Tag Archives: killyglen

Saturday Aintree Tips – 33/1 Grand National Tips and Trends

THIS IS THE 2012 POST FOR 2013 tips, click on the banner above for the home page

Good evening from the Major who prepares these dispatches to prepare my followers and those casual souls who came across the blog for the bookies busiest day….. Aintree’s Saturday Grand National card.

While the Major has been in tip-top form of late, so far, this week, Aintree has been costly. Today, Finians Rainbow and Darlan both delivered at shorter prices but the longer fancied tips did not perform.

Killyglen at 20/1 for the Major.... Enjoy National day

Finians performance was very taking and as I suspected, the step up to two and a half miles around Aintree was right up his street. I think he would be a decent three miler too, particularly if connections make less use of him in races, this could mean he is a King George animal.

Prepare your minds….. Saturday at Aintree, the big showpiece that is the Grand National; courage followers, hold on; hold on while those around you lose their nerve. As your sinews are stretched and worn, at the very breaking point, hold on. Hold the thin red line until you see their eyes. Then play, bet large, go hard or go home, leave nothing.

I have friends on course and to the Streetly crew, I bid you luck, merriment and mischief. Memories of last year are still haunting my soul.

I also apologise for the significant length of today’s post. I know many of you will skip the prose to get to the meat. Well you shouldn’t, it is cheating, you miss the imbalance and insanity that whirls around my dark soul. I gave you the courtesy of revealing my mind, please absorb it, or find yourself a more direct tipster, one with less references to Victorian military history, a more proprietary sort. Only a certain sort will find the following to their personal satisfaction.

If you are one, then sign up to the email service in the left hand menu of follow the Major on twitter @tdl123. I post the Saturday Service every week and top it up with other occasional posts when there is something I like. My results are always posted in the top menus. I turn a very small profit. I never accept criticism or praise – I offer my thoughts for free and encourage all to use their own minds and take responsibility for their actions!

Grand National Tips and Grand National Trends

A colleague of mine approached me today and asked if I would join the office Grand National sweepstake. I did…. twice. As I plucked out Sunnyhillboy and BecauseIcouldntsee (could have been far worse) from the bucket, he asked if I bet on the National.

That is an odd question I thought. He knows I am an incredibly succesful gambler*. He was basing the question on the fact that many regular horseracing punters avoid the national because of the sheer nature of 40 runners, carnage at the fences; is it a race that can be worked through on form or is it a lottery?

*based on The Majors sheer persistency in the overwhelming face of mediocrity

Well the reality is that the National is different to any other race in a few crucial respects.

Firstly it is a national institution and tomorrow morning, thousands of grandmothers, punters, religious nuts, weirdos, wackos, drunks, the unemployable, the toffs, the suburban sorts, the trendy set, well to do Mama’s and every other imaginable demographic of the British public will troop to their local bookie, fiver clutched in hand and back a National horse based on a number or a colour or the fact that there happens to be a Pete or Robert in the family (Rare Bob and According to Pete running tomorrow).

Families have traditions on which horses to back, people have habits. These habits form part of an identity both in the individual and in the nation. The National is a British tradition, a British Institution, we do it our own way. God bless us and protect our privilege as the greatest nation on the planet.

For one day, the general public touches the world beloved to me, horse racing. Some regular racing fans oddly resent these tourists, scoffing at the lack of knowledge. The Major welcomes all with open arms, for I too was once one of you.

If one person today backs a tip in the National and experiences that thrill of being involved, mentally jumping each fence with your horse, emotionally attached to the outcome…. well the world will be a better place. It was for me…. not that long ago either, watching Inglis Drever collect his first World Hurdle, with my money down. A formative day that.

The bookmaking fraternity use the occasion to turn a larger than normal profit….. In this army of small time punters, none will stop to think of the value they are getting from the bookmaker. The over-round charged can be as much as 150% and more. For those unfamiliar with this, it represents how much the market is in the bookies favour. Watch at 4pm as the BBC presenters (of which I am not a fan) will tell you how every horse is being backed and watch those prices collapse. It is Christmas for the bookies as pricing will not effect demand.

