Navello commands my attention in the opening seven-runner listed Lily Agnes Stakes over five furlongs of ‘good’ ground Chester this afternoon which kicks-off a tremendous three-day(s) May fixture, one of my absolute ‘favourite’ tracks where two-year-old racing is the ultimate fascination.
Why such an interest in George Boughey’s charge, again mount of Nicola Currie who, understandably, is excited about the prospect of this Ivawood colt, easy unchallenged winner at Brighton last week?
Obviously it was a surprise beating a strongly-fancied Hollie Doyle-ridden Archie Watson-trained newcomer, Golden Rainbow, but the rest were three lengths and upwards in arrears which usually signifies a fast time.
Sure enough, after computing the race-times, that indeed was the case and Boughey is entitled to strike while the iron is hot; Royal Ascot will be next on the agenda if Navello supplements the gains. Only a few days earlier this combination gained a dramatic late surge victory on Wolverhampton tapeta.
Conditions should suit Navello, my confident selection, and I’m pleased for Nicola as she’s undeservedly been in the shadows of other female jockeys, notably Hollie Doyle whose rapid rise to fame has been quite incredible.
It’s like watching the late, great Sir Gordon Richards who, from old black and white film clips, was similarly diminutive and drove into the withers with unique balance and strength. Hollie does weight training!
On its obligatory all-weather ‘Wednesday-nighter’ Kempton stages a seven-race programme which affords thrice-raced Percy’s Price an excellent chance of success in the eleven-runner Fillies’ Novice Stakes over twelve furlongs of ‘standard to slow’ polytrack.
This 80-rated William Knight-trained three-year-old by Epsom Derby winner Sir Percy was somewhat unlucky to be beaten a neck on Wolverhampton Tapeta fifteen days ago when the heavily-backed John Gosden favourite got first run at a vital stage in a slowly-run race. Shane Kelly looked fed up on dismounting.
Callum Shepherd has been booked and so Percy’s Pride will be in ‘good hands’ as ex-jockey/broadcaster Jimmy Lindley used to say, so affectionately!
Jumping is firmly on the agenda with three meetings, Fontwell, Kelso, and Newton Abbot where dually-penalised Dragon Bones comes out clear ‘top-rated’ for a nine-runner Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle over two and three-quarter miles of ‘good’ ground, on the back of a ten lengths ‘career-best’ romp around Worcester ten days ago. Ian Williams’ charge is unopposable on the TH.
We experienced colossal ‘tropical’ rainstorms country-wide Monday night, hope turf tracks haven’t been watering!
I’m just off to see a cardiologist, wish me luck for a ‘hearty’ outcome!
Selections, Exeter, 1.30 Dragon Bones; Chester, 1.45 Navello; Kempton, 5.40 Percy’s Pride (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