Tag Archives: opening batsmen

The Saturday Sermon – Newbury, Doncaster, Kelso and Meydan… Premier League.. All aboard the Cheltenham Express to Profitsville

Good morning from The Major who writes groggy of mind, tired and emotional following a day in good company yesterday.  The Worcestershire morning scene is truly one of Gods finest vistas – Crisp, clean, excellent visibility, a coldness that kisses the skin gently, and a sharp white icing to the dark green evergreen flora and their bonier stick like deciduous friends.

It would be a lovely day to attend a national hunt racecourse, flask charged and small roll of notes tucked in your pocket.  Yet, we have to exercise caution, we are close to the festival now, in touching distance and we all must prepare our forces for that monumental battle.  What weaponry shall we bring to the field to defeat our enemy in ten days time?  Let it be enough.

I enjoyed a moment this week where I felt so certain about a wager, that it felt an unfair advantage, as though I had visited the future.  The bet was Olympiakos which I have spelt with both a ‘c’ and a ‘k’ indiscriminately.  It just seemed so obvious to me that they would win and they were almost 3/1 to do so.  I enjoyed that game with a smug grin.

Fortunately for mankind, my smugness was taken from me by the extremely poor performance of Fascino Rustico at Wincanton the following day.  I was so convinced that this Nicholls runner would win, I had half of my kith and kin invested.  Same feeling, different outcome.

In the case of the latter, I was most taken by the way it came into the race at Exeter previously where it had fallen two or three out, being turned out again, looked an advantage, I mean, this is Nicholls and he knows his string, if he says no damage, let’s go.  On the negative side of the ledger, who really knows what effect a fall has had and he was being asked to lump top weight against some better opposition.

A couple of notes to order.  Firstly, note how the Olympiacos (see what I did there) win had little cross-examination.  I thought something, it happened, I have signed the chitty, filed and receipted it and thrown the key away.  I came, considered, wagered, won and that is it.  Done.  Complis.

Yet, Fascino caused me to go back and re-examine the original paperwork.  How was I so confident, yet so wrong.  In this case I can point to those three factors – The weight in the ground, the improved opposition and the impact of the previous fall.  Something is learned.

Yet, note the difference between how we gamblers treat victory and defeat.  Glorious wins are never questioned.  Let’s say Olympiakos won but were a shade lucky, would I have treated that like defeat?  Would I have examined the thought process that led me to the wager or would I conveniently and quickly shut that down to simply enjoy the win.

The natural urge is only to scrutinise the calculation following a loss but to improve, you need to do it with every bet.  When you win, you want to improve the chances that you won for the right reasons.  Don’t be the broken clock that is correct twice in the day, or the blind squirrel finding the odd nut.  Ask yourself of each win, having witnessed the event, if I were to revisit my calculation would I do the same thing?

The mind is an incredible tool.  We are not in control of it as much as we might like.  We need to train our subconscious to be better at the intuitive appreciations of the factors prior to a wager.  It can be done but it takes years of investments my friends – Learn how to trust those instincts and more crucially when not to.  Sharpen those decision making tools to enable you to distinguish the signature signal from the incredible noise.

A quick joke and then the sports.

An Irish girl, heavily pregnant is involved in a car accident (fear not this ends well).  She is in a coma.  When she comes to, the doctor is present and she immediately notices that she is no longer pregnant.  The doctor puts her mind at immediate ease explaining that they delivered twins, a boy and a girl, while she was unconscious.  ‘Oh my’ she exclaims… ‘well where are they?’, ‘your brother has them’, ‘oh no, not my idiot brother!  What did he call them.  ‘Well’ the doctor replies ‘He called the girl Denise’… ‘Hmmm Denise, that is not so bad… what about the boy?’ ‘Ah’ says the doctor ‘he called that one Danephew!’

Newbury Tips

In the 3.15, Tiqris looks opposable, even though the money coming now makes me a little nervous and it is backed by some excellent trainer confidence.  The thing is, his form last time was nothing special.  I am placing a small bet on Kuda Haraa, whose Huntingdon form has been well advertised – Hobbs is certainly in much better form than King (31% over 11% win ration last fortnight) but I am swung by the generous 15/2 Stan James are giving me on my selection.. small stakes.

