Tag Archives: on borrowed wings

The Saturday Sermon – Tingle Creek Tips…… Plus 40/1 Tip Shabash!

Good morning from the Major who has been up early pondering the days sporting action. Defford is fine and cool with a dark slick ground from the overnight rain. The coffee has been bubbling away and the Major is ready to lay before you the sporting delights of the day.

If you have come seeking the Majors advice this morning, thank you. It has to be said that current form does not warrant your custom. The Major always remains free, barely-profitable and entirely unhinged and it is at times like these that I wonder why people still visit. I rely on your good grace.

In fact, if you are reading this at all; given my recent record; you are either a loyal friend, slightly insane, entertained, stupid or you have lottery fever (you have been following the Majors advice for some time and have an unshakable belief that one day, we will land the mothership). I admire the last group the most.

No white flash like his brother but Kauto Stone is as good looking and fizzing with potential

Faith is an interesting concept. Not to think something or to assess merit on evidence but to know it. There are many biblical quotes on faith but I prefer the words of the great 18th century french philosopher Francais-Marie Arouet – Like the Major he assumed a pen-name, Voltaire, there the comparisons stop. He said of faith…

It consists in believing what is beyond the power of reason to believe.

Could we land the mothership today? To the sports my faithful few…..

The Tingle Creek

I do love the Tingle Creek. A tough finish but Sandown favours speed merchants. Couple this with the stiff railway fences down the back straight that are tricky and close.

It is a true test of speed and accuracy and requires a brace jockey too. If you do not have your horse in a steady rhythm pinging those tricky back straight fences.. pop, pop, pop, pop…. it will be game over.

It is an intriguing renewal today and one that has the bookmakers competing again hard for our stakes. I do love it when the enemy is forced into such generous tactics.

The winner for the Major is Sportingbet.com. For stakes placed through their online facility (check it may just be the app), they are refunding losing bets to Sizing Europe and providing a 15% bonus on winning stakes…. simply superb.

There seem to be three main protagonists in the race.

Sizing Europe is over from Ireland to show the class of his Champion Chase win remains this season. He will not mind conditions and is an accurate taker of the fences but the Major is not convinced he will win this today, Champion Chase winners have a mixed to poor record. I am also not certain he was the best Champion Chase winner we will have seen.

Kauto Stone has a big task. Nicholls clearly the world of the half brother to the mightier Kauto. He needs rain though desperately. Two miles will be on the sharp side. Although his half brother managed it (twice – legend), Stone will need to be top class too as he is surely going to be better over staying trips in the future.

Many are also pointing to the fact that Kauto Stone was the number two stable choice and Tataniano would have been his first selection. The Major is less sure, I read Nicholls comments as saying that the two horses have different preferences on ground and so both were in the race at the early declarations to give the trainer choice. The fact that Tataniano is out for the season is now irrelevant if Kauto Stone gets enough toe into the ground as he would have been number one choice in soft conditions anyway.

It is also interesting to see Wishfull Thinking stepping back in trip and not up in trip. After disappointing hugely in the Paddy Power, the horse was reported to be heavy on the chest. I think this horse has threatened top class but there are things to prove, well-being and speed being the main two.

There are your choices. I suggest a bet on Kauto Stone. I was hoping for a little more than 7/2 but that price reflects the trainers vice like grip on the Tingle Creek and the horses illustrious relative. For the Major, I remain unconvinced by the class of Sizing Europe and Wishfull Thinking has a few questions to answer too. While Kauto beat little in Ireland, his Down Royal run was flawless. Have a slice. Do your rain dance.

1.25 Sandown – Pertemps Qualifier

At 25/1, the price of a night in the pub could pay for Christmas on my selection in the handicap hurdle.

On Borrowed Wings carries one of my favourite jockeys, Noel Fehily gets an unusual right for the stable who have a great record for their few Sandown runners. I think his comeback run can get a line through is and I believe this horse to be way better than the dismissive 40/1 that Stan James have priced him up at, have a slice.

Poungach could be absolutely anything but this will not be the main target so I am happy to get involved with On Borrowed Wings at monster prices.

2.30 Listed Handicap Hurdle

Another at a price for you from the Major.

To Paddy Power and Ladbrokes for their 10/1 pricing of Tenor Nivernais who the Major believes may finally come good and show us the potential that connections clearly think he has.

The Fred Winter run at the festival was clearly not what was expected as the money that day suggested a bigger performance. On reappearance, the horse dissapointed again but the Major is going to stick with it.

