Andante to make it third time lucky, after earlier ‘Contact!’

Andante will not be the slightest surprise if able to cause one in the ten-runner Novices’ Hurdle over two miles of ‘soft’ Kelso this afternoon; both forecast favourites, Soft Risk and Believe Jack look extremely vulnerable on my time-handicap ratings.

They are my guide, it hasn’t ‘happened’ this month but patience is the supreme approach for serious bettors, until you run out of time!

Despite being ‘aged’ I’m far from a spent force and realise horse-racing, in all guises, is about pleasure and pitfalls which are akin to negotiating minefields; losing runs are extremely vexing but providing it’s possible to punt/invest responsibly, and keep within parameters of a sensible staking plan, they can be overcome by sticking with tried and trusted methods.

Many years ago one opened up a season with fourteen consecutive losing naps but turned the corner with a 14/1 winner and nigh on record-breaking season; it’s necessary to keep the faith and Andante looked a lone ship on the distant horizon when scanning the latest task for this lightly-raced Susan Corbett-trained Califet gelding, a ‘bumper’ winner’ on debut thirteen months ago.

Susan, based close to Newcastle racetrack, has been encouraged by a couple of hurdle outings for Andante under Stuart Coltherd who rides regularly and proficiently for the burgeoning yard which once housed Bahri as a stallion.

Remember Bahri? the famous much-chronicled ‘Hamdan’ thoroughbred which Willie Carson sent wide ‘under the trees’ after coming off Swinley Bottom at Ascot decades ago, gaining an advantage that led to spectacular victory; ‘the cackler’ was extremely proud and, occasionally, mentioned the inspired ride.

The two form favourites could well improve and indeed thrice-raced Soft Risk is unbeaten but on the TH Well Planted, also with maiden allowances, is more of a problem and will be an each-way saver to my nap selection Andante.

Rest of a six-race programme looks ‘too difficult’ but there is a juicy eight-race all-weather programme scheduled for Southwell which contains two divisions of a Fillies’ Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of tapeta; respectively Dark Enchantment and Social Contact, especially, are future winners which could well pop up today.

Scope for improvement is what we looked for in the racetrack paddocks all those years ago.

Just one final reminder, keep opposing those Premier League short-priced favourites, licence to print money and currently my saviour!  

Selections, 1.25 Dark Enchantment (e.w); 2.00 Social Contact (e.w); Kelso, 2.10 Andante (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