Good morning good punters of Britain from bright Pershore. As I gaze from my kitchen and up the hill that sits behind my home, Royal Ascots soft conditions seem imponderable. The land looks green and lush but dry and with a blazing sun and light breeze, it is perfect racing ground.
- You will know what to do
Yet soft conditions is what we have at Ascot and that has to have a huge say in the outcomes. Today we have the Wokingham, the Hardwicke, the Chesham and the Golden Jubilee but the racing is nowhere near as star-studded as Tuesday. With Delegators expected withdrawal (he won’t get his conditions) the day looks like it has to make it’s own star.
The Major has had a frustrating gambling week. Having had three solid losing days at Royal Ascot, I may have been in an OK shape if I had been able to place on Thursdays advices which returned a 22/1 place and a 20/1 winner. I left staking a wager until the morning and then was travelling to London and eventually in a busy day gave up. My one winning day was the day I was not on.
Still, perspective is what gambling teaches you. Frustration is mere water to roll from my back. Emotion plays a role in selecting horses. Often, a punter frustrated by poor luck will make selections in haste not properly considering options. They might find themselves betting in contests they know little about. They might also start ignoring well priced favourites in order to strike lucky at longer odds where they might reclaim some stake – As ludicrous as it sounds, to a frustrated gambler, sporting events take on a fatalistic edge. I knew I should have backed that… Nothing is going right for me today….. That’s the first favourite to go in….. It is as if the world is solely ordered around them.
Followers of the Major I urge you to take defeat like men. I am delighted I did not back anything on Thursday – It is a good conversation piece and I received half a dozen texts and emails suggesting friends and followers had a slice of my better selections – Good on you. I am sorry for those that did not but as I have often said to people who criticise when having followed a selection of mine have lost their money… It is not the information I write up which is wrong, just how you choose to use it! If you do not think I can make a profit in racing (The stats tell a different story, although they are out of date! 35% profit on racing selections) then lay every single selection. This is the beauty of modern punting, more information is available than ever, selecting the right stuff and using it wisely is the challenge.
Guest blogger the Green Flash (US Open Guest Blogger) contacted me last night. Seems he has also lost his dough this week, hard luck champ. He is however adamant that looking to get McIlroy beaten from a seemingly unassailable lead is no forlorn hope (9/4 with Hills that McIlroy fails to win). Snedeker is his idea of the man to come from the pack and gobble up our baby-faced man from Northern Ireland, that does not sound quite right does it!
I am still looking for my first successful guest tipster, please do not let the record put you off! There is a man known as the waving hand (or something like it) who has a decent record tipping by text – He has promised me an ‘on the day’ mothership bet for the blog but we have to be patient, his system throws one out every three weeks or so and has been barren for a little bit, he is due one!
Part of taking defeat well, is dusting oneself down, stretching your muscles, putting a sanguine smile on your face and clicking on the deposit button.
I read in the Racing Post today that a man who had a long-term wager on the success of Roger Federer has left the bet to Oxfam in his will, it should pay £100k+ – What a legend. The Major one day hopes to land a legendary bet and I hope if you are reading this now that you join me there. Christ alone knows what toil we have suffered, what painful slings and arrows we have sustained, at times stumbling on like a terrible wounded animal with the gnashing jaws of the enemy at our heels, at other times we have soared gracefully above, those of you that stick with me, whether you follow the bets blindly or pick and choose or ignore them, there is a special place in heaven* reserved for you.
* May in fact be hell.
If the good lord has a sense of justice, surely he will indicate to me when my enemies day of reckoning is. I imagine he will do this through a dream, showing me my enemies face as I land the 1000+/1 lucky 15 that I have often reached for yet have felt distant, bright in splender but out of reach.
The Indian Mutiny of the 19th century started like a disease in a small corner of the British Indian empire. The Hindu and Muslim sepoys were rising though unhappy with their lot. Once the fire was lit, the Bengali awakening which was to end in such bloodshed, spread rapidly, frighteningly quickly, like electricity. A key sign that the game was afoot and that something momentous was occurring was the simple, humble brown chapatis. They were used as a sign of mutineers, handed to people in office discreetly, British officers cowered at the sight of a plate left discreetly on a table where they should not be. It was a sign, an act of terrorism against the oppressor, your time cometh.
