Banshee attempts to retrieve recent losses in a compelling fourteen-runner Fillies’ Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of Kempton polytrack tonight when the obligatory ‘Wednesday-nighter’ will be of immense interest, crowd-wise!
For reasons often mentioned this right-handed Kew course doesn’t cut it’ with professional racegoers, and it was the case before its turf track was dug up in favour of an artificial surface several years ago; despite superb restaurant facilities and a welcoming attitude, not to mention good, competitive racing, attendance numbers were disappointing. Now crowds are being allowed back on racecourses surely better times are ahead for the executive. I sincerely hope so.
My colours were never carried at Kempton Park!
I saw them ‘sported’ successfully at Newbury, Sandown, Lingfield and Windsor but, for no obvious reason, this venue wasn’t on the agenda even though I’ve always enjoyed ‘punter-friendly’ programmes there with and consistent results, both on the flat and under National Hunt rules.
Firm emphasis is always on jockeyship with a long bend a real challenge and, hopefully, Ray Dawson will be positive on twice-raced Banshee, a beaten-favourite at the Berkshire course four weeks ago on the back of an encouraging Goodwood third five weeks earlier, which represented satisfactory ‘recovery time’ for the Brian O’Rourke-trained Ifraaj filly. Frankie Dettori was aboard, his mount was too keen but it was a disappointing effort nonetheless.
My only fear is negativity will be an issue now Banshee is attempting this extra distance; John Gosden’s once-raced Tinderbox might just ‘hit the gate’ and make a strong pace but from a disadvantageous wide draw even that’s unlikely. What a quandary, eh?
Banshee can’t fail to win a race however and judged on time-handicap computation the selection on this occasion is obvious; a similar comment applies to Ayling an Adaay colt which should go one better and also make it third time lucky in division two of a Novice Stakes over five furlongs of ‘good to soft’ Beverley.
Fifteen minutes later once-raced Flying Secret and Buoyant lock horns in division two of the Novice Stakes over six furlongs; preference is for Eve Johnson’s Houghton’s charge which appears to have tons of scope.
‘Climate change’ revelations will surely result in all watering systems being tempered considerably at racecourses from now on, or am I dreaming, again?
Selections, Beverley, 2.15 Ayling (e.w); Salisbury, 2.30 Flying Secret (e.w); Kempton, 6.25 Banshee (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