Tag Archives: midday

Friday Racing Selections

Some more tasty racing tomorrow at Ascot and York and the Major has lined up another raid on the enemy to fund a weekend of debauchery.

Yesterdays double did not quite come off for the Major but thankfully, due to writing the post late and in a rush, the poor wording led a couple of followers to pick the winning double.  Essentially I was leaning slightly towards Wallis from Gladys Gal and this is how the Major wagered.  It was not clear though and a couple of followers sent me thanks as they had gone for Gladys!

3.55 Ascot – John Guest Handicap

The listed race that precedes this is impossible to solve, with little form on the soft ground, I instead skipped it for the handicap.  As a class 2, it is attracting some decent sorts and I think there is a juicy priced outsider worthy of a few quid.

There is a red hot favourite in Keys at 5/4 and I have to say that it is a fantastically interesting horse.  It won by a nose a bumper at Cheltenham last year in a race where Paddy Brennan dogedly refused to get it off the bridle.  Whether he thought the horse had a temperament problem I do not know but it caused a horrible wait for me and a few others as we waited for the photo which we felt was good.  We celebrated when it went our way, then had a horrible 15 minute wait following the ping pong announcement of the stewards enquiry!  Result eventually stood!

Keys won well last weekend at Newbury and is due to go up the best part of a stone and so being sent out again unpenalised quickly, he has to be a danger.

That said there is a danger that another 2 mile race (in untested soft) within a week might take a little toil.

The Major fancies another… at 14/1.

That horse is Dayia who goes for Linda Pearce.  This is the first time Fallon has ridden for Pearce and that is an advert in itself but the fact that the horse has gone plenty well enough on Good to Soft and the fact that in the Majors book, it does not have that much to find, I score this a great each way bet.

4.30pm Ascot Charity Handicap

There are two in here that catch the eye.

The first is 22/1 Pipette.  On old form this one should be capable of going close under the excellent Jimmy Fortune.  A year off has been followed by some pretty poor runs but this trainer knows how to nurse one back and a return to form would not be too much of a shock.  I think the soft ground might be the key to returning Pipette to some form – It might be worth a saver!

The second and the selection is Oceanway for Mark Johnstone.  Lately the winner of two races, this three year old is heading up the handicap but gets a handy 10lb weight for age allowance in this class 2.  5/1 is fair, if he gets his head in front in the last furlong, it will be hard to pass this one.

7.30 York EBF Stakes

Sajhaa is all the rage at evens as I type which is no suprise given his Group 2 performance at York where Midday sent this filly down by 2 lengths.  That form is solid but I think she is beatable.  I think the ground is the only doubt.  She is out of Kings Best and they like it more rattling.  The word soft in the description might give us a chance to get something else in.

Contradense is looking to be well placed by Cumani in this stakes event.  Not quite up to scratch in recent group efforts but neither disgraced, the Major is never keen on sorts that struggle to get their head in front.

Ceiledh House is doubtful which is a shame as it was interesting.  Wrekin Sunset will go in off a big price one day too.

Bottom line is that Sajhaa should take this and evens is plenty.  If you cannot beat them, join them.

Tidy Treble that, 14/1, 5/1 and evens.

The Majors Saturday Service – Northumberland Plate Tips, Pretty Polly Tips

Good morning from a changeable Pershore where downpours have been usurped by a brightness that defies the early hour.  The air is fresh and so is the Majors mind as we set about trying to score a profitable Saturday Service.

Midday is one for maximum faith at 8/11

Once again, the Major is tardy about updating the numbers, forgiveness is sought and I will get on to it shortly.

One of my betting resolutions is to try to bet with small stakes on inexperienced races.  I am set to challenge that philosophy at the end of this year.  The thinking is evidently that lesser experience gives us less chance to evaluate the standard of the horse and can lead to horse error, particularly in hurdling / chasing debuts.  Some of this logic remains but actually some of the easiest selections come in maidens for two year olds in my newly formed view.

The fact there is not too much to go on gives you more chance of evaluating every run.  While the job is to pick the classier animal, the prices reflect the fact that this may be an unknown.  When this is baked into the tissue, if you are unable to unlock the form maybe by using bloodstock lines or the routes that the big yards take to getting experience into their top two year olds then you can get great prices on horses that are classier than their competitors.

