Tip Of The Day: Here we go again
Our man Will Hayler reflects upon Frankie Dettori's first excursion into the world of books and offers a selection at Nottingham.
Brian Ellison: Loves a bit of Grassroots action.
Picture the scene. You're a fairly young and successful jockey who appoints a new agent, who suggests writing a book. Why not? We'll go for 'A Year In The Life of Frankie Dettori' and we'll get it get ghost-written for you and printed by a big-name publisher. You can talk a bit about your early career, your second jockeys' championship title in 1995, your separation from Luca Cumani, and put in a bit about your personal life. Then you can write all about your big rides in 1996 and end it in… oooh mid-September, in time to get it out in time for Christmas.
Then September 28 1996 happens. Oops. A year in the life of Frankie Dettori and the last chapter is 'St Leger'. The Magnificent Seven, one of the greatest achievements in the history of modern horse racing, is reduced to a hastily-inserted five-page 'preface'. It remains one of the favourite books in my ownership and I can only imagine the mixed feelings that those involved with its publication must have felt on the day that Dettori hauled the wild-eyed Fujiyama Crest past the winning post.
Funnily enough, there are some very interesting sections to read now, for example when he defends John Gosden – who at that time was under fire from some sections of the press for being a bit of an under-achiever since his move to Britain. "John will be back to silence even the most unfair of critics," Dettori says in the book. "He has won plenty of major races, especially in France and I'm sure he will win plenty more."
As for a winner today, I'm going to stick with a horse I've been following all season, I Am Not Here, in the KFE School of Frying Excellence Handicap, which is a rather odd name for the £25,000 final of the 'Grassroots' series of races that Jockey Club Racecourses have been running all year.
I Am Not Here's trainer Brian Ellison loves to target these big prize money finals of Grassroots series races – he usually fields a handful of runners for the equivalent contests over jumps at Haydock too, and won both the £50,000 hurdle and chase final in 2012.
I Am Not Here was caught close home by Card High at Catterick on his latest start and a repeat of that bare form would not be good enough here, but he's a quirky customer who was in front soon enough that day and pulled himself up towards the finish.
Ideally, he'll be switched right off in the early stages in this huge field and carve his way through the pack under James Doyle because he seems to enjoy picking off rivals on the bridle and although he has a decent cruising speed for his sort of grade, he doesn't always find a lot for maximum pressure.
I Am Not Here gone up plenty in the weights and only managed two wins to his five second places in his last eight starts – a strike-rate that illustrates the fact that he's not always the easiest – but he hasn't really had these sort of conditions for most of his starts this season and I very much believe he is capable of winning off his new revised mark of 83 if the cards fall right for him.
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