Tag Archives: Golden hoof

A few Friday thoughts including a 40/1 shot… plus the tragic end of Darlan

Good evening from the Major who flash types a post from the Berkshire countryside where the air is cool and damp.  Away from home, fine hotel, roaring fire, all is well.

It is the first time I have posted since the tragic conclusion to the Doncaster listed hurdle on Monday.  Watching Darlan cruise into the race hard on the steel before tragically catapulting over the last and clearly lying distressed and fatally injured was a tough watch.

There are often times where the sport of horse racing brings death to the fore.  Darlan was just one of three horses that died on course on Monday, an unusually black day.  It is an unavoidable consequence of the sport, even if it can be remedied by better safety measures.

Darlan though was no fault of the course, jockey or trainer, it was a tragic fall.  My twitter timeline was choked with genuinely distressed racing fans.  Some, clearly contemplating whether the sport is worth the cost.

That is not an easy question to answer.

My own view is that while hard to stomach, racing reflects a truth in life that safety is not all.  The union of jockey and horse, locked in racing combat, negotiating obstacles… it is hard because it is meant to be.

The thin nature of the answer troubles me and I will dwell on it more.

Bangor Friday Tips

Golden Hoof should win the opener although you might have to hold your nose at the punitive odds on pricing (8/13).  He is stepped down from the standard of the Tolworth, soft underfoot conditions pose no problem and it should be an easy winner.  Gee Hi is more worrying to the Major than Blackwater King as the former is less exposed and if ready for a big run could be a fly in the ointment… small stakes.

In the second, another small field of novices and another odds on shot 2/5 in Violin Davis for the Major.  She looks a better animal than the rest.

The 2.35 is a three mile novice hurdle and I fancy 10/3 shot Dungeel representing the McCain yard to win.  Soft conditions are a plus and the two wins at Leicester and Catterick look solid.   Midnight Appeal is a tough chase campaigner and might be booked for a place.  O Faolains Boy represents Curtis and she has a good record at Bangor.  All of them are overlooked in favour of  Phillip Hobb’s Ballytober at 7/1 – The first run on return from injury was woeful but that form was left well behind when running on through the mud to score readily at Ascot last time out. 7s is a fine price.

The staying chase over best part of four miles is going to take some getting in the soft ground and there are many dubious contenders in the field.  We have a fifteen year old in Victory Gunner and less than half the field have completed their last three assignments.   My Boy Paddy finished well in a race that has worked out very nicely at Chepstow but 4/1 feels prohibitive, he should be involved.  Instead, the Major is going to opt for complete outsider 40/1 shot Gidam Gidam.   You have to get over a patchy record including a woeful return to action recently.  Yet, if you do put a line through that, there is some fine form in there, including a win off a stone and a half higher…

I cannot stomach the 3.45, too little quality, find a pin, stick it in and good luck to you.

In the bumper, I am surprised to see Tonvadosa at 2/1 on Betfair this evening. The win at Towcester was eye catching, while the fallen foe may not be up to much, the style of victory was memorable.

The Hunter Chase is an interesting race.  That’s Rhythm is at the veteran end of his career and falling last time out may have caused more aches and pains than when he was a young man.  Noble Ben has had some issues and missed some time off the track, he is 11 himself but has won at Cheltenham and I am backing him to run well at 6/1.

Courage, roll the dice.

Saturday Sermon – Tingle Creek Sandown Tips, Chepstow and Aintree Becher Chase day too…. Shabash, courage and roll those dice

Good morning from a bright Worcestershire rural picture. The air has mellowed, dropping its aggressively cold tones and becoming thoroughly more agreeable.

Sound tracking my breakfast – Fine Wiltshire pork sausages with local free range eggs, peppered and orange juice.

Facts and stories. Which of these is the greater? To a gambling man who likes a model of statistical value, you might argue the former always trumps. The tangible can be valued, a feeling cannot. We are trying to get to truth aren’t we, no sentimentality can come into it.

Yet, through human history though, people discard reason regularly, sometimes with disastrous consequences, sometimes for good reason.

Last night, a colleague and old friend lost an earring – her distress was not related to the cost but the fact that it had been her grandmothers. Time adds value that the jeweller or insurer cannot recognise.

