Glentaneous has an urgent mission in the ‘aged’ seven-runner handicap over ten furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Doncaster this afternoon; trainer Brian Meehan has booked ex-champion jockey Ryan Moore and his instructions will be explicit!
Ryan will be told ‘win as far you can’ because Glentaneous needs to be upgraded on BHA ratings to qualify for the 35-runner ‘Cambridgeshire’ over nine furlongs of the Newmarket Rowley Mile course later this month.
On my time-handicap Glentaneous, bottom-weight, is ‘best-in’ and well worth a decent punt but, as mentioned, a convincing, clear-cut success is imperative to achieve our goal; I’m directly involved with the placing of this Gleneagles colt, winner on Lingfield polytrack back in May.
For thirty years my TH was instrumental in helping both Robert Armstrong and Barry Hills seriously enhance their operations; coincidentally both had the trust and friendship of Hamdan al Maktoum and so one was in the ‘engine room’ of tremendous winning machines, at the very highest level.
Also, during the colossal journey which dominated my life in tandem, with a successful career in racing journalism, my services were used by Harry ‘Tom’ Jones, who purchased the first horse for Hamdan’s ‘family’ at Newmarket Sales in the late 1970’s which sparked the Arab involvement of brother Sheikh Mohammed. I never met either of them and haven’t had one invitation to Dubai but my satisfaction came from wonderful, consistent results.
Opposition isn’t at issue with Glentaneous, he’s right where we want him handicap-wise and in tremendous form both physically and mentally; a smashing type with a tremendous attitude and I’m looking forward immensely to the experience. The owner(s) will be visiting bookmakers!
The four-day St Leger fixture kicks-off this afternoon with a seven-race card which includes participation of twice-raced, Mark Johnston-trained Capital Theory, drawn nine (of ten!) in an intriguing Maiden Stakes over the famous straight mile; realistically the draw is a matter of indifference but it wasn’t the case at York last month when Capital Theory was berthed widest of all in the prestigious seventeen-runner ‘Convivial’ over seven furlongs, won by classic prospect, Hoo Ya Mal.
For what it’s worth I had a small each-way bet judged on an encouraging debut effort on a ‘soft’ Glorious Goodwood surface; need I tell you, the Muhaarar colt ridden by super-veteran Joe Fanning, finished fourth!
They team up again on this occasion and Capital Theory is napped with a deal of confidence because this trip should be absolutely ideal on a wonderful, fair racecourse which might well have been justifiably watered, given the drought conditions throughout England.
This promises to be a somewhat nerve-wracking opening day but I’ll be aware of my alphabetical ‘acronym’ ABC-always be calm; it served me well in the penalty areas all those years ago when playing alongside Lineker senior!
What a wonderful tasty life, let’s hope we can enjoy more fruits of success today.
Selections, Carlisle, 2.10 Whiteandblue (e.w); Doncaster, 2.20 Capital Theory (nap-e.w); 4.30 Glentaneous.
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