If one day, someone hands you a plate of bacon butties smeared in brown sauce, whispering, The Major says go….. you had better log on because I will have just awoken from my one to one with the almighty and that day, the enemy will regret for a lifetime.
Enough dreaming, to the sports….
Normally the Saturday service starts with racing and proceeds to other sports. Today, the one bet outside of racing I am willing to have comes first..
Switzerland look great 4/5 shots to get the job done against Belarus – This is a standout bet – They look a decent side to be and when they meet Spain in the latter stages, they might prove quite a tough nut to crack.
To the racing….
The last day of Royal Ascot. I am not covering all races as some of them I found no desirable angle on! I have to say that the ground going soft is a big win for good punters in my view. It helps rule out many and I do not see it as a randomising effect.
The French Champion Hurdle
Forget Ascot for one moment though as we focus on Auteil. Four or five bookmakers have priced up the French Champion Hurdle (run over 1f further than our own World Hurdle) and it has an interesting shape to it. I was quite surprised to see Grand Crus kept on the go and who would have thought a price of 2/1 (Blue Square) would be available here.
The prize of nearly £150k has drawn the Pipe team over and what on earth will stop Grand Crus winning? Major bet advised.
This is a tough race to solve with not only a lack of experience to judge but also ground conditions throw a big curve ball at the field.
The key O’Brien player is hot in the market, suggesting connections think Maybe will cope fine with the cut.
Falls of Lora though is a serious contender and Street Crys progeny seem to be fine on soft. There is also hope on the Dams side that conditions will be OK. 5/1 is generous as the Doncaster win looked mighty impressive and the clock suggested so too. This is the selection and rather than Maybe, I think the main danger might be Telwaar.
3.05 The Hardwicke Stakes
Await the Dawn looks a horse absolutely on the upgrade. Having already won on soft ground, I am surprised to see that there is not more money for Ryan Moores mount – 4/5 is available with Coral.
One factor in the pricing remaining is that there are other horses racing with confirmed soft ground experience. Laaheb, Drunken Sailor, Poet and Harris Tweed all do not mind rolling around in the mud.
With just ten runners, I am looking for the each way bet and for me it is Laaheb. The Ascot win in 2010 was a battling affair and in soft conditions, I would want this gritty sort on my side at 14/1. Bet with Paddy Power, avoid Hills, the price is the same but Hills have opted for a fifth fraction on the place terms.
The Golden Jubilee Sprint
These top sprint races always seem difficult to predict with uncertainty over where the pace will be, which part of the straight course to race on and speed of the break can make all the difference.
The added complication of soft makes the selection easier for the Major and I am going to give one last chance to 50/1 shot (Stan James) Monsieur Chevalier. He ran earlier in the week when I tipped him on the opening day. Fallon was due to ride but injury prevented, Monsieur Chevalier ran poorly overall but at the closing stages was passing some horses and I think the drop to 6f, addition of Fallon, extra fitness and wide open nature of the contest will give more than a fighting chance to the Hannon horse who, let us not forget, like Strong Suit, was once the apple of his trainers eye.
Find a pin, stick it in good luck to you.
4.05 Ayr Maiden 6f
From the six figure sum races of Royal Ascot to the Scottish £3,885 contest where the Major advises you to get stuck into Holy Roman Warrior. Out of the first crop of Holy Roman Emporer, the selection was runner-up at Ayr on debut, 4 weeks previously.
That form is not that special, although the winner looked good. Fahey debutantes like many often need the run and I expect a lot more today. The stable won this race with a high-class sort a couple of years back, it is clearly a route they use for decent prospects. More money to tighten up the 3/1 which I thought was mighty generous.
Apostle is the danger, the Sire Dark Angel is one of the revelations of the bloodstock season for the Major. On this occasion though, I expect the Warrior to prevail.
Todays Lucky 15: Falls of Lora, Switzerland, Holy Roman Warrior and Grand Crus.
Todays Double of Destiny: Grand Crus and Switzerland – £100 with Boyles pays £540 – It is what Jesus wants you to do.
Tonight, enjoy an evening at the theatre with a pretentious sort. Get a bottle of Chablis in her and they are all the same, poor, rich, titled…..
If someone hands you a bacon sandwich smeared in brown sauce and winks…… you know what to do.