The Daily Yankee:
NAP OF THE DAY: Pearl Noir, (1700 Ripon), 1pt win, 7/2 generally available
A closing sprint clash of two old favourites bordering on being rogues. We were kidded a few times by Gamesome last year and he appeals again here. That said he had only ever won once and a sharp 5f like this may not be ideal. Pearl Noir has established a low grade sprinting career (despite the curse of being briefly owned by our friend Phil). He isn’t very good but he is fairly predictable in that he needs a fast 5f. It’s a slight surprise he has only run here in 3 of his 91 races but no surprise that has resulted in two wins in the last two runnings of this race (off 65 and 60) and a good third. He comes in good form after an all the way win at similar Thirsk and yet gets in off just 58 in his hat-trick bid. A good rails draw should help him make all.
Sir Derrick, (1420 Ripon), 11/2: Very lightly raced having stepped into handicaps this season with two decent efforts. The best was a third here, whilst a follow up 5th at Catterick was still fair in the context of this weak field. He has dropped a generous couple of pounds, and with what could be a favourable high draw he looks worth risking.
Starlight Mystery, (1450 Ripon), 15/2: mostly campaigned in higher class as a 2yo with just two handicap runs, finishing midfield in valuable races st Newmarket and Goodwood ( behind 1000 Guineas winner). Starts the year off a fair mark and trainer Johnston usually has them ready on debut.
Magical Dreamer, (1600 Ripon), 7/2: finished her 3yo campaign with a slightly unfortunate run of four seconds. Has only crept up 3lbs for that and reappears for a trainer who often gets more from his horses as the get older. Her runner-up effort on final run st Newmarket was desperately unlucky and this looksca lesser race. Apprentice George Wood’s 3lb claim is a gift.
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