The Racing Horse takes a close look at Ripon's Great Wilfrid Handicap to run on Saturday 18 August 2018 and the race is worth £46,688 to the winner. The race is a Flat Handicap open to those aged 3yo or older and run over a distance of 6 furlongs (1,207 metres). Track bias will feature heavily in our betting advice though the professionals will watch the 2.05 William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap Consolation Race over 6f for confirmation of their thoughts. We are going to select the 1-2-3-4 ahead of time and give a detailed explanation as to why. Hopefully getting on early better prices will be available.
First we look at how the favourites have fared at the course over the past five years:
NON-HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS) HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS)
2yo: 39-101 for 39% (-13.87) 8-13 for 62% (+12.33)
3yo: 29-61 for 48% (-6.64) 54-145 for 37% (+11.67)
4yo+: 5-12 for 42% (-1.95) 54-195 for 28% (-14.72)
Total: 73-174 for 42% (-22.46) 116-353 for 33% (+9.28)
William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap (Class 2) 6f
14/16: Previous winners over 6f (88%)
13/16: Didn’t win last time out (81%)
12/16: Winning distance of 1 length or less (75%)
11/16: Returned a double-figure price (69%)
11/16: Carried 8st 12lbs or more (69%)
..8/12: Winners came from stalls 8-13 (inc) (67%)
10/16: Finished unplaced last time out (63%)
..9/16: Had 5 or more runs that season (56%)
..9/16: Ran at Ripon before (3 won) (56%)
..9/16: Unplaced favourites (56%)
..6/16: Ran at Goodwood (3) or Newmarket (3) last time out (38%)
..6/16: Aged 4yo (38%)
..4/16: Winning favourites (25%)
..5/27: Winning favourites since 1990 (19%)
..1/16: Aged 3yo (6%)
..1/31: Winner returned 20/1 or less (3%)
..0/12: Winner from stall 1 (0%)
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 12/1
Must oppose the favourite, 3yos and stall 1
Profiling the race by looking at recent trends show favourites have done well recently but we will oppose the jolly this year. Historically it is a good race for the bookmakers with just 5 winning favourites winning since 1990. Having said that and apart from last year, since 1986 all of the winners returned 20/1 or less in the betting so we can forget about finding a real long shot. We will not be considering a 3yo and we will forget the stall 1 entry. We will only consider previous 6f winners.
Four market-leaders that have won the race in the last 9 years include Markab 7/2 (2009), Baccarat 9/2 (2013), Out Do 7/1 (2014) and Don't Touch 4/1 (2015). However, backing second-favourites has been an expensive exercise as they have failed to register a single victory since Samwar collected at 15/2 in 1996. Not sure of the relevance of that statistic.
Recent Great St Wilfrid Winners
2017 – Mattmu (25/1)
2016 – Nameitwhatyoulike (16/1)
2015 – Don’t Touch (4/1 fav)
2014 – Out Do (7/1 fav)
2013 – Baccarat (9/2 fav)
2012 – Pepper Lane (20/1)
2011 – Pepper Lane (11/1)
2010 – Damika (18/1)
2009 – Markab (7/2 fav)
2008 – Tajneed (17/2)
2007 – Kostar (10/1)
2006 – Excusez Moi (10/1)
2005 – Ice Planet (10/1)
2004 – Smokin Beau (16/1)
2003 – Hidden Dragon (16/1)
2002 – Deceitful (20/1)
Age of the horse important
Looking at the age of the winner in the last 10 runnings show a horse 4 to 7yo wins because 10/11 have been in this group. That said 4 and 5yos have a better record overall than the older horses. Back in the 80s and 90s a 3yo could win this race but only Don't Touch (2015) has won this century.
Previous distance winners a must!
A close-up position last time is a positive, though that is likely to be reflected in the betting, conversely 13/16 did not win last time out. Previous distance winners show 10/11 had already won over the 6f distance and that is hard to ignore and probably a good starting point when filtering. Of the last 16 winners 9 had raced at Ripon before and 3 of those had won there and reinforces course form. A short turn-round is better than a longer one.
Confusion about the draw but Ripon has biggest pace bias!
We are not sure about the draw, we know stall 1 has not won in the last 11 runnings and 8 of the last 12 winners (67%) came from stalls 8-13 (inc). Most pundits prefer low but for us high seems to have an advantage on good or better ground although not as marked as the 5f races there. Timeform says there is a bias against the middle runners but 67% of them have won the last 12 runnings, so a bit of confusion surrounds the draw.
Ripon probably has one of the biggest pace biases in the country but so well known everyone wants to lead and a suicidal pace often ensues resulting in easy pickings for the hold up horses. Jason Weaver reminds us: "There’s a ridge about a furlong and a half out, from where you can kick on and, if you can get away at that point, you’ll be very hard to beat."
A red-hot renewal of this famous sprint handicap and GOLDEN APOLLO is the one to be on. He ran a blinder behind revitalised-stablemate Flying Pursuit at York last time, the pair clear, and his turn could be here again now fitted with cheekpieces. Growl was a fine third in the Stewards' Cup and surely has one of these races in him. Dark Power, Kimberella and course-king Pipers Note are all feared.
THE RACING HORSE VERDICT
1st: BRIAN THE SNAIL 28/1 (Betfair and Paddy Power 17.46) 2nd: FLYING PURSUIT 12/1 (SkyBet and BetVictor) 3rd: FOOLAAD 33/1 (Bet365 and William Hill) 4th: GUNMETAL 16/1 (general).
Timeform probably has it right when saying it is all or nothing with him, right back to his best when winning 6f Doncaster handicap in June, but bombing out with no real excuses in 7f Ascot contest last time. A risky proposition but at 28/1 we have to be interested! Brian The Snail had a wind operation during the winter but his first run back was inconclusive as he didn't handle the track at Epsom. He then won a Class 3 at Doncaster before flopping in two Class 2 races at Ascot. We refuse to believe those two runs and Tony Hamilton who won on him at Doncaster is reunited with him. The jockey is 3 from 5 when combining with Brian The Snail and we expect him to run a big race...
Finally, just in case you need any more help here are the top trainers and jockeys at Ripon in 2018
TRAINERS for 2018
David O'Meara: 11 winners from 51 runners for 22% (+41.87)
Richard Fahey: 10 winners from 44 runners for 23% (+33.08)
Tim Easterby: 5 winners form 71 runners for 7% (-40.16)
Nigel Tinkler: 4 winners from 11 runners for 36% (+10.33)
Ruth Carr: 4 winners from 26 runners for 15% (+13.75)
JOCKEYS for 2018
Silvestre De Sousa: 10 winners from 22 runners for 45% (+13.05)
David Nolan: 6 winners from 19 runners for 32% (+22.16)
Ben Curtis: 5 winners from 23 runners for 22% (-1.50)
James Sullivan: 5 winners from 26 runners for 19% (+40.00)
Daniel Tudhope: 4 winners form 17 runners for 24% (+5.50)
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