Tag Archives: mostly bob

Scottish Grand National Tip 50/1 | Scottish Champion Hurdle Tips… plus Newbury

Good evening from the Major who writes from the dark Worcestershire countryside night.  No Saturday morning post as I am London bound on the early train to catch Association Football at the Emirates.

Walkon.... Going to an extreme stamina test, what is that about?

A long and busy day is in the making.  I always think I might nap on the early train but in reality, I know I will read the papers.11am for cocktails at the Emirates is gruelling but one must make do as best as one can.  The company will be excellent and the game promises to be close.  Grab what floats by on the tide dear friends.

The late afternoon train back to Pershore and then an evening with friends at a charity event – Marvelous stuff.

What a great day of sport too.  Ayr offers a tasty card including the Scottish Grand National, the Scottish Champion Hurdle and a further Grade 2 novice affair.  Newbury host three Group races including the Greenham where Bronterre gets the chance to boost the already red hot Dewhurst form.  Then there is an interesting sprint race in Naas.

Apologies for the tardiness in updating the bet records again.  The reason I only kept them for five months before stopping them last year was simply the hassle.  I promise to get them up to date again though soon.  People do want to know whether they are reading the considered advice of an expert or the babbling noise that falls from the mouth of a madman.  I can assure it is the latter.

I find criticism of tipsters small minded.  Not surprising since I am an amateur tipster who gets his fair share of grief.  The subject is a popular rant of mine but as an individual, you have a sacred right that no-one can take, the independence of your own thought.  Therefore, what you choose to do with any information is your decision alone.  I have no right to your thanks either if you choose to bakc a horse with your own money that I like.  What I write is free, in the public domain for one and all.  Friend, foe, the deserving and the cad.

There is another reason, I find the criticism of an amateur tipster odd and that is the decline of the good loser.  If you have never watched ‘The Sting’ then you are not welcome here.  During the early scenes, the lead character grifts a small fortune and blows it on a crooked roulette table.  As his girl for the night rants and screams and the dealer throws him an extra dig (a bit rich since he cooked the table), he simply tilts his hat, grimaces and moves on with his life.

After the Majors revolution, licences will be issued allowing people access to bookmakers premises and online betting accounts.  To qualify, you must demonstrate your ability to take defeat gracefully.  If you can afford to bet, it is the minimum you owe.

Today the Major gambles the same as he always does… A touch of inspiration, a deal of perspiration and a smattering of procrastination.  I shall stick to the formula.  Sometimes innovation is required, a surprise change of methodology to surprise the enemy.

When the Suez Canal was under threat from revolt in nineteenth century Egypt,  Wolseley led a daring night march.  His goal was to attack regular Egyptian infantry who were well dug in at Tel el-Kebir.  He took Highlanders and Indian Infantry, meeting the enemy at dawn with bayonets fixed.  The British were just a stones throw from the Egyptian defences before their alarm was raised and so ferocious was the assault that the enemy largely fled.  Wolseley was a detached and clinical sort who chased down his foe.

Several thousand Egyptians died, by contrast, Wolseley had just 60 odd that failed to answer the roll call.  The decisive win paved the way for the British to march on Cairo.  The ensuing carnage of the defeated enemy clogging the Cairo road meant that little meaningful resistance was put up.  We reinstalled the Khedive and the valuable Suez Canal which had reduced by more than a half the sea trip to India was secure.

To the sports. Daub thy war paint….

Scottish Grand National Tips – 3.25 Ayr

With 25 runners, bookmakers offering five places are putting up a decent concession.  Bet365, Betvictor, Paddy Power, Boylesports and Stan James… well done.

Hmmmmmm, a damn hard handicap.  By far the most interesting horse in this race is Walkon.  Make no mistake, Walkon was a top class juvenile and when he won his chase debut after a lengthy absence, at the start of this season, the world looked like it was laid out entirely for his own satisfaction.  Things have not gone to plan since then but an entry in the Scottish National?  The horse could be accused of being one-paced at times.  This step up to a marathon distance may trigger a sparkling performance from a horse well handicapped or it is an act of desperation…. 25/1 is a fair price to find out.

