Definitely a ‘Test’ of ‘Time’ for clockers!

Chipotle proved a huge disappointment in the Newbury Super Sprint, Saturday; at no stage did Eve Johnson Houghton’s charge ever threaten to justify favouritism under ‘new’ jockey David Probert who found himself hemmed in at halfway, among a clutch of inferior rivals, and didn’t manage a clear run approaching the final furlong but, there is more to this than meets the eye!

I’m not one to dwell on defeat, it’s a daily occurrence for all serious bettors and is accepted stoically but Chipotle wasn’t ‘at the races’ and there is always a reason for everything.

My judgement of his outstanding chance was based on a ‘career-best’ when winning at Royal Ascot last month, it could be Chipotle went ‘through the barrier’ and hasn’t recovered; it’s happened countless times and is the only excuse I’m able to advance because Probert and Eve are above suspicion in the way they conduct themselves and so this debacle has to be put down to experience. Next time will be immensely interesting.

Meanwhile focus is on intriguingly-named Turn Back Time in a five-runner Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Ayr this afternoon when Mark Johnston’s charge is a fascinating proposition.

This Test Of Time filly finished what appears to be an uninspiring third |(of 5!) to easy Hayley Turner-ridden winner Devaste thirteen days ago at Brighton which is hundreds of miles from Mark’s Middleham base; the journey captures my attention.

Many experienced trainers send two-year-olds on long distance ‘away days’ first time out; they are vital as an experience and, of course, breaks the monotony of a training regime. Turn Back Time was only beaten a nose for second place under Franny Norton who ‘looked after’ his mount, an unconsidered 6/1 chance.

I’ll bet the Test Of Time filly comes on a ton and Ben Curtis will make the winners’ enclosure at expense of three moderate rivals and a Karl Burke newcomer which, apparently, will probably need a run.

A week after Windsor was abandoned due to flooding a seven-race card is scheduled for an obligatory summer-time ‘Monday-nighter’ and twice-raced Rock Melody surfaces as a ‘special’ in the opening division one of a Novice Stakes over six furlongs.

Rock Melody bolted up on her debut at Redcar last month and ran creditably in a listed ‘dash’ twenty-five days later, at Newmarket; this class 5 sprint really should be well within capabilities of the Fascinating Rock filly, advantaged by the 5lbs apprentice claim of talented Stefano Cherchi.

Division two looks impossible but don’t miss progressive thrice-raced Prodigious Blue in a shallow-looking Novice Stakes over five furlongs of ‘good’ ground Beverley.  

Selections, Ayr, 1.00 Turn Back Time; Beverley, 5.45 Prodigious Blue (e.w); Windsor, 6.35 Rock Melody.

 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