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Nicklaus for a birdie and another success

Published: 
Friday, October 20, 2017

Nicklaus, named after the greatest Major championship golfer of all time, has an excellent opportunity of outplaying inferior rivals in a Novice Stakes over six furlongs of ‘good’ ground Redcar today; names like this should be encouraged.

Everyone was inferior to Jack during his fabulous career which one lived through and enjoyed immensely. Stories abound about Nicklaus, one stems from an afternoon at Newbury races, long ago.

While standing in the betting ring, with the late professional backer, Alex Bird, another shrewd investor, Leslie Woods, came and mentioned that Nicklaus, after a tardy start in the final round, was making inroads on the leaders in the English Open; ‘is he odds against?’ asked Alex.

‘Odds against, you can get 7/2’ to which I blurted out (without thinking, as usual!) ‘put me £200 on please!’

Less than a minute later Leslie said ‘you’re on’ and we further discussed the race in hand.

An hour or so later Jack had gone right through with his effort and was long odds-on to win, he did.

In my lifetime I’ve never had such confidence in another human being; that was a tremendous sum of money then but Nicklaus was just unbelievably consistent and reliable, especially when putting within nine feet, crouched right over the ball as if his life depended on it.

William Haggas hasn’t named this Exceed And Excel colt Nicklaus without good reason and, judged on his second effort over seven furlongs of Kempton polytrack three weeks ago, it’s unlikely he will be 7/2!

Haggas is a real ‘favourite’ but others are trainer, Ed Walker, and jockey, Pat Cosgrave, who again team up with Stephensons Rocket, one of ten ‘decs’ for the Novice Stakes over a straight mile; this is a potential ‘beaut’ judged on his close second, over a similar distance at Sandown five weeks ago.

The diabolical, bookmaker-inspired, practice of late withdrawals now smacks of endemism and is desperately unfair to punters; no wonder ‘real’ professionally-minded bettors hate bookmakers.

Mametz Wood has a similar profile, second first-up three weeks back and fancied by in-form Karl Burke to go one better in a Novice Auction Stakes over seven furlongs of Newcastle tapeta, under talented 3lbs apprentice, Clifford Lee.

They all look solid for our daily patent, famous last words, eh?