THE jumps season draws to a close with an excellent campaign at Sandown today, while Haydock plays host to some classy Flat action, but Yorkshire racegoers need look nowhere else but their home county with good meetings lined up at Ripon this afternoon and Doncaster tonight.
The feature sprint at Ripon is the £25,000 Visit attheraces.com/punchestown Handicap, which has attracted a quality field, including Body And Soul whose 2013 campaign was prematurely ended by a training setback last summer.
The good news is she's back this term under the tutelage of Tim Easterby who has placed her to win five of her nine races and some £350,000 in prize money. Her last success came in a red-hot handicap at York last June on her penultimate outing before she was ruled out.
It is doubtful Body And Soul will be at her absolute best for her comeback outing this afternoon, but she is a classy filly and a good run is expected from the four-year-old, who looks set for another productive chapter to her career. Duran Fentiman rides, as usual.
The £40,000 At The Races Sky 415 Handicap over two miles is the richest race on the Ripon card. Bayan, trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, is a fascinating runner.
Although he has only one win next to his name on the Flat, Bayan has a rating of 81 and has clearly shown himself in a favourable light on the level. His well-being is virtually assured as he ran a blinder to finish third in the Coral Cup over hurdles at Cheltenham last March.
A win here would surely see him crossing the Pennines next month for a crack at the Chester Cup.
Anyone who saw Signore Piccolo run away with a sprint handicap at Nottingham earlier this month, will hardly be surprised to learn that Eric Alston' sprinter has since been raised 11lb by the handicapper.
Such a hike may prove an anchor to him in the RiponBET Place6 Handicap, but Jason Hart's mount appeals as a horse to follow and he is fancied to shrug-off his extra burden.
In the £25,000 RiponBet Patent Handicap, Rawaki, trained by Andrew Balding and a good third at Newbury on his re-appearance, may be able to defy top weight.
Richard Fahey has good prospects of a double on the card. The Malton trainer saddles nap selection Realtra (1.40), narrowly beaten at Beverley recently, and Lord Aeryn (2.15), who has run some of his best races here. Both have leading claims.
Fahey can also make his presence felt at Doncaster with Khelman in the opening Freebets AJA Lady Riders' Handicap,
Narrowly beaten on this course on his reappearance, Khelman will have the assistance of the experienced Alyson Deniel.
Ryan Moore, in action at Haydock in the afternoon, will be at Doncaster later on and he can make his trip worthwhile.
The season's leading jockey can score on Roossey, a well-bred newcomer from the powerful William Haggas stable, in the Polypipe Maiden Stakes. and also stable mate Penny Drops, who was Listed-race placed last season, in the Download The freebets.co.uk App Maiden Stakes. Both have useful chances.
Matalleb should go well under Paul Hanagan in the Get freebets.co.uk On Your Mobile Handicap.
The John Gosden-trained three-year-old made a winning debut at Newbury and looks up to holding his own in handicap company off an 87 opening mark.
John Quinn's Safe Home (7.35), who shaped well at Pontefract earlier in the month, and Cossetted (8.05), who established a consistent record for James Fanshawe last season, are two others to note.
1.40 Realtra (NAP), 2.15 Lord Aeryn, 2.50 Body And Soul, 3.30 Rayan, 4.05 Rawaki, 4.40 Signore Piccolo, 5.15 Satellite.
4.55 Khelman, 5.25 Rayoumti, 6.00 Roossey, 6.30 Penny Drops, 7.05 Matalleb, 7.35 Safe Home, 8.05 Cossetted.
Today's other meetings: Haydock, Leicester, Sandown and Wolverhampton.
Tomorrow's meetings: Ayr and Kempton