Tag Archives: mikael d’haguenet

The Saturday Sermon – Punchestown Tips, Sandown Tips – Suarez biting incident.. Football

Good morning from the Major who writes from bed in some discomfort.  On a rare but regular basis, the Major tweaks muscles in the base of my back leaving me a hobbling and complaining wretch.  I am not a good patient.

A week of bans in sport with Al Zarooni picking up a proper disqualification which spells the end of his training career – Good.  Suarez picked up a substantial ban too which had the wallahs of Liverpool wringing their hands and exclaiming the unfairness of it all.

The Major is pleased that a tough stance was taken on this incident.  Liverpool, in their reaction to it, are demonstrating that they learned little from the Suarez / Evra situation.  The Managing Director, the man the entire club takes a lead from in terms of behaviour and culture, suggests that the punishment targets the individual not the crime.  Other cultural leaders of the club show the balance between an organisation who want to protect a valuable asset and those that understand the disrepute he is dragging the club through… again.

Rodgers: Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis, his behavior is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this – Wow, if I bit someone at work, my own company would not take the time to explain that this is ‘unacceptable’, that would be taken as read, I would be punished (fired).

Souness: …the board have to see it that way because they’re risking everything this great football club stands for 

To feel for balance in the argument it is worth considering the alternate arguments which seem to be as follows.

Is Suarez being targeted because of a history and thus, 8 weeks is too harsh a punishment?  Biting is a very dishonourable aspect to sport that disgusts many people.  In his first biting incident, Suarez was banned for 7 weeks.  In Rugby last year, Dylan Hartley took an 8 week ban for biting a finger of an Irish opponent.  Thus, 10 weeks (7 for the incident itself, 3 for violent conduct) seems fair for a second offence.  

If the club and player felt it was unduly harsh, they could appeal and run the risk of it being increased.  Their decision not to, speaks to me some what of the advice they will have received behind the scenes and their real view behind the hyperbole.  It is worth remembering that the panel who set the tariff is independent of the FA.

The Liverpool statement suggests that the tariff is unfair (which I believe to be posturing) because it is not consistent with other punishments.  One of the issues the FA need to address is retrospective action applying to players who are cautioned in a game but later found to have committed a more heinous crime.  This is what happened to Defoe, an equally low act, while unfortunate he did not serve justice it does not mean that we should not deal properly with Suarez who was not cautioned in the game.

Suarez is going to receive the full support of Liverpool.  A player whose record is so chequered, whose reputation so low, receives the full support of the club again.

Sadly the message I receive is: The values of Liverpool < The talent of Suarez – A sorry state of affairs for one of our football institutions.

If I had the time I would explore how the brand damage done by these instances will mean the club play in the long run.   I would highlight the personal values people associate with their sporting support.  Instead, we shall head to the tips…

We scored a reasonable return at Punchestown yesterday.  The fly did the business in the style you would like from a 1/4 winner.  Un Atout battled hard for victory with Pont Alexandre withdrawn.  The instruction to load the cannons on Un De Sceaux paid dividends and overall, it was not a bad day at all.

Punchestown Tips

If you are heading to Punchestown, I hope you have a marvellous time.  @limerickjfk shall be on track and I wish you and your compadres the very best of luck.

The opening Irish Field Chase could go to Shakervilz at 4/1.  He was a runner up in the Cross Country at the Cheltenham festival, that form was well franked this week.  Heavy ground should be no problem to him.  Have a small slice.

In the second, I think you need some medical attention if you back Mikael D’Haguenet.  Clearly there is enough talent to take this, after all he beat subsequent RSA chase winner Lord Windemere this season.  Yet, he throws some horrendous runs in on a regular basis.  Aupcharlie has hardly looked impressive at this end of the season either and so a chance is taken on Grey Gold at 8/1 – I am sure they are not tilting at windmills stepping the Carlisle winner up so far in class.

In the third, On His Own jumped 24 of the national fences before falling at Valentines second time around.  I did not watch the race as per my previous views on it but I understand from racing notes, he was fading at the time.  I think the ground is much more to his liking here (unbeaten on worse than soft) but it is a big ask after his exertions earlier this month.

I think you have to take Wyck Hill‘s last run at Kempton with a pinch of salt given his track record on softer ground.  At 5/1, I suggest a small slice.  Liberty Counsel is also too big at 16/1 and the Irish National winner can run into a place at least so have a small saver.

