Named after the patron saint of Ripon, the Yorkshire racecourse stages the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap on Saturday, the major betting race of the day. We will provide a Horse Racing tip, preview and prediction for this valuable 6f sprint, due to take place at 3.45pm.
The highlight on Newbury’s card is the Group 2 Betvictor Hungerford Stakes at 3.30pm. We will supply a Horse Racing tip for this 7f contest along with the Class 3 Betvictor Handicap, also run over 7f at 2.55pm.
Our Tip for the 2.55pm at Newbury:
This seven furlong handicap looks to concern the unexposed trio of Aratus, Sunset Bay and Ajyaall, with preference for the William Haggas-trained mount of Tom Marquand.
Aratus is the hardest to assess as the son of Free Eagle, an easy winner of a minor Doncaster contest last month, makes his handicap debut off a mark of 94. The Ed Walker-trained Sunset Bay has hit a rich vein of form this season but Hollie Doyle’s mount may just be in the grip of the handicapper now.
After winning two of his three starts last season (unraced as a juvenile) Ajyaall looked set for a successful 2021. However, the Kingman gelding has not been finishing his races this season due to running too freely in the early stages. From his draw in stall five, the four-year-old should be able to get plenty of cover and if settling better should take plenty of beating.
Our Tip for the 3.30pm at Newbury:
Following his close third in a Goodwood Group 2 last time, the Charlie Appleby-trained Al Suhail is expected to head the betting for this Group 3 feature. However, the seven furlong contest may prove a lot more open than the betting would suggest and with the Classic generation looking well up to standard, the each-way value could lie in that area.
Qipco 1000 Guineas seventh Sacred will be fresher than most and could go close with the fillies’ allowance. While Tactical, Line Of Departure and even rank outsider Nando Parrado should not be underestimated. The most interesting runner though is Laneqash, from the Roger Varian stable, who will be making his seasonal reappearance following a break of almost 10 months.
The Cable Bay colt looked an exciting prospect as a juvenile, winning impressively on his debut at Ascot before going down narrowly in a competitive Listed race at Doncaster. On his final run of 2020, Laneqash disappointed when failing to beat a single horse as favourite for Newbury’s Horris Hill Stakes.
The very heavy ground was put down as the reason for that below-par effort and with the ground at the Berkshire track expected to ride much faster on this occasion, Ray Dawson’s mount is taken to surprise some better fancied rivals.
Our Tip for the 3.45pm at Ripon:
Responsible for six of the 20 runners for this historic sprint handicap, trainer Tim Easterby could hold the key to the outcome of this year’s renewal. Strong cases can be made for his pair of Music Society and Lampang in particular. But it is course specialist Staxton who is fancied to come out on top for jockey Duran Fentiman.
The Equiano gelding has won on his last three visits to the Yorkshire track, including a three quarters of a length victory over 100/1 outsider Royal Residence in this race 12 months ago.
The six-year-old has yet to find his best form so far this season but his last two runs have offered plenty of encouragement, especially when finishing a close fourth behind subsequent Stewards’ Cup winner Commanche Falls at Hamilton.
The selection enjoys a healthy pull in the weights with the second and third horses on that occasion, Music Society and Mr Wagyu, and back at his favourite track Staxton looks the one they all have to beat.
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