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Saturday Sermon – Ayr Tips – Gold Cup, Silver Cup, Bronze Cup – Mill Reef at Newbury and Premier League Football

Good evening from the Major who writes on a Friday evening as I rise with the lark to engage in my last long distance training run before heading to Berlin next weekend for the marathon.

Moohaajim is very well fancied by the Major – 10/3 for the Mill Reef

I am running a considerable section of the picturesque Staffordshire and Worcester canal.  This old canal runs from the Trent and Mersey canal to the east of Stafford all the way down to the Severn river at Stourport.  Until the Worcester Birmingham canal opened this waterway was a major industrial route.  I am negotiating the bottom third starting to the west of Wolverhampton and running under the Kinver ridge, through a few tunnels before running through Kidderminster and finishing in the elaborate canal basin on Stourport.

Wish me luck, or don’t.

Luck, fate, fortune.  Such things are for children and the feeble.

A conjurer may beat you with a sleight of hand coupled with distraction but will rarely claim to be anything other than entertainment.  They deploy a skill to beat your eye and mind with a show.

As for genuine coincidence, well that happens all the time.  It really should not surprise people as much as it does.  Those that choose to interpret the statistical inevitability of something massively unlikely happening as meaning unseen forces are at work, simply fail to acknowledge the scale of interaction we have with the world.  We interact millions of times in ordinary situations that offer a possibility of an amazing coincidence.  Thus it is logical that several times in our lives, one in a million shot, coincidences will happen.

A lady friend of the Major recently visited a medium at a local pub night.  While she was a little sceptical, she was taken by some of what she saw and could not explain some of the connections made.

While I cannot claim to know the tricks used by the medium in question, I can guess that throwing lots of generic information out quickly is key.  Knowing the audience demographic, and the most common fatal diseases, it would not he hard to strike lucky.  Trickery.

A medium preys; on the feeble-minded, those that should know better and those who are looking for something; such as the recently bereaved – That is poor form, distasteful.  I consider them the lowest of people.

To the sports…

Why I am taking on the Ayr treble of Bronze, Silver and Gold Cups I do not know.  This really should be left to Pricewise but like a moth to the light that will kill me, I feel inexorably pulled in.  The death star has engaged the tractor beam.  We have the benefit of extreme heavy ground and that might give us some help but we are fishing in deep waters here.

Ayr Bronze Cup Tips

My goodness, do you think Dandy Nicholls the King of the sprinters wants to win this race?  He has entered seven of the twenty seven entrants for this handicap sprint.

The trainers son is on Tajneed who may be well prepped for this.  Amenable has Mulrennan aboard who has a good strike rate for the yard and was a winner last time out, interesting – especially as the horse has form on soft (untested on heavy).  Yet given the win came from the front, it is unlikely that he will get that opportunity here.

Jack Dexter looks like a certain improver and seems very capable in the mud.  why on earth would you back a favourite in a race like this though?  Graham Lee will certainly give the horse a power packed ride, no doubt will be backed.

Cheveton has a great chance too.  Not only has he won this race but he has won the Silver Cup too and returning on a similar mark, he will surely be tuned up and ready for action.  Of distinct interest.

Llewelyn is stepping up in class but will handle conditions.  Best Trip is very interesting running for Ellison.  This is a yard that can ready a gamble and if money comes I would be more confident.  The horse does well on soft and I do think it has a chance.

The Major is opting for Frequency at 20/1.  The selection is not proven on this  heavy surface and has only won once on soft from five starts.  That is the bad news.  the good news is that he gets the assistance of Robert Winston who won with the horse earlier in the season and his method of racing may be helped by the fact that he is drawn on the rail.  With enough pace on the low stalls then perhaps we might be in luck.

Ayr Silver Cup Tips

Although my tip in the first is not influenced as strongly by the ground as by the draw and quality of the animal; I am staying with the mudlarks for the Silver Cup tip.

The challenge is being certain which ones will love these conditions as many of them will not have experienced it before.  I suspect they are going to be finishing these races strung out like three-mile chasers.

