Tag Archives: pause and clause

Thursday Tips for Cheltenham, plus Craven Tips – Newmarket…. Some big price selections….

Good evening from the Major.  Wine flowing, mind calculating; preparing for battle at Prestbury Parks temple of National Hunt racing.

Tomorrow is business and pleasure as the Major hosts high performing colleagues.  Much fun will be had in glorious company and the Major relishes the opportunity to enhance his reputation as a barely profitable lunatic.

Cheltenhams Thursday Card…..

2pm Novice Hurdle (Listed)

£5 each way is not a huge stake but applied to a huge 54 tote returned festival winner and many hundreds of pounds flow your way!  Une Artiste was tipped by the Major for a Sandown race (which she failed in) and then backed on the day during the festival… glorious.  I do not feel the need to apologise for this gloating.  Those who know my gambling realise I have earned the moments in the sun whether fortuitous or engineered through deep analysis.

Will the girl go in again?  Well she carries a Grade 3 winning penalty after her Fred Winter win but as a four year old boasts a weight allowance and a progressive profile.

In all honesty, the way she finished up the hill, I think odds-against is a terrific bet and I suggest a hefty slice.  Swincombe Flame is an obvious danger but the 5/4 about the tip, Une Artiste is way too tempting.

2.35 Cheltenham Tips – Novice Chase

The Major has also seen the favourite of the second race win when Take of Shoc’s went in at Stratford.  Having fallen in love with Rebecca Curtis I am tempted to back it blind but for you, my faithful followers, I shall put my personal feelings to one side.

Indeed, I avoid Take of Shoc’s who steps up in grade on a hat trick bid and that might find the animal out.  Instead I tip, Back Bob Back.  Last time out, the horse won well at Chepstow and looked entitled to a hefty rise in the weights.  7lbs was more than reasonable.  There were some previous runs that were of dubious quality, one of which a valid heavy ground excuse can be made.  On balance, 5/1 is a fair price.

3.10 Listed Mares Handicap Hurdle

Both Kells Belle and Ixora are respected after running reasonable races in the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham.  However, they meet a horse in Tante Sissi who is on the rampant upgrade and is sure to improve further for distance.  4/1 may be generous.

Silver Gypsy showed a bit of promise on her Bangor run last time out.

3,45 Cheltenham Handicap Chase Tips

A very trappy affair.  Exmoor Ranger throws himself at fences at times and is far from foot perfect.  He has returned to some sort of form in the Kim Muir, notably that run was in behind Sunnyhillboy who was desperately unlucky not to pick up a Grand National.

Also interesting is Bradley who went in at Haydock recently by half a dozen lengths and looks very interesting having been a former winner at Cheltenham in 2010 on hunter chase evening.

A good round of jumping from Ashkazar would be lethal to all concerned as his chase mark is 20lbs+ below his hurdle mark.  2 runs over the bigger obstacles have wielded one win and the yard are in good touch.  6/1 seems big and so the tip is Ashkazar…. load the cannon.

4.20 Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle

Seventeen runners in a difficult to solve handicap.  There is an obvious standout candidate in 6/1 shot Allthekingshorses who was only raised 4lbs for his last win in a race in which he really showed some inexperience.  If he has learned from that, then he would be entitled to go close but the Major looks elsewhere.

WARNING: THE NEXT PIECE OF ADVICE CONTAINS 2% HEAD AND 98% HEART.

I have long been a fan of Pause and Clause who I simply have to stick with through thick and thicker.  16/1 is a damn fine price if a good run could be guaranteed, which is far from likely.  Join me in the insanity realm if you like…. 16/1 tip, Pause and Clause.

4.55 Cheltenham

Wester Ross is the 11/4 (Bet365) selection because although a visor is fitted, Cheltenham will definitely suit the hold up style.  Simple, never complicate the beautiful, allow it to breathe.

5.30 Tips for the Bumper! Endsleigh Insurance Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

A mares bumper sponsored by the Majors employer.

I work for Endsleigh running the Broker side of the business which specialises in commercial insuranceunoccupied home insurance and financial advice.  With many colleagues there who know my passion for the sport, this race more than any will be an intense fire of pressure to find a winner.

Only Betfair pricing available this evening but Glorious Twelfth and Tickety Bleue look the two to be on after their Newbury battle.  The likely favourite is the latter who is entitled to improve and overcome a 1olb turnaround in the weights.

However, the Major wants to highlight three that could outrun likely massive odds.

Firstly, Susan Nocks runner, forecast 33/1, is a rare runner for the yard in a bumper but is out of Kayf Tara and that is an advert in itself.

