Fearby first, the rest nowhere could well be the outcome of an intriguing eleven-runner group three Molecomb Stakes over five furlongs of forecast ‘soft’ Glorious Goodwood this afternoon, despite the presence of three times winner, Chipotle, against the Ed Bethell-trained Havana Gold colt.
Demanding underfoot conditions are the bane of my modus operandi but Fearby attempts to complete a hat-trick on the back of an impressive five lengths success in the listed Dragon Stakes over the minimum trip at Sandown four weeks ago on genuinely ‘good to soft’ ground, during a period when constant rains had made it nigh impossible to find decent going reports at turf tracks.
Significantly Bethell, who took over from his father, veteran trainer James, a few months ago has exercised patience with 107-rated Fearby, a grand type with tremendous scope for improvement and again mount of ‘job jockey’ ‘PJ’ McDonald, an industrious operator who indeed ‘gets job done’ without fuss. I’ll bet he’s looking forward to putting one over his contemporary Southern-based rivals.
Opportunities like this are few and far between for the lesser-known ‘jocks’ who operate in Northern circles with admirable consistency plying their trade for low grade payment while the like of Murphy, Dettori, Marquand, Buick cream off vast sums of percentages from inflated prize-money riding ‘super-breds!
On my time-handicap Fearby is clear ‘best-in’ from Royal Ascot winner Chipotle judged on the latter’s disappointing ninth in the ‘Newbury ‘Super Sprint’ earlier this month, a far cry from his previous effort.
At no stage did Chipotle fire and I’m convinced not enough ‘recovery time’ was the reason for his demise and, of course, the glittering prize was too big a temptation; it happens, constantly.
A reproduction of the Esher performance should suffice for Fearby and I’ve already laced my ‘betting boots’ in eager anticipation.
From experience I never look for bets at difficult major meetings, preferring for them to hit me right in the eye while undertaking fastidious scrutiny.
Sandown stages an evening meeting and once-raced Windsor runner-up, El Bedegon, meets criteria for a Novice Stakes over seven furlongs while at Leicester over a similar distance twice-raced, progressive Waleyfa should go close in an eight-runner Maiden Stakes; what beats them will win!
Goodwood dries out quickly but heavy rains are forecast, be mindful!
Selections, Goodwood, 3.00 Fearby; Sandown, 6.55 El Bedegon (e.w); 7.35 Leicester, 7.35 Waleyfa (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