The Silver Cup horses in focus for the Major are…

9/1 favourite An Saighdiur who has shot to fame on the all-weather but has transferred that ability to very soft ground.  Clearly on the way up and very easy to back at this price.

Spinatrix and Gatepost are not without chances.  The later is no 40/1 shot and certainly worth a small each way investment.  Highland Colori will be fine with the ground but is carrying much more weight now and I am not sure it is the likely profile.

Cadeaux Pearl is of some interest but without the usual winning headgear it is hard to be overly positive.

the Major is going to opt for two in the Silver Cup.  The first tip is Klynch at 28/1.  This horse is back to a winning mark and has taken 4 from 6 on soft.  There is a suggestion this is not the right time of year but I think it is worth a small punt.

The other selection is Grissom at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.  The horse has a good record here and although never placed in five runnings on heavy until this summer, he went in under these conditions at Hamilton showing that he can handle the ground.

Ayr Gold Cup Tips

No respite from these conundrums and the Gold Cup is as equally perplexing.

It is hard to ignore the race record of Dandy Nicholls in these contests.  He saddles just two for the gold cup.  Rodrigo de Torres and Beacon Lodge are rank outsiders but are surely worth a look.  Of the two the former rates the more interesting.  He didn’t change hands into the Nicholls yard for a lot of money and it is interesting that they are going with a drop in trip in this company.  40/1 is interesting.

Maarek is going to love these conditions and this horse is in fine fettle this year.  I am not sure that the improvement has stopped with this multiple group winner.  The ground is right up his street and top weight burden could pose no problem.  12/1 is a superb each way price.

Again I am going to have two on my side in the Gold Cup.  Firstly Pintura at 20/1 – I think this will prove an ideal race for the Kevin Ryan inmate and William Hill are over priced.

The second gold cup tip is Doc Hay at 16/1 (BetVictor).  This horse won a great trial race and like my other selection is drawn relatively low.

Mill Reef Group 2 – Newbury Tips

I love the Mill Reef race and despite being a race for the best two year olds where often new talent comes to the fore, the recent winners have all been short prices.  I think it will pay to concentrate on the top of the market again.

That said, Taayel is an interesting runner having won a maiden at Yarmouth.  Could be anything but although interesting, I want a more certain profile.

Heavy Metal showed a turnaround when taking the Richmond and the improvement since he met and beat Cay Verde (who has also improved) seems to suggest he would be the better prospect.

Cougar Ridge is not the sort I am after.

That leaves me with Moohaajim at 10/3 (Hills).  My tip won a debut nicely before being a close up fifth in the Prix Morny.  That form is right up there and given he had more work to do than the others, he was unlucky not to have won.  Normal improvement makes him a serious contender for this years Mill Reef.

In the football, Villa strike me as bet of the weekend at 11/5.  Southampton have played well but the young Villa team are coming together and their win over Swansea might be the start of collecting a few useful points.

I also like the chances of Wigan to beat Fulham at home (6/4) and I like West Brom too at 5/6 to overcome Reading.

May your dinner be delightful a juicy steak of the finest cut, paid for by finally nailing one of these big handicap Ayr specials.

Courage, roll the dice.

Thursday York Card – Yorkshire Oaks Day – Big Price Tips 25/1, 20/1, 12/1 and the rest – Set your stakes to dangerous

Good evening from the Major – Our one shot wonder tip on Monday came romping in at an SP of 5/2, advised 7/2 and while the Major had no time last night to review the opening card of the Ebor meeting, I have had a look at the riches of tomorrows races.

To York, to battle, Shabash young Pathan

Good luck to Mike, Holly, Chris and the Stickeyes team at York – Hope you have a great time, that link is for you and from such a major internet hub as themajorversusthebookie, it will have an impact on your business – I hope between the conversations held tomorrow around how you can get Holly’s party bus #reactivated, you find some winners in the card preview I have prepared.

To all – The Major is taking a summer break. I may have a few brief posts from France, I may have the odd guest tipster pop in but normal service including the recently highly profitable Saturday sermons will return from 30th August.

