Tag Archives: power

Tuesday Royal Ascot Tips – 11/2 and 8/1

Flying post from the Major this morning to get us started on a Royal Ascot winfest.

I hope you took up the Saturday advice and backed my horse in the handicap at York, if so you have a free £20 VC bet to use and I have a strong suggestion as to how you might use it.

The second race of the day is the group one Kings Stand a 5f sprint of some of the finest. Only some mind, really I would have liked the three main market principles to wait until Saturday and run against Black Caviar but sadly not so. I can understand connections wanting to avoid the wondermare but it is disappointing.

Mainly I am disappointed for Black Caviar. I am wondering what the trip was for and wonder if that is the feeling in the yard too. She has come to Ascot to race for less money than she would in Dubai, Signapore or Hong Kong so the motive is not financial.

She is also not facing our top sprinter (revealed in one second!) or Frankel or Camelot because either connections are 1. Running scared or 2. Trying their damnedest to win a group one in their own way… Depending on how you look at it.

This leaves the only motivation as one of pride. Black Caviars connections want to say they came to Europe faced a field in one of our top sprints and won leaving her the undisputed sprint champion. Well that title was never in question in the Majors view and I wish she had a bit more on her plate but alas, these thoughts carry the weight of a man who owns none of the thoroughbred flesh I am debating.

tips for the King Stand – Royal Ascot Tuesday

The three market principles are all around the 5/1 mark – Ortensia, Wizz Kid and Bated Breath.

Of the two raiders, the Australian Wizz Kid makes most appeal having won the last three and seemingly improving.

Ortensia, the French filly, represents a yard which won the race in the eighties but I don’t consider her a main danger.

Indeed, with confidence I promote the chances of BATED BREATH who broke the track record and showed admirable spirit last time out, when also carrying the Majors advice. Along with Dream Ahead, I think we have to consider BB our best sprinter and I think the home guard is good enough to win this. 11/2 is widely available.

St James Palace Tips

Power is the 7/2 favourite for the St James and I think we can get him beaten. Ok the Coventry winner saw a lot of this field off in the Irish 2000 guineas and although that race was strongly run which might give some hope of reversing the form, the Major is not convinced.

Instead I am going to tip MOST IMPROVED at 8/1 who I think could be better than we have seen.

My selection has also lost to Power, in the Dewhurst as a juvenile but the distance was negligible. An interrupted season has meant that no classics have been on the card. The French Derby was the messiest race you can imagine so i have a line through that form too but the Major thinks Ascot is where the horse might eventually come back to hand. 8/1 is a fine price so have a slice.

The Saturday Service – Newmarket 2,000 Guineas Tips, Goodwood Tips – FA Cup Final Tips

Good evening or good morning from a grey sodden Worcestershire where the Major is at the Kitchen table to pen the Saturday Tipping Service early.
Skjdhdidp

Camelot who? The Major thinks O’Brien might win but that Power might be the victor

The reason being that the Major has an engagement at the Emirates and has to catch the early morning London Paddington bound Great Western Train from Pershore. Forgive then, this shorter than normal post.It is a fantastic day of sport including the first classic of the season and the FA Cup final. I have a whirlwind tour of the action with the Majors thoughts below.

First of all, my usual soapbox moment. I found it incredible this week the sheer abuse that Roy Hodgson got as he was named England manager. As an intelligent, polite, internationally experienced, multi-lingual candidate, I think he is as good as anyone for the job. Yet the Sun managed to focus on his speech impediment.

I should not be too surprised, the UK press includes The Express, a publication whose headline today was ‘EU want to shut down Britain’ or words to that effect.

Depressing. I do not mind awfulness, misery, stupidity or arrogance in measure, live and let live is the Majors mantra. Remember we float by just the once and we have little time for small matters such as anger. Yet, the fact that someone buys these rags somehow does leave a mark.

I shall let it wash away with the wine, which this evening is a nice South American Malbec which is currently breathing and awaiting it’s certain fate.

To the sports.

Tips for the 2,000 Guineas – Newmarket

Ever since George Washington won the 2,000 Guineas, the sparkle of this race has diminished a little for the Major.

I know they are not my possessions and thus my view is only the wish of an interested party but…… I so wish that owners would aim the best horses at the triple crown. There are probably some sorts that are better milers than these being held back for the Derby. So many decisions these days are based on stud value and less on the excitement of the racing calendar.

