Ripon stages a competitive seven-race card on Tuesday afternoon and both of today's best bets are running at the North Yorkshire track.
It’s pretty mundane stuff today, but that’s not to say we can’t make a few quid from the bookmakers and William Haggas looks the trainer to follow at Ripon this afternoon.
The in-form Newmarket handler (44% strike rate in the last fortnight) sends a couple of horses to the North Yorkshire track and given his 1-3 strike rate there, both deserve close consideration.
His DIRECTOR is not an obvious winner of the extended 1m1f handicap (2.55pm) after failing to trouble the judge in three runs – form figures of 866 – but he could do far better now he tackles handicap company for the first time off what looks a potentially generous mark of 69.
He must have been showing something at home prior to his racecourse debut at Newbury last October as he went off at just 4/1 for what was a hot contest. In the race itself, he was allowed to stride on after taking a strong early hold and, having used all his energy early, he had nothing left by the time he reached the 2f pole.
This term, he’s had a couple of ‘quiet’ runs over 7f and was noted keeping on nicely at the finish on the first of those at Kempton in late April, giving the impression he will be suited by today’s longer trip. A 1000,000 Euros purchase by his owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, it would be no surprise to see him step up markedly here.
UPDATE – Director has been declared a non-runner but he is one to keep a close eye on wherever he runs next (entered at Lingfield on Friday).
Haggas is also responsible for the unraced three-year-old TALYANI, who contests the 1m maiden (4.55pm). His lack of experience is a concern given that six of seven rivals have raced previously and a couple in particular, Alnashama and Synodic, have shown some promise. However, this £40,000 purchase is a nicely bred son of Halling out of a mare who produced a winner with her first foal, and he wouldn’t have to be anything special to take this on his debut.
His trainer has won with eight of the 27 (30%) three-year-olds he’s run here and jockey Seb Sanders has a 36% strike rate for the stable overall, with all his rides yielding a £1 level-stakes profit of £32.29.
The feature 1m handicap on the card (3.55pm) has attracted a field of ten and they are headed by David O’Meara’s Birdman, who is 3-3 since being claimed for £10,000 last November and his winning spree might not be over just yet. The handicapper has nudged him up a further 6lb to a new mark of 91, but he scored off 89 last January and was rated as high as 108 in his two-year-old days. He’s a worthy favourite at 3/1.
However, at nearly three times those odds, I’m going to give OFF ART another chance after a slightly disappointing effort at York last time, when sent off as 13/2 favourite. Still, his finishing position of seventh (of 18) was not terrible by any means and he’s better judged on his previous second in the Thirsk Hunt Cup, his first start for nearly a year and from a poor draw.
Lightly-raced after just eight starts, of which he’s won three, he should be able to win another race or two this season starting off from his current mark of 95 and his trainer Tim Easterby has his team in good nick.
Ripon 3.55, Off Art @ 8/1 bet365
Ripon 4.55, Talyani @ best morning-line price
All odds were correct at time of posting.