Tag Archives: libranno

The Major is Back!! The Moyglare at the Curragh and Goodwoods Supreme Stakes

The Major has enjoyed a sojourn in the Vendee of France and must apologise for the first Saturday Sermon we have missed in some time.

When I left England’s fair shores we were in tremendous form, notably picking up Margot Did (adv 33/1) which seemed to score most of Birmingham’s fine denizens a tidy sum judging by the texts, emails, tweets, pints and phone calls received.

Shabash!

Well the Major returns and while the Saturday Sermon may have had an unusual break, Sunday racing is red hot and there are several group races.  Two of which the Major has taken a particularly keen view…..

3.20 Good Wood – Supreme Stakes – Group 3

Good to Soft at Goodwood is about as strong a punting condition as the Major likes.  In a field trading at 4/1 bar, it is manna from horseracing gambling heaven.

Essentially we have a track not suited to all, in conditions not suited to all with 4/1 the shortest price of just ten runners.

I think this is a good storm of clues to the winner in a wide open market so…. where do we go…

Well first, let’s assess those with a decent strike rate on softer ground.  I can rule out most on this score and just about throw Doncaster Rover into the off cuts too.  While he has placed several times on good to soft, it seems good is his best ground and as a 4/1 shot, I want better.

Certain positives for the ground are Balthazars Gift, Hooray, Libranno and The Cheka.

The Cheka is going to have a hard job giving weight all round to this field so is ruled out.  The jury has to remain out on Hooray who would not be a shock at 4/1 if coming good but really has something to prove after flopping in Ireland.

Libranno has some superb Ascot form against Society Rock but followed it up with a stinker at Deauville where if soft ground got the better of him, there are concerns about conditions for tomorrow.  Richard Hughes has spoken softly about this one in the past though and it is reasonable to expect the horse has more to offer.  My main concern is that this is the eighth race this season for the three year old who may just be the type to be well served by a break.

With the three at the top of the market with question marks, you have to take a look at Balthazars Gift at 14/1.  At 8, the horse has few secrets and has little form to his name this year but may be better suited by these softer conditions.

There is rarely a shock in the Supreme with one 14/1 winner the only big price victor of the last 12 years.  After that a 7/1 and 5/1 and then it is favourites largely.  I am not sure I trust the trend emphatically though.

Instinct leads me a different way.  Karam Albaari at 16/1 (Paddy Power / Boylesports) might just be my answer.  Now you must have an imagination for this one but here goes…

On debut he won a reasonable handicap at Kempton before being stepped up in class to Group 2 company in last years Champagne Stakes.  He finished fourth at a royal 50/1 price, no disgrace.  He went on to Group 1 company in the Racing Post Trophy finishing 6th in that Group 1 to Casamento, Native Khan, Master of Hounds and Seville – Blue blood company indeed.

His reappearance has been delayed and conditions have to be taken on trust but…. I cannot help myself from taking a slice of the unknown at 16/1 when so many of the main bunch look dodgy.  Hooray and Libranno are possibly next best but it is Karam Albaari for the Major.

The Moyglare – The Curragh

What a cracker we have to decide on the best current filly in Ireland.  No British raiders, this is an all Irish affair.

Maybe is trading as the warm 5/6 favourite and you can see why… this will be her 5th success on the bounce to maintain an impeccable career.

She is ridden by the young JP O’Brien, who without his claim could have been a liability but after his ride earlier this year on Roderic O Connor, you have to feel the young man is a star in the making alongside William Buick and Michael Barzalona.

I do not feel like backing Maybe though.  This race often springs a surprise and the bet of the card for me is Fire Lily.  10/1 is a fair price for this filly who has gone down to the smart looking Best Terms twice but has beaten After, inbetween.

That form is fine enough but I also think this lady has been looking for a step up to 7f the way she is often flat to the boards and staying on.  In fact I think a mile might be already her optimum distance but an extra 200m tomorrow will certainly help her style of racing.

If anything is to beat the O’Brien star filly, I go for the one from the same ownership, Fire Lily.

Good luck all and shuffle those cards.

The Major at Ascot for Sagaro Stakes Day – Whizz Kidz Special

Ascot, finery, speed, thumping heartbeats, clean those saddlecloths young lancer, we ride at daybreak

The Major has to report that the Saturday Service was the most barren for some time without selecting a winning piece of advice.  Shame. Relentless positivity is the Majors mantra, it is always our move and so tomorrow we move to a new battleground in Berkshire.  A tipping service for each Ascot race is listed below.

