Tag Archives: planteur

Saturday Sermon – Ascot, York and Salisbury tips…. Am I the only person to dislike our opening ceremony?

Good morning from the Major who writes from the pub, I kid you not.

I know the sun is yet to reach the yard arm and so in front of me is a fine bacon crusty roll and a coffee infused with so much milk that it has a moniker… One that identifies it as less masculine… What can I say, it is early in the morning and your reluctant correspondent sank a few watching the Olympic opening ceremony last night.

Firstly the camping, or non camping to be more accurate. The Major and family have come down to the New Forest for a few nights in gods air, to see the stars and admire his wondrous glory. The idea was reconnect with nature, live the simple life, glean pleasure from cooking in the open…. Sadly, we left the tent poles, a small but crucial detail that is shaping the weekend.

Upgrading to a log cabin was made a smooth process by the kindly folk at the implausibly comically named ‘sandy balls’ site – I kid you not, look it up! They smiled benevolently, took the plastic card from my hand and assured us that the log cabins were exceptionally well furnished.

Instead of spending last night applying insect repellent and washing up in cold water, I lay back and watched the widescreen, occasionally heading to the galley to replenish a glass that never seemed to stay full.

Now the pub? Well it’s the best spot on site for the wi fi…. Honest guv. You may be dubious, many are despite the Major having only honest intention – It is also not my fault that there is racing ten miles up the road at Sailsbury this evening, a course I have wanted to tick off for some time…. Well since Mrs Major is the other end of the racing fanaticism scale to the Major, I think it will be me and Young Major II who loves the spectacle… Good lad, I can already see that the apple has not fallen far with that one.

What about that opening ceremony though? Even a merry amount of wine failed to make it credible for the Major. I am just not into opening ceremonies. Bond, crazy dressed up actors, light shows… All played out with an over bearing salacious commentary like its the best thing man has ever achieved. I dislike the fact that many applaud it.

I acknowledge the ambition of the show was bold. What on earth was Danny Boyle going to do though? In his position, he is best to go with the flow and offer up treats that would make Bacchus blush.

I would have loved a really understated opening, something that said, we do not need all of this. Alas, we competed on the international ceremonial stage in the competition of ‘who can put the most cliched tat on stage’. Meanwhile the commentators told us what this ‘represented’ while famous actors fawned in their ‘once in a lifetime roles’…

I felt it lacked the presence of Terry Wogan to provide his acerbic analysis of events as he did for so many successful years with Eurovision.

For the Major, the Olympics will be made great, not by some chimneys coming out of the ground or the Morris dancers or the cgi images of David bloody Beckham hammering down the Thames on a speedboat! (did anyone else think Terry Tibbs?)

Looking back in sixty years on my deathbed (more likely twenty with my intake) I trust history treats these things rightly, as a ridiculous way we used to live life. No, the Majors Olympic greatness will be measured on the track, in the pool and in all of the other sporting arenas. Give us the majesty of sports, let us inspire a generation through prowess and endeavour, you can keep the rest.

3.10 York Sky Bet Stakes

What a few weeks of weather. Just eight days ago, meetings were being abandoned for water logging and within a week of unadulterated sun, Uttoxeter had to water! York are good to firm.

Sir Henry Cecil won this last year but I would be surprised if Jet Away is as good as Twice Over, although rattling ground will suit.

Side Glance is a horse I have always liked. I watched him win at Ascot last year on Solaro Stakes day. He will also be fine in these conditions and is considered, his last effort behind Frankel was hard to assess but Frankels defeated tend to run to form. Side Glance no longer runs in the Mill Reef colours so a little romance is lost!

If you are considering Side Glance though you have to look at Sri Putra who had him behind this season. There is a horse who has placed a few times at mammoth odds, never seeming to have the required quality for a group one.

The Major has settled on Planteur for the Sky Bet Takes tip. He is the proven class in the field in my view With his French form as strong as anything. His last race can have a strong line through it as he really sweated up beforehand before never racing well. In the first six runnings of this race, it has gone to the favourite on four occasions. I am planning on no major surprises today either. The tip is Planteur at 9/2 with betfred, Stan James and Totesport.

3.25 Princess Margaret Juddmonte

The fillies race at Ascot is next on the Majors menu and I have a tip I like a lot.

The choice between the favourites is a vote for the form of the Cherry Hinton or the Queen Mary and the Major is opting for the Queen Mary.

While Maureen was unlucky at Ascot (I don’t like unlucky horses by the way, they tend to be repeatedly unlucky), I just think Hoyams run was as good.

My tip also has proven form on a rattling surface. There is no reason to believe this should be a big advantage for Hoyam over Maureen on breeding as Maureen is out of Holy Roman Emporer. However we have not seen the odds on favourite race in these conditions where Hoyam has achieved both her decent runs on good to firm.

4/1 is a fair price for Hoyam who is the tip for the Ascot fillies juvenile group race.

