Mercurial, mount of 2020/21 all-weather champion jockey Richard Kingscote, is a confident time-handicap call for an eleven-runner Novice Stakes over five furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta tonight when this magnificent surface will be a departure from the abnormal, following trials and tribulations of the ubiquitous Royal Ascot ground which ranged initially from ‘good to firm’ to ‘heavy’ on the fifth and final day.
You can’t win ’em all and obviously it wouldn’t be much fun if anyone did but the incredible annual Berkshire fixture ended with vexation following a smashing week; long-priced each-way fancy Sweeping was ‘dobbed’ for third place in the last stride and nap Mahagoni faltered close home at Redcar after looking certain to prevail throughout the final furlong, where a penalty just ‘anchored’ Sir Mark Prescott’s heavily-backed runner. Both races were on hitherto ‘watered’ turf!
Tom Dascombe-trained Mercurial is also penalised for victory at Chester last month under Hayley Turner whose fortunes this month have turned round dramatically; still rate 38-year-old ‘Daily Earner’ the best female jockey I’ve ever seen. Slowly but surely she is nearing that magical career-total of ONE THOUSAND WINNERS!
Three weeks later this thrice-raced Prince Of Lir colt failed by only two lengths to win the valuable, prestigious ‘Continental’ sprint at Beverley where Hayley’s mount improved more than 10lbs under an inspired ride.
Judged on his latest effort Mercurial will be too strong for several form fancies which need to improve considerably, especially with Tom’s magnificent Michael Owen-owned Cheshire yard firing on all cylinders at present.
An intriguing dash and a punter-friendly seven-race card also gives twice-raced Cash Machine an opportunity to defy a penalty in the twelve-runner Novice Stakes over seven furlongs with Jack Mitchell, aboard when Tom Clover’s charge prevailed in a fast-time sprint over six on Chelmsford polytrack two months ago. An extra distance should be ideal.
Cash Machine experienced a gruelling experience and sensibly has been given plenty of recovery time; what beats him will win and these evening selections make for solid each-way bets.
I’m swerving ‘heavy’ Windsor for ‘good to firm’ Chepstow where consistent luckless General Lee is the only conceivable danger to Tamaamm in an eleven-runner Maiden Stakes over the straight undulating mile, which puts tremendous emphasis emphasis on jockeyship; Luke Morris rides!
Each-way ‘trixie’ is advised today, readers.
Selections, Chepstow, 3.00 General Lee (e.w); Wolverhampton, 6.50 Mercurial (e.w); 8.50 Cash Machine (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