Tag Archives: roderic o connor

The Majors Saturday Service – The Preakness Stakes, The Budapest Bullet, The Irish 2,000 Guineas and Premier League Football Tips

Good morning fair punters of Britain (and those followers from Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong!).  The Major reaches out to you this fair morning from his kitchen table in lowly Pershore.  Another bright May morning, Britain’s turf is slightly parched but the Major has ensured a good liquid intake this last week which may explain the later post today.

A tasty double on Sole Power and Roderic O Connor could pay for a nice new fur you know.....

For those that like to track my results, I have finally updated them.  It took some time but showed April at nearly 20% profit, May is off to a good start too and we shall not rest today from our ceaseless battle with the enemy.

I was provoked into updating the results by a good friend who follows the Major.  He is to emigrate to the United States next week and a few evenings before, we set about a last Hoorah which was an event in itself.  Suffice to say that the evening culminated in a police incident, thankfully no-one was hurt and the Majors likely inferior wrestling skills were left untried.  My friend, the ever upstanding citizen ensured that justice prevailed.

A life in the States… I would say I am excited for him but lack envy.  St Louis is the destination for the good man of Yorkshire. 

At the turn of the 19th century, it is hard to believe that only one town in the States had a population of more than 50,000, New York.  A total population of less than 6 million lived there lives in small dwellings and farms.  The 20th century bought an explosion in growth that is breathtaking.  A 14 fold increase in population including the creation of three cities with over 1 million inhabitants.

No greater catalyst for growth existed than the railway.  Originally conceived to enable cattle to be sold at more expensive Northern prices, by 1893, the States had a transcontinental railway which had line running from Kansas City to St Louis, a lifeline for the city. 

St Louis was a fur station unsurprising given it’s position where the great Mississippi and Missouri rivers join before continuing their journey south ultimately joinging the Gulf of Mexico.  The settlement developed as part of the westward expansion throughout the 19th century.  

In the early 20th century during prohibition, the town had a fair share of gang based crime.  Bootlegging was the game and it led to men being gunned down on the streets of St Louis – I am sure my friend, young Adam, will use his crime fighting prowess to effect should any dissident souls remain.  They do not know who they are messing with, he is from Barnsley you know….

Those great rivers that converge near St Louis, roll on relentlessly like our own quest for sporting profit.  Good luck to you young Adam, there may be less gold, fur or pig iron empires to be built but the dice said you would prosper and they never lie.  This Saturday Service is for you.

To the sports……

The Temple Stakes, 3pm Haydock – The Budapest Bullet

Hype is part of horseracing and there is plenty surrounding the British debut of Overdose, the Budapest Bullet.  The winner of 15 races from 16 starts, this sprint sensation comes with a fan base – The Temple Stakes from Haydock will be televised in Hungary!

Despite the visual impact of the horses victories (often winning by 10l+ in 5f sprint contests!), it is hard to weigh up this horses achievements given many of his wins have been in Germany, Italy and Austria.  In fact there is only one piece of form the Major would use as a benchmark.  In 2008, at the Arc meeting, Overdose contested the 5f sprint.

The race was a farce as one set of gates failed to open, unawares (although the flags were prominent), half the field contested a race which Overdose won.  The race was void and re-run.  Half the field stood down including Overdose and the official winner was the lovely grey sprint machine Marchand D’Or.

It might not be on the official records but the opposition and the time of that non-race were impressive – Any of that form and Overdose wins.  He has been off with serious injury in-between but has also won a further 5 races, losing the once. 

Tangerine Trees looked impressive in the Palace Stakes.  He is one of a few front-runners and on good ground, I suspect we want a closer at Haydock.

Sole Power fits that bill. 12/1 with Bet365 this is the selection – The York run last year was in similar conditions and I think this race will suit.

As for the Bullet, well he is friendless in the market.  He has drifted to 10/3 with Stan James and I am going to suggest we take a piece of that too.  I think it is the fair price with a lot of questions remaining to be answered.  I hope he destroys them, it will be great for the sport.  Even better if Henry Cecil announces afterwards that Frankel is going to step back to 5f to settle the score!  Unlikely.

The Irish 2,000 Guineas, 3.45 The Curragh

This is about the weakest running of the 2,000 Irish Guineas as I can remember.

The way Frankel set about the British Guineas field was explosive but made the race a bit of a farce.  While Richard Hughes is confident that the form of Dubawi Gold was solid and fair, the Major is less certain.  Frankel had so many horses off the bridle in under 2 furlongs , it both took the breath and ensured that no other horse was likely to run it’s planned race.  I think the form should be thrown out and get back to basics.

