Never entertain an ‘Angel’ unaware!

Superior Council is an obvious alternative to likely short-priced, William Haggas-trained favourite Pink Crystal in a fourteen-runner Novice Stakes over six furlongs of Newcastle tapeta today and though Richard Fahey’s charge needs to ‘find time’ I’m happy to play each-way and chance sufficient improvement; both have raced only once, in October thirteen days apart!

When the Malton-based ‘winning machine’ hits top gear it’s time to take note, ‘everything’ seem to be entering winners’ enclosures in the past few days; Fahey will be delighted with stable form and the fact he’s been patient waiting for this spell following an uncharacteristic fallow period.

Pink Crystal shaped well over course and distance when a fast-finishing third to 8/15 winner Neptunian and previous winner Foxy Rascal, beaten just under three lengths, and the Shamardal filly went into plenty of ‘next time’ notebooks; that would also have been the case with Superior Council, fourth (of 15!) at Redcar where the Kodiac colt did nothing but improve his hopeless position following a tardy start under Kieren Shoemark who has enjoyed a splendid year, for the most part as stable jockey to Charles Hills, now nearing eighty winners.

Realistically with a better time-handicap mark and a 5lbs fillies’ allowance Pink Crystal rates a good win bet for ‘big-hitters’ but you just never know what a ‘first day at school’ can do for two-year-olds and I’m looking forward to this dash on a course where is simply no draw bias whatsoever.

Seven other races are handicaps, I’m not keen on guessing and so move focus to a jumping fixture at nearby ‘good to soft’ Sedgefield where First Angel has the beating of nine rivals in the opening Maiden Hurdle over an extended two miles under Adam Wedge, a real ‘favourite’ by virtue of his cool, calm and collected professionalism.

Not one to oppose and neither is consistent, progressive No Word Of A Lie in the Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles, mount of 6′ plus jockey Jack Andrews who turned professional last week.

Good luck to Jack, brother of champion point-to-point sisters Gina and Bridget, wife of Harry Skelton!

Good start for this column on Wednesday, first of December when our nap, Readysteadybeau (7/1), and Equal Share (11/8), yielded an 18/1 double, and more than TWENTY-FIVE POINTS!

Selections, Sedgefield, 12.00 First Angel (e.w); 2.15 No Word Of A Lie Newcastle, 5.15 Superior Council (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