Good morning fair punters of Britain from grey and dreary Defford where the early morning study is complete and the Major brings you the best sporting tips from the weekends action including the Welsh National. FA cup weekend too as the famous third round weekend throws together some intriguing clashes.
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What a shame Villa could not hold on for the Major whose 14/1 tip looked good at 82 minutes. This is exactly the kind of instance that I take succour from as per my own betting New Year Resolutions. The fact the bet did not come off did not make it a bad wager, it should not have been 14/1 and if you could take the price again for them to play this evening, you would!
Let us join forces and take the enemy for all of his ignorant worth. The Majors good friend Mike turns 30 today and so a wager of £10 is placed in his name on the nap. Lets hope it buys a round of drinks at the party later! Happy Birthday for yesterday Mike.
Today the Major offers himself up to be your Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Bravely leading our expedition into the frozen wastelands of sporting gentlemens opinion that few other dare venture into. This time it will be the enemy who perishes from starvation and exposure as we raid him mercilessly and expose his inferior yet mischievous ways.
Let us start with the Welsh National and a brief soapbox moment from the Major. This race gets BBC coverage today and while I intend no disrespect to Chepstow or the sponsors, why does this race warrant a Balding led BBC team and yet they are putting the Arc behind the red button in October? Answers on an angry postcard!
Todays race is intriguing. Again in the betting resolutions (linked above), the Major indicates that going form at Chepstow is crucial as the ground tends to get extreme, good can be firm and anything with Heavy in it is borderline unraceable. It’s the later in today’s case and so we need an animal who likes it bottomless and stays forever.
O’Neill and McCoy, winners of the Grand National with Don’t Push It team up with Synchronised who has been relentlessly backed and you can understand why, you need only consider Jonjo’s ability to ready a stayer. However, it looks the wrong profile to the Major, slightly over-exposed. I want something at the sub eleven stone sort. The Welsh National goes to less exposed sorts with a lighter rating, no double digit ages or experienced pros.
Maktu is of significant interest as I think this one likes it the deeper the better. Clearly the horse has something to offer, the horses four runs have come over a mixture of ground from good to heavy. The excellent Michael Murphy claims three pounds giving a racing weight of 10-3, on the shortlist but not the one for me.
Theatre Dance would bring the house down if he won and with a slight sign of revival last time out, the Arbuthnot stable probably have not had many better chances to take a graded contest – Hard to evaluate.
The one the Major really likes is Watamu Bay. Now OK, I know it is a novice chaser and this is a mighty ask but there is so much to like. Ryan Mahon takes an excellent 5lbs off meaning the racing weight is under eleven stone. Let’s remember though that this is a Nicholls horse and he would not be in a graded race without a chance. Nicholls had this to say ‘He will stay forever, he will love the ground…..’ Get involved.
Praise where it is due, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes go 5 PLACES on this race, that is surely a great deal and makes the favourite a low risk bet to nothing you would have thought. The Major however is going to put up Watuma Bay – Take your pick – 14/1 with Stan James at 4 places or 12/1 with Paddy and get the fifth place….. The Major advises the Stan James bet on an each way basis.
It could be a good day for Nicholls as in the preceding race, Sam Winner has an excellent chance to pick up a Grade One. On a strict line of form, Smad Place is not far of Sam Winner but the Major thinks this is deceiving and that Sam Winner will prove the better of the two animals and a festival hot favourite. 4/5 – Have a slice at DOUBLE STAKES – Yes a 2 point tip from the Major.
Mister Carter is taken to beat Fearless Falcon in the 12.45 juvenile hurdle in Punchestown. I would take the selection on a watch list too as I think it may go on to be impressive. The experience of winning on soft ground will put this one just right and it seems to me that is far more on the up than the Falcon. 15/8 with Boylesports and the Paddy Power.
What a shame only 5 go to post in this years Tolworth hurdle. Toubab is the market fancy after impressing at Haydock, defeating some useful types. The Major did not expect to see better than evens and so 6/4 with Corals is a great price. It is a dangerous contest to get too stuck into though, who knows if the pace will be on and if it gets tactical, Act of Kalanisi is not a 28/1 shot – Although the 6/4 appeals, the Major will take a chance on Kalanisi each way with Victor Chandler.
The Major likes FA Cup 3rd round weekend because it gives some fine prices.
Villa go to Sheffield United in apparent bad touch. Following a feisty 3-3 draw at Chelsea, the tepid display at home to Sunderland angered fans and has put Houllier in the firing line. Unlike some of his colleagues, Houllier will field his best team as this competition has a new meaning to Villa. If they were playing a team whose motivation was high then I would be against them but Sheffield United are pretty much in the same boat. On sheer quality, Villa at 15/13 is a must take price with Corals online.
Blackpools pricing reflects the fact that Holloway is going to use the competition to play a second string. However, 29/10 that they get a win at Southampton is absurd. Blackpools second string have already ground out an impressive result at Villa Park and there is no doubt that they will be game to get a result out of the south coast.
Middlesboro threaten to improve now Tony Mowbray has bought his attacking line up to the team which has been improving since he arrived. A boro win at Burton is a great bet as it is odds against – Get stuck in. Can you see Leroy Lita not scoring at that level??
Preston have suffered a double blow. In recent weeks, they have lost their manager Darren Ferguson which was followed (apparently unconnected) by all 4 Manchester United loanees returning to Old Trafford. It appears that daddy was less pleased with the Preston boards decision! This also follows the recall of WBA loanee Zuiverloon who returned to cover the defensive crisis at the Hawthorns. Managerless, thin squad and bottom, Preston look there for the taking when Forest visit. Forest have won 4 from their last 6 and are a confident 11/8 selection with Totesport.
I would also take organised Birmingham City to get the result at Millwall. There is a gulf in class between the two outfits and 2/1 on Blues to win is a must bet.
The Major always feels that the quality in Premier League squads is underestimated when bookmakers put together pricing on 3rd round weekend. I expect a lot of ordinary championship teams to be knocked out convincingly by premier league visitors who are longer shots because of their apparent lack of top flight form. I would favour the quality all day long. Lets see if the theory holds when we get to tea time!! I would also advise a tickle that at 200/1 with Bet365, no premier league outfit is eliminated in the third round by a lower league team. OK, its a long shot but it is value. Have a tickle and thank me later. This is classic territory where the value is opposing the majority view that because (for example) Villa look in trouble, they will struggle against a lower league team. Remember the betting resolutions and this is exactly the type of opinion to oppose. In most seasons between one and three top flight teams are eliminated at this stage, this makes none at 200/1 at absolute must bet scenario.
One further bet advised with Totesport is a 3/1 enhanced multiple on Chelsea, West Ham and Villa at 3/1 – I like the look of that!
Let us plunder the enemies satchel for those red beautiful fifties. Allow yourself to be carried on the moment and bet with a stake that reflects a desire for the thrill. Be less than responsible is the Majors advice for a fulfilling and regret free existence.
The Nap is a Villa win doubled with a win for Birmingham City. The brave should chuck in Mister Carter and Notts Forest and make it a lucky 15.
I leave you with the great Scotts quote which I believe to be a good rule by which to live…. ‘Every day some new fact comes to light – some new obstacle which threatens the gravest obstruction. I suppose this is the reason which makes the game so well worth playing.’