Testing Faith represents a ‘professional special’ in division one of the Novice Stakes over a mile of Kempton polytrack today, based on an encouraging debut fourth at Pontefract six weeks ago, on a genuinely good surface, ridden by Dougie Costello who, apparently, is delighted and relieved to keep the ride.
Doubtless completely unfancied the Ian Williams-trained Test Of Time, a 20/1 chance, travelled superbly, showing no hint of inexperience; Testing Faith tracked the eventual winner Approachability before staying on strongly to be beaten three and a quarter lengths, half a length in front of Themoonsaballoon, a creditable second last weekend and tipped in this column.
Computing race-times has long been a labour of love, wonderful when coming across a surprise knowing the end product will be an opportunity to cash in and alert readers/punters who are obviously oblivious to my unique method of unearthing gold dust on a country walk; this was typical of such pleasure with an above time-figure posted.
Probability is Testing Faith will ‘find time’ and if indeed that’s the case we have nigh on a ‘cert’ to include in a trixie/patents which also contain twice-raced Marcelo’s Way, a stable-companion of Approachability, in division two.
Again confidence is high, especially with Mark Johnston booking the remarkable Hollie Doyle whose knack of ‘hitting the gate’ and quickly assuming a prominent ‘pozzy’ is impressive, quite uncanny.
Marcelo’s Way improved considerably on a ‘quiet’ Brighton first-up effort when second (of 10!) on Chelmsford polytrack a few weeks later under Joe Fanning; one or two good sorts from fashionable yards are in opposition but I’ll be extremely disappointed if this War Command colt doesn’t make it third time lucky and go one better under the indefatigable ‘pocket rocket’ who generates excitement when building up to one of those ‘trademark’ whirlwind finishes.
Jockeyship is so intriguing and fascinating, a major factor for winner-finding, my obsession!
Earlier Hollie’s mount, Kirilenko, and Silver Screen, fifth and eighth respectively to Ribbon Rose on debut at Newmarket last month, renew rivalry in a compelling Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs and I’ve a sneaking feeling placings will be reversed; how often it happens.
There simply has to be a good reason why shrewd Lambourn-based Clive Cox is taking on Sir Michael Stoute’s charge, again!
As this is being ‘penned’ I’m watching the Melbourne Cup at Flemington where my horse Middleton Sam landed a gamble FORTY YEARS AGO!
To think so many were inspired by my originality to travel thoroughbreds and race ‘down under!’
Selections, Kempton, 3.15 Silver Screen (e.w); 3.45 Testing Faith; 4.15 Marcelo’s Way.
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