Tag Archives: sir graham wade

The Saturday Sermon – Racing Tips from Haydock and Sandown #crowdsourcingmultiple – Wimbledon and Lions – It is good to be alive…

Good morning from the Major who writes to you from a Worcestershire scene that is bright and damned splendid.  I was up early with the cool dawn to review the day’s sport, my company the bubbling coffee pot.  The garden is filled with a gentle golden light, the landscape here has come alive, it is souls awakening, I shall dust down the barbecue this evening.

The Major has a boss who swears by a pizza ovens’ superiority over the trusted barbecue.  I personally remain sceptical but plan one as a late summer project and shall report back accordingly.  I do like the idea of a table of toppings laid out while a tandoori-style clay oven roars aways with a small hardwood smokeless fire within.  It meets my pyromaniacal urges.

It is a good day to spend time outdoors, the sun on your skin, the fullness of summer about you.  By the time you get to dinner, whichever form yours takes, let us hope we have amassed winnings from our endeavours that bulge from our wallets embarrassingly.  Digging into your ribs, an uncomfortable reminder of the wages of sin which we relentlessly pursue.

The Major was at a family members 70th birthday last night.  At this fine age, as one might expect, the gentleman was concerned of his own mortality.  Not bleatingly morbid you understand, more considerately reflective.  We have but a short time on this river my friends… If I assume an average readership of 40 years of age, then you all have approximately 2,000 more Saturday Sermons before your demise, some less, some more…

Just think about that for a moment.  You visit another 2,000 times and then you die.  Spend this time wisely.  My advice to you, for what worth it might carry, is this – You, and only you, can be trusted to know your own mind and what you believe to be good and worthwhile.  Thus, cast off social conditioning and act accordingly, pleasure and generosity, seek harmony, judge not and allow ones heart to race with possibility.

We float by just the once, enjoy the trappings of what comes on the current… as the old Persian saying goes… lick up the honey stranger and ask no questions.

Dust, we all come together in the end.  In the meantime, I have 2,000 shots at both making you appreciate this drivel and landing you a mothership of biblical proportions.  Today, I have a real feeling that a monumental win is upon us.  There are some selections that I think have a bloody good chance so…..

Once again, daub thy war paint young warriors, sharpen that lance point and holster your curved blade, we may have to entertain the enemy at close quarters.   For they have closed their field positions and I intend us to skirmish towards them in open formation with infantry first, cavalry second, heavy horse last – There will be some warm work involved but I trust you all for it.  To the sports.

Sandown Tips

I love Coral Eclipse day – The race that pits the classic generation against their elders, the new pretenders versus the established stars.  We shall come to that…

In the opener, Plover looks the most enticing proposition having won a Kempton maiden well and run well on debut previously on Newbury turf, thus we can assume that the surface holds no problem.  The Oasis Dream filly is the likeliest winner but I am not confident enough to get too lumpy about the 13/8 branded about this morning.

The Major is even less enthusiastic about the second race which is a sprint.  The baton of success is handed from one horse to the next through the summer in these sorts of contests – Who knows – In the Crowd Sourced Multiple (a collection of tips from twitter) below, someone has suggested Kingsgate Native coming back to form after disappointing last time – Maybe?  No tip from me.

When horses fade late on in a race, the trainer often reaches for the ‘didn’t stay’ comment as a comfort.  This is what has happened with Windhoek who is now stepped back 400m in a hope to get back on winning form and fulfil earlier promise.  I like the horse and have fond memories of his win on Guineas day but often these trip changes mask an underlying issue… the horse is not good enough.  I remain here, ready to apologise personally to Windhoek and the fine Mr Johnston if proven wrong.

I do like Wentworth who is the subject of very positive mutterings from Richard Hughes.  I like Hughsie, decent sort, always gives an honest view – I am planning on doing a piece on my favourite jockeys soon and he is in the mix.  That said, I would say the weakest part of his race riding, to my amateur eye, is his positioning.  Over confidence or judgement gets him into some tight spots and Wentworth is drawn very wide today so this particular facet of his riding will be sternly tested.

No, I am having a small stake on Rockalong – He was a big disappointment on his penultimate start but was put away for a small break afterwards and then returned with a sharp runners up run at Salisbury – Could still be more to come and 11/1 gives us a sporting bet.

In the 3.15 is one of three ‘bets of the day’.  I am surprised that bookies are going 4/1 about Integral who looks to be a filly with a lot of opportunity.  Sir Michael Stoute trains the horse and this is a tried and tested route for some of his better horses… (3 winners in last 10 years).  Auction strikes me as the chief danger but I urge you all to load the heavy cannon here.

