Ripon stage their biggest meeting of the year on Saturday with the feature race being the William Hill Great St Wilfrid’s Stakes.
The whole meeting has prize money of £144,000 with the winning connections of the big race picking up £43,000 and a silver trophy depicting the patron saint of Ripon, St Wilfrid.
David O’Meara has been the man to follow in this race as he has trained the winner in three of the last four years, most recently with Out Do last year. His Algar Lad has a good chance but I like the look of the Richard Whitaker trained Pipers Note. The Scarcroft trainer saddled Damika to win this race in 2010 and Pipers Note finished a close 5th last year when racing on the wrong side of the track. He has won four times at Ripon so handles the undulating track well. At 20/1 he looks great value with last year’s fourth, Tatislu, seen as the biggest danger.
In Ripon’s other big race I can pass on a tip for Tim Easterby’s youngster, Quick N Quirky, in the Horn Blower Stakes. This filly came up against a real hotpot when last seen in June but has filled out nicely and has been burning up the gallops at Malton.
I have been waiting for the David O’Meara trained Mondialiste to run again ever since his latest 10 length triumph at Pontefract. He could run in the Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday or wait for the Strensall Stakes at York next week. I will be backing him wherever he turns up.
Another of O’Meara’s with a dual engagement is All About Time. This filly hopefully turns out at Ripon but could be diverted to Doncaster.