Tarla looks a shoe-in at 4/6 in the fourth.  One for multiples.  She has good chase form but was very game reverting to the smaller obstacles last time.  Largely Ruby has got the stable calls right this week and so his selection of the horse over Glenns Melody carries significance.

The Champion 4yo Hurdle at 5pm is all the weaker for the absence of the uber-exciting Our Conor.  Of all of the Cheltenham winners, his Triumph success was breathtaking and surely signals a significant career ahead.  Mullins saddles four of the six runners and of them, Diakali is a shade odds on to win.  Although I am a bit nervous at the price, he does look the most likely winner.  Dogora could be an excellent cast off from Closutton for David Casey as I think back on heavy, we might see much more horse.

Gigginstown have seven darts to throw in the 5.35 handicap.  While only a certain amount of work can be done in such races, I am suggesting an investment at 17/2 in Fahamore who has a number of attractive points.  He looks well handicapped having battled out a finish (lost) with Acapulco, when having to give best part of a stone.  Since that foe went in earlier in the week, it has to rate as good form.  Heavy ground holds no problems (6 runs, 3 wins, 2 places) – What’s not to like? He only has 24 others to defeat!

That is it from Punchestown for me, I am not playing in the bumper or the charity race.

Sandown Tip – Celebration Chase

This race more than any marks the end of the National Hunt adventure.  Last year, Sanctuaire blitzed the field.  He looks a horse whose mind has been destroyed by the Aeroplane and I wonder if he will run a big race again – It sort of reminds me of this.  He is favourite here though and has shown enough in the past to justify it… if (and a big if in my mind) he can return to his former self.

Finians Rainbow is a horse the Major likes.  I was really taken by his Champion Chase win last year (people forget so easily), he really fought hard going past the bypassed fence tussling with Sizing Europe.  This season has been a disappointment having never properly recovered from a spell on the sidelines.  Good ground holds no fears.

One who will relish good ground and is overpriced is Tataniano who is six from six on good ground.  That alone is probably not enough to make him a win bet but at 33/1 I would put noone off having a slice in case a return to top form (won off 160) is in order on better ground.

Sod it… Finians Rainbow is the best of these and I am backing Henderson to have worked some magic.  Have a decent slice of the 9/2.

Football – Regular readers will know that Watford are the team I have been classing as the money train for some time and they duly delivered for me last night at Leicester at 3/1.  I am reinvesting those funds in some teams I like.  I think Stoke will be keen to finish strongly and can see off Norwich at home.  Southampton have the guns to beat West Brom who have had a poor end of season.  I also think that Newcastle at 11/5 are a big price to see off Liverpool.  For all of the troubles listed above, I think an unsettled Liverpool performance might be one of the outputs of the whole affair.

The Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Shakervilz, Finians Rainbow, Stoke and Diakali.

I trust your dinner is expensive and held in fine company.  Allow a generous tip and be awake at the wrong side of midnight.  It is good to be alive.

Courage, roll those dice.

Sunday Racing Tips at Cork and Punchestown for the awesome John Durkan

Good morning from the Major who writes from the warm bed. Sausages are being prepared downstairs, all is well in the world.

Could we have had a better weekend of racing?

Firstly the class act. Sprinter Sacre did exactly what your spirit wants. Winning on the bridle and hammering Sanctuaire. The Nicholls horse may have over-stretched as Kumbeshwar stole second from him, murdering a few forecasts no doubt in the process. In a bout of spectacular aftertiming I was going to suggest that forecast to younyesterday morning as I thought it might pan out that way.

Still, enough of my own brilliance, you know enough of that, after all you are here and that can only be tacit acknowledgement of my minds power.

Sprinter was in a different league to the best we have, the form lines are insane. I put Sprinter Sacre 10lbs ahead of Jesus.

If that was not enough for you, you gluttonous fool, then the wins of Captain Conan and Golden Hoof were good watches too but merely accoutrements to a piece of racing history.

The biggest cheer on a racecourse was at Aintree not Sandown. 14 years young Hello Bud winning the Becher was eye wateringly good. As stories go this is unbeatable. You don’t get much better symbiosis of horse and rider than this. How the old boy held grimly on to win by a head was inspiring and the crowd duly lapped it up.. Bravo. Little Josh a hard working sort was a popular winner too in the last.

Is that enough? No! Red Cadeaux, globe trotting servant of the Ed Dunlop yard wins his first group 1 at Sha Tin in the early hours….

The stage is set for a magnificent Sunday but surely we have been given too many treats already. How do we beat the gourmet of delights already served up… We’re we deserving of them, have we been over-fed? No.

