Tag Archives: strong suit

The Saturday Sermon – Haydock Sprint Cup Tips, 33/1 Ascot Tip and a 33/1 shot at Leopardstown!. Shabash

Good Evening from the Major who writes from a rural Worcestershire scene, dark at an hour forboding the coming cold of winter.

How the Major loves the change of season. Of fair complexion, I have always struggled in the sun, it makes me ill. Nice dark nights, cold air on your face and less brightness with which to ache my northern eyes, winter is my time.

The Major is in decent form with some nice winners last weekend. Let us hope the run continues and we strike gold with the huge amount of tips provided below.

I am writing the post on a Friday evening as I am running in the morning. I am taking on 9 miles and then I am going to repeat the dose on Sunday. This is all in preparation for the Berlin marathon which I run with my brother and Adam Redmond, both also avid gambling spirits.

Our cause is Whizz Kidz – A superb charity giving young disabled people mobility. The way in which their equipment and training can boost a childs confidence and change their lives is a wonderful thing. If you have a few pounds to spare, the Major urges you to consider a small donation at our justgiving page.

After all, what has the Major ever asked of you. You remain anonymous, arriving here to read these words each week. You are one of a few hundred regulars. You know me; I ask little, I know I am barely profitable – I offer my ideas for free neither expecting praise or condemnation after the result. I serve you no adverts, I don’t pester you to sign up for anything. You get the Major every weekend, unhinged and honest. Free, no strings attached. Just once, might I appeal to your generosity.

If you don’t really know me, then just donate the cost of a pint – Remain anonymous if you will, it would move me to receive such generosity. After all, you don’t have to, it is merely a choice.

Betfred Sprint Day and the main race looks a cracker. Another in the British Champions Series which has been a roaring success. Below I have compiled tips for that, alongside some racing tips for Leopardstown where the Group One Irish Champion Stakes is lit up by the presence of Snow Fairy and Nathaniel. As usual, the Major brings you the highlights and I cover the entire and I must say entirely impenetrable Ascot card. As a close colleague of the Majors, Mr Smith, is attending, should there be winners, I trust a man of considerable means, might consider a donation to the cause.

Be ready to daub thy war paint my dear followers, be ready to bear arms. Bravery in the face of our enemy; he who makes markets of the most devious nature to fool us and confound our minds. Allow me to cut through the clouds of misdirection.

For real bravery, consider the tale of Airmen Sergeant Norman Jackson VC. You have to do some magnificent things to win a Victoria Cross, in this case, he crawled onto the wing of his Lancaster which had sustained fire after a raid on Schweinfurt, a Bavarian town on the Main river. The wing was on fire and Sergeant Jackson resolved to put the fire out with an extinguisher. His parachute accidentally opened on the way out, meaning he knew that if he fell, he was doomed.

In those circumstances, would you crawl onto a plane wing at 200mph, 20,000 feet in the air? What is more, he knew that even if succesful, he would never be able to get back into the aircraft.

He fell from the wing after dropping the extinguisher, his chute partially worked and in addition to his broken bones and burns, he suffered being captured. That is the sort of action that requires recognition with our highest honour, a small cross of bronze (legend has it from the cannons at Balaclava where our thin red line and light brigade saw action… although a more likely source is Chinese bronze).

To the sports….

3.25 – Haydock Betfred Sprint Cup Tips

This is a proper Group One race with top class sprinters taking each other on – On rattling ground at Haydock it is going to be fast and furious.

Aussie sprinter Ortensia is on a hat trick bid after superb Goodwood and York wins this term. Her early form in Britain looked ropey but on balance she had plenty of excuses for those first two runs. The Nunthorpe win was particularly good and she remains of clear interest at 11/4.

Society Rock has the assistance of Kieran Fallon and if breaking on terms could be a threat to all. 11/1 is a great each way price.

Strong Suit has been on the wrong side of a Frankel beating and I think Hannon is doing the right thing dropping him back to sprint distances. Quicker ground seems the key to the horse who is a general 6/1 chance.

Three year olds have a reasonable record in the Haydock Sprint Cup but Es Que Love is surely outclassed.

The Major is going instead to rely on my old favourite Bated Breath at 7/2 with Totesport and Betfred. My selection set a course record in the Temple Stakes and I think the quick ground we get here is the key to him. His Haydock record is outstanding and I fancy him to go one better than his second here last year.