Frankel did a wonderful job of returning some razzamatazz to the race last year. Who will forget his barnstorming surge from the gates, leaving his poor pacemaker floundering and unable to get on terms. I distinctly remember Richard Hughes paddling away from halfway in a vain effort to close the gap but the machine was not for catching.

It seems that no Frankel exists in this 2,000 Guineas field but the race has to be won. Earlier suggestions that the ground would be very very soft have eased and the Major expects good to soft ground, siding towards soft, perhaps a little dead.

There are two that the Major is putting up as 2,000 Guineas tips. Firstly, I am not convinced at all by Ballydoyle favourite Camelot with suggestions that he prefers good ground. However, the second of the O’Brien team Power has plenty to like about it. Second in the Dewhurst with many of these rivals in behind, Power won the National Stakes on softer going and will be fine with these conditions. 11/1 with Betvictor is too big.

The second Guineas tip is the French raider Abtaal. The Group 3 Prix Djebel at Maisons Lafitte is starting to look like an exceptional race and Abtaals second looks very solid – 7/1 and shortening, they aren’t coming over for the air.

Goodwood Saturday Tips

The Major was asked to put up some Goodwood tips so here we go….

In the listed contest at 2.15, I would expect Vita Nova to go off as 4/7 favourite. Not a working mans price but the form to Blue Bunting is streets ahead of anything else on show. At a more workable each way price in the race, Western Pearl is one of only two horses that has raced at Goodwood and experienced the track – That could prove vital as Goodwood has a particular camber and some just don’t like it. The selection is 14/1 and the French pattern form is fine.

In the 3.30 I am a very big fan of Spice Fair at 9/1 (Bet365). This horse was solid and arguably progressive as a four year old and if tuned up could go well. A Goodwood winner, a soft ground winner and a jockey (Neil Callan is one of the Major’s favourites) who has ridden once for the yard (a winner) in the last two years……. shabash! Have an obscene slice and thank me later.

Finally a tip in the second listed contest which goes off at 4.05. This is a cracking open contest in which Esentepe, the Nell Gwyn winner takes on last years Nell Gwyn champ, Barefoot Lady. Of the two I prefer the latter who has proven her ability to go well fresh. The Major however, suggests Winters Night who herself showed a good level of ability at Ascot last term and if primed, could be a danger to all… 5/1.

The FA Cup Tips

Chelsea… simple. 13/8… pay for dinner.

May that dinner be exquisite, the company fine, why not entertain a group of friends, cook and be social.

Courage to you all and roll those dice…..

The Saturday Sermon – St Leger at Doncaster (14/1 tip) and Premier League Tips

Good morning from the Major who has been at the good coffee early to study the card and bring you the winner of the St Leger.

Sea Moon with beautiful white blaze first, noone but fresh air second

The last classic of the season is a true stayers test and unlike any other classic is open to both colts and fillies. This gives us the interesting task of assessing Blue Buntings ability against the boys, more of that in a moment.

The Major would like to land a catastrophic blow on the enemy today, let us land the perfect left right pincer movement.

We shall be decisive like Sir Robert Napiers expeditionary force of Irish, British and Indian troops in Abysinnia or Sir Hope Grants mixed British, Indian and French force which went to Peking to force the emporer to sign our trade treaty in the second Opium war. Well disciplined, well executed. Sir Hope Grant took the forts at the river head with a perfect pincer movement, infantry skirmishing ahead of his position and as the enemy approaches, the flags go up and the lights will come out like a mighty fist to run the enemy down, the heavies follow to finish the job. Swift and decisive against a far numerically superior force.

Sir Hope got to Peking and got the treaty signed but had to fight his way there. There was also subsequent outrage as the Chinese tortured to death many of the small numbers of prisoners of war they held. British and Indian troops of the Queen as well as Parkes and Loch, two envoys, were given horrendous treatment in the ‘Board of Punishment’. Their bodies were returned after peace had been negotiated which seemed a deliberate act of subterfuge.

Lord Elgin who travelled as the lead political on the embassy decided that retribution would take the form of the sacking of the Summer Palace.

It took thousands of troops to destroy the greatest collection or architecture and art ever amassed. While he was merely a descendent of the Elgin who lifted marbles from Greece, the family certainly had their vandal moments!

