Tag Archives: toubeera

The Saturday Sermon – Newbury, Doncaster, Kelso and Meydan… Premier League.. All aboard the Cheltenham Express to Profitsville

Good morning from The Major who writes groggy of mind, tired and emotional following a day in good company yesterday.  The Worcestershire morning scene is truly one of Gods finest vistas – Crisp, clean, excellent visibility, a coldness that kisses the skin gently, and a sharp white icing to the dark green evergreen flora and their bonier stick like deciduous friends.

It would be a lovely day to attend a national hunt racecourse, flask charged and small roll of notes tucked in your pocket.  Yet, we have to exercise caution, we are close to the festival now, in touching distance and we all must prepare our forces for that monumental battle.  What weaponry shall we bring to the field to defeat our enemy in ten days time?  Let it be enough.

I enjoyed a moment this week where I felt so certain about a wager, that it felt an unfair advantage, as though I had visited the future.  The bet was Olympiakos which I have spelt with both a ‘c’ and a ‘k’ indiscriminately.  It just seemed so obvious to me that they would win and they were almost 3/1 to do so.  I enjoyed that game with a smug grin.

Fortunately for mankind, my smugness was taken from me by the extremely poor performance of Fascino Rustico at Wincanton the following day.  I was so convinced that this Nicholls runner would win, I had half of my kith and kin invested.  Same feeling, different outcome.

In the case of the latter, I was most taken by the way it came into the race at Exeter previously where it had fallen two or three out, being turned out again, looked an advantage, I mean, this is Nicholls and he knows his string, if he says no damage, let’s go.  On the negative side of the ledger, who really knows what effect a fall has had and he was being asked to lump top weight against some better opposition.

A couple of notes to order.  Firstly, note how the Olympiacos (see what I did there) win had little cross-examination.  I thought something, it happened, I have signed the chitty, filed and receipted it and thrown the key away.  I came, considered, wagered, won and that is it.  Done.  Complis.

Yet, Fascino caused me to go back and re-examine the original paperwork.  How was I so confident, yet so wrong.  In this case I can point to those three factors – The weight in the ground, the improved opposition and the impact of the previous fall.  Something is learned.

Yet, note the difference between how we gamblers treat victory and defeat.  Glorious wins are never questioned.  Let’s say Olympiakos won but were a shade lucky, would I have treated that like defeat?  Would I have examined the thought process that led me to the wager or would I conveniently and quickly shut that down to simply enjoy the win.

The natural urge is only to scrutinise the calculation following a loss but to improve, you need to do it with every bet.  When you win, you want to improve the chances that you won for the right reasons.  Don’t be the broken clock that is correct twice in the day, or the blind squirrel finding the odd nut.  Ask yourself of each win, having witnessed the event, if I were to revisit my calculation would I do the same thing?

The mind is an incredible tool.  We are not in control of it as much as we might like.  We need to train our subconscious to be better at the intuitive appreciations of the factors prior to a wager.  It can be done but it takes years of investments my friends – Learn how to trust those instincts and more crucially when not to.  Sharpen those decision making tools to enable you to distinguish the signature signal from the incredible noise.

A quick joke and then the sports.

An Irish girl, heavily pregnant is involved in a car accident (fear not this ends well).  She is in a coma.  When she comes to, the doctor is present and she immediately notices that she is no longer pregnant.  The doctor puts her mind at immediate ease explaining that they delivered twins, a boy and a girl, while she was unconscious.  ‘Oh my’ she exclaims… ‘well where are they?’, ‘your brother has them’, ‘oh no, not my idiot brother!  What did he call them.  ‘Well’ the doctor replies ‘He called the girl Denise’… ‘Hmmm Denise, that is not so bad… what about the boy?’ ‘Ah’ says the doctor ‘he called that one Danephew!’

Newbury Tips

In the 3.15, Tiqris looks opposable, even though the money coming now makes me a little nervous and it is backed by some excellent trainer confidence.  The thing is, his form last time was nothing special.  I am placing a small bet on Kuda Haraa, whose Huntingdon form has been well advertised – Hobbs is certainly in much better form than King (31% over 11% win ration last fortnight) but I am swung by the generous 15/2 Stan James are giving me on my selection.. small stakes.

