Tag Archives: shackleford

Saturday Sermon – Tips for Breeders Cup, Santa Anita – Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby | Down Royal JNWine Thoughts

Good morning from the Major who writes from a cold Worcestershire rural scene where conditions lack dignity of ice or frost.  Instead we are treated to a wind chill – It is somehow a dirtier cold.  If we are to be in winter, we should do it properly.

My post yesterday was a disaster.  Conditions at Santa Anita are set up for upsets.  A tight turning turf track on firm which is unusual for all European horses and a dirt track that most have never raced upon.

My selections went from bad to worse and the only thing I got right was Fame and Glory being finished.  Even in his best conditions he is a done deal so the time to retire is right.  I cannot claim too much glory for this correct premonition.  Talking to my brother he said: Well done you got one horse not to win… ouch.

This is going to be fairly brief because I have an essay to write and this is simply a distraction from the lofty studies of business.

You will be glad to hear that the sermon has been reduced.  Suffice to say this, enjoy yourself today.

Santa Anita – Breeders Cup Tips

Draw is essential – That was the lesson I learned last night.  You do not want the inner berth, those horses get trapped on the rail – Look what happened to The Fugue and Sky Lantern, finishing full of running but having nowhere to go.  Getting out is not easy from the inside position, you are better to come slightly wider (like Flotilla).

6.50 Juvenile Turf – Gervinho has been reportedly putting in good track work and I am going to take a 16/1 chance that this could be the best of the home team.

Tips for the 7.35 Fillie and Mare Sprint – Groupie Doll has been transformed by headgear but has some ground to make up so I am going to opt for Dust and Diamonds at 11/2 (Hills) – Lost as to why this 7f contest is a sprint!

8.14 – Dirt Mile – Shackleford needs to have the race run to suit and I am not sure it will be.  I am going to take a chance that Bob Baffert has got to the bottom of Fed Biz poor latest show and the 6/1 (Coral) shot puts his best foot forward here.

8.57  Turf Sprint – Starspangledbanner has had some injury problems and is polaxed by draw 14, it would be one of the best performances ever to beat this field from there.  Yet my tip is only 5 berths left.  8/1 Bridgetown is the call and will be doing his best work at the finish with Mizdirection and Corporate Jungle.

9.36 Grey Goose Juvenile – Shanghai Bobby looks a class act to me… Go lumpy at 2/1.

10.18 – 1m 4f Breeders Cup Turf Tips – A cracking race in which St Nicholas Abbey bids to win again.  There is some tough opposition though and the one that the Major fancies is 5/1 (Paddy) Shareta – The Japanese raider is a danger to all.

10.58 Sprint – Call me crazy but I am opting for 40/1 (Betvictor)  Hamazing Destiny.  My tip has finished in the top 5 in this race twice already and while drawn wide, will get the help of a suicidal pace in the field.

11.40 Santa Anita – Breeders Cup Mile

Then the race we wait all night for.  It is worth staying up just to get a look at Wise Dan.  This chestnut monster looks like he would rip your face off given a chance!  An absolute herculean looking animal, he is in at 11/4.

I am not sure Moonlight Cloud who was so close to downing Black Caviars colours in the summer will enjoy these conditions.

Excelebration has obvious form claims and a win would only go on to stamp Frankels authority on the global racing scene through collateral form.

On balance though, I think Wise Dan for the home team is a strong win tip.

Charlie Hall Chase Tips

What a shame only 6 make it to the start for the Charlie Hall.  Surely a grade 2 chase with £50k+ for the winner could command a greater turn out?

Planet of Sound probably needs genuine good ground to be seen at his best and so is ruled out.

Master of the Hall goes well fresh and is a big price at 10/1.  Yet I cannot see how he will give 5lbs to exciting second season chaser Silviniaco Conti who should take the Charlie Hall for Team Ditcheat at 6/4.

Down Royal – JNWine Chase Tips

The JNwine is the feature track race of the year and it is a shame they have lost Sizing Europe from the card this morning.

I like Kauto Stone but think he might fall just short of top class and would be happier with a slice of the 10/3 about Quito De La Roque who goes well fresh and will enjoy it today.

