Tag Archives: westmeath

The Saturday Sermon – Old Roan Aintree Tips – Racing Post Trophy Horseracing Tips

The Major bids you good morning from a wonderfully cold Defford where the biting air of winter is alike souls awakening.

Winter is gods chosen season and Old Roan Chase day is the sign that soon there will be no sign of a wasp, no hint of a sunburn and glorious long dark nights where a man may achieve a slumber of death and emerge blinking and reborn into the new day.

Aidan knows how good Camelot is, we get to see today at Donnie

National Hunt racing is back to take over the mantle from the flat.  The day is symbolic, we see Aintree and the Old Roan and we also see the potential derby horse in his last run of the season in the Racing Post Trophy.

What a nice move to name the Old Roan after Monet’s Garden the popular white chaser.  It is the highlight of an interesting card at Aintree.

As for the Racing Post Trophy.  Will the entirely unexposed O’Brien favourite , Camelot, triumph?  Very possible, but at 6/4 the Major is in the no camp, more of that shortly.

A lifetime of gambling on horses is a lifetime of education.  The accumulation of knowledge and the development of instinct.  Surely Peter in Chapter 1 which was written in amanuensis was referring to our lifetime battle with the enemy.

And to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive

So to knowledge and to the sports, let us strike mercilessly at the enemies dark soul and to victory, upright and vigorous.

The Monets Garden Old Roan Chase – Aintree

How disappointing that this such an old institution as the Roan Chase attracts just three runners.  Masterminded and Albertas Run are worthy of their places, Pure Faith is not.

How delighted the four owners must be at the defections from this Grade 2.  From a stone and a half out of the handicap, you would think Pure Faith would have to be lucky to finish third of three but the prizemoney for allocating this slot is still £5500.

As for the winner, the Major would think Masterminded over Albertas Run but at 1/2 and 15/8, it is hard to enthuse over the chances of either with both making seasonal reappearance and the uncertainties of pace in a three runner affair.

No bet for the Major.

The Racing Post Trophy – Doncaster

This is a much better betting medium and we have a few angles into the race.

O’Brien always takes this race as a serious route for his best colts and in Camelot we have an entirely unexposed sort.  Sent off to win his maiden in good style, he was catapulted to the head of the derby market which is incredible considering the level of form.

Yes, O’Brien has a great record in the race and I have no doubt that the market is effected by memory of St Nicholas Abbeys dramatic win a few years previous but 6/4 is no price up against horses with better form.

The colt that the Major prefers is Fencing, who missed the Dewhurst due to too firm conditions.  The last win is as good as anything on show with plenty of subsequent winners in behind.  3/1 is fair enough for the best form horse in the race – Have a slice.

4.35 Galway Novice Chase

I am loving this race as a betting medium.  The ground, the trip and the presence of two horses who will slit each others throats at the front equals a real opportunity.

I am happy to oppose both Foildubh and Regal D’Estruval who I think will not enjoy each others company tearing along at a proper pace.

The suspicion is that Ainama and Sweeps Hill will be seen to better effect over further but then again, the heavy ground will be an aid to both.

Westmeath has the services of Davy Russell suggesting it is a superior horse to Grey Soldier but Westmeath comes with the warning that his trainer does not think soft is ideal.  This is an odd statement given his track record is raced 4, won 2 and placed once on soft (never raced on worse) although it is worth noting the sire record of Kayf Tara offspring is shocking so maybe he has an OK record in spite of the ground and not because of it.

Sweeps Hill is probably the classier of all of these on what we have seen so far but again, ground doubts exist.

There you go, I have found a reason for all to lose so which reason at what odds am I willing to discard?

I have decided to select Foildubh at 8/1.  While he might like prominence, he is not always a tear them up sort and if comfortable sitting off the pace may be hard to pin back.

2.15 Newbury

There are two that appeal in this at opposite ends of the market.  The favourite Saigon has shown the best form and will be fine with firmer underfoot conditions and as a result, you should take a slice of the 7/2 he will win.  His Middle Park form is better than anything else and with Murtagh assisting (rare ride for yard), I fully expect a win.

The other I fancy is rank 50/1 outsider, Wise Selection.  He will also like conditions and while he has been a flop in the summer, the maiden he won had a very good look to it.  Maybe, they can find the key to this tricky individual and it is interesting he is thrown back into listed company.

To the sports…

Three football teams to follow in the premier league today.  Mr Hill will once again be furious as I suggest odds against priced Villa represent 13/10 value against West Brom.

Newcastle should see off Wigan and 8/13 for the Toon undefeated team looks good to me.