The Coral Eclipse is extremely fascinating if not the highest calibre renewal of the race.  Al Kazeem has proven a revelation as a five year old and is a deserving favourite.  As well as showing some class when putting Camelot (fallen from a lofty position), Al Kazeem showed grit at Royal Ascot.  I would not put you off, particularly if you are quick and get some of the 3/1 available.

In the last 16 years, there have been 5 winners of the Coral Eclipse that are in their classic years.  If ‘trip’ is oft the mask for a fundamental lack in equine quality, then unlucky in running is another… That brings us to Mars.  The only three year old in the Eclipse fits this description after disastrous poor luck in the Derby and in the Prince of Wales.  I like him but I don’t trust him.

The Major is plumping for The Fugue who in a poor Eclipse gives us an excellent chance.  She was a very good Nassau winner and her exploits in America were very good – The Prince of Wales was her seasonal debut which allows us room for further improvement… 9/2… come on girl.

Caucus has excellent tied form with Estimate which would put several of these opponents behind and looks the easy selection at 2/1 in the Marathon.

No tip in the last at Sandown.

Haydock Racing Tips

I was originally tipping just two horses at Haydock, Tumblewind and Albasharah but the Major loves nothing more than the request of a well heeled looking sort and Nicola (@madgecarlton) asked me to complete the card…. so….

There is a great bet in the opener at Haydock in 6/1 Tumblewind who I thought was very impressive last time and forms the second leg of three in my ‘bet of the day’.  A half stone rise is unlikely to stop that progress…. Boom get involved!

I think Dubawi Sound is the best of an uncertain bunch in the 6f sprint.  I have always liked Masamah who has the ability to break well and lead them a merry dance but the extra furlong is probably not to his liking and my selection

Albasharah looks a must bet 9/4 (Bet365) in the Lancashire Oaks and completed the ‘bet of the day’ set – She was as unlucky as you can get at Royal Ascot and this is one I am happy to extend the generosity of a second chance to!  De Sousa has been riding really well this year and is a plus.

In the Old Newton Cup, there are a few eye catchers as you might expect.  The Major has always been a fan of Sir Graham Wade who I am surprised did not go on to develop into a group class animal.  Although largely disappointing of late, I still hold the candle.  Yet, the Major shall leave those thoughts for another day.  Instead I would back Franciscan who clearly has been laid out with this race in mind.  A poor run last year in this contest belied the yards excellent record at targeting the Old Newton.  In the last ten years they have won the race three times with Zeitgeist, Alkaased and Mad Rush and they have ‘hit the bar’ on several other occasions.  If you put last years disappointing run in this race from this horse down to the deep conditions, then we have a live plot spreading out before us beautifully… get involved!

I would agree with Andy (see #crowdsourcingmultiple below) that Jive is the best chance in the 4.05 and 11/2 is a tasty price.

Shebebi has a style of running that is likely to set the race up for a closer but I am still going to give Dane O’Neill a chance to judge his ride from the front and make his ride last home at 8/1.

What a disappointment only three make it to post in the lucky last – Broughton the evens favourite gets my vote.

Good luck Nicola and remember, the Majors tips are akin to acts of god, who knows…. Inshallah.

The Lions will lose to Australia.  Murray will lose to Djokovich.  Easy double… Looks to me like Mark Carney, our new Bank chief has ordered up some more Quantitive Easing!


The Major has requested the best NAPs of the day from his Twitter colleagues…..  I shall be putting these selections into a multiple, using the power of crowd thinking to gain glorious riches….  I would also suggest all of these fine folk are worth following on Twitter… (the Major is @tdl123 by the way):

@lukeyboy1325 – Based in Canada (or was, hard to keep up with these digital sorts), Luke likes most sports, holds an opinion and is a generous tweeter:  Pique Sous at Bellewstown 🙂 double it up with Al Kazeem in the Eclipse

‏@Spinitg – Seanie is a must follow on twitter – He is as immersed in Irish racing as you can be.  7:20 Sylvian Mist 9/4 #nap

@a_p_l_77 –  Andy is a Liverpool fan and huge Racing aficionado – Prefers his National Hunt but I’ve known this shrewdie land a few pots…. Jive in the 4.05 at Haydock….

@boilberg – I must confess to not knowing Ben as well, yet…. NAP tomorrow is 2.55 Albasharah 2/1

@onedeswalker – Mick loves racing and always has a tasty priced multiple he is working up! …. I won’t insult you with the optimism of the treble but Kingsgate Native at 6-1 is best bet tomorrow. Forgive last run, would be 3s.

