Tag Archives: thought worthy

The Saturday Sermon – Doncaster Tips (St Leger), 20/1 Chester Tip and the St Leger Curragh Action – Mr John Dunlop and the subject of patience….

Good morning from the Major who writes from the Birmingham suburb of Yardley where an overcast heaven misleads.  The air has a lightness, it will be a nice day.

Camelot bids to be the first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky…. Good luck Team Ballydoyle

This is the time of year for the Major.  It is dark enough at night and in the morning for a man who sleeps lightly to rest properly.  the sun does not burn at my fair Northern skin and my eyes relax more having to squint less against the bright light.

What a cracking day of racing too.  Both the English and Irish St Leger meets (although two entirely different races) and Camelot bids very strongly to become the first triple crown winner the Major will have had the pleasure to witness.

Fair play to connections for taking this route.  Doncaster races must be absolutely made over – The St Leger has lost a good deal of lustre over recent years.  Watching Masked Marvel struggle yesterday, I wonder what impact this grueling affair can have on three year old horses.  This might be why top owners have taken the best horses into other races, I do not know for sure.

What is certain is that the St Leger has lost some of the Group One class it is bestowed with.  The arrival of unbeaten Camelot is a shot in the arm for the last of our classics.

John Dunlop announced retirement this week and what better way to mark your retirement announcement than to have the winner in the feature race on Friday, Times Up ran the trainer proud.

Plenty of accolades have been sprayed about regarding Mr Dunlop and the Major will not try to do what others know better.  I will say something about patience though.

Last night, my father in law watched the Shawshank Redemption.  Like many, it is a film he has seen quite a few times before and knowing the outcome adds to the enjoyment.  The subtleties that transpire over a period of time are nurtured and grow.

What a different film it would be if the prison break had been effected over the course of a year., not through guile and perfection but through reaction and urgency?  Where we buy into the aloof lead character is that without uttering a word, he spent half a lifetime achieving something in silence.  A thing he was happy to carry on his soul alone.

The Major sadly is a product of the modern generation.  I am used to having desires fulfilled here and now.  Food is cheap and available and not something you grow.  Purchases of aspiration come immediately, saving is something you do not need to do when you can acquire cheap credit, why wait… This is the lesson of the modern generation.

As someone whose hungers are avaricious and grasping, I think I am able to spot a patient man better than most and Mr Dunlop strikes me as such.  The manner in which he built a training empire.  The manner in which his main owner won the Gold Cup (his stated personal dream) the year before he died after decades of trying.  The manner in which Mr Dunlop carries himself.  Ah yes, I recognise what I do not exhibit.

Mr Dunlop leaves a racing legacy through his sons, again something deliberate which he created.  Spoils of satisfaction are greater for those who built rather than bought.  I imagine he is a content man and wish him all the best for retirement.

To the sports

Doncaster St Leger Tips

Camelot has brushed aside all opposition he has faced and is n better than 4/9 to complete his triple crown bid at Donnie this afternoon.  His turn of foot when putting the derby to bed was devastating and why would we think that staying would be an issue over this 500m odd further?  He won the derby by five lengths being eased, why would the St Leger distance pose a greater problem?

Main Sequence, second in the derby has no right to be reversing the form in my view.  Yet O’Brien has issued a slight warning about staying the distance.  If you ask me, that is simply bluster, the sort of thing a Premier League manager does to deflect potential blame – Camelot should win and O’Brien should accept that as fact.

It is a race in which you can score terrific each way value.  Gosden has a terrific record in this race and when pushed, Buick has selected to ride Thought Worthy.  I am not sure he has got this choice right but perhaps the sluggish look to his Irish Derby race might be ground connected, it was slow that day.

I am going to suggest two lively outsiders for you.

Thomas Chippendale is lightly raced but was beaten well by Thought Worthy at York.  I am not reading too much into that as conditions were rattling and I do not think that this one acted on it – I would not put you off an each way slice at 28/1.

