Tag Archives: zaynar

Friday Cheltenham Tips – Shabash

What a superb card at Cheltenham for the opening of the Paddy Power meeting…

I have spent some time immersed in the form and my thoughts and have drawn up a series of tips.  The Major needs some winners, the last couple of Saturday Sermons have delivered misery to the masses.

Here is my whirlwind tour of tomorrows Prestbury Park card…  Good luck to those good folk I know are there.  Mr McGerr I might see you for a sneaky quick one at the close.   Krish and the gang… do some damage.

1.10 Amateur Riders Handicap Chase

£10k is not bad prize money for this handicap chase for amateur riders and highlights the sheer decency of this card.

I am always a fan of backing horses with good amateurs up and since we have the Gold Cup winning jockey riding an unexposed chaser, I expect Time for Spring to start clear favourite.  A capable hurdler, his debut and breeding suggest he will go on as a chaser.  That said his round of jumping at Carlisle was not perfect and Cheltenham will provide the usual searching test of jumping accuracy so overlooked.

You have to respect the Pipe yard targeting ten-year old Swing Bill back at this but I would be surprised if he can cope with his mark.  He needs an upwards surge in form to be involved.

In second place on the selection stakes is in a field of potentials is the horse making the trip from County Cork, Barel of Laughs.  This 7/1 shot is another who seems to be significantly on the improve and who knows if the best part of a stone up in the weights is enough to stop him.  Joint second would be co-favourite Stewarts House whose last race was probably the best recent form on offer.  Tim Vaughan is in decent touch with his string and 6/1 seems reasonable.

The tentative selection though is Bescot Springs who acts on most goings.  He is one of those that the handicapper also has applied a prohibitive rise to on last running.  I still think he is a very interesting 12/1 shot.  His Kelso win was worth at least the 13lb rise and he had been performing well in novice events over both obstacles.  He has some very interesting form in the book including a two length defeat to Mad Moose.  Very interesting, make an investment.

1.45 2m Handicap Chase

Some great familiar names take part in this 2 mile handicap chase.

The race revolves around whether Crack Away Jack can return to old form.  In his earlier days he looked top class but after a season on the sidelines, he seemed to have lost the plot last year.

I have lost track of the Nicholls inmates that have risen back to glory following the magic wind op and if it has the trick, 7/2 could be the best value you see for the rest of this year.  The ground is in his favour and given he is shooting for a £25k pot, perhaps we should take the hint and invest.  He is one of the old favourites of the Major but on balance best watched.

I am opting for second favourite Haventascoobydo at 8/1 though who is also suited by conditions and is surely a horse on the significant upgrade.  The slight concern is his jumping has let him down on occasion and that is a trait in a horse that would normally get the Majors red line at Cheltenham but I am willing to give this one a chance on his third chase start.

Money for Oh Crick could be significant.

1.45 Cross Country

If you are there, get yourself over to the middle of the course, the cross country is a special watch from there.  I am not a massive fan of the cross country but it is a decent spectacle up close.

The day Garde Champetre retires is the day he will stop being a thorn in the Majors side, I relentlessly back against this one but each time it is a folly.

Here I go again though…. At 12, he is knocking on.  I also think Uncle Junior has decent enough form.  Sod it 6/1 here I go.

2.55 Novice Hurdle

Steps to Freedom is a 6/4 hot favourite and the Major had a fantastic day at Aintree on Grand National Da when this raider won the hurdle at 12/1.  He looks a very useful sort having proved his worth over obstacles already but there is a magic formula to follow here….

Novice Hurdle = Nicky Henderson.

I am all about Ericht at 5/1.  It looked a decent Champion Bumper and so 6th in that sphere reads well.  From a stable with an embarrassment of riches in the novice hurdle stakes, it is telling that Henderson lines this one up for the Grade 2 feature of the opening day of the Paddy Power.

Have a chunky slice and send me the postcard.

3.30 Conditional Jockeys

Henderson has a fine record in this race and so Semi Colon has to be respected on that alone.  The lightly raced mare will come into it on previous Cheltenham form, highly respected.

The Paul Nicholls Tigre Daron is also a danger to all and the Ditcheat team are in splendid form.  Probably no fun in the price though in a race like this.

There are reasons that I believe Architrave is a well priced 25/1 and trainer form is one of them.  For those that like a price, take a slice.

As tempted as I am by Architrave, it is 16/1 shot Suburban Bay I like the most.  Stopped on a hat-trick bit at Worcester, I think there is still more improvement to come.  He will like conditions and generally is a sound jumper.  Alan Kings season has started fine….