Quick link for those who like their gambling scientific, as does the Major.  You could advance your technique twenty years reading the excellent blog by James Willoughby – The figures never lie.

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the Penlee Lifeboat disaster (December).  The BBC showed a terrific documentary about the disaster some years ago.  It was the most moving piece of television I have witnessed.  The closing scenes which replayed the transcript between the helicopter pilot and the doomed Penlee lifeboat which ended in him repeatedly calling to them with a tragic silent reply; is as poignant a moment you will portray on a box in your living room.  The Major offers a Kings ransom for anyone who has a copy.

If you are unfamiliar with the Penlee lifeboat disaster, I would recommend you to reading up on it.  The Bravery of the people who man our lifeboats is outstanding and a credit to our land.  You know where the RNLI is, next time your lucky 15 lands, you could give yourself a healthy mental dose by making a donation to those of the purple and orange livery whose boats and crews have been the only call of distressed mariners.

To the sports….

Nod of credit to William Hill.  Staking £20 on any of the first 2 races at Newcastle or Newmarket and you get a £10 bet on the Northumberland Plate.  This is open to current accounts as well as new accounts.  It is warming to see them extend promotions to current account users.

3.05 Northumberland Plate

Let us start with the Plate.

This is a tough nut to crack and I will point out to followers that I cut my preparations shorter when I came to the conclusion that I want a horse who is currently under-rated, rather than one with experience and noted quality whose exploits are well seen and accounted for in the current mark.

I think the ground is only going to be genuine good to soft and that it will be pretty fair.  It looks like drying conditions.

The Northumberland Plate is a race where you could make an argument for any one of a dozen runners and so it is with caution that I put forward English Summer at 16/1 generally with all betting to four places at quarter odds.

Mark Johnston can have a horse well in on a mark in these big handicaps and his horses are tough as nails.  Stall 8 is fine.

High Office was my other consideration at 11/1.

As you would expect the Pricewise horses are being backed.  Since my selection differs, he has done me a favour!

Newmarket 2.15 Empress Stakes

As I indicated in the preliminaries, I am starting to appreciate the opportunities juveniles give you.  The Empress Stakes is a race for two year old fillies and they are 8/1 the field barring My Propellor, the Chapple Hyam entry which is a hot 5/4 favourite.  You have to acknowledge that with a huge ban hanging over Richard Hughes, the fact he takes this race on a two year old is noteworthy but the price is plenty short enough.  Turned out quickly, I am trying to get her beaten.

This gives us an excellent each way opportunity.

Misty Conquest is considered and ruled out.  Her races have shown some tasty form which include two wins from the front.  She will no doubt try the same here and I cannot see that style of racing on the 6f straight July course being helpful to her chances.

Lilys Angel is well considered as her experience (5 races) could stand her well.  Of those starts, there is plenty of form to pick at.  She is probably just short of top class but an each way option.

I however, want my each way goose to have a chance of being top class.  Lilys Angel is probably a great bet for a place but not the winners berth and I want that!

The two I am drawn to are on the strength of jockey booking and breeding.

The Clan MacDonald is the first consideration.  Riding sensation (which I think is the agreed descriptor) Michael Barzalona (Great name) is set to ride for David Barron on this Intikhab filly who won her Hamilton maiden with comfort.  It is the young jockeys first booking for the stable and 10/1 is reasonable.

Queens Revenge could not overcome the worst draw in the Hilary Needler.  That day she was sideswiped as she left the stalls but stayed on to be within 2 lengths of the leader at the close.  The extra furlong of the Empress Stakes is likely to suit and Ryan Moore is a significant booking for Tim Easterby.  9/1 with Corals is a decent price.

Of the rest, Red Larkspur should not be quite as big as 50/1 and Nayarra has had her chances to show us she has the talent to match her impeccable breeding.

On balance, The Clan MacDonald in an each bet at 10/1 generally.  My Propellor could be top class but I am willing to take her on given the short break since her last run.

3.35 Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes

Keeping things simple, I am willing to back Midday at 8/11.

