‘Dias’ to turn on the Hannon magic!

Acceptance is negative and fact is indisputable carries my thought process with horse-racing and betting/selections but I’m convinced that four placed losers last Friday/Saturday will all win next time.

All my fancies are products of time-handicap computation, which is definitive; knowing selections have marks capable of making profit subsequently, is the way I play the toughest game imaginable. It was so different when my own horses were a constant focus of attention. Let me explain.

Jockeys have to obey instructions but my modus operandi, when they left the paddocks, was about ordering them to do exactly what they’d been told based on my experience of the horses, form and all other relevant factors; racing is a very serious, costly exercise if a solid business-like approach isn’t maintained.

Horses I owned won more than sixty races and placed several times at group level in England and Australia where Middleton Sam was consistently unlucky due to a moderate jockey being allowed to do as he saw fit; unfortunately the predicament only came to light after nearly a year of near misses because as a racing journalist in England it wasn’t possible to have a ‘hands on’ connection and it taught me a lot.

One day I received a course from Jack Besanko, trainer of ‘Sam’, a Hot Spark thoroughbred which I’d leased to a couple of businessmen to offset training costs; he said, ‘Jeffrey I don’t think your horse is moving as well he should be, it could be a back problem!’

After a few moments I ventured an opinion having experienced similar situations over here; ‘walk him backwards for a couple of minutes before exercise every day; if he’s in pain he’ll be reluctant to do it.’

He assured me that would be carried out!

A fortnight later, in his next race, Middleton Sam won a competitive handicap at Flemington (home of the Melbourne Cup!) and followed up a week or so later around Sandown, another grade one circuit.

One of the biggest problems for racehorses is back trouble!

Throughout my career on English racetracks I always watched two-year-olds go to post. As seasons progressed they became ‘family’ and you’d be amazed how often individual actions differed and brought about disappointing so-called ‘unexplained’ performances; it was possible to back some monster-priced winners by following up and talking casually with unsuspecting trainers to achieve logical explanations. ‘Form’ is unbelievably subjective, given what goes into sorting the jigsaw but satisfaction of success makes it all worthwhile, unearthing nuggets.

In the distant future I wont be here and neither will you, someone else will have similar problems but in the meantime let’s make hay on all-weather racecourses which have been designed to maximise the potential of the beautiful equine beasts.

Hopefully once-raced Richard Hannon-trained Magical Dias compliments our TH mark in an eight-runner Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs of Wolverhampton today.

Selections, Chelmsford, 1.45 Atheby (e.w); 2.15 Sixth Street (e.w); Wolverhampton, 4.30 Magical Dias (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