The 3.50 Grade 3 has attracted a poor field but this is a race dominated by Ditcheat over the years.  In the last ten runnings, they have won with Pacha du Polder, Aerial, Big Fella Thanks, New Little Bric, Natal and Cornish Sett.  Thus the entries must be taken very seriously indeed.  He has Rebel Rebellion at the top of the weights and at a similar price, my selection, Ulck Du Lin.  I think the former keeps the weights nice for the later.  My horse has the advantage of Noel Fehily in the saddle.  He does not have a tremendous win record but recorded one of those on heavy ground.  Fehily is 3 from 7 runs for Nicholls – I am happy with this one – Shangani is the danger but that Venetia Saturday thing is getting a bit overbet for me.

Doncaster Tips

The Mares hurdle races are ones I enjoy and Doncaster has an interesting clash that seemingly only concerns Layla Joan, Mayfair Music and Toubeera.  I have backed the last named before and respect the Venetia runner but as you can feel from my tone, she is not the one for me today.  No, I am betting Mayfair Music.  I think Toubeera while improving has been made a lot of and is starting to look like her limitations are being reached.  That is less true of the Gordon Elliot raider but Layla Joan has not run on ground this good and that is a concern.  My selection will love it (2 from 3 on good) and Geraghty will bring home the cheese… Load a small cannon, Ladbrokes and Boylesports are 3/1.

The Grimthorpe is a race that one can never be to certain about but an experienced sort lurking on a low weight is the theme in the last few years.  The race has not been run on heavier ground for many years and so in some respects, this profile is a little surprising.  In the last 15 years, the race has been won by 15 different trainers! Not much clue there! Not often that a big price goes in and so, on balance, a small interest in Court by Surprise who has Geraghty in a rare ride for Lavelle.

Tistory still is available at 5/6 with Betvictor for the novice hurdle and will go off with the Majors weighty penalty aboard.

Kelso Tips

I am all about the favourite Clever Cookie in the Kelso Hurdle and at 11/8 am planning an investment.  The form of his races is working out very nicely and the good conditions also suit.  The extra two furlongs will also play into his hands.. Highly confident.

Kruzhlinin has an excellent Kelso record (3 from 3) and looks to have a leading chance in the 4.15.  Mr Moonshine brings some good recent form to the race having won over Christmas and again at Warwick in the New Year.  I am giving another chance to an old friend though in 5/1 (Coral) shot Opening Batsmen.  It has been a year since we saw this horse at his best but if he can return to those performances, he may well have the measure of these two, keep it sensible.

Meydan Single Shot

Yesterday afternoon, I was with a friend and work associate in London.  We spent the latter afternoon hard at work and since his hospitality is always exemplary, I felt a gift in order.  Overnight, I had been interested in the three Carroll runners at Dundalk all booked with the jockey services of Joseph O’Brien.  Well it stood out.

I purchased him an each way trixie but feeling like some confirmation was needed, fired a quick tweet off to Irish racing judge @spinitg – Seanie is unnervingly accurate in his assessment of Irish racing and if you have a twitter account, follow him, else you are doing it wrong.

Anyway, what has this got to do with Meydan?  Firstly he corrected my opening Carroll runner and recommended the winner as an alternate.  He confirmed his liking for the last of the three legs I had placed, Waving, which turned out to be the only winner.  This was all too late for my associate who now has a thin slip of useless paper to show for my gratitude for his hospitality.  It did however give me time to amass a SOB bet (read Steve Palmer or work it out) on Waving who won as you like.

All this matters because he likes Simenon in the 5.10 at Meydan and that is enough for me.

In the football…  Wolves (-1) at odds against is an excellent bet in my view.  I am also considering going against the tide and betting Newcastle.  You could see what it meant to their players when securing a late goal to take the points from Villa and 21/10 is big for them to win at Hull.

The Martin Hill bet is a double, on the rocks… Mayfair Music and Clever Cookie… Shabash

I hope your dinner is a gently spiced persian delight with the full richness of that cuisine playing out on your palette.  May the company be generous and the bill weighty but settled with a smile as you both appreciate the experience and it will barely bite into the spoils of the day.

Do you know that eating out regularly is one of the things that will make you live longer?  Quite true my friends, so do not wait for permission, have a table ready for this evening.

Courage, roll the dice.

The Saturday Sermon – Ascot, Gowran, Wincanton and Haydock, plus the football

Good evening from the Major who writes from the bed, dead tired and with a low tremulous wind signalling the latest violent front being launched off the Atlantic, up the Severn Estuary and smashing into the first significant land since the Caribbean.

