‘Jet’ already for take-off and Fonteyn to prove a step ahead!

Champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls will be armed with two ‘big guns’ at Chepstow today with Knappers Hill and Threeunderfive in the first two races; the Ditcheat complex is obviously ready for the ‘new’ season and punters should be aware because it is performing at 80%, according to calculation which determines by modus operandi.

Unbeaten Knappers Hill, Champion bumper on my time-handicap, was the first-ever winner for this ‘online’ column way back in April at the Aintree Grand National meeting when given a sensational ride by Paul’s daughter, Megan, to land a heavy gamble; the Valirann gelding  contests a tasty debut over hurdles.  ‘No’ cert by any means but the likely winner obviously. Looking forward to this reappearance.

Twilight Jet ticks every box (and more!) for the group three Cornwallis Stakes over five furlongs of the ‘good to soft’ Newmarket Rowley Mile course this afternoon when the highly-prestigious two-day(s) ‘Cesarewitch’ meeting dominates our wonderful English racing scene; Autumn is heralded, officially!

A fortnight ago Twilight Jet led the group one ‘Middle Park’ field at a blistering pace and didn’t succumb until well inside the final sixth furlong where strong finishing Prix Morny winner, Perfect Power, and four others flashed alongside; distances were half a length and three necks back to the Twilight Son colt which is trained in Ireland by Michael O’Callaghan.

For all the world this ‘Jet’ looked home ‘n hosed 300 yards out but the infamous climb was just too much; minimum trip looks tailor-made and on an easy surface I’m certain a replication of the actual time-figure will be good enough to deny Hierarchy, best-in on BHA ratings and my time-handicap.

Experience is a vital factor and Twilight Jet has won only once in nine outings, on ‘good to yielding’ over five at Tipperary, on June 1st!

Several different distances have been tried, including seven furlongs but Twilight Jet is maturing and thoroughbreds need to become stronger mentally and physically to cope with sprinting, Lester Piggott told me that!

Originally Hierarchy was my choice but I’m swayed having watched a replay of Twilight Jet blitzing his established grade rivals and looking forward immensely to a race in which my own Cragside was beaten a head (at Ascot!) thirty-seven years ago by ‘Gimcrack’ winner, Doulab, when my jockey lost his whip and unbalanced him when trying to retrieve. As stated before, it cost me millions of pounds and a completely different life-style although I’m not complaining with my glorious ‘lot’ one iota.

No one ever enjoyed the ‘Sport Of Kings’ more and races like this fuel my fire which burned brightly Wednesday with a 40/1 daily patent full house.

Be thankful for small mercies was one of several wonderful sayings of my late, great Mother who often used to say ‘never worry about something that may never happen!’

Juveniles need to be outstanding-plus to win races on the fairest racecourse in the world and William Haggas-trained Perfect News definitely meets median requirements in the group three Oh So Sharp Fillies’ Stakes under stable jockey Tom Marquand, an absolute ‘favourite!’

Perfect News scored for the second time (in four!) over course and distance thirteen days ago registering a career-best effort.

Later under glorious floodlighting, on magnificent Newcastle tapeta, Fonteyn is just preferred price-wise to Peripatetic in a nine-runner Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over the unrelenting straight mile; both are coming off encouraging first-up efforts and can be followed.

Significantly Fonteyn was a heavily-backed favourite at Beverley.

Selections, Newmarket, 1.50 Twilight Jet (e.w); 2.25 Perfect News (e.w); Newcastle, 5.20 Fonteyn (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