However, the Major is going for a 16/1 tip for the St Leger (Ladbrokes go quarter odds the place) with Guarantee.

If we are going to get Camelot beat, it will be the unlikely circumstance that the favourite does not stay.  Dartford is in the race to ensure a decent pace and I think they might go quickly enough to try to exploit any potential stamina issues – This would set things up well enough for Guarantee who will be doing his best work at the death.

Late and fast, grimly staying on…. Let us see if Guarantee can give us the each way value.  If you can take it, have a lumpy bet on the favourite too at 4/9.

The Irish St Leger – Tips for the Curragh

the Irish St Leger is an open aged affair and Gosden sends Aiken over on a raid.  This could bear fruit as the Chantilly race he won was a very good Group affair.  That said, his form in the Hardwicke was not brilliant.

Fame and Glory has won several times at the Curragh and the O’Brien trained favourite will no doubt be popular.

Brown Panther is another British raider with a sporting chance and the form with the others is well tied.

Hartani looks progressive to me and while he did not win his Leger trial, it was an eye-catching run all the same.  The classic generation gets a generous lump of weight in this race but do not have a great race record.  Interesting but I am not convinced this will be the first three year old in the last eleven years to win the Irish St Leger.  Incidentally the last horse to do so was the incredible Vinnie Roe who won the first of four St Leger crowns for Dermot Weld at the age of three.

The Major has thought long about the likely way the race will pan out and in the finish I am going to suggest that Britain can complete a hat-trick of wins in this race.

I am opting for Aiken, his trainer works miracles with these sorts and 5/1 looks generous to me.

2.40 Chester – Listed Mile

After the loss of Never Can Tell yesterday, what better result that if Area Fifty One or Good Morning Star could win the feature Chester race for Dr Khoukash.

The market seems to think that Modun is the main threat but the Major has some serious doubts about this 13/8 favourite.  He has been tried at a higher level than this and I am pretty sure he is under-priced here.

Instead the Major is going to stick with a horse that I still think has some class to show, if they can crack the code.

Naseem Alyasmeen is 20/1 with Ladbrokes and at this price, I suggest an investment.  The Hamilton run did not look right to the Major and I remain optimistic that we will get a tune out of this girl sooner or later.  Crucially she has form around the tight turns of Chester winning a handicap here in the summer (although off a lowly mark).  Have a slice and thank me later.

Doncaster Tips – Champagne Stakes

Having covered the St Leger, I am back to Donnie for the second race of the day, the Group Two Champagne Stakes.

Toronado won a decent listed Ascot contest and looks well worth a crack at the Champagne Stakes.  Representing last years winning trainer, surely a decent chance.

Tha’ir continues to run well for Godolphin who have won the race twice in the last five years.  The last run at Sandown in Group Three company was pretty good – I just wonder if the bridesmaid position beckons again for this one who looks difficult to place.

5/4 shot Dundonnell won the Acomb Stakes very well last time out and you can see why he heads the market.  Under pressure at the end of that race, he seemed to lug right for the Major though and that is enough to put me off.

On balance, I am tipping Toronado for the Champagne at 11/4 (Hills or Ladbrokes) – Decent price that.

Football Tips

International breaks give teams a chance to regroup and I would not be over-keen to read too much into the form of teams entering the break.

As such, the football tips the Major likes are 17/19 shots, Spurs to win at Reading and 16/11 Villa to do the business at home to Swansea.  Have a double on that!

May your dinner be fuelled by a long-awaited 20/1 winner.  A generous hearty meal awaits where wine may flow and hours pass.  With good company a man can be simply content.

Courage, roll those dice.

Friday Royal Ascot Tips – Profitable Ascot so far from the Major

Good morning from the Major whose Ascot week has been quite profitable so far.  Profitable yes, spectacular, not quite.

Yesterday, Princess Highway added to the winners with an 8/1 comfortable win (advised 13/2) and I thought we were desperately unlucky in the first with my 12/1 selection finishing fifth after being hampered at the furlong pole.

