It was the yard of Richard Fahey that was celebrating on Saturday evening, having not only landed an impressive three winners here at Ripon but they took home the feature race of the season ‘The William Hill Great St Wilfrid’. The Malton based trainer had come close in 2011 with ‘Mayson’ who finished 3rd, before in 2012 went on to win the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
Our first race of the meeting went to ‘Pentax Lad’ for Earlswood based trainer Ronald Harris & Steve Drowne, the 2yo finished strongly ahead of Kevin Ryan’s ‘Zal Zilhom’ in the opening class 5 6f sprint.
The second race on the card was the ‘William Hill Silver Trophy’ which is a consolation race for the feature race of the day, ‘The Great St Wilfrid Handicap Stakes’ . Introduced last season, the race offers those who havn’t made it into the final call for the feature race a chance to compete for a total of £20,000 prize money in still a Class 2 race. It was John Spearing’s ‘Clear Spring’ which got the better of the 20 runners with an impressive ride by Tom Eaves ahead of the David Nichols trained ‘Mehdi’, 0.38 seconds faster than last years race.
Baccarat & Spinatrix battle it out
The main feature race of the meeting and the season here at Ripon saw 20 of the finest 3yo+ sprinters take the stalls for the total prize money of £70,000. The Richard Fahey trained ‘Baccarat’ who was hampered recently at York in the Sky Bet Dash went in as the 9/2 F proved he was a worth winner after a dramatic fight back to beat ‘Spinatix’ by a NK. Michael Dod’s trained ‘Spinatrix’ had followed the path of recent double Great St Wilfrid winner ‘Pepper Lane’ by winning the C.B Hutchinson & Armstrong Memorial races in the lead up to the race.
The VW Van Centre Handicap over a mile saw David O’Meara return to the winners enclosure with ‘Robert The Painter’ and current in-form jockey Graham Gibbons. The race saw a late charge from Tim Easterby trainer ‘No Poppy’ but ‘Robert The Painter’ held on to win by a clear 1/2 l.
The ‘Ripon Hornblower’ was this year kindly sponsored by Freebets.co.uk, the race made a two horse race with the late withdrawal of the Ann Duffield trained ‘Hello Beautiful’ which did run the previous night at Catterick. The 1/20 F ‘Supplicant’ saw the second winner of the meeting for Richard Fahey, with a clear difference of 24 in the ratings ‘ Milly’s Secret’ gave a good contest before ‘Supplicant’ decided to head for home and win by 2 1/2 l.
The sixth race on the card was the ‘British Stallion Studs E.B.F Fillies’ Handicap’ was a class 4 contest over 1m2f, this saw Richard Fahey & Tony Hamilton complete a fine hatrick on the day with ‘Nemushka’ beating Diane Sayer’s ‘Hot Rod Mamma’ by 1/2 l.
With the rain now in full flow, we finished the meeting with the ‘SIS Live Handicap’, Middleham based trainer continued his fine recent form with Adrian Nichols aboard ‘Ambleside’ beating Tom Tate’s ‘Good Speach’ by a head, leaving the other two runners by a clear 9 lengths.