19 Aug 2017

William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap (Class 2)

The chance of a passing shower or two at Ripon today for the Great St Wilfrid, with the ground looking like it will end up somewhere between good and good to soft.

Winners have a long history of being drawn in stalls 1-13 and there is a 20 mph cross-wind predicted today, which will buffet those drawn high, so it looks a good year to stick with that formula. Winners also tend to be aged 3 to 7-y-o and rated between 80 and 101, with an improving profile (i.e. rated higher than last win). 

We're also looking for some evidence of being in form in the last 5 runs or so, and obviously we'll ignore anything with a dire record at the track.

Plug all that into this years' field and you build a short-list of: Flying Pursuit, Pipers Note, Robero, Classic Seniority and Snap Shots.

We used to be involved with CLASSIC SENIORITY via the Enigma Racing syndicates and we know first-hand he's a nice horse. He's named after Richard Hannon Senior who liked him from the get-go and at one time owned a leg himself. 

Classic Seniority has been a very slow burner - too slow for us - but bit by bit he's clawed his way up from claimers all the way to the Scottish Stewards' Sprint Cup, which is a huge credit to the horse, who to be fair has a striking win record. The trip and ground are perfect for him here -  he's also a course winner and could well improve again. With his handy draw he could run very well.

Given the price and the trainer (Tony Coyle), I am also temped to give SNAP SHOTS the benefit of the doubt. He was 6th in this as a 4yo last year, winning his side of the race - he loves Ripon, so trip, track and going are all ideal and the last time he met Pipers' Note over CD they were separated by only a whisker or three.

Perhaps crucially though, Snap Shots has age on his side. He's a 5-y-o in his prime, with an an excellent piece of recent form at York - there is a good race in this horse. He just blotted his copy book last time in a prep here when refusing to race in a first time hood which sensibly they've left off today.

Clearly he comes with risks (but then what doesn't) and if he gets out of bed the right side today, 33/1 could end up looking awfully big.

Good luck,

3.15 Ripon, Classic Seniority 0.75pt EW 25/1, 5x1/5 (PP, Coral, BFSB)
3.15 Ripon, Snap Shots 0.75pt EW 33/1, 5x1/5 (PP, Lads, Coral, BFSB)

** Feedback: 3 of our short list made the top 5, including Snap Snots who bagged 4th with the far side draw dominating once again **

The improving Classic Seniority looks a big price today for Marjorie Fife

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