Eagle Terrace and In The Breeze are twice-raced maidens in an enthralling Novice Stakes over ten furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Windsor today, when four of seven rivals are penalised 5lbs, which equates to at least two lengths, and will probably weigh heavily.
The term similarly-profiled is often used in this column and the aforementioned duo certainly are with time-handicap marks which should definitely see them ‘on the premises’ despite absences of six months or more; my preference is Eagle Terrace representing the recently-formed dynamic ‘A Team’ of trainer John Gosden and his son Thady who will take over in the not too distant future from the 70-year-old Champion Trainer.
Placing is the key to a successful, business-like training operation; ‘Big John’ has no superior at unearthing opportunities and stable jockey Rav Havlin certainly compliments his judgement with positive tactics which Gosden prefers. Sorting out the wheat from the chaff was also part of my modus operandi long before the ‘big fella’ came onto the scene, having served his apprenticeship in the USA.
One other factor, In The Breeze is trained by Roger Charlton who seldom ‘gets going’ early and this season is already proving a typical example of his patience with cold mornings affecting thoroughbreds adversely at Beckhampton stables. When it gets warmer ‘Jolly Roger’ will undoubtedly make hay!
Rest of an eight-race card looks ‘too difficult’ but turf-flat racing is also scheduled on fast ground at Pontefract where multi-raced Scarlet Bear has no dangers in an eight-runner Fillies’ Novice Stakes over six furlongs.
Formerly-trained by Tom Dascombe in Cheshire this Kodi Bear filly is now housed at William Jarvis’ Newmarket yard; pointless even thinking about opposing 102-rated Scarlet Bear because it’s just a case of her replicating consistent form. Another defeat would be a difficult pill to swallow and ‘big-hitters’ will be on this ‘special’ to a man!
Evening racing will be staged around ‘good’ Market Rasen where another consistent vexing performer, Away At Dawn, looks solid in an eight-runner Novices’ Hurdle over two miles; capable conditional jockey Theo Gillard will claim 5lbs allowance to offset a penalty for a hurdles debut success last July.
Incidentally George Peabody timed his winning run to perfection, in more ways than one, when landing our nap on Saturday afternoon, storming through to lead just as the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was being taken into the chapel by eight pall-bearers.
Only thirty were allowed to attend Windsor Chapel due to Covi-d19 restrictions but millions enjoyed a magnificent service for a wonderful dedicated 99-year-old servant.
Selections, Windsor, 3.10 Eagle Terrace (e.w); Pontefract, 3.30 Scarlet Bear; Market Rasen 4.25 Away At Dawn (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