Raging Rascal needs only to replicate an eye-catching debut at Glorious Goodwood last August to make it third time lucky in division two the Maiden Stakes over a straight mile of ‘good’ Newbury ground today; Tom Ward’s charge has been beaten since but, significantly, champion all-weather jockey Richard Kingscote keeps the faith with this Coulsty colt.
After failing by only half a length to bring off a 66/1 shock at the glorious Arundel venue, under Harry Bentley, it was more than six months before Raging Rascal reappeared on Kempton polytrack with ‘Kingy’ on board the heavily-backed odds-on favourite; it turned out to be a nightmare for serious ‘big-hitters!’
At no stage did Raging Rascal threaten to oblige even though ‘early doors’ he tracked the moderate pace; approaching the last two furlongs Kingscote became animated, no response, and at the finishing line Rogue Force beat long-time leader Hemsworth by three lengths with the ‘jolly’ a length away.
This result didn’t fit when I computed the ‘slowish’ race-time but I’ll refrain from further comment because in racing ‘less said the better, and that’s too much!’
Four superbly-bred rivals are likely to progress and if Eve Johnson Houghton-trained Danville ‘finds time’, as we stop-watch aficionados say, Raging Rascal will face a challenge which is why, with three places on offer I’ll play an each-way double into Lock Down Luke one of ten ‘decs’ for an intriguing ‘bumper’ over two miles of a ‘good’ Ayr surface which contains six winners!
Twice-raced ‘Luke’ certainly ticks enough boxes; ‘best-in, mount of proficient Sean Quinlan, riding this Lucarno gelding for the third time, and worth following given the mark achieved last time at Carlisle.
Back at the Berkshire venue Snow Lantern, scratched by in-form Richard Hannon from a winning opportunity at Newmarket last week, is advantaged by a 5lbs fillies’ allowance in the first leg of the maiden; don’t oppose.
Incidentally Ms Johnson Houghton reports her impressive ‘Brocklesby’ winner in good form and Chipotle could well contest the ‘Lily Agnes’ around Chester next month but it’s far from confirmed; my colt Roweking was third in that prestigious ‘dash’ thirty-five years ago under Greville ‘Dancing Brave’ Starkey!
What memories and the sixty winners we had, in a golden twenty years period, help me sleep contentedly!
Selections, Newbury, 1.00 Snow Lantern (e.w); 3.55 Raging Rascal e.w); Ayr, 5.20 Lock Down Luke (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