William Haggas has in string in rude health and both his runners at Ripon this evening are worthy of close consideration.
Trainer William Haggas has his string in fine form and his FOREIGN DIPLOMAT can continue the good run in the 6f handicap at Ripon this evening.
The three-year-old won a Thirsk maiden in decisive style on his reappearance, having been place on all three of his juvenile starts, and can be excused a disappointing effort when making his handicap debut at York last time as he was badly impeded by a hanging rival inside the final two furlongs. He’s dropping back a furlong here but that shouldn’t be a problem as he has plenty of speed and was in front at the furlong pole when scoring at Thirsk. Georgia Cox takes a very handy 7lb off his back and, while she is relatively inexperienced, she did win on her only other ride at this track. The recent rain is no worry either as the selection finished second (of 19) on “good to soft” at Newbury last autumn and, if any more encouragement was needed, the stable has a 1-3 strike rate here over the last five seasons.
David O’Meara’s Snow Cloud is respected under a penalty for his recent Redcar success, but both his wins have come over 5f, while the other last-time-out out winner in the race, Especial, needs to step up again after only just scrambling home on a modest maiden here last time.
Any money for Haggas’ ELECTRA VOICE in the opening 6f maiden for juveniles would be highly significant. She’s a daughter of Poet’s Voice out of a Shamardal mare, so is bred to be decent, and the stable juveniles have known their job first time out this season, with four winners from seven runners (57%). Andrea Atzeni, who has a 19% strike rate for the yard, with all his rides yielding a £17.16 profit, is booked to do the steering.
I like following sprinters who reappear within seven days of their last run as there’s always a good reason for the quick reappearance, and significantly Mick Channon is turning CHILWORTH ICON out again in the track’s Directors Cup just four days after his run at York. The five-year-old finished 10th of the 20 runners on the Knavesmire but, given the bunched finish, was a whisker or two away from the places and he would have finished closer still had he not completely missed the break. That was uncharacteristic and he deserves a another chance with Charles Bishop taking over from a 7lb claimer. He too who won’t mind the recent rain as his last win, off a 3lb higher mark than today’s, came on soft ground. At 20/1, he’s an each-way price.
Over jumps at Fontwell I like the look of Jeremy Scott’s MOORLANDS GEORGE in the 3m1f handicap chase, in which he faces seven rivals. Only one of these can be ruled out with any real confidence, but that only serves to inflate the price of the selection, who was value for far more than his one-length winning margin over the well-handicapped Thinger Light at Warwick 25 days ago. He could be called the winner a long way out at the Midlands venue before idling close home and, while he’s up 9lb in the weights, there is always certainly more to come after just four chase starts. The tongue-tie he’s worn on the last three of those (and back on today) has made a huge difference to his breathing and he’s reunited with Gold Cup-winning jockey Nico de Boinville, so there’s lots to like.