Merigo looks an each way steal having been prepped for this race all season.

The other two of significant interest are Galaxy Rock who has two things the Major likes about his chances.  Firstly, bar a rallying Neptune Collonges, Sunnyhillboy almost landed the Grand National last week and Galaxy Rock would have then been the yards stab at the National double.  Secondly, the horse ran a blinder earlier in the season at Cheltenham and on face value that form has him very well in.

The final horse on the shortlist is Portrait King.  The Eider winner has been showing much more class now upped to marathon distances.  That said, I am wary of backing a novice, no matter how good his chances look.  It is a tough one to ignore though, his 9lb raise looks very light considering how gamely he rallied after smacking three out.

All of my selections and most of the field will be fine on the good ground.  On balance, all four have a good chance.

I would not my cap too towards Mostly Bob who if putting in a big round of jumping, which is a considerable if… would be there at the finish.

However, the Major has gone for a 50/1 outsider that would be a shock winner.  Petitfour out of the Twiston-Davies team (won the race with Hello Bud four years ago).  I think a marathon trip will suit and ground won’t be a problem.  The horse has had his problems and has not been in the winners enclosure for several years but I do not think it is a forlorn hope…. Have a slice with Betvictor who go the five places.

Scottish Champion Hurdle Tips

Champion Hurdle in name, limited handicap in nature.

Providing a Scottish Grand National Tip requires you to immerse yourself in a sea of information, finding the winner of the Scottish Champion Hurdle is much much easier.

Edgardo Sol. 9/4 Betvictor again.  This horse has found his form in sparkling style this spring with a fine second in the county hurdle being followed up with a breathless Aintree win.  As long as this does not come too soon, I would be quite surprised if he did not go in again.

2.15 Grade 2 Novice Chase

Pacha Du Polder is only five and looks a sure improver but the Major opts for Rival D’Estruval.

My selection has shown decent form and my only concern is that this trip might be a little on the short side.

Tips for Newbury Group Races

3.10 Newbury – Greenham Stakes Tips

As opposed to the good ground north of the border, expected conditions at Newbury are soft.

Trumpet Major gave the Dewhurst form a further boost when rocketing home at Newmarket this week.  Ektiham had already franked that race and so Bronterre looks the form pick here.  The Major’s observations are hardly revolutionary though as he is 8/11 generally.

Caspar Netscher is hugely experienced for a horse just starting his classic year.  Very well thought of and highly tried, I think his best form ties in.  Although untried, I think he will be fine with conditions.

Rebellious Guest is amongst the early crop of Cockney Trucker colts to hit the course.  I think he could be good.

On balance, I think the Greenham will go to Caspar Netscher at 3/1.

2.35 Newbury – Fred Darling

The girls have a go in the Group 3 at 2.35pm.

Best Terms looks a very promising sort but the Major is going to dutch two in Brick Tops and Electrelane.  Both have shown promising maiden wins, both have won on soft, both are well-bred.  Electrelene is my tip for the record, although seemingly Ralph Becketts (won this race twice in last ten years) second string, I am a big fan of Neil Callan and 12s is decent.

Tips for the 3.40 Naas 5f Listed Contest

The listed sprint in Ireland can go to 7/2 shot The Reaper.  Ground and trip are not going to be a problem, clearly Spirit Quartz is the principle danger as the British raider.

To the football….

Chelsea have not been scintillating of late but have mustered a hardness and togetherness that is grinding out results.  In their big week, I think 3/1 that their form continues is massive, take a hefty slice.

Sunderland have been a little off colour but can prise three points from Villa Park at 12/5.  O’Neill won’t tolerate a switching off and will demand the best result possible.  Many Villa fans I know are worried about the clubs ability to win any remaining fixture, that gloom could become serious tomorrow.

