Tag Archives: toubab

The Saturday Sermon – Racing Action from Doncaster, Navan and Kelso… Live with intensity my friends… Cheltenham is here

Good evening from the Major who writes from my cold Worcestershire pile. Today in meteorological terms the calendar turned to Spring but this season awakens like a slow lumbering animal whose limbs have lain stiff and frozen for some time, creaking now into life, the ice and frost cracking as new movement arrives.

I wish for you all that you live an interesting life. According to psalms, we are all here for our four score and ten, 90 years in new money, although for most of us that is pushing it.   In the UK you are likely to finish ten years light of that allocation, in some sub Saharan Africa countries where one in three adults are HIV positive, that number can be under 50.  That is an average.

Swaziland by some distance sports the lowest life expectancy.  More than half of all adults in their 20s are HIV positive.  Subsistence farming and marijuana are the key economic planks.

Interesting?  It won’t stop me telling you more.  Afghanistan is the only country in the lowest twenty life expectancies outside of Africa.  You have to scoot 40/50 countries up to find the next which is Haiti.  At the top end, it is who you would expect, Japan, Macau and small rich European countries.

The range is startling.  Yet you cannot measure your life merely in longevity, ask those in long-term incarceration.  Other elements are in play.  We pursue wealth because it buys things we seek pleasure from.  It helps to have the resources but the attitude is more important. You can be rich and allow the precious resource to be frittered.  Your use of time.

Use your time today with some intensity.  Variety is no substitute.  If you are to travel around the world, before you pay for the experience, make sure you are capable of absorbing and engaging in an environment first.

The man I used as a role model for living was Sir Clement Freud. Politician, chef, bon viveur, jockey, owner and a man capable of drawing much from that around him. The post has remained open since his death although Strange Rumblings is doing his best to find me a replacement.

Next weekend is Imperial Cup and then we are at Cheltenham.  Let us foray across the enemy line, skirmishing in tight formation.  Smash and grab, cut, thrust and run.  To the sports…

Doncaster Tips

When I saw the Doncaster card this morning, I had to get a dictionary to remind myself of what the word firm meant in the going description!  Saturdays ground is described as good.

The Doncaster opener should go to Themilanhorse but I don’t like backing runners in three runner affairs.  The second listed novice is more interesting even if it is only to watch Ma Filleule breeze up against a field that are simply not as good.  1/3 does not put me off.

Toubab is also a favourite I fancy – He looks like a sort who will really appreciate the return to faster conditions judged on his form with Sprinter Sacre that has been eclipsed by poorer runs on softer ground.

The staying chase is a minefield.  Join Together is the likely favourite and has a tremendous progressive profile.  Now the national weights are out, he is one of a few we can expect to see coming to the boil.  Yet I am not convinced that he will like the top of the ground.  Corkage is an interesting runner, particularly given the jockeys clear preference for him over the shorter priced stablemate Night in Milan, Corkage won’t mind the ground either.  Court by Surprise and Quentin Collonges are also eye catchers, the former beat the latter who might be better suited in these conditions.

Calgary Bay is the class horse amongst them and that with the coupling of AP McCoy gives me the confidence for a win bet at 8/1.

In the staying handicap hurdle, Aaim to Prosper will be trying to pay out on some of the hype.  The dual Cesarewitch winner has only managed placings in hurdles to date although they have been at a decent standard.

Carruthers is going to try to blast it from the front but I am not sure these conditions will suit.  I prefer instead the chances of both Barafundle at 9/1 and Eagle Rock at 12/1.  The former has been consistent and not badly treated by the handicapper.  The latter Eagle Rock to me looks like he might have bags of improvement to come.  12/1 tasty.

Kelso Tips

The Kelso hurdle is a grade 2 affair and while Eduard has some good form and Brick Red is stepping up after impressing in handicaps.  I also interested in 9/2 shot Only Orsenfoolies who has really stepped up as a hurdler and is proven in the soft conditions, I am not sure he beat too much last time but he dug deep.

Eduard is the obvious choice, he boasts the most clear likelihood of talent and I suggest a big investment at 5/4.

A second favourite Harry Topper is backed to make pay his decision to miss Cheltenham in the 4.15.  I was a backer of Bold Sir Brian on the day he fell at Cheltenham.  They had the screens up that day and you feared the worst but thank god, he got up once he had his wind back.  Who knows what that experience has left on him and I just hope he has a safe round at Kelso.