Tomorrow the Major leads a troop of ten gallant young warriors for Sagaro Stakes Day.  The weather forecast is cool.  The car is packed with a marvelous luncheon of cut meats, lime and chilli skewered chicken, fresh  french style bread, salamis, cheeses, good ham, pimms based refreshments with some light beers and an interesting pear cider too… the Major has prepared stores for a lengthy battle with thanks reserved for Kelly who has performed quartermaster duty admirably. 

What a great day of racing too.  A moment to reflect on Sagaro who the feature race is named after.  This chestnut was the first horse to win three Ascot Gold Cups, an achievement only recently matched by Yeats.  This particular win is the Majors favourite, watch Lester in his 40s at this stage, remaining motionless in the leaders shadow, stalking silently, waiting, he knew what he had beneath him, then a shake of the reins and SHABASH the game is up.  Moments reflecting the past, make the achievement in the present more profound.

The purpose of the trip is both fun and in good cause.  You may remember that the Major suffered a knee injury recently, which happens to be a broken Patella.  It ruled me out of the marathon.  This is one of the fundraisers which we are going ahead with regardless as the cause is good and you try and stop us racing.

The Major is putting on the fun and the ten guests are coughing up a hearty donation to Whizz Kidz – A marvelous charity which provides mobility equipment and training, which changes the lives of many severely disabled children.  A great cause, it will be nice to sit in the hazy Berkshire sun in that fine surround knowing a great charity benefits.

To the cards and the winners.

2pm Aldemore Conditions Stakes

There was so much to like about Magic City in the Newbury victory although hanging left in the closing stages was a slight concern.

The same hanging tendency struck The Penny Horse whose overall form is poorer and was certainly less eye-catching but is arguably the best bred in the race, certainly One Cool Cookie the Sire has a much better sprinting pedigree than Magic City.

Miss Work of Art won a maiden at class 5 level which qualifies the filly for a zero penalty, thus she should be carrying 8, 6 in the Majors working but she is marked as 8, 10 on the Racing Post card, something is not right.

Overall there is little not to like about Magic City but 1/3 is not a backable prospect for a two-year old sprinter.  14/1 about The Penny Horse for small stakes is the Majors view.

2.30 EBF Stakes

Gosden is well armed for this Stakes race with some great 3yo prospects.  Flood Plain, 3/1, is regarded well enough to have been shipped to America for the Breeders Cup meeting, that didn’t work out but I am sure Gosden wasn’t flying him out for the air.

Hezmah, 2/1, is a surprising favourite to the Major but given it is a Gosden horse too, there is a strong indication that it is a better animal than Flood lain, the jockey booking of Richard Hills supports that.

Hills has started the season in good touch and Mystic Dream is a decent 11/2 proposition.  It had an interesting start to life winning a Deauville all weather contest.  More British trainers are raiding Ireland and France for the prizemoney and maybe that was the thinking, who knows. 

It is Mystic Dream and Dubaianswer, 10/1, that the Major finds interesting.  The latter should go well on the surface and has won his only race. 

Hmmm.  On balance if they were not by the same trainer I would opt for Flood Plain.  3/1 seems fair now he is dropped back in grade.  I cannot bring myself to back Meznah at 2/1 given the comparative form but that makes it hard to back Flood Plain if training connections have had them work together!

Byrony is an interesting sort on his mixed 2yo form.  I would have prefered a run but he is experienced.  What puts me off is the ground, I am not sure he wants it rattling.

This is a tough call.  Dubaianswer at 10/1 is the selection but it is hard to put you off any of them.

3.05 Britains Got Talent Stakes Race

What a great name for a race.  Who knows if there is a production party on hand.

St Moritz is the choice of the Major who although set with the burden of top weight, will thrive on the jarring ground.

Zacinto will be a threat to all if the trainer has him back at his best.  This Dansili colt though might just need to wait for some cut in the ground to be seen back to his best.  That said 4 and a half lengths short of Goldikova, 1 and a half short of Paco Boy, if Zacinto is back to his best, game over.

Your choice, St Moritz each way at 7/1 for the sensible folk or load the cannon on Zacinto at 3/1.

