Danger Close is an outlandish selection for a moderate Nursery Handicap over five furlongs of Chelmsford polytrack tonight and obviously I’ll tell you why and explain myself!
Three days ago I chanced Danger Close in a similar race from the worst draw with Luke Morris replacing apprentice Grace McEntee who finished a close, unlucky third on the War Command gelding in his previous outing; after only a furlong it was obvious trainer Phil McEntee’s charge was in trouble and the situation was accepted a long way out by vastly-experienced Luke.
Ironically the second worst drawn rival Flash Betty prevailed at a galling 10/1 starting price, an opportunity missed as I’ve been monitoring Mick Channon’s charge closely.
These things happen and I’m the last to dwell on ‘spilt milk’ but hopefully Danger Close will compensate my inexplicable stupidity at monster odds under Grace, claiming 5lbs allowance.
It’s worth chancing and so is thrice-raced Flaming Lord, one of nine ‘decs’ for a Novice Stakes over a mile of good Nottingham this afternoon.
Significantly Flaming Lord achieved his best time-handicap mark twelve days ago when chasing home 4/11 winner Power Of Beauty over seven furlongs of Yarmouth, looking for all the world further will not be a problem for Harry Eustace’s runner, which is progressing from experience.
This is by no means cut ‘n dried’ because Euraquillo is likely to improve on a promising Redcar debut last month and Typewriter finished strongly, when fourth (of 18!) at Goodwood second time out, and hails from the powerful yard of Andrew Balding, now on course to be champion trainer.
Realistically Flaming Lord represents the definitive ‘each-way steal’ and will be my second leg of a place double with Halcyon Spirit, one of only two capable of winning a very weak Novice Median Auction Stakes over a mile of Wolverhampton tapeta.
At the weekend I scrutinised the forthcoming St Leger at Doncaster and reckon Hurricane Lane is ludicrously-priced at 5/4 for the final classic; he’s not certain to run or stay nearly two miles and so I’ve hit the ‘lay’ button on Betfair.
Incidentally if you don’t wish to go along with the ubiquitous ‘Danger’ selection a late alternative is WILLOUGHBY WAY, 7.35 Lingfield, reckoned to be way above average and, currently, odds-against.
Josie’s Kid wasn’t quite good enough last night but ran into a couple of rapid-improvers; put the ‘Kid’ into your ‘next time’ box!
Selections, Wolverhampton, 1.30 Halcyon Spirit (e.w) Nottingham, 4.25 Flaming Lord (e.w); Chelmsford, 6.20 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