Newcastle to beat Stoke at 7/10… load the money printer.  Back Cisse too.

May your dinner be in a popular place in a group, choice of wine, good fish perhaps.  I hope you are in fine company.  The quieter sort who is limitlessly likeable.  Even when you fall in love everyday, as the Major does, for moments it can be deep.  Meaningful and fleeting.  Tip well and breathe it in.

Courage, roll those dice.

Cheltenham Day Three – Horseracing Tips for World Hurdle Day – 12/1 and 10/1 winners this week already KAAABOOOMMM!

A solid two days of Cheltenham reviews and tips and the Major’s followers are in 40% profit.  Day two looked victorious for the enemy until Cheltenian won the bumper well, a 12/1 selection for the Major (14/1 was available widely at the off).

Load the big guns, it is World Hurdle time

Sizing Europe looked stunning but you could run that race again and it wouldn’t carry the Majors money.  Carlo Brigante was an easy winner too and visually looked good. 

As usual all of my bets are recorded in the tabs at the top as is a summary of performance by month.  March is now rolling along gloriously!  You can follow the Major on twitter @tdl123 or look in the left hand menu to sign up to the email alert service.  Always free, amateur and slightly unhinged, the Major lays his racing soul bare.

World Hurdle day tomorrow.  We have reached half time in the battle.  It is time to pull out the big guns, we want winners.  Load up the big cannon young man with grape-shot, draw a bead on thine enemy.

Happy St Patricks Day to all Irishmen – Good luck to you today.

The Jewson

Noble Prince has been twice defeated this season by Arkle third, Realt Dubh.  While it is early to tell, I suspect this years Arkle was not a vintage and thus, this form does not add up to too much.  Last years festival win was very solid though and on good ground, of clear interest.

The market leader, Wishful Thinking won a hurdle in fine style out here last time, in one sense a rightful favourite.

Robinson Collonges has had some time off which might not be a bad thing.  His defeat in December at Cheltenham was poor, he looked a bit workman like before ploughing through three out and weakening quickly.  I think this can be forgiven and it is his run from November 2010 that catches the eye.  In it he fell, but not before putting all of the field to bed and certainly looking like he had the eventual winner covered. The horse that took advantage of the fall was Wishful Thinking.  This makes the 6/1 generally available tonight a must bet.  Ruby doing the steering is a big plus given he might need to be nursed into one or two fences.

The Pertemps Final

This is an intriguing puzzle with a number of interesting runners. 

Duke of Lucca is a reliable sort but surely not feasibly weighted for this. 

I have always liked Pause and Clause and this seasons form has been a disappointment. He has certainly performed better hurdling that chasing, 33/1 is a fair price for one that could go well.

Kayf Aramis is on a fair mark and is bidding to take this for a second time after victory in 09.  It is a tough horse who is hard to pass.  Not for the Major but 22/1 is fair enough.

The win Lush Life got at Cheltenham in December was good.  A previous defeat of Menorah at Ascot, looks much better.  You can put a line through the dreadful run at Sandown latest where the horse needed work from the farrier at the start.  14/1 for Henderson and Geraghty is a terrific price.  This would be the Majors bet of the day.

Chartreux also looks a well handicapped sort for the Pipes.

When it boils down, I suggest two each way plays.  Lush Life and Pause and Clause.  There is a bit of heart in the second, the first looks a stand out bet, go long, large, heavy and fast.

The Ryanair

After running well yesterday in the Champion Chase, I cannot see Somersby winning.  He has the class and the Ryanair would have been the Majors choice if he was mine.  Two Grade 1s in two days though is surely too much, if he is not scratched I wouldn’t want to be on.  The same applies to Captain Cee Bee.

J’y Vole has been the Majors selection a few times but this is probably a bit too hot for him.  8/1 has place claims only in the Major’s view.

