Tag Archives: rip van winkle

The Major Returns – Big QEII Bet

The Major has returned from his two week Italian refresher and ready to carry on our profitable performance.  There is an outstanding bet coming in this weeks QEII.

Classic winning Mafki is as short as 4/5 on for this contest with Canford Cliffs now ruled out after a dirty scope.  Although Mafki is clearly a class act, I am not sure I would want to get involved at that price.

Until dropping out Canford was odds-on.  However Rip Van Winkle gave Canford a beating earlier in the year while in receipt of 11 pounds.  Mafki gets less than that on Saturday and has mixed form with Canford so how can he be 4/5 to Rips 5/2? Value to me…

Rip will find the mile sharp but hs two other O’Brien horses to ensure a good clip although oddly the likely pacemaker, Air Chief Marshall, is ridden by Jamie Spencer – Strange choice if the only job is to set a fair clip for 5 furlongs….

Take the 5/2, have a little cheeky bet and leave plenty of grapeshot for the return of the Saturday morning service.

20% up again – Saturday Racing Tips Ready!

Last week saw a 21% profit for the major and with Rajik coming home on bank holiday Monday, another 20% profit was recorded.

The Major is away on holiday for a fortnight so this is the last chance to land a couple of winners for you until the back end of September.  There are three group ones today and so lets go straight for the jugular.

The Irish Champion at 3.45 Leopordstown can go to an outsider.  Twice Again and Rip van Winkle are head of the market and there are good cases, particularly for thr Rip.  I like Sea Lord though who is currently 14s with Paddy Power.  He loves the firm ground (Mind you so do many of the others) and for me his form is not a million miles off. 14s is dismissive – HAVE SOME!!

The Group One Matron (2.40 Leopordstown) – Back to Paddies here who go a best price 9/2 about Betrah.  The last time out Betrah beat a good field at the Curragh and I fancy this one to give a good show against top class opposition.

The Sprint Cup 3.35 at Haydock currently has 16 runners – While it is a group one and only three places, may I warn punters to avoid Paddy Power and Coral for ew bets as they are 1/5 odds.  Anyway there is a damn fine chance you do not need an e/w calculation as surely the Starspanglebanner will take this.  Regal Parade is trained by the Sprint King but is simply not the same class in my view.  Ladbrookes are 15/8 about the horse that O’Brien described as the fastest thing he has ever trained, further claiming that, they had tpo check the clocks at the gallops! 

The thing is that O’Brien has been bullish about horses before that do not deliver on track (St Nicholas Abbey a case in point) which means to back the banner you have to like the look of his form.  Now I hate putting up lays but I do think Regal Parade is overated and what else is there? 

I do also like the look of Mark Johnstones Rainfall who I thought could not have looked better last time out and at 16/1 could be backed each way.

Christ I am Rubbish – C’mon Paco Boy

I did quite fancy Masterofthehorse yesterday and his performance was pretty much akin to mine in the month of July.  After a couple of winning months, this month I have fancied a series of losers.

The start of Glorious Goodwood could have signalled a change in fortunes but it was not to be.  At times like this, the disciplined take a break.  Not me!

It is Sussex Stakes day and another intriguing race.  The three main protaganists are Paco Boy, Rip Van Winkle and Ghanaati.  The market goes 17 bar and so it looks like it is between these three.  It is threatening to bucket down and this could be significant.  Especially as I liked forgotten voice at a massive price but the strong suspicion is that that one definitely likes the top of the ground.  Lord Shanakill and Lahaleeb are not as clueless as the prices suggest either.  However I think we shall focus on the top three.

RVW may not run due to a small setback but he has left Ireland for the course where a decision will be made.  I would expect him to run.  I do not think he has the form in the book of the others but he undoubtedly has some ability.  Coolmore think a lot of him.  He has not run on anything less than good and so the ground is a concern if the rain comes.  However, a mile is probably sharp for him and so perhaps the ground might help.  While Coolmores opinion of a horse carries huge weight, I am not sure.  7/4 is way too short for me.

Paco Boy is a fine horse and has won some good prizes.  I love the horse and maybe the mile is about right these days.  He boasts course form which is a benefit.  He has also won on soft and has won half of his stakes races, pretty impressive.

Ghaanati makes the race a real cracker.  The 1,000 guineas winner looked in commanding form at Ascot and looks well suited to a Goodwood mile.  The fillys allowance gives her an exceptional chance and she is surely the least exposed of these runners.  However the ground going soft could be a big factor and having never raced on it, it is uncertain how it will effect her.  She did look awesome at Ascot and if she gets the ground then a danger to all – She looked explosive last time out.