4.05 Steel and Plate Novice Chase

They have saved the best for last.  Cue Card versus Grand Crus… fascinating.

Is it a two horse race?  Well Champion Court is a decent shout but given the way he walked through a few fences in the small field at Aintree latest, you would have to question the suitability of Cheltenham.

The only other runner of appeal is the entirely unexposed Dualla Lord who is bought into a race Nicholls once targeted with Denman.  Dualla Lord would have to be very fine to take this though and is over-looked.

Zaynar seems in permanent decline although a glimmer of hope could be taken from the last run.

Of the two market favourites, I am going to opt with Cue Card. Grand Crus would be staying hurdle champion if it was not for the might Big Bucks, there is nothing wrong with that form!

Known chase form is a boost though for my selection Cue Card.  Of the two, he is also the one probably to prefer the ground.  6/4, go large, go long and drink hard!

Good luck to all of you at Cheltenham tomorrow.  I hope the tips pay off or at least give you some excitement.

The Saturday Sermon – Champions Day Tips, Frankel, Cheltenham Racing Tips….. Shabash

Good morning from the Major who writes to you from the wooden kitchen table of the Defford pile. The day has awoken with the glorious countenance of opportunity. Can you smell the crackle of excitement? It is good to be alive.

Frankel first, fresh air second?

Champions Day at Ascot. The richest card ever put together in the UK. A real showcase to the end of the flat season. Credit to the good people of Racing for Change who have worked hard and made big choices carving up the racing calendar to make this day.

The ground though makes me nervous at Ascot. Good weather would have produced a naturally firm surface but of course, to attract the best, then they needed the word good, preferably on its own. To attain it they watered and the Major is concerned that there may be some false / dead ground and some expected results might get turned over.

In short it might be a day for the enemy. That dark and twisted man plotting to fool us with perplexing markets and swirling clouds of confusion. Surely the New International bible in Proverbs 2 was referring to same…

Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

Allow the Major to be your punting shepherd.

To the track………

Ascot. Frankel.

I have said enough about Frankel already. He seems to me to be the horse that will mark recent times. Although Sea the Stars has probably achieved more than Frankel ever will, unless he can stay to win next years Arc… Frankel is unbelievable.

Can he get beaten at 4/11, of course he could. Does 4/11 represent value….. Hard to read for the Major. It feels perhaps generous but the margin is small. Immortal Verse is the only other one to give a squeak to but surely we know Sundays headline. If you fancy Frankel to smash them, I suggest the evens price with William Hill that he wins by two lengths. Not for the Major. If you like your bets served with a side dish of massive kahunas, I suggest Side Glance e/w 66/1 – Track form.

Just one note on breeding. Frankel is out of Galileo, his Dam was out of Danehill, true blue blood. If he did (as the Majors heart cries out) go for the Arc as a 4yo, he would, incredibly, be the first Galileo colt to do it.

4.10 Ascot – Tips for the Middle Distance Champions Race

So You Think looks terrific value on a pure form line with most but I have to say that he has been well used this season and although there were excuses in the Arc, I already had concerned he may be over the top. One to avoid in the Majors view.

The horse that the Major opts for is one I think coming well to hand and worthy of a pop, Snow Fairy.

She was a gamble for the Arc in which she finished one place better than SYT and she is tough as nails. Her win record could put you off but I really feel obliged to give her another chance, take a slice.

Cheltenham – The Showcase Saturday Tips

I had a cracking day tipping up Cheltenham yesterday with three winners at 11/8, 5/2 and 10/1.

I am following the same logic to pick out my best bets on the Saturday Showcase card. Good luck to those at Prestbury.

2.05 – The first four in the market all have a shout but I opting for the 11/2 Nicholls trained Round Tom. The Hereford handicap which is sandwiched by two wins may just have been over too far a distance. He has shown a liking for firm surfaces and as hinted at yesterday, in the early meetings of the season, I am inclined to avoid Nicholls with his winter brigade but am happy to back his summer jumpers who are fit as a fiddle – Don’t forget Nicholls took this novice last year.

2.40 – Benbane Head looks very interesting back on his prefered firm surface, the Major would not put you off. However, 4/1 is a shortish price. The Major is going to take the plunge on Edgbriar. He won this last year and his mark is pretty much the same. He has a more likely stable companion running but since top jock has defected, the Major has too, 9/1, load the medium cannon with the chain shot. Perhaps a Benbane Head saver.

