RIPON gets its afternoon in the spotlight on Saturday with the ITV cameras heading to Yorkshire.
The valuable William Hill Great St Wilfrid is always a competitive heat and takes some studying. I’ve narrowed it down to two at this point.
Gunmetal – David Barron (12-1 William Hill)
David Barron’s sprinter absolutely bolted up in this race last year and much of his campaign looks to have revolved around this once again.
He had a steady time of things up until the Wokingham at Royal Ascot where he ran a blinder into sixth. He beat everything on his side of the track and was a big eye-catcher.
The Stewards’ Cup was a no show. But that was never going to be his cup of tea and I’m more than confident his Wokingham run puts him top of the pecking order here.
There have been winners galore from that Ascot handicap – Tis Marvellous, Raucous, Danzeno and Perfection have all run big races.
This six-year-old now only finds himself 4lbs higher than last year’s near three length romp.
Barron is shrewd with his better horses and he would have had this lined up since his Ascot run. He looks a cracking bet at double figures.
Reputation – Ruth Carr (20-1 William Hill)
The other I like, although not as strongly, is Ruth Carr’s Reputation.
Another course and distance winner, Carr is the self-appointed Queen of Ripon and this six-year-old looks to have a bit of wiggle room off of 96.
He only moved to Carr’s ahead of this season, but has put up three career best performance’s since the switch.
One of those was over course and distance. A three length winning cruise where he drew clear with ease.
He hasn’t won since, but has backed it up with strong runs at Newmarket over seven furlongs.
The drop back to six and the dab-hand that is Carr at Ripon make you think he could have a big chance here. 20-1 is too good to turn down.
Saturday Shortlist – William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap