Lorna Cole ticks enough boxes for an eleven-runner Classified Stakes over five furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta tonight and the biggest is devastating ‘pocket rocket’ Hollie Doyle a wizard in minimum trip sprints on all-weather surfaces.
These set-weight class 6 races have become a favourite on my modus operandi which are very much about BHA ratings and a personally computed time-handicap; Lorna Cole comes out best on both counts but another course and distance winner, Thegrevytrain, and in-form Surewecan and bound to be ‘on the premises’ from favourable draws. The Tron is fancied but drawn ten and around Dunstall Park such a berth represents a ‘coffin box!’
My serious play will be Lorna Cole each-way given Chris Wallis’ charge posted marks last August on Lingfield/Chelmsford poly and is running well. Expect a decent price around 7/1.
Earlier a seven-race Lingfield polytrack card concludes with the Novices’ Stakes over six furlongs and multi-raced Lee Carter-trained Perfect Focus represents a good betting proposition under capable apprentice Connor Murtagh who still claims a 3lbs allowance; hopefully a recent moderate effort, completely out of character, was disappointing for this 72-rated Acclamation gelding which has failed in fifteen attempts, NINE over hurdles!
Recent lapse over seven furlongs in a handicap at the Surrey venue was against Perfect Focus, drawn one which puts tremendous emphasis on a fast start; that wasn’t forthcoming but he finished only six lengths behind Hollie-ridden favourite Radestzky and Lee is a shrewd old bird, no flies on him!
A similar comment applies to Sam Drinkwater who seems to have an ideal opportunity for consistent Spike Jones in an eight-runner Maiden Hurdle over two and a half miles of ‘good to soft’ Sedgefield. They don’t come much easier.
Spike Jones landed a gamble in a Fontwell ‘bumper’ before running well twice over hurdles; definitely ready to win, hence the long journey.
Selections, Sedgefield, 12,20 Spike Jones (e.w); Wolverhampton, 7.00 Lorna Cole (e.w); Lingfield, 3.40 Perfect Focus (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