The bottom line is she is the proven best horse in the race.  Her recent defeat at Ascot to top class colt, St Nicholas Abbey was disappointing to the Major but more down to riding tactics (sent out to win 3f from home) than anything else.  Even so, that form is good enough to win this.

Given her top rival (Snow Fairy) has not raced this year and that 3 year olds (Misty for Me) have a poor record in this contest and these sorts of races, I think it is a good thing.  8/11 beats the 4/7 I was expecting and I am happy to take a humongous single.

To other sports….

I am often told that Tennis is a great betting medium.  I am quite sure that 2pac is also at the forefront of hip hop but it does not make me want to buy his music.  On the marmite subject of Murray I am on the hate side.  A strong word and one not meant in it’s full sense, I just do not like him.  It has not much to do with the English / Scottish tension and absolutely nothing to do with his ‘winners’ assertive attitude.  Given the choice of enjoying a meal with Federer, Nadal, Murray or any other top tennis player, he would be bottom of my list, he does not strike me as a nice person.  I am sure he will be quite concerned.

Switzerland are tough to break down and could be a thorn in Spains side.  7/2 for the Swiss to lift the trophy is a generous enough price and while the Spaniards look impressive and a real chip off the senior team, I think it is dangerous to over-estimate their abilities at this stage.

Tonight, let English Summer pay for a delectable dinner at a fine establishment.  If you took a succesful double with The Clan MacDonald then the Major likes brandy and needs to see four letters not three on the bottle neck.  If you are dining well, take an appropriate lady.

Good luck and roll those dice.

Horseracing Tips from Epsom on Oaks Day

The third British classic of the season is run tomorrow at Epsom Downs and the Major has worked his way through the card this evening to advise on each Epsom Downs race.  What a lovely looking day to be racing.  There is something whole hearted and wonderful about a days racing of such quality in such fine surround.  If there I hope you eat good salmon and drink fine wines including great champagne.

Misty for Me - KABOOOOOOM - Has the Major ever let you down? C'mon Seamie get the job done

May continues to be a profitable month, particularly for racing tips.  With the Oaks and the Derby to come in the next 48 hours, here we go!  Load up the cannons and ensure your lancers are readied.

A quick word about the Derby.  A couple of people have asked me to have a look at it.  The Queens horse, winner of the Dante, Carlton House, has according to the Racing Post been declared fit.

I was always looking to get Carlton House beaten on Saturday anyway so with him declared fit and still in the market, it makes sense to get on my selection now.  If only I had a selection!

The main Derby horse of interest as I write is Memphis Tennessee for Aidan O’Brien.  33/1 seems a fancy price for this Derby horse.  Recital, the 5/1 stable-mate beat Memphis in May by 1 and a half lengths which is not a huge distance for such a swing in pricing.  In addition, this was the first run of the season for Memphis Tennessee and the O’Brien team have really needed to get that first run into their horses this year, take Roderic O’Connor the Irish Derby winner as an example, or Recital for that matter.

No bet yet, I want to see what is said of the 5 O’Brien runners.  I think Colm O Donoghue will be sacrificed as a pace maker and Memphis may be run prominently but maybe not burned, remember that O’Brien jnr was trusted with the ride on Roderic, interesting.  That said, the same jockey looks set for pacemaking later in the day so maybe 33/1 is a shocking price!  I will sleep on it.

To tomorrows Epsom action….. three mouth-watering group races….

1.40pm Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes

Antara will have a big role to play if on top form but I prefer the chances of Timepiece.  This beautiful bay filly trained by Henry Cecil is likely to be better at 4 and will be fitter for a reappearance run – This was always the first target and we will find out if she is good enough.

However, neither of the two market principals are the Majors selection. Instead I opt for the lightly raced three year old Clinical.  Wrapped up as a juvenile with a couple of runs, the handy weight allowance for three year olds mean this girl races off just 8-8.  Sir Mark Prescott is in fine form with 4 winners from 12 runners.  The form is not in the book, the maiden win has mixed messages and the Group 3 defeat following it up was concrete.

That said, Clinical has some bigger race entries and they are unlikely to be fanciful, a chance is taken at 9/1.

2.10 The Mile Handicap

This is a tricky affair and having spent half an hour ruling a few out, I am still left with a decidedly dodgy task trying to decide where the value lies.

