FRUSTRATED by the Covid pandemic, music mogul Emma Banks will dream today that improver The White Mouse can escape her rivals at Kempton like the horse’s namesake did during World War 2.
The White Mouse lines up in a ferociously competitive Ladbrokes Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle, shown live on ITV4.
The seven-year-old mare has landed both her races this term, when scoring at Wincanton and Cheltenham and bringing much cheer to Banks, whose work load has been massively effected by Covid.
Banks is an agent for Creative Artists Agency, and as such is responsible for arranging live tours for a host of the world’s most famous pop and rock stars.
Her current roster of talent includes the likes of Katy Perry – expect Banks to ‘Roar’ her charge home while praying the Lanzarote is not ‘The One that Got Away’ – and Kylie Minogue as well as Florence and the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse.
Incidentally, if you want Perry’s greatest song, well in my book there is no doubt it’s Harleys in Hawaii, which is super lush.
Coming back to The White Mouse, she is superbly titled being by Stowaway.
Banks named her in honour of Nancy Wake, who she describes as “an incredible woman, tough and brave and known as The White Mouse by the Germans who couldn’t catch her in World War 2”.
Wake was a New Zealand born nurse and journalist who joined the French Resistance and later the Special Operations Executive during World War 2.
The official historian of the SOE said of Wake that “her irrepressible, infectious, high spirits were a joy to everyone who worked with her”. Seemingly a bit like Banks then!
The White Mouse can’t be ignored today, although she’s in a tough heat and the young improver Everglow from the Philip Hobbs stable might be chucked in.
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I have a feeling Misty Whisky is going to be very hard to keep out the frame in the Listed event.
Harry Fry’s mare stepped up to today’s trip at Ludlow last time and won well, having scored at Uttoxeter the time before. She tends to jump a bit right so Kempton should not be a problem and she runs off a BHA rating off 120 which means with her jockey’s claim she just has under 10st to carry.
Weather permitting, away from the Lanzarote Hurdle the big betting race for many today is the re-scheduled Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase at Chepstow.
Be warned, by the time you read this Chepstow might well be off but we can only keep our fingers crossed.
The long-time ante-post favourite has been Secret Reprieve, who could be a handicap snip with a rating of 130, having been on that mark when hacking up at the course last time.
If he stays, and there is a question over an extended three and three quarter miles for the Evan Williams challenger, he will take all the beating under Adam Wedge.
Of the others the two big each-way shouts for me are The Two Amigos and Lord Du Mesnil.
The former is trained by Nicky Martin, and finished fifth in the event last year behind Potters Corner.
Although tiny, The Two Amigos loves mud and stays forever. His heart is huge.
I’m going to have a few quid on Lord Du Mesnil, who warmed up over hurdles this season before a spin in the Sefton at Aintree.
Neither of those races would have suited the absolute plodder trainer by Richard Hobson, but there will be no excuses here.
It’s tricky times for racing, with Brexit, the Covid pandemic and weather hitting the sport from every corner.
As fans of the sport – while of course being totally understanding to the national issues – we can only be so thankful that racing continues albeit in a very isolated form.
Just think of the Kim Bailey stable today, which fires four huge guns at Kempton in Espoir de Romay, Two for Gold, Younevercall and the Cheltenham Festival winner Imperial Aura.
At so many levels at Bailey’s yard racing carrying on is huge, from the man himself, to stable staff, jockeys, owners and farriers. Let alone those that keep his gallops going during snowfall.
That’s the thing about racing, thousands of livelihoods are in the mix when a racehorse reaches the track.
Bailey has some serious ammunition this term, although even while he and stable rider David Bass are going strong, you just feel they would struggle to get to grips with The White Mouse!
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