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Ripon best bets: Hurstwood can give hot favourite a run for his money

The bookies have this down as a two-horse race, and the warm favourite could well have his work cut out to keep his closest market rival at bay, with other each-way prospects also catching the eye.

17:25 Ripon:  Free Digital Racecard at Maiden Fillies’ Stakes  (7 furlongs)

That early favourite is Run This Way, the only last-time-out winner in the 11-runner line-up, and there’s no denying Paul Midgley’s six-year-old looked much improved when seeing off 13 rivals over the same distance on Tuesday.

Good run as that was, the quick two-day turnaround and the inevitable five-pound penalty puts a major question-mark over this mare’s short price, and adds extra value to second-favourite Hurstwood.

Suggested best bet: Hurstwood each-way in the 17:25 at Ripon

Peter Niven’s capable seven-year-old is a three-time course-distance winner here, albeit the most recent of those was almost exactly a year ago, since when he has gone unvictorious in a dozen attempts.

Still finding his feet after a five-month lay-off, he looked in good shape last time out at Catterick 17 days ago, and although finishing seventh of 12, all of those that beat him in that 0-70 handicap were rated much higher than anything he will face in this lower-class 0-55 affair, and Mark Winn’s claim knocks another three pounds off his mark.


With a couple of major bookies offering an extra place, there’s certainly some outsider appeal deeper in the betting, and while Tim Easterby’s Fylingdale looks interesting off a low mark, it is Philip Kirby’s Fircombe Hall who gets our nod for a cautious each-way flutter.

This exposed six-year-old already has well over 50 races under his belt and has made the places in almost half of them, including seven parades around the winners’ circle.

Five of those frame finishes came during the last six races of a busy all-weather spring campaign, including two success at Newcastle, the most recent of which was his penultimate outing earlier this month.

His subsequent season turf debut saw him come ninth of 14 at Catterick 17 days ago, but that was over a longer seven-furlong trip, and was also in a much higher-class 0-65 handicap, so with Connor Beasley reuniting here, they might just be able to defy their hefty odds in this company.

Each-way punt: Fircombe Hall in the 15:25 at Ripon


READ MORE: Ripon racing tips: Best bets for Thursday May 30

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