Macon Belle and Minnamoolka come out similarly, on my time-handicap, for an intriguing class 5 Restricted Maiden Stakes over an extended five furlongs of (unwatered) ‘good’ ground Bath tonight but preference is definitely for the former, drawn much the best in stall one, seven places inside Mick Channon’s charge.
Both debuted last month within two days of each other, Ed De Giles-trained Macon Belle, an inexpensive Due Diligence filly and a completely unfancied 40/1 chance, achieved her mark over course and distance when beaten two lengths by odds-on favourite Torvi with the rest four lengths and upwards in arrears, always a sign of solid form.
Third home was Lucky Shake, a creditable third (of 11!) three days ago and fourth home, Flash Better, beaten eight lengths, scored convincingly next time.
Minnamoolka, 33/1, was journeyed to Leicester with, apparently, no serious prospects whatsoever but ‘travelled’ superbly under Thore Hammer Hansen and stayed on strongly to finish two lengths fourth to Jumbly in a fast-run dash; two-year-old form at this particular Midlands course is like gold dust and I’m expecting the Anjaal filly to be ‘on the premises’ despite a disadvantageous draw.
Thrie-raced Lil Guff brings experience to the table and from a low draw must be prominent but Macon Belle meets criteria and hit a time-figure similar to Thebeautifulgame, 5/1 winning nap for this column two days ago under a splendid ride from Laura Pearson; my word this girl can certainly ride, cool as a cucumber when fending off a determined challenge, mounted by champion jockey Oisin Murphy aboard heavily-backed Mistrix. Wonderful flat-racing at its absolute best.
There are six meetings and earlier Adnaan should make it fifth time lucky in the Novice Stakes over six furlongs of a ‘good to firm’ surface on, arguably, the best and fairest racecourse in the world Newmarket!
Let’s put it this way if all my fancies competed at the picturesque Cambridgeshire course life would be ‘manna from heaven’ and Adnaan, ridden four times by Louis Steward faces a simple task under Ben Curtis, judged on his last time out effort when beaten only a length in the fabulous Newbury ‘Super Sprint’ won (as usual!) by Richard Hannon with Gubbass.
‘Serial-loser’ As If By Chance will pop up in the winners’ enclosure one day and it might just be at ‘good to firm’ Doncaster this afternoon in the Novice Stakes over six furlongs; debut winner Papacito (sure to be odds-on!) will be hard-pressed to beat Nigel Tinkler’s runner at a difference of 10lbs, allowing for Faye McManoman’s apprentice claim.
Second five times in eight outings this Fountain Of Youth gelding has a good ‘Chance!’
For what it’s worth Eileendover is in tremendous form and strongly-fancied for the 2.00 Newmarket handicap; we’re going in…!
Selections, Newmarket, 1.30 Adnaan (e.w); Doncaster, 3.35 As If By Chance (e.w); Bath, 5.45 Macon Belle (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