We begin today’s Saturday weekender with twelve scheduled to go to post for a class four handicap. Father Bertie looks sure to go off as favourite which is no surprise considering he arrives here looking to complete a hat-trick of wins. However, both wins came over seven furlongs so he has an extra furlong to travel today, coupled with the fact that he is upped in grade and has been upped 5lbs, which is enough for me to think he could be vulnerable today.
Thornaby Nash could only manage second last time out, beaten by an in-form Picadilly Jim, but was over two lengths clear of third and was a two length winner at Wetherby prior to that. Proven over a mile and with Phillip Makin having a 36% winning strike rate for the O’Meara yard he is taken to get back to winning ways.
My Single Malt and Dubai Dynamo are previous winners here at Ripon and have also won over a mile so rate as the most likely to challenge our selection.
Thornaby Nash (E/W if 9/2+)
We stay at Ripon for our second selection, a fiercely competitive looking class two handicap. Our selection is the David O’Meara trained Sheriff Of Nawton who boasts an impressive 66% strike rate for top two finishes on turf and arrives here having won two of his last three. He seems to have struck up a good relationship with jockey Josh Doyle and has won on good to firm, good and soft ground so shouldn’t be inconvenienced if any rain appears.
His stablemate Hit The Jackpot also arrives here on the back of a recent win but steps up to twelve furlongs for the first time today and has been upped 6lbs. He will surely give a good account of himself again but I feel he is more likely to be competing for minor honours today.
The biggest danger looks to be the Mark Johnston trained Triple Dip who was a ready winner at Doncaster and runs off a light weight compared to his rivals. He has been steadily improving with recent runs but would need to do so again to land this and with the runner up of his last race disappointing next time out he could find a couple too string today.
Sheriff Of Nawton (E/W if 9/2+)
We have to wait until the final race at Lingfield for our third selection and hope to finish with a winner by way of Age Of Elegance. The three year old filly showed a marked improvement when stepped up to todays’ race distance here at Lingfield to win by two and a half lengths. With only three runs under her belt she is open to further improvement so an opening mark of 74 looks to be a reasonable starting point and she benefits from being partnered by in-form jockey Silvestre De Silva who hangs around for this ride.
May Queen looks to be a big danger despite missing out on a four timer last time out. She was upped 7lbs and upped in trip for her last race and both could have played a part in her only managing fourth but steps back today and benefits from jockey Ashley Morgan claiming 3lbs so has to be a live threat.
Of the remainder, both Atwix and Loraine are previous course and distance winners so cannot be discounted although both would need to improve from their respective mediocre runs last time out.
Age Of Elegance (WIN)