Night Hunter, a superbly-bred 4-y-o Tapit (USA) colt which has only raced once, is nigh on a ‘penalty-kick’ for a shallow Novice Stakes over ten furlongs of Chelmsford polytrack today, what a relief to get back on an all-weather course with a seriously good winning opportunity.
It’s no use beating about the bush, and kidding myself, there is just no comparison with the two codes. All week I’ve been stuttering and stammering by juggling with form and race-time computation due to being uncertain about the state of constantly-watered grass surfaces and only my commitment to readers/punters leads to a daily column being produced; if I don’t know it’s only guesswork and guessers are losers, obviously.
I KNOW Night Hunter should win and it’s just a question of Saeed bin Suroor’s charge going down and coming back. I’ll bet you never thought you’d read such a missive but I believe, earnestly, honesty is the best policy and if the truth hurts there is a problem; thoughts of wonderful major fixtures being compromised at Newmarket, Goodwood, York and Doncaster etc are chilling.
I’ll move onto the action this afternoon after reminding readers of my outstanding big-priced winners; nap Lasting Legacy (50/1) on Newcastle tapeta in 2019, which won me the Naps Table Championship (Racing Post!) for an eighth time; another selection, also 50’s was in a classified race on Southwell fibresand and only last week Catch Cunningham was a 9/1 nap at Gosforth Park. Such data/records speak for themselves on artificial surfaces which are pristine and consistent, ideal for thoroughbreds, a manufactured species to all intents and purposes. I love them.
Throughout my years on racecourses, which one attended more than two hundred and fifty times a year I’d always ‘walk’ the acreage, and enjoy the anticipation of what lay ahead; sadly, not because of age, the English racing scene is now so different, and negative, for a multitude of reasons.
Four weeks have elapsed since Godolphin-owned Night Hunter made an eye-catching debut at ‘un-watered’ good to firm Leicester in the fast-run race won by subsequent Newmarket winner, Baaeed, owned initially by recently-deceased Hamdan al Maktoum who formed Godolphin with brother Sheikh Mohammed, now absent from UK racecourses for much-chronicled reasons!
Royal Ascot 28-runner ‘Buckingham Palace’ winner Highfield Princess will be tough to beat in a listed Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs; John Quinn’s charge is also a previous course and distance winner and consistent, hitherto luckless Fivetotwelve should finally get off the mark in a Novices’ Hurdle over two and half miles of ‘good’ Market Rasen, which has been watered; Aaaarrrggh!
On the soccer front England has drifted into the semi-finals by virtue of not playing a decent side, yet!
The over-hyped fervour could crash down Wednesday, against Denmark and Spain/Italy awaits the winning team!
Selections, Market Rasen, 2.25 Fivetotwelve (e.w); Chelmsford, 3.27 Highfield Princess (e.w); 5.12 Night Hunter.
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