Tag Archives: saoirse dun

The Easter Monday Sermon – Fairyhouse and Plumpton

Good evening from the Major who writes from Birmingham where rain, tinged with its Siberian bleak origin, splatters down onto darkened streets, diffusing the neon lights and making good shelter the more welcome.

The Major is visiting the parents for Easter and shall return to Worcestershire with the morning light.  I took the opportunity to take a couple of beers with my brother too, possibly the easiest person to spend time with that this Earth can offer.  We journeyed into Walsall to take in a few frames of snooker, I struggled to land many decent blows as my superior safety, a dubious claim, was not good enough to prevent his superior shot quality.

The club, I knew as a child as Masters had been renamed Midlands Snooker Academy.  This might sound grand but do not be fooled, the interior decor would be exactly as you would expect, dingy, dark, ceiling with random holes and water stains, poor lighting, the evidence of one or two disputes written into the fixtures and fittings; you know the sort of places.  Yet, the grandiose name is done justice in the quality of the new equipment.  Eight brand new championship tables have been installed with a view to making the club a hotbed of snooker talent in the future.  Pro’s are starting to show up too, earlier in the day, Mark Ford rocked up and gave some of the juniors some coaching.  He plays Judd Trump this week, keep your eyes peeled.  Good luck to the club too, ambition is a magnificent thing.

The snooker club was dry, perhaps in keeping with its new philosophy.  So, with the witching hour upon us, we fell into the cold desolate Walsall town centre to see what fayre was on offer.  Now, I shall not purport that one thin slice of a place should reveal everything there is to be known.  No.  Yet, your faithful correspondent can only report that Walsall at night is a representation of civilisation breaking down at the edges.

Police cars park across the streets where three nightclubs host bawdy revellers.  Probably sensible to close the road given the hazardous nature with which the establishments spill their guts onto street.  Yet, a heavier police presence is noticeable on the drag too and passing the clubs, with their cheap alcohol promotions, music that deadens the brain cells and dubious looking inhabitants thick with gold jewellery, it was only the determination that runs through the family line that kept us plodding on, in search of more favourable grounds in which to have a quiet beer.

We came across a generic town centre chain pub; could be a Lloyds or a Weatherspoons, I couldn’t care, neither could the staff and the quality of the beer served told of pipes screaming for a good clean.  The walls carried pictures of various famous denizens of Walsall; actors from Eastenders and Coronation Street; BBC presenters and comedians; Noddy Holder and a guy from a heavy metal band whose name now, in the small hours escapes me; I think it was Judas Priest, I literally cannot raise the energy to look.  All of this, reminded of a sense from a time long gone; I remember crab fishing as a child, pulling in the various lines laden with bait, only to find the smallest of returns.

I am most likely being unkind.  Walsall is a place that holds fond childhood memories, the market, the smells, the marble shop on the hill.

To the sports:

Easter Monday Racing

The Major is on a black run.  Dark times.  I recognise that mentioning this is probably not going to endear the following advice to you but it is only fair that I acknowledge the performance of my recent advice within the public record.

It is not only that Saturdays Sermon tips failed to perform, all of my extracurricular bets, also fell apart at the seams.  With Tottenham 3-1 up in an open ended game, 15 minutes to spare and Fulham with the ball on the penalty spot, well, I was on my way to collect my +4.5 bet.  That failure about sums things up.

Still, Easter Monday is a rich day of racing and maybe we can find something to put together in some sort of combination?

Plumpton is not normally a winning track for me and in present condition I should probably steer well clear.  However, I am taken by the record of Alan King at the track and he has a few nice runners.

Although no prices are up for the opener, I suspect Mystery Drama will be very short change but it goes in my multiples on account of some excellent listed form and a taste for good ground.

I am going to stick with him on the implausible looking No Substitute who can be backed at 6/1 for the second race on the card.  This horse has taken no racing but is in good ownership and it is telling that they have persevered.

The third and we have a hat-trick of King bets with Hollow Penny – The Exeter race last time was better than this and given the horse has been laid out for these better conditions, I am a buyer at 5/2.