Mister No at 16/1 is also immeasurable, who knows what his french form is all about. It is nice to see our Gallic friends coming to have a pop at our big races as we do theirs, good luck to connections.

Get stuck in to Tenor Nivernais though, I have a feeling the money will come again and you know how good the Majors nose is for a gamble.

3.20 Aintree – The Grand Sefton

The selection in the Grand Sefton is Linnel. The stable definitely do not go on fishing expeditions, particularly across the Irish Sea and so I read potential in this horse as absolute.

7/1 is the best you can get but it is still worth a few of your hard earned golden coins.

Finally – 12.00 Aintree Maiden Hurdle

Keys is very tempting here at 11/8 and I suggest a slice.

Keys gave me and a few friends a thrilling win at Cheltenham in the New Years Day bumper as we waited first to hear he had the photo call over Cinders and Ashes (re-opposes) and then to make sure he kept it in the stewards room (he did).

I thought he truly had the measure over a pushed out Cinders and Ashes that day and I think 11/8 is tremendous value in that context.

If you do not like backing shorter priced good things, take on Ile de Ray who for me is incredible value at 9s. Apart from Keys, I would rate his the best flat horse in the field and if he takes to jumping…. could go very well.

If you were after a tip for the Becher, my money will be staked on Nicto de Beauchene.

To the sports fields of our great nation….

Two teams to back this weekend. I think Swansea are priced well enough at 5/2 to have a slice at Blackburn. I also think the 5/4 that Liverpool win at Fulham on Monday is like finding money in the street!

Why not double up Keys and Liverpool to give a very tasty £100 return to a £20.

Tonight I hope you dine well in a good restaurant where the wine flows, the misty effect of the grog sedates the senses and you are left with a contentment that only a donkey choking wedge of used notes and a flaxen haired lustrous sort sat opposite can provide. Shabash! Tip well.

Courage, roll those dice.

Thursday Tips for Cheltenham – The Craven at Newmarket – The Majors Midweek Horseracing Tips

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Nicene Creed - 8/1 KABOOOOM! Get stuck in, when you collect, tell him the Major sent you.

The month continues to go very well but yesterdays three tips drew a blank and so we return rejuvenated for a crack at Thursdays interesting card. The Major is bullet proof to loss, relentlessly positive when things didn’t quite work out as planned. Roll on dear friends like the flowing river ever bending, winding never stopping.

Thursdays racing at Cheltenham and Newmarket is very decent, the Craven is a tasty affair.

The Major knows a number of people at Prestbury Park tomorrow, in fact the business foolish enough to pay the Major a wage in return for a dubious work output is sponsoring a race. The ground is perfect good, quick but not rattling, a dash of rain today will keep it such. I have decided to fly through the Cheltenham card for all those attending:

2.10 Novice Hurdle

The breathing operation that Nicholls often uses like a magic wand on his horses seems to have done the trick for Current Event whose latest form at Newbury reads very tidily. Visually that win was impressive. It is not favourite in this novice though because another tasty looking up and comer opposses.

Third Intention ran just 9l short of Zarkander in the triumph three weeks ago and that is rock solid. Unaccompanied, second in the triumph went on to win a listed contest back on the flat relegating top class St Nicholas Abbey to third. Zarkander went on to win at Aintree although it needed to knuckle down to business after the last and on balance the run was nowhere as good as the Triumph effort.

Higgys Ragazzo raced just eleven days ago and needs to step up considerably on previous wins, that said McCoy is booked and Henderson always has a wealth of novice stars. The Major is not sure this is one of them given the low level it has so far competed at.

Of the others, by far the most interesting is Occassionaly Yours. Although looking like being 16/1 in the morning (no markets open as type) it is not without chance. Not a prolific winner but recent handicap form gives it a chance of running into a place.

The Major is nothing but positive and I seek for thee a winner in the first. This race normally is a bit of a dog for four year olds but surely this field has better quality.

While Current Event is exactly the type that Nicholls imports from France to great success, probably Current Event has better form. He seemed to settle much better in the Triumph and has had an extra week to get over exertions. That said, the Major is not a fan of the fact that he was a withdrawal from the Grand National meeting. On balance, it is probably still a value bet. Betfair early pricing suggests favouritism is in the balance with both of these backable at around 8/5. I would suggest that they will come for the Nicholls horse and therefore will go against the flow and take Third Intention to show us he is the real deal.