Let us see if I can board that ferry with a wedge of Euros fit to permit an English gentleman to romp through the provinces of France enjoying the best of their food, wine, brandy and women of darken eye with wanton glint.

The Majors trip to France coincides with next Sundays Prix Morny card from Deauville. I may try to make it, I will file a report if I do – Petetre, this will require a significant draw down on the bank of Brownie Points, n’est pas, c’est la vie.

To York, the Knavesmire and a battle with that filthy enemy, lying low in the gutter a tinge of red in his eye, dark sodden heavy clothes swathe his wire frame. With an air of wickedness and a smell of decomposition, do not be fooled, his mind is a devious swirling vortex, his prices set to fool those of weak mind.

Fear not, the Major is here to help. We shall daub our war paint and I shall slam my staff into the ground, to battle.

2pm Yearling Stakes

The prize money on show for this Class 2 is such that it attracts some of the finest juveniles. I am sure this deserves group status, maybe this will change next year.

There are plenty of interest in the twenty runners and perhaps the one that has shown best form has been Crown Dependency. This Hannon entry (one of three for the famed juvenile specialist) was defeated a mere two and a quarter lengths in the high class Norfolk Stakes.

That day Crown Dependency was pinched for room and so you could argue was unlucky. He was however well drawn and raced on the right side of the track and overall 3/1 seems very stingy against this field. That said, big race and big field experience is a benefit. Well regarded for top connections but not for the Major.

So where do we go? Last year this race was won by Wootton Bassett the Fahey horse who had a stablemate back in third. His best filly this year, Miss Work of Art seems exposed and so the Majors search for a winner…. continues.

Well, having spent some time trying to read which maiden races may be the ones to track, I am interested in the twice raced Gerfalcon. The Salisbury race is proving to be the source of other future winners and so that Class 5 win is worth more than the bare result. Of some interest.

Hestian is a real eye catcher. The Naas race which this rather fetching bay colt took could not look better with second An Ghalanta going on to win again and earning a rating of 95. This one looks decent and I much prefer this 6/1 to the 3/1 about Crown Dependency.

This is not the selection though, although it probably should be. For that I go to a horse that is priced at 20/1, Roger Sez. This horse has enough experience for these big races having raced 4 times and won 3. It is overpriced in my view based on its ugly way of winning. It tends to be off the bridle before most but is a scrapper and will punch on regardless. The last Newmarket win was in a good standard of race and I am willing to risk that the horse is under rated at the price.

2.30 Lowther Stakes – Group 2

What a cracking little renewal, here come the girls – Some of the best European fillies do battle. A Queen Mary winner, the Cherry Hinton winner and Fire Lily who is well regarded, not to mention Angels will Fall, a previous winning tip from the Major.

Best Terms, the Hannon horse must be feared and would be a serious candidate but in good to soft at York, I am not convinced that her prominent style will suit. That said, I think 8/1 is a great each way bet.

The give under foot is a a significant factor and one that gives us decent evidence of a likely big run from Angels will Fall.

This is a tougher contest than the Group 3 won by her when tipped up by the Major at 8/1 and she beat some decent sorts. The way she finished that day suggested there was still more to come. Some edging was involved near the finishing and so it is reasonable to expect further improvement with experience, 4/1 feels about right maybe with a little of the pricing on our side, I would not put you off.

However, the Major opts for a piece of value again. At 12/1 Hello Glory seems ignored. The maiden she won near the end of July was good. She took it well, coming from deep. The second that day went on to win another maiden with comfort and I suspect that Hello Glory has plenty more to give.

I think her price is helped by the fact that she is not involved in the form lines of the main protagonists and so less considered. Shabash, get stuck in – Right or wrong, I never hesitate to follow a thought that is against the crowd, come on Hello Glory, show me I am right!

I love racing – that sense before you witness how the event which you planned so well in your head, that moment where every opinion you have is certain fact… It is as though the whole universe was created solely for your own purpose, moulded about you.

3.05 Goddard Stakes

This mile handicap is a tricky conundrum in a puzzle, disguised as a mystery. 20 runners improvers, suspicious horses on kind marks on old forms, the enemy slinks in the shadows of such cards. Where to cast thy eye with trust?