3.15 This is a classic example of a horse I want to dodge in Tonic Mellysse, the Nicholls favourite. Plan A is the definite form selection but having failed to record a win on three starts on good to firm, there is a question. I am persuaded to take a chance that third favourite Palawi at 4/1 might be the solution. He has been prepped with a flat run and while his last course visit was pretty poor, his Aintree form, prior to fall, looked very good in this context. Take a substantial slice.

3.50 – Plenty of potential winners including Galaxy Rock, Benny be Good, Ethiopia and Balthazar King. It is Galaxy Rock and Balthazar King I struggle to split, I just opt for the latter at 6/1 but would think a saver in order. Not a certainty, just a value proposition.

4.25 – Queen of Cool will be seen in better light on this ground, small stake advised.

4.55 – Health is Wealth and Pure Faith both have claims on the ground but the Majors preference is for Zaynar. This former placed horse in the Champion Hurdle is clearly the best here and despite a poor season last year and an uncertainty of adapting to fences, the Major says, stick with quality.

5.30 – The lucky last, good luck to you. Alexandr Nevsky for Tom Taafe and Ruby Walsh is an obvious contender, Ruby having an extremely rare ride for the Taafe team. As much as I will probably regret it though, I am going for Clondaw Warrior whose stable has a tremendous record with this young jockey and the last win was both well executed and well franked.

Other sports…….

I always find it difficult to back Premier League games after the international break. Many form teams suffer, losing momentum and it gives teams with recent poor results time off to regroup… no bet scenario.

As for the Rugby, I am going to opt for France. They are an odd team and I understand the drive behind such a youthful upcoming Welsh contingent but France will be a different proposition…. 11/8, easy.

May your dinner be in a half reasonable establishment with the sort you have your eye on in the office. Always awkward, have a few glasses of champagne and then a pastis aperitif. As dinner starts she will loosen up. By the time the bill is presented and she sees the roll from which you settle it, her mind will be made up. La Gallop, enjoy.

Courage, shuffle the cards.

Cheltenham Day Three – Horseracing Tips for World Hurdle Day – 12/1 and 10/1 winners this week already KAAABOOOMMM!

A solid two days of Cheltenham reviews and tips and the Major’s followers are in 40% profit.  Day two looked victorious for the enemy until Cheltenian won the bumper well, a 12/1 selection for the Major (14/1 was available widely at the off).

Load the big guns, it is World Hurdle time

Sizing Europe looked stunning but you could run that race again and it wouldn’t carry the Majors money.  Carlo Brigante was an easy winner too and visually looked good. 

As usual all of my bets are recorded in the tabs at the top as is a summary of performance by month.  March is now rolling along gloriously!  You can follow the Major on twitter @tdl123 or look in the left hand menu to sign up to the email alert service.  Always free, amateur and slightly unhinged, the Major lays his racing soul bare.

World Hurdle day tomorrow.  We have reached half time in the battle.  It is time to pull out the big guns, we want winners.  Load up the big cannon young man with grape-shot, draw a bead on thine enemy.

Happy St Patricks Day to all Irishmen – Good luck to you today.

The Jewson

Noble Prince has been twice defeated this season by Arkle third, Realt Dubh.  While it is early to tell, I suspect this years Arkle was not a vintage and thus, this form does not add up to too much.  Last years festival win was very solid though and on good ground, of clear interest.

The market leader, Wishful Thinking won a hurdle in fine style out here last time, in one sense a rightful favourite.

Robinson Collonges has had some time off which might not be a bad thing.  His defeat in December at Cheltenham was poor, he looked a bit workman like before ploughing through three out and weakening quickly.  I think this can be forgiven and it is his run from November 2010 that catches the eye.  In it he fell, but not before putting all of the field to bed and certainly looking like he had the eventual winner covered. The horse that took advantage of the fall was Wishful Thinking.  This makes the 6/1 generally available tonight a must bet.  Ruby doing the steering is a big plus given he might need to be nursed into one or two fences.

The Pertemps Final

This is an intriguing puzzle with a number of interesting runners. 

Duke of Lucca is a reliable sort but surely not feasibly weighted for this. 

I have always liked Pause and Clause and this seasons form has been a disappointment. He has certainly performed better hurdling that chasing, 33/1 is a fair price for one that could go well.

Kayf Aramis is on a fair mark and is bidding to take this for a second time after victory in 09.  It is a tough horse who is hard to pass.  Not for the Major but 22/1 is fair enough.

The win Lush Life got at Cheltenham in December was good.  A previous defeat of Menorah at Ascot, looks much better.  You can put a line through the dreadful run at Sandown latest where the horse needed work from the farrier at the start.  14/1 for Henderson and Geraghty is a terrific price.  This would be the Majors bet of the day.

