May the ‘Force’ be with you!

Imperial Force looks an outstanding each-way punt for an eleven-runner ‘aged’ Novice Stakes over the straight six furlongs of ‘good to soft’ Windsor today, when enough boxes are ticked for this consistent, hitherto luckless Andrew Balding-trained Camacho gelding, placed five times from eight outings and back to his best distance, according to my time-handicap.

One of seeveral ‘boxes’ is undoubtedly booking of championship-chasing William Buick whose jockeyship this year has been impressive, with pace judgement of a colossal standard; I could write a book detailing his prowess but the son of former of one-time Norwegian ‘champ’ Walter is currently turning over new chapters which the world can indeed read on a regular basis.

I’ve referred already to an effort way back in September 2020 when Imperial Force achieved a ‘career-best’ TH mark over six and a half furlongs of ‘good’ ground Doncaster, similar to which will be encountered today, ridden by William!

Considering Windsor was abandoned last week, because of flooding, it’s remarkable to think how effective the drainage system must be; over the years I’ve always enjoyed betting there, especially quality two-year-olds which, incidentally, aren’t in evidence this afternoon.

Consistency isn’t a guarantee of ultimate success but no one places thoroughbreds better than Balding and you can bet the Kingsclere maestro has found an ideal slot for the vexing Imperial Force.

There are several placed ‘form’ rivals, namely recent Yarmouth winner Aylesford, penalised 6lbs for a hard-fought short-head victory under Shane Kelly who, significantly has again been contacted by in-form trainer William Knight. There isn’t a better jockey than this rejuvenated, experienced Irishman and I’m looking forward to this particular dash at a unique figure of eight circuit.

Other races don’t appeal but there is ‘summer-jumping’ on ‘good’ Uttoxeter where Ambassador should open proceedings successfully under Harry Skelton in a Novices’ Hurdle over two mile; perfect ‘anchor’ for our trixie.

Later Dal Horrisgle represents another ‘safe’ selection for the concluding Novices’ Hurdle over two and half miles for the in-form Alan King yard, mount of Tom Cannon who took over the ‘number one’ position last year when Wayne Hutchinson retired.

Juveniles are my speciality but novice hurdles provide tremendous consistency with the TH and a process of elimination system a deadly combination.

Selections, Uttoxeter, 1.20 Ambassador; 5.15 Dal Horrisgle (e.w); Windsor, 2.20 Imperial Force (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