Sen Ding became my tenth successive losing nap (seven seconds!) when half a length runner-up to newcomer Anaff over six furlongs of Newcastle tapeta three days ago; Stuart Williams’ charge encounters a similar surface at Southwell this afternoon in the Novice Stakes over seven. Probability is he’ll again be favourite, what do I do?
In the face of adversity, given this is the toughest game in the world (would tame lions!), it’s imperative to stick with rigid principles and select my time-handicap ‘best-in’ which is why I’ve debated and decided on strong policy, Government!
All that glitters is not gold and flattering form figures of ‘serial-loser’ Sen Ding simply do not wash in the scheme of obviousness and the Hugo Palmer-trained, Qatar-owned Government achieved a better mark first-up than the Mehmas gelding ever posted in eight outings, seven in Ireland.
Over the years I’ve noticed two-year-old Irish form is often inflated with a strange, biased ratings system; be wary of it in future assessments.
Another probability, Government will improve considerably for his debut effort when the Caravaggio colt finished a creditable four lengths fifth (of 12!) to True Warfare over course and distance five weeks ago when not particularly fancied as the starting price of 15/2 indicated.
Cieren Fallon rides again and one wonders what his future prospects will include given Oisin Murphy has retired on ‘mental health’ grounds.
Qatar will be desperate to secure a rising star and Fallon, son of six-times champion jockey, Kieren, is absolutely grade one quality.
Government is a confident selection but the rest of an eight-race card looks too difficult, a reason why I’m focusing on the jumping fixture at ‘soft’ Ayr where Nicky Richards’ lightly-raced seven-year-old Miss Milano will not be a surprise if beating three Irish raiders in the opening six-runner Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles.
Miss Milano rates a solid each-way bet with two places on offer and hails from a yard known for patience.
In the closing ‘bumper’ over two miles Richards introduces £180000 newcomer Tfou, an Authorized gelding and mount of championship leader Brian Hughes but Gordon Elliott’s Burn The Evidence is too good to overlook and represents a strong ‘anchor’ for my trixie. Betting will be fascinating.
Selections, Ayr, 1.00 Miss Milano (e.w); 3.30 Burn The Evidence; Southwell, 2.40 Government (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