Lets start our own rout with the St Leger.

3.10 Doncaster St Leger

The St Leger has lost some of its lustre in recent years. Gone are the horses who want triple crown glory. Now bloodstock demand is for mile to mile and a half horses. The super rich owners want Derby horses and Arc horses, not Yorkshire Cup types.

It would have been a thing of great beauty if Sea the Stars had opted to take in the Triple Crown in his classic year…. alas, Guinea and Derby horses tend not to think St Leger any more. Perhaps we will never have another triple crown winner. If we were to, I would suggest it would be a filly.

In fact, recent St Legers have been pretty poor affairs (relatively speaking for a Group 1 and a classic!) – This year looks different though. What makes the contest an intriguing one is the ground which has hardened up and with no more rain expected until ten past three, it is changing the shape of the market.

The principle victim of the top of the ground turf seems to be Sea Moon. A long term favourite for the race after demolishing a Great Voltigeur field by nearly ten lengths, this lightly raced sort is clearly happier with cut. His form could suggest so and so does the reaction of connections to the dry weather forecast.

The Great Voltigeur also featured Seville who was third, vanquished by Sea Moon that day. Seville was second in an Irish Derby and so a serious O’Brien horse but was likely unsuited by York – This makes me question the form of the Great Voltigeur and seek a different form line for the winner. That said, O’Briens horses look like they are coming to their own of late.

We have Blue Bunting, a 2,000 guineas winner, Irish Oaks winner and Yorkshire Oaks winner – Probably filly of the season. She gets a 3lb pull on account of her being of the fairer sex and must be reckoned with at a best priced 7/2. Good to firm would be no inconvenience. Two of the last five runnings have gone to Godolphin, significantly interesting.

A regular poster Michael put up Masked Marvel last week and you can see the good points. Beating Census was great form although watching that race, I would question whether he is the better horse. 9/1 is fair but not for the Major – Good luck Michael.

Brown Panthers form is tied into Census and Masked Marvel and at 14s is arguably the best value of that trio. Yard form is also a slight concern here with just the one winner from the last twenty five runners. While Census may have taken Brown Panther on their latest run, it was notable that the Panther had a lot of picking up to do. The previous German raid did not go brilliantly but the travel may have been a factor. With Fallon booked, this is a serious contender in my view.

I really think the winner will come from Sea Moon, Brown Panther and Blue Bunting. Splitting them is tough. Sea Moon on the drift is a concern but how sure can we be he will not act on firmer ground? The Sire, Beat Hollow, has had 355 of his progeny run in Britain on good to firm and 50 won. This is not out of line with his form with more cut and so the evidence is conjecture on behalf of connections. Now, connections know their stuff but….. could we go where others dare tread?

Sea Moon is a horse that looked a true star. What he did to the Great Voltigeur field was highly impressive, not just the beaten foe but the turn of foot. He was eased down at the finish that day and the Major has a simple belief, if he shows the Great Voltigeur form today, he will win. It is hard to leave him but those ground worries are ominous.

I have settled on Brown Panther. 14/1 is a good price for one whose form is mixing it up with the best here. We have the services of Fallon doing the steering – Come on the Panther.

3.15 The Curragh – Goffs National Stakes Group 1

The Curragh hosts the Irish St Leger card and although it is a fine race, I fancied a crack at the Goffs Stakes for juveniles.

Soft conditions in Ireland make it interesting working through this card and the Majors choice is Dragon Pulse a 11/4 joint favourite.

Dragon Pulse on breeding is fancied to handle the soft and did win a maiden in conditions too. While Power, is the main rival, I suspect he will not like the cut in the ground at all.

Have a chunky slice of the Dragon.

There are other great races at Doncaster, the Curragh, Goodwood and Chester. The Major does think Berling is the most reliable in Chesters listed race but overall I am going to stick with Brown Panther and Dragon Pulse to bring home the weekend beans.

In other sports…. Villa are a massive 3/1 to win at Everton, given the Toffees current woes, it could well effect the team on the pitch who are now without Arteta. Villa are organised if not spectacular and 3/1 (Victor Chandler) is a price to take on them stealing the goodies from Goodison. Everton have protesting fans as well as a shortage of options in the final third with Yakubu and Beckford joining Arteta on the outward transfer pile. The new boys may take time to settle in and I am willing to take a chunky slice of the Villa pie at a lovely 3/1.

