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Could we end 2017 in ‘Style?’

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ode To Autumn ticks so many ‘positive’ boxes for the Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of Lingfield polytrack today; ‘best-in’ on my time-handicap, trained by imperious, ex-champion, John Gosden, and mount of ‘winter’ stable jockey, Rav Havlin, are just three pluses. However so many form students will notice this thriceraced raced juvenile hasn’t been out since August 25th, more than four months ago!

That last effort represented a ‘career-best’ and my expectations involved inserting Ode To Autumn onto my ‘next time’ list!

Obviously there are reasons why that sixth to Fortune’s Pearl over this trip in a Newmarket maiden (beaten less than five lengths!) wasn’t good enough; ‘Big John’ must have been especially disappointed when Ode To Autumn (a colt by Showcasing!), faded after leading nigh on five furlongs and yet it’s particularly significant he remains in training at Clarehaven stables in Newmarket, as a gelding!

Once-raced Chingachgook, from Richard Fahey’s yard, recent AWR winner Zalshah, representing Richard Hannon, and muchvaunted Hugo Palmer-trained newcomer, Breaking Records, are sure to be well-backed and indeed ‘on the premises’ but Ode To Autumn, owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s wife, HRH Princess Haya, justifies serious each-way support; a truly fascinating situation.

My nap selection in the Nursery Handicap, Kylie Style, is set in stone; whenever our ‘star tips’ are beaten it’s always best to follow up, after all there must be a reason why Steph Hollinshead’s runner was last of fourteen, beaten out of sight, under Patrick Vaughan on Southwell fibresand only nine days ago.

Was it the ‘deep stuff’ to blame, or Vaughan, replaced by another 7lbs apprentice, Nicola Currie?

Judged on two useful efforts under Vaughan this Aussie Rules filly is a realistic betting opportunity at mega-odds; wonder if we can finish this month with another ‘beaut’ like Archie Stevens, a 22/1 chance, on the 4th.

Nicola, close to losing her full claim, also rides Swiss Vinnare, one of nine ‘decs’ for an ‘aged’ Maiden Stakes over a mile, look no further for the winner.

There is little between Swiss Vinnare and last time out ‘beaten favourite’, Paradise Lake, but the allowance is likely to weigh heavily against the latter.


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