The Major is delighted that Channel Four take over from the BBC next year. Search the blog for Channel 4 and you will see I have been a long-term advocate of awarding C4 all UK terrestrial rights – They are there every single week, talk less nonsense, focus more on the racing and get what it is about. They also have a better team. In short, their heart is in it!

I also think that the new measures introduced to make the race safer are sensible and welcome. Levelling some of the landing areas is good, banning six-year olds is excellent as their inclusion was a recipe for fallers. Restricting the handicap improves safety as well as quality…. good cricket all round.

I digress. Back to the sweepstake and whether a tipster should play the National. Many punters do have success tipping the Grand National because the trends are quite strong. Before I discuss the Grand National trends and offer my tips for the 2012 running, a little on interpreting trends.

The key with any betting trend is to ask why it is valid, rather than accepting it blind. If a horse won every time you wore red socks, you would accept that the link is coincidence alone. Yet, many punters back football teams that have not won at a certain venue for 30 years. The Major urges you to ask, why is that relevent? If Preston have not won at QPR for 30 years, is it important? How is the football team that competed 30 years ago influencing the outcome today? Chance stats occur, it is not odd or unusual. In fact coincidences not occurring would be incredibly odd. Of all of the millions of interactions you have every year, it would be strange if at some, a marvelous coincidence did not occur. Perhaps you meet two old school friends in separate locations within ten minutes; maybe you win the lottery; something odd will happen to you soon, don’t read too much into it!

An episode of the Simpsons makes the point about specious reasoning well…. Since I have waffled enough, I shall post it at the base in italics!

Also remember that with any trends based decision, it is likely that the winner will fall down on one. Use trends only as a guide not as a rule; Bubba Watson met all of the Hearty Ploughmans key trends (see 4/5 posts ago) but did not make the final US Masters tips list because he missed on one trend by one shot…. Trends are a guide, not a religion!

The key Grand National Trends for the Major

Weight – Nearly 100 horses in the last 35 years have carried more than 11st 5lbs and none have won. In the last twenty-five years, just two horses has managed to carry more than 11st to victory. This makes sense, the National is a gruelling trial of stamina which is damned tough carrying more weight than your opponents.

French Breeding – French breds have a shocking national record but the Major chalks this down to coincidence, disregarded.

Regular Runs in the Season – All of the last ten runners had more than four runs in the current season – This adds up as you need to be match fit and plenty of recent chase experience is a plus.

Previous National Fences Experience – Eight of the last twelve winners have run over the national obstacles before – This is important to the Major as these fences are the toughest in the land.

Marathon Performers – The last time a winner of the National had not previously won a race at a distance of three miles or more, we were trading in old money! A proven stayer is a must.

Age – Experience is key; nine and ten-year olds have that, without being incumbered with tired, ageing legs. You might get away with a old-hat eight year old.

Pricing – Overall, the markets do perform fairly well in the National; three-quarters of the last two decades of winners have come from the top eight horses in the betting.

Cheltenham Form – Only one winner, in fifty years, has won a race at Cheltenham before going on to win at Aintree. This makes sense with the demands of a Grand National and the normal relative closeness in time of the Cheltenham Festival – This year it is worth noting that a bigger time gap than normal exists. In fact, of all of the last ten runners, all had a race between three and eight weeks prior to the national – Race fit but not jaded is what we want.

Classy – Of the last ten winners, all had won at class one level, with one exception who held a second in a class one race.

The Majors Grand National Tip

After a thorough contemplation of the trends, who does the Major tip in the Grand National?

Firstly I think Synchronised is the worst possible favourite. The exertions of a Gold Cup will surely tell and I am not even sure his jumping will stand up to the National fences.

Alfa Beat has experience of the fences after falling four out in last years Topham Chase. 66/1 is too big but not the main selection.

West End Rocker is a real likely sort at 14/1. He hits the profile exactly and I think is an excellent bet.