A forecast with Ortensia is also a bet I would like to take on.

Ascot Tips – The Full Ascot Card

1.30 Juvenile Maiden

There is not a lot of form evidence with these two year olds and so the Major advises you to keep stakes at a minimum.

Telescope and Meshardal are very interesting debutantes, both have derby entries. On breeding, this looks like it might be a bit sharp for the former, a son of Galileo. The Sharmadal bred Mershardal might go well on debut. Mershadal is from the Hannon yard, possibly the most effective trainer for bringing the best from two year olds, even if other trainers seem to surpass him with older horses.

Interestingly, with Richard Hughes not available for Hannon, Pat Dobbs, the next stable pick is on Bursledon, a horse I would be interested in.

In these races, money can be crucial and at this stage, no market is open and so the Major is advising blind. Keep stakes small but I would chance a small bet on King Muro at 33/1 or so (guessing the price here so use your own judgement!)

2pm – Fillies Juvenile Maiden

Half an hour later and it is the turn of the girls. Only seven runners and three of them are representatives of the Mohammed Al Zarooni stable. That is an interesting yard for juveniles, they are focussed on their breeding operation. The market seems to have little feel for the genuine chances suggesting that they are not a gambling yard. The Major likes this as if you find one at a price, you need not be put off.

While there are less runners, the quality is all there.

Taking Al Zarooni’s runners, then jockey booking suggests they are happiest with Desert Blossom, who won her debut race with the field strung out. I would not jump to judge the bare form as superb but clearly she has ability.

Fleeting Spirit is an interesting runner, a big filly, she is sure to improve with time as she comes to herself. She had the bad luck of meeting the ill-fated Newfangled on debut and went one better subsequently. Her last third was a bit dissapointing off what looked like a winnable mark.

While I think Desert Blossom is the likeliest winner, I prefer at the prices, rank outsider, 12/1 shot Nice Story. The Chepstow race she won was entirely ordinary. We do not get many Suave bred horses in the UK, the sire is out of AP Indy and the Major is happy that this could be a well bred sort. While the Chepstow run was only OK, the ground here will be more suitable and at 12/1 I fancy a slice.

This is also not a race to get too involved in. I might have a small reverse forecast with Desert Blossom too.

2.35 Ascot – Class 2 Nursery Sprint

Another two year old race, this time over a sprint distance. A very difficult contest to tip.

The market is wide open at 9/2 the field and that reflects the open nature of the affair.

Kodiac bred, Foxy Forever is very interesting. The yard have used young Barzalona twice and have won with him on board twice. His debut win at Wolverhampton followed some significant support and so you have to be interested at 15/2 (Paddy Power).

Experience brings Opt Out into the frame with this being the seventh race of the colts career. He has moved on in leaps and bounds in the last two although the last win at Warwick saw another 5lbs lumped on. I love the toughness of Johnstones horses but prefer Fanning in the saddle.

While Foxy Forever is a very interesting horse with an eye catching booking, it is 6/1 shot Stand of Glory that the Major is going to tip in the Ascot nursery sprint. The ground at Thirsk was pretty rattling and Ascot can dry to include firm tomorrow – There is no way that the Ripon race is true form having led in unsuitable ground, I am sure a place is the minimum we could expect.

3.10 Fillies Handicap

Sharmadal filly Wahylah probably ran her best race at Beverley last time out and the manner of the race suggests that this step up in trip is well in favour.

Ted Durcan gets a rare eye catching ride (2 wins from 3 in last two years) for the yard or Mrs Greeley who has a fair each way chance.

Speedi Mouse is a most interesting runner seeking a hat-trick. The inexperienced jockey has clearly got a good tune out of the horse and the mild weights increase won’t stop further improvement. Of interest.

The Major though is going to tip Honeymead at 12/1. My selection only managed fifth last time out but that was only a few lengths down to the very useful Dutch Rose. That was probably the best run for some time and while many will overlook on the grounds of being exposed, the Major has a sense that there might be a bit more to come.

3.45 Ascot – Class 2 Handicap

A series of the usual handicap suspects have turned up for this class 2 Ascot handicap.

There are few easy races at Ascot today with either mind bendingly difficult handicaps or juvenile guesswork at the heart of these difficult connundrums.

Ladbrokes are generous offering 14/1 about Global Village from the Ellison yard. I would suggest that ground conditions are not ideal and I have given up on trying to guess when the yard have one ready – Money would be significant.

