Sam Twiston-Davies provided a solid reason why I’ve long placed tremendous emphasis on jockeyship when winning on the somewhat recalcitrant Dr Richard Newland-trained Olympic Conqueror over two tense miles of Uttoxeter last Thursday; a short-head verdict over Ambassador doesn’t tell half the story.
Alright so it was the second leg of my short-priced double but with C’Mon Kenny being withdrawn in dramatic fashion earlier this represented a de facto ‘full house’ for readers/punters, my only concern and the reason for this column.
Sam adopted positive tactics but Olympic Conqueror was top of the ‘hit’ parade over every obstacle until passed at halfway at which point he settled happily; eventually it was necessary to become serious and ‘Twisty’ sent him back to the front at the third last where the five-year-old appeared to engage brakes, again!
Sensing his dilemma champion jockey Harry Skelton waited patiently and then swooped aboard Ambassador at the last with a good jump, looking certain to score; a glance at the body language of the best finisher in National Hunt racing gave me hope however and in a titanic ‘set-to’ on the long run-in Olympic Conqueror prevailed by a head, much to the obvious astonishment of his big-time rival.
Someone once mentioned backing the best jockeys, on the best horses on the best racetracks is often the best policy; that reference came to mind after the best and most exciting race I’ve seen for a long time.
Summer-jumping lacks quality for the most part but by ‘specialising’ with novice/maiden races I’ve always made decent profit and for the next two months intend sacrificing the major flat-racing season for alternative opportunities over jumps, whenever possible. It’s much easier.
This afternoon we are served by Hexham where Northern Falcon will not be a surprise if causing one in an eleven-runner Novice’ Hurdle over two miles under Henry Brooke, a real Northern-based ‘favourite’ who has been aboard this Kayf Tara gelding on both recent outings, in ‘bumpers!’
Irish raider Homme D’Un Soir (126) and The Wrekin (124) are likely to dominate but are penalised 6lbs for successes; they will be tough to beat but I’ve been monitoring Northern Falcon closely and reckon he’s worth betting each-way, and following!
Worcester also opens its doors tonight and the Newland/Twiston-Davies combinations teams up with Seinsational in the Maiden Brush Hurdle over two and a half miles.
Seinsational, a winner eight times, ran ‘flat’ over the minimum trip five weeks ago but this extra distance could well be ideal and he’s selected as a FUN follow-up nap!
Don’t forget we’re ‘in to win’ and all my selections can be ‘noted’ for future races.
Incidentally Sandown is part of ‘Super-Saturday’ and what beats William Haggas’ Candleford in the Maiden Stakes over ten furlongs will win!
Selections, Hexham, 1.45 Northern Falcon (e.w); Sandown, 4.00 Candleford (e.w); Worcester, 8.30 Seinsational (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