Liengal Hope represents the nearest thing to a certainty imaginable for division one of a nine-runner Novice Stakes over six furlongs of Newcastle tapeta today; there was a glaringly obvious reason why this thrice-raced gelding by The Last Lion was overturned at odds-on three weeks ago when I actually layed David O’Meara’s charge on Betfair even though my time-handicap had him best-in.
‘You can’t beat the draw’ is my firm maxim and having made use of natural early speed from the widest berth around Wolverhampton, also on tapeta, Liangel Hope found it impossible to ‘do it at both ends’ so to speak and weakened ignominiously into sixth; it looks moderate on paper and my ‘Hope’ is the effort will be deemed a failure by other scribes. Very few take into the draw whereas my whole emphasis, when computing times/form etc is focused on stalls positions, racing surfaces, and jockeyship.
Danny Tudhope was on a loser from the start and duly sympathetic in the closing stages, as you’d expect from this tremendously consistent jockey whose record bears close inspection. He loses out however because Jason Watson becomes the fourth different ‘jock’ to jump aboard my selection, he’ll do!
Experience is another major factor and chances are Whiteandblue will be able to utilise her nous and make it sixth time lucky in division two under talented apprentice Gianluca Sanna, aboard last time when the Brian Smart-trained Fountain Of Youth filly finished a respectable fifth over five furlongs at Catterick to our previous nap Manila Scouse.
Majority of my losing naps win subsequently and you are advised to keep a record of them and justify support in their next two races.
Whiteandblue looks ‘nailed’ for one of three places and will comprise a ‘professional special’ each-way double with my best ‘Hope!’
Gianluca claims full allowance of 7lbs, she appeared somewhat overwhelmed at the tricky North Yorkshire track but is improving rapidly; I’ll be keen to take advantage of her claim during the next few months on AWR racecourses.
Watson and O’Meara also team up with Benzema in a six-runner Nursery Handicap over the minimum trip; don’t oppose.
Our 2021 turf season concluded on a tough, sticky Doncaster last Saturday when my nap, Star Zinc, weakened perceptibly after leading more than three furlongs; no surprise whatsoever because he sweated up profusely.
An advantage of attending race-meetings about 250 times annually for all those years was inspecting thoroughbreds in paddocks and watching them go to post; Star Zinc would have been struck off immediately and indeed this was the case. Follow him!
Selections, Newcastle, 5.30 Liangel Hope; 6.00 Whiteandblue (e.w); 6.30 Benzema (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