Salisbury Racing

If any reader knows more of this course and can tweet me some tips (or leave as comments) as to how to get the best from a visit – I would be grateful. I am likely to bring my four year old along to racing tonight so will probably go for the first 4 races.

There is a typically open maiden in their third race. Open because we have so little evidence with only the having run so far. I shall probably stick with Bold Prediction for the Hannon team who is one to have benefited from experience.

The opener is an amateur riders affair and the Major always seeks to side with quality of jockey not horse in these. That said, it is hard to ignore the glaring entry of Gallego who is bidding win this for a third time and has conditions to suit. The danger comes from Frosty Berry who is open to any amount of improvement on only the second handicap start and debut for a new yard.

in the 7.45, Stir Trader has been rested since battling away for a place in the mud back in April. Clearly better is expected. That said, shorter than 2/1 is a bit skinny and I prefer the 13/2 shot Bajan Story whose 4l defeat in soft latest is rosier when watching the race pan out. A drop in trip for the selection will be fine and I would be hopeful of a decent run.

May tonight’s dinner be elegant and fine. Fish, delicate and fragrant – the wine cold and fresh on the tongue. The company, an earthy beauty with just a damn honest pleasantness. Simplicity is the key to happiness my faithful readers.

Courage and roll those dice.

Wednesday Royal Ascot Tips – Tuesday results… Advised Bated Breath 6/1 (2nd).. Advised Most Improved 9/1 (won)

Good evening from the Major – The first day of Royal Ascot was a winning one for the blog with Bated Breath beating all but the Hong Kong raider and Most Improved staying on doggedly from the front to win at 9/1.

Most of all the day will be remembered for the 1/10 annihilation of the Queen Anne by Frankel.  He has been given a provisional timeform rating of 147 which would make him the best horse they have ever rated in their six decade history… wow.

That rating will be confirmed in the next few days but the performance without doubt in the Majors mind was Frankels best.  He destroyed a field that many will say is not top class but Excelebration would have won several G1s without Frankel on the scene.  That includes today where he was a beaten second by eleven lengths.

By rating Frankel 147, they are judging that Excelebration ran almost a stone below his previous best rating.  That might be true as he did try to take Frankel on but if anything it flatters Frankels mark.  He also lost a shoe.  He could also get better…. Frightening.

Thank God for Prince Khalid Abdulla who kept Frankel in training and gave us this joy.

To Wednesday and a couple of select Royal Ascot tips, let us hope we keep the winners flying in!

Wednesday Ascot Tips – Jersey Stakes

I was very keen on Fort Bastion but he looks a non-runner.  Richard Hughes had given him such a warm write-up at the weekend and had rated him his likeliest Royal Ascot winner.

Last years winner Strong Suit was against the trend as it is unusual for a horse with a group win on the CV to win this.

Power hardly did wonders for the form of the Irish 2,000 guineas yesterday and although Wrote technically has achieved most so far in coming to third to Power in the classic, I am not convinced and would prefer stablemate Ishvana, the filly who was second in her Guineas run.

Aljamaaheer is on a massive upwardly curve and comes second on the Majors list, I certainly would not put you off a bet.  Another that I would consider is 4/1 favourite Sentaril who looks progressive and with Murtagh booked, can definitely be involved.

The Jersey normally goes to a well considered horse and the Major is opting for one.  I am going for the completely unexposed Valbchek who battled well over 6f beating Swiss Spirit last time.  An extra furlong will suit and Noseda has a decent record in the race.  7/1 is generally available.

Prince of Wales Stakes

As much as I respect Carlton House, Reliable Man and Planteur in particular, my bet of the week has to be So You Think.

The Ballydoyle horse was second to Planteur in Dubai and has been known to disappoint but equally he has won four Group 1s while with O’Brien and I think he will be fully ready for this.  His greatest rival Cirrus Des Aigles was a notable omission at the 48 hour declarations… have a chunky slice at evens if you must but…

Rumour has it William Hill are 6/4 from 8.30, don’t know how much you can get on but I would get it all on!

Day Two Royal Ascot Tips

Despite my bet of the week Canford Cliffs going in, day one of Royal Ascot, was a loss maker for the Major.

Canford Cliffs did the business for the Major – Bring on Day Two

What a great days racing.  I wanted to get Frankel beaten (but wanted to see him win!) – While he held on, surely they will stop what I consider to be ridiculous riding tactics.  Just because Frankel can win when you ask him for his major effort 4 furlongs from home, does not mean you should.  Tom Queally is adamant that Frankel was simply idling and that no horse has yet given him a race.  Well he was almost chinned on the line today.  I don’t understand why they want to ride him in a sort of Secretariat way, he has the cruising pace of the devil and a devastating turn of foot.  It feels like that they almost want to get a breath-taking victory, not needed.  I am sure the back to back Group 1 winners will take the advice.  (THE MAJOR, HORSES TRAINED: 0 OWNED: 0 RIDDEN: 0)

It almost feels like we have had the best of Royal Ascot and getting as excited about Wednesday is hard.  Tuesdays opening 4 races were as good as racing gets.  The sun shined on Berkshire, I am sure he approved.