Today I have only time for a short post so I offer you some speedy tips…

The Albany Stakes Tips – Ascot 2.30pm

Newfangled is a tasty favourite for this after having the race on her schedule following her easy Newmarket win.  Given that was on soft you can see why she would be all the rage this morning.

That said, others will handle soft too and I am looking for some value.  In the last five years we have had winners at 50/1, 16/1, 16/1 as well as an odds on favourite.

The Albany tip from the Major is going to Sandreamer at 16/1.  It is an animal that fits the ‘could be anything’ bracket after smashing moderate horses on debut.  The ground is a slight concern as that race was on good to firm and these conditions will be very different but I like most that the trainer has taken the Albany three times in ten years.

Of the rest, Sendmylovetorose is also terrific value at 16/1 and I would not put anyone off a pop at that one, given the easy debut win at Naas on soft.

3.05 King Edward Stakes Tips

I am a fan of Shantaram in this, currently 8/1 and set to drift if the Betfair money markets are right, I think I might be swimming against the tide.

Yet I thought the formline with Main Sequence and the progressive nature of the horse suggested that Shantaram was not simply rounding up the numbers in this. 

Of the others, I see no reason why Noble Mission will reverse form with Thought Worthy with the latter a true St Leger sort who will benefit over this further distance.

The Coronation Stakes Tip – Ascot 3.45

The 1,000 guineas form is crucial to assessing what is likely to happen in this race and the racing world has a definite chasm in opinion.  Some think that the form shown by Homecoming Queen in unusual conditions was exceptionally good, leading all the way and others think it is a race to discard.

The Major is towards the latter and certainly do not think the favourite is a good thing here.

Instead I offer Laugh Out Loud who since the 1,000 Guineas has won well in France and at York and surely won’t be making the mistake of giving Homecoming Queen as much rope this time.  9/2 have a slice.

Finally, in the 5pm Queens Vase, I would suggest a bet on the Queens horse, 4/1 Estimate.  Interesting that she is competing against the boys over this stayers distance and I would suggest this tip is not merely patriotic!

The Saturday Sermon – Tips for the Epsom Derby, Haydock Tips, Euro 2012 Thoughts – Near death experiences, Camelot, world politics…..

Good morning from the Major who writes to you from a duller than recent Worcestershire.  A grey sky drapes over us, choking the early summer and leaving a permanent dampness on the air.  A coolness the Major welcomes.

OK Camelot – Sea the Stars and Frankel have trod the path…. Your move

The Major is much happier in this weather.  What is to like about the summer anyway?  The heat brings insects, sunburn (particularly for my fair Northern skin) and sleepless nights.It is Derby Day.  Only 8 runners go to post,  the smallest field in over a hundred years caused by the presence of Camelot, the Ballydoyle number one.  The hype, tension and razzamatazz of these occassions make for great sport.

Indeed, now unbeaten in four races, including the 2,000 Guineas, you have to wonder why there is not more fuss being made.  The 4/6 shot for the Derby is rumoured to be bound for Doncaster and the St Leger if he wins today.

That would be fantastic for racing, the last triple crown winner, Nijinsky, conjured his magic before the glorious age of the Major.  Camelot’s presence would breathe new life into the last of the seasons classics which in recent years has looked pretty thin on quality – Stud value dictates dear friends… it’s all about the stud value.

I often wonder what my fee at human stud would be.  Fair shock of red hair, short of limb, cut of jib and dash in the eye that suggests mischief.  I imagine a solid £4,000 and most would try to breed me with a speedier sort.  I wouldn’t fight it.

A decent friend of the Major had a near death experience with fire a couple of weeks ago.  He was within 90 seconds of his own demise.  Such things allow time for reflection, he has had his moment to do just that.  I had one too, also with fire but in entirely different and embarrassingly stupid circumstances many years ago.  As these things will, that moment comes to me at odd times, a little flutter of the heart, what could have been.  The sheer quantity of paths we could take.

