Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on Saturday at Ripon and Sandown. View selections below.
MR MOSS (3.50) can cap another excellent campaign for Welsh trainer Evan Williams by landing the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown. Williams saddled gallant Cappa Bleu to finish runner-up in the John Smith’s Grand National and scooped a big pot last weekend when Court Minstrel ran away with the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr. Mr Moss comes here a fresh horse, with only two runs under his belt since November. The eight-year-old posted a fine effort in third behind Wyck Hill at Wetherby and stepped up on that performance by running Quentin Collonges close (pair clear) in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster in early March. A maximum field of 20 ensures a lively betting market and Mr Moss is trading around 12-1.
On the traditional mixed Sandown card, far fewer runners go to post for the Group 3 Bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes over 1m 2f and AL KAZEEM (3.15) could well outclass his rivals. Roger Charlton’s five-year-old had only one outing last season, thumping Quest For Peace and Dunaden in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in early May. That Group 2 event was run over 1m 4f but Al Kazeem has the speed to cope with a drop in trip.
John Gosden and William Buick team up with NICHOLS CANYON (4.25) in the 1m 2f handicap and this lightly-raced three-year-old looks destined for a productive campaign. He signed off last season with a clear-cut victory at Goodwood on soft ground and a few showers before racing would benefit this son of Authorized.
The card at Ripon is sponsored by Attheraces and Graham Lee is re-united with Ed Dunlop’s VOODOO PRINCE (4.05) in the Conditions event over 1m 4f. Voodoo Prince beat Barren Brook at the Yorkshire venue last August and was last spotted in the November Handicap at Doncaster, producing a fine effort in third.
Alan King is ending the jumps season with a flourish and he switches MANYRIVERSTOCROSS (2.55) back to the flat for the first time since chasing home Nanton in the 2009 Mallard Handicap at Donny off a 2lb higher mark. Manyriverstocross has excelled over timber in recent weeks, finishing third in the Vincent O’Brien Hurdle at Cheltenham and grabbing fourth spot behind Minella Forfitness in another highly competitive handicap at Aintree. This could be another winner for that man Lee.
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