Primaeval is very interesting to the Major who would have hated the soft draining conditions last time out. Returned to suitable conditions, a big run could be on the cards.

In these sorts of races though, the Major prefers the class acts playing off higher weights and the sort that fits the bill is Johnstones Bannock. 10/1 is generally available this evening for my tip who benefits from the best 7lb claimer in Michael Murphy. Get involved.

4.15pm Ascot – 12f Handicap

This is another mind bending puzzle with many horses that enter the equation.

Gospel Choir beat the very useful Sun Central who went on to win again, that form has pushed Gospel Choir to the top of the market. Sir Michael Stoute has a successful relationship with Baker and this horse has won two handicaps here from three wins this year. Very interesting.

Stencive, narrowly defeated by Gospel Choir has to be in the calculation too with some pretty blue blood. In fact the horse is closely related to my favourite ever horse, George Washington. Clearly very useful and on balance, irresistible – the Major tips 10/1 Stencive. My selection, a son of Dansili, should give us a decent run at a decent price.

Incidentally, Fennell Bay is no way a 33/1 shot. OK, the busy schedule may have effected recent performances but if Johnstone has freshened up this outsider then he could make a mockery of that price.

Castilo Del Diablo is another witha great chance. Entirely unexposed, well drawn and a formerly expensive purchase, who knows? I would not put you off.

4.50 Ascot Food and Wine Handicap

Last Sovereign is a rejuvenated animal under the inexperienced jockey Jacob Butterfield, I think the improvement may be stopped by the best part of half a stone extra burden.

Fitz Flyer is the 5/1 favourite and did well just behind the Majors tip Tax Free last time out. Hardly a strike rate to fill you with confidence but signs of a big run are there.

The Major has to decide between Intransigent at 8/1 – A potentially progressive beast whose latest all weather win was decisive and there is little reason why it cannot be replicated on turf. My other fancy is equal 8/1 shot Ajjaadd, who looks like he sort that has been laid out for the race. It is coming to his time of year, the market knows it and while a few more pounds off the weight would help, surely he will be tuned up.

On balance, I just think Ajjaadd will be a major player at 8/1.

5.45 Leopardstown – Irish Champion Tips

The weight allowance normally means that the classic generation have a very good chance in the Champion but this year, the proven class is in the older horses.

Snow Fairy at 2/1 would be my favourite of them, the admirable mare has won 6 group one affairs including her last race at Deauville.

Good luck to Buick who is making the helicopter dash across the Irish Sea to ride Nathaniel. The favourite is clearly a talented animal but I am not sure this is his race.

As for St Nicholas Abbey, the shortness of the trip is one concern but the effect that Frankel inflicted with his Juddmonte demolition act is as much a concern.

Instead the Major opts for 33/1 shot Daddy Long Legs and I ask for your imagination. My tip won the UAE derby and looked set for a globe trotting career but his runs in the states were awful. Given a fresh turf chance back at home, with the three year old allowances, I’m not ruling out some chance for the horse in what might be a tactical affair.

That’s it from the Major who gives you nine sporting horsey tips. If I had to pick a nap, then I would be hard pressed between Bated Breath and Stencive.

May your winnings pay for a dinner to which you can take the classiest of sorts. Bedecked in expensive trinkets and reeking of perfume, she might be full of herself, but after a decent bottle or three and a sight of a fat wallet, the look in the eye will run to more than decent steak. Airs and graces or not, we are all the same in the end.

Courage, roll those dice.

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The Saturday Sermon – Perth Summer Hurdle Tips – Ripon Great St Wilfred and Newbury for the Hungerford Stakes

Good evening from the Major who writes from a damp warm Worcestershire where the air is heavy and warm filling the nostrils with an unpleasantness, heavy splats of rain and a dirty light.

If Strong Suit returns to form, it is game over in the Hungerford

The Major is writing this evening as I have commitments in the morning and so I thought I would get my Ripon, Newbury and Perth tips up tonight.Last weekend the Major returned to form with a short post that contained two tips and two winners… kabooooom!  They returned 11/2 and 2/1 on the SP but were at 7/1 and 9/2 when advised – Either way it paid for a good dinner.Let us hope that this signals that I am back on the hotlist.  Today I am offering you a nice trixie taking in three of the day’s feature races.  Although Chester have a good card I have gone for the Great St Wilfrid handicap at Ripon, the Summer Hurdle at Perth and the Hungerford at Newbury.

