Dashing Rat, disappointingly without a win after six attempts, for various reasons, still rates nigh on a ‘cert’ for the Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Yarmouth today; imagine this 84-rated Adaay colt running in my colours and where he would be today!
Talk about being ‘in the wilderness’ Dashing Rat has to be one of the worst handicapped two-year-olds in training history on the back of a poorly-executed campaign which included a ‘social visit’ to Royal Ascot where he finished a pointless, dishonourable eleven (of 17!) to Berkshire Shadow, beaten only five lengths, under a superb ride by Marco Ghiani (unable to claim his apprentice claim) in the group two Coventry Stakes!
What was that all about?
Ownership, though stimulating, can be costly and Dashing Rat is proving ultra-expensive but, unfortunately, talented trainer William Stone knows the buck stops at him. It’s incomprehensible he’d have wanted to stand in the Berkshire paddock with a 200/1 chance knowing a decent showing would completely scupper modest, sensible plans which were made after the ‘Rat’ achieved a ‘career-best’ under Marco at Brighton three weeks earlier.
For what it’s worth Dashing Rat improved considerably on that previous mark and the BHA handicapper, not surprisingly, upped him unceremoniously to 88 but that was reduced subsequently!
Dashing Rat then contested a class two conditions race, also over six furlongs, on ‘good’ Pontefract ground, only thirteen days later when he finished last!
Has he gone?
If the truth hurts there is a problem, especially when placing thoroughbreds to advantage and veteran trainers, recently-deceased Robert Armstrong and still spritely, now-retired octogenarian Barry Hills, always respected my purpose and opinion; they didn’t pay for expertise and advice without good reason.
Hills won more than TWELVE-HUNDRED RACES over a period of twelve years following thirty years when he amassed only two-thousand, without a tough, uncompromising ‘win-at-all-costs’ private handicapper. Troubleshooting has long been my game!
I wonder what price Dashing Rat will be this afternoon when, along with future champion jockey, Ghiani, he finally walks into a hallowed winners’ enclosure!
From now only juveniles, novice/maiden hurdles will be selected, it’s ‘time’ to exploit those glaring opportunities in a ‘specialist’ field.
Both Galsworthy and Burning Bush meet my median requirements at Worcester and Newbury respectively.
Selections, Yarmouth, 2.35 Dashing Rat; Worcester, 2.55 Galsworthy; Newbury, 6.35 Burning Bush (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