Tim Easterby had a hat trick at Ripon yesterday and Dreamseller is sure to run a big race off the back of a win at Redcar last time but it might be worth chancing Kermouster to bounce back to the sort of form he showed last season.
He won four races last season, first of those was here over six furlongs when winning in remarkable fashion after missing the break and being detached (worth watching that video). He won three further races off marks of 61, 66 & 69 and after two disappointing efforts since the resumption of racing, he now finds himself on a mark of 68. He also has had a wind op since his last start and if that allows him to show his best, he is definitely handicapped to go close.
This looks a fairly competitive 7f handicap but it is worth siding with dual course winner Tipperary Jack. Relatively unexposed after just seven career starts, he won a novice race at Kempton last year and was a very impressive winner of a handicap here off a mark of 78 last November.
You can put a line through his last start at Lingfield, when he got a bad bump just as he was making his challenge and was given a hard time after that. He now returns from an absence off a mark just 5lbs higher than his impressive course win. The booking of reigning champion jockey Oisin Murphy suggests he will be ready to go after his break.
Flying Pursuit has a big chance in this 6f handicap off a mark of 82, for the in-form Tim Easterby stable. It’s two years since his last win – a 6f handicap at York – off a mark of 94, but he did hit the frame in that season’s Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of 100. He struggled a little last season but did hit the places at York off a mark of 95, before finishing fifth in the Ayr Silver Cup off 87.
Hopefully the ground at Ripon remains on the easy side today, as that ground really suits him and he now finds himself down to a mark of 82. He should really be competitive off that mark and Paddy is paying 4 places for each-way backers.
A case can be made for plenty here but Clareyblue is quickly becoming a cliff horse of mine and I am convinced that he is better than his current mark of 82. There was plenty of promise in his third at Newmarket last time, when looking to have slipped the field a couple of furlongs out but just giving way 50 yards from the line. Kempton might well suit him and his only win was on his one and only start on the all weather. The booking of Oisin Murphy also increases confidence.
Nineohtwooneoh didn’t find his level until starting off in handicaps and he got off the mark on his second start in that sphere off a lowly mark of up in Musselburgh. A relatively quick reappearance at Taunton led to a disappointing fourth odds on and he had a little break before heading over fences at Southwell.
That was in a handicap off a mark of 104 and he duly bolted up, admittedly in a relatively weak race. Again he was sent out quickly under a penalty and was pulled up, so clearly Nineohtwooneoh needs time between his races to be seen to best effect. He has had over 50 days off which is a positive and if he can return to the form he displayed on his chase debut, he is a big player here.
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