The plans I have in the morning are running ones, 15 miles to be specific.  I am preparing myself for the Berlin marathon which I am running for the magnificent Whizz Kidz charity.  Should you have a couple of quid to spare for a fantastic children’s cause then please visit my justgiving page.  We have called the project 26 miles and 26 pints and with 6 weeks to go, I can declare that I am match fit for one of those legs!

Tomorrow I am at the Hawthorns after my morning run – I am taking my two young sons for the visit of Liverpool.  Thank you to Mr Hill for the use of his tickets while he is in Turkey.  I shall get the man a betting slip as a Thank You.

To the sports…..

3.05 Newbury – Tips for the Hungerford Stakes

Strong Suit has surely got the measure of these on his best form which appears to be the problem as we have not seen that for some time.  2/1 would be a fine price if you had the certainty of Strong Suit putting his best foot forward.  Newbury is a fair track and Strong Suit does have an excuse for his latest flop as the ground was heavy – Hannon has won the race a couple of times in the last twelve years most recently with Paco Boy….. of significant interest and enough to earn the selection – Strong Suit.

Alanza and Red Jazz are the threats to the Majors tip

3.30 Ripon – Great Wilfrid Handicap Tips

This looks a top class renewal of the race with some very well rated horses turning up.  Our Jonathan is top rated on 108 but there are a further five horses rated 100 or above keeping him company at the heavier end of the card.

In truth this is a wide open handicap and it is hard to completely rule many out.

Our Jonathan looked in fine fettle when last out and it is hard not to see him running a good race – He finished second in this last year off 6lbs lighter and one for the shortlist.

Alben Star is at the head of the market after an eye-catching late run in the Stewards Cup.

David Barron has gone mob handed with four entries Colonel Mak looks my favourite of his representatives but Bertiewhistle also has some appeal.

A quick mention for 25/1 shot Tax Free who at the age of ten is still in with a shout.  It is only the uber high draw which puts me off.

On balance, 8/1 Alben Star should give us a terrific run with an excellent chance of winning.

4.15 Perth Tips – Summer Handicap

The Summer handicap is a limited handicap race and this year looks like a nice number.  Trainers from far and wide have sent representation.

Cause of Causes is likely to be a very hot ticket after his Galway Hurdle second.  He is 5/2 favourite – Cause of Causes can run prominent and can be held up – With Timmy Murphy in the saddle, I wonder if we will see him held up to come off the pace.

Kians Delight is another very progressive sort.  Since I like that form line, Absinthe also is in calculations.

One of the Pipe runners, His Excellency, looks of good interest having only just been acquired by the yard.  Yet, I am little off put by the yard going for a 10lb claimer in the saddle, a rider who has not got off the mark in thirteen rides for the yard.

The Major is going to tip Kians Delight for the summer hurdle – This horse ran superbly from out of the handicap to finish second in a similar race at Market Rasen and at 5/1, I am taking the chance that he can get his head in front today – Hugely progressive.

On the opening day of the football season, I am going to throw one team in to allow for a lucky 15.

I am always keen at this stage to go against the promoted squads if they have little premier league experience.  As such, I am sure Stoke rate better than 44/19 shots (Pinnacle whoever they are!).

May tomorrows dinner be something fine, a Scotch Beef Fillet perhaps; a fine wine to accompany and good company.

We drift by just the once, enjoy what comes your way on the tide.

Courage, roll those dice.

Saturday Sermon – 20/1 July Cup Newmarket Tips – Chester Tips – Betting and striking an agreement

Good morning from the Major who writes from a freshly doused Worcestershire.  The coffee has been bubbling away and the Major has been at the form to bring some tips from Newmarket who hold their July Cup feature race today.

Hayley in the drive position on Dream Ahead last year – Superb ride, fantastic horse

In the Majors top ten moments from racing 2011, Hayley Turner featured at number nine with her scintillating ice cool ride to victory on Dream Ahead.  Leaving it late and confident the gaps would appear, her mount had exactly the same thoughts – Awesome stuff.

If you are looking for tips for Chester today, follow the link – I covered the whole card late on Friday night, some difficult racing but I did find some 50/1 tips in there!

There is so much British racing today it hurts.  Perhaps too much – I am quite unfamiliar with some of these jockeys!  Sadly the only casualty of the weather was Salisbury – They have a good track and it is unusual for them to cry enough but that shows just how relentless the weather has been.