Chartreux also looks a well handicapped sort for the Pipes.

When it boils down, I suggest two each way plays.  Lush Life and Pause and Clause.  There is a bit of heart in the second, the first looks a stand out bet, go long, large, heavy and fast.

The Ryanair

After running well yesterday in the Champion Chase, I cannot see Somersby winning.  He has the class and the Ryanair would have been the Majors choice if he was mine.  Two Grade 1s in two days though is surely too much, if he is not scratched I wouldn’t want to be on.  The same applies to Captain Cee Bee.

J’y Vole has been the Majors selection a few times but this is probably a bit too hot for him.  8/1 has place claims only in the Major’s view.

It would be fascinating to see Voy Por Ustedes back in top form.  He is ten and so the change of scenery to Hendersons yard could spark some change.  Voy Por has plenty of Cheltenham form, 14/1 is a huge price if you could guarantee a decent run, who knows if the horses heart is back in it.

Tartak is also of interest at a price.  20/1 is simply too much for a horse with track form.  He benefits from being the stable star and uncharacteristic errors last time out can mean we can put a line through that run.  Good ground not a problem.

I am not sure the favourite Poquelin will appreciate the firmer conditions he will get tomorrow.  5/2 is just too short.

Albertas Run is certainly a key player.  6/1 for last years winner who will love the ground, of significant interest.  This is the Majors selection with a saver on Tartak each way.

The World Hurdle

With ground going against Grand Crus, his current drift to 3/1 could continue.  Contrary, Big Bucks has been trimmed back into evens (long gone is the 11/8 the Major took, sorry for crowing).

Grand Crus looked a real star in the making when clearing away from the field in a Grade 2 here latest.

I cannot see anything other than a Big Bucks win.  He looked at his best at Newbury this year and this is surely going to be the hat-trick effort of World Hurdles.   I think he will go off clear odds on favourite so get stuck in now.  For those who don’t like evens, I would say that the reward of a win on Big Bucks is far more than just doubling your money, it will be a huge thrill to be on a true champion with a huge crowd cheering him in.

Zaynar could go well if suited by a step up to 3 miles – This former champion hurdle contender is not exactly solid material but on best form is at least in the right league.

Fiveforthree will be popular and I expect it to go off shorter than 14/1.  The Major tipped it up when winning on reappearance but I just don’t think it is good enough in this company.

Sometimes, keep it simple – BIG BUCKS on BIG BUCKS! ‘C’mon Ruby!’

Byrne Plate

Ferdy Murphy served us well with a winner in the last on Tuesday and I suspect Hollo Ladies has been a planned horse for the Byrne Plate for some time.   Raced over probably unsuitably longer distances, the horse which looked progressive at two miles has had a mark of 139 preserved.  Dropped back in trip, I expect, or at least vaguely hope, for a massive run.

Venetia Williams has taken this race in three of the last five runnings and so you have to fear Quartz de Thais.  Not for the Major though, have a chunky slice and then it is Hollo Ladies all night long!

The Kim Muir

Another tricky handicap with plenty of big priced hopefuls.

I am not sure that the handicapper had the measure of Mostly Bob penalising the horse 11lbs for a Doncaster success we never found at at Kempton where the first fence bustle and subsequent fall robbed us of a better assessment of the true ceiling, difficult to assess but of interest to the Major with Dickie Johnson in the saddle.

Galaxy Rock is the other to catch the eye at 18/1 – Good ground is a plus and he is lightly tried over fences, Jonjo is due a decent winner.

Junior has a good chance too, I just feel the price is short enough.  As for the tip, take a slice of Mostly Bob each way and thank me later.

Good luck on day three.  Whatever happens bet like a man possessed.  Win or lose, ensure you have invested slightly more than you should.  After all what is it all for if you have not a palpitating moment.  We know better than those who bet with minimal stakes, fearful of loss.  How their fears have mastered their enjoyment of life.  Stake more than you should.

Sleep well.  In the morning I suggest eggs benedict, fresh orange juice, good coffee.  Take the papers early, have a constitutional walk, take the air.  It will be a good day.

The Majors Saturday Service – 22nd Jan – Victor Chandler Chase Tips, Premier League – Crack Away Followers!

Photograph of the finishing post, Ascot Raceco...

Let's all hope that Ascot beats the weather

Warm greetings to another fine sporting weekend for the Majors faithful followers.  Today we have the usual premier league tips, while in horseracing The Major has a Victor Chandler Chase 16/1 tip against Masterminded going for his third win of the season. 