Junior is on a very lenient mark and is considered at 16s.

I would be a big fan of Cappa Bleu but he has not seen these fences before so he doesn’t make the cut.

Seabass is Irelands ‘Hunt Ball’ having been raised 61lbs for a winning sequence that goes back over two years, no National fence experience but 22/1 seems decent.

Always Right hits many trends and his Scottish National place bodes well, 28/1 and of some interest.

Killyglen was seemingly staying on and running at least into the places last year when he came down three out. In his youth, his reputation was sky-high and this season he has had a wind op. 20/1…. mmmmmm.

Grand National Tip: On balance, two of these really appeal…

Killyglen is my main selection at 20/1, I think he could run a blinder. He stays forever and if the wind op has improved him, as the evidence this season suggest, then he meets so many of my criteria and has been dropped 5lbs since last year in the National Weights….

West End Rocker at 14/1 looks a very likely type too and he also stays forever – Worth a bite!

1.45 Aintree Mersey Novice Tip

Simonsig is all the rage after his impressive Cheltenham win but backing a 1/2 shot to go in again in these different conditions is a fast track to the poorhouse in the Major’s view.

Instead I suggest a slice of Aland Island at 9/1 who has proven stamina and I think could be a threat to the favourite.

2.50 Aintree Tip

Rock on Ruby is the last of four champions of Cheltenham to appear at Aintree. Finians Rainbow and Big Bucks have already upheld their status, Synchronised is unlikely to do so in the National but Rock on Ruby looks the value of the lot at 9/4 here.

While Zarkander at 5/2 has hope of improving for distance, I have always considered the same to be true of Rock on Ruby.

I would be very surprised if he does not go in again. Granted, Oscar Whisky won this last year but I feel my horse has more scope. Strong Tip.

3.25 Aintree – Handicap

A riddle of a handicap and the Majors tip goes to Brackloon High. This one disappointed me when I put him up for his Cheltenham engagement but I am willing to give another chance.

5.05 Aintree Handicap Tip

This is another precarious handicap but my 5.05 Aintree tip goes to 12/1 Dream Esteem who looks sure to improve further. I thought Dee Ee Williams was in with a shout as well as Constant Contact and Kazlian, the latter of which was given a poor ride at Cheltenham having committed way too early.

Tips for the Aintree Bumper

On Thursday, I suggested you go to Twitter and seek advice from the @kingofbumpers for the last. He obliged with the 6/1 winner! My idea of the winner is either Population or Il Presidente at 7/2 and 16/1 – I am going to back both for wins.

In other sports……..

A couple of stand out football bets for the Major – Blackburn look dreadful and I think Swansea will beat them 20/21. I also think QPR to win at West Brom is a 27/10 steal in a game they will be up for.

May your dinner be of high quality with company that matches. Tip well and have fun, we drift by the once and the items that come our way on the flow of the tide should be ceased upon. Lap it all up, enjoy it and ask no questions.

The Relevance of Trends with Lisa Simpson.

As promised, the genius of Lisa Simpson to aid the point!

Homer: There’s not a single bear in sight—the ‘Bear Patrol’ is working like a charm”

Lisa retorts: That’s specious reasoning

Homer: Thanks, honey

Lisa: According to your logic,she says, picking up a stone from their lawn, this rock keeps tigers away

Homer: Hmmm. How does it work?

Lisa: It doesn’t.

Homer: How so?

Lisa: It’s just a rock, but I don’t see a tiger, anywhere.

Homer : Lisa, while pulling out his wallet, I want to buy your rock.

Courage, shuffle those cards.

Friday Cheltenham Madness – Tips for each race….

The International meeting at Cheltenham kicks off with a decent little card and the Major will be on course aiming to pay for Christmas, once more.

Last Saturdays form continued the Majors mixed to shocking form but as my old gambling friends would say, even the blind squirrel finds the odd nut….. we venture on brave few unto honour.

Killyglen... could be a shocker... let's hope not for the sake of the Majors children whose Christmas is still in the balance

12.00 Novice Chase

Only 4 runners but a cracking start with Solix opposing Sam Winner and opening as slight market favourite.