If you are near Punchestown you have to go. It is my birthday and I would love nothing more than to attend the John Durkan today. Plus, entry is €10 – for that you get one of the best races of the season….

Punchestown Tips

The John Durkan is a fabulous renewal. There are only four going to post but each is a worthy sort and put together it is an intriguing field.

Flemenstar has gone from strength to strength and is favourite today. You can understand why but this is the toughest task to date and I don’t want to be short changed. Sir Des Champs is the current head of the Gold Cup market after travelling and jumping like a dream in the Jewson. Great engine, great jumper, probably the best of these in my view but I am concerned that he might strip fitter for this.

The third of the second season chasers gets my vote. Regular readers know that Bog Warrior is my favourite horse in training. I love him. I also think he has a chance and 11/1 is dismissive. Firstly I think this is his best distance. He will be fit after demolishing a hurdles field last time out. He has also beaten Flemenstar all be it under different circumstances. Have a slice and thank me later.

Good luck to Mikael D’Haguenet who is odds on in the beginners chase…. Not for me.

I do like 3/1 shot Balnaslow in the earlier novice event though – point and bumper form is OK but Mullins introducing him into this company is an advert in itself.

Cork Tips

Three graded races at Cork, it’s a good day there too…

Tarla is not a punters price but 4/9 is probably still lenient and I advise the horse for some multiples. Same applies to Road to Riches.

In the Hilly Way Chase, I think the is a bit of value to be had. Of course the Mullins horse looks progressive but there are some seasoned campaigners here and some are very talented, if not altogether trusted to put their race in.

The one I like the most is 6/1 shot Foildubh who is still potentially improving and has some reasonable tied form with Flemenstar.

Courage, roll those dice!

Pandora’s Box is open – Champion Chase Cheltenham Tips

BOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!

The Major is off to a flyer on the opening day. 

That said, understanding followers appreciate that it was wonderful watching my nap get beaten by Hurricane Fly, Peddlers Cross ran a race and in the Majors view if Peddlers had held a greater lead, Hurricane would have reeled him in anyway, breathtaking.

If you fall low, like Lazarus, then awake my child, Lazarus started lowly and yet finished canonised - In the same way let us re-birth

We had winners though.  Reve de Sivola was a decent place, losing to the highlighted Bensalem.  9/1 Divers was the result of the day.

Day one was a firecracker of emotion.  Electricity crackled.  The fly made it good to be a racing man.  Drink was served.  Food delivered.  The Major held his own.

To all those whose day one battle was fruitless.  Well I say to thee that Lazarus started as a beggar and finished a saint.  The Major has not stooped so low, yet we shall raise ourselves higher still.

Get that harness on young man, ensure your preparation is complete.  We are engaged in the melee  The danger is to go to the front too soon.  With too much excitement you might exclude consideration, if in this mood, you find are rash and in over-optimism peak early……… well then draw breath, be still and settle thyself.  The battle dictates that you shall ready your stamina.

The Majors followers know this is right, this is a four day conflict.  There will be some warm work at the gate, a little skirmish perhaps, be prepared.

To Champion Chase day, have courage and shuffle the cards

First of all I offer you no advice for the opener simply because the Major refuses to truck with witchcraft.  If a beady eyed hobgoblin should stop thee and challenge, simply say ‘BESHABAR – Now get behind me SATAN’ – Does that constitute advice, probably, I shall count it as an each way bet.

The Neptune

In the second, Oscars Well needs a bigger trip, leaving Rock on Ruby and So Young for the Major.

So Young has been dismissive of the opposition in Ireland. Very impressive and a price to match.

On a strict line of form with Megastar, Minella Class holds Rock on Ruby – I support that. Both of them are held?

The one that appeals most on faster ground is Tornado Bob.  All of the form is on ‘probable’ unsuitable ground.  12/1 – Stick it in the microwave, let your taste buds explode when it goes ping!

RSA Chase

This is simple.  Time for Rupert is a quality animal that the Major has ignored before at a cost.  That said it is without a run this year.

Mullins knows that Mikael D’Haguenet has always been a champion of something in the making.  The Major thinks it is the RSA chase.  Ruby, on a high, surely he can get Mikael D’Haguenet into the rhythm that his trainer thinks could win a major event. 10/1 KABBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!

Champion Chase

OK Masterminded looks back to form.  However do you think his thin margin defeat of Somersby adds up to more that a Big Zeb defeat to Golden Silver?

