year olds have wintered well and are now better horses?  Which are in form? What about track bias?

I am minded to follow the four year olds this year.  They have collected the prize six times in the last nine runnings and they are far fewer in number on each card.

Fury at 7/1 ticks a lot of boxes but given just how bad his last season was, caution is advised.  Connections will hope that having him gelded makes all the difference and he is one in the field who could hose up.

The other 4 year olds are hard to enthuse about.  Askaud at a price (50/1) at least has a decent attitude but given he likes to lead, I cannot feel he will take this.

Eton Forever is a five year old with an excellent 7/1 chance.  I am a big fan of the Varian stable and Neil Callan is one of my favourite flat jockeys and one of the most under-rated around in the Majors view.

On balance I am going to back two.  Fury is the first tip at 7/1 for a win.  Haggas has won the Lincoln twice in the last ten years and that gives us hope that he has his horse primed.

The second is a massive price for a contender that is not obvious.  Shavansky is a 40/1 shot (BetVictor / Sportingbet) and with the way he can finish a race, he could be plugging on to good effect in the final yards.  There have been good noises from the yard on twitter and the Major is tempted with a slice.

Meydan – Tips for the World Cup

£3.8m for the winner.  The money that the Sheikhs are putting up at Meydan is eye watering and they deserve the attention from the best yards in the world.  This truly is a World Cup.

The O’Brien trained So You Think is rumoured to be in fine fettle and is a general 5/2 chance.

I have to say that the surface is my main concern for the horse.  He never seemed to get going at Churchill Downs on dirt and Tapeta has similar qualities in the Majors view.  Not one for me, although his draw is helpful.  That said, the horse is off to stud back in Australia and this would add another few thousand $ to the fee!

Smart Falcon has carried all before him in the far east, amassing £5.5m in winnings from 19 victories in a 25 race career.  We have not seen him in Europe or the Middle East though and although I prefer the selection to So You Think, not for the Major.

The Major is going to tip 10/1 shot Royal Delta who is also drawn comfortably enough in stall 7 and is a strong dirt performer.

Game on Dude ridden by the talented and beautiful Canadian Chantal Sutherland will have to expend a lot of energy from gate 14 to get to the lead and I fear that will undo the horses chances.  That strong gallop though which has been missing in recent World Cups (and reducing them to near meaningless) should be assured today with four front runners in the field.

and in other racing….

Still in Meydan, ten year old Kasbah Bliss aims at the Group 3 stayers race (2.45), 16/1 and not a tip but would love to see the old warrior do it again!

In the 3.25, Mickdaam is an absolute steal at 5/1, proven on the course and amongst the best form on show regardless; at least twice the price the Major has him at.

In the 4.35, Bob Bafferts The Factor could be a dream winner for the trainer who suffered a heart attack in Dubai.   6/1 is a huge price but reflects the lack of experience on the Tapeta surface – With this selection I am happy to take that on chance.

In a terrific day of racing, the other price that catches the eye is in the 5.20 Webster Cup at Navan.  This Grade Two contest has plenty of previous graded winners in it and we are trying to assess which winter horses are over the top and which summer horses are coming to hand.  On good ground, I have to advise you to call your money man and free up some capital with which to back Zaarito at 5/2.  Finishing second to the tidy looking Seabass last time out and sure to cope with conditions, a strong fancy.

In the football, Bolton look a tidy 9/4 to win at Wolves who look gone to me.  Arsenal are 8/13 to win at QPR, also worth adding in as well as Newcastle to beat Liverpool (2/1).

May your dinner be a glorious steak, shown the merest glimpse of a flame and served with a light salad.  The company should be the country sort who does not mind the blood on the plate.

Courage and roll those dice.

Day Two Royal Ascot Tips

Despite my bet of the week Canford Cliffs going in, day one of Royal Ascot, was a loss maker for the Major.

Canford Cliffs did the business for the Major – Bring on Day Two

What a great days racing.  I wanted to get Frankel beaten (but wanted to see him win!) – While he held on, surely they will stop what I consider to be ridiculous riding tactics.  Just because Frankel can win when you ask him for his major effort 4 furlongs from home, does not mean you should.  Tom Queally is adamant that Frankel was simply idling and that no horse has yet given him a race.  Well he was almost chinned on the line today.  I don’t understand why they want to ride him in a sort of Secretariat way, he has the cruising pace of the devil and a devastating turn of foot.  It feels like that they almost want to get a breath-taking victory, not needed.  I am sure the back to back Group 1 winners will take the advice.  (THE MAJOR, HORSES TRAINED: 0 OWNED: 0 RIDDEN: 0)

It almost feels like we have had the best of Royal Ascot and getting as excited about Wednesday is hard.  Tuesdays opening 4 races were as good as racing gets.  The sun shined on Berkshire, I am sure he approved.

2.30 Jersey Stakes Group 3

This is a tough nut to crack.  There are a few bits of European classic form on show.  I am not sure which is the strongest but suspect that the Irish form of Oracle may hold out well.

