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Veejay out again quickly, to retrieve losses

Thursday, August 10, 2017
The Jeffrey Ross Racing Special

Mokaati is nigh on a time-handicap ‘cert’ for the seven-runner Novice Stakes over five furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta today; my conviction is based on reliability of all-weather surfaces which have become the backbone of serious punting and will be adopted by those in future who try to make money from backing racehorses.

Preference was always for the Sport Of Kings on turf but times have changed, the all-weather tracks are now numbering six and given the wear and tear of the conventional racecourses it will be no surprise to see that doubled within the next ten years.

Three years ago who would have listened to anyone suggesting the sacred grass of Gosforth Park would be dug up and replaced with tapeta?

Newcastle has fast become the prime AWR circuit, the switch a resounding success with atmosphere and crowds enjoying Geordieland, especially with Mike Ashley’s team back in the Premier Division.

For the most part I’ll continue to specialise with AWR but still enjoy turf-flat when ground conditions are indeed favourable, un-watered! Mokaati ticks every conceivable box, bar one, recent form!

Owen Burrows’ charge hasn’t raced since finishing fourth in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot fifty-three days back and though owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, who can afford to give juveniles as much recovery time as needed, this rankles, slightly.

Good to firm is forecast for Brighton where Indian Warrior comes out best-in for the opening Novice Stakes over six furlongs, we haven’t see him for six weeks since a beaten-favourite over the minimum trip at Lingfield. Apart from Rivas Rob Roy there isn’t a TH danger to David Probert’s mount and trainer Ed Dunlop’s yard is firing.

A similar comment applies to that of Mick Channon who fields top-weight and previous course and distance winner, Veejay, in an eight-runner Nursery Handicap over seven furlongs of soft at Haydock tonight.

Veejay was our nap at Goodwood last week, never got the semblance of a run in the closing stages by the far rail under Rob Hornby who, wisely, didn’t persevere on the hitherto unbeaten Approve colt; 10th (of 14!) doesn’t tell the story but perhaps it will put off other punters!

My policy is to give unlucky naps another chance!

Incidentally Hornby rides for his guv’nor, Andrew Balding, and so Mick has booked Charles Bishop, an adequate replacement.


Scottish ruled out of Arlington Million Charlie Appleby has been forced to rule Scottish out of the Arlington Million this weekend due to the recurrence of an old fetlock injury.

The five-year-old was second in the Caulfield Cup in Australia last year and tuned up for more exotic targets when fifth in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Appleby hopes to have him back in action at the Dubai Carnival next year.

“It’s a real blow,” Appleby told

“He had been working really well since returning from Royal Ascot in June, and the trip to the States was very much a prelude to spending the Australian spring in Melbourne.

“But that’s all off the agenda now. The good news is that long-term the prognosis is good. All going well, he should be right to race again early next year in Dubai.

“It is his near-fore, the same leg that caused him to miss the Group One Mackinnon at Flemington last November. He breezed at Arlington this morning (Thursday) and was found to be lame when he cooled down.”

Sky Bet, who are paying four places on the Arlington Million, now make Deauville their 9/4 favourite from Mekhtaal at 4/1.


11.10 Indian Warrior


10.50 Mokaati


4.15 Veejay (nap-e.w)


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