Instinction, six lengths winner over course and distance under Brian Smart’s rapidly-aspiring apprentice Gianluca Sanna six weeks ago, is a confident selection for a ten-runner Novice Stakes over five furlongs of Newcastle tapeta this afternoon; my solid reason is the lad’s full 7lbs allowance on a tough uphill track which places great emphasis on weights as thoroughbreds tire. It’s a real grind.
On debut, way back in April under Graham Lee, this Brazen Beau filly proved a shock 28/1 winner when prevailing by a head at Redcar but, following a useful fifth (of 13!) at York a month later, Instinction was unable to land several sizable bets on two occasions when Smart’s horses were right out of form; sensibly a decision was made to ‘spell’ her.
Five months later Instinction reappeared at Gosforth Park, money was down and under Gianluca she made all and raced six lengths clear of Lucy Lulu, a Roger Fell-trained Muhaarar filly which renews rivalry on similar terms; considerable improvement will be needed to reverse placings.
Lucy Lulu is one of three winners in opposition, a bigger danger will surely be Kaboo, a winner last time out, 89 days ago, when Karl Burke’s charge stormed clear to win unchallenged on a similar surface at Wolverhampton.
Judged on that effort Kaboo is ‘best-in’ on my time-handicap, the absence is a matter of indifference but, as mentioned, Sanna’s full claim is huge and the reason why I’ll definitely be playing Instinction with so many boxes ticked, namely a ‘horses for courses’ theory!
These set-weight juvenile sprints are tremendously exciting, my absolute favourites, especially on fair, galloping racecourses with no draw bias whatsoever; how I’d love to live close to Gosforth Park and have a small team resident at local stables of Susan Corbett, a proficient, experienced trainer who you’ll doubtless be reading about in 2022!
There are TEN races today, fantastic, reminds me of racing in Australia!
What heights Gianluca reaches is difficult to assess, so many young jockeys fall by the wayside after losing allowances but champion apprentice Marco Ghiani will not be one of them and I’m forecasting a serious challenge to Marquand, Buick and hopefully Murphy next year!
Marco rides progressive 76-rated Alhammaam in a nine-runner ‘aged’ Novice Stakes over six furlongs, first leg of my each-way double; look no further for the winner. EWD’s are deadly investments, bookies hated them when we specialised with ’em full on!
There are also two NH fixtures, Ayr and Plumpton where Sami Bear will not be a surprise if causing one in the eight-runner Novices’ Hurdle over two miles of ‘good to soft’ ground.
Selections, Plumpton, 2.00 Sami Bear (e.w); Newcastle, 3.25 Alhammaam (e.w); 4.00 Instinction (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