Get into the ‘Spirit’ before Luke is chanced!

Ubahha was the only conceivable danger to forecast long odds-on shot Palifico in a five-runner Novice Stakes over six furlongs of Southwell tapeta tonight but the multi-raced Dubawi gelding was last on a similar surface at Newcastle four days ago; according to reports Anthony Brittain’s charge, racing for the fifteenth time, bled!

How on earth can Ubahha be allowed to appear again so quickly as a bleeder, given there are rules to prevent such exceptional occurrences!

Obviously I’m unable to say ‘I don’t believe it’ but if Ubahha does indeed participate a few questions will be answered unequivocally!

On BHA ratings Palifico was on a mark of 72 and Ubahha (62) has been much higher; factually this other long-standing maiden once commanded the same figure as the vexing Sangster-owned Siyouni filly, intended mount of Hollie Doyle whose record this year is impressive as she chases David Probert in earnest for the Winter All-weather Jockey Championship.

My play was obviously an each-way angle with the others extremely moderate; significantly Ubahha didn’t run as badly as the recent placings suggest in handicap company, beaten slightly less than five lengths, and eased down when the cause was hopeless.

There were two places on offer, Palifico would have been advantaged by a 5lbs allowance and expected to get off the mark at seventh attempt but, this is now an open and shut case; the very last race of another long day will definitely capture my imagination, if Ubahha turns up and he will because Palifico has been scratched!

‘Online’ enables me to bring readers right up-to-date and I sincerely hope it can be continued!

Rest of a seven-race card comprising handicaps are of no interest and therefore focus is on two jumping meetings at Taunton and Market Rasen where Luke could well surprise better-fancied rivals, Hometown Hero and Tigerbythetail, in an intriguing six-runner Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles of ‘good to soft’ ground which will be ideal; that’s usually the case at this superbly-managed Lincolnshire course.

Three ‘live’ prospects battling for one of two places, Luke will be best-priced and worth an investment.

To make serious profit and, most importantly, avoid losing I came to the conclusion decades ago each-way doubles and trebles are the way forward and intend kicking off my trixie with penalised ‘top-weight’ Italian Spirit in a ten-runner Novices’ Hurdle over nineteen furlongs of the ‘good’ west-country circuit.

Doctor Parnassus will be odds-on (and probable winner!) judged on his recent resounding Ascot debut success but progressive Italian Spirit must be ‘on the premises’ and challenging late on.

This season is now giving me a really good feel and the next three months are eagerly-anticipated by this veteran scribe.  

Selections, Taunton, 1.15 Italian Spirit (e.w); Market Rasen, 1.35 Luke (e.w); Southwell, 8.00 Ubahha 

 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