The Major spent most time on this race but feel I remain least informed. That said, a few things caught my eye.

On Ground – Axiom, Harrison George, Pintura, Masked Dance, Leviathan?, Roker Park (if more rain)

On Recent Form – Pintura, Markazzi, Axiom, Smarty Socks

Pintura looks quite well treated for his Ascot run, up just 2lbs for a tasty 3rd.

Lovelace (40/1) is one to watch like a hawk in the market. It has dropped like a stone in water through the weights and a bit of cash might just signify a return to form. Harrison George has a similar profile as does Cashelger and Mont Agel.

Accepting we might be beaten by a horse returning to form off a plummeting mark, I am looking for an improver. The one I opt for is the unlikely 25/1 shot Roker Park. I will be more interested if there is more precipitation but this mud lover has had decent recent form with the exception of the run last time. He was staying on at the finish though and Hoof It the winner is widely accepted as a group horse masquerading as a handicapper. 25/1, have a tasty slice and send me the postcard!

Of the rest, Axiom and Pintura are of greatest interest.

3.40 Yorkshire Oaks

This Group One, champions series race is another reason that if God were walking the Earth, he would head up the M1 on his motorbike wearing no crash helmet and spend an afternoon in the good Yorkshire air.

Banimpire is a tough cookie, she has improved and battled through every race. It is with hesitation I suggest she won’t have the class to win this. 6/1 is very fair.

Blue Bunting, the 1,000 Guineas winner is of most interest. 11/4 is an honest price held up by the other quality in the field.

Crystal Capella while looking better than ever this year, is probably held, although I think the Stoute yards string are looking well of late. Laughing Lashes is one I would consider to be better than 10/1.

Overall, 11/4 Blue Bunting is a price for me. Here is some analysis for you that only the Major would provide… In the last ten years, 5 winners of the Yorkshire Oaks have been classic generation (3 year olds) and 5 older horses. In the last twenty years, of the eleven classic generation winners, the biggest priced winner of all eleven was just 7/2. When there is a fancied 3yo running, it bodes well.

Listen to the Jesus voice in your head, you know it speaks the truth … Now back Blue Bunting with a roll of notes fit to choke a reasonably sized European mammal …… thank me later.

4.15 – Galtres Stakes

How Mirror Lake was dropped two pounds for a very decent second in a listed race last time is a mystery to the Major. That said, 8/1 as a price is OK but the Major is uncertain of the form of the Perrett string. Considered with a luke warm view.

Wild Coco is a Stoute horse who if you put a line through the last run on the grounds that the conditions did not have enough cut, looks like a horse on the improve. Interesting.

The same has to be said of Field of Miracles whose Banimpire form gets tested in the Yorkshire Oaks – If the firmer conditions were against last time, then this will be more like it and a big run should be anticipated. Exciting.

All of these are contenders but the Major opts for Amazing Beauty at 8/1. This O’Brien horse stayed on well over this distance at the Curragh and while her form is a little hit and miss, there is enough to suggest she could have more to follow.

4.50 – The Lucky Last – Eventmasters.co.uk Stakes

Mother of Mary. Another 20 runners, another puzzle. Let’s get lucky.

Sea Change could be of interest if tuned up after a long time away from the track. Interesting and money would be significant.

The one the major is attracted to though is 7/1 Tuscan Gold. This 4 year old is up 20lbs since May 2010 and the improvement is unlikely to have stopped. Already gelded, this horse looks like he has a decent chance of bagging a race at this level and in the hands of Sir Michael Stoute, I am happy to back a big run today.

Good luck to you. In the last few weeks, one regular follower has dropped me notes of thanks. The Major has a simple view, none are required. You can read the information for free, that is as far as my obligation goes. Either choose to follow it or choose not to. I do not profess to have miracle answers but I do back horses to profit on the blog which is proven in my results (not updated in many months as lost the motivation too!). Do not blame the information provided, only question how you used it! In this relationship, the Major refuses to accept your criticism as much as I cannot accept the praise for a decision you made.

Courage and shuffle the cards.