Local Victory for Damika

Local victor Damika, trained by Richard Whitaker at nearby Scarcroft near Leeds, had the Yorkshire race goers cheering the winner home in the William Hill Great St Wilfrid at Ripon.

Racing at Ripon

Racing at Ripon

The event favourite and a previous winner of the race, Tajneed, trained by David Nichols, had a great draw in stall twenty and was always in touch, providing his backers with plenty of promise.

Nonetheless, he could never quite get clear and Damika, under the guidance of apprentice jockey Michael Stainton, moved to the front within the final furlong, staying on well for victory by a neck, with Signor Peltro back a further three quarters of a length in third place.

"To win a big race on your doorstep is great, it means so much more," said Whitaker.

"I quite fancied him, he ran well last time but the ground was too fast. I was doing a rain dance last night and it worked. We'll head for the Ayr Gold Cup now."

Stainton commented, "I gradually built him up and he always finds something. He's raced against Tajneed plenty so he deserved his day today. It's a bit special for me. This is my biggest win and I'll celebrate it tonight."

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