May your dining this evening be punctuated by a fine string quartet and a magnificent lady of grace who steals the attention of any dining room. For all of her well-heeled manner, her thoughts will run the same way as the rest of them when good lobster and Sancerre have been devoured.

Courage and shuffle those cards….

The Major is Back!! The Moyglare at the Curragh and Goodwoods Supreme Stakes

The Major has enjoyed a sojourn in the Vendee of France and must apologise for the first Saturday Sermon we have missed in some time.

When I left England’s fair shores we were in tremendous form, notably picking up Margot Did (adv 33/1) which seemed to score most of Birmingham’s fine denizens a tidy sum judging by the texts, emails, tweets, pints and phone calls received.

Shabash!

Well the Major returns and while the Saturday Sermon may have had an unusual break, Sunday racing is red hot and there are several group races.  Two of which the Major has taken a particularly keen view…..

3.20 Good Wood – Supreme Stakes – Group 3

Good to Soft at Goodwood is about as strong a punting condition as the Major likes.  In a field trading at 4/1 bar, it is manna from horseracing gambling heaven.

Essentially we have a track not suited to all, in conditions not suited to all with 4/1 the shortest price of just ten runners.

I think this is a good storm of clues to the winner in a wide open market so…. where do we go…

Well first, let’s assess those with a decent strike rate on softer ground.  I can rule out most on this score and just about throw Doncaster Rover into the off cuts too.  While he has placed several times on good to soft, it seems good is his best ground and as a 4/1 shot, I want better.

Certain positives for the ground are Balthazars Gift, Hooray, Libranno and The Cheka.

The Cheka is going to have a hard job giving weight all round to this field so is ruled out.  The jury has to remain out on Hooray who would not be a shock at 4/1 if coming good but really has something to prove after flopping in Ireland.

Libranno has some superb Ascot form against Society Rock but followed it up with a stinker at Deauville where if soft ground got the better of him, there are concerns about conditions for tomorrow.  Richard Hughes has spoken softly about this one in the past though and it is reasonable to expect the horse has more to offer.  My main concern is that this is the eighth race this season for the three year old who may just be the type to be well served by a break.

With the three at the top of the market with question marks, you have to take a look at Balthazars Gift at 14/1.  At 8, the horse has few secrets and has little form to his name this year but may be better suited by these softer conditions.

There is rarely a shock in the Supreme with one 14/1 winner the only big price victor of the last 12 years.  After that a 7/1 and 5/1 and then it is favourites largely.  I am not sure I trust the trend emphatically though.

Instinct leads me a different way.  Karam Albaari at 16/1 (Paddy Power / Boylesports) might just be my answer.  Now you must have an imagination for this one but here goes…

On debut he won a reasonable handicap at Kempton before being stepped up in class to Group 2 company in last years Champagne Stakes.  He finished fourth at a royal 50/1 price, no disgrace.  He went on to Group 1 company in the Racing Post Trophy finishing 6th in that Group 1 to Casamento, Native Khan, Master of Hounds and Seville – Blue blood company indeed.

His reappearance has been delayed and conditions have to be taken on trust but…. I cannot help myself from taking a slice of the unknown at 16/1 when so many of the main bunch look dodgy.  Hooray and Libranno are possibly next best but it is Karam Albaari for the Major.

The Moyglare – The Curragh

What a cracker we have to decide on the best current filly in Ireland.  No British raiders, this is an all Irish affair.

Maybe is trading as the warm 5/6 favourite and you can see why… this will be her 5th success on the bounce to maintain an impeccable career.

She is ridden by the young JP O’Brien, who without his claim could have been a liability but after his ride earlier this year on Roderic O Connor, you have to feel the young man is a star in the making alongside William Buick and Michael Barzalona.

I do not feel like backing Maybe though.  This race often springs a surprise and the bet of the card for me is Fire Lily.  10/1 is a fair price for this filly who has gone down to the smart looking Best Terms twice but has beaten After, inbetween.

That form is fine enough but I also think this lady has been looking for a step up to 7f the way she is often flat to the boards and staying on.  In fact I think a mile might be already her optimum distance but an extra 200m tomorrow will certainly help her style of racing.

If anything is to beat the O’Brien star filly, I go for the one from the same ownership, Fire Lily.

Good luck all and shuffle those cards.