The Street is worth addressing in a seventeen-runner Maiden Hurdle over two and a half miles of ‘good to soft’ Doncaster today and we might just get an inflated price; Nicky Henderson-trained City Chief, a beaten-favourite, will be a serious target for ‘big-hitters’ but needs to improve if Emma Lavelle’s recent course and distance third is able to replicate his time-handicap mark.
‘Horses for courses’ theory is vital and The Street, racing for only the second time over hurdles, ran creditably by finishing only five lengths off Mucho Mas in a strongly-run race and, significantly, was fifteen lengths and upwards clear of the rest under stable jockey Tom Bellamy, one of several burgeoning riders on the jumping scene.
There are several others with scant form claims but quite a few are extremely moderate; I’m convinced The Street tired through inexperience and the 52000 euros Fame And Glory five-year-old gelding will come on considerably to grab one of three places for a good each-way betting proposition.
An eight-race programme concludes with a fourteen-runner National Hunt Flat Race and Nollyader, a stable-companion of The Street, and also mount of Bellamy, will definitely be worth waiting for at juicy odds.
I’m keen to play in bumpers and Burn The Evidence was another good reason at Ayr on Sunday when flooring heavily-backed odds-on favourite Tfou to give this column a welcome 5/2 winner and profit for the second day running.
We’re turning the corner but it’s a long way back and I’ll ‘burn the midnight oil’ to put this ship on the right course as the productive Hunter Chase season beckons.
Twice-raced Nollyader will doubtless find Donald McCain-trained Punta Prima troublesome judged on an encouraging ‘quiet’ fifth to Grove Road at Sedgefield last month when an unconsidered 11/1 chance under Theo Gillard; once again however ‘the field’ looks bereft of quality and this duo could well dominate the closing stages.
Alan King’s yard isn’t firing 100% but Raymond Tusk has any amount in hand against nine rivals in the Novices’ Hurdle over two miles; it would be ludicrous to miss out on the High Chaparral gelding which was rated 105 on the flat. His last time out second at Newbury a month ago makes him a ‘stand alone’ contestant.
Just as important to spot out-of-form trainers as those enjoying successful spells.
Selections, 1.05 The Street (e.w); 2.15 Raymond Tusk (e.w); 3.50 Nollyader (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