El Hibri is worth waiting for in the Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta tonight; ‘Super-Saturday’ is yet again all about too many non-descript handicaps which, for the most part, I’m simply not interested in because they involve guessing, a pointless and indeed a fruitless pursuit.
A race (of sorts!) every five minutes, running in tandem with Premier/Championship League soccer, is a nightmare and betting shops must resemble madhouses; it was bad enough forty years ago, now they resemble gridlocked five-lane motorways with driverless cars and dysfunctional hybrids skidding all over the place. Bedlam doesn’t come close to describing the current fixture chaos.
In these days of rapidly-declining standards England is still the best country in the world however, especially for horse-racing, my passion given recent consistency has boosted bank balances and October is the definitive all time ‘favourite’ with two-year-old racing and novice hurdles a license to print money, by exercising due patience!
There is no gain whatsoever in forcing the issue, mine is to scrutinise fastidiously and wait for those ‘eureka’ moments the like of which 80-rated El Hibri furnished when analysing Brian Meehan’s thrice-raced charge, ‘thrown-in’ on my time-handicap and actual time-figures.
As ever I’m loathe to mention the word certainty; too many ‘special’ bets have bitten the dust in the last week or so but changing ground conditions are contributory factors, a reason why I’m keen to concentrate on all-weather racing with pristine surfaces on all six venues.
Louis Steward is fast establishing a solid reputation and I’ll be sorely disappointed and indeed strapped financially if he doesn’t steer El Hibri into the winners’ enclosure which later once-raced John Gosden-trained Top Table will surely occupy after the six-runner ‘aged’ Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs, under capable apprentice Georgia Cox.
Top Table shaped well when third on Chelmsford polytrack three weeks ago and unless 74-rated Matamua comes back to form this will be a procession.
Newmarket Rowley Mile course is forecast ‘good to soft’ but it will be hard for twenty-nine rivals to get Ryan Moore-ridden Fearby out of first gear in the valuable Auction Stakes over six furlongs; last time out this 104-rated Havana Gold colt was a close third on a similar surface to Wings Of War in the group two ‘Mill Reef’ at Newbury; none can match that!
Selections, Newmarket, 2.20 Fearby; Wolverhampton, 5.25 El Hibri; 6.00 Top Table.
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