It would be fascinating to see Voy Por Ustedes back in top form.  He is ten and so the change of scenery to Hendersons yard could spark some change.  Voy Por has plenty of Cheltenham form, 14/1 is a huge price if you could guarantee a decent run, who knows if the horses heart is back in it.

Tartak is also of interest at a price.  20/1 is simply too much for a horse with track form.  He benefits from being the stable star and uncharacteristic errors last time out can mean we can put a line through that run.  Good ground not a problem.

I am not sure the favourite Poquelin will appreciate the firmer conditions he will get tomorrow.  5/2 is just too short.

Albertas Run is certainly a key player.  6/1 for last years winner who will love the ground, of significant interest.  This is the Majors selection with a saver on Tartak each way.

The World Hurdle

With ground going against Grand Crus, his current drift to 3/1 could continue.  Contrary, Big Bucks has been trimmed back into evens (long gone is the 11/8 the Major took, sorry for crowing).

Grand Crus looked a real star in the making when clearing away from the field in a Grade 2 here latest.

I cannot see anything other than a Big Bucks win.  He looked at his best at Newbury this year and this is surely going to be the hat-trick effort of World Hurdles.   I think he will go off clear odds on favourite so get stuck in now.  For those who don’t like evens, I would say that the reward of a win on Big Bucks is far more than just doubling your money, it will be a huge thrill to be on a true champion with a huge crowd cheering him in.

Zaynar could go well if suited by a step up to 3 miles – This former champion hurdle contender is not exactly solid material but on best form is at least in the right league.

Fiveforthree will be popular and I expect it to go off shorter than 14/1.  The Major tipped it up when winning on reappearance but I just don’t think it is good enough in this company.

Sometimes, keep it simple – BIG BUCKS on BIG BUCKS! ‘C’mon Ruby!’

Byrne Plate

Ferdy Murphy served us well with a winner in the last on Tuesday and I suspect Hollo Ladies has been a planned horse for the Byrne Plate for some time.   Raced over probably unsuitably longer distances, the horse which looked progressive at two miles has had a mark of 139 preserved.  Dropped back in trip, I expect, or at least vaguely hope, for a massive run.

Venetia Williams has taken this race in three of the last five runnings and so you have to fear Quartz de Thais.  Not for the Major though, have a chunky slice and then it is Hollo Ladies all night long!

The Kim Muir

Another tricky handicap with plenty of big priced hopefuls.

I am not sure that the handicapper had the measure of Mostly Bob penalising the horse 11lbs for a Doncaster success we never found at at Kempton where the first fence bustle and subsequent fall robbed us of a better assessment of the true ceiling, difficult to assess but of interest to the Major with Dickie Johnson in the saddle.

Galaxy Rock is the other to catch the eye at 18/1 – Good ground is a plus and he is lightly tried over fences, Jonjo is due a decent winner.

Junior has a good chance too, I just feel the price is short enough.  As for the tip, take a slice of Mostly Bob each way and thank me later.

Good luck on day three.  Whatever happens bet like a man possessed.  Win or lose, ensure you have invested slightly more than you should.  After all what is it all for if you have not a palpitating moment.  We know better than those who bet with minimal stakes, fearful of loss.  How their fears have mastered their enjoyment of life.  Stake more than you should.

Sleep well.  In the morning I suggest eggs benedict, fresh orange juice, good coffee.  Take the papers early, have a constitutional walk, take the air.  It will be a good day.

KABOOM The Majors Saturday Service – Horseracing Tips – Racing Post Chase, Kempton; The Eider at Newcastle – Lingfield – Premier League Tips

Good morning from wet Pershore where the pluviometer indicates significant precipitation yet the warm coffee musters good feeling.  The Major is ready for Saturdays action.

Fistral Beach, named after the legendary Newquay surfing mecca

Our February profits have sunk to just 8%.  A few things to remember.  The Major is transparent, you can see everything I advised by following the tabs in the menu bar above.  As a man that has to work full time, I am proud to return any profit, my goal is 20%.  If you include the bookmakers over-round, that puts me 40% ahead of the market at any given time, a worthy and challenging target.

