Ripon Expert Eye: Course stats and tips for the evening meeting on Wednesday May 25

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We've listed our five selections below, with the reasons behind them further down the page, while the highly informative Ripon race card is just a click away at Planet Sport's Racing Live Centre.


Betweenthesticks (17.25 Ripon)

Enkindle (17.55 Ripon)

Young Tiger (18.25 Ripon)

Tamarama (18.55 Ripon)

Persist (20.00 Ripon)

Course characteristics

Right-handed, 1m5f oval with slight undulations and sharp bends before a 5f run-in. The track is sharp in nature and when conditions are riding good it suits front-runners.

Top trainers with runners

Tim Easterby, who trains nearby in Great Habton, has sent out 58 winners over the past five years, although his strike rate of 13% suggest he has plenty of losers too. David O'Meara and Richard Fahey have trained 40 and 33 winners respectively over the same period, while William Haggas has done best of the Newmarket-based stables with a record of 16-49 (33%).

Top jockeys with runners

David Allen and Daniel Tudhope lead the way with 39 and 35 winners respectively and the latter can boast the better strike rate of 25%, while anything ridden by Silvestre De Sousa is worth a second look given his impressive record (18-44, 41%).

17.25 Ripon - Betweenthesticks

Mick Channon's juvenile has shown more than enough to suggest he can win an ordinary maiden such as this, and he should get favourite backers off to a good start. With form figures of 432 coming into this, it's clear he's getting better with experience and, having not looked totally in love with Brighton when third at the seaside track two starts back, he was only just denied at Windsor nine days ago by another useful type.

Silvestre De Sousa is renewing the partnership this evening and we've already mentioned the Brazilian's excellent record at this track, with all his rides over the past five years yielding a healthy £20.60 profit to £1 level-stakes.

Silvestre De Sousa has a great record at Ripon
Silvestre De Sousa has a great record at Ripon

17.55 Ripon - Enkindle

The Brazilian also gets the leg up on Mark and Charlie Johnston's Enkindle in this lowly class 5 1m handicap and his mount has a better chance than his form figures (650) would suggest. The first foal of a useful mare, he was fancied to go well on his racecourse debut at Epsom last August - he was sent off at 5/2 - but was far too keen on the downhill run to Tattenham Corner and just didn't handle that idiosyncratic track.

He hasn't shown much on either of his two outings this season, although he ran as if needing the run at Hamilton on his seasonal debut when giving himself no chance of getting home by pulling hard too early, while his latest effort at Chelmsford (east to back at 22/1) qualified him for a handicap mark of 53.

He's surely better than that and hopefully he can prove it this evening, with any market support increasing confidence further.

18.25 Ripon - Young Tiger

A tricky 5f handicap to solve but we're drawn to the Tom Tate-trained bottom-weight Young Tiger, who signalled that he was ready to get his back in front when not beaten far into third at the last meeting here. The horse who finished just in front of him in second, High Security, who was placed first by the Stewards, is 5lb worse off here and is forecast to go off favourite, which makes the selection decent value at the current odds. It's true he has plenty of miles on the clock at the age of nine, but he clearly still retains plenty of dash and, having won off a mark of 70 previously, he's undeniably well treated at present on a perch of 56 with Tom Eaves taking the reigns.

18.55 Ripon - Tamarama

Charlie Hills' only runner at the track looks something to bet on in this 1m fillies' handicap having run well on all three of her starts this term, including when losing her maiden tag in comfortable fashion at Beverley earlier this month.

Prior to that, she was beaten just half a length by the now 92-rated Madobi at a meeting here in April and has already shown she can be competitive in handicaps when third behind race-fit rivals at Windsor previously. Off just a 3lb higher mark (79) this evening, she should prove too strong for her four rivals under Tom Marquand.

20.00 Ripon - Persist

William Haggas continues in flying form - 17-41, 41% in the last fortnight - and both his runners this evening merit plenty of respect.

The bang-in-form William Haggas has double prospects at Ripon
The bang-in-form William Haggas has double prospects at Ripon

His Punda Maria is a tempting alternative to likely favourite Captain Kane in the previous 1m4f handicap (19.25) with first-time cheek-pieces applied, but her stablemate Persist has far more solid claims in this 1m maiden fillies' contest.

A gorgeously-bred daughter of Frankel out of a Group 1-winning mare, she caught the eye when finishing fourth of the 12 runners on her racecourse debut at Newbury last August, before two further creditable efforts in defeat over 7f.

There should be more to come from her this season and especially now she steps up to a mile for the first time. Tom Marquand rides.

Tom Marquand is on board the Ripon selection
Tom Marquand is on board the Ripon selection

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