Given my poor form, what I say next is exceptionally dangerous!  I cannot see any way in which Rip Van Winkle beats Ghaanati today.  Too many questions about RVW for me.  Paco Boy is a qualiy horse and the sensible bet is 1.55 on him placing.  2 to 1 on to place is printing cash imo, but I don’t like tipping up odds on. 


PACO BOY Win £20 4.5 Betfair 7/2 Ladbrookes, Blue Square, Betfred

ROI DE VITESSE – The G2 at 2.45pm has an interesting runner at 18s on BF – ROI DE VITESSE

Derby Day

With work taking an unfortunate precedence, few posts this week and neither myself or Ade (who seems to have gone to ground since the German ousted him as taking someone elses work!) have kicked off the contest.  I am changing that with some action today.

Derby Day, its raining.  After getting up at 5.30 with my two young boys, I have taken the opportunity to fill my belly with coffee and found moments to read the RP and think through much of the Derby evidence.  Maybe it is fatigue but I am convinced I have the winner.  This is not normally a good sign – My winning bets are directly inverse to the level of confidence I have in them, which really hints that I should give the game up.

However, with May showing a tidy profit, June needs a decent start so here goes. 

The Derby.

Current Market (Betfair)

Sea The Stars 3.95
Fame And Glory 5.1
Rip Van Winkle 7.8
Gan Amhras 8.4
Black Bear Island 9.4
Masterofthehorse 18.5
Crowded House 22
Age Of Aquarius 23
Kite Wood 48
Golden Sword 36
Montaff 80
Debussy 80

Here are my views and selections:

Seas the Stars – John Oxx has had a fantastic season and his sole Derby representative is likely to start as favourite after many people liked his 2,000 Guineas win.  I am less sure of this runner and have a few reservations.  Firstly, the trip is unsure both on breeding and form.  I am not saying he definitely will not get it but it is not a nice question to have in the Derby.  I am also not enamered as many are with the 2,000 Guineas form.  Delegator failed to frank it when expected to take the Irish version, which may not have been a damning piece of form given the heavy conditions faced but Sea The Stars (although tipped by the Major in the 2,000) is overlooked here.  If anything I think he might be a place lay.  O’Brien is a master of tactics – He is running half of the field!  I am sure Golden Sword will be put to good use and will draw the sting from STS.  Plus, 2000 Guineas winners have not had a great recent record in the Derby.

Fame and Glory – I am glad to see FAG (how unfortunate) is the favourite of the O’Brien contingent.  Ultimately he has a right to be.  Unbeaten in four starts and taking the same winning route many other Ballydoyle stars have on route to Derby success.  Much more likely to get the trip, this is better opposition than he has ever faced but I fancy a step up in class.

Rip Van Winkle – RVW is a puzzle to me.  This horse has been heavily fancied and I must admit to having some antepost action on him at 12s which I later got out of at 7s.  Johnny Murtagh has picked him and as Ballydoyles number one jockey this is influential.  It has been very influential in the market and I am sure that Fame and Glory would be hot property and a certain favourite if the emporers thumb had gone the other way.  I am unsure this will get the trip as well and since I am not sure of the 2000 Guineas form, it’s fourth there is not great form.  It would not be the first time Johnny has made the wrong selection and to be fair it is not an easy choice.  I for one think he will be regretting his selection at 3.50pm today.

Gan Amhras for me has a better curve than many others at the head of the market.  He is likely to appreciate the step up in trip and has great claims for a place, if not a shot at the title.  More than any other 2000 Guineas rival, this one to me looked like he would be a Derby horse – In my thoughts.

Black Bear Island – This was my early Derby favourite and I must admit to having some antepost slips in his favour.  A full brother to a previous Derby winner, this Dante winner will definitely favour a mile and a half.  I think of the O’Brien runners this is the best closer from deep and that could be crucial.  Ryan Moore picks up the ride and while I am not a big fan (I think he likes the glory of holding up far superior horses, delivering it as late as possible to have commentators cooing over his timing!  Occassionally he gets this badly wrong and gets considerably and justified stick).  For my criticism, I think that style will suit BBI.  I dont think this one has to improve that much to feature and with tactics in this crucial, the race may be run to suit…  hmmm.