In the same way, evaluating a business decision or a gambling opportunity carries the same dilemma. All in life is made of two elements. Fact and story. Your ability to fathom a good and useful story is more important in life than your ability to handle data. Fact. Not time to explain why, just trust in the Major and my sermon. Do your research, calculate your pricing model and then leave the last bit to personal feeling. Add a little of what cannot be explained. Life is like that. Enjoy it.

Not much time to hang about today, let’s get down to the sports. She found it by the way.

Sandown Tingle Creek Day Tips

The opening novice hurdle will be won by Golden Hoof – OK it’s a shade of odds against but Henderson has won the last three running of this race with some decent types so all points to my tip being a useful sort.

In the 1.25, despite the unbelievable form of Team Ditcheat, I cannot be on Sam Winner. I give a squeak to Gilbarry at 16/1. Gilbarry is racing of a potentially lenient mark over the smaller obstacles having shown much better chase form. He has been backed into that price so maybe something is expected.

Captain Conan looks to have a simple opportunity to pick up a grade 1 chase in the Markel Novices. Hinterland did not look the same horse over the big obstacles and might have struggled to cope with Hendersons horse even if he did handle it.

This is a good a Tingle Creek as I can remember because both Sanctuare and Sprinter Sacre look as good as we have seen in this division for some time. I love the Tingle Creek, remember Kauto winnng it! I know Denman had a swaggering style but I loved The class of Kauto (made even more special by his ability to smack a fence when cruising!). No more proof can I give than reminding you that the great Kauto had the speed for a Tingle Creek before taking in a King George and the Gold Cup in the same season!

Although its hard to imagine a horse repeating those exploits, in Sanctuaire and Sprinter Sacre we have two that I could conceive scaling similar heights. My heart is with the Aeroplane, the way Sprinter put away Al Ferof and Cue Card who have both thoroughly franked the Arkle form is damn impressive. Sanctuaire is Nicholls highest rated novice chaser and so if ratings lead you then 5/2 is a gift. My story is different though, Sprinter Sacre might be the best chaser we have seen in a generation. Geraghty says he has never ridden anything like it.

I cannot wait for the Tingle Creek.

Navan Tips

Rule the World has a strong form line with Bonisland suggesting he should have his measure and so 11/10 is fine by me in the novice event at 1.20.

I don’t care that I am in danger of stating the obvious but Oscars Well should win the novice chase affair too. This horse was a multiple grade 1 winner over hurdles and loves heavy ground which is a question for many of these. 8/11 is not prohibitive for this.

Aintree Becher Chase Day Tips

The Becher is as wide open as usual. Join Together and Problema Tic are both young talented looking chasers and the former looks a thorough stayer which is crucial over these fences. My problem is the profile of these horses. This race suits an animal who is older and has been around the block a bit more. Proven fence experience is far more important than handicap mark. That makes the selection of last years winner West End Rocker – he slammed the opposition last year, likes conditions, loves the national fences and is only 5lbs higher than last year. 6/1 is a great price.

Cannot see why Quito de la Roque won’t win in the 1.05 at 10/11, the Kauto Stone race was a decent affair and he will be fitter today.

Chepstow Tip

In the 1.30, I am going to give a squeak to Caroles Destiny at 8/1, my tip was a decent hurdler and often shows a likeable attitude.

Such is the form of the Nicholls yard that I am tipping Royal Charm in the 2.05 – the mark is more workable these days and Sona Sasta is likely to set a good clip to aim at.

Chepstow when heavy takes a lot of getting. I would want proven form on the surface and. Get it from the progressive horse Noble Legend at 9/2 in the 3.15.

To the football…

I like going against clubs in trouble and so 5/1 Sunderland and 11/2 West Brom will be backed. More solid claims are Swansea who should be good enough to beat even a rejuvenated Norwich. Southampton have started going and evens is a gift at home to a leaky Reading.

The Martin Hill Lucky 15 Mothership is Southampton, Oscars Well, Noble Legend and Golden Hoof.

The each way Trixie is Carole’s Destiny, West End Rocker and Gilbarry.

May your dinner be in good company in a restaurant run by competent sorts.

Courage and roll those dice.