So far this week the Major has tipped two outstanding losers and a non runner.  This uninspiring week followed last weekend which was almost a write off due to a shocking football run.  However, last Sunday provided a 25/1 winner in Baycross, the Majors longest priced success of the year and this win did restore some parity. 

Today followers, have faith.

Faith is indeed why we gathered here on this day, the gamblers sabbath, as men prepared to do battle.  So the Major raises the clarion call again, you must restock your bank before we unleash the cannons once more.  Relentlessly positive.

An anonymous writer in Deuteronomy wrote..  ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid…for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee’

The Major teaches you in the same vain to bet like real men (and women – you know who you are!), ensure the stake demands your heart to flutter and skip a beat, reminding you of your very existence, feel your pulse again and realise that the world is not about Simon Cowell or fast food or Wetherspoons.  Out there the meaning of existence resides in the simple pleasure of a guilty moment of regret over the risk you have taken in playing your hand, before the thrill of the contest itself.  Bet with a stake that means victory delivers sweet feelings and a cash return you can actually do something with.  If you are playing with a stake that will make absolutely no difference to your planned evenings entertainment, then what is the point?  Something needs to ride on the outcome, you need to feel alive again.

The Saturday Service is here, it is your honourable duty to load the large cannon with the fine shot and then lead the charge.  The Major is he that will go with you and will not fail you or forsake you*

Point of order, the data sheets which are on the top tabs hold all of the data year to date.  You will notice a new tab called the betting summary.  This simply takes the raw data and summarises the performance of the horseracing tips, football advices etc on a month by month basis.  You will see that our profit from 48 bets is 14%, horseracing has been our strongest suit at 37% profit.  The two naps have returned a trebling of stake.  Pleasing but not enough.

Second point of order, the Major reminds followers of how to get the Saturday Service quickly.  As soon as the Major posts, emails are sent to the subscriber list.  To subscribe, use the tool in the left hand menu.  If you prefer to get your notification by twitter, @tdl123 is the place to be.

To todays action.  First the Victor Chandler Chase.  Clive Smith and Paul Nicholls will be itching to win this after last weeks Kauto Star defeat in the King George.  In Masterminded they have the best rated horse in training and it is too easy to forget that Masterminded is in his prime and not on the downgrade like his stablemate Kauto.  After all Masterminded has already won several Grade 1’s, two champion chases and suffered a dip in form that had many writing him off – That’s quite a back story for a horse who has just turned eight. 

He looks back to his impervious best this season with two solid victories.  What impressed me in both wins this season was the flamboyance.  Is there a better chaser at standing off a fence before clearing it in soaring style by a foot, not touching a twig then landing like a ballerina moving away on the bridle; with horses trainling in his wake, their pschological well-being and ability to compete destroyed.  Masterminded does look to have found his love of racing again this season which is great news, unless you are competing with him. 

Some people have Masterminded as the unquestionable two mile champ which, if you are in this camp, makes the 15/8 about Champion Chase success this year an absolute must bet.  The Major thinks though that outstanding as he is, he also has an outstanding competitor in Big Zeb.  It is going to be a cracker in March but we must play todays hand and await that race with huge anticipation.  (The Major has already advised his ante post Cheltenham tips)

Todays Victor Chandler is a penalty kick for Masterminded, in the Majors opinion.  There is nothing wrong with Petit Robin, Somersby and Mad Max but they are up against a quality animal.  If Masterminded turns up in decent heart, there is nothing to suggest he will not, he will win.  8/11 does not quite reflect this and so the Major would encourage anyone to take William Hill on at that price.  Not an advised bet though, the Major seeks the value bet.

The horse the Major really likes and the only one that allows a chink of doubt about a Masterminded win is Crack Away Jack.  This horse was incredibly unlucky not to win the Champion Hurdle in 2009.  Watch the race again and you will see he loses 15 lengths at the start, which is a lot of ground to give to top class animals in a 2 mile hurdle!  He finished that day like a train up the hill finishing a 3 length (ish) 4th.  Having suffered injuries since then, it is hard to make what remains of his undoubted talent. 

The horse has won fresh before though and at 16/1 with Bet365 who go 3 places and quarter odds (best price too), it is worth a speculative one.  The speculation is not about whether I think Crack Away Jack is capable of running a place or picking up the race if Masterminded is not in top form, it is more about his readiness and in that his trainer, the wonderful Emma Lavelle is buoyant ‘He is in really good order…… He has always run well fresh.  He looks straightforward, seems well and is at a good weight’

Of the others, Petit Robin looks like he wants further to me and is not in the top draw.  Mad Max looks a hard sort to place.  Tchio Polos at the bottom of the card for Paul Nicholls might improve but looks nowhere near good enough on anything shown so far.