Finally in traditional style, the Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Integral, Tumblewind, Albasharah and Caucus.

May your dinner be fine and the company both engaging and beautiful.  Courage, roll those dice.

The Saturday Sermon – Royal Ascot Trouncing…. Bookies 4 – The Major 0

Good morning from a bright and grey Worcestershire as the Major rises, licking his wounds and opening the Ascot cards with a trepidation born from a week of losses.

The Major has struggled badly this week, lumbering on clumsily, stumbling blindly and lashing out wounded and hurt.  The troubling thing is that this poor run is not bad luck, I have been consistently wrong in the thinking.  If a few 25/1 shots had finished out of the places and our 3/1 sorts were beaten by a nose then I would take some succor from the outrageous slings and arrows of fortune.  As it is, I have no place to hide.  If you have been backing them with me, what can I say?  Thank god, those that frequent the Major require no apology, it is not how we work.  Neither do I expect your thanks…

I provide thoughts, free.  You get to open the top of my skull and extract from the darkly fertile material.  The product is often unhinged but it is yours to do with as you please.   When you act and back a horse, then this is your choice.  I take no responsibility for your action so any credit is yours as is the invoice of loss.

However, I need something special today to rise like the phoenix, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Just a decent day would do for me, nothing dramatic, something I could cling to Dunkirk style.  Something I could attach the virtue of victory to.

Royal Ascot Saturday Tips

The Chesham is always an exciting affair and Bunker is the present favourite after winning his Haydock race is fabulous style.  When he got down to work he quickly parted company from the rest…  Hannon and Hughes have only one dart at this and they could have had many so you would imagine he has a good chance.

Ballydoyle only have one bullet too and their Friendship only managed third on debut but I am sure will leave that well behind.

It pays to stick with those that are prominent in the market and for the Major, this is simple.  Bunker looked far the most impressive, have a slice.

The Hardwicke is a race that always makes me think of Harbinger who was a stunning winner of the 2010 renewal.  It was such a shame that he was injured seriously and forced to retire as I had him chalked up as that years Arc winner and would have loved to have seen if I was right!

You cannot ignore the recent Hardwicke record of Stoute who lines up with Sir John Hawkwood.  I am not that enamoured by the form but anything with Moore aboard at the moment has to be respected.  Can the handicapper step up?

Noble Mission has had the moniker of Frankels brother thrust upon him on every racecourse appearance.  He is clearly a very decent horse but seemingly no better than that.  Seems harsh that he should be heavily criticised for only being listed class but the Major thinks that is where his level is.

I am convinced the winner is from Ektihaam and Sir John Hawkwood.  I am backing the latter as it is available at 9/1 with Betvictor.  I also advise a reverse forecast on the pair.

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is always the plan for Society Rock.  He has won the race, been placed in it and been a fifth in recent years.  His fifth was a little unlucky in my view having been drawn the wrong side to get at Black Caviar.  At 9/2, he is a fair chance.  This race throws up some surprises though.  There is not a right age to be, draw is important but more so to be on the pace side than anything… Plenty of big priced winners have had success and Reply is one for me that might just improve from the generally available 33/1 chance he is branded with here.  He will be fine with conditions and is drawn where I would like…

Duke of Firenze was impressive at Epsom, getting up nicely with the Moore drive.  He is well drawn and should go well in the Wokingham.  The race normally goes to a classier sort nearer the top of the weights aged 4-5.  Duke of Firenze meets that bracket too.  He is also ridden by Moore who, as I have already stated, is the best jockey riding this week.  What is not to like?  I am also having a saver on Rex Impersonator who gets Callen and has a chance if finally showing the true potential.

The Duke of Edinburgh is the penultimate race and I want a progressive looking beast.  As such, I am supporting Lahaag, 9/1, who was only just pipped at York and looked very useful last season.  I can’t leave Sir Graham Wade, 25/1,  alone in this either as I remain convinced the horse has a damn good win or two to come.

I am closing a disastrous Royal Ascot out with a bet on the favourite in the Queen Alexandra.  Since Shahwardi was runner up last year to none other than Simenon, who almost stopped the Queens estimate Gold Cup party earlier in the week, it is fair to assume Shahwardi will take some stopping and frankly, I am surprised it is 7/2.

The Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Shahwardi, Sir John Hawkwood, Bunker and Lahaag…

Courage, roll those dice.