3.40 Group 3 Sagaro Stakes

The Betchworth Kid made a winning return to the flat and is interesting having won on firm.  Not the most solid prospect though.

The ones that will love conditions are Asker Tau, Akmal, Rajik and possibly the Queens horse, Free Agent.

Akmal certainly has some questions to answer. 

Asker Tau and Rajik are the two to consider for the Major.  On balance, Asker Tau feels better value at a bigger price and with trainer form assured.  Rajik would be picked but the last ten runners of Charlie Mann have only returned one place.

4.15 Cleanevent Pavilion Stakes

An interesting line up, some real quality, some back in trip, others looking for a return to form.

Murbeh, 16/1, has a squeak back on more suitable ground but on seasonal debut is best watched.  I have seen worse 16/1 shots though for those that like a price.

Libranno for Hannon and Hughes is bound to be involved but will have to be resilient to win carrying a penalty.  That said, the Craven form has a touch of class about it.

On balance, the Major goes for Margot Did, 9/4.  This one will like conditions, has good form in the book and with Hayley on board, Shabash!

4.50 The Ascot Handicap

What a finish, a conundrum in a puzzle wrapped in a swirling vortex of possibility.  Thank God the Major has solved it.

Lord Aeryn is a tasty 13/2 and Prince Apollo is a tastier 12/1. 

On the former, conditions will not be a problem, recent form looks good and there can be more improvement, solid.

On the second, mixed form can correlate to ground conditions.  Back on the preferred rattling surface, having a recent win under his belt, with a red hot trainer (4 winners from 5 runners in last fortnight, a more hit and miss prospect but 12/1, at this stage of day, it is time for KABOOOM!

Good luck to you all.

Thursday Tips for Cheltenham – The Craven at Newmarket – The Majors Midweek Horseracing Tips

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Nicene Creed - 8/1 KABOOOOM! Get stuck in, when you collect, tell him the Major sent you.

The month continues to go very well but yesterdays three tips drew a blank and so we return rejuvenated for a crack at Thursdays interesting card. The Major is bullet proof to loss, relentlessly positive when things didn’t quite work out as planned. Roll on dear friends like the flowing river ever bending, winding never stopping.

Thursdays racing at Cheltenham and Newmarket is very decent, the Craven is a tasty affair.

The Major knows a number of people at Prestbury Park tomorrow, in fact the business foolish enough to pay the Major a wage in return for a dubious work output is sponsoring a race. The ground is perfect good, quick but not rattling, a dash of rain today will keep it such. I have decided to fly through the Cheltenham card for all those attending:

2.10 Novice Hurdle

The breathing operation that Nicholls often uses like a magic wand on his horses seems to have done the trick for Current Event whose latest form at Newbury reads very tidily. Visually that win was impressive. It is not favourite in this novice though because another tasty looking up and comer opposses.

Third Intention ran just 9l short of Zarkander in the triumph three weeks ago and that is rock solid. Unaccompanied, second in the triumph went on to win a listed contest back on the flat relegating top class St Nicholas Abbey to third. Zarkander went on to win at Aintree although it needed to knuckle down to business after the last and on balance the run was nowhere as good as the Triumph effort.

Higgys Ragazzo raced just eleven days ago and needs to step up considerably on previous wins, that said McCoy is booked and Henderson always has a wealth of novice stars. The Major is not sure this is one of them given the low level it has so far competed at.

Of the others, by far the most interesting is Occassionaly Yours. Although looking like being 16/1 in the morning (no markets open as type) it is not without chance. Not a prolific winner but recent handicap form gives it a chance of running into a place.

The Major is nothing but positive and I seek for thee a winner in the first. This race normally is a bit of a dog for four year olds but surely this field has better quality.

While Current Event is exactly the type that Nicholls imports from France to great success, probably Current Event has better form. He seemed to settle much better in the Triumph and has had an extra week to get over exertions. That said, the Major is not a fan of the fact that he was a withdrawal from the Grand National meeting. On balance, it is probably still a value bet. Betfair early pricing suggests favouritism is in the balance with both of these backable at around 8/5. I would suggest that they will come for the Nicholls horse and therefore will go against the flow and take Third Intention to show us he is the real deal.

Expected SP: 7/4

2.45 Nicholson Holman Novice Chase

Having raced yesterday and fell, it is unlikely that Magical Legend will take to the track, if so, I would imagine it is best watched, even though they price it at 7/1 tonight.