The 2.55 at Ascot offers a similar bet to Crack Away Jack.  Walkon is an Alan King (who has had a quiet season) trained hurdler who has been missing injured for over a year and a half.  However, returning in this grade 2 shows some confidence in the horse and his well-being. 

Walkons second in the Triumph hurdle was good form finishing second to Zaynar at his best with Starluck back in 4th. 

A complete unknown in this is Sire Collonges who races off a featherweight.  Another french import for the Nicholls stable – Who knows what this one is about, impossible to tell but taken as too green for this quality race particularly as Lough Derg will ensure a ready pace and will expose jumping inexperience. 

Soldatino is the 5/2 favourite but really, this Triumph winner while good, 5/2?!?  OK, it could win but really I am unsure its form of winning last years Triumph is as good as the form of the second Walkon achieved in the previous year.  This then leaves the 12/1 Walkon as a standout bet – Get stuck in, have an each way chunk and thank me later.  Generally available at quarter odds and three places.

As long as Ascot races, the ground will be perfect.  Gowran however is off as is Haydock which is a shame as the Major had done work on both!

Detail and research.  2pm Lingfield, not the natural start point for horseracing fans.  One thing of interest.  Pizzetti is 40/1 with Victor Chandler – Now OK, this looks like a plot horse for handicaps and from the Prescott stable, it is probably waiting for them but…. out of Singspiel it is arguably the best bred horse in the race and….. it has a Derby entry, so they must have had hopes at some point.  It is probably a handicap plotted sort but at 40/1 the Major is willing to stake an each way piece of silver.

Ascots 3.30 shold go to Breedsbreeze 15/8 (Sportingbet) – All of the others have big question marks, the preferences of the field would be Minella Theatre who needs to prove he is not simply at first time up specialist and I’m a Legend who looks well handicapped to the Major.  the tip is for Breedsbreeze though who has he form in the book, looks relatively well placed at 9 and the credible Ian Popham helps by taking a further 5lbs off.

Then to the sporting fields of Britain which suffer less from the wicked touch of the barren North and her icy fingers.

Wolves are no forlorn hope to beat Liverpool who have proved for a second time that changing your manager does not improve a mixed squad.  Wolves are organised and at 12/5 with Stan James, of some interest but no bet advised.

I think Aston Villa while too good for the drop have problems that Darren Bent alone cannot solve.  It is the live early evening game and backing Manchester City at 23/20 with William Hill is the advice.

The Major wants to keep Fulham on the ‘poor list’ – Thus backing Stoke at Craven Cottage makes sense at 14/5 with Victor Chandler.  Stoke may have had mid-week exertions at Cardiff but they were able and confident enough to rest key players.  John Carew may not be an inspirational signing but he can lead a line and will be another player bought into consideration from Stokes long throws.  Fulham continue to underwhelm the Major who thinks it is all presentation and no trousers.  It is worth remembering that there is a bit of bad blood between these teams.  Pulis and Hughes have twice this season refused to shake hands at the final whistle, if it tasty today, I don’t think that would suit Fulham.

Blackburn are a great price to beat the Majors own team, West Brom.  This Sunday fixture features a home team who are well organised under the quiet Steve Kean.  Albion can score goals but will struggle against the strong midfield of the Blackburn team.  5/4 with Victor Chandler is a decent price.  West Brom are getting stronger with their defense returning, Tamas is a big player but they were poor at the back when fully staffed and so it might make them more competitive but hardly delivers maximum confidence.

Equally Tottenham look a quality bet at 5/4 to win in the North East.  Andy Carroll is still missing and he is a key player for Newcastle.  Pienaar could make a debut for Spurs who just look to have enough quality to take maximum points. 

Sheffield Wednesday are spending some money and going through a transformation.  7/4 is too big for their chances to get the spoils from Orient today.

Sunderland look a tasty price too at 2/1.  Blackpool are only 6 points off the black cats who rest just outside the Europa positions.  I don’t think Sunderland will miss a beat with the loss of Bent.  Gyan looks a more complete player to me.  Blackpool are capable of scoring against most teams due to a refreshing attacking approach but they also concede.

The new Bournemouth manager has his hands full.  The club had already sold key players before losing their young talented manager Howe to Burnley.  While Bournemouth have a sterling home record, this could all change in the coming weeks and they have not entertained many of the top teams.  Brighton are that and at 15/8 are incredible value.  Take your deserved share.

