Symbol Of Light is nigh on the biggest certainty of this year in the Novice Stakes over nine furlongs of tapeta tonight and shortly after 8pm I’m expecting recently-returned Robert Winston to steer this once-raced, Charlie Appleby-trained, Shamardal gelding into the Wolverhampton winners’ enclosure, surrounded by a good crowd because ‘Saturday-nighters’ at Dunstall Park have been a huge success with a magnificent third floor dining area which, for the most part, looks down spectacularly on the action.
Ex-Champion apprentice Winston retired a couple of years due to much-chronicled beleaguered circumstances but rode in the ‘Legends race’ at Doncaster last month and was beaten a short-head; afterwards he drove home, realised he was missing the buzz and set about resurrecting his one-time very successful career.
Earlier this week Robert rode his first winner at Yarmouth, looking for all the world the class jockey we knew; you never lose it.
Twenty-three days ago Symbol Of Light debuted on the Newmarket Rowley Mile and, significantly, was joint second-favourite in the race won by Subastar, a genuine prospect for the English 2000 Guineas next May; a strong pace was no problem and William Buick’s mount stayed on strongly, beaten only one and three-quarter lengths. My nap, Dawn Of Liberation, finished a neck in front of Symbol Of Light in what looked a good race and after computing the time-handicap I came across a ‘Wow’ moment!
Majestic Fighter is a penalised rival but needs to improve more than a stone on his course and distance success thirty-two days back to trouble Symbol Of Light to the slightest degree. His presence however might result in odds-against the Godolphin runner.
It’s an intriguing race, other well-bred types from high-profile yards will be in evidence but from stall one Symbol Of Light should score and make it a night to remember.
Earlier an eight-race ‘Champions’ meeting at Ascot will be focus of attention because, to all intents and purposes, it’s supposed to signal the end of the 2021 season which ends in three weeks!
Either Oisin Murphy or challenger Buick will be crowned Champion Jockey but I’ve a feeling one of them will concede if level at any stage; it’s happened before, John Francome once gave up rides to ‘dead-heat’ with Peter Scudamore; where have all those years gone?
BHA and Great British Racing have made a right ‘horlicks’ by interfering with the traditions of the firmly established English racing scene, once a private Male domain and a lot better for it, with the Jockey Club in total control.
Mine remains an obsession to give readers winners and October is proving fantastic, so keep the faith and enjoy what promises to be an exciting days for the Sport Of Kings. Such a shame Her Majesty, The Queen will not be there but, appropriately-named Tudor Queen is my selection for the juvenile race at ‘Good to soft’ Catterick.
Selections, Market Rasen, 1.00 On My Command; Catterick, 1.20 Tudor Queen (e.w); Wolverhampton, 8.00 Symbol Of Light.
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