Tag Archives: Integral

The Royal Ascot Wednesday Sermon – Tips for each race…. RT your appreciation of the effort!

Good Evening from the Major who writes from a Worcestershire scene that has eased from a syrupy thick air to a pleasant airy late evening.  I sit with the windows wide open, the Goldfinch content, their rapid trills and occasional harsh tone carrying on the breeze, coming in staccato their wondrous communication sweetly fills the ear.

The earlier close turgid weather rather sullied a fine day in our Capital on business.  The Major had meetings, those meetings went well, the city looked as glorious as it can in the mid Summer. New construction signals the funeral of our economic malaise; great spires of newly erected concrete and steel, shimmering with confidence and investment, bursting from the ground, propelling themselves skyward with vigorous ambition, it is majestic and imperious.  Something about these fledgling skyscrapers; the anticipation of their completion, it thrills me, a childish response and what more could you want dear reader than that?  To be taken back to how you felt as a child, we are but sparks from the fire, growing dimmer and to be returned, ah just for that moment, to feel the heart flutter.  I had the pleasure of the same feeling later in the afternoon, stopping to buy football stickers for number two sons’ panini album.

Tuesday at Ascot was not that bad, 2 winners from 6 at 13/2 and 6/1.  OK, Night of Thunder got beat despite my protestations and I must accept the version of events that my eyes witnessed, Kingman is the best miler of his generation.  Accepting error improves your gambling, it is easier to do in defeat than in victory, I shall let you ponder that thought and may return to it at some future Saturday Sermon.

My NAP landed though, 13/2 (advised) The Wow wowed us and was not unbacked, was that the Majors influence, I shall leave that for your own judgement.  Toranado was a hugely popular winner with Hughsie steering him later down the outside to clinch victory.  Sole Power delivered a power packed performance and was a hugely popular winner having been backed into 3/1.  What a great time the people there must have had, the sun shone, the stars delivered.  The sad loss of two horses cast a shadow but we shall not linger there, not tonight.

I am going to get straight into the Wednesday Royal Ascot card – I fancy catching some football and some sleep.

Wednesday Royal Ascot Tips

We start with the Jersey Stakes.  A race that has in the last two years gone to Ballydoyle but hardly to their top beasts.  No, that is not an angle.  If you were struggling with the question earlier about whether the Major moved the Coventry market then I submit for evidence the following fact.  On Wednesday, Great White Eagle is 25/1 for the Jersey, I held a 5/1 ticket for him to win the Guineas… yes…. let that sink in.  This is not the place for refined punting, more blind lumbering desire but even the blind squirrel finds the odd nut and we are feasting of late my friends.

Muwarry looked good and despite not troubling the principles in the French Guineas field, his former work was promising.  The Major though is opting for a slightly wilder card in French raider Redbrook – This is a classy looking set of genes and while his juvenile career was a little stilted, he is making progress now, winning a Longchamp listed event latest.  They haven’t come for the superior food and drink you know.  12/1, with Paddy, have a serious slice.  These Qataris, they really are a tremendous addition to high level ownership.  They keep horses in the same yards, spreading the quality amongst the lesser trainers…. They are having a blinding week already and it could continue here.

Then the Queen Mary Stakes.  A Group 2 for some of the speedster fillies and I like two near the head of the market.  Hannon has two decent shouts but the fact that Hughsie has gone for the more experience Tiggy Wiggy gives her preference in my mind, although Moore has an unexposed type in Dangerous Moonlite who could be anything having won a decent little contest readily.  Anyway, Tiggy Wiggy was one of my fancies, the other and the tip is the Lynam runner, Anthem Alexander who is a 4/1 shot and a bit of a hype girl.  She absolutely hammered a reasonable field 7l over this minimum trip at Tipperary.  Beware the American raider, Spanish Pipedream – We know the yards excellent Ascot record.

Straight after that Treve wins the Prince of Wales at 1/2.  Take as much 4/6 as you can and then take as much 1/2 as you can.  How much liquidity can you shake?  Speak to your money man and free up some of those international assets, this is not a time to mess about.  Courage.