Strong Suit for Hannon who was off the mark with Canford Cliffs yesterday is an interesting contender.  Clearly there are a few questions to be answered but if Hannon has Strong Suit back to some sort of form, his 12/1 is interesting.

The one the Major opts for though to get the day off to a flyer is lightly raced Western Aristocrat.  On form, it has a lot to make up but there is reason to think it can.  After winning its maiden easily, it went on to battle home in a class 3 last time out.  Nothing too remarkable about that but watching the run, he was hampered and did well to get up on the line.

Fury with the assistance of Fallon does not look good enough for the Major.  Perfectly possible that more improvement is to come but so far at the top-level he is wanting.

I am not sure that Codemaster is a worthy favourite at 3/1 – Not one for the Major.

I am finding it hard to pick the class horse.  This is why I am opting for Western Aristocrat at 13/2.  The yard have taken the Jersey Stakes twice in recent years and this is a versatile looking sort who has scope to improve into the frame.  Noseda has booked Murtagh which caught the eye.  I would not put anyone off Strong Suit each way.

3.05 Windsor Forest Stakes

Jaqueline Quest, owned by Mr Martin and if I remember rightly named after his late wife, Jaqueline Quest was denied a classic win last year after finishing first past the post in the 1,000 Guineas.  No wins since, yet has never finished more that 4l off the winner in any subsequent race.  A great each way bet at 25/1 in the Majors view.

Music Show is a horse which the Major was a big fan of yet she has had her chances this year and I am no longer following it with good money!

Basically the race will pan out with Sajjha trying to lead a quick steady tempo from the front and draw the string from the field.  I’m a dreamer who won from last to first last time out at HQ will be held up ( as he has been in every race) – Against this quality opposition, I would rather be on Sajjha – 7/2 I’m a Dreamer needs to be extremely good to come from last to first past a horse of this quality.

3.45 Prince of Wales Stakes

Here we go, at last Grade One action, the top notch cuts.

This on the face of it, looks all about So You Think, the Australian superstar resident in the Ballydoyle operation.  4/9 shows what this horse has achieved down under and in two runs this year in Europe, the horse has shown it has translated to the Northern hemisphere.

That said, I have been a big fan of Planteur and think this one has improved if anything.  The Longchamp runs look good.

It is a tough call.  There are only 7 runners and so looking down the field for value seems unwise.

Overall Planteur offers me enough hope at 4/1 that So You Think won’t make this a procession.

4.25 Royal Hunt Cup

What a terrific handicap.  30 are due to go to post – This is essentially Christmas for Pricewise.

The Major has found a few of more obvious interest.  I am interested in those from the high draws given the result of the Coventry.

The two I have settled on are Bronze Prince and Kay Gee Bee at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively.

Bronze Prince gets in to the race at the bottom of the weights.  Green Destiny being a drop out.  Not fully exposed and of interest with some useful form recorded, I want this one on side.

Kay Gee Bee is just as interesting , I think the York form could work out well and at 33/1 with the assistance of Hanagan, I suggest a slice.

5.00 Queen Mary Stakes

Back to Group action as the fillies line up for a sprint.

There is always a risk in getting stuck into short price favourites in fillies races for juveniles.  Yet, the way Shumoos beat yesterdays victor Frederick Engels has to be eye-catching.  11/8 seems more than reasonable and the Major suggests a reasonable bet although my betting resolutions dictate not getting carried away with two year olds.  The breeding is a new line from Distorted Humor and is proving very interesting.

Dozy and Best Terms are the risk, both unbeaten.  Of the two, probably Best Terms at 12/1 makes the most appeal.  The wins look better, this Exceed and Excel filly could be a danger.

Gypsy Robin has not come across the pond for the air yet the Major would want to se a run on dirt previously, not for the Major.

5.35 Sandringham Handicap

If you need a winner at this stage, you might go home in the poor house.

If Western Arisocrat goes in earlier in the day then there will be plenty of support for Rhythm of Light who was 2nd on their last blow out.

The Queens horse, Humdrum, is evidently a player.  Having won on the all-weather on its return, the form has been boosted by the 2nd winning next time out, making the 10lb rise looking at best compensation from the handicapper.  9/2 is short enough in this field but real chances.

I am happy to have a pop at another outsider.  33/1 Wrekin Sunset for an in form small yard, I think this one is on the upgrade.  It might not be as fashionable as the Luca Cumani, Kieran Fallon ridden sort but is not without a chance.

Good luck one and all.

The Saturday Service – 2,000 Guineas Tips – Premier League – 4 tips – LOAD THE CANNONS!

Good morning faithful band of warriors from a Defford drizzled in filtered sunlight.

The coffee has been bubbling away for some hours and the Major is ready to unleash the value of the day for your astute gambling assessment.   Welcome, come in, immerse yourself in the advice, select and then relax into the days sports allowing yourself to feel alive with the pulse of a man who has staked more than he should on the outcome.

Well done Sir, now let me give you the leg up on Kingsgate Native.

The Major is not a royalist or a republican.  Yet I must say that watching some of the early proceedings yesterday, I could not help but think that the young Duke of Cambridgeshire seemed to be marrying in the colours of Cheveley Park Stud, good on him. 