The Major wishes all faithful followers the best of luck in your selections today.  Watch out for tomorrows Irish Champion Hurdle advice where sadly Dunguib has already withdrawn.

The NAP today is a double on Blackburn and Masterminded. General pricing of 6/4 and 4/6 means this pays £375 to a £100 stake, I am sure you will bet with more significant funds!

This evenings dining will follow a nine mile run.  The order of the day will be steak, shown the flame for the minimal period to make the chef feel he has earned his wage.  A Barolo to accompany, a brandy to finish.  Then to dark, peaceful slumber safe in the knowledge that no matter what happened today, no matter whether a fortune was plundered in the Majors favour or not; we sleep deeply with carnal knowledge of the joys the sporting gentleman’s world provides.

Play hard.  Allow instinct as well as research. 

As the man hails your carriage, tip well.  This is right.  Let him know the Major sent you, we will be back.

* Previous evidence demonstrates that the Major will quite regularly fail you!

Double your money last weekend – The Major says repeat prescription

 Good morning from fine Pershore where the Major prepares for another fine weekends sporting action in usual fashion.  Good coffee has been bubbling away since 6am and the Major has been hard at work on your behalf securing you some of the finest value available.  The world that a sporting gentleman occupies thrusts utterly relentless opportunity towards us.  We have to navigate this torrent of golden reward and devious trickery with composed skill and a deft touch. 

Significant profits like last week are always based on fine decision.  The next layer of the onion contains losses, we were so close to losing, but we did win.

So today, celebrate this balance, this tightrope, this dance.  Get involved, bet large, bet like a man, bet for the excitement, bet for the thrill, the interest, bet for no reason, bet with style, just make sure you take a bet and allow the tide to take you.

To recap The Majors last week, we had some tasty winning action and more than doubled our stakes (table below shows results to level stakes).   The Major never gloats and never allows despondency.  What else can we do though but celebrate last weekend, I hope you were involved.  This has been a good few months and today we will take the enemy back to the schoolyard and once more spank his insolence from him.  Enough, lets gamble.

Today is Betfair chase day, coupled with some fascinating premier league clashes and the eggball autumn internationals in full swing and the Major is a contented gambler.

I am going to start, as is custom on the Football Association pitches.

Last week we drew money from the Majors belief that Liverpools form was not a permanent fixture and that their win over Chelsea was an exaggerated piece of collateral form.  I go into today looking at their home fixture with West Ham as equally precarious for them.  They can ill afford to lose Gerrard and with Lucas also out and the non firing Joe Cole also absent, they are wholly over reliant on a touch of class from Torres in my view.  13/2 about West Ham with Victor Chandler would be my advice – Even with Scott Parker missing, the key to this fixture is what there is to lose.  West Ham can play uninhibited, Hodgson could put himself under intense scrutiny if he loses.

Chelsea who visit St Andrews could desperately do with a win.  The Major had this one right when suggesting there was something amiss at Stamford Bridge and although Alex makes a surprise and welcome return to bolster the centre back position, who knows if the issues are put to bed.  This one is a watching brief only.

My favourite football bet of the weekend is Wolves to win at Blackpool.  I have already given my view that Holloway would be best to focus on galvanizing his resources.  I suspect the train will come of the tracks at Blackpool as a result of histrionics – Yes they will be unlucky, yes they will be unfairly treated, they probably won’t deserve it but I think Holloway is starting to line up his excuses.  Mick McCarthy on the other hand remains utterly focussed on the job and feels like a proper leader.  If Matt Jarvis doesn’t overcome injury then it is a huge absence but I fancy Wolves to take it anyway so 2/1 is a tasty betting proposition.  Blackpools poor home form is also a factor – as is their inability to take Wolves effectively down the right flank where possibly the worst left back in the Premier League presides.

Shrewsbury will beat Southend and I am majorly shocked by the evens available.  I thought this would be a strong odds against bet.  Southend are injury ravaged and the noises muffling away inside Roots Hall are not good.  Ten points already separate these outfits and with Robinson a good outlet for the Shrews, surely they would win this 3 times from 5 so evens is a super bet.  Load the large cannon for this one.

I am tempted to put West Brom up to beat Stoke but was surprised at the pricing and so no bet advised.  However, with Jara returning after the horror tackle that earned him a three match ban, I fancied the Baggies.  Stokes recent win at home to Liverpool was shouted up by the Major as part of our superb last weekend but there shocking away form makes them vulnerable to an Albion outfit who play good football and will resume winning ways again if they discover that touch.  Tempting but betting on your own team is one of the Majors fastest routes to the Poor House – Put the revolver hammer back gently.