On to the Duke of Cambridge – I have always thought that Ascot (especially with the crowd in full cry) is a tough ask for a racehorse.  Fillies coming down the straight mile, their jockeys piloting them to the best ground or to track the best horses, you really need a level-headed sort of beast.  As such, I have eyes for one girl only, Sky Lantern. She has already won the Coronation Stakes here and despite coming last in the Hong Kong Mile, I think she is in with a tremendous chance.  Integral looked an awkward sort in the Dahlia not wanting to work with Ryan Moore but was not far behind Sky Lantern at Newmarket.  That was in the Sun Chariot off level weights and Sir Michael Stoutes’ girl gets a 5lb pull here.  I don’t care.

The Royal Hunt Cup is the penultimate race on the card.  There was loads to like about Abseil at Chester, coming from deep to win well and he looks one of the most interesting runners having his best days ahead.  There is quite often a turn up though in the Hunt Cup.  Christ, so many possibilities… I want one drawn high, weighted 8-7 to 9-3… It is loose the reasoning but that is not a bad profile to go with.  Belgian Bill, previous winner?  Sea Shanty for Her Majesty?  Field of Dream would have been prepared for this well by Osborne with a stellar record in the race… interesting.  In the end, I have sacrificed my high draw requirement for one I really like.  I am hoping that Jim Crowley, hero of last years Oaks with Talent, can track nicely across on Niceofyoutotellme, 20/1.

The Sandringham is as much as puzzle.  Psychometry is a nice profile but in stall 1, will need some luck.  This race normally goes to one at the head of the market and Muteela at 8/1 looks a great bet.  Unbeaten, this Dansili filly may well have more to offer and we certainly know she likes a fight.  Drawn 22, Hanagan hopefully checks her, tracks across and delivers on the line.  I do not know if the Emirates see their racing interests as competitive.  I imagine as the ego of man works that they do.  Perhaps this will be a chance for Sheikh Al Maktoum to pull one back.

Courage friends, roll the dice.

The Saturday Sermon, from foreign shores – Chester, Sandown and Newton Abbott

Good evening from the Major who writes from Northern France where a deeply comforting set of tones to the dying night sky draw my foreign trip to a fine conclusion.

It has been a fine foray into Europes good weather, fine cuisine and pleasing inhabitants and I shall not linger on the detail for which you have little interest.  Of Switzerland I wrote last week, this week I visited Paris for the second time this year.  On my last visit I was running a marathon, this time, with family, we saw the more traditional tourist spots.

After the clean well-disciplined Swiss towns, each set against their thunderous mountain ranges, France has struggled to reassert to it’s former pinnacle in the list of places I enjoy passing time.  Paris is a town full of mischief, rats, smoke, rogues, history and glorious French women, who I regard with the greatest respect.  Cities like this seem to take on a persona all of their own.  Paris is sulky but talented and damned dangerous too.

This Parisian visit may well have been on the well trodden visitors paths but still some moments of clarity were evident.  None more so than being stood with my back to a red and pink stained sky, marvelling at Notre Dame and wondering if, 850 years ago, they calculated the beautiful tone of pink elicited in such conditions on that façade.  For it seems calculated.

Overall I prefer the cleanliness of Switzerland but Paris still has it, particularly if you have mischief in mind.

My travelling adventures meant less interest in UK racing and threatened the annual rhythm of the racing schedule that comforts me in the same way others look to the signs of the seasons changing.  My downtime spanned across the York festival, of which, I caught snatches of information, dripped to me where the occasional ‘wi-fi’ signs permitted a quick drawing back of the curtain.

All other day to day racing, I have been entirely absent from and my hunger has grown.  There have been other things that have remained unchecked too, news sources I frequent, small but seemingly important daily rituals that have been challenged as their absence has determined no noticeable difference to me.  Being out of context, it does make you question how you fill your time.

