CHARLES KONG SOO
The banners yesterday bore ‘Angel’ before Christopher Mohammed’s name.
Anibale Fly represents the best time-handicap bet I’ve known this 21st century in the Grand National Handicap Chase over four and a half miles of ‘soft’ Aintree ground today; a replication of his third to Native River, in the Cheltenham Gold Cup over three and a quarter miles on similar ground at Cheltenham last month, would more than suffice.
On Thursday runner-up Might Bite confirmed that actual time-figure when winning the group one ‘Bowl’ by five lengths; only reservation is the intimidation factor of negotiating thirty fences and avoiding ‘in running’ problems but Anibale Fly, mount of Barry Geraghty, carrying colours of John P McManus, will doubtless ‘travel’ superbly, such is his class, among run-of-themillm handicappers. None would be within twenty lengths of Native River at level weights.
Prior to his latest effort Anibale Fly comfortably landed a gamble when winning a twenty-eight-runner handicap in Ireland.
A welter burden isn’t at issue, according to shrewd Irish trainer, Tony Martin, ‘he’s a big, strong horse’ obviously capable of carrying weights.
Space isn’t at a premium but there is little more to write, given such superiority, based on recent ‘classic’ form with every conceivable box ticked.
Incidentally my first article as a racing tipster/correspondent was back in 1970 when the personally computed time-handicap pinpointed Gay Trip, winner under the late, great, Pat ‘Arkle’ Taafe, at 20/1.
Several years went by before the same ‘feel’ recurred and Gold Cup winner, Garrison Savannah, was sensationally beaten by lowweighted Seagram; subsequently this column nominated Rough Quest as nigh on a ‘cert’ and afterwards jockey Mick Fitzgerald couldn’t hide his emotions and said winning was ‘better than sex!’
Mick’s wife divorced him!
Six years ago ‘it’ happened again but Sunnyhillboy, a monster eachway punt, was beaten a shorthead, in the last stride.
At one time the ‘Worlds greatest horserace’ was solved by process of elimination but daunting fences have been modified and speed is now firmly at issue; Anibale Fly should win and I’ll be surprised if ‘JP’ doesn’t shorten him in betting exchanges.
Promising in a Fillies’ Novice Stakes over six furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta tonight!
Six attempts have yielded five placings for this consistent Invincible Spirit filly, latest was a fortnight ago when Promising failed narrowly on her seasonal debut, beaten half a length by heavily-backed George Of Hearts over seven furlongs of Chelmsford polytrack.
This wont be easy, in fact with Roger Varian and John Gosden represented by Hermosita and Tivoli respectively, not to mention others with scope, Promising might need to hit something like the mark achieved when 3rd (of 11) in the group three ‘Fred Darling’ at Newbury last April. Richard Hannon’s charge was reckoned a genuine prospect for the 1000 Guineas.
If she doesn’t win...!
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