Bolshoi Ballet looked impressive when winning a prestigious ‘Derby Trial’ unchallenged in Ireland Sunday and as a consequence has been backed into 7/4 favouritism for the Epsom feature next month; is this another typical reaction to an Aidan O’Brien-trained ‘superstar’ or panic by the bookmaking profession which seems scared stiff of laying ‘live’ runners for English classics?
You would have to wonder why given 16/1 shot Poetic Flare landed the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month when O’Brien’s battalion wasn’t anywhere to be seen as Jim Bolger’s charge quickened magnificently to land the first classic under veteran stable jockey Kevin Manning, beaming from ear-to-ear while interviewed after the Newmarket Rowley Mile.
‘Time’ rules my life when it comes down to analysing form at any level and it was indeed time to compute the Irish form after reading of the plunge on Ryan Moore’s intended mount three weeks on Saturday.
First reaction was ‘Wow’ and after further scrutiny I’m convinced the ‘Worlds’ greatest horse-race’ is already destined, yet again, for the Ballydoyle maestro; it’s always significant when John Magnier, Derryk Smith and Michael Tabor (‘The Lads’ as Aiden describes the veteran pensioners so affectionately) produce a wonderful name; what could be better or more dramatic than Bolshoi Ballet?
As a consequence, especially for those ante-post punters, my advice is give the ‘big race’ a miss because there is absolutely no value around and of course Bolshoi Ballet could pick up an injury in the meantime. Hopefully that will not be the case!
Chepstow today was abandoned yesterday but Wetherby stages a programme which includes an opportunity for Moment Of Beauty to gain ‘winning brackets’ under Angus Villiers’ in a weak-looking Novice Stakes over ten furlongs of the popular North Yorkshire course; one of two runners for Saeed bin Suroor’s Godolphin operation this Teofilo filly was a creditable fifth over course and distance sixteen days ago. Villers is a ‘special’ talent and his 5lbs claim is ‘gold dust’ for serious bettors like myself
Rest of the card looks a mite tricky but a couple of ‘set-weight’ races on ‘good’ ground Beverley are somewhat appetising for those prepared to delve and unearth good-priced chances; Lexington Bullet and Water Iris, trained by Northern-based ‘big guns’, Richard Fahey and David O’Meara, are by no means forlorn hopes and should be worth coupling in an each-way double, a devastating bet which bookies hate. They funded quite a good lifestyle for many of us in the long distant past!
York begins tomorrow, another magnificent ‘Spring-time’ fixture with no crowds but racecourses are working earnestly to get Government permission for return to some kind of normality.
Selections, Beverley, 2.15 Lexington Bullet (e.w); 4.45 Water Iris (e.w); Wetherby, 5.50 Moment Of Beauty (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