No greater example can I give of this that in watching my two sons at play.  They have had occasion while away to enjoy a series of standard holiday fare, visiting famous attractions, climbing mountains, much fun has been had.  Yet, the true gleam of excitement in their eye came when set free on bikes.  At age 5 and 6, freedom is a rare commodity, each action you take is observed and calculations and adjustments made on your behalf.  Ah, to be free of that, to ride and make choices over where you go… well.  Freedom has an incalculable value, it is what drives our desires for wealth as it is so often the key to choice.  Savour your own freedoms my friends and exploit them by making the wisest of choices.  Most of all, keep rolling those dice.

Yes, this down time has been refreshing and last weeks blog benefited from such renewed spirits.  We scored many winners amongst the racing tips, that sweet taste of success on our lips carries us into this weeks action.

Once again, charge that lance and prepare for action at close quarters, we shall meet the enemy one to one with 10 rounds per man and bayonets fixed if necessary.

To the sports.

Chester Tips

I am interested in a couple of horses at Chester, starting with one in the opener.

Free Zone would have been my selection but his wide draw has done the fella no help.  Some might cry that this race was won last year from a wide draw but it is far more likely to see a low drawn horse win.

For those unfamiliar with Chester and the significance of draw, it is a tight left handed track with a short run in.  This means that getting to the front early is essential and the low draws are against the rail.

Now some would argue that draw is of secondary importance to early speed and I have some sympathy with this argument.  Essentially as long as you are fast from the stalls you can achieve good position without being drawn there. This is true but patently you burn more energy doing so than a horse who breaks adequately from a low draw.  That said, it is a good reason to not back a slow starter drawn well.

Regardless of all of this, I fancy Captain Dunne at 16/2 to provide an upset.  If you look at the form, you might struggle to find good reason but the old warrior is still there at 8 and I believe there to be some talent still.  It has been three years since he was in the winners enclosure but this is not that strong a race and there have been runs from this campaigner of credit this year.  Plus, Graham Gibbons is pretty much the best jockey in the race and since Captain Dunne has shown he handles a tight track and accompanied by a capable pilot, let us hope he has a sudden recollection of his former self.

I am also going to back Es Que Love in the second at Chester.  There are few horses I bet that have run as many times as the Mark Johnstone inmate this year and at age 3, it is testament to the horses sturdiness that he is bearing that racing well.  You cannot make a strong argument for him being particularly well handicapped as we have surely by now seen what there is to be seen, yet I do feel that Chester is a track that will suit.  Plus, what other trainer on the planet is as good as coaxing a bit more out of a horse than Johnstone? I have always felt that they think Es Que Love is an under achiever and let us hope that at 7/1, today is the day.

Newton Abbott Tip

There is a good listed chase at Newton Abbott and many will be on Shoegazer who is bidding to follow up a win last year.  I am less concerned by the going (was soft last year after some terrible summer weather) as he has won on good to firm but the near stone increase he shoulders may stop him.

There are plenty of front runners on show so a hold up sort might prevail if they try and cut each others necks at the front.  Regardless of tactics, I am opting for Kians Delight at 5/1 who is showing greater form as a novice chaser than a hurdler.  Backing such youngsters (5) at such odds requires what the purist gamblers refer to as balls of steel.

Sandown Tips

The Group action of the day is from Sandown and the Major is going to be brief.

Firstly, all the talk of the racing world is whether Kingman deserves his 5/1 quotes for next years Guineas.  I would balance the two sides of the debate and conclude that he does not warrant it, quite yet.  He has been, arguably, the most impressive juvenile we have seen with a blistering display at Newmarket, yet a nagging doubt.  Firstly, the obvious, we are judging him on a single run, this is wrong.  His hype is big too, I have my doubt on that foundation too as I fear that folk are reading Kingman on the card and thinking Frankel in the colours.

To cut to the chase, I see enough talent in Music Theory to have faith in case the banker fails.  This Acclamation colt is happy to make it, has more experience and was not extended to put away lesser rivals with consummate ease last time out.  He would have a perfect three from three record if not breaking severely left  when green on debut.  His RPR is as good as Kingmans and 5/1 versus 2/5 makes my selection easier.

