Tag Archives: sire collonges

The Saturday Sermon – Cheltenham Paddy Power Meeting Tips including a 22/1 mothership and a 20/1 Paddy Power tip

Good Evening from the Major who writes from a Worcestershire rural scene of cold wintery showers blustering outside the bay windows of my living room.

The Major had a poor day at the first day of the Open meeting at Cheltenham. A very decent second for my 16/1 shot was the sole return from the six races which started with a comprehensive defeat for Fingal Bay…. I was talking up this horse all morning to anyone that would listen and offer my humble apologies to each of you for having the misfortune to listen.

I have had an entire week of being unable to sleep. Poor diet? I don’t know but the thoughts swirling in my mind, occupying the peaceful parts with their noisy clumsiness. Tiredness and defeat. I feel cloaked in the stuff, choking my movement, I yearn to break the shackles.

Continuous sleep deprivation is deeply unsettling yet interesting as equal to uncomfortable. For me the consequence is short of temper, lack of energy and an affinity with dark thoughts.

Our lives are punctuated by the rhythm of sleep. Patterns bring comforting conformity and shape. Security. When you disturb the pattern, you create the opposite; uncertainty. It is as though the individual levers and cogs of the brain, dissolve and form new structures that you are no longer familiar with. A dystopian world in which you become a prisoner, unsure if sleep will return you to normality. The boundaries between the night world and the day world lose their integrity, one seeps into the other. An osmosis that is oozing and unwelcome…. things that belong in your dreams in the night, turn up unexpectantly.

What a tragedy is unfolding again in the middle east. The sight of children injured and dying seems not enough to sober up either side and so the air strikes and the rockets continue. At a distance, war and it’s devastating consequence seem inevitable actions for those with the great responsibility of protecting a nation. To the Major, they seem instead more akin to the playground, the reasoning shallow, the considerations glib. The mood this week is not good.

In the morning, a new day and the promise of redemption. I need some fine sport to lift my gloom. A powerful remedy, a surging performance that raises the pulse.

To the sports….

Cheltenham Paddy Power Gold Cup Day Tips

Far West is an obvious place to start given that Ditcheat have taken this race the last two years with French imports. 6/4 is fair considering the obvious credentials. Both Nicholls and Henderson have hit the ground running this season and the latter is represented by Vasco du Ronceray. What he beat at Hereford adds up to a hill of beans but the manner of the defeat gave intent.

The opening contest is a Triumph Hurdle trial and with little comparative form, I am opting for Far West who at least beat a useful sort in Handazan and at 6/4 rates a good chance to bring home the bacon for Nicholls et al.

In the novice chase at 1.20, Sire Collonges is going to be a hot order representing the top yard and looking a fine prospect at Fontwell and at Cheltenham. Course form is always mprtant at Cheltenham. It is an undulating course with tough fences and a steep downhill section, not every horse gets it.

The Major though is going to tip Sraid Padraig at 8/1. The Tony Martin raider won with any amount in hand at Limerick and it is interesting that he is thrown into this. Tasty.

In the 3m 3f marathon, the Major would tipping up Problema Tic but the Pipe yard seem slightly below par so far this season. I find it hard to fathom Bradley at 5/1 when Ashkazar is at 12/1… The latter had the better of the former last time out and while both are proven on course, Ashkazar is preferred but being out of the Pipe yard again, I go elsewhere. Currently 22/1 with William Hill, I offer you up Chicago Grey my selection has the talent and has dropped to a hugely tempting mark. Johnson gets the rare ride for the Elliot team and he is 1/1 in the saddle for the yard in recent times. Shabash.

Paddy Power Gold Cup Tips

What a superb renewal of the Paddy Power. Hunt Ball, Grand Crus, Walkon… An absolute cracker. The major is tempted by many. Grand Crus is clearly a class act and if he chases to his hurdles mark, is very well in. yet the yard is in short form as already highlighted and I will resist which is a shame as if not for being well, he looked like the RSA winner.