The Major has dined this evening with the good lady.  Now I know a few of you are wondering whether I am the romantic type and I might settle that thought by telling you that today is also my wedding anniversary, the twelfth to be accurate.  12 years, it goes by in the blink of an eye.  We were married in Sri Lanka and I shall not bore you with the travel detail that others may crow about – To dwell for long on such trivia is crass and wastes your time.  Suffice to say, I found the woman to come in rounded shapes, with toothy beaming smiles and a hearty wish for your contentment.  Excellent curry too, almost as good as the homeland, Birmingham, home of the balti.  The pleasure of a finely balanced dish, coriander, fresh accompanied by a cold fresh mango juice – God has been good to us.

Usually I detest dining on Valentines night, the expense, lack of choice, busyness and sense that you are being forced to behave a certain way, not for me – It is unsettling, lacks class, decorum wearing thin at the edges.  Tonight thought, we ate simply, in a decent pub, hotel slash restaurant..

The pub has its own farm and the pork was exceptional.  I don’t think the scallops were from its grounds, the flooding is not so bad yet.  It all went down well, mission accomplished.

The weather is fantastic.  I do not truck with these folk who wring their hands and decry flood and storm.  Naturally, I am as sorry for those who have their home flooded as the next man, it must be a terrible show.  No, I contend that Violenti Non Fit Injuria – You bought the home on the plain or river – You cannot claim victimhood when such water course overspills its guts.

I find the urges of some to cancel overseas aid disproportionate.  Less than a thousand homes, largely insured, have been flooded.  This does not construe a crisis.  As a nation, we used to withstand constant nightly shelling from the Luftwaffe, I think we can cope with this.  The old proverb of bringing your troubles to a common room with your fellow-man and choosing to leave with your own applies.  Syria has a population of 22m, approximately 8m are displaced and mostly living in tents, some in desperate condition.  2m of the 8m are children.  Do I sound callous?  I do not mean to – Anyone with a flooded home must be going through a terrible experience and I hope the spell of dry weather coming in persists.

I enjoy the excitement of a good storm, the violence of it.  Driving home in the middle evening this week, great waves of water were smashing into the windscreen, sheet after sheet, the horizon suddenly visible and then gone again.  I could make out the shapes of great terrifying trees, blackened against an already dark backdrop, moving in fast menacing ways, limbs twisting and thrusting, side to side, they looked like giant monsters fighting a deathly duel, all exaggerated by the low light.

I hope that all four of Ascot, Gowran, Wincanton and Haydock get the go ahead.  With extra rain and all four already at ‘heavy’ I fear we may lose some.

For weeks, I have heard the same view expressed, that come Cheltenham, on good to soft ground, we are going to see some surprising results.  Who knows what ground we will get.  I care little for this argument, my antepost has been building on ability only.  I have multiples galore and am most happy with the positions on Silviniaco Conti, Bobs Worth (yes I was backing both), Annie Power (WH so need her to turn up there), Vautour and a few more.  I am less confident about Our Conor (backed a lot) and have plenty of others I would ask for my money back on if the bookie were such inclined.

Anyway, it is time to start building our war chest.  Last week was not a great week.  A couple of winners but largely I made poor calls.  The Tom George horse Module hurt me the most, I had him written off but he won like a lunatic.

The mothership left the dock and deposited none of her kind cargo, no generosity was served.  Be warned too, my run this week continued with a series of ‘good things’ getting turned over – Arsenal, Barca – Christ, the account has taken a right beating.  At such times, one might retreat, draw breath, lick ones wounds and assess a new route.  Not for the Major, no… I shall polish my lancepoint because I know that my destiny is unquestionable.  I do not think it, I know it.

There will be another full frontal assort and these are my weapons of choice.  To the sports…..


Let us hope that this track survives the night intact and can get their excellent card on.

In the second race, a novice hurdle, the three useful looking favourites are all sired by super National Hunt stud, Kings Theatre.  One of his should win and I am taking Paul Nicholls charge Tagrita who is proven on the ground and has won three times this season.   Blue Buttons looks a threat and with Kings string coming back to form, The Pirates Queen may well improve from her earlier season exploits and the further distance, keep it sensible.

The Kingwell Hurdle goes off at  3.35 and pits Melodic Rendevous meets Zarkander and Grumeti giving 8lbs to the latter.  The easy pick here is Melodic and  suggest you smash in with nerves of steel.  Bet like a man possessed and be thankful.  The reasoning?  Well, Zarkander is decent, aptly demonstrated by his seconds this season to Annie Power and The New One.  While the ground will help him deal with such a short distance, this is a warm up for the World Hurdle.  The favourite is a tremendous traveller and given he has Notarfbad in the field (for pace surely) there will be no hiding place here.

