It’s all a question of being ‘Educated!’

Presentandcounting has disappointed too many times for serious punters to make Donald McCain’s charge an automatic odds-on favourite for a thirteen-runner Novices’ Hurdle  over two and a quarter miles of a ‘good’ Kelso surface this afternoon; there’s a fine line between courage and stupidity!

Mention of this fact relates to the way bettors are often prepared to ‘follow the sheep’ (over a cliff!) but there is an obvious element in this case because the bulk of professionals will doubtless sway the market, especially with champion jockey Brian Hughes again booked by ‘ace’ agent Dave Roberts, whose knowledge of form and race-times is second to none; I’m fully aware it.

Roberts piloted the incredible career of twenty-times champion ‘AP’ McCoy and his great rival Richard Johnson who retired last week, thus missing the three-day(s) Grand National meeting and I wondered why, on the ‘eve’ of this fantastic spectacular.

Perhaps ‘Johnno’ had seen the light, apparently it shines bright, when thinking about it in the night; not to be underestimated a smidgeon of fear after more than twenty-five years race-riding and Richard was way down on his number of winners and rides. Great chap, wish him well.

So many factors go into making a selection, ‘knowledge’ is crucial and one of my strengths throughout this elongated racing life has been psychology; there are reasons for everything and why, for instance, Dave Roberts has been so successful. If you spent a day watching his incredible modus operandi it would become obvious why he’s become a very wealthy ‘workaholic!’

I’ve combed this opener and will be gobsmacked if Presentandcounting, winner of two ‘bumpers’ in January and a ‘point-to-point’ doesn’t register his first success over hurdles; the betting market will indeed be fascinating.

Never forget although I’m always keen to unearth winners at juicy odds, a short-priced winner is usually better than a long-priced loser, unless you are playing each-way doubles/trebles, my forte.

Hughes, locked in a tumultuous battle with Harry Skelton for the championship, partners Well Educated for a third time in the concluding ‘bumper’ and what beats this progressive Getaway gelding will surely win.  

Incidentally last week six of my first nine selections were second, one at 22/1, Seagull’s Nest, one to follow without doubt; consistency is the key to successful punting, even though hitting the posts can be vexing.

Onagatheringstorm and Voice Of Calm look gilt-edged in the first two ‘hurdles’ at Warwick and so I’ll play a ‘yankee’ today.

Selections, Warwick, 1.50 Onagatheringstorm; 2.23 Voice Of Calm;  Kelso, 2.00 Presentancounting; 5.11 Well Educated (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