The 3.50 Grade 3 has attracted a poor field but this is a race dominated by Ditcheat over the years.  In the last ten runnings, they have won with Pacha du Polder, Aerial, Big Fella Thanks, New Little Bric, Natal and Cornish Sett.  Thus the entries must be taken very seriously indeed.  He has Rebel Rebellion at the top of the weights and at a similar price, my selection, Ulck Du Lin.  I think the former keeps the weights nice for the later.  My horse has the advantage of Noel Fehily in the saddle.  He does not have a tremendous win record but recorded one of those on heavy ground.  Fehily is 3 from 7 runs for Nicholls – I am happy with this one – Shangani is the danger but that Venetia Saturday thing is getting a bit overbet for me.

Doncaster Tips

The Mares hurdle races are ones I enjoy and Doncaster has an interesting clash that seemingly only concerns Layla Joan, Mayfair Music and Toubeera.  I have backed the last named before and respect the Venetia runner but as you can feel from my tone, she is not the one for me today.  No, I am betting Mayfair Music.  I think Toubeera while improving has been made a lot of and is starting to look like her limitations are being reached.  That is less true of the Gordon Elliot raider but Layla Joan has not run on ground this good and that is a concern.  My selection will love it (2 from 3 on good) and Geraghty will bring home the cheese… Load a small cannon, Ladbrokes and Boylesports are 3/1.

The Grimthorpe is a race that one can never be to certain about but an experienced sort lurking on a low weight is the theme in the last few years.  The race has not been run on heavier ground for many years and so in some respects, this profile is a little surprising.  In the last 15 years, the race has been won by 15 different trainers! Not much clue there! Not often that a big price goes in and so, on balance, a small interest in Court by Surprise who has Geraghty in a rare ride for Lavelle.

Tistory still is available at 5/6 with Betvictor for the novice hurdle and will go off with the Majors weighty penalty aboard.

Kelso Tips

I am all about the favourite Clever Cookie in the Kelso Hurdle and at 11/8 am planning an investment.  The form of his races is working out very nicely and the good conditions also suit.  The extra two furlongs will also play into his hands.. Highly confident.

Kruzhlinin has an excellent Kelso record (3 from 3) and looks to have a leading chance in the 4.15.  Mr Moonshine brings some good recent form to the race having won over Christmas and again at Warwick in the New Year.  I am giving another chance to an old friend though in 5/1 (Coral) shot Opening Batsmen.  It has been a year since we saw this horse at his best but if he can return to those performances, he may well have the measure of these two, keep it sensible.

Meydan Single Shot

Yesterday afternoon, I was with a friend and work associate in London.  We spent the latter afternoon hard at work and since his hospitality is always exemplary, I felt a gift in order.  Overnight, I had been interested in the three Carroll runners at Dundalk all booked with the jockey services of Joseph O’Brien.  Well it stood out.

I purchased him an each way trixie but feeling like some confirmation was needed, fired a quick tweet off to Irish racing judge @spinitg – Seanie is unnervingly accurate in his assessment of Irish racing and if you have a twitter account, follow him, else you are doing it wrong.

Anyway, what has this got to do with Meydan?  Firstly he corrected my opening Carroll runner and recommended the winner as an alternate.  He confirmed his liking for the last of the three legs I had placed, Waving, which turned out to be the only winner.  This was all too late for my associate who now has a thin slip of useless paper to show for my gratitude for his hospitality.  It did however give me time to amass a SOB bet (read Steve Palmer or work it out) on Waving who won as you like.

All this matters because he likes Simenon in the 5.10 at Meydan and that is enough for me.

In the football…  Wolves (-1) at odds against is an excellent bet in my view.  I am also considering going against the tide and betting Newcastle.  You could see what it meant to their players when securing a late goal to take the points from Villa and 21/10 is big for them to win at Hull.

The Martin Hill bet is a double, on the rocks… Mayfair Music and Clever Cookie… Shabash

I hope your dinner is a gently spiced persian delight with the full richness of that cuisine playing out on your palette.  May the company be generous and the bill weighty but settled with a smile as you both appreciate the experience and it will barely bite into the spoils of the day.

Do you know that eating out regularly is one of the things that will make you live longer?  Quite true my friends, so do not wait for permission, have a table ready for this evening.

Courage, roll the dice.

The Saturday Sermon – Fighting Fifth and Hennessy Day 50/1 Tip for the Hennessy

Good morning from the Major who writes from the lounge, baffled and tired.  The Worcestershire morning is calm and bland, cool and grey, it is dark now and peaceful, save for the odd car that trundles past outside.

