Tag Archives: sea lord

Sunday Cheltenham Greatwood Card plus Punchestown and the Morgiana

Good morning from the Major who writes from the bed, lying lazy and peaceful.  Gazing out across the tranquil Worcestershire scene, I see my neighbours Weeping Willows and they capture the mood.  Drooping not out of weariness but out of sedate alleviation of all of life’s concerns.

The Paddy Power meeting at Cheltenham rolls on and yesterday, I consider the result to be one of hitting the bar.  I felt very right about Royal Irish Hussar and that was justified, even if a little obvious.  I was not overly perturbed by Shutthefrontdoor who ran brilliantly but could not get up to Le Bec.  It had an edge for me though which was the winner was piloted by Noel Fehily and regular readers will know that I am always at pains to back against him add into that the extremely positive mention I gave to the winner Alvarado (who I suggested a saver on).

Quentin Collonges ran well but unseated when beaten having made an error at the previous fence and charting a wide course throughout – No disgrace.  Then came the turning point in the day.  I felt my selection Colour Sargeant was desperately unlucky not to record a famous win.  He was almost bought down three out and had to pretty much stop.  Losing at least a half-dozen lengths, I thought it was an incredible performance to be just a half-length down and closing hard at the finish.  I am not saying he is a better horse than Johns Spirit as I suspect the winner did little after meeting the front but without the calamity that hit ours, well we could have got there, couldn’t we?  I know, I saw it.

Port Melon ran with credit into a place but I was expecting a bit more.  He already looks a chaser and more is to come I am sure.  The Henderson horse let us down a bit in a bumper that I think will be decent form despite the winner being a 22/1 shot.

Anyway, today, the racing is first class again on both sides of the Irish Sea.  I have had a look through and shall record my thoughts for your delectation.

Cheltenham and Punchestown Sunday Tips

One observation of Cheltenham is that the ground to me has been riding just a touch slower than I expected.  I thought we would have genuinely good ground but not many are picking up in it that well and so I am a little more cautious going into the last day.

The Cheltenham opener looks a real puzzle to me.  I like the Big Casino form as it ties well to Shutthefrontdoor but the rise he got for a seasonal debut win means he is lumping top weight around.  On the list all the same.  Lieutenant Miller comes with a placing in a Cesarewitch and Henderson has won this race several times in recent years.  Lots of potential improvers, and one eye catcher is Western Warhorse – A mark of 125 is quite a place to start in handicap company but I think this horse could turn out to be quite decent – He has the assistance of Maurice Linehan who takes a first ride for the Pipe yard and he gets my tentative vote.  Even as I type those words, I am mindful of the top weight Big Casino whose conquered foe last time out, Talkin Sence, went up to Kelso to frank that form…. Hmmmm

The second, the Supreme trial, has only a disappointing field of four but it is good quality stuff all the same.  Sea Lord won a listed contest last time out and has translated group flat form into this sphere really well.  That is up against The Liquidator who came fourth in the Champion bumper and then demolished his penalty kick hurdle maiden.  Lac Fontana may well improve but really needs to if he is going to give these two a race, though it is worth noting that Nicholls won this last year with Dodging Bullets.  In the end, you have to make a decision and mine is for The Liquidator but there is not a lot to go on.

The Arkle trial looks set to be fought out between the three principles.  I like Ted Veale and remember having a winner with him when he beat Tennis Cap at the festival, he has been busy over the summer and so I am sure remains fit.  Raya Star beat Dodging Bullets but I think today we will see the latter emerge as the superior animal.

At 2.40 expect a twitter meltdown as Mad Moose the mercurial star takes to the course at 25/1.  Will he start?  Who knows!  What is more sure is that Sire de Grugy looks good banker material against this lot of monkeys.  My selection is on form and odds against, he has not really run a bad race over fences and I think we can put that in our Sunday money printer!

As for the Greatwood… This is a race that has been won by some very decent horses in years gone by including Sizing Europe, Detroit City and Menorah.  Despite the field being 7/1 bar, it is noteworthy that only two-horse in the last ten years at odds in double figures, one being Brampour in 2011 at 12/1.

Four of the last Twelve winners did so from top weight, there is nothing wrong with the profile of a top class horse thus Court Minstrel, the Scottish National winner has to be considered.  I am not convinced though and I think I am looking for something else.  My profile is going to be a damn good horse, aged 5 with the handicapper still behind – The 4yo horses often look enticing, we have a list of likely candidates here, but their record is weaker.