Mr J Scott, a trainer with a reasonably small string has only had one runner at Cheltenham in the last year and none at the festival. However, in the last fortnight, 4 of his 6 runners have gone in. Cool Friend the yards representative has some nice pieces of form in the book, notably with Adams Island (2nd yesterday) and Caroles Legacy.

Cottage Acre is an eyecatcher. It smacked the first Uttoxeter obstacle hard last time out when trying to defy more than a stone rise in the weights for a previous easy victory. 8/1 is fair if it gets a clean round of jumping and although the mark remains high. The main issue is that of the ground.

On balance. Classic Swain is the selection. It will love the conditions, no doubt will be well set being from the champion trainer who never uses Prestbury Park as a training ground. 9/2 is a fair price for one that could gallop them all into the ground.

3.20 Listed Mares Handicap Hurdle

A wide open handicap in which ground and trainer form are the key factors for the Major.

A number appeal. Veiled will love this and if improving her jumping could go well for young David Bass. Banjaxed Girl won this last year and will enjoy conditions. Her presence also puts all but 5 of these out of the handicap.

Violin Davis is one of them but her 5lb claimer more than allows for that. 11/2 reflects her leading chance.

On balance the Major likes the price of Santera (12/1) and advises an each way slice. This horse has had the measure of Banjaxed Girl, who we know to be a reliable yardstick for this race. Now meeting at revised weights which are much more in the selections favour, surely it has a great chance. You need to put a line through the poor effort in the Mares Hurdle at the festival but 12/1 gives plenty of scope for that factor. Get stuck in, take a meaty slice and send me the postcard.

3.55 Handicap Chase

A difficult handicap puzzle. On balance and to keep things simple, the Irish Raider has come a long way when there are similar prizes to be had nearer home and at 6/1 Benefit Night could be a tasty prospect. Headgear seems to have improved this one and although unraced on any surface excluding the word soft, his Sire’s progeny go OK on lively surfaces so there is no reason to believe it will be a huge disadvantage.

Breedsbreeze will love conditions but stick with Benefit Night.

4.30 Molson Coors Handicap Hurdle

Without doubt Nicene Creed is a top of the ground sort. It has placed on all 4 starts on good ground and twice won. I think more improvement will come and hope the fitting of headgear is merely a focussing tool.

Dantari is interesting at a bigger price. A better run last time, it will not mind conditions and at 12/1 I would not put you off.

The selection is Nicene Creed at 8/1. Dantari in the reverse forecast for those brave souls.

5.05 Conditional Jockeys Handicap

Conditional jockeys are an added part of the puzzle in the 5.05. 7/2 Anquetta is the Majors win selection.

Put simply the last two runs look as good as anything on show. It has placed 3 from 5 attempts on good, in young Bass carries a great 5lb claimer and for a long way looked threatening in the Grand Annual.

Its a conundrum but Anquetta for the Major.

Finally…..

The Magnificent 5.40 Endsleigh Insurance Mares Bumper

Seventeen mares, eight previously unraced, 2 miles and a furlong, this is a tough nut to crack.

Ballyquin Queen probably has shown the best form of those that have raced. The Sandown bumper it contended was better than this and when the penny dropped Ballyquin seemed to stay on reasonably well. No markets are open as I type, the forecast SP from the Major is 9/2 and I think it no more than fair.

One More Cookie was a pricey enough purchase for the Tizzard clan who can prepare a bumper winner first time out, considered.

The Major always prefers a bit of experience in these events but the horse to carry the dreaded weight of the Majors wager is Caroles Destiny. Well related and from a yard who always puts a decent sort in this race, probably will be popular, understandable. I am hoping 4/1 might be available and if so, smash into it with both cannons loaded.

As many of you regulars know the Major works for Endsleigh in their business insurance arm. It would be nice to find the winner of this sponsored race. Good luck to those in the Endsleigh box, enjoy.

A Quick Crack at the Craven – Newmarket 4.10pm

This is simple NATIVE KHAN.

It has the best form. Both Libranno and Yaseer could improve but ative Khan looks class. He also clearly loves rattle in the ground.

The only thing that can get him beaten in the Majors view is false pace.

At this early stage of the flat season, you want to see trainer form. Ed Dunlop is 4 winners from 9 runners, that will do!

Get the big guns out for this one. 4/5 will shorten in the Majors view.