Taj Alriyadh has Ripon return on the agenda

Karl Burke is planning a return to Ripon on Bank Holiday Monday for Taj Alriyadh as the juvenile maintained his unbeaten start to a promising career in the William Hill Ripon Hornblower Conditions Stakes.

Most winners of the contest end up in the Listed Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy – and Taj Alriyadh will certainly not look out of place as he took his record to three wins from three races.

After two wins at Catterick, Burke’s Mehmas youngster had clearly failed to catch the imagination of some as all the pre-race talk concerned Robert Cowell’s Dynamic Force, who had been so impressive on his debut at Ayr.

However, the money came late for Clifford Lee’s mount Taj Alriyadh, and he ended up being sent off the 11-10 favourite in a field of four.

As the market suggested the top two dominated, but Dynamic Force never really looked like reeling in the winner, going down by a head.

“He’s got a little deformity on his off-hind hock and I imagine that put a lot of people off at the sales (cost £19,000),” said Burke.

“He doesn’t overdo himself at home, he’s not a flash worker – although he had shown ability going into his first run.

“Cliff said he always felt he was holding the second and he only just does enough, he’s never going to go and win by five or six lengths.

“I’d imagine we’ll come back for the Listed race at the end of the month, that was the idea coming here today, to see how he handled the track, and that looks the obvious step.”

Mark’s Choice (20-1) clearly benefitted from another wind operation since his last start as he ran out a cosy winner of the William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap.

Twice a course winner for Ruth Carr, he was registering his second Ripon win for Sam England under Cam Hardie.

Considering the general consensus is you need to be near a rail on the sprint track, Hardie worked wonders from stall 10 to get a gap up the favoured stands side.

He was also a poignant winner, as England explained.

“It’s really quite nice as one of his owners died this week,” he said.

“He’s a lovely horse and it’s nice he did it for his owners. I’m really proud of him

“His wind was just bothering him so we had it tightened up again and it’s clearly worked.”

It had been a mixed couple of days for Hardie.

“I lost a race I won at Wolverhampton last night and also dislocated my thumb, so it’s nice to win a decent race today. It’s the ups and downs of racing I suppose,” he said.

Knight Rider was picked up for just 22,000 guineas after two unplaced runs for Joe Tuite and sent to Kevin Philapart de Foy in Newmarket.

James Fanshawe’s former assistant wasted no time in stepping the son of Decorated Knight up in trip and the well backed 7-2 chance came a length and a half clear under Paul Mulrennan.

“It was a very good performance, the step up in trip really suited him,” said Mulrennnan.

“He wasn’t doing a great deal in front, but the further he went the better he went so I wouldn’t be surprised if he got further in time.

“He jumped and travelled like a dream, I felt I was always in the right position.”

Tim Easterby rarely leaves Ripon without a winner and Garden Oasis (9-2) provided it on this occasion in the Visit attheraces.com Handicap.

Easterby credited his daughter, Emily, with the success.

“I’d love a yard full of horses like him, he’s wonderful. He’s down at Emily’s yard and she does all the work with him,” he said.

“He’s very uncomplicated, the more you complicate it the worse he runs. He’s tough, and he likes it here and he goes on pretty much any ground.”

Roger Varian’s Ms Ghandi (100-30) opened her account at the fifth time of asking in the William Hill Pick Your Places Handicap under Eoin Walsh.

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