Last weekend, my long-suffering comrade in arms, Martin Hill, was close to reclaiming many lost investments when the multiple I name in his honour came within a whisker of landing.  The first two legs of his trixie had landed and in the final race, Saved by John led, was headed at the last by Alasi and fought back famously to be denied by a quarter length.  Now that was exhilaratingly painful, an emotion us racing fans are familiar with.

This week, a few people have asked me for a Hennessy tip.  I have been giving them Our Father who up until last night was my fancy.  I have changed my mind (see below, I have a 50/1 Hennessy tip now!) but I stand that Our Father can be a contender if on one of his going days.

One of the reasons I liked Our Father is that I am sure he would be wound up for the race.  First of all it is the Hennessy so of course he will be but secondly, he was part owned by the legendary Johnson team and I could not help but feel that Pipe would love to win the race as tribute to the late David Johnson, a magnificent contributor to the sport and the Pipe yard.

That was speculation but it made me consider the life of David Johnson.  Reading about him , having never met him, he strikes me as a very nice sort of chap.  While manners can be afforded if you are stinking rich, they are not automatic, in fact some substitute money for common courtesy so it must be a compliment to say that money seemed not to pollute the man’s capacity for enjoying life and inspiring others around him to do so too.

Yet, I can assure you dear readers that a life of riches is not a necessity for your own personal contentment.  It helps but is not close to being the most important thing.  Consider the things you can buy and have bought.  How many were for show?  The Major confesses to be as weak here as well.  When spending money, the consideration is as much ‘how does this make me look’ or perhaps more accurately and very closely (as it is also based on the opinion of others ‘how does buying this make me feel’ than most practical considerations.  Otherwise brands would not work.

Epicurean wisdom dictates (and I entirely support) that the most important matter is friendship not wealth.  You need precious little to be happy.  Practice it today – Make a phone call to an old friend, invite them to something.  Instead of buying those nieces and nephews presents at Christmas, set up a day out with them.  You will find my friends that experience beats trinkets my friends.  Release yourself from the social need to demonstrate wealth.  Purchase for function.

Sport allows you to feel again.  Like sparks from the fire, dimming until the end, our lives are short vignettes in this planets great tome of life.  Allow sport, racing to illuminate for you.

Daub thy war paint young warrior and join me at the line, we shall skirmish in open formation into the enemies forward positions, smashing through with our heavy horse and setting upon them in close quarter….. Cry Shabash and raise that lance point, the blood staining but the silver glittering beneath.

Newbury Tips

Let us start with the Hennessy, a race that often throws up a Gold Cup winner, most notably in recent years with the likes of Bobs Worth and Denman.

The recent of Hennessy winners show two distinct winners profiles.  Either a decent chaser (135-150 Official Rating) can win it off a featherweight, or a top class chaser (160+) can bear the burden of top weight and see off the pretenders.   In the last fifteen years, the two Gold Cup winners mentioned are the only two horses that have won off a mark above 160.

The relationship between weight and official rating that creates the race make-up is complicated by the quality of the top rated horse that goes in.  When Denman won off a mark of 174, it was a remarkable achievement.  He may have been lucky and hit a year where a particular dearth of non-improvers constituted the field but no horse has won off a mark in the 170s before.  He had almost half the field outside of the handicap and only Mon Mome, a previous National winner was within a stone.

Paul Nicholls has an excellent Hennessy record having won three of the last ten renewals (twice with Denman of course).  Henderson has two wins in the same period.  Nicholls has one shot at the race this year in Rocky Creek who looks a thorough stayer and capable.   He, like many, has had no run this season but that is not a problem.  With the big races like this, the top stables can be relied upon to have their main charges well prepared.

No horse in the race is more interesting than Invictus.  He had the notable scalps of Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti in behind in the Reynoldstown, his last race in February 2012.  Given those horses are now rated 180 and 173,  if you could rely on a direct form line, his mark of 145 is a gift from god.

I do not think so much of Merry King, although anything Jonjo trains in a major handicap is impossible to dismiss.  Prince de Beauchene attempts to buck his trend of terrible luck – Having been laid out for to Grand Nationals only to fall to injury.  Lord Windermere will have many fans but since I do not rate the RSA form, I am not one of them.  Highland Lodge comes from the Lavelle yard which is firing on all cylinders… of some interest.  Loch Ba also is not without hope.

