Time to Say Grace and pray for reward!

Kaahira, heavily-backed favourite on debut over a similar distance twenty-five days ago, makes strong appeal for several reasons in an intriguing Novice Stakes over ten furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta tonight when an eight-race card offers opportunities to make profit from set-weight events.

This Kingman filly, mount of mercurial Rossa Ryan, my confident tip for the top in 2021, finished fourth to Cerulean, beaten seven lengths but I’m more interested in the colossal support for Kaahira; doubtless encouraging ‘home-work’ inspired the gamble but she lost her race before the start.

Described as ‘edgy and sweaty’ Kaahira was in no condition to justify the support given she blew missed the break, was hampered and in the last pair after only two furlongs.

Rossa set about making the best of a bad job and rode Kaahira with sympathy which yielded promise in the closing stages where she ran on nicely without threatening to be placed at any stage; the ‘first day at school’ is so important, Ryan rides again and I’ll bet the combination is a different force under the dazzling Dunstall Park floodlights. A 5lbs maiden allowance equates to two or three lengths and opposition is weak, without exceptions.

130000 guineas yearling Approach The Land makes a belated debut in colours of veteran Bill Gredley, a multi-millionaire property dealer, and is of particular interest  along with another expensive purchase, Figures, a Fastnet filly which set his Arab owner back 200000 guineas!

‘Winning brackets’ are imperative for such superbly-bred three-year-olds and it will be fascinating to watch and monitor all of them from paddock to post around a tricky circuit; a learning process without doubt and I’ll be very much ‘on the case!’.

Hitherto disappointing Golden Whisper is one of five ‘decs’ for the Selling Stakes over seven furlongs, mount of Hollie Doyle but Archie Watson’s charge will have it ‘all on’ to beat Say Grace and her recent course conqueror Lincoln Dreamer, penalised.

Say Grace was an ignominious seventh but was disadvantaged with a poor draw under David Probert who, significantly, is booked again by Rae Guest; a four lengths defeat, carrying much more weight than Lincoln Dreamer, bears close scrutiny. I’m on the lookout for sensible value purchases!

Earlier two NH fixtures, Fontwell and Carlisle where Lucinda Russell-trained Netywell comes out clear ‘best-in’ for a twelve-runner Novices’ Hurdle over an extended two miles of ‘good to soft’ ground and kicks-off our each-way trixie. Don’t oppose without good reason.  

Selections, 12.30 Netywell (e.w); Wolverhampton, 5.30 Say Grace (e.w); 7.30 Kaahira (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