Hunt Ball would be four and a half stone out of the handicap if running this time last year! Has a horse ever improved to the degree he has? The winners enclosure will be lively if Knott gets to celebrate again and I wish them luck.

Walkon looks more a more likely sort but I am slightly distrustful. As a second season chaser though, I fancy he has the profile but he is on the watch list.

In recent years, it has been more the fashion to win the Paddy Power from down the handicap. Roll back a few more years and horses with an eleven stone plus burden were more common. Most of the were trained by Martin Pipe with classics such as Our Vic and twice winner (five years apart) Cyfor Malta.

The latter was the only horse in the last twenty outings to win at the age of 5 which is a major signal to the experience required. This is the only thing putting me off Triolo D’Alene.

There will be plenty of pace on and the one I fancy to take advantage of it is Divers at 20/1 (Stan James) – he will be doing his best work late and that’s good enough for me.

The last two Cheltenham races are not affairs for me.

Three football teams for me – the footy is proving profitable of late…. Birmingham at 17/10 at home is a price. I fancy Southampton to beat QPR at 3/1 and I like Newcasle at 10/11 at home to Swansea, that’s a nice little treble.

May your dinner be fuelled by a successful Trixie and be a mix of beautiful nonsense. The wine must flow, the release valve easing the system pressure. May the day return to the day and the night be confined to the night.

Courage and roll those dice.

The Majors Saturday Service – 22nd Jan – Victor Chandler Chase Tips, Premier League – Crack Away Followers!

Photograph of the finishing post, Ascot Raceco...

Let's all hope that Ascot beats the weather

Warm greetings to another fine sporting weekend for the Majors faithful followers.  Today we have the usual premier league tips, while in horseracing The Major has a Victor Chandler Chase 16/1 tip against Masterminded going for his third win of the season. 

So far this week the Major has tipped two outstanding losers and a non runner.  This uninspiring week followed last weekend which was almost a write off due to a shocking football run.  However, last Sunday provided a 25/1 winner in Baycross, the Majors longest priced success of the year and this win did restore some parity. 

Today followers, have faith.

Faith is indeed why we gathered here on this day, the gamblers sabbath, as men prepared to do battle.  So the Major raises the clarion call again, you must restock your bank before we unleash the cannons once more.  Relentlessly positive.

An anonymous writer in Deuteronomy wrote..  ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid…for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee’

The Major teaches you in the same vain to bet like real men (and women – you know who you are!), ensure the stake demands your heart to flutter and skip a beat, reminding you of your very existence, feel your pulse again and realise that the world is not about Simon Cowell or fast food or Wetherspoons.  Out there the meaning of existence resides in the simple pleasure of a guilty moment of regret over the risk you have taken in playing your hand, before the thrill of the contest itself.  Bet with a stake that means victory delivers sweet feelings and a cash return you can actually do something with.  If you are playing with a stake that will make absolutely no difference to your planned evenings entertainment, then what is the point?  Something needs to ride on the outcome, you need to feel alive again.

The Saturday Service is here, it is your honourable duty to load the large cannon with the fine shot and then lead the charge.  The Major is he that will go with you and will not fail you or forsake you*

Point of order, the data sheets which are on the top tabs hold all of the data year to date.  You will notice a new tab called the betting summary.  This simply takes the raw data and summarises the performance of the horseracing tips, football advices etc on a month by month basis.  You will see that our profit from 48 bets is 14%, horseracing has been our strongest suit at 37% profit.  The two naps have returned a trebling of stake.  Pleasing but not enough.

Second point of order, the Major reminds followers of how to get the Saturday Service quickly.  As soon as the Major posts, emails are sent to the subscriber list.  To subscribe, use the tool in the left hand menu.  If you prefer to get your notification by twitter, @tdl123 is the place to be.