Finally, Bolton benefitted from the international break and I suspect their improvement to stick at home to a Sunderland team that the Major thinks is vulnerable.  They spent a lot of money badly and I think Bruce to go next in the Premier League should be considered too.

May dinner reflect the glories of the day.  May the company be both interesting and willing.  Tip well.  Enjoy the simplistic detail, the sound of the rain on the conservatory roof and the warmth of a good jacket in the bracing air.

Courage readers…… roll those dice.

 

Friday Racing From Aintree – The Majors Fancies

A great days racing on Thursday as the National meeting opened.  The Major put three up and overall they were a good reflection of the wonderful vagaries of being a gambling man.  How enriched your life is for appreciating it.

Back to Aintree and bring forward the heavy calvary

Firstly Denman proved, as the Major suggested, to be over the top.  Easy to say after the event but running the eleven year old after a three week gap since his last hard run seems a touch harsh.  Hindsight is a powerful thing though and there is no chance connections would have given him a punishing run if they thought he could not compete.  The Major does not critice them but does feel that it was more likely than not that the outcome would be a lacklustre display from the old boy.  Noone likes to see him well beaten like that.

Sadly the Major selected poorly when opposing Denman.  That could be the last time poor jumping Punchestowns carries the Majors loot.  Fair play to Nacarat for galloping them into the ground in such hearty style.

Then the flip side of racing.  The Major put up Zarkander as the bet of the week at evens (Tuesday evening).  It went off at 4/6 and won.  The history books have this as a big win for the Major as I gave this one out believing it could not lose. 

Yet, if not for a faller two out which bought down the strong travelling Grandouet, it would not have been; for it looked, for all the world as if the Henderson trained beast was travelling all over the eventual winner. 

Fair play to Zarkander who dug deep and seemed to have put the contest to bed at the last with a slick leap (he does hurdle beautifully, reminds me of Katchit, the last Triumph winner to take the Champion Hurdle in the following year! Very quick over the obstacles).  He was to hard work on the run in though and a lesser man than Ruby may not have got Zarkander home. Glorious winners or fortunate scrappers, the enemy pays out the same.  Likewise losers are losers.

Then Possol who 4 furlongs out looked like he might feature in the places but faded to 6th as a 100/1 shot should!  Big Bucks put in the most breathtaking performance.  This time, no muddling pace, no field looking to get him tactically beaten.  Gwanako taking them along at a lick.  Grand Crus had a fair pop at the champ, Carlo Brigante equally loomed up before fading, he didn’t have the class.  Through it all, Big Bucks dominant eyeing Grand Crus dismissively before putting the race to bed easily.  Outstanding.

Even his old flat spots have been ironed out of his runs these days.  Is it inconceivable that he could win 5 world hurdles?  He is already in the history books as one of the best staying hurdlers ever, now unbeaten in 12……… simply a star.

To Friday and the last chance to make some money for the big one on Saturday.

The 2pm Top Novice Hurdle could go to 8/1 shot A Media Luz.  Henderson always has such riches in the novice hurdle class.  The form behind Grandouet, given Thursdays running looks strong.  If it settles, 8/1 is a disrespectful price and I prefer Geraghty on these inexperienced sorts.

The 2.30 is an interesting contest and I would be about Quito de la Roque if the ground were a bit more juicy but there has to be a significant chance, the warm conditions have created ground with too much rattle for this one.  

I prefer another.  Although Geraghty deserts Radium for Master of the Hall I cannot think there is much between them.  Radium was travelling as good as any behind Bostons Angel at the festival.  He hit three out and weakened soon after, 14/1 prices in a few questionable factors and the Major takes it as a value punt each way.

The Melling Chase at 3.05 is a cracker.  All bar Tranquil Sea competed at the festival which makes selecting the winner tougher as the Major has already advertised his thoughts about well used horses coming to Aintree expecting to frank form on tired legs.

In fact Tranquil Sea is an interesting contender.  It is a big ask to expect him to pick this up after a lay off but this Paddy Power Gold Cup winner certainly has a touch of class and if prepped has the advantage of fresh legs.

Good ground and a flat track might help Masterminded see out two and a half miles.  His champion hurdle run was a shocker.  He was already beaten when blundering badly and losing by 31l ultimately to Sizing Europe in this years Champion Chase.  5/1 seems a fair price, on top form he is the best in the race in the Majors view.

