Our bet this weekend is RIPP ORF (3.15) in the typically competitive Spring Cup at Newbury on Saturday. David Elsworth clearly means business as he has booked Ryan Moore, who has a good record on the five year old on the few occasions that he was available.
While the booking is agreed, there must be a chance Moore will be on Ballydoyle duty at Naas on Saturday with, surprisingly, Saturday being the main flat day in Ireland this weekend. Shades of last weekend there when the Guineas Trials at Leopardstown and traditional Derby warm up race the Ballysax bizarrely clashed with Aintree Grand National Day.
Hayley Turner was aboard Ripp Orf for his seasonal debut in the Lincoln at Doncaster. She had to switch him to the right when they met traffic issues two furlongs out and he was a staying on fifth. That should have cleared any cobwebs away and Elsworth will have him at concert pitch on Saturday. While he has winning form over seven furlongs - and even six on the all weather at Kempton this time last year - there's little doubt a mile is his best trip these days.
So everything looks perfectly primed for a big run on Saturday. It's an interesting card, and while Young Rascal flopped in the Derby, he did little else wrong last season. He has a great record at Newbury and sets the standard in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes, formerly the John Porter.
Dancing Vega really took the breath away on her eye catching late season debut at Doncaster and she has obvious prospects in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes (the Fred Darling) though she is also entered over seven furlongs in a novice race at Thirsk. Whichever option she takes she'll take beating.
Over the jumps Ibis Du Rheu is the only Paul Nicholls entry for the Scottish Grand National but he is also in the J & D Pierse Champion Novices Handicap Chase earlier on that Ayr card, and the midweek money would indicate he will take that easier option with !2/1 with Unibet now the best available.
RIPP ORF 0.5 pt each way 10/1 Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair.