Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Ripon and Newbury on Saturday.
TATLISU (3.30) was the last horse to squeeze into the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap but he could be the first one home in Ripon’s big summer sprint. Richard Fahey landed a major gamble with Baccarat 12 months ago and he has recruited top Irish rider Declan ‘The Enforcer’ McDonogh to partner in-form Tatislu. My selection came through strongly to beat Muthmir and one of his principal rivals here, Kimberella, at Newcastle, and has been touched off subsequently in two big sprints at Hamilton and Goodwood. The draw is usually a decisive factor and stall 12 in a field of 20 runners gives McDonogh the option to go either way. The stands’ side is often the best place to be when the track is riding fairly quick so well-touted Another Wise Kid (19), Kimberella (18), Pipers Note (17) and Fairway To Heaven (14) may have drawn plum pitches. Ante-post favourite Out Do emerges from stall four and jockey Danny Tudhope will probably elect to stay on the far side.
A clue to the effect of the draw may be provided in the earlier William Hill Silver Trophy, the consolation race for those sprinters missing the Great Wilfrid cut, and ENGLISHMAN (2.50) should go close for Charlie Hills and Harry Bentley. Like Tatislu, he also runs out of stall 12 in a maximum field and his trainer has fitted first-time cheek-pieces after an excellent third to Rene Mathis at Newmarket over seven furlongs. The Fahey-trained winner is most progressive and Englishman was always in the firing line that day. With trailblazer Hopes N Dreams down on the rail, those horses drawn high should enjoy a nice tow into the race.
PETHER’S MOON (2.40) has looked a stronger horse this year and will go close in the Betfred TV Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury if handling the probable testing conditions. Pether’s Moon ran a cracker behind Telescope and Hillstar in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on quicker ground, and justified favouritism in the Coutts Glorious Stakes at Goodwood when seeing off the challenge of Encke and Cafe Society. The latter reopposes on 2lb better terms but Cafe Society has never been risked on soft ground, so it seems unlikely he will be best suited to this surface. Richard Hughes reported that Pether’s Moon had performed a bit lazily at Goodwood, hence the application of blinkers this time. Mudlark Camborne enjoys a massive pull in the weights with Pether’s Moon on their running in the Mallard Stakes at Doncaster last September (good to soft) but has looked out of sorts this year. The wraps are taken off globe-trotting Red Cadeaux, while Godolphin’s Willing Foe adds further interest after a 455-day absence.
ES QUE LOVE (3.50) took the notable scalp of Toormore in the bet365 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and he could well follow up in the Group 2 Betfred Hungerford Stakes. Clive Cox’s teak-tough five-year-old has bits of form on soft, including a fine third to Maarek at York’s big May fixture, and can successfully concede 2lb to Gregorian, who makes a quick reappearance after getting bogged down on very deep ground at Deauville last Sunday.
FIRE FIGHTING (1.35) looks a typical Mark Johnston improving three-year-old and can follow up his Brighton victory eight days ago. There could hardly be a wider contrast between super-fast Brighton and Newbury on testing ground, but Fire Fighting ran a good fourth to Wrangler on a soft track at Haydock back in May and this Betfred-sponsored 1m 2f handicap is there for the taking. Gosden won this event 12 months ago and Billy Blue, sporting first-time cheek-pieces, is an obvious threat.
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