Macon Belle is ideally suited by conditions of the eight-runner Novice Stakes over five furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Redcar today and though faced with two previous penalised winners, not to mention one or two fancied lightly-raced rivals, appeals as a solid each-way proposition with three places on offer.
Following two encouraging efforts at Bath, over an extended minimum trip, Macon Belle was a time-handicap choice for a Catterick ‘dash’ three weeks ago but, unfortunately, was drawn in the absolute ‘coffin box’ on the wide outside under Pierre Louis-Jamin who wisely accepted the situation from a long way out.
In the closing stages, without any pressure whatsoever, Macon Belle stayed on strongly into fourth and though beaten seven lengths this represented a promising display and was noted. ‘You can’t beat the draw!’
Jason Hart, a real ‘favourite’ these past two seasons, becomes the fourth different jockey in as many outings and, providing they all run, Macon Belle really should make the frame and indeed is the likely winner at the weights.
With an each-way ‘trixie’ in mind Jamie Osborne’s once-raced Dream Harder is nominated for a nine-runner Maiden Stakes over a mile of Wolverhampton tapeta tonight with talented, dedicated daughter Saffie a major plus with her 5lbs apprentice allowance.
Last year Saffie was badly smashed up but has shrugged off the colossal setback with a season which smacks of tremendous encouragement; the racing family Osborne has produced several big-priced winners and Dream Harder was an 80/1 chance when fourth to Migdam first-up around Kempton eleven days ago, ridden by Shane Kelly!
Odds will be much shorter this time but Dream Harder is a definite chance along with Majestic Fighter, a Roger Charlton-trained Teofilio colt which also shaped well on debut at Goodwood last month.
An eight-race card concludes with a thirteen-runner Maiden Stakes over six furlongs and at first glance twice-raced Dalby Forest shone like a beacon but, on a course where a decent draw is imperative, David Simcock’s charge is berthed right on the outside, close to where the foxes run and burrow!
Never mind 69-rated Astral Beat is a splendid alternative, drawn in the middle, and makes appeal under Luke ‘workaholic’ Morris who replaces the ultra-shrewd, not to be underestimated, Shane Kelly!
Don’t forget all selections are based on my time-handicap and are worth following; keep a file, this is a serious business!
I’ve added As If By Chance to make a ‘yankee’ today, this online facility enables me to be right on the ball; long may it last.
Incidentally saddened to hear passing of Andy Stewart, 70. who enjoyed such wonderful times with Ditcheat ‘maestro’ Paul Nicholls, trainer of the mercurial Big Bucks and so many others for the Barbados resident. RIP
Selections, Redcar, 1.10 Macon Belle (e.w); 3.50 As If By Chance (e.w); Wolverhampton, 5.50 Dream Harder (e.w); 7.50 Astral Beat (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