Horse racing: Triple Eight is improving fast

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Phil Kirby’s Triple Eight is enjoying a productive campaign and is almost certain to make his presence felt again in the City of Ripon Stakes.

The five-year-old had a rating pushing 100 when trained by Dermot Weld in Ireland a couple of summers ago and switched yards for the not insignificant fee of £17,000 at Doncaster in August 2011.

He endured a largely disappointing start to his career in Britain, going down in claimers and lowly handicaps before making the most of his falling rating with victory at Musselburgh off a mark of just 61 last August.

His final couple of starts in 2012 were slightly disappointing, but this season he has raised his game significantly and, what is more, appears to have found a new level of consistency.

In seven starts this term Triple Eight has only once finished outside the first three and looked well treated when bolting up over this course and distance on his penultimate start.

He was unlucky not to follow up under a penalty at Beverley after meeting traffic problems and with ground seemingly not a major issue, he is fancied to defy another rise in the weights for his fine young trainer.

Petella is given the chance to put her recent Pontefract no-show behind her by claiming the second division of the Visit Stayers Handicap.

George Moore’s mare is feasibly treated on the pick of her form and is enjoying a decent campaign, with a Doncaster win supported by a couple of narrow defeats.

She was never going on her latest appearance, but perhaps this slightly easier surface will help her out.

Petella has won at Ripon before and finished second twice, which gives further encouragement.

A step up to seven furlongs can help Panther Patrol clinch a deserved victory in the Terry Mills Handicap at Epsom.