These things serve as worthy reminders of the Major’s regular Saturday Sermon lesson.  We float by just the once so enjoy yourselves and ask no question of good fortune, carry no grudge against ill.

The Major was taken with Mr Blairs appearance this week.  As time goes by I like the devious tinker more and more.  He still has that look of a man whose confidence arrived as the first air hit his face.  He not only thinks he is right, he knows it.  As a rascal myself, I know one when I see one.

Anyway with tips from the Epsom Derby, Haydock and some Euro 2012 thoughts, let us address our enemy today as a united front.  Allow a surge of adrenaline in your veins, daub thy war paint and mount thy charger.

To the sports…

The Epsom Derby

I have said enough in the past on my BBC v Channel 4 views so no need to delve into that, suffice to say, I look forward to the 2013 Derby.

The Ballydoyle team have a tight grasp on this seasons Classics.  Why picked up their third British classic yesterday to follow the earlier successes of Camelot and Homecoming Queen in the guineas.

This looks like the best chance the stable have of ridding a ten-year absence from Derby success.   It is a shame we have no Sir Michael Stoute runner.

A key question then is can we get Camelot beat?  Well if you like the odds on chances of the O’Brien star then I hope you caught the wager with Ladbrokes who offer a £20 bet refund if he loses! Giving it away!

Andrew Baldings Bonfire will be popular, despite the question of whether he will stay the full mile and a half.  Mind you, the same question mark hangs over Camelot – This is the furthest he has attempted, could he become undone – The Major thinks not.

In fact, I think this is a new star.  What Camelot lacks is the same PR machine that Frankel had – I think this will be in full overdrive if he wins today and then we might be salivating about the pair meeting at over a mile and a quarter or even the Arc!

At a bigger price, I did like the chances of Thought Worthy 16/1 – For the record I am going to tip an each way stake on that and possibly a reverse forecast with Camelot.

Tips for The Epsom Dash

I dop my cap to the good denizens of Paddy Power who go five places and quarter odds on the dash – That tempts a man into looking for a big price.

Epsom is a tricky course, the camber is quite pronounced and so many horses can suffer.  Less than half the field have track form and only three have won on course.

Dandy Nicholls has won this four times in the last ten years and the sprint King normally has half a dozen runners.  It is interesting then that his single handed with Fitz Flyer a 33/1 chance under Kieran Fallon.  This horse has only joined the yard this season but it is only trends that say he has a chance.

Like a moth to a flame though, the Major is drawn to Catfish at 9/1 – The reappearance run at York was tough and damn fine considering the time spent off track beforehand.  Entitles to be better and with Barzalona booked, I think she will enjoy the ground more than most of these…. have a slice.

Tips for Haydock Timeform Jury Stakes

The Haydock card looks good fun today too so enjoy if you are on track.  The Major has a fancy in the Timeform sponsored Group 3.

Sometimes it pays to keep things simple.  Red Jazz won nicely over course and distance recently and is top joint rated.  The rival in the ratings (Royal Rock) has a penalty to carry and the Major thinks more of Red Jazz anyway.

Load the heavy cannon at 7/4.

Euro 2012 Betting Advice

This is the Majors last chance before the European Championships start to impart some advice.

William Hill are offering 16/1 the chances of England winning in Eastern Europe as a special and I think you should have a slice.  Think me mad but this low key build up and lack of expectation is exactly what England needs.

Many saw the loss of Frank Lampard as a hit, the Major thinks the more that the under-achieving old guard are removed to make way for players with something to prove, the better.

Contrary to many views, I think that a front line of Young, Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain is extremely threatening and with a level headed manager who knows what he wants and is not influenced by external forces (such as the clammer to take more strikers), I think we have a better than usual chance.

Couple that with the fact that Spain and Germany have some pretty bad injuries and I am very positive about 16/1.