What a great days sport.  The 2,000 Guineas seems to arrive earlier each season.  The first classic, run at Newmarket, over a mile is perhaps not the race it has previously been.  The Guineas is eclipsed by the prestige of the Derby and with no class horses wanting to run the St Ledger, the old buzz about attempts at the Triple Crown has gone.

This year is different with super horse Frankel on the scene, the racing world is alight at this years renewal.

My favourite 2,000 guineas winner was George Washington.  Gorgeous George.  I remember having a slice at 9/4 which seemed like a price from the gods as he travelled like a sports car, watching him slice through the pack before powering away out of the dip like a Grade 1 sprinter, it raises the hairs – Over a mile he could deliver a devastating turn of foot, off very quick paces too. 

He was an absolute stunner with a fetching white flash, what I loved most though was his personality.  He refused to enter the winners enclosure after his classic win, he was a horse that did things his way.

After his 2000 Guineas win he was a bit hit and miss and was a little injury prone – It didn’t help that he was retired to stud but found to be wanting and so came back to racing.  After his first run back, I remember Aidan O’Brien putting his tepid performance down to his failed stud career explaining that getting his mind back on racing was tough when he had been walking around with a fifth leg for the last few months!  He did get to win a QEII though and I am glad, it proved his class beating some quality milers.

What a tragic end for the fellow who sadly slipped on the bend while running in a Churchill Downs quagmire in the Breeders Cup Classic, 2007. 

Watch his QEII win, he travels so well off a strong pace.  With 300m to go, Mike Kinane seems to have him tucked up and in trouble but when the gap comes and the button is pushed, the turbo boosters are applied and it is over in seconds, KABOOM!  That is how I remember Gorgeous George Washington, just watch how his head carriage remains prominent and proud as he passes his last rival, he squares him straight in the eye, what a champion.

Tragedy happens in racing, as elsewhere in life.  Grief is an odd thing.  Longing.  Where did George Washington go?  Clearly his flesh and bone went the way of the furnace but is that all there is to all of us? 

If we hold on to the thought that a horse or a person is merely physical then there is no solution to grief.  The Major does not believe in ghosts.  Yet George Washington was more than just the sum of his muscle and sinew.  He created a memory.  Today that memory comes rushing to the fore.  If Frankel settles he has a similar turn of foot.  The pattern that George was a part of is relived.  Read Robert Pirsigs classic before you die.

 To the sports young warriors, put your war face on.

The 2011 2,000 Guineas – 3.10 Newmarket

Can Frankel be beaten?  Well he has not yet in 5 outings. 

Without doubt, this horse is one of the most exciting in recent years.  There are some question marks…

Is a mile far enough? Probably not..

Will he like the ground? He probably wants a touch more cut..

Will he settle from his wide draw? He has raced freely before so it is not guaranteed.

Weighing everything up, even with the questions, I think class will tell.  I cannot back a 4/7 shot.  Pathfork looks the best of the rest although I think Native Khan is the type to strip a lot fitter for his workmanlike seasonal debut win.  Fury is an unbeaten sort that is unexposed and at 16/1 in places, I would put nobody off an each way selection.  Likewise, Roderic O Connor who at 9/1 looks a decent place prospect and outside of Frankel is probably the best bred horse in the contest.

The selection is Roderic O Connor at 4/1 in the market without the favourite.

Only one other selection in the racing today.

8.15 Doncaster

Now as you well know the Major brings you the big races and the snippets that arouse suspicion in the smaller ones too. 

Paul Hanagan is at Newmarket today and has a reasonable book of rides.  I know he is going to be competing for the flat championship again and that makes me think there is good reason for him to trek to Doncaster to make his single ride in the last race aboard Hawk Mountain.  This 11/4 shot should not go unbacked, KABOOOOM, load the big cannons chaps.

To the football fields…

It is the time of the season where a new angle is bought into play.  Some teams are fighting for survival, others challenging for promotion.  This factor is often over priced and I am a fan of getting after relegation teams who are being shortened because they are playing a team who are safe yet further up the table.

A classic example is Bolton who are priced at 3/1 to win at Blackburn.  Can anyone remember Blackburns last win?  I will give you some clues…. Libya was a peaceful place, Ian Thorpe was in retirement, Australia was cyclone and flooding free, it was even before the super bowl.

Blackburn are in free fall.  More than 3 months without a win.  Bolton are in indifferent form themselves sandwiching a win against Arsenal with heavy defeats to Stoke and Fulham.  They have a decent record against struggling teams though and Blackburn are without David Dunn who is their creative influence.  Bolton make a tasty 3/1 win prospect, SHABASH!

Leeds are 13/10 to win at home to Burnley, have a slice of that.

Just 4 selections from the Major today.  Stick them in a lucky 15 and thank me later!

Tonight, drink Mohita before dinner and let the cool minty goodness seep through your veins.  Enjoy a classy meal in a decent establishment.  Eat alone, it is good for the soul.  As you call for a carriage at midnight, I hope your pocket bulges with the rewards from a fruitful day at the evils of gambling.  It is good to be alive on such a day.