Point Lynas is strongly-fancied for the Novice Stakes over a mile of ‘good to firm’ Salisbury today on the strength of a ‘career-best’ effort in the fiercely-competitive seven furlongs Nursery Handicap at York last month, won by Harrow; significantly trainer Charles Hills has booked Ryan Noore, the seventh different jockey in as many outings!
Hills enjoyed a successful August with a plethora of winners which included Gubbass in France last weekend but his season has been tarnished with the retirement of ‘Faringdon’ stable star Battaash; there have been so many conflicting reports about the demise of the seven-year-old and I’m not prepared to comment any further but it was sad given his status with the English racing scene. Irreplaceable.
According to Charles’ legendary father Barry ‘he’s a lot better nowadays’ and experience, plus a new head lad, and handicapper, have contributed to a turn about with results for forty-year-old Hills; ‘he’s got to turn these placings into winners…!’ I said to Barry in July, with heavy emphasis on hard work ethic and consistency, and to be fair that’s been the case.
During my twelve years with the remarkable octogenarian his twin son Michael was stable jockey and rode the majority of his runners; changing jockeys always rankled; ex-champion Moore, an incredibly successful International jockey, is definitely a plus but Point Lynas will need to be on his mettle with once-raced Qatar-owned Outbreak in opposition to the Iffraaj colt.
Mark Johnston’s Outbreak finished a creditable half-length second to Claim The Crown over a mile of Chelmsford polytrack last month; the actual time-figure doesn’t resonate but we can expect this Dark Angel colt to be ‘on the premises’ and in contention. Considerable improvement will be needed to beat 79-rated Point Lynas however.
In the early part of this century, when I advised/handicapped for the racing family Hills, and was paid a set sum only on winners, this selection would have represented certain wages!
Hamseh and Persist, third and fourth to Dubai Jewel at Newbury three weeks ago, clash again in a Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over a similar distance and I’m expecting placings to be confirmed; the former, trained locally by Richard Hannon, wasn’t anything like wound up whereas William Haggas’ charge, heavily-backed, was outpaced ‘early doors’ and probably needs further, being by Frankel.
On Chelmsford polytrack tonight what beats promising Ffos Las fifth Franklin Saint on debut last month will win the class 5 Novice Stakes over seven furlongs; he will not be 66/1 this time!
Play an each-way daily patent today.
Selections, Salisbury, 1.30 Point Lynas (e.w); 2.00 Hamseh (e.w); Chelmsford, 5.55 Franklin Saint (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