Wishaah, impressive debut scorer over seven furlongs of Kempton polytrack three weeks ago, is set for a follow up, despite a 7lbs penalty, against previous winners in a Novice Stakes on Newcastle tapeta tonight; ‘Shadwell’ contract trainer Owen Burrows has found an excellent opportunity for this Oasis Dream gelding which provided a shock for punters when too strong for 5/6 favourite Beheld.
For all the world the latter looked home ‘n hosed as the Juddmonte-owned Frankel filly continually disputed the lead but William Buick’s mount had no answer to the late charge of Wishaah and, though John Gosden-trained Marrakech Moon comes out similarly on my time-handicap, normal improvement should take care of him and Godolphin-owned first-up winner Silent Escape; both won last time, more than seven months ago!
Good, recent form is usually the key to successful punting, there is always a reason for absences, and I’m confident about Wishaah supplementing gains under Jim Crowley whose riding has been closely scrutinised this month; how much longer will he don the famous blue and white colours of recently-deceased Hamdan Al Maktoum?
Now in the veteran stage Jim knows he’ll have to be replaced soon but, realistically, he’s perfect for this responsible position given tremendous experience and sympathy to thoroughbreds are so beneficial in the long run. That’s the crux, the future. I’ve no criticism of Crowley whatsoever but deplore comments submitted to ‘social media’ by ‘sore losers!’
Rest of the seven-race Gosforth Park programme is difficult with five handicaps but, judging by comments on betting forums during the last few months, punters are now aware of my sentiments, chronicled repeatedly, which indicate bookmakers have a stranglehold on the English racing scene; it’s an uncomfortable, diabolical situation and with owners competing for pittance prize-money at most meetings it can’t last, and wont!
‘Shadwell’ has submitted more than a hundred horses for the forthcoming Newmarket July ‘horses-in-training’ sale and it will be interesting to witness the outcome.
Despite an horrendous losing run, following a blitz of winners during the middle part of ‘Flaming June’, I’m at peace with the world as this is ‘penned’ during the very hours of my mid-summer birthday, a reminder to so many of a day they’d rather forget, when getting old.
‘You can’t beat experience’ or at least that’s how to approach the toughest game in the world which tames lions!
Final comment, stick with this column through thick ‘n thin’ because otherwise you’ll be on when it loses and miss out during inevitable winning runs; that’s ‘sod’s law’ and remember, we’re all in this together and I’m dedicated.
Selections, Newmarket, 5.45 Zain Claudette (e.w); Doncaster, 4.00 Mrs Fitzherbert (e.w); Newcastle, 8.25 Wishaah (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