Tag Archives: Southfield theatre

Friday Racing Tips from Exeter and Sandown plus one at Lingfield

Good evening from the Major who writes from a damp and cold Worcestershire evening air. The rain is coming down, I can the occasional vehicle passing, wheels kissing the wet road.

I followed a fire engine for a few miles earlier on my way home. It was responding to an emergency call and against a dark blue sky, the vivid blue flashing lights looked beautiful. There was something poetic about the big machine which couldn’t reach top speed due to the numerous turns in the road, each draining momentum from the beast. Think Denman around Chester.

There is something beautiful in tragedy. A tinge of life that comes from the machine doing it’s best to get to someone in trouble that adds to the aesthetic quality of its calming blue light. That is unless it is your tragedy.

Mrs Major, never mentioned on the blog, received a job offer today. I did not understand why she wanted to work but then I haven’t spent the last five years looking after our two boys day in day out. I imagine that would do it.

Perhaps she could invest her new income in a 3yo flat horse with a profile to go hurdling and perhaps graduate to chases. I’m thinking Ian Williams to start with but maybe Rebecca Curtis later… No Mrs M won’t have that, she knows my mind too well.

To The Thursday tips and gods punting luck to all of you. Mixed bag today, not the best but the horses I really fancied were at Market Rasen which we lost to the frost.

Exeter Tips

Fingal Bay goes at Exeter tomorrow. Normally when a horse owes me money, I have a warm feeling towards them but Fingal Bay evokes distrust. He is 1/6 tomorrow and should go in but I am watching only. I accept that I underestimated Dynaste but Fingal had such a lofty reputation and I really thought he was the business. Disappointment you can taste.

I cannot really get a big angle into the opening handicap. Ripoff, Gizzit and Uimhir a Seacht all have some appeal and the latter is priced at 14/1 overnight with Bet365 so is a value uneasy selection.

1.30 strikes me as a tough handicap too and so it will be small stakes for me on Shaking Hands at 8/1. The tip competed in this last year (2nd) runs off the same mark (2lbs up) has a useful claimed aboard and a warm up spin over hurdles – this will be the main target but there are plenty of other Interesting sorts so small stakes stuff.

The 2.05 will see a hot favourite in The Italian Yob but I am following my nose with Kap Gun. Richard Johnson could have been on Orabara who was a damn lucky winner last time out when his main market rival fell when holding the winning chance and Johnson has got off him to get on my tip at a forecast 4/1. Orabara holds a decent chance too having at least got that winning experience under the belt, also on soft, but Kap Gun represents a Hobbs yard in form.

The first of the novice hurdle races can go to the promising looking Irish Bucaneer, the penultimate race can go to Musical Wedge at 7/4 who looks unlikely to be stopped by a half stone rise after a simple Taunton win last time out.

To finish the day with a hat trick of favourites going in, I wouldn’t at all be put off a bet on Vibrato Valtat who is a French import in the right hands.

Sandown Tips

Nicholls looks like he has the Exeter canons loaded and I am backing at least a treble for the team who reap rich rewards at all of the South West tracks.

In the opener, I cannot go against Valco de Touzaine who looks another useful French import for Team Ditcheat.

In the second, I am struggling to split the chances of Wings of Smoke who has more experience and Thanks for Coming who is a Henderson novice and plenty of potential now chasing. On balance, Geraghty swings it for me and so Thanks for Coming gets the nod.

The Grade 2 novice is a tasty little morsel, even with jus the five runners. Let’s have a look at them. Dunlough Bay has the weakest credentials despite winning a Lingfield useful event last time up, yard not firing so overlooked. Le Bec looks interesting but Lavelle hasn’t got them going yet either and the seasonal debut win at this track looked average. Tarquin de Seuil is the 6/4 favourite on account of the useful looking My Tent or Yours form (2nd in the champion bumper). Southfield Theatre warrants massive respect for the Nicholls team, the horse was four lengths fourth to subsequent champion bumper winner The New One in January and will be well rehearsed. I am going to chance 9/2 shot Up and Go though who is also a thoroughly exciting prospect. If I am right, consider changing Kap Gun at Exeter for Key to the West who has strongly tied form from a Uttoxeter bumper.