In the fillies Group race at 3.15, I am siding with Sir Michael Stoutes, Integral at 6/4.  This is exactly the sort of horse that Stoute excels with and she looked like she was going to be involved in the Nassau at Goodwood but found a wall of equine flesh stopping her momentum at the crucial stage.  She was not knocked about and I would have a large bet here.  I am always a bit wary of ‘unlucky’ sorts, Mars springs to mind but feel she will shed that tag in this contest.

In the football….

I fancy three teams.  Firstly, Sunderland have played adequately well and that might be all they need to get a win at Palace so 2/1 is good enough.  Wigan and Sheffield United I had selected as unfashionable teams to outperform expectation this year… both have started badly but I am staying with them for now.  The former have Forest and the latter the MK Dons, both Wigan and United are 13/10.

May your dinner be excellent and in fine company.  Courage and roll those dice.

The Saturday Sermon – Goodwood and Galway Festival Tips #crowdsourcingmultiple

Good evening from the Major who writes from bed, tonight alone, the warm air that held Worcestershire tightly has been disrupted by newer fresher air.  The scene is turbulent as these two competing forces skirmish across the sky, flashes of battle, the roar of conflict.

The good lady has left for Birmingham for the evening, my two boys sensing my lack of true paternal control have sought some ruin, getting amok among the house.  At first it seemed that they were not to be quieted but like all things, decay came to their once seemingly perpetual energy, at last, peace fell.

Peace is a precious commodity for the Major, such is the nature of my work and home, that seldom is there time to spare and nothing to think of, all is vigour, rush and noise.

As I lie here now, listening to the wind and rain rising again in the country air, the window flung open, one can appreciate the tremendous value of peace.  It is akin to being free….. freedom is choice, I choose to listen to the fat rain, thrown down in a childish tantrum.  The good lady finds the occasional passing traffic a reason for the fenetre to always be ferme.  Yet in these moments alone, well the kiss of tyre on wet tarmac is a pleasurable a sound that I could wish for, a sound that denotes my free will.  In such small things is my happiness grounded.

Doing things that please you is a common theme in these parts.  We float on the breeze just the once.  Latch on to whatever meaningful pleasure you can my friend, you have my explicit permission.

This year, I received a piece of advice from a respected fellow gentleman gambler that struck me at first as an odd suggestion but it stuck with me as sometimes these things do and I dwelt upon it, which improved it.  He suggested that unless you are one of these snooty professional gambling sorts (if you came here for highly reliable tips by the way, you have made a grievous turn) then you can do worse than simply waging on outcomes that please you.  If there is a football game on, back the team you would like to win.  If a horse runs and you like it, or the trainer, or silks, or jockey, or name… you get the idea.  Wage on your desire.

This may seem simple but it is unusual.  Most gamblers I know select the most likely outcome they can imagine with the caveat that the outcome gives them a return that will excite them.  Fools.  Such men will happily bet a horse to win but even if they think an odds on horse is an utter certainty, they refuse to wage because the rewards of success are too slender for them.

The slightly more sophisticated approach, that more seasoned and considered sorts preach concerns value selection.  Us ‘value’ advocates consider ourselves more refined than the other ‘hoi polloi’, we certainly accept defeat more readily, seeking to learn it’s precious lessons.  Indeed ‘value seekers’ regard themselves as superior,a  wonderful feeling I can tell you.  It is not the likeliest outcome we seek but the greatest difference in our favour between likely outcome and bookmakers price.  This can have you backing all sorts of weird and wonderful outcomes, solely because you feel them ‘over-priced’.  I once was explaining this to a man who asked me for a tip.  I gave him a 20/1 horse and just before the off, he asked whether I thought it could really win.  I said it was unlikely, I thought the correct price for the horse to be 8/1, thus unlikely to win anyway.  He seemed perturbed.  The tip came last.

