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Mick Easterby can be a cut Above rest in Ripon swansong
Mick Easterby, who announced last weekend that he is to hand over the training licence he has held for more than half a century to his son, David, at the end of the year, can saddle his final Ripon winner tomorrow.
At the closing fixture of the season at the Garden Racecourse, 82-year-old Easterby can clinch the feature race with Above Standard, the mount of Graham Gibbons.
A winner at York in June, Above Standard has run respectably in all his three starts since. He is fancied to return to winning ways in tomorrow’s £30,000 Ripon Cathedral City Of The Dales Handicap for the in-form Easterby, who produced two winning sprinters at Ayr last week.
In the Ripon Land Rover Nursery, Xanthos is taken to land his second win of the campaign.
Successful at Newcastle in July, Ed Walker’s juvenile finished a good second at Sandown last time on ground which may have been too testing for him. He will relish this step up to a mile and has the added advantage of apprentice Bradley Bosley’s 7lb claim. He carries the nap vote.
Jacob’s Pillow may have been a beaten favourite on his debut at Sandown, but he went into many a notebook after finishing second to Outer Space after breaking slowly and running green.
He gets the opportunity to atone for that blip in the opening Trevor Ingham Celebration EBF Maiden Stakes and is fancied to get the job done under Philip Makin.
William Haggas, trainer of Jacob’s Pillow, has a much busier day at Newmarket, not least in the Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap, in which he saddles no fewer than six runners.
It would be no surprise to see one of his horses prevail, and nor would it be a turn-up if Brian Ellison took the spoils with the much-improved Top Notch Tonto, a confirmed mudlark, though for the North Yorkshire horse to win it will probably require heavy rain to fall, which is not looking likely.
My vote in this devilishly difficult race goes to Code Of Honor, who has run two sound races since winning at Goodwood in the summer and who is trained by the excellent Henry Candy.
The Newmarket card is one not to be missed. Berkshire, so impressive in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, returns to action in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes, while Vorda, who only lost her unbeaten record when a length second to the imperious No Nay Never in the Prix Morny, reverts to taking on her own sex in the Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes. The French raider should be hard to beat.
Sky Lantern, who has a score to settle with Elusive Kate, can take her revenge in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes. She was not at her best when stepped up to ten furlongs at Goodwood last time out and can be forgiven.
Finally, don’t forget Remember. She won like a smart filly at York’s Press Family Raceday and can follow up in the Irish Stallion Farms ‘Jersey Lily’ Nursery.
2.10 Jacob’s Pillow, 2.45 Shamrocked, 3.15 Xanthos (NAP), 3.45 Above Standard, 4.20 Discay, 4.55 Fantasy In Blue, 5.25 Tumblewind.
2.00 Berkshire, 2.35 Vorda, 3.10 Sky Lantern, 3.50 Code Of Honor, 4.25 Remember, 5.00 Flyman, 5.35 Urban Dance.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Chester, Haydock, Market Rasen and Wolverhampton.
Today’s meetings: Haydock, Newmarket, Wolverhampton and Worcester.
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