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Sir Henry Cecil hoping rain relents at North Yorkshire course
Sir Henry Cecil is hoping that Midsummer Sun can shine at Ripon today – provided the rain-soaked course is passed fit for racing.
A 7.30am inspection was planned to determine the prospects of racing going ahead, and Cecil, Britain’s most popular and respected trainer, will be keeping his fingers tightly crossed that the green light is granted.
Midsummer Sun, winner of his three of his six starts, is set to line up in the feature race on the card, the £13,000 Betfred Mobile Sports Conditions Stakes and is fancied to follow in the hoofprints of Jet Away, who won at this track last week for Cecil.
A well-related colt, Midsummer Sun scored impressively on his re-appearance a fortnight ago at Lingfield.
That run will not only have benefited him, but it may also provide him with an edge over Luca Cumani’s highly-rated German import Ibicenco, who is making his first public appearance for seven months.
Ian Mongan, successful last week on Jet Away, takes the mount on Midsummer Sun, who is selected to come out on top.
The Betfred ‘The Bonus King’ Handicap over two miles is the target of Shubaat, trained by Cecil’s Newmarket neighbour, Roger Varian, and the winner of the Musselburgh Gold Cup three weeks ago.
The five-year-old has had only five races in his life and is open to plenty of further improvement.
He has been raised 6lb for his latest success, but that extra burden may not be enough to thwart him in his follow up attempt, especially stepping up another couple of furlongs.
He is confidently expected to provide Andrea Atzeni with a winning mount.
The opening Betfred Goals Galore Handicap over a mile sees the seasonal debut of Paramour, who has changed stables since last season.
Previously trained by David O’Meara, the five-year-old is now with David Nicholls.
A useful horse, who won at Pontefract and ran well subsequently in a Newmarket handicap, Paramour is worth keeping an eye on as he returns to the fray.
Tim Easterby’s Twilight Pearl (2.55), who shaped well on her debut at Beverley, and the Richard Fahey-trained Blades Lad (5.45), placed in all his three starts last season, are two others worth noting.
Tomorrow’s Wetherby meeting is also subject to a course inspection, which is set to take place at 11am today.
If racing goes ahead, Micky Hammond has good prospects of continuing his excellent run of form, courtesy of Swaledale Lad in the opening National Festival Circus Is Here Today Novices’ Hurdle.
Joe Colliver’s mount finished a creditable runner-up at Market Rasen on his latest start and is napped to come out on top this time.
Mitchell’s Way (4.10), trained by Alan Swinbank, and runner-up on his last two starts at Carlisle, is fancied to go one better, while the lady rider’s handicap hurdle looks a good opportunity for Front Rank (5.15) and Emma Sayer, who went down narrowly at Market Rasen recently.
2.20 Paramour, 2.55 Twilight Pearl, 3.30 Shubaat, 4.05 Ollon, 4.40 Midsummer Sun, 5.10 Highland Warrior, 5.45 Blades Lad.
• Passed inspection at 7.30am.
Today’s other meetings: Doncaster, Haydock, Market Rasen and Sandown. The meeting at Leicester was abandoned.
2.00 Swaledale Lad (NAP), 2.30 Fill The Power, 3.05 Acknowledgement, 3.35 The Gossmoor Yank, 4.10 Mitchell’s Way, 4.45 Newton Tonic, 5.15 Front Rank.
• Inspection at 11am today.
Tomorrow’s other meeting