Daub your war paint and let us go to battle – We shall find the value and once again attempt to land the mothership – It is coming, it is coming!

When striking any agreement most people consider it fair that both sides are obligated to fulfil their end of the bargain regardless.  If you enter an agreement in sound mind, surely you have a moral obligation?

Consider though the knowledge each party has ahead of an agreement.  For example, if I sell you a car I know that will break down, this is not moral.  Thus in any agreement it is not just consent but equality of knowledge that is required for a moral obligation to be formed.

I was thinking of this when considering whether a moral obligation exists to settle a debt with a layer who knows a horse will not perform.  When you struck a bet, the layer had knowledge that you did not, if the jockey had instructions to drop it out and the horse was overweight and unfit; this is an unfair bargain.  This is what angers punters more in my view when you see a non trier – It is not the lost money but the moral inequality of the bargain struck.

Yet, this is a fine balance.  Should I share my knowledge and thoughts of how a horse is likely to perform on the ground?  Not really.  Succesful punting is about finding an edge, seeking the pricing that the bookmaker has gotten wrong.  We would not feel this is unfair?

I imagine the difference in most people’s mind is that of honest endeavour.  If I research the stats for Mark Johnston’s juveniles running at Thirsk then I have earned the right to use that knowledge in striking a bet.  The similarity between this and the crooked trainer is that we are both trying to use information we have to strike a bargain in our own favour.

I am not morally justifying crooks, yet I get less angry when I back a horse and then watch as it drifts remarkably in the market, gets away slowly, jockey loses irons, makes late headway and remains unplaced…. My lack of anger is simply a reflection that I accept this as part of our game.  Watch enough racing and you get a sixth sense for the horse who might be about to turn their form around, one way or another… That’s information you can use too.  Morals? questionable… fun and intrigue? aplenty.

To Newmarket and the July Meeting….

1.40 32Red Casino Handicap

Three non runners so far including the very interesting Bronze cannon.

This soft ground is going to play havoc later in the season when it will be harder to assess form from these earlier races.

This is a cracking opening handicap with lots of these horses looking like they are capable of better.  Sir John Hawkwood has won on soft ground in very impressive style early in the season.  That Windsor form might not be massive but the horse settled well early, looked squeezed but once free ran on impressively.  11/8 is the price, fair enough because the potential is there.

Ardmay is of significant interest at 8/1.  The ground presents no problems and Graham Lee is an ideal jockey.  The only thing that puts me off is trainer form.

Instead of the obvious Sir John Hawkwood though, the Major is interested in the more experienced Compton at 12/1.  The horse ran very well at Royal Ascot on soft ground and a big run could be on the cards for the in form yard – Compton is the tip in the opener.

2.10 Superlative Stakes

Some top class juveniles on show here and perhaps the pick of the form is Olympic Glory whose run in behind Dawn Approach in the Coventry was very strong.  This Choisir inmate at the Hannon yard will be well prepped and there is no reason to suspect anything other than a decent run.  Richard Hannon has taken this race three times in the last fifteen years.

The only off-putting matter is whether soft ground is going to be ideal.  It was good to soft at Ascot but this is going to be deeper something that Choisir colts are not famous for.

Instead the Major is taking a chance on proven mudlark Operation Chariot.  Another suitable sporting name!  12/1 is very fair because while the four runner race our colt won at Sandown is unlikely to be the hottest of maidens, it was on soft ground and the selection has similar conditions here.  Certainly worth a punt.

2.40 Newmarket – Bunbury Cup Handicap

An incredibly competitive handicap that needs a lot of sorting out.

Bonnie Brae is all the rage having raced on the unfavoured side at Ascot last time out – Soft ground is manna from heaven for this one and it is sure to give a good account.

Jamesie would be an obvious threat to the favourite but the draw has done the Irish raider no favours and while the ground might level that up a bit, I am probably against that on value.

The two that catch my eye are Seal Rock and Captain Bertie.  The first will enjoy getting his toe in and while on a high winning mark, I think has a chance.

It is 12/1 Captain Bertie that the Major tips for the Bunbury Cup though.  The latest Sandown run was promising enough and soft conditions play into hand here – WEll worth a shot but I would not put you off Bonnie Brae either.

