If anyone has seen the documentary series ‘The Last Dance,’ then you’ll be under no illusions that Michael Jordan was a born winner, not willing to accept anything less than a similar winning mentality in all those around him.
Clearly named after one of the greatest sportspeople of all time, Richard Hannon’s Emjaytwentythree, who runs in the 7f handicap at 3.35 at Brighton this afternoon, has yet to exude the same ‘win at all costs’ attitude.
Form figures of 0682-2625963 could easily lead you down the path of presuming that Emjaytwentythree is exactly the opposite to his namesake, but I’d offer you a different explanation as to why he remains an 11-race maiden. That is, that he has shown glimpses of ability greater than a usual 0-65 handicapper, but has been scuppered on a handful of occasions by running over the wrong trip, poor draws or being on the receiving end of significant track and/or pace biases.
At 6/1 each-way with William Hill to win the 3.35 at Brighton this afternoon, this is Emjaytwentythree’s chance to put it all together and notch up the win that MJ himself would be proud of. He first went into the notebook on his final start as a two-year-old, when running well at Windsor on heavy ground, when away from the main action.
As a three-year-old, and on all five of his last racecourse appearances, I can give you an explanation as to why he was perhaps better than the bare form:
30 Apr Chepstow 2nd – drawn away from the near rail bias.
10 May Windsor 5th – didn’t stay the 1m trip.
22 May Lingfield 9th – drawn away from a significant near rail bias on soft ground.
1 Jun Lingfield 6th – good draw this time, but got behind over 6f and had no run until late.
8 Jun Salisbury 3rd – made up good late ground away from the favoured far rail over 6f again.
Today’s trip of 7f on good ground, given Emjaytwentythree’s general body of work, should be spot on. He has a decent draw, not too wide, in stall 4, and has the ever-reliable Sean Levey on board.
There are some in-form horses in opposition, and the likes of Covert Mission, Granary Queen and Run Forrest Run will give Emjaytwentythree plenty to think about, but this is his chance surely.
Elsewhere, there are two horses in the Roscommon 5.40 that have caught the eye recently, and could be over-priced today – Stormy Jenn and Amazing One – and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing either or both each-way.
But the main bet today has to be Emjaytwentythree at 6/1 each-way in the Brighton 3.35, to summon up the spirit of MJ, and notch up the long awaited ‘W’.