In a letter to his father, a 19-year-old “Vido” Naipaul, as a lowly student at Oxford University, (in)famously wrote: “I want to come top of my group.
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Image looks outstanding against ‘Pretty’
Image bears close inspection in an eight-runner Novice Stakes over six furlongs of Chelmsford polytrack tonight, when a seven-race programme offers several betting opportunities for the local Essex contingent.Whereas a coterie of spectators makes for ‘a crowd’ at beleaguered Kempton this venue, which originally opened as Great Leighs, has caught on and is well-patronised, especially by Newmarket trainers, literally from ‘just down the road!’
Great Leighs had to close, despite tremendous investment, but after laying dormant a few years it was revived; what’s in a name?
This particular surface has never been criticised, to my knowledge, jockeys constantly give up-beat reports and, believe me, they are the ones worth heeding given their experience on five other all-weather tracks;
Image has raced both times at Yarmouth, also ‘local’ to HQ even though it is, in fact, all of seventy miles ‘down the road!’
Charlie McBride’s charge shaped well on debut and then improved three weeks later, ridden by David Probert, booked again!
On the time-handicap William Haggas-trained Pretty Baby is clear ‘best-in’ judged on her first-up York effort at York, will almost certainly be odds-on and the likely winner; my reason for selecting big-priced Image is to grab one of three places, if they all run!
I’m afraid the practice of non-runners in eight-runner races has become endemic and it doesn’t matter how much one writes on the subject trainers/owners are allowed to produce a ‘self certificate’ and scupper punters.
There are several reasons for withdrawing, unsuitable ground being the principal problem with 48-hour declarations but, not surprisingly, a disadvantageous draw is also cited constantly on the AWR circuits
Recently our BHA issued a warning to those who persistently abuse SC but we all know bookmakers are behind the skullduggery, it saves the bookmaking profession millions world-wide when ‘one comes out’ conveniently in such circumstances.
Many years ago we knew a representative of a major firm who was tasked with delivery of ‘brown envelopes’ to those willing to ‘play ball!’
Shocking and extremely unfair to unsuspecting punters whose cause I’ll champion until ‘called!’
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