Unbelievable to suddenly realise it’s less than a fortnight before the final classic of 2021 is staged on Doncaster’s Town Moor, where has the season gone!
A well-known saying in racing ‘winter follows on the tail of the last horse home in the St Leger’ is fascinating and indeed profound, perhaps it will be Hurricane Lane!
Time goes by quickly when you are enjoying yourself and as I approach another decade it’s somewhat disconcerting but, realistically, I’ve nothing to complain about and never do; I’ll continue to look forward and enjoy the daily crack which this afternoon will be played out at Yarmouth, Beverley and Goodwood where consistency and experience should bring reward for thrice-raced Firth Of Clyde in the seven-runner Novice Stakes over a mile of ‘good to firm’ ground.
This progressive Paul Cole-trained 82-rated Gleneagles colt achieved his best time-figure sixteen days ago when a narrowly beaten-favourite over seven furlongs under William Buick after a valiant attempt to make all; only in the very last strides was Firth Of Clyde worn down by the persistence of 22/1 shot Taksumaki and Neil Callan, registering his first success since returning from a long, financially successful stint in Hong Kong.
A neck separated the principals with the rest more than four and a half lengths and upwards in arrears; the form is solid and so was his previous outing at Epsom where Firth Of Clyde also ‘left it behind’ for punters
Similar tactics will doubtless be employed by championship-chasing Buick who knows instinctively the Arundel circuit is tailor made for enterprising jockeyship; he’s as good as it gets when judging the pace.
Many years ago I sent a message, through the trainer, to William advising his runner in a twelve furlongs handicap would be best suited by ‘eleven thirteens’ but the messenger didn’t really understand what he was relaying to Buick who, incidentally, I’ve never met or even spoken to.
Buick sent his mount on from the outset and every furlong, bar the first of course, was run in THIRTEEN SECONDS!
It’s nigh on impossible to make the running in handicaps, judgement of pace is firmly at issue with rhythm and balance a prime factor but, Buick is a natural and I’ll be interested to watch Firth Of Clyde and others because future race-planning would be tough for others if getting too close to my confident selection.
As a professional race-reader from way back, when starting out my racecourse career with a pen, stop-watch and binoculars(!) I’m fascinated to watch how many non-triers there are in horse-racing, especially in two-year-old races and often wonder why the BHA observers so seldom intervene given so many camera angles are at their disposal.
Find goes into a five-runner Novice Stakes over seven furlongs at the east coastal venue with a very similar profile and he’s an ‘anchor’ for the trixie which is
initiated by my nap, Beltane, in a Maiden Stakes over an extended seven furlongs of the Humberside track.
Selections, Beverley, 1.55 Beltane (nap); Yarmouth, 2.40 Find; Goodwood, 2.50 Firth Of Clyde.
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