Hmmm, Invictus is highly interesting for me but so is Our Father.  I have been a fan of this horse since watching his absolutely slaughter a decent Cheltenham field – He took my eye as a really powerful traveller.  He is clearly decent fresh but has two ways of running.

Having dwelt on the subject for some time, I am settling on a rank outsider for the Hennessy.  My selection can currently be backed at 33/1 generally (though 25/1 in a place) and at a striking stand out 50/1 with Stan James.  I am talking about Opening Batsmen.  This is a horse I backed a couple of weeks ago at Ascot and was disappointed to see jump badly and be pulled up.  He is a second season chaser for Harry Fry who has a tremendous Newbury record, we also get the significant benefit of Noel Fehily too.  The horse also has some excellent form.  He is in here off 146 but last season have a good beating to Rolling Aces who has franked the form and won again, now on a mark of 153.  There may well be more persuasive and obvious claims but I am quite happy to be on this fella at 50s…. Have a slice.

I have always felt that Reve de Sivola was a World Hurdle winner in the absence of a decent in-form rival – That is probably being very harsh but I fully expect At Fishers Cross to give a sound hiding and even at 4/5 I want to be involved.

The listed hurdle opener is a cracking affair and while Vicky De L’Oasis was an impressive Wexford winner for the in form Mullins team, I am opting for Free Thinking who races in the Waley-Cohen colours.  The thing is that my selection was also impressive when winning a lesser affair (at Ludlow) smashing Koolala and eased.  Koolala went on to frank that form winning a Uttoxeter bumper on Thursday.

The Fighting Fifth

The ground for the Fighting Fifth is good this year after last year they swam it.  This is a race where a hot favourite can get turned over and here the market is hugely centred on two, My Tent or Yours and Melodic Rendevouz.

Melodic Rendevouz was very good when beating my selection Key West at Wincanton in the Elite Hurdle, readily picking up Far West, a Nicholls horse who ran no sort of race when out again last weekend.  My Tent or Yours is a Champion Hurdle protagonist who won the Betfair Hurdle and I thought was unlucky in the Supreme where Champagne Fever had first run on him.  To be fair, he had every chance in the festival race but was unable to pick up the winner on the hill.

The filly in the race is of some interest having won a listed race on reappearance.  The Cockney Sparrow gets weight from all of her rivals and represents last years winning trainer.   A small case might be made for Grumeti but the rest are rounding up the field.

So how do we split these key players?  The ground might help, The Cockney Sparrow has won on it, My Tent or Yours and Melodic Rendevouz have never raced on it.  The former is out of a Sire whose progeny have only 1 win from 36 starts on the ground.  While it is thin evidence, it does trouble me a bit.  Add in the obvious fitness advantage of Melodic Rendevouz and I prefer the second favourite.

On a strict line of form with Champagne Fever, who Melodic Rendevouz faced back in 2012, then My Tent or Yours has the beating.  This means I must think MR has improved or has conditions in favour and I think both of those things to be true.  A leveler is jockey bookings as I would far rather have McCoy in the saddle than Schofield.  Not that I am against the latter, who has a great record with the horse(5/6), but class counts.  Melodic Rendevouz it is at 5/2 (1/4 in places).  Cockney Sparrow is an each way steal at 9/1.

There are a host of young improvers queuing up to have a pop at Oscar Rock in the 1.05.  I am interested in Five in a Row who beat a decent horse The Last Samuri who has gone on to win again when stepped up in trip.  That form is OK but off-putting is the recent Ellison National Hunt form which shows 1 winner from 20 runners.  I am instead opting for Ballyaton who also looks useful and comes with the benefit of proven good ground form (2 runs, 2 wins).  He also handed a drubbing to Key to the West last season and that reads well with that horse winning twice this term already.

In the opener, I am more confident of the chances of Green Flag at 10/11.  I have no doubt that Streams of Whiskey could be a threat but while he was 3l down to my pick, when falling at the last, he was travelling the lesser of the two (although he had made earlier errors).  He needs a clean round of jumping and these fences will be a real test.

In the football, Walsall (8/11), QPR (7/10) and Wolves (6/4) are my selections in a tasty treble.