Somersby will definitely be suited by two and a half miles (11/2).  While the Major would not begrudge him a win, he looks like the bridesmaid again.  Mad Max could go well if returning to peak form, he has had Somersby behind previously so 16/1 is a price.  Kalahari King has never been one for the Major and it seems under-priced at 9/2.

This is a tough conundrum.  The Major is going for the quality.  Albertas Run and Masterminded.  Which one though.  4/1 or 5/1.  On balance, I am going for Masterminded.  It is a big risk expecting Masterminded to be in top form.  Who knows why his display seemed so listless in the Champion Chase after some of his earlier sparkling form was on display this season.  Masterminded seems to have been around longer than his 8 years age would allow, maybe the Major could be accused of including a bit of heart in the selection.  5/1 back for the win.  Albertas run in the reverse forecast for the brave.

 The Sefton Novices is the only other race the Major wants in on.  Sparky May and Mossley are worthy favourites and of the two, the Major prefers Mossley.  That said, this is a good opportunity to look for fresher legs.  The Major is going to take a chance on little fancied WestMeath who has skipped the festival and is a general 16/1 shot.  Good ground not a problem, worth a pop.

Celebrate Good Times – Huge Saturday Tipping Profits – Sunday Advices – Big Zeb to win Tied Cottage at Punchestown as well as across the Punchestown Card

The Major enjoyed the best Saturday service of the year yesterday offering 14 selections which have already paid out £25.82 to level £1 stakes.  Plus we still have West Ham who could add another £2 to the result if they beat Nottingham Forest at 2pm.

Big Zeb pinging one

Highlights were picking the terrible value in Punchestown and opposing on 9/1 morning price Neptune Collonges who demonstrated a great return to form.  I was proud to see Knockara Beau come home second with credit making a mockery of 33/1 and the winner Grand Crus, advised at 11/4 made this a sensational race for the Major, if only I had advised the forecast!

On the pitches of Britain, FA Cup pricing helped us again with Reading a stand out result at 6/5 but we had to rely on a late goal. 

That will make January a special start to the year and a harder act to follow. 

Sunday and time to offer a handful of things to follow for those who like to reinvest!

1.50pm Punchestown Tied Cottage Chase – Easy pickings.  Firstly, as you may know the Major had Big Zeb as a huge part of my ante post piece for Cheltenham.  The 7/2 for the Champion Chase has all gone now.  I expect his preparation to go smoothly and would even suggest that the way he will demolish Sizing Europe and Golden Silver today may just flip flop the head of the market for the big one. 

I see nothing to change my mind about Big Zebs chances as they race today.  OK so you may shout at your screen right now ‘Come on Major how did you pick that one!’ but value resides in odds on, odds against and virtual no hope situations.  Big Zeb should win.  In my head if they ran the race ten times, he wins seven.  To break even you have to price him just over 1/2.  8/11 is available, smash it.

Already advised is a West Ham home win.  Consider having the two in a little double.

The Punchestown card is a good as anything, in fact better, than anything on offer at Cheltenham yesterday. 

4.20 The Bumper – On the surface of things there does not look an obvious champion bumper sort here but this is the time of year when the Irish trainers get their Cheltenham bound hopes out.  Victor Chandler are offering an early market and they may get taken up on 5/2 about Celtic Folklore just because of connections.  Carbon Credit though won a point to point well last time out and with the services of Rubys sister in the saddle, could bring home the bacon.  No bet advised, how could you seriously advise with so little to go on!

The 2.20 is a punting nightmare best left alone and so I will but not before buying a ticket on Karanga Queen at 50/1 with one of my favourite jockeys, Slippers Madden on board.  Could he get a decent tune out of this unreliable and fully exposed sort.  Probably not.

The Novice graded hurdle is a great race but this years renewal looks average.  That said Gagewell Flyer seems to have finally got his act together and is a graded winner causing a 6lb penalty which I don’t think will stop him.  7/4 is the price, bet like men – Mullins and Townend will not let us down.

The 3.20 maiden is also a hard to bet on encounter.  Too little is known of many of these.  Westmeath would be a class bet at 11/2 if I didn’t suspect the soft ground may be responsible for his latest flop.  Jetson looks more exposed.  I like the 10/3 about Harpsy Chord – Have a small nugget of this one and save the bank.

The 3.50 is the last race to look at and I take two potentially progressive types.  Flemensford in the McNamara colours and Kerb Appeal, again for the inform Mullins yard.  12/1 and 14/1 dutched up, thank you.

In the coming week, I aim to get a post up summarising January in detail, looking at the Superbowl and a couple of midweek quick posts advising some cheeky side orders.

Thank you for reading, hope you are on the big winners today.