The Major reckons that on times Big Zeb was the master.  On strictly the clock, Masterminded has something to find.

A tentative 3/1 is advised in the understanding that the Major would gladly tear up his ticket to see that stag like Masterminded leap at the last as he puts the field to bed.

Head – Big Zeb, heart – Masterminded.  3/1.

Coral Cup

The Coral Cup is always a challenge.  The Major has settled on Call the Police – Mullins and Walsh have an improver on their hands that the Major feels is able to take this, 6/1 WHAAAAMMMMMM!.

Fred Winter

The Major has been puzzling over the Fred Winter for some time.  The bottom line is that Whitby Jack is 12/1 and too damn intriguing!

The Lucky Last – The Bumper

Wow what a bumper – The Major fancied Keys but in the absence of the flat trained specialist, surely Cheltenian stands a better than 12/1 chance on a track going left-handed?  Dickie in the saddle – BOOM.

Good luck warriors, suffer thy losses well at the setting of the sun, tis only a while until daybreak, then we see the enemies eye, deep, dark, unmoving. Have vigour, be relentless.  Then peace, sleep, it is right.  Till dawn awakens the soul once more.

Saturday Service – Horseracing Tips (Newbury, Leopardstown), Football Tips – Welcome to the Majors Saturday

Good morning from Pershore where the inky morning sky parallels the Major’s deep calm calculation of risk and reward as he prepares us for another weekends sporting battle.  I hope you were on the handicap plot horse identified on Fridays Kempton card – Well done Ash, Nikki, Martin, Mark et al. 

At 6am, the bowl of Coffee is a must

Pere Blanc returned 10/3 after being advised at 5/1 with Victor Chandler – Apologies it was a late night post, I had half a dozen email, texts and pigeons and 4/1 seems the best price anyone got for this one. 

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The Saturday Service

Let me set your mind…. allow a moment of calmness and reflection, it is important to allow your sentient conscience to flow like a river, bending and winding around stubborn rock in our splendid onward journey relentlessly rolling on, roll on and on dear friends inexorably without rest, no quarter shall be given and none asked.  Be peaceful now, the Major has posted, your anguish can be settled, bet like men (and women… you know who you are) and be at rest.

The coffee bubbled away from the earliest of ungodly hours and the Major has enjoyed several bowls already as we prepared delectable selections for your own perusal, I trust a couple may make it to your betting slip. 

Drinking coffee from a bowl is a pleasure first introduced to the Major in Hemmingways ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.  For those followers who have not read it, I urge you to do so for the haunting manful description of the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of Robert Jordan, the American protagonist and probable self-portrait…… guerrilla warfare, hiding up in the mountains…. Bowls of coffee, cheese, hung meat, skins of wine, strong tobacco, living under canvas, starry nights, snow-covered slopes, warfare, love, death and sacrifice….

Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today. It’s been that way all this year. It’s been that way so many times. All of war is that way.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is almost Hemingways finest book, which in the Majors view is ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ which the Major intends to read on the night before his marathon run. 

The bowl of coffee has merely assisted concentration as the Major prepares us for battle once more.  We are in profit, substantial profit and the enemy wants it back.  He will use his vast resources to come from all fronts.  We shall respond with measured discipline.  To the sports fields and tracks of Britain and Ireland….

What wonderful racing we can enjoy today, nine graded races, Leopardstown (Heavy), Newbury (Good to Soft) and Warwick (Good to Soft).  As you browse the cards, producing horseracing tips is difficult, an embarrassment of riches, a target rich environment that is fraught with trap doors.  Trying too hard, betting too frequently, lack of research, feeling you should….. fast ways to the poorhouse.  We tread carefully in our search for value…

I love the Grade 2 Kingmaker which goes at Warwick – It usually throws up a nice Cheltenham sort.  This year, Finians Rainbow seeks to dominate a small field for the third time in three chase starts this season.  I expect he will and that’s why he is 1/3.  I am happy to let this one go as I plan on getting after him in the Arkle when I think his unchallenging preparation might cost him.  No bet advised but for those who must, Stagecoach Pearl for the wonderful Sue Smith at 8/1.

The Totesport Trophy, 3.35 Newbury is arguably race of the day.  It is a terrific puzzle to solve as a horseracing and gambling fan.  There are quite simply ten left in my calculation after putting lines through many – Even the top jockeys don’t know which of their stable prospects to ride.  It is formidable, unsolvable to most and I probably include myself.  Which evidence to use and which to discard…  21 Grade one potential Champion Hurdle sorts, this race is often used to unleash a stables prospect for the big one at Cheltenham.  How does the Major see it?

