Tag Archives: Thehillsofuisneach

Thursday Cheltenham Tips… World Hurdle, Ryanair, Jewson…..

What a cracking day of racing at Cheltenham….. Finians got the better of Sizing Europe in an eventful and epic Champion Chase.

Big Bucks goes for a 4th World Hurdle - Do you want to be an odds on shot that can run so flat?

The Major had tipped Wishfull Thinking who kept out causing chaos at the last fence in the home straight. Course staff then seemed to indicate (by the positioning of signs) that horses should jump the fence on the final circuit but to the right. Then the flag man came out at the last second to seem to instruct the horses to go round.This caused a late swerve from Sizing Europe but in the Majors eyes, probably inconvenienced Finians Rainbow more that Sizing Europe.  On balance, I think the course staff moved the signs on the fence to protect the area where Wishfull Thinking had fallen; what is sure is that we dodged a bullet because Finians and Sizing did well to lead the field around.

The Major had the first two winners tipped up on the blog and then the day was blessed by a 40/1 winner in Une Artiste who the Major had tipped up at Kempton on 25th Feb and was delighted to see return a winner.  At this stage it is definitely The Major 2, Bookies 0.

Enough of all that, this is merely half way, the enemy is wounded but it beaten and Thursdays cards carry the despicably fatal handicaps that are the Byrne Plate and the Kim Muir.

The Trixie of Death took a bit of a beating – Reds are losses, the greens are wins…

Hurricane   Fly Boston Bob Oscar Whisky (w/o   Big Bucks)
Quevega Sprinter Sacre Sizing Europe
Grand Crus Going Wrong Simonsig

Thursday Cheltenham Tips….. Once more dear friends…

The Jewson

Already Advised: Sir Des Champs 6/1

Five likely sorts in Solix, Champion Court, Peddlers Cross, Sir des Champs and Cristal Bonus.

Peddlers dodged two other festival engagements to run in the Jewson and with the trainer scoring winners already, 7/2 is very fair. Sir Des Champs a winner last year has had support all week and won’t mind conditions at all. Hendersons festival form simply means you cannot ignore Solix and Cristal Bonus looks suitably progressive.

On balance I think Sir Des Champs is the one for me. Although Peddlers destruction by Sprinter Sacre was probably on a ‘wrong day’, Sir Des Champs has relative form anyway an is 1/1 on good ground.

The Pertemps Final

No louder cheer bar that which would meet Kauto will be available if Buena Vista completes a hat trick of Pertemps Finals wins. The Major doubts it will happen but in a competitive race where the bottom of the handicap carries 10, 6; anything can happen.

The Major has settled on thehillsofuisneach who has the relevant experience and is a generally improving sort. 16/1, shabash.

The Ryanair

Already Advised: Noble Prince 6/1

Put simply I think Noble Prince and Riverside Theatre are the choices and of the two I feel the conditions have come right for Riverside Theatre. How he will run here and the ‘bounce’ factor are not factors in the Majors mind.

The World Hurdle

Already Advised: Oscar Whisky (w/o Big Bucks) 7/4

Big Bucks. Simple.  My son turns 4 in April, he was not born the last time a horse beat Big Bucks.

I did advise Oscar Whisky originally without Big Bucks.  I am not sure about this anymore – If he tries to take on Big Bucks, he might lose by a mle.

Byrne Group Plate

Bar the opening race of the week, the Byrne Plate is the hardest race to call of the festival in the Major’s eyes.

No solid trends to the race mean that you have less framework to the decision.

On balance the Major suggests Salut Flo and Niceonefrankie who both should go well. Again a race in which being double handed is a benefit.

The Kim Muir

Another puzzle of a handicap and one in which the Majors pin has stopped on Brackloon High. His latest dead heat was decent with the front pair well clear, the ground is a big plus and at 25/1, the Major is interested.

The New Trixie Table of Doom

This one is flatter but all lines are doubles and trebles…… 11 bets..

Riverside   Theatre Brackloon High Long Run
Pearl Swan Sir   Des Champs Big   Bucks

The Saturday Sermon.. Ascot Tips, Haydock Tips, Black Caviar

Good morning from a dark mild Defford where the Major and his Coffee have been up watching the mighty mare Black Caviar win her 19th race on the bounce.

Black Caviar... For the first time, the Major accepts that she might be better than Frankel

Congratulations to all connections, today’s victory is another astonishing chapter in her career.

