Well it happened again Friday, another ‘system bet’ (7/2) Monte Igueldo lost out when looking certain to win by making a mistake at the last which left Jungle Book clear to justify favouritism; after Lifetime Legend twenty-four hours earlier, I had to say to myself in the time-honoured way, ‘that’s racing!’
It’s not about what transparency causes, moreso chagrin of knowing so many know; like Lifetime Legend, the subsequent starting prices next time will be much less and it wouldn’t be the case if both had prevailed, with penalties!
As I’ve stated so often we are entering a wonderful period for making solid profit from National Hunt racing, the aforementioned were typically representative of my theory but we have to move on and today a seven-race ‘good to soft’ Exeter card produces a ‘bumper’ and two juicy Novice Hurdles which look within compass of both Triple Trade and Stage Star.
Unfortunately both will be ‘shorties’ and the latter unbackable which is why with an each-way ‘trixie’ in mind I’ve hopefully unearthed a ‘cert’ for one of three places, Peking Rose, a Fergal O’Brien-trained Passing Glance gelding which may indeed shake up the forecast 4/9 favourite Stage Star.
On my time-handicap Stage Star is way superior and attempts a four-timer but 132-rated Peking Rose is a rapidly-aspiring mare-in-form at the right time of year and Paul Nicholls’ charge hasn’t raced since December.
That’s significant because Nicholls’ team, always injected against virus annually in January, hasn’t fired to any degree these past few weeks and the Ditcheat-based Champion Trainer is obviously concerned.
Triple Trade (124) achieved a ‘career-best’ when winning decisively at Lingfield last month and this Colin Tizzard-trained Norse Dancer gelding is mount of Brendan Powell one of my absolute favourite NH jockeys, none better!
A cracking card concludes with a 15-runner NH Flat Race which looks well within capabilities of once-raced Copper Cove despite an absence of four months; Jonjo O’Neill has given the Getaway gelding plenty of time off a tough assignment, when an eye-catching second around Ffos Las, and a replication should see Jonjo junior steer him into the winners’ enclosure.
Southwell stages a seven-race all-weather programme but it’s dreadful; six handicaps and a difficult conditions event are a disappointment which can be swerved completely..
Selections, Exeter, 2.30 Triple Trade; 3.00 Peking Rose (e.w); 5.40 Copper Cove (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