Olofi and Numide both won from marks below 140 and while I am not wedded to that line, it shapes the horse I am looking for.  I think I have my candidate in Pine Creek who races off 137, is clearly improving and the half stone rise for coming away from a useful Ascot field (Dildar) with Chris Pea Green, looked good.

One point of note is to keep your trigger finger sharp.  If Raya Star does give Dodging Bullets a fair beating then it would be a tremendous advert for Tanerko Emery in the Greatwood…

In the bumper, while I like the prospects of Red Sherlock, I shall have a small investment instead on Champagne at Tara who is proven on the firmer ground.

At Punchestown, I am backing Felix Younger, 7/4, whose form with White Star Line looks better now.  I also feel Don Cossack, 10/11, should get the better of Morning Assembly – He appeals to me as the one with genuine top of the tree aspirations.  I am backing the pair in a tasty double.  Telling you that Hurricane Fly will win the Morgiana is like telling you the sun will rise in the morning.

Courage and roll those dice.

Thursday Racing Tips – Catterick

Good evening from the Major who has been studying the cards after watching an organised Swansea team do a job on Chelsea.  Why do Chelsea persist with Torres other than vanity?

Vanity is an odd thing, it is an offensive accusation but occasionally you come face to face with your own.  My moment of confrontation has come as I have to order a new company car.  It is a potent status symbol, if I were big enough to care not what others thought, I might be sensible.  Might is a big word.

Driving home tonight in the cold rural air, I turned off the Tewkesbury Worcester Road and onto the Upton Road.  No lighting, a hazy cold mist hugging the land.  In the distance, the stunning deep blue lights of a fire engine blinked.  It was a mile away and hurtling towards me but silent.   No need to shield my senses from the brute yet, in fact no sirens were on and the mist stifled the engine sound.  It was the colour that took the breath, so vivid.

It was a moment of pure beauty.  I wound down the window to feel the cold air rush in against my face.  Ah, it is good to be alive.

To the racing and Thursday tips.  Wednesday was an odd day.  I have been backing (as the comments highlighted) some short priced favourites and seeking multiples from them.  Five tips I put up that were shorter than 4/1, they all lost.  A few seconds, a few I would rather forgot I liked in the first place.  Yet a profitable day and all thanks to the one tip I advised at 6/1+ (SP 11/1) as King of Dudes duly obliged.

Catterick Tips

In the opener, the former Chapple-Hyam Cockney Sparrow looks an absolute banker and although scruffy at a few hurdles at Doncaster, is not likely to be inconvenienced by a half stone penalty.  No bet, likely 1/7.

I fancy the favourite in the second as well and a likely starting price of 4/5 won’t put me off Sue Smith’s Vintage Star.  Court in Session likes to bowl along and that might just do my selection a favour.  As a hurdler, Vintage Star won over three miles and I think the step back up in trip will be advantageous.

The 2.15 North Yorkshire National is going to take some getting and the horse I find progressively interesting is Chac Du Cadran at 12/1.  He has been knocking at the door and his racing style suggests this marathon distance just might be the making.

The 2.45 is a nice novice hurdle and the market revolves around two very interesting newcomers.  John Ferguson has been ploughing fertile grounds this winter with former half decent middle distance handicap recruits and Sea Lord looks more of the same.  It certainly has an element of class as on the flat, the horse progressed to Group winning status.  6/4 is not a bad price based on the likely class and he is in good hands.  This is further and softer than anything the horse has experienced and his all-weather profile tempers it a little but he was a much classier horse than Life and Soul.

In the 3.15, Brave Spartacus is a 8/15 favourite but I would be worried that over a two mile speedier distance some of the old jumping errors could make him a vulnerable favourite.  I will oppose it with a tip for Lucky Sunny (13/2 Hills) who looks a much better chaser than hurdler and has plenty to offer even off top weight.

Vinstar at 11/10 is my best Catterick tip as this looks easier than the Haydock race where he showed well into second.  The McCain French import should have too much for this crew.

I am trying to give a few mentions to the rest of the online racing and tipping community and tonight I suggest following @aaowen on Twitter.  He loves debating his ratings and has started his blog tonight with a look at the Lexus, Hennessy, Betfair and King George form lines.

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.