Firstly consider she was dropped to 5f, a trip well short of ideal.  then consider she was meeting the only horse to have previously give her a race, Hay List, over his ideal distance.  Then consider she had to come off the bridle (pretty rare!) to get the better of him by under two lengths, coming within a whisker of beating the course record.  Great cricket all round.  As an achievement, it ranks with all of her races for the Major.

It reminded me somewhat of Prince Nazeem who as a young boxer seemed capable of anything.  Stepping up two weight divisions to beat Steve Robinson on his home turf of Cardiff.  Let’s hope Black Caviar doesn’t have a penchant for drugs and booze!

What a prospect awaits if connections get Black Caviar to Royal Ascot where she might meet Frankel in the Queen Anne.  What a curtain raiser that would be!  Black Caviar would be probably at the top end of her distance and given a handy mare’s allowance, it would be an unbelievable race.  Please, Jesus, please.

What a day of sport we have on this fine mid February morning.  FA Cup, Ascot, Haydock, Wincanton and a good card in Ireland.  The riches are laid before us, delicacies that remind us how good it is to be alive.  Savour moments like these.

The Major hopes to be posting ante-post round ups for Cheltenham and the National in the coming week, watch this space.  Let’s build the war chest with some winners today.

1.50 Ascot Reynoldstown Novice Chase

This looks a hot rematch between Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti who look to have the race between them.

The positives for Conti include his Ascot course win (hurdling) and his second to Grand Crus in the Feltham where he had Bobs Worth in behind.  Clearly high quality, sure to run a big race.

However, Bobs Worth however has positives of his own, Henderson cannot do wrong at the moment with a terrific strike rate.  Interestingly, Bobs Worth had a breathing operation after the Feltham suggesting more is expected.  The Major thinks this is telling.

Thus, on balance, I think Bobs Worth is well worth a healthy punt at 6/4 and that is the Rendlesham tip.  As a footnote, surely backing both is a shot to nothing?

2.10 Haydock – Prestige Novice Hurdle

This graded hurdle race looks wide open at 7/2 the field and a number of leading contenders.

Thehillsofuisneach has looked an improver in each of his handicap runs but has to concede weight here.  4/1 is a reasonable reflection of his chances.

Ruben Cotter is a Nicholls horse who has not shown enough yet to warrant much more than his 14/1 pricing.  His Chepstow run in heavy ground was reasonable and while better than 14/1, perhaps it is telling that this one holds no entries for the festival.

Brinsdini Breeze looked very impressive winning in difficult conditions over this distance at Newcastle where he made all.  I do worry that this style may not suit in this company and as such is overlooked.  He would have to be top quality to lead this lot a merry dance.

On balance, I am all for Stan James and Ladbrokes pricing of Real Milan at 9/2.  This horse represents last years winning trainer and although the bare form does not quite hold up, I think the scope for improvement is there. 

3pm Ascot – Betfair Chase

An absolute belter of a lineup with Riverside Theatre (last years winner), Kauto Stone and Medermit.

The Major is siding with Kauto Stone who I am hoping gets Paul Nicholls back into a better line of form. 

Kauto Stone has come with a very solid reputation and although he failed to add to that in the Tingle Creek, he was running over an inadequate distance and up against the reigning Champion Chaser, Sizing Europe. 

While Riverside Theatre should offer a solid round (with well-being taken for granted), Kauto Stone would not have to improve too much to threaten that form and is probably entitled to be better than previous, particularly now stepped up in trip.

The tip is Kauto Stone, 5/2, Paddy Power or William Hill.

3.20 Haydock Grand National Trial

Now the national weights are out, I am sure we will start to see better runs from a number of GN entries, guaranteed of a racing weight in April.

The inclusion of Neptune Colonges has left many of todays runners out of the handicap proper.  The top weight is the class act of the field and should certainly be involved.  That said, although recent efforts have shown some spark, is Neptune Collonges the force of old?

Le Beau Bai and Giles Cross recently slugged it out in the Chepstow mud and both could go well here but the Major looks beyond them.

Two of note, Always Right has obvious chances with a great strike rate (when completing).  Some Target stepped back up in trip will also be a threat.

The tip though is Mohayer at 10/1.  I think the improvement seen this season may not be out of place or, yet complete.  The further this one goes, the better it seems and I am willing to back it at the prices.

To the football….

My big tips in the footy are Norwich to beat Leicester in the FA Cup, 10/11 is like someone knocking on your door and delivering a thick wedge of sterling.

Bristol Rovers can beat Oxford at home, being a form team, so 19/10 is a bit big.

That’s it from the Major today.  May your dinner tonight be illustrious and bountiful, take many friends and enjoy. 

Courage and roll those dice.