It is also a sign of what life is like for an amateur punter.  It shows why you have to keep perspective about winning and losing.  Returning those profits, if I stay disciplined will mean that not only do I get to enjoy my horseracing tipping hobby but it will be profitable over time, even to the slim margin I suggest.

Consider the roulette table, playing straight numbers the house pays 36/1.  Yet there is a 37th number.  This gives the house just a 2.7% advantage.  As Einstein, who had a lot to say about roulette commented ‘No one can possibly win at roulette unless he steals money from the table while the croupier isn’t looking’. 

I am aiming for my own judgement / pricing supremacy over the enemy to be 30-40%, thats a serious improvement in judging sporting outcomes, a significant house advantage to the Major.

Should you wish to criticise or congratulate my performances, you can leave your comments, I welcome them, encourage them and enjoy them.  Should you wish to know the very moment a post is issued, then sign up to the email service in the left hand column or twitter @tdl123.  Should you wish to complain that most of my tips do not come in, please do not read on, the Major writes for those who understand the principle of value.  The messages I get tell me the mysterious readers (150 last Saturday) are a positive bunch, generally encouraging me back to the fray when things go wrong. 

In return, I will not butter up my results or advice, I will not offer aftertiming or over celebrate a result, I also ask you not to expect too much.  Be there to celebrate the 22/1 winners as well as to understand that 4 from 5 bets will not come home.   Rest assured however, that considered punters like ourselves are the enemies scourge.

Once more we saddle our chargers, sheepskin cover and blinkers and prepare to face the devious enemy on the field of battle.  He has priced his markets, I have researched my angles into the value.  I offer to you, free of charge, no strings attached, my version of the Saturday value tips. 

To war, my friends.  Let us return to the breach, or we shall be clogging up the walls with our gambling dead.

3pm – The Racing Post Chase – Kempton

Just as the football kicks off, so does the race of the day.  This looks like a cracking renewal of the race with many of last years protagonists sizing each other up again.  Conditions will play a part (Newcastle goes ahead, Chepstow might not) but Sandown will get a dousing mid to late morning and then dry up, I am going to assume soft but sticky.

The Major has been a long-term follower of Fistral Beach and the horse continues to cost me money.  That said, I expected his chances in todays race to be better advertised but seemingly, he has become a little friendless.  The money is piling in for Nacarat, (who is the Pricewise selection) and this must offer some value elsewhere, including the Majors selection.  This is the thinking…

The RP Chase is one of the better handicaps at this stage of the season.  We have seasoned King George placers, young up and comers as well as a few old monkeys trying to revive some sort of form.   The winner is normally an already known strong performer.  As it a handicap, we are looking for one either improving or on the career plateau.  This has not gone to a true outsider in some time. 

Nacarat has probably shown the best class in the field.  As a result he gets top weight.  He is well weighted though if you consider his efforts in the 09 and 10 renewals of the race.  Pricewise has to be well-respected, he is certainly better than me.  That does not mean that you changes your mind though when your line of thought was different though.  It is these differences that you need to exploit to find the elusive value.  I cannot help but think that at age ten, we know everything about Nacarat and I am not sure rain is going to suit his chances, he would be fine on genuine soft but I think the likely tacky stuff Kempton will serve up may not suit.. 

Remember, we are looking for something rated just short of very good.  Perhaps 145ish.  The horses that brings into focus are:

Tatenen, Free World, Quinz, Bakbenscher, Razor Royale and I am going to throw in my personal horse to follow, Fistral Beach.

I ruled out Mostly Bob who is interesting but Johnson deserted in favour of Quinz and although he said it was a tight decision, I think Mostly Bob might find things happening a bit too quickly today, although O’Brien in the saddle is a favoured jockey for the Major and he looks like he will appreciate a right-handed track, this seems to be too much of a step up at this stage. 