My three top goalscorer tips are:

Benzema 16/1 Hills – Decent French team and a good in form top class striker….

Jelavic 50/1 General – This seems way too big for the on-fire Toffeeman

Welbeck 100/1 Bwin (Betfair 227) – If you take my line on England then you have to follow that Welbeck is a stunning price.

May your dinner be a hearty beef dish with seasonal vegetables.  Did you know that the Majors local crop of Asparagus is reaching record prices after early season flooding produced a poor crop?  That should mean some local farmer sorts with money to burn, enjoy yourselves, remember that we have just one ticket to the show, choose wisely.

Courage, roll those dice…….

The Saturday Service – Tips for Newmarket, Bangor, Preakness Stakes, Uttoxeter

Good morning from a permanently grey and damp Worcestershire.  A cold gentle wet blanket hangs in the air, not the weather that Frankels return should be honoured with.  We should have had lightning or blazing heat.

Frankel might be the headliner today but Uttoxeter is where the Major plans to have it away

This week, the Major suffered an injury, a badly bruised, potentially broken toe.  It came about from a wrestling match where my opponent was a mighty octopus, I kid you not.My enemy had the element of surprise, attacking in the small hours, trying to suffocate me as I slept but I was quick…… not tonight my friend, I just ain’t ready to go yet….  I leapt from the bed and fought him to the floor.  The kicks I delivered were those of a deranged man whose heart is going at the maximum rate.  Accuracy of blow was sacrificed for a ferocious random savagery driven by blind fear for my life.  I am not experienced at this and recognise now that a coolness was needed in the heat of the moment.

Yet, I must have landed one or two decent blows on my powerful foe because my cephalopod friend retreated as quickly as he came.  An extensive search of chambers did not reveal a hiding place or the beasts method of entry or exit. intruiging.

The whole thing makes me suspicious it was a all a dream.  In the moment, it was real, I was there.  As Confucious (I believe it was he and due to the lateness of the hour, have no time to check) said: I dreamt I was a butterfly and now I am awake, I am unsure if I am a man who once dreamt about being a butterfly or a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.  Who knows?

I am aware that I need a couple of hours to update the stats… it will get done.  Last week was not great but this week I feel it.  Polish up the saddles men, we ride to victory.

With the focus on Frankels return, I feel some attention should be given to some of the summer jumping scene and I am offering tips from Bangor and Uttoxeter as well as Newbury and Newmarket.  This is where the Major does his best work.

Frankels return is special.  the Major is hoping to attend Sussex Stakes day at the other end of the summer where we might get the great match between Frankel and Black Caviar.  I think the Sussex Stakes conditions will be hugely in Frankels favour.  Firstly the distance, we know that Frankel will get a mile easily and we know he is as comfortable over shorter.  It would inconvenience him less to meet over 7f than it will Black Caviar to step up to a mile.  Secondly is the track.  Goodwood has an alarming camber and not all horses act there.  We know from Frankel destroying Canford Cliffs (His best performance in the Majors view) last year that this is no problem for Frankel, yet Black Caviar is uncertain…  I say get them at Ffos Las for a match race over 7f!!

Finally before the sports tips, as you know, the Saturday Service is a blog of habit.  You get the spiel, you know when you read ‘To the Sports’ we are into the tips, you understand the indicators of the things I really like… load the cannons (of varying size, have a slice (of varying size), money printer and other regular parlance of the tipster.  You get your dinner suggestion, sometimes with an indicator of the company you should take.  You get some military history or philosophy and the barely profitable tips…. All of it, the rambling of an unhinged mind.  Well I am adding something… soundtracking of my breakfast.  It made a debut last week and I continue it today….

Soundtracking my breakfast: The farm shop furnished me with the Racing Post and a pack of pork and asparagus sausages.  For those not in Worcestershire, it is Asparagus season, something that we celebrate in the Vale enthusiastically.  Accompanying I have some English Mustard and Rocket, it needs to be powerful and some Bramley Apple Juice, chilled to perfection.