The Henderson horse gets the Majors vote by slim virtue of the trainers better form and unbelievably strong credentials in these events, the horses strong form looks fine and there is decent ground which I am unconvinced that Sam Winner will appreciate.   There is rain coming down which would square it up but even if it goes good to soft, I suspect that Solix is the better horse and he edges a narrow opener.

12.35 Handicap Hurdle

Edgardo Sol, Aather and Golden Gael are the three that catch the Majors eye.

The first from the champion trainer has great credentials and Harry Derhams useful 7lb claim brings the horse down to a decent looking mark.  The latest run at Sandown looked half decent.

Aather is harder to explain at 25/1 and in terrible form.  Unreliable, off the track for some time but….. the Major has had this one on a watch list on pieces of form that date back some time.  It takes some imagination to see it winning but as Thoreau said, the world is a canvas to such imagination….

The Major however goes for a more sensible route and tips Golden Gael. Unexposed and the booking of the stables ‘go to’ jockey is enough for the Major.  8/1…. have a chunky slice….

1.10 Handicap Chase

Nudge and Nurdle is plummeting towards some tasty looking marks and money for this one would be significant but not for the Major.

That’lldoboy is of definite interest and not a bad value favourite at 2/1.  He is up 17lbs though in his last two runs and I am concerned (probably more than most will be) that he may be getting into the grip of the handicapper.

That said finding an opponent to beat him is tough.  Bene Lad at the foot of the weights might be the chief danger but comes with plenty of questions upped in class.

Overall, despite the handicap concerns I am sticking with the favourite and willing to put good money that he toils up the hill second to something implausibly well handicapped!

1.45 Handicap Chase

I am only interested in Mon Parrain and Shakalakaboomboom.

The first was a major player for the Paddy Power if the money was to be believed and the second finished last season on a career best at Punchestown and is bought here by Henderson despite having a poor record at Prestbury Park. , tough decision.

On balance I think Shakalakaboomboom is worthy of a stake at 9/2.  At the end of the day, I prefer the better form of the Henderson yard and he is capable of having this one tuned up.

Backing both feels like a shot to nothing mind.

2.20 Cross Country

Expecting a tip on the Cross Country from the Major…… I am sorry, I do not truck with witchcraft, good luck to you.  Stop looking at me like that…. Satan get behind me….

Uncle Junior and it hurts me to type it.

2.55 Handicap Hurdle

If the rain comes the Major will plug on betting on Pause and Clause, possibly through a heady mix of sheer stupidity and loyalty, who I am convinced has bigger races in him than this but I find it hard to back Emma Lavelles charge on merit.

Evan Williams is in form and so Di Kaprio is considered but surely Oscargo can give the famous Nicholls / Walsh combination another Cheltenham win here.  The third at Cheltenham last time out is probably as good form as on show here and this horse is (unlike most) entirely unexposed.  Garton King is obviously interesting too being from the same stable and unbeaten but I would take jockey booking as informative here.

So Oscargo is it…. well no.

I am after more value and Killyglen at 8/1 offers me just that.  As a younger horse, this one threatened to be better class than this.  If you accept that his seasonal reappearance was needed then he is on a decent mark and the Major is willing to stick with him, particularly as Dickie Johnson has been booked for a rare (or possible debut) stable ride.

3.30 Novice Hurdle

Darlan at 1/2 is surely one of the hottest novice hurdlers in the Henderson yard which makes him one of the hottest seasonal prospects.

The Majors suggestion is Aikideau at 16/1 who showed improved form on reappearance when entitled to need the run.  Probably not good enough but an each way shout.

Cracking Sporting Weekend – Superb Target Rich Gambling Environment

Well good morning from fine Pershore where the leaden sky carries the weight of the Majors thoughts.  Last time out, we had a couple of horse winners but overall recorded a loss, with a particularly poor set of football bets, amends shall be made, the record will be set straight.