3.20 July Cup Tips – Newmarket

What a shame that the ground has had such an impact on this race.  Bated Breath the favourite has come out as had Libranno, a succesful tip for the Major on last appearance.

This gives plenty of horses a chance to claim a Group One.

One horse that already has that on his CV is Society Rock.  The new favourite at 10/3, this still represents value.  The 5th in behind Black Caviar at Royal Ascot was solid and arguably the best career performance for Society Rock came on soft ground when winning the Golden Jubilee last summer.

Sepoy is retiring to stud and so this is a last racecourse start for the horse who achieved a lot in Australia.  I hope Godolphin have some joy in breeding with him as this is the sort of horse they tend to make worse – Seriously, how many top class imports to Godolphin improve?  I am struggling to think of some but can think of plenty who disappointed after making high-profile moves.

Dandy Boy is attempting a very difficult Wokingham, July Cup double but is not without hope.

The Major would have been very interested in Strong Suit if connections were not so nervous about the soft conditions – It does not sound like he will make the line up – I think they should try with him – If coming back to the best of his form, the shorter distance might help him put in a challenge and 12/1 prices ground concerns in.

The value choice for the Major though is the O’Brien horse Reply at a whopping 20/1.   I find it interesting that the yard are persisting with the horse and indeed have dropped him back into sprint distances.  Like many, the ground is an unproven quantity but I am sure they are not throwing darts with this entry – The sole representative of Ballydoyle in any group one race is a danger to all.

That’s it from Newmarket for the Major – The 3.55 has been decimated down to three runners as the conditions play havoc with the trainer plans.

Whatever you back, I hope the bargain you strike with the bookmaker is in your favour, have no moral qualms about it – After all you are reading this to try to glean an advantage yourself*.

May your dinner be a fine fillet steak shown just a glimpse of the flame, please put no sauce on it, perhaps a little salt and eat with a fresh bread.   I will permit mustard if you need.  Accompanying is a nice bottle of Malbec and eat before company as the nature of the contents of your maw may be off-putting… At the witching hour, think of me – I shall be awake, thoughts racing, hopes building that tomorrow is the day when we land the mothership – That is the beauty of life, there is always a tomorrow.. until there is not and then you have no worry or care at all… Remember the Major and my view on life… we go by the once grab hold of what is next to you on the tide, enjoy and ask few questions.

Enjoy the steak.

Courage, roll those dice.

* If you think the Major and my tips are going to give you a significant advantage, please seek urgent medical attention

Day Two Galway, Day One Goodwood Shabooooom

Goodwood Racecourse Stand, West Sussex, England
Goodwood is Open for Business

The opening day of Galway and the Major could not find a winner from the two fancied selections in the feature race.

Tomorrow Goodwood opens and we are into day two of Galway.  The Major has a couple of races in which I think there is a value selection.

Before we get on to that I want to repeat a view I have of racing on terrestrial TV.  Channel 4 = legends.  BBC = bit part, part-time and irritating.

Here is my case… OK John McC is a bit of a clown but he is a racing man with an opinion – I might not choose to dine with him but I am interested in his views on the whip and he is racing every week.  That is my main point.  Channel 4 are there every week.  Rain or shine, Group 1s or the lowly fare served up the Saturday before some major festivals.  They run a morning show as well as the main event.  In my view they deserve the lot.

The BBC have been cutting back on racing consistently.  Balding I do not mind.  Rishi, I think is weak.  Most of the rest are simply not great presenters.  As they only drift in and out of the big race days they have lost their common racing touch.  It is all show and nonsense.  Too many hats not enough serious racing.  They choose to keep the Welsh National on the schedule but the Arc this year is behind the red button.  Does that not say it all.

I would like to see channel 4 get all of the racing on terrestrial, they would do a better job and they deserve it.  Lecture over.

Goodwood Day One Tips…..

OK.  I am going for the Gordon Stakes as an opener.

There is a hot favourite in the Stoute trained Fiorente.  The warm way in which this one is being treated in the market reflects the manner in which Nathaniel won the King George.  Fiorente was a decent second to Nathaniel last time out, that form is serious.  Now Nathaniel is a first-rate Group 1 performer, down in Group 3 company, Fiorente only need show the same level of form to be well involved.  Is there anything that could?

Well the one that I think could possibly do it and the each way selection is 12/1 Hunters Light.  The listed race at Hamilton it narrowly won was pretty impressive and with Saeed Bin Suroor in good form, this three year old may just have improvement to come.