In the 2.20, I am continuing the Nicholls theme and tipping Pacha Du Polder going in at 2/1.

The amateur riders are at it in the 2.55 and jockey quality is paramount in guiding the selection. State Benefit will win one day off what looks a workable mark and goes well fresh, considered. Brackloon High looks a good animal on his day. Relax though is an 8/1 shot and his chances look better than that to me, extra distance could be a bonus.

Tanerko Emery is a sensible place to stop at 3/1.

Lingfield Tip

Fast Pace is well bred and was unlucky on debut finishing well after meeting trouble. With the experience, I expect a big run but this will be short in the market.

The ‘Hill Mothership’ Lucky 15

Valco de Touzaine, Tanerko Emery, Fast Pace and Vibrato Valtat.

Each Way Trixie Tip

Relax, Uimhir a Seacht and Shaking Hands

Courage and roll the dice.

Saturday Sermon – Racing Tips from Ascot, Cheltenham and Cork, plus Frankel – Time at Ascot…

Good evening from the Major who writes to you from a Defford where the sky hangs heavy with the threat of a downpour, it feels as if it were sagging and clinging to my cheek, cold and damp… my sort of weather.

The Household Cavalry dressed in Sheikh Abdulla’s colours in honour of Frankel, the finest horse of our generation

Tomorrow I ride for Ascot, I am taking my father and meeting a friend there for a beer too. Whatever happens we are in for a terrific day of racing but it would be dishonest to say that if Frankel fails to run, it would not be a touch deflating.The way they have handled this horse has given us every chance to enjoy the champion that he is. On Twitter (@tdl123) I rated my top three Frankel races and decided that my favourite was the Queen Anne. Having had longer to reflect I have changed the order slightly and now have a top four in the following order.

4th – The Guineas

This will be top of most peoples lists – The way he flew from the gates and had them at it from half way. A stunning performance and the way they finished strung out like 3 mile chasers was testament to what the great horse had achieved.

3rd – Royal Lodge

The more I watch the Royal Lodge he won, the more I love it. The move he makes on the bend to put the race to bed was stunning and although Treasure Beach was stopped in his tracks, Frankel would still have won by half a furlong!

2nd – The Queen Anne

What a way to open Royal Ascot – As a performance, this was his highest rated in my view. He did not just win, he destroyed a field of top horses and left everyone gasping for air. Awesome.

1st – His First Sussex Stakes versus Canford Cliffs

Context is important and this race was full of it. Goldikova a winner of more Group One races than seems possible was reaching the end of her career. Canford Cliffs, one of the best Hannon has ever had, lowered her colours and rightfully claimed the best miler in Europe crown. Then Frankel met him at Goodwood. The camber at Goodwood means many horses do not act there. The combination of factors meant that the Major tipped Canford… Then this happened…

Let us hope that Frankel runs – The generosity of connections have given us more than we needed but we are like gluttons and want it all. Treasure the moment. The only possible upside of him not running tomorrow is a possible crack at the States and the breeders cup meeting… Personally I would like him to finish his career at Ascot tomorrow.

To the sports….

Ascot Tips – 1.50 – The Stayers

At this stage of the season, I am looking for the slightly more lightly raced sorts. The Ascot ground will also be very soft which should rule a few out…

In the opener, most of the animals will be fine with the soft conditions. Gold Cup winner Colour Vision beat a number of these including Fame and Glory back in July. Opinion Poll, the other Godolphin horse was second that day and goes off as 3/1 favourite here. Aiken is a horse I really like but feels like he might just be a bit short of top draw. Ile de Re is an interesting runner but has to make a big step up in class. Rite of Passage is a fascinating runner and could play a part at 8/1 if well tuned up.

