Ripon and Sandown previews: Always Resolute a tough nut to crack


David Metcalf | May 19, 2016

Always Resolute holds all the aces at Ripon

Always Resolute scored in terrific style last time out and can make light of a 6lb penalty to follow-up in the 1m 6f handicap on this evening’s card at Ripon (19.20).

After being held-up towards the rear at Doncaster, the Brian Ellison trained gelding scythed through the pack travelling strongly three from home to take up the running inside the last.

The five-year-old then powered clear when jockey Callum Shepherd pushed the button to win easing down at the line by four lengths.

It was a most taking display which suggested Always Resolute needing keeping firmly onside and it’s no surprise that connections have turned him out quickly five days later under a penalty.

The son of Refuse To Bend is due to race off a 12lb higher mark of 72 in future engagements, so off 66 is 6lb well in at the weights.

It is going to make Always Resolute extremely difficult to beat, especially with Ben Robinson in the saddle taking off 7lb with his claim.

Curzon Line can cash-in on class drop

Curzon Line had become dangerously well-handicapped and can cash-in on a drop in class to score an overdue success in the 1m handicap that closes proceedings (20.55).

The gelding had some useful form to his name earlier in his career when trained by Mohammed Al Zarooni, winning twice with his last success coming off a rating of 85.

Curzon Line on to score over hurdles for John Ferguson, but has failed to cut any ice in nine starts back on the level since joining Mick Easterby.

However, that has resulted in the assessor cutting him plenty of slack and the seven-year-old is now able to race off a career-low mark of 60.

It gives Curzon Line outstanding claims from a handicapping perspective, especially now dropped down into into class 6 company for the first time in his career.

Connections have also put up promising 5lb claimer Nathan Evans to do the steering, and taking his claim into account Curzon Line looks absolutely thrown-in at the weights on the pick of his form.

Ripon selections

18.15: Zig Zag Girl
18.45: Dot Green
19.20: Always Resolute (NAP)
19.50: Dolphin Vista
20.25: Regal Monarch
20.55: Curzon Line (NB)

Sky Ship ready for take-off at Sandown

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has his team in fine form and Sky Ship can capitalise on what looks a lenient mark to provide him with another winner in the 1m handicap on this evening’s card at Sandown (18.55).

The colt shaped with plenty of promise in his first two runs as a juvenile last season before emphatically opening his account in a 7f maiden at Wolverhampton.

Sky Ship showed plenty of pace to race prominently before surging clear from the furlong pole to score impressively by by 3 1/2 lengths from Hutton.

The runner-up has come out and won since to be rated 75, and the third home Pirates Treasure is now rated 80 having gone on to land a hat-trick.

That gives the form a strong look and suggests an opening handicap mark of 82 for Sky Ship is more than exploitable.

The step up to 1m also looks sure to suit, and with the Ryan Moore in the saddle Sky Ship looks weighted to take all the beating.

City Of Ideas can deliver under Dettori

City Of Ideas shaped well on seasonal reappearance and looks the one to be on in the 1m 6f handicap (18.25) now stepped up in trip.

The John Gosden trained colt showed progressive form as a juvenile, opening his account at the third time of asking when scoring at Wolverhampton back in November.

City Of Ideas was allotted an opening handicap mark of 75 on the back of that victory, and ran well off it when third to Shabbah over 1m 2f at Bath last month.

Although not match for the easy winner, the three-year-old stayed on nicely under tender handling to be beaten 6 3/4 lengths.

The winner has gone on to score again since, and it was an effort which suggested City Of Ideas would have more to offer when his stamina was brought into play.

It’s therefore no surprise to see connections waste no time in stepping up City Of Ideas in trip, and he now gets the services of Frankie Dettori in the saddle for the first time.

That is a big plus as he rides the track very well, and City Of Ideas is able to race off an unchanged mark and remains unexposed and open to stacks more improvement.

Sandown selections

17.50: Bithynia
18.25: City Of Ideas (NB)
18.55: Sky Ship (NAP)
19.30: Yangtze
20.00: Plenary
20.35: Danilovna


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