‘Jacob’ could be on the mark and worth following!

Just Jacob might well be overlooked in a class 5 Novice Auction Stakes over the straight undulating mile of ‘good to soft’ Chepstow where William Haggas’ charge will be ridden by stable jockey Tom Marquand, partner of leading jockey Hollie Doyle.

Many thought it would be a reverse situation and Tom needs to put numbers on the board to achieve ‘domestic’ parity but it’s great fun for us, and them.

Prospect of a female champion jockey is becoming realistic as Hollie, in double form at Ascot, Saturday, continues to provide the goods but when the 2021 season really gets under way I’m expecting Tom to challenge, especially with the backing of William, arguably the best and most consistent of current Newmarket high-profile yards; it used to Cecil and Stoute, now Haggas and the racing family Gosden are the ‘big two’ with powerful ships steered by intelligent captains.

My modus operandi is all about getting an edge with thoroughbreds which are likely to aspire; Just Jacob fits criteria, judged on a promising debut on ‘heavy’ ground at Newbury last season, when the Charm Spirit gelding showed good speed until gradually weakening in the closing stages of a race won by Scope and littered with subsequent winners. Few inmates of Haggas’ yard are considered unable to win!

Collectively eleven rivals to Just Jacob number only thirteen outings between them and this long journey wouldn’t be undertaken without good reason, but it’s the long term which counts as far as my target of monthly profit is concerned. Any clues could surface when a betting market is formed because money talks.

Rest of the card looks difficult 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 ‘special’ fixture with no crowds but racecourses are working earnestly to get Government permission for a return to some kind of normality.

Selections, Chepstow, 1.55 Just Jacob (e.w); 2.15 Lexington Bullet (e.w); 4.45 Water Iris (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