Navan Tips

The only Navan horse I am interested in is Wise Oscar who reverts to this code on a terrifyingly good mark and 11/8 is tasty.

In the football I am backing Hull to beat Blues at home and also taking a slice of Sunderland and Swansea.

The Martin Hill Lucky 15 is Wise Oscar, Harry Topper, Eduard and Eagle Rock.

I hope your dinner is tasty and home cooked.  Sleep well.

Courage and roll those dice.

KABOOM The Majors Saturday Service – Horseracing Tips – Racing Post Chase, Kempton; The Eider at Newcastle – Lingfield – Premier League Tips

Good morning from wet Pershore where the pluviometer indicates significant precipitation yet the warm coffee musters good feeling.  The Major is ready for Saturdays action.

Fistral Beach, named after the legendary Newquay surfing mecca

Our February profits have sunk to just 8%.  A few things to remember.  The Major is transparent, you can see everything I advised by following the tabs in the menu bar above.  As a man that has to work full time, I am proud to return any profit, my goal is 20%.  If you include the bookmakers over-round, that puts me 40% ahead of the market at any given time, a worthy and challenging target.

It is also a sign of what life is like for an amateur punter.  It shows why you have to keep perspective about winning and losing.  Returning those profits, if I stay disciplined will mean that not only do I get to enjoy my horseracing tipping hobby but it will be profitable over time, even to the slim margin I suggest.

Consider the roulette table, playing straight numbers the house pays 36/1.  Yet there is a 37th number.  This gives the house just a 2.7% advantage.  As Einstein, who had a lot to say about roulette commented ‘No one can possibly win at roulette unless he steals money from the table while the croupier isn’t looking’. 

I am aiming for my own judgement / pricing supremacy over the enemy to be 30-40%, thats a serious improvement in judging sporting outcomes, a significant house advantage to the Major.

Should you wish to criticise or congratulate my performances, you can leave your comments, I welcome them, encourage them and enjoy them.  Should you wish to know the very moment a post is issued, then sign up to the email service in the left hand column or twitter @tdl123.  Should you wish to complain that most of my tips do not come in, please do not read on, the Major writes for those who understand the principle of value.  The messages I get tell me the mysterious readers (150 last Saturday) are a positive bunch, generally encouraging me back to the fray when things go wrong. 

In return, I will not butter up my results or advice, I will not offer aftertiming or over celebrate a result, I also ask you not to expect too much.  Be there to celebrate the 22/1 winners as well as to understand that 4 from 5 bets will not come home.   Rest assured however, that considered punters like ourselves are the enemies scourge.

Once more we saddle our chargers, sheepskin cover and blinkers and prepare to face the devious enemy on the field of battle.  He has priced his markets, I have researched my angles into the value.  I offer to you, free of charge, no strings attached, my version of the Saturday value tips. 

To war, my friends.  Let us return to the breach, or we shall be clogging up the walls with our gambling dead.

3pm – The Racing Post Chase – Kempton

Just as the football kicks off, so does the race of the day.  This looks like a cracking renewal of the race with many of last years protagonists sizing each other up again.  Conditions will play a part (Newcastle goes ahead, Chepstow might not) but Sandown will get a dousing mid to late morning and then dry up, I am going to assume soft but sticky.

The Major has been a long-term follower of Fistral Beach and the horse continues to cost me money.  That said, I expected his chances in todays race to be better advertised but seemingly, he has become a little friendless.  The money is piling in for Nacarat, (who is the Pricewise selection) and this must offer some value elsewhere, including the Majors selection.  This is the thinking…

The RP Chase is one of the better handicaps at this stage of the season.  We have seasoned King George placers, young up and comers as well as a few old monkeys trying to revive some sort of form.   The winner is normally an already known strong performer.  As it a handicap, we are looking for one either improving or on the career plateau.  This has not gone to a true outsider in some time. 

Nacarat has probably shown the best class in the field.  As a result he gets top weight.  He is well weighted though if you consider his efforts in the 09 and 10 renewals of the race.  Pricewise has to be well-respected, he is certainly better than me.  That does not mean that you changes your mind though when your line of thought was different though.  It is these differences that you need to exploit to find the elusive value.  I cannot help but think that at age ten, we know everything about Nacarat and I am not sure rain is going to suit his chances, he would be fine on genuine soft but I think the likely tacky stuff Kempton will serve up may not suit.. 