In the football, Sunderland odds against to beat a lacklustre Villa is appealing at 6/5.  So is 8/11 Man Utd to beat Arsenal.  Tottenham are too short at 8/15 but it is no punters price.

May your dinner be delightful and the company generous.  I apologise for the rushed edition but I have work to do.  Wish me luck.

Courage, roll the dice.

The Saturday Service – York Handicap Tips | Tip for the Belmont Stakes | William Hill Greyhound Special | U21 Football Tips

Good morning to British punters, one and all, from sunny Pershore.  We have some winners lined up today…. The Majors coffee has been bubbling away for several hours and the thinking cap is worn and fraying.

The Major needs to build a war chest – Get all in on the lucky 15

It is a day of thin sporting gruel ahead of the feast of Royal Ascot which thunders on the horizon, menacing and exciting – Relentless in it’s approach, dramatic it’s entry, breathtaking and humbling.

The Major plans on posting ahead of each day of the Royal Festival.

Shockingly I am looking to get Frankel beaten.  Yes, you read those words, no need to rub your eyes or adjust your browser.  The more I have considered it, the more I regard his 2,000 Guineas win warily.  The time was unexceptional, the opposition have done little since.  It was a freak performance and against better opposition, I think he needs to settle much better, 1/3 is no price and I will be looking at Dubawi Gold, Excelebration and the Japanese hyper horse, Grand Prix Boss who is priced up dismissively at 16/1.

The Major needs a winning weekend.  I need a couple of tasty winners.  If I am to make it through Royal Ascot, I need to get hold of some ammunition.

At times like this, it is tempting to look down the slips to find longer priced horses with better chances.  This temptation can be the fast way to the poorhouse, we need best value whether it lies in a 2/5 on shot or a 200/1 effort.

Desire is a curious thing.  If there were a cure we might be better as a species, I doubt it though.  The bible teaches that to covet is wrong and that envy is a deadly sin.  In this view, gambling is also a sin.  There is an old Chinese fable of the Stonecutter which seems apt….

There was once a stonecutter, who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day, he passed a wealthy merchant’s house, and saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant.

To his surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself.

Soon, a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed.

It was a hot summer day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers. But a black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it — a huge, towering stone. “How powerful that stone is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a stone!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a stone!”

Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock, and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I, the stone?” he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter

The Majors pursuit of gambling glory is less about material gain than the journey itself.  If you have felt the sinews of your body tighten as your horse cruises into contention two furlongs from home with the jockey motionless and your mind furiously computing the risks to you, shortly collecting from the desk a donkey choking wad of notes, then you have lived.

On the subject of good things, the Major suggests the great American novels ‘A Man in Full’ and ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’ both by Tom Wolfe.  Funny and powerful – I cannot think of a greater insight into your existence and what greater compliment can I put forward than that.  See the Major is here to make you money on horses, lose you some on football and enhance your live in ways you never imagined.

To the sports and the racing tracks of Britain.

Selecting races to have a pop at today has been tricky.  I have dismissed a massive amount of contests but have a couple I think are worth a punt.  Firstly, the handicap at York which is race of the day in Britain on a card that is light on quality ahead of the coming Berkshire based riches.

3.15 York – Bond Tyres Trophy Stakes

Pricewise has to be the best racing tipster of our time, who else literally moves markets?  This can be a right royal pain in the derriere when he selects the same horse you have had your eye on and your 10/1 evaporates before your eyes.  Thankfully today, the racing Post maestro is on What About You, a horse the Major has a line through.  His other selection Acclamazing is considered in my book but also has the red line through it.

Seal Rock has to have a superb chance.  Only three races (all won) he is certainly unexposed yet his last win in a four runner event is so markedly different to this, I would be worried about it as a prep run.

Swiss Dream is of big interest and I think race conditions will suit this son of Oasis Dream.  The stable will have had this as the big target and not a lot puts me off apart from the fact that they have had just one winner and a handful of places from 16 starts in the last fortnight.

The main selection though is the favourite Desert Law at 6/1 generally.  The services of one of the Majors favourites, Jimmy Fortune will help this colt.  His reappearance run was solid and surely he has more to offer.