If this were a handicap, Fiorente would be in receipt of 9lbs which makes you think that Sir Michael Stoute must know he has a good horse to go straight into Group company, there are valuable handicaps he could target with Fiorente who would be on an absolute featherweight.  In a way that is a sign of great confidence but there is plenty of that baked into a price of 11/10 already.  No it is the less fashionable Hunters Light for the Major.

Now for the Group 2 Lennox Stakes….

This is a cracker, no doubt.  Delegator who last was seen racing over 6f which was an interesting move and one the Major thought would suit… it did not work out!  Now tried back over 7f, is it a class horse but at 5, we know plenty about it – one for a place… the 3l 5th to Dream Ahead was good.

Libranno is one of those horses that will never carry the Majors money.  Good but now insanely difficult to place in my view.  Not quite group class, has run way to well to find handicap company easy…. not one for me.

The selection is Strong Suit.  This is a horse that Hannon has always fancied strongly.  A little bit like Monsieur Chevalier, it has flattered to deceive at times or perhaps, more accurately, not quite fulfilled potential.  It has a strong tendency to edge left under pressure but I do think it is an improver and the Chantilly Group 1 it contested was strong, although third, it was within a half length.  In receipt of 10lbs from Delegator, it is my 11/4 selection.

Then the Molecomb….

This Group 3 is a real puzzle, there are no obvious answers at all.  Hannons Crown Dependency and O’Briens Boris Grigoriev are the two that the Major fancies the most.

While the latter has not excelled in every race, Ryan Moores booking and the fact that O’Brien has targeted this race for his juvenile is enough to suggest that there could be more to come.

Crown Dependency is more of a sensible suggestion.  A good third in decent company last time, this good looking bay Acclamation colt would have learned a lot.  Hmmm

Charles the Great is also on the shortlist after a great listed win…. also gets the assistance of Jimmy Fortune, one of the Majors favourites.

Hard to call, on  balance a win stake is suggested on Crown Dependency who, in an embarrassment of riches in the two year old stables of the Hannon yard, is the sole representative here….

Although I have not covered the 4.20, 9/4 is still available tonight about Warcrown.  This debut runner for Fahey has the dogs barking – the Major warned you before the midnight hour… it is apparently the yard pigeon catcher

To Galway…

Galway Festival Day Two

In the opener, I do not fancy any of the first few in the market.

Sublime Talent has achieved little so far although lightly exposed over hurdles.  Never dismiss a Weld horse at Galway but 7/2 has way too much trainer-factor baked in…

Princeton Plain was knocked over  by Sulwaan last time out – With that one doing little to frank the form yesterday, I am unconvinced.

The one the Major opts for is First in the Queue – This is a Henderson raider who gets the benefit of one of the finest, Barry Geraghty..

8/1 reflects the fact that improvement is needed but I am sure that Nicky has not made the trip for the air.  Although the experience is mixed, it has a lot of it.  Some of it is quite good, under this pilot I back it to get me a result.

Day Two Royal Ascot Tips

Despite my bet of the week Canford Cliffs going in, day one of Royal Ascot, was a loss maker for the Major.

Canford Cliffs did the business for the Major – Bring on Day Two

What a great days racing.  I wanted to get Frankel beaten (but wanted to see him win!) – While he held on, surely they will stop what I consider to be ridiculous riding tactics.  Just because Frankel can win when you ask him for his major effort 4 furlongs from home, does not mean you should.  Tom Queally is adamant that Frankel was simply idling and that no horse has yet given him a race.  Well he was almost chinned on the line today.  I don’t understand why they want to ride him in a sort of Secretariat way, he has the cruising pace of the devil and a devastating turn of foot.  It feels like that they almost want to get a breath-taking victory, not needed.  I am sure the back to back Group 1 winners will take the advice.  (THE MAJOR, HORSES TRAINED: 0 OWNED: 0 RIDDEN: 0)

It almost feels like we have had the best of Royal Ascot and getting as excited about Wednesday is hard.  Tuesdays opening 4 races were as good as racing gets.  The sun shined on Berkshire, I am sure he approved.

2.30 Jersey Stakes Group 3

This is a tough nut to crack.  There are a few bits of European classic form on show.  I am not sure which is the strongest but suspect that the Irish form of Oracle may hold out well.