I tipped up Walkon at 12s for his Ascot run when headed by Tiger O Toole.  I think this race will be too much too soon and a potential bounce so I shall ignore the tempting 8/1 and look for better value. 

This could be a very sticky good to soft given that we are on new ground (although it will have taken some racing by then) and there has been a downpour in Newbury overnight.  It lends itself to a seasoned horse who arrives in good fettle.  One targeted at the race rather than Cheltenham perhaps.  The seasoned description though contradicts my view that we need a seasoned campaigner, how to resolve that balance?  Upstart heading for the Champion Hurdle or horse with the know how who has 20 races under his belt and won’t get over excited!

If you want experience, it rules out Solix who the Major is very excited about seeing on a UK track.  This french import for Henderson could be anything, the French form is hard to read but this horse is apparently (public knowledge, the Major has no one whispering in his ear, more is the pity) very impressive in his work at home.  I cannot have him out of my thoughts.

Get me out of Here, the McManus and McCoy horse is right in the frame if he repeats last years efforts even though this might be a hotter field – The recovery from injury which has probably been responsible for below par runs is plausible but repeating the dose on a 15lb higher mark is a big ask.  I am sure he will be tuned up but not for the Major. 

Rebel Dancer looks an interesting sort but I think despite being a likely plotter for this race, it will find one or two simply too classy. 

Tell us Willie, how good is Final Approach??? While you are at it, what wins the Champion Bumper??

8/1 the field gives us plenty of each way value.  Make sure you bet well.  SEVEN bookmakers are offering quarter odds terms and five places, make sure you are with Bet365, Skybet, Totesport, Boylesports, Bluesq, Paddypower or 888.

The Major has decided on the following as the main contenders.  Solix, for reasons given, Final Approach – This Mullins sort picked up the MCR at Leopardstown, now raiding this valuable hurdle race, it has to be respected.  I suggest taking both, Solix is best priced 14/1 with Paddy Power who go the 5 places, have a slice.  Final approach can be backed at 10s with Coral and William Hill but is available generally at nines with those paying the 5th place.  Personally I would take the tens.  As you can see the Majors view settled on upcoming superstar rather than experienced old hands.  Pricewise went for Soldatino, cannot argue on its novice form….. 8/1 but not the Majors selection.

The Aon Chase is a less complex affair (2.25 Newbury) and it looks like it boils down to the top two in the market.  Riverside Theatre, a horse the Major has followed and tipped as a successful each way 14/1 prospect in the King George ante post market, now goes off as favourite at a price of evens.  While I like the horse, I think Nicholls has been patient trying to find the key to What a Friend and I would prefer his chances at 2/1 (Victor Chandler and Paddy Power).  Some don’t like the form of his Hennessy and Lexus runs and class them as easier Grade 1 performances, the Major would prefer it at twos than Riversides evens.  I just think What a Friend potentially has more upside.  Small stake advised.

3.00 The Game Spirit throws up a slightly below par field this year.  I am interested in Sports Line who may settle better with Timmy Murphy – His Punchestown third to Captain Cee Bee at the festival is as good as anything on show – If they have found the key to him then he could be a danger to all.  McCain has won a third of his races in the last fortnight which adds to the sense that a decent run is on the cards.  A chance is taken with Paddy Power or Bet365 at 7/1 (win stake).

Persian Snow looks the likeliest to win the bumper at Newbury but no bet advised.

At Leopardstown, there are some hugely interesting contests in this card which was moved from the original Hennessy day.  The Irish Hennessy is simply one of the greatest Irish races of the year and it is a shame that the Nicholls raider, Pride of Dulcote has been rerouted in his preparation.  There are other interesting challenges on the cards though.

The Grade 1 juvenile hurdle opener is a small stakes race as per the Majors betting resolutions.  That said I like Indian Daudaie who has improved with racing and the heavy ground is likely to be a big plus to his chances.  I prefer the experience of the three races under the belt over the impressive maiden winner Unaccompanied who is at the top of the market on potential alone.  10/3 my selection with Victor Chandler, have a slice.

Another Grade 1 is hot on the heels at 1.45 with the Dr P J Moriarty Chase (What a card) Mikael D’haguenet has the form in the book and he has been the apple of Mullins eye.  I do like the chances of Magnanimity at the prices though as the race is likely to be run to suit and I suspect this one is still strongly on the upgrade and a likely Cheltenham sort.  11/2 with Hills and Power, I might be wrong but I suspect he may come in.

