‘Thunder’ Luke has double prospects, both should go ‘Close!

Mystic Wells would have represented a suitable, good-prIced alternative to yet another Godolphin-owned super-bred, Manaafith, in a five-runner Fillies’ Novice Stakes over a mile of ‘standard to slow’ Lingfield polytrack tonight but George Boughey’s charge has been scratched and so it leaves odds-on Manaafith with an easy task.

It’s extremely vexing but has happened so often in the past, my selections are monitored by bookmakers, make no mistake.

Once-raced Newbury runner-up Manaafith just has be a ‘special’ because so many of Roger Varian’s runners aren’t ‘too busy’ and usually nowadays high-profile trainers seem to loath to winning first-up due to severe penalties compromising future racing calendar plans. It’s a strange phenomenon which has crept in these last two years and BHA should remind trainers of their responsibility to the public, after all ‘non-triers’ are an uncomfortable sight for punters. If the truth hurts there is a problem!

Both Loquace and Oppressive could progress considerably but realistically Manaafith should be in a different league and the politics, as mentioned, point to a procession

Point of this daily column is to nominate thoroughbreds which have achieved enough to win and are worth following; Mystic Wells comes into this bracket unless there’s something seriously wrong and so does Thunder Ahead, one of ten ‘decs’ for an ‘aged’ Maiden Stakes over twelve furlongs half an hour earlier on a seven-race all-weather programme.

Thunder Ahead, second the last twice, finished well beaten by hot John Gosden’ trained favourite Imperial Sun over a similar distance on Wolverhampton tapeta last month under Jason Watson, in a handicap, but others were strung out like proverbial washing; the winner was destined to win and further successes are anticipated.

Apparently Harry Dunlop was delighted with Thunder Ahead, having his fourth outing and, significantly, has booked Luke ‘job jockey’ Morris to ‘get job done!’

Twice-raced Ocean Wave is the only TH danger but hasn’t raced beyond a mile and so this seems a speculative measure in my book. 

Heavy rain(s) and ‘watering’ have driven me away from turf (agai!) and my third selection, in a six furlongs nursery, is Luke’s mount, Danger Close, a winner without a penalty; should have won last time!

Luke is arguably the best striker, a reason why he’s Sir Mark Prescott’s stable jockey.

Incidentally watering thwarted/compromised the chance of Unexpected Arrival at Brighton, Thursday, fact; but there will be next time, at a better price, hopefully on an artificial surface! 

I’m not one to make excuses for defeated naps and yet I’m certain ‘taking back’ Mytilda at Musselburgh on Friday was ridiculous but there will be ‘next time!’ 

Selections, Lingfield, 5.35 Thunder Ahead; 6.05 Manaafith; 7.35 Danger Close (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