Sir Winston leaped off the page and smacked me right in the eye while scrutinising division one of the Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta this afternoon; every box is ticked, all signals are in place for this superbly-named, twice-raced Roger Varian-trained Churchill colt which will be ridden by experienced Andrea Atzeni whose consistency this year has been most impressive.
Funny how jockeys mature after so many years but Atzeni has long been around making a good living, albeit in the shadows of other high-profile riders; Andrea is cool, calm, collected and nowadays a real ‘favourite’ for a veteran racing writer who places great emphasis on jockeyship.
Varian only employs the best and has made a real fist of training since taking over the Newmarket-based Kremlin Stables from Michael Jarvis earlier this century; he places thoroughbreds shrewdly without ever wasting a race.
Like myself Roger believes earnestly the slower you work ’em the quicker they will come to hand and Sir Winston is all set to typify Varian’s skill and patience; a solid bet and in division two I’ll be surprised (not to mention cash-strapped if Godolphin-owned, Charlie Appleby-trained Silent Speech doesn’t go one better and complete a short-priced ‘professional special’ double under James Doyle.
Strangely-named Silent Speech hit the English racing scene exactly four weeks ago when a neck second to John Gosden’s odds-on favourite Filistine over a similar distance at Newmarket where the rest finished six lengths and upwards in arrears, a sure sign of a fast-run race and reliable form.
Silent Speech is a genuine classic prospect, was backed accordingly and apparently ‘The Doyler’ was extremely impressed with the genuine attitude of his mount which, incidentally, missed the break!
Because of Covid-19 restrictions on jockeys riding at different meetings on the same day Doyle gives way to Tom Marquand aboard once-raced Arion in a Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of Chelmsford; not one to oppose without a very good reason but this promises to be an intriguing, informative race for staying types.
Both Tom and fiance Hollie Doyle have missed a few days, probably making arrangements for a forthcoming wedding!
Selections, Wolverhampton, 3.35 Sir Winston; 4.05 Silent Speech; Chelmsford, 5.50 Arion.
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