It’s the highlight of the Ripon flat season on Sunday with the Great St Wilfrid Handicap due to go off at 3.15.
The lightly raced David O’Meara trained Confide looks an interesting runner on what will be just his second start in handicap company.
Just denied at York recently he should go close once more but a 5lb rise will make things tougher. Aweerdaam drops down in grade and looks likely to be thereabouts, he has to give plenty of weight though to a progressive couple of 3 years olds.
The Clive Cox trained Risk Taker was an impressive winner at Haydock on soft ground so any rain is likely to be well received. A 9lb rise may look harsh but the second and third have since come out to win next time and the form looks solid for the grade. Wilfy was a winner at Sandown recent and looks quietly progressive.
Selection: Risk Taker (Next Best)
Despite the large field, Danyah is a confident pick to follow up his impressive success at Haydock back in early June.
That was his first step into handicap company and he looked to win with plenty more to spare than the 3 lengths results suggested. Yes, he has been hit with a 10lb rise since but his overall profile and form gives encouragement plenty more can be expected.
River Nymph is another who found himself in the winner’s enclosure on his latest run and the Clive Cox / Adam Kirby partnership always needs to be respected in these types of races.
Cold Stare was not beaten far in a bunch finish at Haydock recently. That was a step in the right direction after a couple of poor efforts and holds each-way claims.
Baasem is a pretty consistent type so is likely to run his race once more. The 2lb drop in the weights will help and Jim Crowley comes back in for the ride once more today.
He looks a player especially if this turns into a proper test. Rhythmic Intent was a winner at York 2 starts back and could have more to offer at this type of trip but the 5lb rise for that victory warrants more.
The William Haggas trained Space Walk is also respected but it wasn’t the strongest of races he won last time and he had previously looked well held off lower marks so will need to step up again on that effort from 5lb higher today.
Some good quality 2-years olds on show and Caroline Dale looks have the best form seen so far. She finished 3rd last time in a Group 3 at Ascot and the drop back to 5f looks more to her liking based on how free she raced that day.
That however still has to be a concern at this level and others are preferred. There was little between Miss Jingles and Country Carnival when they finished 1-2 at Glorious Goodwood 18 days ago with the former coming out on top that day.
It’s the David O’Meara trained runner who Is preferred though back on this more conventional track and gives the impression she is the type to continue to progress once more.
Blackberry will need to improve from the novice event she won at Doncaster however she travelled like a good horse that day and with the 2nd winning since she could go well at bigger odds.
Selection: Country Carnival
Trainer David O’Meara has won 4 of the last 7 runnings of this race and looks to hold another strong hand here with 3 representatives this time around.
Blonde Warrior is slipping down to a nice mark but has not been in the best of form recently so Young Fire and Hortzadar look the 2 to focus on.
The former returns after 158 days off the course, he has won well fresh in the past and is likely to be thereabouts. Ready preference however is for stablemate Hortzadar who has ran well on his last 2 starts and with his jockey taking off a handy 5lbs on this occasion looks ready to strike again in a race he won back in 2018.
Selection: Hortzadar (NAP)
A tight looking race despite just the 4 runners with all looking to hold decent chances.
Fountain Cross and Internationdream look to have similar claims on their respective runs at Glorious Goodwood but could be vulnerable giving weight to the filly Red Fascinator.
There was a lot to like about the Karl Burke trained runner’s performance when making all here last time over CD and it will be no surprise to see similar tactics adopted today.
Selection: Red Fascinator
As usual a fiercely competitive handicap. Motagally comes here on the back of a career-best effort when winning at Bath recently.
That form has been franked but the 8lb rise makes things much tougher in this stronger race. Staxton has to be respected on his CD win 10 days ago but again this is much tougher.
Kimifive was beaten just ahead in the Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood and seems to thrive in these large field handicaps. A 4lb rise seems fair for that effort and he deserves a big race success. Previous winners of the race Gunmetal and Dakota Gold are others likely to make their presence felt.
Selection: Kimifive (Each Way)
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