Firebomb hasn’t raced since achieving a career-best time-handicap mark 44 days ago; perhaps it took plenty out of the consistent hitherto luckless Swiss Spirit gelding, beaten less than a length in four of his last five races but, chances of a first victory at the umpteenth attempt in the Nursery Handicap over five furlongs of Southwell tapeta this afternoon are good under Gianluca Sanna; best 7lbs apprentice allowance on offer, but it will not last long!
Last month I brought Sanna to your attention and for those who take notice of my random, speculative comments, which are given to enhance profit from betting, your bank balance should make good reading. The last one I can recall making such an obvious early impression was Hollie Doyle!
It’s part of my life and modus operandi to spot talented youngsters; two in the early stages of my career were Pat Eddery and Walter Swinburn, subsequently classed in the ‘genius’ category but now, sadly deceased, prematurely!
Eddery was a big part of my life, I met him in Chester when he’d only ridden one winner and walked the whole Roodee with the subsequent eleven-times champion jockey on a Saturday morning and, in the afternoon, he won the feature handicap for Irish maestro Paddy Prendergast; the rest, which happened so quickly, is now history. Miss him.
Consistency usually brings reward, Firebomb faces plenty of useful opposition, namely Fair And Square, Miss Anaco, not to mention Lucky Man but Gianluca’s allowance is the reason why I’m advising a solid each-way bet given the aforementioned last effort was on this surface at Newcastle; enough boxes are ticked.
Rest of an eight-race card is too difficult but there are nine scheduled for Chelmsford on polytrack and the first three are for juveniles; I’ve obviously scrutinised them fastidiously, unearthing a couple of nuggets, Mr Big Stuff and Percy Jones. Both should be placed by default and make up my each-way trixie/patent.
Pointless discussing their prospects in detail suffice to say they meet median requirement but that’s been the case with seven of my last naps, six finishing in the runner-up spot!
Throughout these last two months I’ve had more ‘seconds’ than on a sweet trolley but my confidence is never diminished because if they are ‘in the frame’ this column is profiting and, of course, there’s always next time.
Patience is the supreme virtue, until we run out of time, which reminds me that no date has yet been fixed for my third pacemaker; hopefully it will happen, in good time!
Selections, Southwell, 12.56 Firebomb (e.w); Chelmsford, 4.00 Mr Big Stuff (e.w); 4.30 Percy Jones (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