Great St Wilfrid Stakes Tips: Blackrod to bound to Ripon glory

Check out our best bet for the Great St Wilfrid here.
Check out our best bet for the Great St Wilfrid here.

A classy field of sprint handicappers will do battle at Ripon on Saturday afternoon in the Great St Wilfrid Handicap Stakes, and our man Steve Chambers previews the 6f event here, and picks out his best bet for the event...

Kevin Ryan's Justanotherbottle will attempt to emulate the legendary Pepper Lane by winning back-to-back renewals of the Great St Wilfrid, and the classy eight-year-old is a best-priced 8/1 to claim victory in the Ripon feature. However, Ryan's charge will face a gargantuan task to land the prize off a 13lb higher mark this time around, as having been victorious off 93 last season he lines up here off 105. A winner on all three career visits to Ripon, his course form has to give him a chance, but he was well beaten in the Stewards' Cup (22nd) at Goodwood last time out, so will need a return to form at his favourite track.

BLACKROD was well fancied in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, but could only manage eighth, however, he's switched from the yard of Michael Dods to Edward Bethell, and if at his best he looks to stand a huge chance of claiming this prize off a mark of 99. Third in the Ayr Silver Cup last season, the four-year-old showed when bounding to glory at Newmarket two starts ago off a mark of 95 that he looks a progressive handicap over sprint distances, and he certainly wasn't disgraced in the Wokingham off 100. Dropped 1lb for that run, Blackrod could quite easily be the class act in this race, as he's still relatively lightly-raced, so is open to significant improvement. 

He maybe the current 4/1 favourite to claim Great St Wilfrid glory, but he's entitled to be at the head of the market, as he's most likely runner that could turn into a potential Group sprinter, and Bethell's charge can bound to an emphatic victory in this Ripon event.

Another eight-year-old looking to roll back the years is Summerghand is another regular in this sort of contest and David O'Meara's old stager last contested this race all the way back in 2019 when he second off a mark of 100. Lining up off a 2lb lower mark in the 2022 renewal, Summerghand does line up on the back of a ninth placed finish in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood, so will need to improve on that effort, and with a year passing since his last win then he could just find a couple too good on the day.

Tim Easterby has saddled two of the last five winners of the race and he will look to continue his excellent recent run in the contest as he saddles the 10/1 chance Snash, who was last seen claiming victory in a decent Ayr handicap event. Given a 3lb rise for that success north of the border, Snash looks to have the capabilities of improving on that effort, and off 90 he looks to be one of the leading dangers to the selection, Blackrod, here.

Fourth in this race 12 months ago off a mark of 96, Tracy Waggott's Intrinsic Bond will head to Ripon off a mark of 90 here, so if at his best he has to come into calculations. A winner at Thirsk last time out off 85, he will face a sterner test now upped 5lbs, but a repeat of that effort - albeit in a tougher race - should see him play a prominent role.

Of the others, Misty Grey will have the burden of top weight here, but does head here in good form having been victorious last time out, while Embour and the hat-trick-seeking Al Simmo add more depth to the race and could be another brace of runners that catch the eye at double-figured odds.

Great St Wilfrid Handicap Stakes
Blackrod silk


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