Arsenal are a nice price to beat Spurs too in my other no bet.  With key Spurs centre halves missing at the Emirates I would have fancied the Gunners to take advantage of a Kaboul / Gallas partnership that is less than ideal; particularly with Huddlestone out too.  However, 4/6 about a team that can turn up in one of two minds, not for the Major thank you.

Bolton can beat Newcastle who are less organised.  HAve a small slice at 6/5 odds against at home – Coyle knows his beans and this will be tough for the toon.

On the eggball fields, I fancy two in the handicap.  Don’t say the Major is nothing but fair tipping up Englands return to form recently.  Today I don’t think the 21 point handicap for Samoa will be enough – The pack will win it well before half time, 11/10 lovely.

Doubling that up with the All Blacks in their -14 handicap makes sense – A tasty rugby bet advised on the double.  Nearly 4/1 that.

On track, I fancy Imperial Commander, especially as his price continues to drift.  Pricewise plums for What a Friend and why not, this Nicholls horse has had a wind op (often the key at Ditcheat) and loves to go fresh.  Imperial though is reported further forward than last year when he lost by a hair; although he was given a stone by the the mighty Kauto.  It is interesting that Nicholls runs here given that as a Hennessy horse, What a Friend would carry one of the most lenient marks, take from that what you will.  Nacarat was tipped up two weeks ago and won nicely for us, I don’t think he is capable of a repeat but wouldn’t put you off an each way slice on the big white hope.  Chief Dan George has superb form in the book and if he found it again 66/1 would be huge, especially as he has a victory over Imperial in his locker.  Tidal Bay equally could make 40/1 look absurd on one of his good days.  The Major however sticks with the Commander.  Let’s be honest he has all the form.  His price will be honest because of two factors, Pricewise plumbing for What a Friend and the fact that apart from a novice hurdle at Newcastle, Imperial has done all of his winning at Cheltenham.  Major followers understand this – Trends are there to be scrutinised, not trusted.  I can accept that Imperial is a better horse going left-handed (conditions he has today), I could also accept that some horses are course specialists (Mr McGoldrick at Wetherby as a case in point) but not top class horses.  Watch last years Betfair Chase, It was Kauto a dubious first; Imperial Commander second and fresh air all the way back to the trailers.  There were good horses behind that day and today it is off level weights with the form in the book on the favourites side……. the prosecution rests and advises a strong Imperial bet but leave it until an hour before the off, or take Paddy Powers online price guarantee as you the advantage of the predicted drift.

Another Nicholls horse, another wind op, will Masterminded win on debut, hmmmm.  It is incredible to think this horse is just 7 given his achievements.   I believe he is back and will destroy them all bar Albertas Run who although class in his own right, is not the same – there you go, simples….  evens again.

Zaynar is the other hot fancy to rock up in the hurdle on debut.  I thought it was interesting to hear Henderson talk about this as a World Hurdle horse which gives me concerns that today’s trip might not be enough on this seasons debut – Why is he also in cheekpieces for his last two runs, is he really going to give it the best on reappearance, might be wrong but I am staying clear.  I do like Zaynar for future Grade 1 success but am going to stick with Silciniaco Conti who was an impressive winner when tipped up by the Major at Chepstow a few weeks ago.  This Nicholls / Fehily team (36% strike rate this year!) have the unexposed horse and with Lough Derg in the field, they will go at a fair clip, small stake advised.

Great listed all-weather action today for hardcore fans.  Hitchens to win the 3.40 at Lingfield is a decent bet with many of the other market leaders needing to prove they go on the poly.  5/1 is available with Laddies and Sportingbet.

One that was given to the Major by a master of the dark arts was James de Vassey in the Haydock 2.50, 13/2 is around, take a piece each way and I shall thank the tipster for you.

May this evenings fine dinner be Italian with a hearty Barolo to wash it down with.  Tip generously, its what the Commander wanted as he pinged the last.

THE MAJORS ADVICE LAST WEEK
Bet Stake Returns
Hearts to win at St Johnstone 6/4 £2.50
More than 3 goals West Ham v Blackpool 8/11 £0.00
Norwich to win at Reading  16/5 £0.00
Stoke to beat Liverpool 3/1 £4.00
Haye to win in the third 9/1 £10.00
Haye to win in the fourth 9/1 £0.00
Haye to win by stoppage 1/3 £1.33
Long Run to win the Paddy Power 7/2 £0.00
Berties Dream to win 9/2 £0.00
Sam Winner to win the Cheltenham Novice Hurdle 9/2 £5.50
Serious Drinking in the last at Wolverhampton 10/3 £0.00