‘Maybe’ this is a good ‘time’ to don my betting boots!

Maybe Never Even, a 125/1 first-up shock, unwelcome winner at Thirsk earlier this month, beating our 9/1 nap, will probably be one of the favourites for an eight-runner Novice Stakes over a similar distance at nearby Ripon this afternoon, when Bank Holiday Monday is littered with fixtures on various surfaces, flat-racing and over jumps.

Approaching the sixth and final furlong Raydoun looked set to ‘land the money’ when challenging strongly but Nigel Tinkler’s charge, superbly ridden by Phil Dennis, came storming through to grab the lead and prevail in game fashion by three-quarters of a length; ‘ouch’ was my first reaction!

Will Maybe Never Even follow up, was it a fluke?

Yes/no are my answers because the actual time-figure bears close inspection and the form is solid ‘Even’ though both the second and third have failed since; they may have raced again too soon, beaten horses usually have tougher experiences than winners.

Tinkler, a former high-grade NH jockey, is enjoying a fine season, especially with two-year-olds, and Maybe Never Even has scope to follow-up; I’ll bet this Dream Ahead gelding is too good for thrice-raced May Blossom an obvious rival with two places and trained by in-form Tim Easterby.

Looking forward to what promises to be an intriguing encounter and betting on the outcome will indeed be fascinating.

Feature on a splendid seven-race card is the eleven-runner Champion 2-y-o Trophy which will provide a direct time-comparison; unfortunately this ‘dash’ looks too difficult for serious betting purposes, any one of six could win the valuable prize.

Hollie Doyle will be a major holiday attraction at Chepstow where the ‘pocket rocket’ has excellent prospects of a follow-up on penalised Last Hoorah in the Novices Stakes over seven furlongs; they were successful at Ffos Las eighteen days ago when Archie Watson’s runner made it third time lucky with a career-best effort.

A 7lbs penalty could obviously make a difference and once-raced pair Pavlodar and Persian Royal, both second, will be backed to good money but progressive Last Hoorah comes out marginally best and is worth chancing at decent odds. Experience is key to winning!

Earlier the 5lbs claim of Mollie Phillips sways me in favour of improving Sapphire’s Moon in the shallow ten-runner Nursery Handicap over five furlongs.

This month has been tremendous for profit, wiping out a disappopinting July into the bargain and now September beckoms with so many juvenile classics; stick with my column rigidly to the exclusion of everything.

Next month I’ll submit a system which will help you punt seriously without gambling irresponsibly, based on my selections.

Selections, Ripon, 1.20 Maybe Never Even (nap-e.w); Chepstow, 2.15 Sapphire’s Moon (e.w); 4.35 Last Hoorah.

 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