Good morning fair punters of Britain and welcome back to the Majors Saturday Service. No mid-week posts due to alternate priorities I am afraid – I have also have no chance to update the stats in the menu bar either – I will get round to this and it will make the numbers look a little less rosy. That said, we are having a good March and we shall continue today.
I was asked to have a look at the Stratford card and so I have a couple I fancy there. Newbury has some decent jumps action but Lingfields winter derby card and the action from Meydan is where the best racing is to be had.
There is also competitive international football and cricket, a trove of riches to be plundered.
The Major is relentless in quest, never shaken by the multitude of misfortunes that befall a brave punter warrior of this tribe. Sharpen that pin-like needle spear young man, daub paint, wide-eyed, we stare into the possible, it is an echoing chasm of expectation and dashed fears of fallen gamblers. To the sports and hold that steeley gaze.
Stratford ground is good and this could be quite significant. We are definitely looking for horses with a bit of pace who can take advantages of firmer conditions around this flat track.
The first race to catch the eye is the 3.30. Himrayn has a nice win at Market Rasen under his belt but a 10lb rise might be a bit steep although third that day has gone on to perform well. The favourite Piment D’Estruval has a 3lb rise for a recent win to contend with too but if anything that seems harsher.
It leaves for me Phoenix des Mottes who is one of three who has won on the ground. It needs to put in a clean round. Putting a line through the last run which was on unsuitably boggy ground, the february form of 4th is not bad, that was a 3l defeat to Handtheprizeover who went down to Meet the Critics in a better race at Newbury next time out.
Have a win bet on the Phoenix at 9/2 with Skybet.
Happy Birthday to Charlie Wheelwright whose family have sponsored the race!
2.55 Stratford – The Seller
As always the Major brings you the big races and the seller at Stratford!
Claimant makes the most appeal in a decidedly trappy event. Only Hypnotic Gaze has any winning form in this seller but at 2/1 it makes little solid appeal. I am hoping the headgear can have some positive impact and we see a better run – 10/1 Betfred, have an each way piece if there are no drop-outs resulting in a 2 place payout.
Newbury 3.25 Handicap Chase
Some decent horses are looking for a return to form in this race. At Newbury I am often looking for a sound jumper and most here fith the bill. Possibly Scots Dragoon is an exception and is overlooked. although he is one of a few that will like the good ground
The others are Maktu, Ogee, Briery Fox, Winterwood and possibly Rey Nacardo.
The only risk outside of these is Theatre Dance whose trainer is sizzling hot at the minute and this is a classic falling through the handicap horse – A revival could mean a big run for the money – not for the Major though.
Winterwood gets the line because he ran 48 hours ago! This is probably a bit of a big ask for Rey Nacardo who fits many of the other criteria I was looking at. That said 6/1 Boylesports is a fair price and he is taken as the tentative selection over a disappointing Maktu and Ogee who might find the fences a bit stiff.
5.35 Meydan – Dubai World Cup
Classy stuff. Twice Over has had the misfortune of a shocking draw which is a shame because surely Cecil has the preparation nailed this year. Twice Over has been in Dubai for some time…. shame but overlooked (good luck Martin!)
The Major gives another chance to Gio Ponti who is no doubt high quality and although the synthetic surface record is not great, it disguises some very good runs. The lack of a prep race is not a concern at this level. 12/1 with Corals is a huge price – Get stuck in.
On the sports fields.
The Major is a big fan of 10/3 for Charlton to get a win at Bournemouth. Both of these teams are suffering a dive in form. It is well publicised that Chris Powell had a classic honeymoon period after which he lost 8 on the bounce for Charlton. Bournemouth are missing Eddie Howe though and I fancy Bradley Wright Phillips a real danger at this level. With the cherries having lost their last 3 too, 10/3 seems massive for Charlton to pick up the points – Get stuck right in.
At the prices I would back England in the cricket (7/4) and leave them in the football for Wales (8/1). Football – Wales will make it a tight game and the move to appoint a new young captain could prove inspirational. Cricket – England have been disrupted by injury this tournament but seem to play at their best when the pressure is off. Not many are expecting anything other than a loss and I think Strauss may surprise a few.
The Hatty Special, named in honour of a new follower on Twitter (@tdl123) is a lucky 15 for Phonex Des Mottes, Claimant, Rey Nacardo and Charlton.
Tonight, dinner will be pasta, nice and simple. Cook it with a little fish. A sancerre to accompany. Eat out, entertain that haughty sort you have had your eye on. Two bottles in you will break the guard, the Major is sure.
Good luck followers. Courage and shuffle the cards.