The Martin Hill multiple is simple… Opening Batsmen, Free Thinking and Meledic Rendevouz in an each way trixie.

I hope you enjoy a dinner in the finest of company.  Allow yourself a draw on the best brandy they have… we float by the once and must grasp anything which we enjoy.  This is not the practice round, this is it.

Courage, roll those dice.

The Saturday Sermon – Breeders Cup, Ascot, Wetherby, Down Royal… Fabulous Day of Sports… Courage and Roll the Dice

Good morning from the Major who writes from the early morning bed, such a fine day of sport has me alert at an early hour, my head snaps up and left to purvey a Worcestershire scene, the weather is not consistent with my senses.  The horizon is lost to a soupy grey blankness whose cold permeates you just by looking at it, ghostly trees poke through the still and choking mist, their limbs at strange angles, everything weighted down by a dampness you can feel.

I feel in contrasting mood though, sharp and earnest.  I have spent the week in London, or at least the latter half.  I have stayed in fine hotels and eaten well, business was conducted in amicable and brisk terms with mutually beneficial conclusions reached with little conflict.  All in all, most pleasing.

I attended a dinner in Mayfair on Wednesday night, a very fine occasion too.  It also happens in close proximity to my casino of choice, so it seemed perfectly acceptable to pop in for a few spins of fortune in the small hours – That proved the fast route to a lighter wallet.  Leaving just after midnight, I found the tube closed and since I was staying in Bethnal Green, I resolved to walk embracing the night air, I estimated it at just over an hour at a brisk pace.

London is a fine place and the richness of life was abundant.  For some, walking in a forest in spring, with nature coming to life, from its formerly frozen slumber; that experience brings great contentment.  For myself, I draw the same from such busy urban scenes.  Full of mischief, opportunity and intrigue – bristling with life.

Halloween parties spilled their drunken youngsters onto the streets, three half-naked men fought in Leicester Square but with little serious commitment to their causes, men in Hi Vis jackets performed essential maintenance tasks on drains and lights and emergency services hurtled by, their stunning deep blue lights scattering across the architecture which towered above.

In Covent Garden itself, men were putting the finishing touches to the Christmas Tree, which, being Covent Garden needs to be extravagant.  While now, I think of how irritating that such things are done at the end of October (Come the Major’s revolution, we will not be allowed to celebrate Christmas until 20th December), at the time, I just marvelled at it.  The splendour of it all.  I am under no illusion, the city, any city, has no care for me, I am merely present as an observer, a passer through – welcome but soon to be discarded.  Yet I am drawn to these scenes, life itself is played out in just a short walk and these attractions are like a siren call.

As I left Covent Garden, a consistent and cold rain came suddenly, clearly able to seep through any protection my clothing offered.  I flagged down a black cab to complete the journey.  The streets now were dark, the road was black and  slick, with the window down,  I could hear the pleasant kissing sound of the tyres against the asphalt.  Cold air through the window filled my nostrils and I felt that rare feeling… Contentment.  All I say is this, it is good to be alive.

To the sports.

Wetherby Tips – Charlie Hall Chase Day

The national hunt fixtures are coming at us thick and fast now and Wetherby sees some real stars of the track come to their seasonal debuts.  Let us start with the big race.

Long Run is clearly the main attraction in the Charlie Hall Chase.  He is a horse that always strikes me as older but you have to remember he was one of the very few horses to win a Gold Cup at the tender age of 5.  Many astute judges have poured some scepticism against the quality of that renewal and I cannot deny that my own seemingly unshakeable faith in Long Run is starting to shake.

Yet, he is a remarkable horse and at the age of 8, is arguably coming into to his peak season.  Here is a stunning statistic for you to bore others with.  Long Run has never been unplaced.  I repeat and embellish… Long Run has never been unplaced in TWENTY SIX runs under rules in Britain, Ireland and France.

You may detect a note of determined defence in my opening gambit for Long Run, if so, I congratulate you, your political antennae are well tuned.  So, please take my selection of Long Run for the Charlie Hall with the understanding that my soft spot for the old boy remains intact.  This year could be a stunning one in the staying chaser division and I hope my boy can get them off to a good start.

His opposition in the Charlie Hall consists of Grade One winning Benefficient who I think wants better ground and Unioniste who I doubt is that good and there is a small shadow over Paul Nicholls runners it seems to me.  The one I would be most concerned about would be Cape Tribulation.  While Imperial Commander may not have been his old force, it was a fantastic duel at Cheltenham last season and this is a dangerous sort to underestimate on his day having finished fifth in the Gold Cup and he also loves heavy ground which he may well yet get if the weather gods are with him.