To todays action.  First the Victor Chandler Chase.  Clive Smith and Paul Nicholls will be itching to win this after last weeks Kauto Star defeat in the King George.  In Masterminded they have the best rated horse in training and it is too easy to forget that Masterminded is in his prime and not on the downgrade like his stablemate Kauto.  After all Masterminded has already won several Grade 1’s, two champion chases and suffered a dip in form that had many writing him off – That’s quite a back story for a horse who has just turned eight. 

He looks back to his impervious best this season with two solid victories.  What impressed me in both wins this season was the flamboyance.  Is there a better chaser at standing off a fence before clearing it in soaring style by a foot, not touching a twig then landing like a ballerina moving away on the bridle; with horses trainling in his wake, their pschological well-being and ability to compete destroyed.  Masterminded does look to have found his love of racing again this season which is great news, unless you are competing with him. 

Some people have Masterminded as the unquestionable two mile champ which, if you are in this camp, makes the 15/8 about Champion Chase success this year an absolute must bet.  The Major thinks though that outstanding as he is, he also has an outstanding competitor in Big Zeb.  It is going to be a cracker in March but we must play todays hand and await that race with huge anticipation.  (The Major has already advised his ante post Cheltenham tips)

Todays Victor Chandler is a penalty kick for Masterminded, in the Majors opinion.  There is nothing wrong with Petit Robin, Somersby and Mad Max but they are up against a quality animal.  If Masterminded turns up in decent heart, there is nothing to suggest he will not, he will win.  8/11 does not quite reflect this and so the Major would encourage anyone to take William Hill on at that price.  Not an advised bet though, the Major seeks the value bet.

The horse the Major really likes and the only one that allows a chink of doubt about a Masterminded win is Crack Away Jack.  This horse was incredibly unlucky not to win the Champion Hurdle in 2009.  Watch the race again and you will see he loses 15 lengths at the start, which is a lot of ground to give to top class animals in a 2 mile hurdle!  He finished that day like a train up the hill finishing a 3 length (ish) 4th.  Having suffered injuries since then, it is hard to make what remains of his undoubted talent. 

The horse has won fresh before though and at 16/1 with Bet365 who go 3 places and quarter odds (best price too), it is worth a speculative one.  The speculation is not about whether I think Crack Away Jack is capable of running a place or picking up the race if Masterminded is not in top form, it is more about his readiness and in that his trainer, the wonderful Emma Lavelle is buoyant ‘He is in really good order…… He has always run well fresh.  He looks straightforward, seems well and is at a good weight’

Of the others, Petit Robin looks like he wants further to me and is not in the top draw.  Mad Max looks a hard sort to place.  Tchio Polos at the bottom of the card for Paul Nicholls might improve but looks nowhere near good enough on anything shown so far.

The 2.55 at Ascot offers a similar bet to Crack Away Jack.  Walkon is an Alan King (who has had a quiet season) trained hurdler who has been missing injured for over a year and a half.  However, returning in this grade 2 shows some confidence in the horse and his well-being. 

Walkons second in the Triumph hurdle was good form finishing second to Zaynar at his best with Starluck back in 4th. 

A complete unknown in this is Sire Collonges who races off a featherweight.  Another french import for the Nicholls stable – Who knows what this one is about, impossible to tell but taken as too green for this quality race particularly as Lough Derg will ensure a ready pace and will expose jumping inexperience. 

Soldatino is the 5/2 favourite but really, this Triumph winner while good, 5/2?!?  OK, it could win but really I am unsure its form of winning last years Triumph is as good as the form of the second Walkon achieved in the previous year.  This then leaves the 12/1 Walkon as a standout bet – Get stuck in, have an each way chunk and thank me later.  Generally available at quarter odds and three places.

As long as Ascot races, the ground will be perfect.  Gowran however is off as is Haydock which is a shame as the Major had done work on both!

Detail and research.  2pm Lingfield, not the natural start point for horseracing fans.  One thing of interest.  Pizzetti is 40/1 with Victor Chandler – Now OK, this looks like a plot horse for handicaps and from the Prescott stable, it is probably waiting for them but…. out of Singspiel it is arguably the best bred horse in the race and….. it has a Derby entry, so they must have had hopes at some point.  It is probably a handicap plotted sort but at 40/1 the Major is willing to stake an each way piece of silver.