What about this  advice then, to back outcomes you simply desire?  Well, I have to say, it bears examination well.  Consider with me a moment.  Permit yourself to forget our continuous crusade,  our strain against the dark enemy who prices his markets in such wickedly deceptive ways and would have us twisting and writhing in our own doubts.  Imagine instead that each sporting wager was determined by your preferred outcome.  It may not be sophisticated but it would make winning somewhat more pleasurable, n’est pas?  Pleasures enhanced, simplicity, no need for calculation.

Anyway, I wish I was at Goodwood tomorrow.   Regular gentleman @iamnotluke  is reading this on a train, travelling across our green and gold land, hurtling towards those Sussex Downs – Train travel can be the most pleasing.  I hope that his train carries good coffee, I hope the Racing Post is spread on the table, that the company is excellent, that the choices made, the freedoms expressed, whether resulting in bounty or defeat are appreciated for the wonderment they bring.

We float by on this breeze just once and I pity those that never savour the moment, the anticipation building towards a great sporting event, that childish tremor inside, the moment where all dreams of tremendous successes and beautiful equine explosive displays and beautiful people, the colour, the muscle, the definition and the ambiguityLike strands flung far out, weaving their stories, it comes back together in the end, for all of us.  In that you can trust, it is one of your only certainties.

Goodwood is one of our sports finest days and know this, racing is the finest of all sports, to all in attendance today, enjoy – It is good to be alive in England on such a day.    To the sports.

Goodwood Tips

I love Goodwood – It is such a stunning course and while the racing is top class, the atmosphere mingles smartness, down to earth anti-snobbery and damn fun in fine measure.  I also think that Goodwood is a specialist track.  It has quite a camber and not every horse will act upon it.

It is Nassau day at Goodwood and Hannon and Hughes will unleash Sky Lantern, she seemed desperately unlucky not to master Elusive Kate at Newmarket.  Carried across the track by the winner, who has previous when it comes to a leftwards drift.  We will come to the Nassau.

We start in the 2.40 RAC handicap.  This is very strong handicap and it would not be surprising to see some of these sorts competing at a higher level before the autumn closes.  

Sir Michael Stoute has had a few winners in the last few years and he is represented by the Queens horse Bold Sniper.  When it comes to potential improvers, he is high on the list as he bears a St Leger entry… interesting.  He looked a little unlucky at Ascot to me as his draw did not help and considering that, he performed well.  Royal Signaller appeals at 14/1 as one that is overpriced but I am happy with the 11/2 about my selection (Stan James / 888).

The Nassau looks a cracker and it seems to revolve around Sky Lantern.  She was a powerful winner of the Guineas and was unlucky against the older Elusive Kate at HQ.  She has also won here before, which is a huge plus too.  Perhaps the big question is whether she will step up well.

The same question applies to Just the Judge who is also asked to race over a further distance for the first time, having finished in the places behind Sky Lantern twice.  Connections could have put Secret Gesture into this but opted for another crack at Sky Lantern with Just the Judge – Will she exert a Toronado style revenge?

Just Pretending is the O’Brien main threat and is seeking to improve on classic places too.  Ambivalent has won a G1 in Ireland when doing it from the front in the Pretty Polly.  I imagine that style will make her vulnerable here.

Two very interesting runners are Hot Snap and Sajjhaa.  The former was the big let down in the Guineas.  She beat Sky Lantern as a juvenile and surely the 1,000 guineas was not her running, yet it worries me that she has been off for this time.  Sajjhaa is an international sort that has won at the highest level in Dubai and run well in Hong Kong.  Suroor suggests she will be better for the run and conceding a chunk of weight here would be hard.

For all of these intriguing sorts, the Nassau normally goes to a fancied sort.  The biggest winner in the last 15 years was an incredible 11/2.  As such, I suggest Integral as a valid alternate to Sky Lantern.  My selection gave such a blistering display at Sandown in a listed contest that you had to take notice.  As Moore v Hughes hots up, I shall be on the former here.