That day the Major fancied, Roderic O’Connor, the O’Brien horse.  If you take the face value 38l defeat, you would send it to a seller!  Clearly this was not the expected running and I think back in Ireland, this horse might show us why he was the choice to be number one miler for O’Brien at the Guineas.

Currently 4/1 with Stan James, load up the cannon and thank me later.

The Preakness

It is the second of the American classics tonight with the Pimlico Preakness.  Animal Kingdom was impressive in the Kentucky derby. 

You could argue that the way the race panned out with slow early sectional times, that Animal Kingdom may well be better tonight and represents terrific value as 2/1 favourite.

The Major is less sure.  The weather contributed to track conditions for the Derby and although I am sure the experience helped Animal Kingdom, I fancy others to come good this evening.

Top of my list is Dialed In.  He will be better primed for this than the Kentucky as he stands to gain a whopping 5.5$m bonus.  He has improved with every run, I have great expectations.

6/1 generally, a win bet is required.  Quarter past eleven, channel 415!

7.05 Newbury

The Major sniffs an opportunity in this with handicap debutante Poltergeist.  Currently 4/1 I expect it to be smashed up a bit given the 1 in 3 strike rate of Haggas horses on their initial handicap marks!  Fallon on board too, it is a money printing exercise…. Reboot it young Powell and change the toner cartridge!

3.50 Goodwood

I have been waiting for Ewell Place to reappear for the Robert Mills yard.  Last time out at Goodwood, the horse finished up second and was unfortunate to run into one of the many riches of juvenile talents that Richard Hannon trains.

There seems to be a similar story today with Richard Hannons Trumpet Major probably much better for the outing at Newbury given he seemed to run green before staying on to take a reasonable third. 

Update: Before I finished the post, Ewell Place was a non runner.  the advice is 8/13 with Paddy Power get stuck into Trumpet Major.

Have Ewell Place on your watch list though.  Last time out, it was backed into 3s from 8s….. someone thinks it has a decent maiden race in it.

To the sports fields….

Premier League action is all tomorrow but I advise you now to take Manchester United at 4/6 to beat Blackpool, Liverpool 13/10 to win at a lifeless Villa.

If you believe that Blackpool will lose at Manchester and that Spurs will beat Blues at home.  You are left with some tricky conundrums.  If Blues are losing by two goals, Wigan only need a point.  Likewise, Wolves Blackburn might be happy to share the spoils the longer the game goes on.

This makes the 9/4 about a draw at Molineux attractive too, get stuck in.

It is Henieken Cup day and I have to say that Northampton +6 in the handicap looks appealing.  The Irish are strong, but Northampton have a great front row and it should be a tight exciting affair.  Have a slice.

May your evening be graceful and elegant.  Entertain at home is the suggestion, how about that bright-eyed well decorated sort, great fun not likely one to want you to turn Bloomberg on.  Wine, spanish red.  Food, Hearty pasta with Chorizo, pepper, tomato, a nice oil and a grated fine parmesan…… enjoy.  As her taxi arrives, allow the quarry to see the roll of notes you extract from your jacket.  That should take her breath and she may even send the driver packing. 

Courage followers and roll those dice.

The Saturday Service – 2,000 Guineas Tips – Premier League – 4 tips – LOAD THE CANNONS!

Good morning faithful band of warriors from a Defford drizzled in filtered sunlight.

The coffee has been bubbling away for some hours and the Major is ready to unleash the value of the day for your astute gambling assessment.   Welcome, come in, immerse yourself in the advice, select and then relax into the days sports allowing yourself to feel alive with the pulse of a man who has staked more than he should on the outcome.

Well done Sir, now let me give you the leg up on Kingsgate Native.

The Major is not a royalist or a republican.  Yet I must say that watching some of the early proceedings yesterday, I could not help but think that the young Duke of Cambridgeshire seemed to be marrying in the colours of Cheveley Park Stud, good on him. 

What a great days sport.  The 2,000 Guineas seems to arrive earlier each season.  The first classic, run at Newmarket, over a mile is perhaps not the race it has previously been.  The Guineas is eclipsed by the prestige of the Derby and with no class horses wanting to run the St Ledger, the old buzz about attempts at the Triple Crown has gone.

This year is different with super horse Frankel on the scene, the racing world is alight at this years renewal.

