Aphelios faces a task well within his compass in the nine-runner Maiden Stakes over six furlongs of Kempton polytrack today; veteran trainer Roger Charlton has found a gilt-edged opportunity for this Kodiac gelding, a promising close third on debut around Lingfield twenty-five days ago.
With no expectations judging by his starting price of 20/1, Aphelios outran those odds; in touch throughout, off a fast-run race, Trevor Phelan’s mount stayed on well to grab the minor placing, sandwiched between two recent winners, runner-up North Lincoln, and our winning nap last week, Magical Dias, one and three-quarters of a length away in fourth of seven. Solid form without doubt.
Plenty of time has been spent on this and it’s simply not possible to find a danger to Aphelios which therefore represents a ‘professional special!’
An hour or so later recent course and distance winner, Godolphin-owned Tranquil Night, is forecast odds-on to supplement those gains under inexperienced 7lbs apprentice, Harry Davies, and drawn nine in the thirteen-runner Novice Stakes over seven furlongs; ‘you can’t beat the draw’ comes to mind.
All signals need to be in place to back ‘shorties’ and, given the two negatives, I’ve got to side with once-raced, Teumessias Fox, a three lengths third (of 11!) over seven on Southwell tapeta to our nap, Wineglass Bay, in early December; since then this Lope de Vega colt has ‘thrived’ according to the prolific Andrew Balding camp which is heading for another tremendous year with so much quality housed at Kingsclere stables.
David Probert gave ‘Fox’ a sensible ride behind two ‘hot-pots which fought out a frenetic finish but, significantly, only two lengths ahead of my selection.
Thankfully ‘The Probe’, ten clear of Hollie Doyle in the Winter All-weather championship, is again booked for Teumessias Fox, owned by Leicester City FC; the aforementioned pair make for a cracking each-way double.
Rest of a six-race card comprises handicaps and so to kick-off our trixie is Nicky Henderson’s 127-rated Impulsive One, journeyed from Lambourn to Musselburgh where he shouldn’t be pressed to win for the third time in a seven-runner Scottish Triumph Juvenile Hurdle over two miles of a pristine ‘good to soft’ surface worth more than £14000 to the winner. James Bowen rides, none better.
Another ‘Super-Sunday’ promises good results and the FA Cup could supply a few shocks for serious layers; by far the best soccer tournament in the World!
Selections, Musselburgh, 1.32 Impulsive One; Kempton, 1.40 Aphelios; 14.50 Teumessias Fox (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