Strong Suit for Hannon who was off the mark with Canford Cliffs yesterday is an interesting contender.  Clearly there are a few questions to be answered but if Hannon has Strong Suit back to some sort of form, his 12/1 is interesting.

The one the Major opts for though to get the day off to a flyer is lightly raced Western Aristocrat.  On form, it has a lot to make up but there is reason to think it can.  After winning its maiden easily, it went on to battle home in a class 3 last time out.  Nothing too remarkable about that but watching the run, he was hampered and did well to get up on the line.

Fury with the assistance of Fallon does not look good enough for the Major.  Perfectly possible that more improvement is to come but so far at the top-level he is wanting.

I am not sure that Codemaster is a worthy favourite at 3/1 – Not one for the Major.

I am finding it hard to pick the class horse.  This is why I am opting for Western Aristocrat at 13/2.  The yard have taken the Jersey Stakes twice in recent years and this is a versatile looking sort who has scope to improve into the frame.  Noseda has booked Murtagh which caught the eye.  I would not put anyone off Strong Suit each way.

3.05 Windsor Forest Stakes

Jaqueline Quest, owned by Mr Martin and if I remember rightly named after his late wife, Jaqueline Quest was denied a classic win last year after finishing first past the post in the 1,000 Guineas.  No wins since, yet has never finished more that 4l off the winner in any subsequent race.  A great each way bet at 25/1 in the Majors view.

Music Show is a horse which the Major was a big fan of yet she has had her chances this year and I am no longer following it with good money!

Basically the race will pan out with Sajjha trying to lead a quick steady tempo from the front and draw the string from the field.  I’m a dreamer who won from last to first last time out at HQ will be held up ( as he has been in every race) – Against this quality opposition, I would rather be on Sajjha – 7/2 I’m a Dreamer needs to be extremely good to come from last to first past a horse of this quality.

3.45 Prince of Wales Stakes

Here we go, at last Grade One action, the top notch cuts.

This on the face of it, looks all about So You Think, the Australian superstar resident in the Ballydoyle operation.  4/9 shows what this horse has achieved down under and in two runs this year in Europe, the horse has shown it has translated to the Northern hemisphere.

That said, I have been a big fan of Planteur and think this one has improved if anything.  The Longchamp runs look good.

It is a tough call.  There are only 7 runners and so looking down the field for value seems unwise.

Overall Planteur offers me enough hope at 4/1 that So You Think won’t make this a procession.

4.25 Royal Hunt Cup

What a terrific handicap.  30 are due to go to post – This is essentially Christmas for Pricewise.

The Major has found a few of more obvious interest.  I am interested in those from the high draws given the result of the Coventry.

The two I have settled on are Bronze Prince and Kay Gee Bee at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively.

Bronze Prince gets in to the race at the bottom of the weights.  Green Destiny being a drop out.  Not fully exposed and of interest with some useful form recorded, I want this one on side.

Kay Gee Bee is just as interesting , I think the York form could work out well and at 33/1 with the assistance of Hanagan, I suggest a slice.

5.00 Queen Mary Stakes

Back to Group action as the fillies line up for a sprint.

There is always a risk in getting stuck into short price favourites in fillies races for juveniles.  Yet, the way Shumoos beat yesterdays victor Frederick Engels has to be eye-catching.  11/8 seems more than reasonable and the Major suggests a reasonable bet although my betting resolutions dictate not getting carried away with two year olds.  The breeding is a new line from Distorted Humor and is proving very interesting.

Dozy and Best Terms are the risk, both unbeaten.  Of the two, probably Best Terms at 12/1 makes the most appeal.  The wins look better, this Exceed and Excel filly could be a danger.

Gypsy Robin has not come across the pond for the air yet the Major would want to se a run on dirt previously, not for the Major.

5.35 Sandringham Handicap

If you need a winner at this stage, you might go home in the poor house.

If Western Arisocrat goes in earlier in the day then there will be plenty of support for Rhythm of Light who was 2nd on their last blow out.

The Queens horse, Humdrum, is evidently a player.  Having won on the all-weather on its return, the form has been boosted by the 2nd winning next time out, making the 10lb rise looking at best compensation from the handicapper.  9/2 is short enough in this field but real chances.

I am happy to have a pop at another outsider.  33/1 Wrekin Sunset for an in form small yard, I think this one is on the upgrade.  It might not be as fashionable as the Luca Cumani, Kieran Fallon ridden sort but is not without a chance.

Good luck one and all.