In the Stewards Cup, I could get immersed in terrible detail but instead I am going to gamble that Hoof It has been campaigned with this in mind.  The horse is 16/1 (Bet Victor / Stan James) which could look huge if so.  He is only a pound higher than his last victory in this and although he looked bob average in the listed debut this year, it is noteworthy that he carries two G1 entries later in the season.  The race has a history of quality – Some winners of this have lumped the big weight, let us hope Hoof It can do the same.  Heavens Guest is just one of a host of dangers.

Mezel did well to win up north combatting inexperience and may be a much better prospect here.  That is my last selection at 4/1 in the 5pm, that is my last Goodwood selection but a strong one – That form was well advertised by the second, Free Code who went on to win at Thirsk next time… plenty of scope for Mezel.

Galway Tips

I am going to have a pop at Iniesta in the opener which looks both an obvious and ill-informed choice.  I care not.  Princess Aloof looks similarly well placed to win the second.

Stuccodor last lost a year ago in the Galway festival of 2012! Since then he has won 5 times and has risen 30lbs in the handicap as a result! Now you might worry that such a rise might put pay to his chances back in hotter company but there are two reasons to stay aboard.  Firstly, the horse loves the slop and not all of these will.  Secondly, his last victim has since won three times, hardly suggesting the handicapper has caught up!

Three favourites I hear you cry! Well look, I think they are the best value.

Now, something from the other shelf, the winner of the Ladbroke Hurdle.  Two appeal and I am having a slice of both.  Security Breach is only a 4 year old and has taken some backing but did get off the mark at Gowran last time and has won on heavy too.  If Landero did not have such concerns over the ground, I would have been investing.  He was pulled from a race earlier in the week when the ground went soft and it is much worse now.  This leaves me with my Mullins runner, a 9/1 chance with Paddy Power.

The football season has kicked off but I shall watch for now.  Sheff Utd looked mighty impressive tonight although lack a finisher.  They may be my new money train, watch this space.

May your dinner be held in the most upliftingly beautiful company.  Courage, roll those dice.

The Martin Hill Lucky 15: All Goodwood Mezel, Integral, Hoof It, Bold Sniper

The #crowdsourcingmultiple

Thanks to all who submitted their tips – If you are not part of the conversation on Twitter… get involved!

@h103efa 3.05 Thirsk Blockade

@onedeswalker 3.15 Goodwood Just The Judge

@Spinitg  2:35 Galway Princess Aloof

@Lukeyboy1325 3:30 Newmarket Urban Dance

@IamNotLuke 2.30 Goodwood Bold Sniper

@cafcbrad  3.10 Galway Stuccodor

@mytentoryour 4.30 Newton Abbot Union Saint

@danieldrazek 3.45 Galway Landero

The Saturday Sermon – Racing Tips from Haydock and Sandown #crowdsourcingmultiple – Wimbledon and Lions – It is good to be alive…

Good morning from the Major who writes to you from a Worcestershire scene that is bright and damned splendid.  I was up early with the cool dawn to review the day’s sport, my company the bubbling coffee pot.  The garden is filled with a gentle golden light, the landscape here has come alive, it is souls awakening, I shall dust down the barbecue this evening.

The Major has a boss who swears by a pizza ovens’ superiority over the trusted barbecue.  I personally remain sceptical but plan one as a late summer project and shall report back accordingly.  I do like the idea of a table of toppings laid out while a tandoori-style clay oven roars aways with a small hardwood smokeless fire within.  It meets my pyromaniacal urges.

It is a good day to spend time outdoors, the sun on your skin, the fullness of summer about you.  By the time you get to dinner, whichever form yours takes, let us hope we have amassed winnings from our endeavours that bulge from our wallets embarrassingly.  Digging into your ribs, an uncomfortable reminder of the wages of sin which we relentlessly pursue.

