Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Ripon, Newbury and Doncaster on Saturday. View selections below.
KIMBERELLA (3.55) has landed a plum slot near the favoured stands’ rail in the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon and looks sure to be involved at an each-way price.
Northern trainers have placed a stranglehold on this famous six-furlong sprint and ‘Dandy’ also saddles winner-machine Orion’s Bow.
Kimberella (13th) has it all to do on their recent Stewards’ Cup run when Orion’s Bow found only Dancing Star too strong at Goodwood, but my selection has a fine record at Ripon, a track notorious for its undulations.
Twelve months ago Kimberella was beaten on the nod by subsequent Ayr Gold Cup winner Don’t Touch and although 9lb higher here, he had been operating at a high level prior to his Stewards’ Cup blow-out from a poor draw.
He hosed up in the Sky Bet Dash at York and is closely matched on revised terms with David O’Meara’s runner-up Intisaab, another to be lucky with the draw.
Related, just denied by Hoof It at Goodwood, also enters the equation from his perfect pitch but Orion’s Bow could still be the one to beat. Stall nine is not ideal but Orion’s Bow had won five on the spin before his brave Goodwood defeat. One slight concern is his lack of Ripon experience as it is a track which throws up specialists.
Richard Fahey is another trainer with a fine record in the race and Nuno Tristan, just behind Related when an unlucky third in the consolation Stewards’ Cup, is feared.
Feature event at Newbury is the Betfred Hungerford Stakes and Hugo Palmer’s HOME OF THE BRAVE (4.10) is fancied to confirm Haydock form with chief market rival Convey.
My selection made all to edge out Convey in the Jury Stakes and ran a cracker in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, although ultimately unable to withstand the finishing kick of seven-furlong specialist Dutch Connection.
Betfred also sponsor the Ladies Derby Handicap at Newbury and COSMEAPOLITAN (5.20) has the services of Serena Brotherton, usually the first port of call in lady amateur events.
Alan King’s three-year-old may lack a decisive change of gear but his fourth to heavily-gambled Goodwood winner Poet’s Word reads well in this lesser event. Cosmeapolitan also boasts course form, having run third to Godolphin’s market leader Huge Future over a shorter trip on soft ground.
At Newmarket, DOLPHIN VILLAGE (5.35) should go off at decent odds as he bids to repeat his emphatic success over the July course 13 days ago. Jane Chapple-Hyam’s gelding pummelled the opposition to defeat that day and Darryll Holland should be able to assume a nice stalking position before kicking for home.
Sir Michael Stoute sends FIDAAWY (4.50) to Doncaster for his second handicap start and his three-year-old can step up on his fourth to Zest at Nottingham. Fidaawy, the 2-1 favourite, could never recover from a sloppy start but was staying on in a manner that pointed to future success.
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