The 2.15 looks impossible but I would note Run for Sol who has a touch of the plot horse look about him.

2.45 and back to the Grade 1 action!  The Deloitte Novices is a great guide to the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham and this year it is truly a terrific line up.  Surely Mullins has been treating Zaidpour gently (when beaten by the Major!) and I fancy it has the measure of Hidden Universe in normal conditions but the Heavy I think will suit Hidden Universe more than Zaidpour.  My advice is to take a slice of the 4/1 generally available.  I think if this gets dirty, McNamara might get after the Universe in a way that Townend won’t, they have a longer term goal.  Oscars Well is an interesting runner but breeding suggests better ground to the Major.

The Hennessy 3.15 Leopardstown pits the reliable Irish chasers against each other again.  Sadly the stars are not there and it is a case of picking the best of the ‘Europa League’ players.  Trafford Lad was the Majors advice when well beaten – I should know when I am done but I maintain this horse had decent younger form and could still one day reproduce it – Perhaps today is the day…… Anyone else coming in at 40/1 with Hills?  The waters warm…..

OK – That is all the major races covered as best as the Major can, we have already got through 2,000 words and plenty of advices and research.  What a feast of racing action from todays graded races.  The Major is all about that and also all about the 3.20 at Ayr…. why??  Not many people woke up this morning thinking about Reindeer Dippins chances.  The Major however likes a couple of things about this one.  It will have needed the recent run following a break, McCain is in fine form and it is going its preferred way at Ayr, needing to race left-handed in the Majors view – Have a slice a 7/1 Boylesports, Paddy Power or Skybet.

To the sports fields of Britain….

The Manchester derby on paper is mouth-watering but going on the park the bus attitude applied by Mancini in similar circumstances I suggest both low scoring and no scoring games are in store for us, even if Smalling is a potential chink in the United armour.   For the Major it is nil nil at half time…… A little known outfit called Unibet go 37/19 beaten only by the equally low profile Red32 who go 79/40….. 2/1 in old money, less a pittance!

I like the chances of Sunderland at home to Tottenham – No bet advised at the prices.

West Ham surely have a good chance of taking the bacon home from my beloved Hawthorns.  Dispassionate betting is a must in the pursuit of profit and I cannot have it that West Ham are 3/1 – Di Matteo got fired largely because he could not get us defending well.  Hodgson may be the right or wrong manager but what can have changed in that space of time to tighten us up??  3/1 have a piece, a great bet – Albion have lost all but a couple of their last ten games, West Ham have 4 points from 6 on the road.

Villa are an advised bet to bag the points at free-falling Blackpool.  5/4 is reasonable.

Arsenal have lost some valuable points at the Emirates this season and I suspect Wolves may give them more problems today.  14/1 is not a bad price for a well organised team.  Arsenal will come out firing, I have been impressed with the way the gunners leave the traps but if they don’t score in the first twenty five minutes then they might find it tougher and tougher.  The Emirates crowd can be impatient, they have seen it before, petulance is often visible on the pitch when the gunners don’t get their way – 3/1 half time nil nil is the bet for the Major.

Ladbrokes go -3 Scotland in the handicap at evens which I think is a great price.   Wales look devoid of spirit as they extended their barren spell.  Scotland on the other hand played well against the usual french flair.  This is a great bet, have a piece.

There we are, the advices are in.  I am aware that this is a long list, probably the biggest post in the Majors record.  Thank you for reading it all.  If you cheated and came to the bottom to read my nap, go back to the top young man and do it properly.

The NAP is a West Ham win at 3/1.  I am sorry Mr Hill, it had to be.

My lucky 15 is West Ham, Indian Daudaie, Scotland -3 and Magnaminity. 

Let us accept our enemy from whichever angle he chooses to attack.  The turf accountant is a devious fiend, pricing markets with delicate balance. 

At tonight’s dinner, I imagine you will order the Lamb, gently cooked in a Moroccan style.  A nice gentle red from Begerac will pair well.  Have a Pastis beforehand to clear the palate.  As you await your evening carriage, remember to tip the man well.  The moon may well be shining, you see a man in a cloak in the dark shadows, his look is sinister.  The church bell chimes the midnight hour as he approaches you.  You see he has a satchel, he is the beaten enemy, your turf accountant.  Tell him ‘Oh enemy, do not ask for whom the bell tolls…. It tolls for thee’, then see him home, it is the right thing to do.