Geoffrey Riddle tipped 10-1 Frankuus in this column last week and was on the mark on Friday with 11-4 chance Thafeera at Nottingham. He has four fancies for Saturday's action.
The importance of history has been impossible to miss this week after events in America.
Donald Trump, Neo-Nazis, Confederates and general Robert E Lee have all appeared in the headlines in the wake of the tragic death of a woman in Charlottesville.
It is crucial in politics to try to learn from the previous mistakes of others and take out the right lessons. It can help considerably, too, to take the same approach in betting and racing.
Pepper Lane, trained by David O’Meara, missed the break and finished 36 lengths adrift in last as her warm-up run before becoming the first dual winner of the historic handicap in 2012. She led all the way that day, and it is not impossible that last year’s winner can once again make all.
Last season Nameitwhatyoulike won underneath Connor Beasley off a handicap mark of 98 and followed up by beating Danzeno with ease at York. He has not won since, and consequently runs off 97 on Saturday. Much like Pepper Lane, a defence of his title is all that matters, and Bryan Smart, who admittedly is hardly the most in-form trainer, has recruited George Buckell, who takes off another 5lbs. Certain trainers using claimers has proved to be a masterstroke in big handicaps in the past few seasons.
Last time at York Nameitwhatyoulike was drawn completely on the wrong side of the track and made his own way home. Smart found an abscess in his charge’s foot and now reports that everything is ready for a bold bid.
Nameitwhatyoulike saw off seven horses rated over 100 last season, and Saturday’s race does not look as hot. The 20-1 could prove to be massive, but go each-way.
I have learnt through painful experience that it often pays to back one from the other side of the track in these big sprint handicaps but without the pace angle of Kachy coming out of stall one now, I wonder how well those berthed in the low numbers will fare.
I think the consolation race for the Great St Wilfrid could also go to those drawn high. Guishan, Bossipop and possibly Related could all set a decent pace, which would tee-up the race nicely for the impressive and improving Magical Effect from the rear.
Ruth Carr’s five-year-old quickened beautifully at Redcar last week but I just think that Teruntum Star could be well enough handicapped now to see off Magical Effect and The Armed Man.
Teruntum Star has raced just twice this season due to Kevin Ryan’s unfortunate equine herpes issue. The five-year-old gelding looked much more like the horse that scored at Newmarket last season off a mark of 95, when doing much better than Nameitwhatyoulike in fourth to Flying Pursuit at York last time in first-time cheekpieces.
There is obviously the leap of faith that the headgear works again, but Kevin Ryan’s horses are flying at the moment at nearly 30% and that is good enough for me at 12-1.
I do not think there is a horse at Newbury who could lay a glove on Aidan O’Brien’s superstar Winter, so Daban’s third behind the dual Guineas, Coronation and Nassau Stakes queen looks very strong going in to the Betfred Hungerford Stakes.
Daban looked a tough sort when she held off Unforgettable Filly, who subsequently has won a Group Two in Germany, in the Nell Gwyn in May. Metal attitude goes a long way for me when fillies take on older colts, and her run on the wrong side behind Le Brivido in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot was more encouraging than it looked.
That Jersey Stakes has worked out fairly well, too. The second, Spirit Of Valor, went on to land a Group Two, while Parfait, who was fourth, turned the Bunbury Cup in to a procession.
Other than 2-1 favourite Librisa Breeze, Daban’s rivals do not look overwhelming and with only four runs under her belt she should improve. John Gosden suggested that she may not run on Saturday if it rains at Newbury, so wait until the morning before betting.
I also fancy the filly To Eternity to poach an uncontested lead under the in-form Fran Berry to upset the colts in the Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes. She is rapidly improving.
One of the lessons we have learnt this season is that the fillies, and three-year-olds in particular, are a strong bunch. If you have not taken on board that history lesson by now you are suffering the same ills as Trump.
The Score - How to bet your £20 on Saturday: (Prices correct at 6pm on Friday)
2.40 Ripon: £2 each-way on Teruntum Star at 12-1 with William Hill
3.35 Newbury: £6 win on Daban at 9-1 generally available
3.15 Ripon: 50p combination exacta with Magical Effect, Teruntum Star and The Armed Man
3.15 Ripon: £3 each-way on Nameitwhatyoulike at 20-1 with BetVictor
3.35 Newbury: £10 win on Daban at 9-1 generally available
50p each-way accumulator on To Eternity, Teruntum Star, Namitwhatyoulike and Daban