The Major was at a family members 70th birthday last night.  At this fine age, as one might expect, the gentleman was concerned of his own mortality.  Not bleatingly morbid you understand, more considerately reflective.  We have but a short time on this river my friends… If I assume an average readership of 40 years of age, then you all have approximately 2,000 more Saturday Sermons before your demise, some less, some more…

Just think about that for a moment.  You visit another 2,000 times and then you die.  Spend this time wisely.  My advice to you, for what worth it might carry, is this – You, and only you, can be trusted to know your own mind and what you believe to be good and worthwhile.  Thus, cast off social conditioning and act accordingly, pleasure and generosity, seek harmony, judge not and allow ones heart to race with possibility.

We float by just the once, enjoy the trappings of what comes on the current… as the old Persian saying goes… lick up the honey stranger and ask no questions.

Dust, we all come together in the end.  In the meantime, I have 2,000 shots at both making you appreciate this drivel and landing you a mothership of biblical proportions.  Today, I have a real feeling that a monumental win is upon us.  There are some selections that I think have a bloody good chance so…..

Once again, daub thy war paint young warriors, sharpen that lance point and holster your curved blade, we may have to entertain the enemy at close quarters.   For they have closed their field positions and I intend us to skirmish towards them in open formation with infantry first, cavalry second, heavy horse last – There will be some warm work involved but I trust you all for it.  To the sports.

Sandown Tips

I love Coral Eclipse day – The race that pits the classic generation against their elders, the new pretenders versus the established stars.  We shall come to that…

In the opener, Plover looks the most enticing proposition having won a Kempton maiden well and run well on debut previously on Newbury turf, thus we can assume that the surface holds no problem.  The Oasis Dream filly is the likeliest winner but I am not confident enough to get too lumpy about the 13/8 branded about this morning.

The Major is even less enthusiastic about the second race which is a sprint.  The baton of success is handed from one horse to the next through the summer in these sorts of contests – Who knows – In the Crowd Sourced Multiple (a collection of tips from twitter) below, someone has suggested Kingsgate Native coming back to form after disappointing last time – Maybe?  No tip from me.

When horses fade late on in a race, the trainer often reaches for the ‘didn’t stay’ comment as a comfort.  This is what has happened with Windhoek who is now stepped back 400m in a hope to get back on winning form and fulfil earlier promise.  I like the horse and have fond memories of his win on Guineas day but often these trip changes mask an underlying issue… the horse is not good enough.  I remain here, ready to apologise personally to Windhoek and the fine Mr Johnston if proven wrong.

I do like Wentworth who is the subject of very positive mutterings from Richard Hughes.  I like Hughsie, decent sort, always gives an honest view – I am planning on doing a piece on my favourite jockeys soon and he is in the mix.  That said, I would say the weakest part of his race riding, to my amateur eye, is his positioning.  Over confidence or judgement gets him into some tight spots and Wentworth is drawn very wide today so this particular facet of his riding will be sternly tested.

No, I am having a small stake on Rockalong – He was a big disappointment on his penultimate start but was put away for a small break afterwards and then returned with a sharp runners up run at Salisbury – Could still be more to come and 11/1 gives us a sporting bet.

In the 3.15 is one of three ‘bets of the day’.  I am surprised that bookies are going 4/1 about Integral who looks to be a filly with a lot of opportunity.  Sir Michael Stoute trains the horse and this is a tried and tested route for some of his better horses… (3 winners in last 10 years).  Auction strikes me as the chief danger but I urge you all to load the heavy cannon here.

The Coral Eclipse is extremely fascinating if not the highest calibre renewal of the race.  Al Kazeem has proven a revelation as a five year old and is a deserving favourite.  As well as showing some class when putting Camelot (fallen from a lofty position), Al Kazeem showed grit at Royal Ascot.  I would not put you off, particularly if you are quick and get some of the 3/1 available.

In the last 16 years, there have been 5 winners of the Coral Eclipse that are in their classic years.  If ‘trip’ is oft the mask for a fundamental lack in equine quality, then unlucky in running is another… That brings us to Mars.  The only three year old in the Eclipse fits this description after disastrous poor luck in the Derby and in the Prince of Wales.  I like him but I don’t trust him.