Both Quinz and Mostly Bob also get lines through them due to trainer form.  Just 1 win from the last 25 runners for Hobbs does not convince you that his string are in top-notch form, thus they are overlooked.

Ringaroses looks suspiciously well handicapped but you need more than that for a RP chase win, you need proven quality and recent form and that is not there for Ringaroses.

The horses well suited to conditions in the Majors view are Hey Big Spender (who I think will struggle to cart weight just 1lb short of Nacarat around), Fistral Beach and Bakbenscher. 

Before I make comment on the couple I have it down to, a word for Razor Royale.  Twiston Davies will have him tuned up and I am sure this is his possible moment in the sun this season.  That said, I am unsure a repeat of the previous battle with Nacarat is certain.

For the Major, there are two of clear interest in the market.  Bakbenscher and Fistral Beach.

Followers of Fistral Beach have lost a lot of money backing him to win races – He has been a beaten favourite more often than anything else in the race.  I find it interesting then that champion trainer Nicholls still comments today that ‘I think Fistral Beach has a lot in his favour, he has a nice weight and is on a fair mark.’

It is not often that Mr Nicholls proclaims he has one in and the Major has listened. 

Fistral beach is 2 from 4 on soft and I think that is where the ground will go.  Although he has only tried 3m once, I think he will get it well and the breathing op he had in the summer seemed to have worked wonders.  Nicholls looks set tot have this as the target, this looks like a champion trainer special to me.

Bakbenscher is 3 from 5 on soft and I cannot ignore him either.  He could be the fly in the ointment.  I just don’t trust his jumping enough for this although if King has straightened that out, he could be a major threat.

Fistral Beach for the Major and I really like this one, so lump in for the win.  13/2 at the moment with Hills but I suspect with Nacarat clearly fancied everywhere but here, that price may drift.

3.15pm The Eider, Newcastle

4m 1f around Newcastle when it is bottomless is more than a stamina test it is an insane non stop energy sapping war of attrition.  This really will be a race that will suit a careful deliberate jumper.  We might only get two / three finishers so a huge priced outsider that would definitely get round may not be the worse selection ever either… 

That said, there are only two horses in the race who have won at the distance.  Comply or Die, the Murphy national hero horse who was the Majors first ever Grand National winner; is one.

The other is the selection, Belon Gale.  This sort fits the bill perfectly and to be honest I would take a slice of the National antepost too .  11/2 is generally available.  The Northumberland National it won last time stepping up beyond 3m for the first time was a significant step up in form, this looks like the National plot horse for the Howard Johnson team. 

Minella Boys could be a threat but the Sussex National while requiring a staying type, is not the same extreme test as this. 

Have a slice and send me the postcard.

The Other Horseracing Tips

With the two big races out of the way, let us review a couple of other fancies. 

Back to Sandown, the Majors betting resolutions dictated that you should not get too stuck in to novice / juvenile types. 

That said, the Henderson horse, Molotof, looks very interesting in the opener at Sandown (1.55).  It is second favourite to a Nicholls horse, Tonic Mellysse, but incredibly the ownership is the same.  The Munir clan look to have sourced two good sorts from France.  The reason I like the second of the two is that Henderson clearly targets some of his better novices (from his embarrassment of riches) at this race.  Previous winners include two of Hendersons Champion Hurdle sorts in Punjabi and Binocular.

That must be a good indicator that this is one of the better novices in an outstanding yard and thus, 10/3 Bet365 is a must bet price for the Major.

3.35 Kempton – Pullyourfingerout could win this grade 2.

Toubab has been the subject of a talking down from the yard and while I really respect Celtus (again a Munir owned horse), I think there will plenty here trying to cut each others throats.  If AP McCoy can get pullyourfingerout to settle, it is well worth a bet that he can pick these off in the home straight.  10/1 generally available.  The Powell horses are in fine order (31% strike rate the last two weeks).  Smash into this one.

