Date of Tips: 12/08/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:52 12/08/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Another lull when it comes to weekend action, ahead of what is set to be a brilliant week at York for the Ebor Festival next week.
Nothing really of note for this Saturday upcoming, but there is the prestigious Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon on Sunday. Given it’s stature as a major handicap at what is commonly known as the ‘garden racecourse’, planted in the North Yorkshire region, known as the ‘garden of England’ – and you’d not be surprised to know that the premier racing family of Yorkshire, the Easterby’s, have reaped a handsome harvest in the Great St Wilfrid over the years.
First run in 1839 – Peter, Mick and Tim Easterby have won in 5 times between them since 1986, and it’s the last named that can add to his tally on Sunday. Tim Easterby could potentially saddle seven runners, though more than likely only three of them will make the final field.
A winner over course and distance 10 days prior to Sunday’s race, Staxton makes a lot of appeal at odds of 12/1 each-way with sponsors William Hill or Skybet. Given a 4lb rise for that win by the handicapper this morning, it looks a very shrewd piece of training, placing and campaigning by Tim Easterby. As that aforementioned rise has got him up to a handicap mark that will guarantee him a run in the race on Sunday.
What that win a week ago also did was confirm Staxton’s current wellbeing, his rate of improvement this season after a number of eye-catching runs, and his liking for what can be a specialist’s course. In four starts over the undulating 6f straight course, Staxton has a win, a second, a third and a sixth in last year’s renewal (when second home to Dakota Gold on soft ground on his side.)
The aforementioned Dakota Gold would be a danger to all, as he has been suggesting that he’s about to hit form this term, and if Ripon were to catch any thundery showers later in the week, then it would suit him very well. Staxton is pretty versatile regarding ground, as he has shown a high level of form on all kinds of surface, so any potential easing of the ground will not inconvenience us having a bet now.
Staxton’s most recent run, his win here last week, has been boosted by the second home that day Watchable winning at Thirsk next time, while the fourth home Roundhay Park won on previous start, and the fifth Bossipop went very close to winning next time also. The form looks sound, Staxton could improve again, and he is very well treated off his mark of 88, considering he has won off higher marks in the last two seasons.
Ripon can be a tricky place if you aren’t drawn well, as they can race near either rail – especially in this race as they often split into two distinct groups. But Staxton has the track-craft and the nous around here to not pay too much attention to that – and at 12/1 he rates as a very good each-way bet.
Another winning selection for WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith. Saxton romped home at a SP of 4/1 but was tipped early at 12/1 here at WhichBookie!