The favourite looks very interesting, Dance and Dance is available at 13/2 and while no certainty, it is very interesting to see that Ryan Moore gets the ride, the first he has had for the stable.

The Major would be tempted with that and also with Sowaylm who is the Godolphin and Frankie horse.  Available at 16/1, this is an interesting contender.  Watching its second only ever run, it veered right out of the stalls, ran green and lost by a short head.  Its final run of the season, qualifying Sowaylm for a handicap mark was on soft ground and it looked all wrong.  A line through that run and 16/1 is tasty if it has come on again from 3 to 4.

2.45 Coronation Cup Group One

This is a race!

St Nicholas Abbey, apple of O’Briens eye and constant disappointment in injury and race running in it’s classic season has returned in style this year.  After being beaten by a triumph runner up and filly, St Nicholas Abbey has seemingly come good, he is a warm favourite here at evens money, I think he will go odds on.

Midday though is a top class animal and I think 6/4 is way too much.  5/4 the pair for the Major and that means a chunky slice is advised on Midday.  If St Nick puts his best foot forward he may just yet be a wonder horse, Midday is a great benchmark and I am far from convinced that she will be beaten tomorrow.

A quick word for Dandino, if allowed to get his head in front, he will go down fighting, although he should not be good enough in this company.

3.25 Investec Investment Handicap

This is just as tricky as the first handicap on the cards and there are many in with decent chances.

Again Ryan Moore gets an eye-catching ride on Right Step for Alan Jarvis and at 13/2 this one is not bad value.  The York second last time out looked OK.

I have an allergy for horses that constantly look like they are improving without getting their head in front at the crucial moment.  They tend to rise up the handicap steadily mirroring their apparent improvement.

Beaumonts Party the High Chapparal progeny is 3/1 favourite and is well in with the handicapper despite a penalty following an easy Chepstow win.  I have always like David Probert, some trainers seem to have left him out after he lost his claim, interesting but not much love in 3/1.

Dhaamer has a dangerous look about it.

The one the Major settles on as worth a punt is the 10/1 shot Resurge.  Not the most spectacular sort but it has course form.  Epsom can be a difficult course, up down, hard lefts, cambers, it counts if you can rely on a horse not having to change legs throughout.  12/1 it is worth an each way shot.

4.05 Investec Oaks

The Oaks.  The finest test for the three year old fillies.  An absolute punting minefield in some years.  Trying to judge which fillies will step up well to a mile and a half is tough work

Blue Bunting battled well to win a 1,000 Guineas and at 9/4 I have to say it is poor value in the Majors view.  Godolphin are a major force again in the classics but despite this horse being bred to be better at a mile and a half, it is no 9/4 shot for me.  There is plenty of slip between the crouch and the leap is an old saying and so despite the breeding suggesting a mile and a half should see Blue Bunting in better light, the Major believes this is over-considered in the price.

There is a clear and obvious candidate for the Major….. 8/1 priced Misty for Me.

Bet like men, bet on the nose.

This horse is well rehearsed at the top level having won three Group ones.  It has never competed over more than a mile but the way she stays on, it does not look an issue.  Losing by a distance in the 1,000 – I can write that off as the first run of the season which many O’Brien horses have shown they have badly needed.

It is the stable second string to Wonder of Wonders who at 7/2 is just too short to be the Majors selection.  I would not put anyone off but no thank you to 7/2.

Get stuck into Misty for Me.  Thank me later.

4.50 Investec Surrey Stakes

Sometimes things have to be simple.  Hoorah looks classy and this race is far more compatible being dropped back a furlong.

The rest look substandard and at evens, I have to say you would have to work hard to find better value.

I know some people cannot bring themselves to a backing a short price sort so I need to offer something.  Chilworth Lad at 9/1 would be my idea of the best priced alternative but I expect that to be a place prospect only.

5.20 Investec Opportunity Stakes

Fityaan looks like the winner.  The Warwick win last time out was achieved with a minimum of fuss, tracking the leader and going clear with a quick shake up.

I cannot find a reasonable alternative and suggest that Paddy Powers 11/4 is a price to take.

Wish I was there.