Sen Ding has an excellent chance of finally getting off the mark and recouping considerable losses in a 3-y-o Novices’ Stakes over six furlongs of Newcastle tapeta today when Stuart Williams’ charge will carry a big advantage, Marco Ghiani!
I’ve prophesied the current champion apprentice will cut through the chase and land the Jockeys title in 2022 and the ever-smiling Sardinian-born 22-year-old has made a terrific start; after Tuesday, also at Gosforth Park, where he partnered the Roger Varian-trained Tyrrhenian Sea to an impressive unchallenged course and distance follow-up victory, it dawned upon me, this is another ‘special!’
A similar thought occurred when I first met Pat Eddery decades ago; the little, cherub-faced Irish teenager had only ridden one winner when I strolled into a Chester pub one Friday night and light-weight jockey David East shouted, ‘Jeffrey come and meet the next champion jockey…!’
David, himself a successful ‘jock’ who landed major handicaps as a ‘7st wet through’ lightweight, and later became a taxi driver in Newmarket, never uttered a truer word; Pat was quiet and unassuming, not shy to any degree but indeed confident and walked the Roodee with me next morning in readiness for a big race handicap ride for Paddy Prendergast, a great Irish trainer. Young Eddery listened intently to every word of my advice which included ‘never get involved with betting in any way whatsoever’ He never did!
Pat made winning look easy that day, he was the best 7lbs apprentice in the World and stormed through his allowance before embarking on a career which included ELEVEN championships and more than FOUR-THOUSAND WINNERS!
Ghiani is cut from similar cloth and hails from the same Island as Frankie Dettori!
Such assuredness, as he chatted to an interviewer about Varian’s winner, left me in no doubt; with the championship wide open due to various ‘politics’ with Oisin Murphy, William Buick and Tom Marquand the field is completely open for Marco because every trainer will want him. Already I’ve heard at least two high-profile yards, with more than two-hundred inmates, want MG as a stable jockey.
What happens will rival anything the present Premier League transfer window displays and, oh to be agent Marco Ghiani; believe it or not I was the first jockey’s agent in England.
Clive Brittain, formerly assistant to Noel Murless, asked me to advise him place his horses at a time when a good friend was ‘crack’ jockey Geoff Baxter and I booked him rides for the ‘new’ rookie trainer. One was Coin Of Gold, a 66/1 winner at Ascot, only to be disqualified!
77-rated Sen Ding, hot-favourite on his English debut at Wolverhampton 10 days ago, based on solid Irish form, should start at much better odds; there is a much-vaunted newcomer in opposition, Lord Paramount, trained by Roger Varian!
What a life I’ve had and there’s more to come when that promised third pacemaker is implanted!
Selections, Chepstow, 12.40 Port Or Starboard (e.w); Newcastle, 1.00 Sen Ding (e.w); Chelmsford, 5.00 Vignoni (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