The coffee has been consumed, the research conducted and now it is decision time concerning the opportunities to give that duality of an existence, our friend and enemy, the turgid bookmaker; a good tanking.

I was pleased to see Mancini as short at 9/4 for the next manager for the chop.  This was advised at 25/1 by the Major in the post Triumph and Disaster.  Manchester City are not a good outfit.  Their best player wants to go and they seem incapable of fielding their best side and motivating them to put a shift of work in.  It would not surprise me to see West Brom beat them on Sunday and the 25/1 advice turn into a tasty little winner.

There is such a fantastic plethora of sporting opportunity this weekend for the Major.  On track we have the Breeders Cup (will Workforce go?), Hanagan versus Hughes,  and Kauto Stars run at Down Royal (Hurricane permitting!) – Some tidy looking premier league games, rugby, cricket warm up matches….. let’s start with the fussball.

A couple of no bets for me are Stoke and Fulham.  Sunderland were shocking in their derby game and I was very tempted to put Stoke up at 3/1 but for three factors.  One, Bruce is a decent manager who will have read the riot act to his players, Gyan is making his debut and looks decent to me and Stoke are crap.

Fulham could beat Villa who are winless in four and are missing their main three strikers in Carew, Heskey and Agbonlahor.  However, Fulhams own form is shocking, they have not won in five fixtures which included West brom, West Ham and Stoke….. I’ll sit that out too although a draw at 23/10 could be the result.

Lets have a look at some I will back.  Spurs at Bolton is a tight call but I think pricing Spurs at 6/4 gives enough incentive to follow Harrys boys.  I have no qualms about the Inter effect as Tottenham have rebounded from all of their European exploits well this season.  I am more concerned about Boltons organised outfit starving a decent Spurs team, particularly in the absence of Van der Vaart who I have been advising as 1st goalscorer to anyone that will listen, small bet advised on a spurs win.

A larger chunk of your role should be placed on Birmingham beating West Ham.  West Ham are missing one of their two influential midfielders in Noble and may also be without Upson.  This is quality they cannot afford to lose.  Birmingham have Jerome returning who will link up with the giant Zigic well and they should create chances through Hleb and Beausejour.  21/20 is available from Hills, evens is the general price, load the big guns.

Chelsea also look a good bet at Liverpool at a price of 11/10.  Let’s face facts, Chelsea would be clear odds on if Liverpool had not recovered to win 3-1 in midweek.  That game showed Liverpool for what they are, poor but with a world-class centre midfielder.  With Torres looking shoddy, I cannot imagine a scenario in which Liverpool win.  I accept that spirits may have been raised by two wins in a row and I know that Chelsea are not playing their best stuff either but I do fancy the boys in blue to raise their game in the Anfield clash tomorrow, confident suggestion.

Aidy Boothroyd is doing a great job at unfashionable Coventry and I would fancy them to win their third league game on the trot at home to a travel happy Leeds outfit.  7/5 represents a decent price.  It is no fluke that Coventry are fourth and although Leeds are just 4 points off them – Coventry won nicely at Sheffield United last time out, a price of 7/5 suggests Coventry would only win this five times out of twelve clashes, I think the numbers are in our favour. 

East Fife have appointed a new boss and the bounce back factor could make 15/8 a tidy price as they entertain a decent Alloa – Stick this in your multiples.

The Autumn internationals of the eggball sort see England entertain the All Blacks today at Twickenham.  I think the 11/2 for home victory may be a shade generous.  OK, you must fancy the All Blacks but there is reason for hope.  Sheridans return will bolster a front line and the England team seemed to be improving as the six nations developed.  It is a long way back to the last England defeat of New Zealand but allow yourself a patriotic one on this with a little touch of hope.

On track today, there is an awesome line up.  Let’s start Stateside with the always superb Breeders Cup meeting.  8 races, 6 Grade 1, 2 Grade 2!

