What a day this has been what a strange mood I’m in because Thursday, 16th December had just about everything news-wise; even a seasoned veteran like myself could not reconcile with such dramatic events only days after sensational revelations last week when 36-year-old National Hunt jockey Robbie Dunne was suspended a total of eighteen months after being found guilty of ‘bullying’ outstanding female sensation Bryony Frost on four counts by a disciplinary panel.
Bryony has since spoken out, as you’d expect, she’ll recover because Ms Frost has a strong personality and is 100% supported by her father Jimmy who rode Little Polvier to victory in the Aintree Grand National thirty-two years ago in 1989, which seems like yesterday.
Just when the embers had cooled and the press was finally not discussing ‘the case’ anymore champion flat jockey Oisin Murphy announced he’d relinquished his riding licence on account of ‘mental health’ problems!
I’m not able to comment on his condition nor would it be fair and prudent but the young Irishman, who recently chalked up his third successive championship, obviously endured a torrid year despite colossal success because of drug and alcohol-related issues. I like the lad immensely and wish him well.
Then came a bombshell, Tom Dascombe has lost his job as ‘private trainer’ from the Cheshire stables owned by former England footballer Michael Owen!
‘Where did that come from?’ I asked myself but apparently Dascombe has ‘crossed the line’ and was relieved of his position earlier this week; he sounded desperate in quotation which revealed he’d tearfully alerted his family and loyal staff of the split. He intends carrying on his training career elsewhere.
Thankfully the results of a ubiquitous day showed our headline selection Firebomb triumphed at 100/30 after surviving a stewards enquiry which resulted in young Gianluca Sanna getting two-day(s) ban by Southwell stewards, which was absolutely ridiculous and unfair.
My results override everything that happens on the English racing scene, unless tragedy is involved, and I’m hopeful of profiting on this mid-winter ‘Super-Saturday’
Quality-wise it’s usually the best day of the week but my attention is on AWR which will be staged on Wolverhampton tapeta tonight where Sterling Knight and Tom Marquand have a good chance of kicking off an eight-race programme successfully under glorious floodlighting in the twelve-runner Nursery Handicap over seven furlongs. Enough boxes are ticked for a solid each-way punt on this consistent, hitherto luckless maiden on his seventh outing.
Half an hour later early season Sandown winner Amanda Hug’n’kiss should double her career tally in a shallow-looking Novice Stakes over seven furlongs under champion apprentice Marco Ghiani, whose prospects for 2022 are colossal; he’ll smile his way through life!
Spare a thought for Oisin and Tom, victims of situations out of their hands in a crazy, frightening world.
Selections, Wolverhampton, 4.00 Sterling Knight (e.w); 4.30 Amanda Hug’n’kiss; 5.30 Blaast (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