The Major is plumping for The Fugue who in a poor Eclipse gives us an excellent chance.  She was a very good Nassau winner and her exploits in America were very good – The Prince of Wales was her seasonal debut which allows us room for further improvement… 9/2… come on girl.

Caucus has excellent tied form with Estimate which would put several of these opponents behind and looks the easy selection at 2/1 in the Marathon.

No tip in the last at Sandown.

Haydock Racing Tips

I was originally tipping just two horses at Haydock, Tumblewind and Albasharah but the Major loves nothing more than the request of a well heeled looking sort and Nicola (@madgecarlton) asked me to complete the card…. so….

There is a great bet in the opener at Haydock in 6/1 Tumblewind who I thought was very impressive last time and forms the second leg of three in my ‘bet of the day’.  A half stone rise is unlikely to stop that progress…. Boom get involved!

I think Dubawi Sound is the best of an uncertain bunch in the 6f sprint.  I have always liked Masamah who has the ability to break well and lead them a merry dance but the extra furlong is probably not to his liking and my selection

Albasharah looks a must bet 9/4 (Bet365) in the Lancashire Oaks and completed the ‘bet of the day’ set – She was as unlucky as you can get at Royal Ascot and this is one I am happy to extend the generosity of a second chance to!  De Sousa has been riding really well this year and is a plus.

In the Old Newton Cup, there are a few eye catchers as you might expect.  The Major has always been a fan of Sir Graham Wade who I am surprised did not go on to develop into a group class animal.  Although largely disappointing of late, I still hold the candle.  Yet, the Major shall leave those thoughts for another day.  Instead I would back Franciscan who clearly has been laid out with this race in mind.  A poor run last year in this contest belied the yards excellent record at targeting the Old Newton.  In the last ten years they have won the race three times with Zeitgeist, Alkaased and Mad Rush and they have ‘hit the bar’ on several other occasions.  If you put last years disappointing run in this race from this horse down to the deep conditions, then we have a live plot spreading out before us beautifully… get involved!

I would agree with Andy (see #crowdsourcingmultiple below) that Jive is the best chance in the 4.05 and 11/2 is a tasty price.

Shebebi has a style of running that is likely to set the race up for a closer but I am still going to give Dane O’Neill a chance to judge his ride from the front and make his ride last home at 8/1.

What a disappointment only three make it to post in the lucky last – Broughton the evens favourite gets my vote.

Good luck Nicola and remember, the Majors tips are akin to acts of god, who knows…. Inshallah.

The Lions will lose to Australia.  Murray will lose to Djokovich.  Easy double… Looks to me like Mark Carney, our new Bank chief has ordered up some more Quantitive Easing!

#CrowdSourcingMultiple

The Major has requested the best NAPs of the day from his Twitter colleagues…..  I shall be putting these selections into a multiple, using the power of crowd thinking to gain glorious riches….  I would also suggest all of these fine folk are worth following on Twitter… (the Major is @tdl123 by the way):

@lukeyboy1325 – Based in Canada (or was, hard to keep up with these digital sorts), Luke likes most sports, holds an opinion and is a generous tweeter:  Pique Sous at Bellewstown 🙂 double it up with Al Kazeem in the Eclipse

‏@Spinitg – Seanie is a must follow on twitter – He is as immersed in Irish racing as you can be.  7:20 Sylvian Mist 9/4 #nap

@a_p_l_77 –  Andy is a Liverpool fan and huge Racing aficionado – Prefers his National Hunt but I’ve known this shrewdie land a few pots…. Jive in the 4.05 at Haydock….

@boilberg – I must confess to not knowing Ben as well, yet…. NAP tomorrow is 2.55 Albasharah 2/1

@onedeswalker – Mick loves racing and always has a tasty priced multiple he is working up! …. I won’t insult you with the optimism of the treble but Kingsgate Native at 6-1 is best bet tomorrow. Forgive last run, would be 3s.

Finally in traditional style, the Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Integral, Tumblewind, Albasharah and Caucus.

May your dinner be fine and the company both engaging and beautiful.  Courage, roll those dice.