Other mentions – The masterofthehorse poor run (see previous post on JMs bad week at Chester) may mask a better horse.  Golden Sword held him that day after being given far too comfortable a lead.  Surely Golden Sword has a tactical role today.  Plus, if O’Brien needs to pressure Sea the Stars and test that stamina, Golden Sword will be put to more use and therefore more useless in the final 2f.  Kite Wood requires significant improvement and I am sure some will come but not enough – outside place hope with Frankie up top especially if he settles better (was keen in the Dante).  Montaff is also overpriced with Hills to help this horse – I will overrule this horse from entering the frame so I am not backing too much but essentially the second to Age of Aquarius when entitled to the run is not bad form for this.  For me the right price is 25/1 not 50/1, thats all I am saying.  Debussy has ground to make up on horses I dont fancy so is easy to rule through.

How will it pan out?

I fancy Golden Sword to bowl along at a generous gallop.  O’Brien will want to ask Sea the Stars the crucial stamina question and I am sure the riding instructions for GS will be to make the most of him.  I would be surprised if Fame and Glory was held up and I fancy Heffernan to have this one cruising in fourth at the top of the hill.   Held up, Black Bear Island and Age of Aquarius will be suited by a generous pace and I expect them to be flashing home at the finish.

 What a great Derby – Five Questions Answered by 3.50pm (My predictions too)

Was RVW the right choice for Johnny Murtagh?

No I think he will regret it – I think the prize will go to Ballydoyle but not with VW

Will the recent death of Vincent O’Brien mean an emotional win for his son?

No doubt his fathers death will be on Aidans mind today and noone would fail not to see a fitting tribute witha  Ballydoyle winner.  Vincent was the king of all trainers on the flat and over the obstacles – It is never wise to be on emtional outcomes but racing has a habit of writing its own tale and I think an O’Brien trained one two is the right result.

Does Sea the Stars have star quality?

No, I do not think his 2,000 uineas win was as impressive as many others do – Happy to be proved wrong but too many questions on this one and I would be happy to place lay at 1.6.

A surpise on the books?

To me the race has a flavour of that but history says no.  You have to go back to ’98 to find a double priced winner-  This leaves RVW, Gan ahmras, Sea the Stars, Black Bear Island and Fame and Glory to choose from.

What is the result then?

1. Fame and Glory 2. Black Bear Island 3. Gan Amhras 4. Sea the Stars 5. RVW 6. Age of Aquarius 7. Kite Wood 8. Masterofthehorse 9. Montaff 10. Golden Sword 11. Crowded House  12. Debussy

Advice: Fame and Glory Win £20 4/1 generally available and £10 win and place on Black Bear Island 9.4 and 2.96

Tim Versus Ade: £250 on Fame and Glory at 4/1 £200 ew on Black Bear Island 9.4 and 2.96 – Good Luck

Ouch – Quevega was not the best of the three!

Let’s start with the 2,000 guineas.  I do enjoy the first classic of the season the most.  Watching George Washington win this a few years back was a fantastic experience for me, probably his best performance, the turn of foot was explosive. 

This renewal doesn’t throw up an obvious superstar.  Coolmores superb record in the race cannot be overlooked and therefore Mastercraftsman and Rip van Winkle are of obvious interest.  I have them both backed ante-post which on reflection was like printing money as they inevitably shorten up.. wish I had printed more of it!

RVW suffered a stone bruise recently but that hasn’t put off J Murtagh from taking the ride, could this be the finger from Coolmore identifying the better runner.  They usually know their best runner but not always and so money for either on the day would be significant in my eyes.

Mastercraftsmen will get the top ground surface he likes and Pats Smullen is equal in my eyes to Johnny Murtagh.

Both have clear chances but the selection comes from another Irish Raider, John Oxx.  Sea the Stars is a well bred horse who must rate as a great price for the Derby at this stage (will probably be better at the distance).  However, the trainer is shrewd enough and with pace assured and always does well when straying into big English races.

Punchestown Four Year Old Hurdle 2.55 Grade One

Put simply Mourad looks by some margin the best of these.  With Willie and Walsh both on fire this week, this one looks good for some profit making.

4/6 doesn’t put me off.


To make a change, a football fixture is selected.

The horror show (Sorry Latics and Bolton fans) is at the JJB where two teams with nothing to play for meet Wigan v Bolton.  Wigan are the leagues lowest scorers, neither team do well in North West derbies.  Uninspiring stuff.  0-0, 1-0, 0-0 HT, Less than 2 goals…. take your pick.


Back Sea the Stars win £5 13 and place £5 4.4

Back Mourad Win £30

Back 0-0 10, 1-0 8.8, 0-0 HT 2.9 and less than 2 goals 3.5 all with £3.