The West Yorkshire Hurdle has lost At Fishers Cross which is a crying shame because I really thought that was a weekend banker.  For most, it leaves Tidal Bay as the obvious place to go and I understand that thought.  Yet, I cannot.  I do love Tidal Bay, he has been a great servant to the sport and his wins last year were inspiring.  He is twelve though and my tip, Medinas, is half that age.  He is a Coral Cup winner and improving, he won’t mind the bad weather coming and has just a fistful of pounds to find on official ratings with Tidal Bay – When you consider that Medinas is half his age, it is an easy enough assumption to think that improvement could be forthcoming.

Ascot Tips

The three mile handicap chase at 3pm, the United, is a trappy race to call but there are a few in there that are worthy of attention.

Twirling Magnet is a huge 16/1 with Bet365.  He has clearly not been a straight forward horse and has been bedecked in all manner of headgear.  He came good at Cheltenham at the end of last year and while his strike rate has not been prolific, I think there is reason to believe more could come.  Firstly, he is starting to get the hang of it, secondly, he is ground versatile, thirdly, he has the very capable Maurice Linehan in the saddle. Of interest.

I would not put you off a slice of Same Difference either.  He placed in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in the spring and that was terrific form.  If he is picking up where he left off, there is a big chance of a massive run.

I am looking to one of the unexposed sorts though and the horse that appeals the most is Opening Batsmen.  I get the services of Noel Fehily in the saddle and long term victims of my blog will know that I consider Noel a huge advantage to a horse in any race.  My horse is an improver too – We have to put a line through his run at Aintree in the spring but that was on unfavoured ground and at the time of the season where many horses are over the top.  I am happy with 9/1 – Take a slice.

I plan on a second Fehily inspired punt on No No Mac in the 3.50 – The form of his start this season has been firmly franked when his close conqueror at Uttoxeter, Timesrememebred, went on to smash the Grade 2 novice at Chepstow.

Down Royal – JNWine Tip

While Wetherby may have Long Run, the JNWine has attracted a stellar line up of Sizing Europe, First Lieutenant and Kauto Stone.

For me, it makes sense to focus on the first two in the market.  While Kauto Stone has won this before, I am suitably concerned by the runs that some of Nicholls horses are putting in that I do not want to be on this ones side today.

Sizing Europe has not had a brilliant record when stepped up in trip but this is the place to try again and he has been desperately unlucky not to win one of these.  He has been beaten by Kauto Star and Quito de la Roque in this race in recent years.

First Lieutenant has three years on the former Champion Chaser and proved a very good horse last season, arguably unlucky not to come away with a greater haul of trophies.  Like Sizing Europe, he has had a warm up race, unlike Sizing Europe, he did not win his but was only down a length or two.  Also unlike Sizing Europe, it is my belief that with slightly younger legs, he is better equipped to get over those exertions earlier.

For reasons of class, you might pick Sizing Europe.  For reasons of youth and improvement, I am opting for First Lieutenant.

If you like a price, I would not put you off Quito de la Roque at 14/1 who may play a hand.

Santa Anita – The Breeders Cup

At the Breeders, I am going to be on:

9.05 – Mizdirection 9/2 – Unbeaten at Santa Anita!

9.43 – Havana – 3/1 – Will outclass these, ignore comments about last run being less than impressive

11.40 Wise Dan – 5/4 – LOAD THE CANNONS!

In the football, I fancy West Ham at 5/4 to beat Villa at home.  Many think the Villains are a better team away from home and that might be true.  I also still have concerns over their overall quality and am happy to take the hammers in this.  Chelsea are a big 4/6 to win at Newcastle in my opinion with the latter starting to struggle.  Wigan 17/20 to win at home is a price I want as is 6/10 Coventry to win at home (well sort of home).

May your dinner be in the best company and the wines delectable.  As the waiter brings the bill, be generous as you can afford to be.

The Martin Hill bet is West Ham, Havana, Wise Dan, No No Mac and Long Run.  Take them in 1pt doubles (10 bets) and 0.5pt trebles (10 bets) and stick a few pennies on it all coming home.

Courage, roll those dice.