The advice, for clarity, is simple.  A hefty lump on Desert Law to win.  For those that prefer my other selection, I must point out that Skybet are 5 PLACES! on the race.  At 8/1 Seal Rock makes a decent each way saver and so, what the hell, the Major advises that too.

Stating the Obvious – Four Winners – Four Steps to Tipping Heaven

Having covered the major race, I am now settling in to win us a Royal Ascot fund.  No messing around, winners is what we need.  I have cooked up the uber-bet, settle in, prepare your cannon for the four leg lucky 15.

Leg One is the 3.50 at York, get on Sea Moon now, he will only shorten but in my view is a 1/2 shot and is currently 10/11.

Never ready for the Derby, Sea Moon should see this lot off

I can only see the money going one way, get stuck in early.

Sea Moon was a derby entry early in the seaason – Surely he has enough to see off these handicappers off a mark in the low 90’s – This would be a major dissapointment if it did not go in.

Leg two is the 11/8 about Iceland (with Hills) to win against Belarus in the U21 championship.

Iceland U21s to explode like a volcano….. sorry

I think the 11/1 about the Icelanders winning the tournament is decent value too but they should definitely have the firepower to overcome a Belarus team missing their key striker.

Live on Sky, this can give all of you football fans a well needed injection of your favourite stuff!

Leg three is the 10.12pm Greyhound Derby live on Sky Sports.

Taylors Sky a lovely white dog ready to be the Majors best friend

The betting suggests that this is a wide open affair but the Major thinks that track record holding TAYLORS SKY is the answer.  Trainer, Charlie Lister has won the Greyhound Derby 5 times, 2/1 is available at William Hill and Ladbrokes.

While tipping the Greyhound Derby, I also like the market Ladbrokes have open on the last finisher.  11/4 Westmead Guru is the advice.

Leg Four is Animal Kingdom to win the Belmont tonight.

Unlike the Preakness, the Berlmont is live on At the races (415 on Sky)

I have not had much joy tipping up winners in the American Classics but hope to make amends.  Shacklefords Preakness win really went to show what a poor crop of three years olds have come through this year.  That day, Animal Kingdom had a hellish ride and could only get to within a half length.  I think all jockeys will be wary of a crawling pace being set again and this will suit Animal Kingdom.  I hope the heavy rain stays off the Belmont track as this will not improve the race at all.

This lucky 15 is best placed with Hills, for the Majors record, I will only count the advices above in the record as singles.

If you only want one shot to glory today…. go for a tasty double on Iceland and Sea Moon.  Right now they are 11/8 and 5/6 with Hills.  A £25 strike will return £110 less the change and you can thank me later.

I cannot mention the Belmont Stakes without referring you to the most breathtaking horse the Major believes ever to have lived.  The only horse that graces the Majors office in picture form, I have a signed (jockey) photo of Secretariat 30l clear in the straight with the jockey having a long look behind him to see glorious fresh air.

Secretariat set a (still held) world record, in the 73 Belmont, on his own, in the straight with not even a hint of the whip.  Wonder horse.  My favourite piece of commentary is in this race… there are two bits that make my hair stand on end… Secretariat is blazing along…. he is widening now, he is moving like a tremendous machine,……  he is all alone, he is out there all alone…. watch and understand followers, it is good to live while legends do – Messi, I salute you.  Frankel, I may be against you but I hope you are a wonder horse too.  Watch the video and see what you are up against!

Tonight’s entertainment should be hamper style in the open air.  Within a ten mile radius of the Majors humble abode in Worcestershire, we have two beautiful rivers, the Avon and the Severn.  On their banks at this time of year, you can watch swallows in the field as the sun sets.  Take a nice cold Chablis and plates of Serrano ham, soft cheeses, fresh bread, olives, pate and a good blanket.  Most women enjoy this sort of arrangement so take your pick, if you want to be at partners, I suggest taking a guide to the stars, what more romantic notion could their be than kicking back and looking upon the Lords heavenly panorama with a buxom filly sighing on your shoulder.

Good luck to you all, courage and roll those dice.