State Secretary faces a much easier task in a Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs of Chelmsford polytrack tonight than the one this Muhaarar three-year-old encountered first time out six months ago, on a similar surface around Kempton; Richard Hannon’s charge certainly experienced a baptism of fire!
A completely unfancied 22/1 shot and mount of Kieren Shoemark on a ‘slow to standard surface’ State Secretary improved his position considerably after a tardy start to finish strongly into second, only four lengths behind heavily-backed, Godolphin-owned favourite Secret Protector, which went off at 1/4!
Undoubtedly State Secretary enjoyed his ‘first day at school’ but since he’s experienced a shock to his system having been gelded, hence the absence; there are reasons why thoroughbreds lose ‘two stones’ and Hannon now has a primed article ready to earn his keep during the next few years.
A few of mine would have been better off with a gelding operation, which is usually performed on account of unruly behaviour.
On my time-handicap State Secretary has an outstanding opportunity of going one better at the expense of seven rivals, none of which have achieved form to anything like the same extent; significantly Hannon’s yard is now firing on all cylinders following his patient approach to the new season.
Rest of an eight-race programme has been filed into my ‘too difficult tray’ and scrutiny focused on an intriguing Selling Hurdle over two miles of ‘good’ ground Exeter where Falberto is priced at 1/5 following success in a similar race at Stratford last week when bought in for NINE THOUSAND GUINEAS!
Subsequently Falberto has been moved to another yard but why risk him in another seller?
‘All that glitters is not gold’ is an old saying and I’ll take a chance with ‘bumper’ winner Good Bye, a Milton Harris-trained six-year-old which shaped well in a non-seller recently only to disappoint subsequently around Fakenham where a vet stated he ‘lost a left-fore shoe!’
Harry Skelton rides Good Bye!
There are also two flat-race meetings scheduled for Pontefract and Bath where Wonderful World, second (of 9) in the ‘Brocklesby’ looks ‘nailed on’ to go one better in a Novice Stakes over five furlongs; ground will be superb on the only track in the United Kingdom without a watering system.
Selections, Bath, 2.40 Wonderful World (nap); Exeter, 4.20 Good Bye (e.w); Chelmsford, 5.00 State Secretary (e.w).
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current 'trade' paper, including 2019