Veteran sprinter Tax Free has been found the perfect opportunity to register his first victory of the year in the David Chapman Memorial Handicap at Ripon tomorrow.
The 10-year-old has been a brilliant servant to trainer Dandy Nicholls down the years, plundering multiple Pattern races and valuable handicaps on his way to his current winning total of 15.
Although he is perhaps not quite the force he was, Tax Free has been running some heroic races in defeat of late in fiercely competitive heats.
He ran as well as he has for a while when third in the Sky Bet Dash at York late last month and he backed that up with a very creditable effort in Saturday’s Stewards’ Sprint Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Although beaten into seventh, he only gave best in the final furlong and on paper at least, he faces a far easier assignment at the Garden Racecourse.
Despite the burden of top-weight, he looks sure to make his presence felt turned out just three days after his latest appearance.
Godolphin’s Darkening could prove a different class to his opponents in the Silks And Saddles Bar Maiden Stakes.
The Shamardal colt ran fourth in a typically warm Newmarket maiden on his introduction and the form has been boosted since.
With that experience under his belt, Darkening has an obvious chance of getting off the mark in North Yorkshire.
Mark Johnston’s string hit form with a vengeance at Goodwood and he should be on the mark with Excellent Mariner at Catterick.
The well related filly went in the notebook when an eyecatching third on her Musselburgh debut and there was not much wrong with her subsequent second at Beverley a week ago. She ought to make it third time lucky in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes.
The best bet at Bath is the Clive Cox-trained Shades Of Grey, who aims to complete a hat-trick in the Tracy Fillies’ Handicap. The grey mare has taken a little while to find her stride this season, but got off the mark in some style at Newbury a month ago.
BATH: 2.00 Our Three Graces, 2.30 Waspy, 3.00 Sir Trevor, 3.30 Trade Centre, 4.00 Crimson Queen, 4.30 Lucky Diva, 5.00 Shades Of Grey, 5.30 April Ciel.
CATTERICK: 2.20 Excellent Mariner, 2.50 Falcun, 3.20 Ferdy, 3.50 Mohawk Ridge, 4.20 See Vermont, 4.50 Eijaaz, 5.20 Fayr Fall.
KEMPTON: 5.55 Darling Grace, 6.25 Grandad Mac, 6.55 Headline News, 7.25 Intimidate, 7.55 Awesome Pearl, 8.25 Sir Maximilian, 8.55 Lady Mango.
RIPON: 6.05 Darkening, 6.35 Teetotal, 7.05 Astra Hall, 7.35 TAX FREE (NAP), 8.05 Hollins, 8.35 Zanotti.
We are sorry that we were unable to bring you our normal racecard service today. This will resume tomorrow.