Another ‘Sweeping’ success for the ‘A-team?’

Sweeping, one of only three maidens in the ten-runner listed Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs at ‘soft/heavy’ Royal Ascot today, has an excellent opportunity of going one better under Hollie ‘pocket rocket’ Doyle who opened her 2021 account at the famous venue last Tuesday and remains an outside chance for the jockey’s championship; she needs a blitz in the next few weeks to put herself firmly in contention but has a colossal fan-base of high-profile trainers.

I’m totally convinced Hollie has the power and drive to become our first female champion; her work ethic is unbelievable, along with live-in partner Tom Marquand, one of the best ‘jocks’ on this planet, which he exploits, with annual visits to Australia where he is much-respected by a vociferous somewhat bigoted nation of racing fanatics. I first went ‘down under’ way back in 1978 and so can speak from experience!

It’s a tough environment but the fiercely-competitive Aussies make for a fabulous scene; I made history by becoming the first English working class owner to have a winner more than twelve thousand miles away when Middleton Sam, formerly trained by Hollie’s former boss, Richard Hannon, scored twice at Flemington and Sandown in 1980.

Subsequently my bloodstock agency sent thoroughbreds to the other side of the world with tremendous success; one finished an unlucky second in the Melbourne Cup and Knyf landed a spectacular betting coup when sensationally backed from 5/2 to 13/8, , he won his owner $750000.

Apparently the owner was buzzing and wanted more but couldn’t contact me again because he jumped out of a high-storey hotel; his suicide was put down to gambling problems!

I never went back after a fourth visit but have a store of incredible memories, some of which might get detailed in this column as time passes.

As mentioned last week it seldom pays to back two-year-olds before Royal Ascot but Sweeping was an eye-catcher first-up at Leicester eighteen days ago when a strong-finishing second to Dharab, a mite unlucky in the ‘Coventry’ last week when a close two lengths sixth to Berkshire Shadow.

Archie Watson-trained Sweeping, a 13/2 chance and quietly-fancied, led at a strong pace and stayed on strongly on the final climb suggesting further wouldn’t be a problem; this Siyouni colt is indeed bred for stamina and top-rated on my time-handicap.

Over the same course and distance, thirty-five minutes later, my 2000 Guineas selection Mutasaabeq contests the group three Jersey Stakes and according to Barry Hills, legendary father of trainer Charles, the Invincible Spirit colt, out of their ‘1000’ heroine Ghanaati, is reported ‘in tremendous form, much improved and ready to win again!’

A long day kicks-off, betting-wise, at ‘good to firm’ Redcar where what beats recent Chepstow scorer Mahagoni, trained by Sir Mark Prescott, in the Novices Stakes over six furlongs, will win; don’t oppose this progressive Muhaarar gelding unless, of course, you know something know one else knows!.

Selections, Redcar, 1.30 Mahagoni; Royal Ascot, 2.30 Sweeping (e.w); 3.05 Mutasaabeq (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