Remember, we are looking for something rated just short of very good.  Perhaps 145ish.  The horses that brings into focus are:

Tatenen, Free World, Quinz, Bakbenscher, Razor Royale and I am going to throw in my personal horse to follow, Fistral Beach.

I ruled out Mostly Bob who is interesting but Johnson deserted in favour of Quinz and although he said it was a tight decision, I think Mostly Bob might find things happening a bit too quickly today, although O’Brien in the saddle is a favoured jockey for the Major and he looks like he will appreciate a right-handed track, this seems to be too much of a step up at this stage. 

Both Quinz and Mostly Bob also get lines through them due to trainer form.  Just 1 win from the last 25 runners for Hobbs does not convince you that his string are in top-notch form, thus they are overlooked.

Ringaroses looks suspiciously well handicapped but you need more than that for a RP chase win, you need proven quality and recent form and that is not there for Ringaroses.

The horses well suited to conditions in the Majors view are Hey Big Spender (who I think will struggle to cart weight just 1lb short of Nacarat around), Fistral Beach and Bakbenscher. 

Before I make comment on the couple I have it down to, a word for Razor Royale.  Twiston Davies will have him tuned up and I am sure this is his possible moment in the sun this season.  That said, I am unsure a repeat of the previous battle with Nacarat is certain.

For the Major, there are two of clear interest in the market.  Bakbenscher and Fistral Beach.

Followers of Fistral Beach have lost a lot of money backing him to win races – He has been a beaten favourite more often than anything else in the race.  I find it interesting then that champion trainer Nicholls still comments today that ‘I think Fistral Beach has a lot in his favour, he has a nice weight and is on a fair mark.’

It is not often that Mr Nicholls proclaims he has one in and the Major has listened. 

Fistral beach is 2 from 4 on soft and I think that is where the ground will go.  Although he has only tried 3m once, I think he will get it well and the breathing op he had in the summer seemed to have worked wonders.  Nicholls looks set tot have this as the target, this looks like a champion trainer special to me.

Bakbenscher is 3 from 5 on soft and I cannot ignore him either.  He could be the fly in the ointment.  I just don’t trust his jumping enough for this although if King has straightened that out, he could be a major threat.

Fistral Beach for the Major and I really like this one, so lump in for the win.  13/2 at the moment with Hills but I suspect with Nacarat clearly fancied everywhere but here, that price may drift.

3.15pm The Eider, Newcastle

4m 1f around Newcastle when it is bottomless is more than a stamina test it is an insane non stop energy sapping war of attrition.  This really will be a race that will suit a careful deliberate jumper.  We might only get two / three finishers so a huge priced outsider that would definitely get round may not be the worse selection ever either… 

That said, there are only two horses in the race who have won at the distance.  Comply or Die, the Murphy national hero horse who was the Majors first ever Grand National winner; is one.

The other is the selection, Belon Gale.  This sort fits the bill perfectly and to be honest I would take a slice of the National antepost too .  11/2 is generally available.  The Northumberland National it won last time stepping up beyond 3m for the first time was a significant step up in form, this looks like the National plot horse for the Howard Johnson team. 

Minella Boys could be a threat but the Sussex National while requiring a staying type, is not the same extreme test as this. 

Have a slice and send me the postcard.

The Other Horseracing Tips

With the two big races out of the way, let us review a couple of other fancies. 

Back to Sandown, the Majors betting resolutions dictated that you should not get too stuck in to novice / juvenile types. 

That said, the Henderson horse, Molotof, looks very interesting in the opener at Sandown (1.55).  It is second favourite to a Nicholls horse, Tonic Mellysse, but incredibly the ownership is the same.  The Munir clan look to have sourced two good sorts from France.  The reason I like the second of the two is that Henderson clearly targets some of his better novices (from his embarrassment of riches) at this race.  Previous winners include two of Hendersons Champion Hurdle sorts in Punjabi and Binocular.

That must be a good indicator that this is one of the better novices in an outstanding yard and thus, 10/3 Bet365 is a must bet price for the Major.

3.35 Kempton – Pullyourfingerout could win this grade 2.

Toubab has been the subject of a talking down from the yard and while I really respect Celtus (again a Munir owned horse), I think there will plenty here trying to cut each others throats.  If AP McCoy can get pullyourfingerout to settle, it is well worth a bet that he can pick these off in the home straight.  10/1 generally available.  The Powell horses are in fine order (31% strike rate the last two weeks).  Smash into this one.

