Remain Pious and make sure you have Soul…
17 August 2012
It is no surprise that of the first nine in the betting for the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon on Saturday six of them are drawn low.
If you look at the pace of the race, almost all of it, or the likelihood of it, will emerge on the far side of the track.
Consider this. Bosun’s Breeze (2), Captain Ramius (5), Elusive Prince (8), Es Que Love (9) and last year’s winner Pepper Lane (10) have all made the running previously in races.
Of course that does not mean they will again but it indicates that Our Jonathan, who was interestingly well-backed with Paddy Power, will have it all to do from stall 19 under Stephen Craine.
The far side has often been the place to be drawn, although last year the first three all came down the stand’s side from stalls 17, 20 and 19 but Pepper Lane simply grabbed the rail and never looked back.
Both Louis The Pious and Alben Star, therefore, will have the race run to suit and look worth backing both as singles and in exactas – why hold back?
Louis The Pious was good enough last season to match strides with the likes of Lightning Cloud and Sirius Prospect.
Kevin Ryan has campaigned his charge over further this season but two weeks ago he dropped the four-year-old back in trip at Glorious Goodwood for the Stewards' Sprint Handicap on better ground to finish second to Johannes.
Alben Star’s chances are more obvious after he was the first home on the stands’ side in the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.
Richard Fahey’s four-year-old continues to improve and with five wins from just 12 starts his strike-rate is better than it may first appear.
At Newbury I cannot help but feel Strong Suit is too short at 2-1 in the Hungerford Stakes. Sure, Richard Hannon’s colt was amongst the best last season and his defeat of Chachamaidee is top class.
Yet Godolphin’s Soul proved with an easy win in the Hackwood Stakes that he is a sprinter going places. He was fourth behind Black Caviar and the French duo of Moonlight Cloud and Restiadargent in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, having flopped on his seasonal bow in Briain after a lacklustre campaign at Meydan.
He’s only really hitting his straps now and while Strong Suit at his best would prove to be a stern challenge it is a long time ago that we saw him as such and I’m willing to take him on.
3.05pm Newbury: 1pt win Soul
3.30pm Ripon: 1pt win Louis The Pious