After some thought though, the Major is going to offer Fame and Glory at 11/2 – A former winner of the race who has lost some of his lustre – If he wins tomorrow, it will be a fitting end to a sparkling career… words that we may well repeated later in the day!

2.20 Ascot – Tips for the Sprint

The sprint is a fascinating contest and I would love to back Maarek, especially with the booking of Jamie Spencer. I am wondering though whether the horse is feeling the effect of the campaign and I may well give him a miss. The muddier the better for that one so if more rain arrives, it may be a persuading factor.

The Major is siding with a horse packed with potential in Slade Power who looked a horse going places in the summer. After a break to freshen him up, I expect a top draw performance and although there are proven G1 horses in the field, I do not want to back Wizz Kid unless in France and Society Rock is the main danger. Blue Square offer 15/2 and a quarter odds the place, have a slice.

2.55 Ascot – Group 2 Mile and a Half

The two to concentrate on seem to be Great Heavens and Sapphire. The former took an Irish Classic in the slop and loves these conditions. She was my idea of the Arc winner as I am a massive fan. She cruised into the straight at Longchamp looking a likely challenger but faded badly and I just wonder if the season and he travels are catching up.

Thus the tip is Sapphire for the Weld team. She is a horse of immense talent and seems to be much better the further she goes, seemingly tapped for toe over 400m shorter in the Pretty Polly. She is a true mud lark and at 10/3 generally I think a great bet to beat Great Heavens who I would like to see racing agin next year where hopefully connections might give her a light schedule with a hopefully soft ground Arc as the target.

QE II 3.30 Ascot

Excelebration is an absolute bolt on here and I suggest a reasonable investment at just shading odds on. He has been beaten by Frankel so often yet is still a top class horse and now placed to avoid a battle with the inevitable, he is gaining very well deserved Group One successes.

The Queen is in attendance and so Carlton House would be a popular winner but it is Excelebration for the Major.

Ascot Champion Stakes

It is not often that the Major here whispers but I have it on good authority that Frankel might be a decent sort! This race requires no bet, it is a moment of historic racing importance. I hope Frankel serves it up to Cirrus Des Aigles

Enjoy it…

4.45 Amateur Riders Handicap

I find it disappointing that this race exists on the card of what is meant to be the climax of the flat season. It really seems out of place.

Smarty Socks would be the one I would want but I am dubious that these are his conditions. Boring as it may seem, Jack Dexter is the 5/1 selection. The Ayr Bronze Cup winner loves a bit of mud and is surely goi to have a big say. Kingscroft (16/1) and Atlantic Sport (33/1) also make some appeal.

Cheltenham Selections

It is so good to see racing back at Cheltenham. Fridays action saw The New One take a decent Novice hurdle. Given that he hit most of them, he must be some animal to still win, I expect a big season.

Rendl Beach should be a good thing in the opener at 6/4. Curtis horses often need a warm up but this one won smartly on reappearance and a big run is surely on the cards tomorrow.

In the second race, I am going to take a chance on 22/1 shot Quito Du Tresor. I think that there may be more to come from this one. The Henderson horse Nadiya De La Vega at 10/1 is decent value too.

Baby Mix and Dodging Bullets are two rising stars and the latter looks a great evens bet based on the 4th position achieved in the Triumph.

In the 4th race, I like the look of two Qianshan Leader at 22/1 catches the eye as does Darna at 16/1. The latter looks an intriguing sort.

In the 4.20 I am a big fan of Irish raider Defence of Duress and suggest a decent investment.

Third Intention should see the field off in the penultimate race if match fit. 3/1 is a very fair price as he should be much better than this field, many of whom have a readiness advantage.

In the last maybe Southfield Theatre on a strict reading of form with The New One but honestly, stick a pin in!

Cork Tip

I like Rock Critic in the listed contest and at 2/1 am having it in several selections…

May your dinner be fine, in the company of someone nice. Each day we are above ground is an opportunity so do not waste yours. Let us hope that Frankel gives us something to cheer.

Courage, roll the dice.