Hopefully we’ll finally give thanks to Beholden!

Beholden will represent a major disappointment if unable to beat ten rivals in a Maiden Hurdle over two and a quarter miles of ‘good to soft’ Newton Abbot this afternoon; although not quite a ‘cert’ on  my time-handicap, which is all about unearthing selections meeting obvious median requirement, this consistent, hitherto luckless Jamie Snowdon-trained Cacique gelding will be tough to beat under Gavin Sheehan.

A former ‘bumper’ winner and fairly useful on the flat 112-rated Beholden has finished second and third in his only outings over hurdles with experienced Gavin whose positivity so often brings results on account of solid judgement of pace; such tactics transformed the fortunes of champion NH trainer Michael Dickinson decades ago when first we met. I’ve always believed it best to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

Michael was an avid listener when we both came on the scene; I stayed a couple of times with the racing family Dickinson at Guisburn and we all benefited from the association.

Very few races were won from the front in the 1970’s but my contention was fit, well-schooled horses had a tremendous psychological edge and there has never been a better judge than Michael who certainly kept the wolf from my door during a golden spell. 

Jockeys Earnshaw, Bradley, Pimlott and co were instructed to make the running when he took over the training license from his father Tony and it was like ‘shelling peas’ as opposition constantly toiled, chasing in vain.

I clocked ’em, Michael trained them, to perfection, and they kept winning, at all grades!

It’s twelve months since Beholden made a winning debut at ‘the Abbot’ followed by two course placings; definitely ‘time’ to get back on the winning trail and so, over to you Gavin.

For serious betting purposes ‘summer-jumping’ is superb, undoubtedly fills a slot and, realistically, is ‘different gravy’ to turf-flat racing, even though my main focus centres on two-year-olds, and always will, due to personal computation of race-times, which remains a labour of love and indeed profitable.

Scrutiny of an eight-race card at Redcar yielded nowt and so today is all about the ‘jumpers!’

My main objective is achieving consistency and monthly profit; a ‘full house’ on Friday provided further proof we’ve turned the corner and second half of this month promises to be absolutely fabulous. Stay with me.

Selections, Newton Abbot, 1.00 Beholden; Stratford, 4.15 Chez Hans; 5.25 Magical Orla.

 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