Ascots 3.30 shold go to Breedsbreeze 15/8 (Sportingbet) – All of the others have big question marks, the preferences of the field would be Minella Theatre who needs to prove he is not simply at first time up specialist and I’m a Legend who looks well handicapped to the Major.  the tip is for Breedsbreeze though who has he form in the book, looks relatively well placed at 9 and the credible Ian Popham helps by taking a further 5lbs off.

Then to the sporting fields of Britain which suffer less from the wicked touch of the barren North and her icy fingers.

Wolves are no forlorn hope to beat Liverpool who have proved for a second time that changing your manager does not improve a mixed squad.  Wolves are organised and at 12/5 with Stan James, of some interest but no bet advised.

I think Aston Villa while too good for the drop have problems that Darren Bent alone cannot solve.  It is the live early evening game and backing Manchester City at 23/20 with William Hill is the advice.

The Major wants to keep Fulham on the ‘poor list’ – Thus backing Stoke at Craven Cottage makes sense at 14/5 with Victor Chandler.  Stoke may have had mid-week exertions at Cardiff but they were able and confident enough to rest key players.  John Carew may not be an inspirational signing but he can lead a line and will be another player bought into consideration from Stokes long throws.  Fulham continue to underwhelm the Major who thinks it is all presentation and no trousers.  It is worth remembering that there is a bit of bad blood between these teams.  Pulis and Hughes have twice this season refused to shake hands at the final whistle, if it tasty today, I don’t think that would suit Fulham.

Blackburn are a great price to beat the Majors own team, West Brom.  This Sunday fixture features a home team who are well organised under the quiet Steve Kean.  Albion can score goals but will struggle against the strong midfield of the Blackburn team.  5/4 with Victor Chandler is a decent price.  West Brom are getting stronger with their defense returning, Tamas is a big player but they were poor at the back when fully staffed and so it might make them more competitive but hardly delivers maximum confidence.

Equally Tottenham look a quality bet at 5/4 to win in the North East.  Andy Carroll is still missing and he is a key player for Newcastle.  Pienaar could make a debut for Spurs who just look to have enough quality to take maximum points. 

Sheffield Wednesday are spending some money and going through a transformation.  7/4 is too big for their chances to get the spoils from Orient today.

Sunderland look a tasty price too at 2/1.  Blackpool are only 6 points off the black cats who rest just outside the Europa positions.  I don’t think Sunderland will miss a beat with the loss of Bent.  Gyan looks a more complete player to me.  Blackpool are capable of scoring against most teams due to a refreshing attacking approach but they also concede.

The new Bournemouth manager has his hands full.  The club had already sold key players before losing their young talented manager Howe to Burnley.  While Bournemouth have a sterling home record, this could all change in the coming weeks and they have not entertained many of the top teams.  Brighton are that and at 15/8 are incredible value.  Take your deserved share.

The Major wishes all faithful followers the best of luck in your selections today.  Watch out for tomorrows Irish Champion Hurdle advice where sadly Dunguib has already withdrawn.

The NAP today is a double on Blackburn and Masterminded. General pricing of 6/4 and 4/6 means this pays £375 to a £100 stake, I am sure you will bet with more significant funds!

This evenings dining will follow a nine mile run.  The order of the day will be steak, shown the flame for the minimal period to make the chef feel he has earned his wage.  A Barolo to accompany, a brandy to finish.  Then to dark, peaceful slumber safe in the knowledge that no matter what happened today, no matter whether a fortune was plundered in the Majors favour or not; we sleep deeply with carnal knowledge of the joys the sporting gentleman’s world provides.

Play hard.  Allow instinct as well as research. 

As the man hails your carriage, tip well.  This is right.  Let him know the Major sent you, we will be back.

* Previous evidence demonstrates that the Major will quite regularly fail you!