Expected SP: 7/4

2.45 Nicholson Holman Novice Chase

Having raced yesterday and fell, it is unlikely that Magical Legend will take to the track, if so, I would imagine it is best watched, even though they price it at 7/1 tonight.

Mr J Scott, a trainer with a reasonably small string has only had one runner at Cheltenham in the last year and none at the festival. However, in the last fortnight, 4 of his 6 runners have gone in. Cool Friend the yards representative has some nice pieces of form in the book, notably with Adams Island (2nd yesterday) and Caroles Legacy.

Cottage Acre is an eyecatcher. It smacked the first Uttoxeter obstacle hard last time out when trying to defy more than a stone rise in the weights for a previous easy victory. 8/1 is fair if it gets a clean round of jumping and although the mark remains high. The main issue is that of the ground.

On balance. Classic Swain is the selection. It will love the conditions, no doubt will be well set being from the champion trainer who never uses Prestbury Park as a training ground. 9/2 is a fair price for one that could gallop them all into the ground.

3.20 Listed Mares Handicap Hurdle

A wide open handicap in which ground and trainer form are the key factors for the Major.

A number appeal. Veiled will love this and if improving her jumping could go well for young David Bass. Banjaxed Girl won this last year and will enjoy conditions. Her presence also puts all but 5 of these out of the handicap.

Violin Davis is one of them but her 5lb claimer more than allows for that. 11/2 reflects her leading chance.

On balance the Major likes the price of Santera (12/1) and advises an each way slice. This horse has had the measure of Banjaxed Girl, who we know to be a reliable yardstick for this race. Now meeting at revised weights which are much more in the selections favour, surely it has a great chance. You need to put a line through the poor effort in the Mares Hurdle at the festival but 12/1 gives plenty of scope for that factor. Get stuck in, take a meaty slice and send me the postcard.

3.55 Handicap Chase

A difficult handicap puzzle. On balance and to keep things simple, the Irish Raider has come a long way when there are similar prizes to be had nearer home and at 6/1 Benefit Night could be a tasty prospect. Headgear seems to have improved this one and although unraced on any surface excluding the word soft, his Sire’s progeny go OK on lively surfaces so there is no reason to believe it will be a huge disadvantage.

Breedsbreeze will love conditions but stick with Benefit Night.

4.30 Molson Coors Handicap Hurdle

Without doubt Nicene Creed is a top of the ground sort. It has placed on all 4 starts on good ground and twice won. I think more improvement will come and hope the fitting of headgear is merely a focussing tool.

Dantari is interesting at a bigger price. A better run last time, it will not mind conditions and at 12/1 I would not put you off.

The selection is Nicene Creed at 8/1. Dantari in the reverse forecast for those brave souls.

5.05 Conditional Jockeys Handicap

Conditional jockeys are an added part of the puzzle in the 5.05. 7/2 Anquetta is the Majors win selection.

Put simply the last two runs look as good as anything on show. It has placed 3 from 5 attempts on good, in young Bass carries a great 5lb claimer and for a long way looked threatening in the Grand Annual.

Its a conundrum but Anquetta for the Major.

Finally…..

The Magnificent 5.40 Endsleigh Insurance Mares Bumper

Seventeen mares, eight previously unraced, 2 miles and a furlong, this is a tough nut to crack.

Ballyquin Queen probably has shown the best form of those that have raced. The Sandown bumper it contended was better than this and when the penny dropped Ballyquin seemed to stay on reasonably well. No markets are open as I type, the forecast SP from the Major is 9/2 and I think it no more than fair.

One More Cookie was a pricey enough purchase for the Tizzard clan who can prepare a bumper winner first time out, considered.

The Major always prefers a bit of experience in these events but the horse to carry the dreaded weight of the Majors wager is Caroles Destiny. Well related and from a yard who always puts a decent sort in this race, probably will be popular, understandable. I am hoping 4/1 might be available and if so, smash into it with both cannons loaded.

As many of you regulars know the Major works for Endsleigh in their business insurance arm. It would be nice to find the winner of this sponsored race. Good luck to those in the Endsleigh box, enjoy.

A Quick Crack at the Craven – Newmarket 4.10pm

This is simple NATIVE KHAN.

It has the best form. Both Libranno and Yaseer could improve but ative Khan looks class. He also clearly loves rattle in the ground.

The only thing that can get him beaten in the Majors view is false pace.

At this early stage of the flat season, you want to see trainer form. Ed Dunlop is 4 winners from 9 runners, that will do!

Get the big guns out for this one. 4/5 will shorten in the Majors view.