PRINCESS SHABNAM fifth consecutive winning nap last night!!
Unexpected Arrival, dramatically short-headed over a similar distance at Yarmouth two weeks ago, is indeed expected to go one better and make it third time lucky in the seven furlongs Restricted Maiden Stakes at Brighton this afternoon, when apprentice of the moment Stephan Cherchi claims the minimum allowance; earlier this week that was reduced from the second tier of 5lbs; he’s flying!
Only sixteen days earlier the Foy-trained Moohajim filly debuted encouragingly over this course and distance under Laura Pearson, posting a satisfactory time-handicap mark; Unexpected Arrival bettered it considerably when vexingly denied by heavily-backed Silver Kitten, trained by Mark Johnston whose Middleham ‘winning machine’ is also plundering here, there and everywhere, as we forecast it would be the case, only last week.
‘Johnno’ is a legend and readers/punters will surely follow him during the next three months when he’ll probably double his tally, ably assisted by high-profile veterans, Joe Fanning and Franny Norton, with Ben Curtis part of an impressive supporting cast.
Unexpected Arrival certainly meets my median requirement and none of four rivals represents a serious threat but, significantly, Mark journeys twice-raced Turn Back Time, mount of Franny!
Doubtless the Scot believes he’s got a line to form through Silver Kitten but Say Grace is more likely to fill the runner-up spot, judged on her second to Outgate on Wolverhampton tapeta last month. I’m confident about the computed TH ratings and will bet Unexpected Arrival, if 6/4 or better, my value assessment.
Rest of the card is a turn-off with six handicaps and, of course, I’ll be swerving the ‘Racing League’ handicapping programme at Doncaster because I’m not encouraging readers to ‘guess’ the outcome of fiercely-competitive tight, nigh unsolvable races.
I’m only interested in two-year-olds with my trixies and daily patents; a typical opportunity surfaces on ‘good to soft’ Sandown where twice-raced Karl Burke-trained Silky Wilkie and Amanda Hug’n’kiss seem likely to fight out a five-runner finish to the Maiden Stakes over the minimum distance.
Experience of the former, following two splendid efforts at York, makes the Mehmas colt my preference despite a fillies’ allowance of 5lbs to the Stuart Williams’ runner, a well-regarded Dabirsim filly; should be a cracker.
Half an hour later Burke’s Bullet Force could well be on target in a six-runner Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs, on the back of an eye-catching course and distance debut fourteen days ago; we don’t need, or want, handicaps, four winning naps on the trot prove it!
Selections, Yarmouth, 1.30 Unexpected Arrival; Sandown, 5.57 Silky Wilkie; 6.27 Bullet Force.
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