Perfect Times overcame inexperience to make a winning debut at Kempton last month, probably helped by missing the kick to some extent, the race set up for something coming from off the pace. In truth, though, she probably had a bit more up her sleeve on that occasion and she remains the one to beat under a penalty.
Citron Major bounced back to his best when landing a course-and-distance handicap last month, winning with a bit in hand despite being slowly away. He is up 5 lb for that victory but Nigel Tinkler’s inmates are starting to hit form at the minute, and he won from 1 lb higher last year, so he is a confident selection to follow up.
Henley slipped a long way in the weights last year and though he was largely out of sorts for much of the season, he offered some encouragement on his return to action at Thirsk in June, racing solo against the stand rail and going with zest until a lack of fitness told. He failed to build on the promise of that run when seventh at Pontefract last time, but he races from a career-low mark here and has a good chance on the pick of his old form.
Innse Gall showed ability when fourth on debut, shaping with a bit more promise than the bare reading of the form might suggest, and he again shaped encouragingly despite not being seen to best effect when third at Ayr last month. His opening mark looks a fair one and, given he is open to improvement, a bold showing is expected from Iain Jardine’s charge.
Graceful Lady took a definite step back in the right direction when fourth at Beverly last time and a revival could be on the cards. She is back down to a handy mark again now and is certainly one to be interested in.
Fishable shaped well at Hamilton when third on just his second outing, and he subsequently became the second winner to emerge from that race when landing the odds on his handicap bow over this course and distance recently, quickening 3 ¼ lengths clear of Scottish Summit. He is up 7 lb for that win but is capable of better still and is one to follow.
St Gallen has been in top form since joining Olly Murphy’s yard, winning three times from his five races, there are no signs of that stopping here. St Gallen ran well switched to the Flat on his reappearance at Kempton in June, finishing second, and he showed the benefit of that run when resuming winning ways over hurdles at Southwell last month. He is just 2 lb higher than his Kempton run and holds solid claims back on the level.
Finely Tuned is still a maiden after six runs but surely won’t be long in getting off the mark. The son of Gleneagles found only two progressive sorts too good at Haydock last month, pulling clear of the rest, and with the booking of William Buick undoubtedly a positive one, this looks a great opportunity for him to open his account.
Timeform’s Tips for Ripon on Thursday
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