Hodler ticks enough boxes to rate an each-way ‘special’ for the class 4 Maiden Stakes over six furlongs of ‘good’ Windsor tonight when the Thames-side venue will be buzzing with ‘City-ites’ bursting to unload their outlandish wages in attempts to supplement them, at expense of bookmakers.
It’s always a lively scene and bookies know they are sailing close to the wind when taking on these ‘big-hitters’ who don’t know fear and just ‘let go’ unceremoniously; if able to take them on with confidence layers can achieve tremendous results but, as often mentioned, they need to do their homework because the ‘enemy’ isn’t there to play a guessing game, moreso a ‘numbers game!’
Nothing ever compared in my lifetime to the ‘betting jungle’, watching and plotting, as odds changed dramatically with information supplied by superb, reliable ‘tic-tacs’ showing all prices adroitly to established customers, whose profit depended on market nous. It’s a very serious business!
Beating the books was my obsession soon after I hit the flat-racing scene, and clocked privately for the late professional Alex Bird, whose attention to detail was colossal, not to mention impressive, something which rubbed off; I’m still as determined, on behalf of readers/punters, and scrutinise two-year-old races fastidiously to achieve a satisfactory outcome.
Hodler should be able to make the frame under Pat Cosgrave, aboard when the Jim Boyle-trained Sea The Moon gelding finished a length third to Sisters In The Sky and Monet’s Sunrise over a similar distance at Goodwood last month, on a soft-ish surface.
With no apparent urgency the relatively-unfancied Hodler was last with about 300 yards to run and Pat must have been surprised by his finishing burst which he’ll be counting on to make it third time lucky; I’ve always preferred experience of more than one run whenever possible for juveniles.
Both City Runner, placed in all three outings, and once-raced course and distance second, Rose Barton, with a 5lbs fillies’ allowance, are sure to be ‘on the premises’ and will form a strong market, but I’m convinced a replication of his last effort will bring due reward for Hodler.
There are also flat fixtures scheduled for Lingfield and Catterick where a recent winning nap, I’m A Gambler, attempts to follow up his all-the-way victory at Hamilton under Ben Curtis in the six-runner Nursery Handicap.
Mark Johnston’s charge was upped 4lbs but it’s unlikely to halt his progress, which means I’ll again be a ‘Gambler!’
Jumpers take the stage on ‘good’ ground Bangor and what beats Donald McCain-trained Zakar, and his talented daughter, Abbie, in a juicy eight-runner Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles, will win!
My system of laying premier league favourites when odds-on resulted in a bonanza day when Manchester City suffered defeat to Tottenham, 1-0.
‘City’ lacked firepower and with Jack Grealish looking out of his depth I’m inclined to lay the Champions’ ‘back-to-back assault at evens; he could be their nemisis!
Selections, Catterick, 1.45 I’m A Gambler; Windsor, 5.25 Hodler (e.w); Bangor, 7.00 Zafar (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