Hortzadar showed the benefit of his reappearance run when finishing first past the post at Hamilton last month, produced to lead approaching the final furlong and keeping on to win with a bit in hand. He was ultimately disqualified from that race after his rider weighed in 4 lb light, but he has confirmed himself still in good form since, typically giving his running when fifth at Haydock two starts back, and shaping well when third at Thirsk last time, doing easily the best of those coming from the rear. He can race from the same mark here, with the added bonus of Sean Kirrane’s 5 lb claim, so all looks set fair for a bold showing from David O’Meara’s charge.
Baarrij was easy to back and ran to just a modest level on debut in June, but she clearly knew more for that outing and improved to get off the mark at the second attempt at Windsor two starts back, running on to get the better of a subsequent winner. She was unable to find further improvement on her handicap debut at Newmarket last time, lacking a change of gear as she finished a couple of lengths back in third, but she remains capable of better and is very much one to consider in a tightly- knit handicap.
The Great St Wilfred has tended to go the way of a sprinter on the up in recent season, rather bucking the general trend seen in heritage handicaps nowadays, and Montegally fits that bill nicely in this year’s renewal. Charlie Hills’s four-year-old, who ended last term with back-to-back victories at Brighton and Wolverhampton, shaped encouragingly on his return to action, for all that he had his winning run ended at Newmarket in June.
He didn’t build on that effort when fourth at Haydock later the same month but a drop in grade brought out the best in him at Bath last time, producing a career-best performance to justify market support in good style, beating home a subsequent winner by over two lengths. He is back up in grade with stall 20 to contend with here, but will get a good pace to aim at and looks sure to go well.
Timeform’s three best bets for Ripon on Sunday
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