The Majors return to form continued with a tasty win for the Midnight Club. Thank you for the emails and texts, it was worrying for a while but we are back to winning form. Order has been restored, the planets are realigned and the yin and yang have perfect universal harmony.
I cannot tell you how much interest I have in this weekends sporting action. I am particularly interested in the Eider at Newcastle where we may see the Grand National winner. The Racing Post Chase promises to be interesting with the Major very interested in Fistral Beach although we shall wait and see – I shall start work on the Saturday service tonight, it promises to be a stunner.
To bolster these weekend funds, the Major urges you to invest in Clouseau. It runs today in the 2.20 at Sandown at 11/4 with Bet365.
The Charlie and Lola (I kid you not) Handicap Chase is a class 3 £8k 0-130 handicap. It is not a bad little contest having sat and considered the runners.
The favourite Dinarius is a genral 9/4 and I can understand the suppot given two big positives. Last time out at Exeter it walked home in a mudbath. It was raised 13lbs in the handicap for that win but because it was after 12th Feb, it only carries a 7lb penalty into this race, essentially keeping the horse 6lb ahead of its handicap mark.
So what has the Major got against this one that looks like it is a significant improver over fences? The main issue I have is the trip. The Exeter win was over a further half mile and I cannot help but think we will see the best from Dinarius at perhaps even 3 miles. 2 miles around Sandown is probably too sharp.
Kilkenny All Star is a likely threat to the Majors selection. Following back to back wins, this horse was contesting a hat-trick under a further 7lb rise in the weights at Wetherby last time out when falling at the opening fence. The previous two wins came in field sizes of 5 and 6 and I am not sure this horse will appreciate this rise in quality. I am not at all sure it prefers the cut it will get in the ground either, looking like a top of the ground sort. At 10, there should not be significant improvement to come, place chances in the Majors view.
The two I like the most at the prices though are Russian Flag with useful 3lb claimer Alex Merriam and Clouseau with Daryl Jacob at 8/1 and 11/4.
Russian Flag has always placed in soft ground and so the conditions at Sandown will suit. While the horse has not covered itself in glory this year, it was winning at the course off higher marks just a year ago. At 8, there is no telling whether he will spark that old form, but the Major would not give up on him just yet. That said, the yard have not had a placed horse in their last 8 runners – Overall the handicapper might have to relent a little further before we see Russian Flag back at a handicap mark he can win from.
The Major is hopeful that the same cannot be said about Clouseau who goes for the dangerous Williams / Jacob combination (Trainer 2 wins, 1 placed from last 6 runners). This nice looking chestnut seven year old may not have shown us the whole picture of his ability just yet.
Clouseau was third last time out at Hereford, 13l inferior on the day to Cadoudlas. Two lengths behind that day Cantabilly looked to be staying on to get on top and win a Taunton affair and the winner, Bedarra Boy, has been raised to a still modest 112 but looked marginally better.
The horse finishing second on the day (4l clear) Oscar Gogo has yet to race since but is off 117.
The winner of the Hereford contest, Cadoudlas has run again and franked this form marvelously too. Although making a few mistakes it was driven out to win by a neck to useful yardstick, Indian Groom. Cadoudlas now has a mark of 140.
This is a mark 23lbs higher than Clouseau who looks a very fair sort off 117 given the 13l defeat to Cadoudlas. This is particularly true if you watch the Hereford affair and see the mistake made half way round by Clouseau which must have taken something from the horse.
A suitable 6 week break will have allowed for the exertions of that Hereford tilt. I don’t think the shorter distance will inconvenience the horse and with the services of the reliable Daryl Jacob I am sure Clouseau will be involved today. 11/4 Bet 365 and Sportingbet, have a slice, I think they might come for it.
If the Major is right, market support would be encouraging and so take anything down to 9/4.
Thank me at tea time. Incidentally if you do not know what or who Charlie and Lola are, the Major shall inform. As a young father I have the privelege of reviewing childrens programming. While Charlie and Lola is no Bagpuss, there is something to be said about the jaunty 70’s style title music which I offer for your delectation.