Two other newcomers catch the eye in Maid of Oaksey and Old Dreams.  The latter earns the vote at a likely 14/1 as an Old Vic offspring for a trainer that knows how to ready a bumper sort.

Finally Newmarket Tips – The Craven

Hannon often is unsure of his best runner and the Major opts that Crius is the best of his three in a tight call.

Most Improved is second in the Guineas market as I write but that is based on placed form in a Dewhurst which although clearly classy…. is placed form.

On balance 9/1 Crius for a win bet.

Friday Cheltenham Madness – Tips for each race….

The International meeting at Cheltenham kicks off with a decent little card and the Major will be on course aiming to pay for Christmas, once more.

Last Saturdays form continued the Majors mixed to shocking form but as my old gambling friends would say, even the blind squirrel finds the odd nut….. we venture on brave few unto honour.

Killyglen... could be a shocker... let's hope not for the sake of the Majors children whose Christmas is still in the balance

12.00 Novice Chase

Only 4 runners but a cracking start with Solix opposing Sam Winner and opening as slight market favourite.

The Henderson horse gets the Majors vote by slim virtue of the trainers better form and unbelievably strong credentials in these events, the horses strong form looks fine and there is decent ground which I am unconvinced that Sam Winner will appreciate.   There is rain coming down which would square it up but even if it goes good to soft, I suspect that Solix is the better horse and he edges a narrow opener.

12.35 Handicap Hurdle

Edgardo Sol, Aather and Golden Gael are the three that catch the Majors eye.

The first from the champion trainer has great credentials and Harry Derhams useful 7lb claim brings the horse down to a decent looking mark.  The latest run at Sandown looked half decent.

Aather is harder to explain at 25/1 and in terrible form.  Unreliable, off the track for some time but….. the Major has had this one on a watch list on pieces of form that date back some time.  It takes some imagination to see it winning but as Thoreau said, the world is a canvas to such imagination….

The Major however goes for a more sensible route and tips Golden Gael. Unexposed and the booking of the stables ‘go to’ jockey is enough for the Major.  8/1…. have a chunky slice….

1.10 Handicap Chase

Nudge and Nurdle is plummeting towards some tasty looking marks and money for this one would be significant but not for the Major.

That’lldoboy is of definite interest and not a bad value favourite at 2/1.  He is up 17lbs though in his last two runs and I am concerned (probably more than most will be) that he may be getting into the grip of the handicapper.

That said finding an opponent to beat him is tough.  Bene Lad at the foot of the weights might be the chief danger but comes with plenty of questions upped in class.

Overall, despite the handicap concerns I am sticking with the favourite and willing to put good money that he toils up the hill second to something implausibly well handicapped!

1.45 Handicap Chase

I am only interested in Mon Parrain and Shakalakaboomboom.

The first was a major player for the Paddy Power if the money was to be believed and the second finished last season on a career best at Punchestown and is bought here by Henderson despite having a poor record at Prestbury Park. , tough decision.

On balance I think Shakalakaboomboom is worthy of a stake at 9/2.  At the end of the day, I prefer the better form of the Henderson yard and he is capable of having this one tuned up.

Backing both feels like a shot to nothing mind.

2.20 Cross Country

Expecting a tip on the Cross Country from the Major…… I am sorry, I do not truck with witchcraft, good luck to you.  Stop looking at me like that…. Satan get behind me….

Uncle Junior and it hurts me to type it.

2.55 Handicap Hurdle

If the rain comes the Major will plug on betting on Pause and Clause, possibly through a heady mix of sheer stupidity and loyalty, who I am convinced has bigger races in him than this but I find it hard to back Emma Lavelles charge on merit.

Evan Williams is in form and so Di Kaprio is considered but surely Oscargo can give the famous Nicholls / Walsh combination another Cheltenham win here.  The third at Cheltenham last time out is probably as good form as on show here and this horse is (unlike most) entirely unexposed.  Garton King is obviously interesting too being from the same stable and unbeaten but I would take jockey booking as informative here.

So Oscargo is it…. well no.

I am after more value and Killyglen at 8/1 offers me just that.  As a younger horse, this one threatened to be better class than this.  If you accept that his seasonal reappearance was needed then he is on a decent mark and the Major is willing to stick with him, particularly as Dickie Johnson has been booked for a rare (or possible debut) stable ride.

3.30 Novice Hurdle

Darlan at 1/2 is surely one of the hottest novice hurdlers in the Henderson yard which makes him one of the hottest seasonal prospects.

The Majors suggestion is Aikideau at 16/1 who showed improved form on reappearance when entitled to need the run.  Probably not good enough but an each way shout.

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.