Probably the best card of the many, is Fairyhouse, which contains a 12/1 the field Irish Grand National head scratcher.  Only once in the last ten years has the race been won by a horse shorter than 10/1 and the winners have returned 50/1 once and 33/1 four times… That tells you everything you need to know.  The race has also had only one winner carrying more than eleven stone since the millennium.  You are as well off with a pin and I shall not pretend to shed much light beyond what I have already and suggest with extreme caution that Saoirse Dun might just give us some fun for 25/1.

The biggest bet of the day for me will be on the Fairyhouse card (2.45) as I am hugely interested in the chances of Clarcam, 11/4.  Regulars know that Noel Fehily is a jockey I consider to be at the top of his trade and he makes an effort to get over to ride for Gordon Elliot, which is a debut.  This horse ran respectably until crashing out of the Fred Winter and followed that up with an excellent second by under 2 lengths to Guitar Pete in the Aintree juvenile event, form enough and an expert ride, load up.

Feeling weary and, as you can readily tell, defeated; I shall leave Easter Monday to the rest of you with the energy to read all of those races.  I shall retire a poorer man in pocket but much richer with the sights that Walsall has given me.

Courage, roll the dice.

Sunday Racing Tips from the Major who is presently winning his battle!

Good evening from the Major who writes a brief post of tomorrows key action.

Firstly a moment to wallow in the glory.  The good form continues and the Major was delighted to have picked out several winners yesterday.

I am sure you will all follow me religiously now as I hurtle solidly towards the cold list.  There are plenty of seats on this bus.

Of todays racing, I was most taken with Rigadin de Beauchene.  His win was a great harmony of equine determination and stamina coupled with a jockey who kept on when most would have of cried enough.  McCoy would have been proud.

Sunday is coming to us and we shall try to uncover a few likely sorts.  If you had some winners today, I trust you are doing what is right… Investing in your Cheltenham position.

I will write some ante post Cheltenham pieces soon but my portfolio holds Zarkander as well as Grandouet, Dynaste, Simonsig, Taquin du Seuil (mainly for the Neptune for which I need a fair wind), Quevega (Mares hurdle is my reckoning), Oscar Whisky (World Hurdle) and Long Run in the main event.

To Sunday and the sports…

Navans Grade C Chase – 3.15

This is a trappy old race and a number of interesting horses show up.

Saoirse Dun competed well in lesser events before slipping up at Cork.  I’m not sure that form is good enough but he is progressing and will be OK on the ground – Could be a danger for all off a featherweight.  Harpsy Chord on the other hand was running well in a much stronger race at Limerick when coming a cropper, he is a contender.   That holds Somekindsuprstar and Armaramak.

Tarquinius has done well in winning his last two races, he has some good course form too.  Conditions pose no problem either.

It really comes down to which race you want to take a form line from, which horses will handle the testing conditions and which pilots you trust the most.

Harpsy Chord and Tarquinius are my favoured two with preference for the former (9/2 Boylesports).  I would not put you off a reverse forecast play too at juicy prices.

Kelso Tips – Sunday

I have more fancies on the Kelso card, let us see if we can find a few winners.

I really do like the favourite in the first, Woodpole Academy (Back over evens), plenty in his favour.  The Newcastle win has been well franked by Maybe I Wont who was runner-up but then demolished the field on his next outing.  The McCain / Maguire machine is taken to do its work.

Fentara looks a pick in the second but I can neither trust that one to clear the fences well enough or find enough merit in the rest of the field.

In the 1.50 – You have to be on Corrin Wood.  Could Gervin Chambertin had been more impressive last time out?  Yet Corrin Wood gave him a real battle on his penultimate start losing by a small margin.  Having won well on his last start, you can only interpret that as thoroughly progressive.   He is likely to be 1/2 but I will be including it in my multiples – You might be reading it thinking that I am a lazy tipster for offering this but what can I say – Horse is class, the team are in good form, he is proven on the surface – He should win!

In the 2.20 it is really difficult to rate Sergeant Pink and Gleann Na Ndochais.  Their last race saw the latter seemingly get on top before the former rallied and won.  A 4lb reverse, plus an error by Gleann Na Ndochais give it a fine chance but Sergeant Pink is a horse that is less exposed over fences and I stick with it tentatively at 5/2.

That’s all I like at Kelso as the last three races look overly complex.

Courage and roll those dice…