My favourite 2,000 guineas winner was George Washington.  Gorgeous George.  I remember having a slice at 9/4 which seemed like a price from the gods as he travelled like a sports car, watching him slice through the pack before powering away out of the dip like a Grade 1 sprinter, it raises the hairs – Over a mile he could deliver a devastating turn of foot, off very quick paces too. 

He was an absolute stunner with a fetching white flash, what I loved most though was his personality.  He refused to enter the winners enclosure after his classic win, he was a horse that did things his way.

After his 2000 Guineas win he was a bit hit and miss and was a little injury prone – It didn’t help that he was retired to stud but found to be wanting and so came back to racing.  After his first run back, I remember Aidan O’Brien putting his tepid performance down to his failed stud career explaining that getting his mind back on racing was tough when he had been walking around with a fifth leg for the last few months!  He did get to win a QEII though and I am glad, it proved his class beating some quality milers.

What a tragic end for the fellow who sadly slipped on the bend while running in a Churchill Downs quagmire in the Breeders Cup Classic, 2007. 

Watch his QEII win, he travels so well off a strong pace.  With 300m to go, Mike Kinane seems to have him tucked up and in trouble but when the gap comes and the button is pushed, the turbo boosters are applied and it is over in seconds, KABOOM!  That is how I remember Gorgeous George Washington, just watch how his head carriage remains prominent and proud as he passes his last rival, he squares him straight in the eye, what a champion.

Tragedy happens in racing, as elsewhere in life.  Grief is an odd thing.  Longing.  Where did George Washington go?  Clearly his flesh and bone went the way of the furnace but is that all there is to all of us? 

If we hold on to the thought that a horse or a person is merely physical then there is no solution to grief.  The Major does not believe in ghosts.  Yet George Washington was more than just the sum of his muscle and sinew.  He created a memory.  Today that memory comes rushing to the fore.  If Frankel settles he has a similar turn of foot.  The pattern that George was a part of is relived.  Read Robert Pirsigs classic before you die.

 To the sports young warriors, put your war face on.

The 2011 2,000 Guineas – 3.10 Newmarket

Can Frankel be beaten?  Well he has not yet in 5 outings. 

Without doubt, this horse is one of the most exciting in recent years.  There are some question marks…

Is a mile far enough? Probably not..

Will he like the ground? He probably wants a touch more cut..

Will he settle from his wide draw? He has raced freely before so it is not guaranteed.

Weighing everything up, even with the questions, I think class will tell.  I cannot back a 4/7 shot.  Pathfork looks the best of the rest although I think Native Khan is the type to strip a lot fitter for his workmanlike seasonal debut win.  Fury is an unbeaten sort that is unexposed and at 16/1 in places, I would put nobody off an each way selection.  Likewise, Roderic O Connor who at 9/1 looks a decent place prospect and outside of Frankel is probably the best bred horse in the contest.

The selection is Roderic O Connor at 4/1 in the market without the favourite.

Only one other selection in the racing today.

8.15 Doncaster

Now as you well know the Major brings you the big races and the snippets that arouse suspicion in the smaller ones too. 

Paul Hanagan is at Newmarket today and has a reasonable book of rides.  I know he is going to be competing for the flat championship again and that makes me think there is good reason for him to trek to Doncaster to make his single ride in the last race aboard Hawk Mountain.  This 11/4 shot should not go unbacked, KABOOOOM, load the big cannons chaps.

To the football fields…

It is the time of the season where a new angle is bought into play.  Some teams are fighting for survival, others challenging for promotion.  This factor is often over priced and I am a fan of getting after relegation teams who are being shortened because they are playing a team who are safe yet further up the table.

A classic example is Bolton who are priced at 3/1 to win at Blackburn.  Can anyone remember Blackburns last win?  I will give you some clues…. Libya was a peaceful place, Ian Thorpe was in retirement, Australia was cyclone and flooding free, it was even before the super bowl.

Blackburn are in free fall.  More than 3 months without a win.  Bolton are in indifferent form themselves sandwiching a win against Arsenal with heavy defeats to Stoke and Fulham.  They have a decent record against struggling teams though and Blackburn are without David Dunn who is their creative influence.  Bolton make a tasty 3/1 win prospect, SHABASH!

Leeds are 13/10 to win at home to Burnley, have a slice of that.

Just 4 selections from the Major today.  Stick them in a lucky 15 and thank me later!

Tonight, drink Mohita before dinner and let the cool minty goodness seep through your veins.  Enjoy a classy meal in a decent establishment.  Eat alone, it is good for the soul.  As you call for a carriage at midnight, I hope your pocket bulges with the rewards from a fruitful day at the evils of gambling.  It is good to be alive on such a day.