Grumeti is definitely  better ground horse and if they leave him in, it will be the first time he has raced on heavy (record on soft 1/3, record on good to soft, 4/4).  Easily overlooked.

Haydock Tips

Celestial Halo has found an excellent prep race for his World Hurdle bid.  I would be interested in Restless Harry but believe he is Ascot bound.   Although it looks an easy and obvious pick (and what is wrong with that? Complaining?  See the manager!) Celestial looked at his very best when winning the Long Walk last time out.  Mickie would be the each way selection but I think they will all be enjoying a fine view of the Halo’s tail.

The Grand National trial is not my sort of race.  You may recall, you my not, that I am not a fan of the National in general.  Now the weights for the big race are out, we shall see some surprising steps up in form, I am sure.  Merry King and Our Father are both contenders for sudden returns to greater things.  The former has looked like a horse that needs 6m!  The latter was one of the best travelling horses I have seen.  Today I am having a small stake in the Venetia runner, Emporers Choice who will love conditions and we all know the form she is in in these big Saturday races.

Wolf Shield is drifting for the 3.30 but I would not dismiss it at 14s – Heavy ground and a return to form last time suggests it could get involved.  No, I rather stick with Flemenson or Horatio Hornblower.  On the grounds that he gets a lump of weight and the services of Maguire in the saddle, I am siding with the latter.

In the Albert Bartlett, I am interested in the proven mud sloggers, Wuff and Toubeera.  I got stung when writing off a Tom George horse last week (Module) but am happy to burden that concern again by suggesting a decent stake on 13/2 (Coral generally 11/2) Toubeera.  I prefer Aidan Coleman to Paddy Brennan, she gets some weight on grounds of sex, which will be a bigger help in deep ground.  I think the extra distance will suit also.  Have a slice.

Ascot Tips

It is a fine fine day of National Hunt and Ascot Chase Day is a superb card.

Ultra expensive Un Temps Pour Tout will want to win the opener if he is going to be considered a Supreme contender.  Given he cost £450k, it is the least you would want.

In the second, I am backing Gervey Chambertin at 5/2 – I always thought this classy hurdler would be an even better chaser and I would be disappointed if we did not see a good run.  It is unusual for me to back against a favourite that has much more chasing experience (Many clouds 3 runs) but those were easy schooling small field sessions and this is different.  Experience may not count if I have my theory right, that Gervey will be a spring heeled natural.  Let’s see.

In the 2.40 chase I do love Teaforthree – Here is something strange I learned this week.  Did you know he was the Sky Soccer AM horse?  Why they sold him I do not know but they would have had a placed Grand National horse on their hands!  Well, I am not backing him today as the main agenda will be Aintree.  No I think this is an excellent chance for Highland Lodge 7/2 but will be keeping stakes small.

Jump to the Ascot Chase at 3.50 – The most interesting runner of the day goes in this Grade 1 as Hunt Ball returning from his American adventures.  He can be backed today at 33/1.  Rolling Aces of some interest but on bare form, he cannot yet hold a candle to Captain Chris who should go in at 11/10. He loves the mud, loves going this way around, boasts good form that is strong this season… Looks one for the accumulators.

It can be a Hobbs / Johnson double as in the next Mountain King looks a great 6/4 shot – I was really taken with the way he travelled in the Ludlow mud and this progressive sort can go well again.

Gowran Park

At 2.25, I will be glued to At The Races in case Bog Warrior returns to the track.  I am this horses biggest fan, partly because I always felt he had tremendous ability but largely because of his distinctive style of running.  He lobs along, head firmly pressed down against his chest – Doing his own thing.  Now, I feel a bit frustrated for him.  He will love this heavy ground, his name is very apt.  Yet, I am perplexed as to why connections are taking him chasing again  He has often blundered at the bigger obstacles but is a classy hurdler.  Coming down the hill in the World Hurdle, I really thought he was going to play a hand – Then his serious injury effected him and he bottomed out quickly.  He has had lots of entries and I suspect he will be a NR again today but I look forward to his return.  For betting purposes, I am on Turban at 13/8.

Un De Sceaux has another procession planned for 3.35.

In the football.  Wolves are a penalty kick at 1/2 and I would lump in.  Southampton to win in the cup at Sunderland is a more tentative selection at 13/10.

The Martin Hill Multiple, which needs to land to build the man’s war chest is… Melodic Rendezvous, Horatio Hornblower and Turban in a trixie of glory.

I hope your dinner is kept simple but in the company of friends.  Eat with your hands, may I suggest Fajita – Becoming involved, mixing well people and food.  Drink well and be thankful.

Courage, roll those dice.