Last night Midday failed to get up to win, finishing second in what I thought was Britains best idea of a Churchill Downs winner on the card.  Tonight, Sir Michael Stoute is still to decide about the participation of Workforce.  What a fuss he is making over the firm conditions.  Why he does not state his position I am unclear.  All week he has complained about the track and put forward that workforce is an uncertain runner without offering certainty over what conditions he sees fit to run his star.  It would be a travesty if Workforce did not run and I believe he will.  Sir Michael is lining up his excuses in my view but I am hoping he does not need any.

The most exciting horse in the world runs in the Breeders Cup Classic (10.45pm) and I think everyone will want Zenyatta to win her toughest ever test.  She has won 19 from 19 in her amazing career to stretch this to 20 on a surface she is unproven on against the colts is a big ask but then thats what the superstar equine performers do, perform miracles.  My heart pleads for Zenyatta the machine to win (Trainer of Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert said: When you see her go by horses, its like watching a killer whale play with seals).  However, my head says Quality Road may do it from the front.  He will be ridden aggressively and all I can hope is that Zenyatta comes hard at him in the straight and overpowers him for victory, it is all she deserves but 8/1 each way Quality Road for me.  Zenyatta could be vulnerable, it is famously more difficult to suit her style of finishing kick with the dirt surface that just gives horses slightly less traction…. I hope my gambling instinct is wrong.

In the preceeding race, Workforce is 7/4 to win the turf race which I think is a vulnerable price.  Al Khali at 14/1 is preferred.

Another cracking match bet in the 8.40 where two great rivals meet again – Who would tip Paco Boy to finally have an overdue and deserved victory against Goldikova?  At 6/1 an each way steal is available (Laddies), have some of that. 

While the flat world stars of Zenyatta, Workforce (my Arc winner), Goldikova and the like star at Churchill Downs, Kauto makes his usual debut at Down Royal in the JNwine.com.

4/6 on is not a bad price for Kauto who, as long as the Cheltenham form has not damaged his confidence and as long as he retains a half of his ability, should win comfortably – That said, I would want to see the weather conditions first.  There are some interesting competitors and I make Sizing Europe an awful 4/1 shot.  Killyglen, I suspect may still come good and China Rock at 13/2 is certain to put in a decent run.  Come on Kauto, put the pretenders to bed early and then lets see you next at Kempton on Boxing Day for a famous punch up with Long Run. 

As an early season race, I like the Badger Ales run at Wincanton (3.20pm).  Todays contest has some tasty runners and I like the chances of i’moncloudnine for Mulholland.  He is not my selection though.  After considering the Package who is a worthy favourite, my eye wandered to the pleasing sight of Meanus Dandy.  Nicholls loves taking this race and Meanus has had a sharpening spin already.  OK, it is a concern that he goes for headgear but a worth claimer in Popham talking 5lbs off an already handy 10s 2lb puts him right in it.  8/1 is available in many places.

The 2.10 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton has a host of potential winners in my view.  No doubt Australia Day has excellent claims and Ashkazar who won well for me at Cheltenham in April could be in the frame on one of his going days.  There is a horse I like in this race though that will be suited by the style it will be run.  There are so many front-runners (like Barizan) that pace is certain – This could set it up beautifully or the closing Nearby who can be found offered at 7/1 with our friends SportingBet.

Doncasters big November handicap offers a puzzle with 23 potential winners.  I plum for a wonderfully priced Lethal Glaze at 22/1 – TAKE THIS WITH SKYBET WHO OFFER 5 PLACES.  Lethal Glaze has been kept racing and I think new connections may get the best from a horse that shows glimpses of being decent.  I would advise a saver on Senate who at 6/1 with Ladbrookes will be a big threat for a stable that likes to compete for this £62k handicap.  

The Nap is a double on Chelsea and Birmingham City.  May your weekend be made more joyous with the uncomfortable bulk of a large roll of notes dispensed by your turf accountant – If he cries, tell him to man up… this is merely the start, you are one of the Majors s and we shall return.  May your dinner be french and good, something gamey.  Why not have a nice Brandy as an aperitif and a digestif too, surely that’s what Jesus would do.