To the sports…

Will Frankel Win at Newbury?

Tipping a horse at 1/3 is not much fun and I am not going to offer a tip.  Frankel is the best, a complete machine.  He has improved as he has learned to settle and that means he can now get further…. much further.  I think you should consider him an Arc horse although I am in a minority.

He has reportedly gained more physique over winter but these things can be more speculation than fact.

There is nothing on the racecard to scare him, only Black Caviar can do that.  Yet he had his setback so if we are going to get him beat it would be today.  His key rival in the race may also be better tuned after having a prep run.

No bet.

Bangor Tips

As much as I admire evens favourite Golden Call in the 3.10, I think we can get it beaten.

The horse represents trainer McCain who is in great form and has a super record at Bangor.  Yet we are taking the fact it jumps a fence well on chance.  Over this shorter distance, it will test that ability.

Instead I am going to tip Kauto Relko who has proven he can go over the larger obstacles and represents a yard who also have a good Bangor record.

I would suggest doubling that with Fabrika in the bumper (4.55).  Henderson always has a litany of these sorts winning and only the beautiful Rebecca Curtis has a chance of stopping him in the Majors view.

Newmarket Tips

Frankels brother races in the 2.15.  What a tag that is – A little unfair on the expectations of the colt really!

Thought Worthy who looked a really nice type coming out of a good maiden win.  His seasonal reappearance second was good form and in desperate conditions and I expect him to be fine with the better ground today.

That said, just because Noble Mission is always going to carry the moniker of being Frankels little brother, he is a progressive derby entry in his own right.  He has tasted one defeat, unlike his brother! The application of a hood is also a small concern but overall 15/8 is very fair.

I like the 3.20 listed race and in it I fancy Saigon at 11/2.  This represents a serious lowering of expectations back from Group 1 company in the 2,000 Guineas.  Previous pattern class form was OK.  The trainer does not have many Newmarket runners and not many winners from that but I think this unfashionable pick may prove decent value.

In the 3.55 I do not think Spice Fair has finished improving yet and so 6/1 Corals is decent pricing.  This horse owes me after last time.

Uttoxeter Tips

The track has started the day being described as good.  With the rain the Midlands is getting though, this could easily change and I fancy some rather dead ground.  In turn I am looking for some big priced fancies to spice up our Champions League warm up.

In the 6.25, Connections alone have Spate River trading as second favourite and with my gamble on the ground changing, I am ruling him out (never a more dangerous word said).  Jolly Roger the favourite also might not fancy it if it gets a bit squishier.

I give a squeak to Smalib Monterg who gets a 7lb claimer and comes from a yard with a good track record at Uttoxeter.  He has probably been running a bit honestly though and remains in the grip of the handicapper.

Flash Harriet was entitled to her reappearance run for which she has been raised 5lbs.  The Mare may be well treated and I would not put you off at 9/1.

The tip though is Hit The Switch at a massive 25/1 price.  The horse has been fairly well tried over hurdles without success but connections persist and I think there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.  I certainly think Hit the Switch will  benefit from a turn in conditions which will inconvenience many of his rivals.

The Preakness is off at 11.18 this evening and the Major is sticking with defeated Derby runner Creative Clause at 8/1.  Hills have taken an aggressive stance that Bodemeister will be defeated and offer 2/1.

The Champions League final is interesting as a sporting contest.  Chelsea have been successfully bloody minded and it is dangerous to back against such teams.  That said, Bayern are clearly a better outfit and have home advantage.  No bet.

Blackpool at 3/1 look too large.  The Championship play off can throw up some odd results and I think the frail camaraderie at West Ham will come under pressure today.

May your dinner be home made and a casserole.  So 1983.  Some good beef, fresh vegetable and some loving care will create a hearty dinner to be shared with close friends.  Crack a nice bottle of something dark red and settle in for the Preakness.

Courage and roll those dice.