At Lingfield, the 2.10 Blue Square Sprint Series Final is a 6f affair that is a tasty conundrum.  nothing appeals more than Qadar whose change of home seems to have lit up the horse.  I am certain a 5lb rise will not stop this one … 6/1 Bet365 is a serious mistake.  While Qadar may have fallen from grace, the new stable seem to have resparked some passion and he is still 23lbs inferior to the height of his racing mark.  Artic Lynx is a danger to all looking for a hat-trick and 100% record at Lingfield.

Duff is the class act in the Lingfield 3.10 and the Major has backed Hitchens many times in quality races like this listed affair.  I have to say that Anne of Kiev would have carried the dough but stall 1 is a nightmare.  The one the Major plumps for is rank outsider, Elna Bright.  33/1 with Bet 365,   trainer form a slight concern but visor fitted and a sharper effort last time out give this one a small shout, 33/1 it is not.

To the sports fields of Britain…..

I always seem to back teams against my own club West Brom, I promise it is not some sort of self-abuse, I just think Albion are there for the taking.  The last two home games, our opposition has been 3/1 for the win and both ended in score draws.  I maintain this line on Albion being lesser value to Stoke today where you can back the home team at an incredible EVENS with Hills.  Get stuck in, load the large cannon and KABBBOOOOOOOMMMM! Although the Major will not celebrate, it is like scoring against an old club, it is not the done thing – Martin I promise this is not a wind up.

Victor Chandler have lost their minds offering Nottingham Forest at 2/1 to win in south London.  Millwall are alright but nowhere as good as Forest who are quietly going about their business in an impressive style.  The squad is big enough to cope with the current injury list, I want them on my side today.

Bolton look overpriced too at 14/5 to win at St James Park. Sturridge has added an extra dimension to Bolton who are in with a far better chance than that of picking up three points.

Equally Sunderland at 4/1 to win at Goodison is a must bet for the Major.  Everton may be missing Cahill too which is a significant blow, they are a really hot and cold team where Sunderland have earned their Europa League chasing position.

In the Rugby, I think the French will hunker down and make it a tight game at Twickenham.  This makes the first try scorer bet on Ashton a no bet despite the appeal that the young gun clearly has. 

I prefer to back Italy with a plus ten handicap mark against Wales at evens (Bet 365) – This is normally a close encounter and despite the drubbing last time out, I think this is a decent Italy team, home advantage could see them win today without the need for the handicap reassurance.

Being smacked around the pitch by the Dutch is not a good warm up when your next ODI is against Tendulkar and Sehwag.  1/2 on for India who should beat England comfortably.

The NAP has to be Fistral Beach at 13/2 – He has carried my money too often without return, he will come good today.

The lucky 15 will be Fistral Beach, Molotof, Belon Gale and Notts Forest – That should pay for Christmas!

William Hill Offer

Now before you start thinking, has the Major sold out, please understand that I have no affiliation to any bookmaker and earn no income from this site.

However, a word must be said today for William Hill.  they are offering a £25 free bet on sign up (fairly standard I hear you say) PLUS a £30 free bet for using the Racing Post Iphone / Android app.

This must be a go for it scenario.  Sign up an account with £30, you know they are going to give you a £25 free bet.  then go for the app too and place your bet through it.  You have to email in to confirm it but you will get £55 of free bets to your original £30 stake. 

Hills are best price on the NAP too!  Have a chunky slice of that and thank me at tea time.

Tonight, I suggest Game Pie.  A hearty ale to accompany.  Try the Butty Bach from the Wye valley – Light, tasty and refreshing.  Throw a log on the fire as the evening draws in, sit content, take your dog to the pub and allow him to lie on the flagstone floor, throw him the odd scratching. 

When you feel that wad of notes in your pocket, smile and order the good brandy, the Major is happy for you.  Don’t consider this the comeback, we were never gone.