Flat White has any amount in hand of thirteen rivals in a Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles of ‘good’ ground Huntingdon this afternoon and I’ve combed dozens of races National Hunt races in an attempt to submit three solid selections; the quest is endless despite a disappointing week which, fortunately, wasn’t costly because each-way trixies and daily patents often profit when we hit the frame on a regular basis.
With decent prices and a place emphasis I’m not too disappointed with defeat but sometimes hitting the posts is extremely vexing, at the time; I’ve learned to adopt a phlegmatic attitude in the knowledge that most losing selections will pay to follow and often pop up subsequently at better prices. Patience is the key.
Veteran East Anglian trainer Lucy Wadham has certainly been patient with Flat White, it’s 340 days since this Olympic Glory mare finished a creditable third (of 13!) to heavily-backed odds-on chance First Impression in a fast-run two-miler around Wetherby, a ‘favourite’ jumping venue for strong, reliable form.
Flat White jumped and travelled really well, finishing seven lengths and upwards clear of a toiling field; prior to that she shaped well on debut over hurdles at Uttoxeter, under Bryony Frost, which is significant!
On both occasions Flat White achieved time-handicap marks good enough to win this race today and a long absence is a matter of indifference with training facilities available nowadays; Lucy always books Bryony whenever possible and sure enough the western-based phenomenon makes the long trek of a 300-miles round trip.
Fitness is obviously not at issue and a replication of her last run should suffice for Flat White whose owners Mr and Mrs Pakenham enjoyed Epsom Derby success with Sir Percy!
Running in tandem will be Carlisle and Lingfield where on ‘good to soft’ Gary Moore-trained Ozzie Man has a similar profile for division one of a Maiden Hurdle over two and a half miles, mount of reliable trainer’s son Jamie; don’t oppose.
A similar comment applies to Prairie Wolf in a ‘bumper’ at the picturesque Lake District course over two miles; Sue Smith’s charge was impressive when winning unchallenged at Kelso first-up in May and this really could be anything in months ahead.
All selections make strong appeal, on my time-handicap and we are entering ‘breakfast racing!’
Selections, Huntingdon, 2.15 Flat White (e.w); Lingfield, 2.30 Ozzie Man (e.w); Carlisle, 3.40 Prairie Wolf (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