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Hamilton racing tip: Ramon Di Loria and Refuge set to go head-to-head

Horse racing aficionado Steve Jones has weighed in with his thoughts and best bet for the 20:25 at Hamilton on Wednesday evening.

20:25 Every race live on RacingTV Handicap

Refuge deserves his place near the head of the market given that he hit form at exactly this time last year, finishing runner-up in this race, beaten just half a length off a mark of 70 on good-firm ground.

He then went to Haydock shortly afterwards and won a 0-75 handicap off the same mark.

On that evidence, and having also won this race in 2022, albeit off a much lower mark, Refuge has to be of major interest off his current mark of just 63.

He recorded his best effort of the year at Ripon last time out over five furlongs on good ground where he was a never-nearer 4th of 10 on that sharper track.

Under the stronger handling of Joanna Mason, who takes over from the apprentice (with a very low strike rate) who has been riding the sprinter of late, Refuge has plenty to recommend him.

But one who can beat Refuge today is his old rival, Ramon Di Loria, who also comes here following an encouraging run, having returned from a 102-day break to finish a solid 4th of 8 in a higher-graded Class 4 contest on unsuitably soft ground over the longer 6f trip at this venue two weeks ago.

 

Very likely to build on that return to action, especially under these more suitable conditions, he is handicapped to beat Refuge today.

The last time Ramon Di Loria ran over today’s course and distance was this time last year when he finished 4th of 7, missing second place by a neck and a nose, behind the useful Abate, who is now rated 84 (way above this level).

Just a nose ahead of Ramon Di Loria in that handicap was Refuge, who ran off 70 with Ramon Di Loria racing off 75.

Even though Refuge has a 7lbs lower mark today, Ramon Di Loria has a 13lbs lower mark, so he is 6lbs better off with Refuge for a nose, and this combination of conditions is identical.

The stalls are on the stands’ side for this race, which means the higher numbers are nearest the rail.

If the action unfolds down the rail, as is often the case, Ramon Di Loria has a potentially useful draw in stall 11 (right on the rail) whilst his rival Refuge is drawn right on the outside of the field in stall one.

Suggested bet: Ramon Di Loria to win the 20:25 at Hamilton

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