Gordon is the man to follow at Fontwell!

Doncaster clerk of the course provided the ‘final straw’ and a reason to avoid National Hunt racing for serious punting when it was announced ‘watering’ had taken place for the weekend two-day meeting, which concluded yesterday; just one glance alerted me to the state of the famous Town Moor, subsequent electrically-recorded times also confirmed obvious data with thoroughbreds labouring uncomfortably in the closing stages. 

Race-times are the ultimate giveaway and it was bordering on ‘heavy’, certainly not ‘good to soft!’

BHA should fine the ‘clerk’ and remind him of the responsibility he has to the racing public which is continually misrepresented by this practice; watering in January is as daft and irresponsible as it can get. It’s akin to Bath racetrack, which doesn’t have a watering system, placing heaters on the famous ‘firm’ flat surface in June!

Naming of the racecourse official isn’t necessary, certainly have no intention to ‘label’ someone personally but the management needs to be held to account, after all every racecourse has a team. Over decades ‘Donny’ has had issue with sprinklers, compromising a magnificent natural surface which used to dry up like a sponge. 

National Hunt racing at this time of year is tremendous for making good money from betting but I’ll be casting an alert eye for discrepancies and indeed such recklessness; I’ve mentioned before all-weather racing is much more reliable despite the number of factors, draw, jockeyship and indeed non-triers as so many attempt to cheat through the handicapping system.

Don’t you like to hear the truth!

I’m mindful ‘if the truth hurts there is a problem’ but being a full-time professional I’m always on the case and work hard on behalf of readers/punters to achieve monthly profit. It’s unlikely January will show a plus but you can bet February is about recouping losses and putting beleauguered financial records straight, with a firm emphasis on AWR.

There isn’t that alternative today, in fact it’s ‘Hobson’s Choice’ with two fixtures scheduled at ‘good to soft’ Fontwell, a track is superbly managed, and Sedgefield where an eight-race card kicks-off with a juicy Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles of genuinely ‘good’ ground. They don’t interfere with the unique undulating Stockton-On-Tees circuit, a ‘favourite’ because of excellent race programming.

Shesupincourt is worth chancing (and following) in the opener and in-form trainer Chris Gordon has prospects of a double at the Southern venue with Notlongtillmay in the Novices’ Hurdle and progressive Hardy Fella in the concluding ‘bumper’ which looks a ‘penalty-kick!’ 

Selections, Sedgefield, 12.30 Shesupincourt (e.w); Fontwell, 1.20 Notlongtillmay (e.w); 2.50 Baby Ben (e.w); 4.20 Hardy Fella. 

 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