At Lingfield, the 2.10 Blue Square Sprint Series Final is a 6f affair that is a tasty conundrum.  nothing appeals more than Qadar whose change of home seems to have lit up the horse.  I am certain a 5lb rise will not stop this one … 6/1 Bet365 is a serious mistake.  While Qadar may have fallen from grace, the new stable seem to have resparked some passion and he is still 23lbs inferior to the height of his racing mark.  Artic Lynx is a danger to all looking for a hat-trick and 100% record at Lingfield.

Duff is the class act in the Lingfield 3.10 and the Major has backed Hitchens many times in quality races like this listed affair.  I have to say that Anne of Kiev would have carried the dough but stall 1 is a nightmare.  The one the Major plumps for is rank outsider, Elna Bright.  33/1 with Bet 365,   trainer form a slight concern but visor fitted and a sharper effort last time out give this one a small shout, 33/1 it is not.

To the sports fields of Britain…..

I always seem to back teams against my own club West Brom, I promise it is not some sort of self-abuse, I just think Albion are there for the taking.  The last two home games, our opposition has been 3/1 for the win and both ended in score draws.  I maintain this line on Albion being lesser value to Stoke today where you can back the home team at an incredible EVENS with Hills.  Get stuck in, load the large cannon and KABBBOOOOOOOMMMM! Although the Major will not celebrate, it is like scoring against an old club, it is not the done thing – Martin I promise this is not a wind up.

Victor Chandler have lost their minds offering Nottingham Forest at 2/1 to win in south London.  Millwall are alright but nowhere as good as Forest who are quietly going about their business in an impressive style.  The squad is big enough to cope with the current injury list, I want them on my side today.

Bolton look overpriced too at 14/5 to win at St James Park. Sturridge has added an extra dimension to Bolton who are in with a far better chance than that of picking up three points.

Equally Sunderland at 4/1 to win at Goodison is a must bet for the Major.  Everton may be missing Cahill too which is a significant blow, they are a really hot and cold team where Sunderland have earned their Europa League chasing position.

In the Rugby, I think the French will hunker down and make it a tight game at Twickenham.  This makes the first try scorer bet on Ashton a no bet despite the appeal that the young gun clearly has. 

I prefer to back Italy with a plus ten handicap mark against Wales at evens (Bet 365) – This is normally a close encounter and despite the drubbing last time out, I think this is a decent Italy team, home advantage could see them win today without the need for the handicap reassurance.

Being smacked around the pitch by the Dutch is not a good warm up when your next ODI is against Tendulkar and Sehwag.  1/2 on for India who should beat England comfortably.

The NAP has to be Fistral Beach at 13/2 – He has carried my money too often without return, he will come good today.

The lucky 15 will be Fistral Beach, Molotof, Belon Gale and Notts Forest – That should pay for Christmas!

William Hill Offer

Now before you start thinking, has the Major sold out, please understand that I have no affiliation to any bookmaker and earn no income from this site.

However, a word must be said today for William Hill.  they are offering a £25 free bet on sign up (fairly standard I hear you say) PLUS a £30 free bet for using the Racing Post Iphone / Android app.

This must be a go for it scenario.  Sign up an account with £30, you know they are going to give you a £25 free bet.  then go for the app too and place your bet through it.  You have to email in to confirm it but you will get £55 of free bets to your original £30 stake. 

Hills are best price on the NAP too!  Have a chunky slice of that and thank me at tea time.

Tonight, I suggest Game Pie.  A hearty ale to accompany.  Try the Butty Bach from the Wye valley – Light, tasty and refreshing.  Throw a log on the fire as the evening draws in, sit content, take your dog to the pub and allow him to lie on the flagstone floor, throw him the odd scratching. 

When you feel that wad of notes in your pocket, smile and order the good brandy, the Major is happy for you.  Don’t consider this the comeback, we were never gone.

The Majors Saturday Service – Welsh National Tips, FA Cup Third Round Tips

Last expedition of Robert Falcon Scott. The im...

These boys would have taken 14/1 like real men - Each way is for the Norwegians!

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. 

Can the Major draw your attention to two recent updates – Firstly, you can sign up to the email alerts.  This will simply email you immediately as the Major posts afresh, see the left column.  The other update is that all of the Majors posts now immediately post to Twitter @tdl123.

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.’