2.30 Jersey Stakes Group 3

This is a tough nut to crack.  There are a few bits of European classic form on show.  I am not sure which is the strongest but suspect that the Irish form of Oracle may hold out well.

Strong Suit for Hannon who was off the mark with Canford Cliffs yesterday is an interesting contender.  Clearly there are a few questions to be answered but if Hannon has Strong Suit back to some sort of form, his 12/1 is interesting.

The one the Major opts for though to get the day off to a flyer is lightly raced Western Aristocrat.  On form, it has a lot to make up but there is reason to think it can.  After winning its maiden easily, it went on to battle home in a class 3 last time out.  Nothing too remarkable about that but watching the run, he was hampered and did well to get up on the line.

Fury with the assistance of Fallon does not look good enough for the Major.  Perfectly possible that more improvement is to come but so far at the top-level he is wanting.

I am not sure that Codemaster is a worthy favourite at 3/1 – Not one for the Major.

I am finding it hard to pick the class horse.  This is why I am opting for Western Aristocrat at 13/2.  The yard have taken the Jersey Stakes twice in recent years and this is a versatile looking sort who has scope to improve into the frame.  Noseda has booked Murtagh which caught the eye.  I would not put anyone off Strong Suit each way.

3.05 Windsor Forest Stakes

Jaqueline Quest, owned by Mr Martin and if I remember rightly named after his late wife, Jaqueline Quest was denied a classic win last year after finishing first past the post in the 1,000 Guineas.  No wins since, yet has never finished more that 4l off the winner in any subsequent race.  A great each way bet at 25/1 in the Majors view.

Music Show is a horse which the Major was a big fan of yet she has had her chances this year and I am no longer following it with good money!

Basically the race will pan out with Sajjha trying to lead a quick steady tempo from the front and draw the string from the field.  I’m a dreamer who won from last to first last time out at HQ will be held up ( as he has been in every race) – Against this quality opposition, I would rather be on Sajjha – 7/2 I’m a Dreamer needs to be extremely good to come from last to first past a horse of this quality.

3.45 Prince of Wales Stakes

Here we go, at last Grade One action, the top notch cuts.

This on the face of it, looks all about So You Think, the Australian superstar resident in the Ballydoyle operation.  4/9 shows what this horse has achieved down under and in two runs this year in Europe, the horse has shown it has translated to the Northern hemisphere.

That said, I have been a big fan of Planteur and think this one has improved if anything.  The Longchamp runs look good.

It is a tough call.  There are only 7 runners and so looking down the field for value seems unwise.

Overall Planteur offers me enough hope at 4/1 that So You Think won’t make this a procession.

4.25 Royal Hunt Cup

What a terrific handicap.  30 are due to go to post – This is essentially Christmas for Pricewise.

The Major has found a few of more obvious interest.  I am interested in those from the high draws given the result of the Coventry.

The two I have settled on are Bronze Prince and Kay Gee Bee at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively.

Bronze Prince gets in to the race at the bottom of the weights.  Green Destiny being a drop out.  Not fully exposed and of interest with some useful form recorded, I want this one on side.

Kay Gee Bee is just as interesting , I think the York form could work out well and at 33/1 with the assistance of Hanagan, I suggest a slice.

5.00 Queen Mary Stakes

Back to Group action as the fillies line up for a sprint.

There is always a risk in getting stuck into short price favourites in fillies races for juveniles.  Yet, the way Shumoos beat yesterdays victor Frederick Engels has to be eye-catching.  11/8 seems more than reasonable and the Major suggests a reasonable bet although my betting resolutions dictate not getting carried away with two year olds.  The breeding is a new line from Distorted Humor and is proving very interesting.

Dozy and Best Terms are the risk, both unbeaten.  Of the two, probably Best Terms at 12/1 makes the most appeal.  The wins look better, this Exceed and Excel filly could be a danger.

Gypsy Robin has not come across the pond for the air yet the Major would want to se a run on dirt previously, not for the Major.

5.35 Sandringham Handicap

If you need a winner at this stage, you might go home in the poor house.

If Western Arisocrat goes in earlier in the day then there will be plenty of support for Rhythm of Light who was 2nd on their last blow out.

The Queens horse, Humdrum, is evidently a player.  Having won on the all-weather on its return, the form has been boosted by the 2nd winning next time out, making the 10lb rise looking at best compensation from the handicapper.  9/2 is short enough in this field but real chances.

I am happy to have a pop at another outsider.  33/1 Wrekin Sunset for an in form small yard, I think this one is on the upgrade.  It might not be as fashionable as the Luca Cumani, Kieran Fallon ridden sort but is not without a chance.

Good luck one and all.