Ranchero will be a prime target for ‘big-hitters’ in a fourteen-runner Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs of Newcastle tapeta tonight; my idea of the best and fairest racetrack on our beleaguered planet. John Gosden thinks on similar lines!
Since the famous turf was unceremoniously dug up and replaced by this fabulous artificial surface, four years ago, our esteemed Champion trainer has voted with multi declarations from his luxurious Clarehaven stables in Newmarket which represent at least four-hundred mile round journeys.
Cost is no problem for ‘Big John’s’ owners who includes Lord Lloyd Webber, Her Majesty, The Queen, executors of the late Khalid Abdulla etc and, obviously, he’s been allowed free rein to plunder anywhere and everywhere universally with an abundance of super-bred thoroughbreds which we’re really lucky to see on a regular basis. My labour of love is enhanced by their presence and writing about them is a colossal privilege.
Any one, anytime is capable of aspiring rapidly; wonder how good once-raced Ranchero will prove to be!
This Kodiac colt certainly made an encouraging debut under Nicky Mackay a fortnight ago when runner-up to our nap Ransom over a similar distance on Kempton polytrack; the Sir Michael Stoute-trained winner is a magnificent equine being and the third, Ibiza Rocks, is rated highly by the racing family Hills.
A replication of his length second should be good enough to beat nine un-raced rivals and a couple with bits of form and yet Ranchero, a 12/1 chance first-up, is likely to improve for his ‘first day at school!’
Price-wise Ranchero, mount of veteran Rav Havlin, is an anchor for the daily patent/trixie (your preference) which kicks off with Auriferous and Canonized, a close ninth to Desert Dreamer at Newmarket eighteen days ago when William Haggas’ charge was beaten only five lengths after a slow exit; it was an auspicious start for the Acclamation filly, 10/1 in a race proving to be strong as my time-handicap suggested initially.
Andrew Balding-trained Auriferous, gelded after two outings, was ‘all over the shop’ when a creditable close second to Gosden’s Otyrar around Kempton on his seasonal debut five weeks ago under stable apprentice William Cox whose expertise on this wayward three-year-old was noted.
However experienced David Probert takes over in a seven-runner Novice Stakes over a similar distance at Chepstow where we can expect positive tactics to pay off for Auriferous; I like a horse with spirit!
Selections, Chepstow, 1.15 Auriferous; Goodwood, 1.35 Canonized; Newcastle, 6.50 Ranchero.
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