Burke radiating confidence about Raydiance's pattern potential
Karl Burke has welcomed the rain which he hopes will enable Raydiance to show his Group-race potential in a trappy three-runner conditions event at Ripon (3.35).
The colt went down by a neck to Mankib in a similar contest at Thirsk on his belated seasonal return earlier this month, his first run since capturing a Listed prize on King George day at Ascot last summer.
Raydiance has some choice entries but will have to defeat Red Mist, last year's Champagne Stakes fourth from the Simon Crisford stable that took the prize a year ago, and Three Saints Bay, who has won two races from the front this year.
"He had an issue after his Listed win at Ascot last year then had a couple of minor setbacks but the main thing is he wants soft ground so we were snookered all through the summer.
"He has a couple of nice entries over seven furlongs and a mile and we have entered him in the Prix de la Foret. That might be pie in the sky but he is a very nice horse who is working really well. I am sure he is a Group 3/Listed horse, but whether he is a Group 1 horse we will find out."
Highland Acclaim on hat-trick trail
The demands of Epsom can make it a specialists' track, and although there are no local runners in the race which remembers former trainers Terry Mills and John Akehurst (3.15), it has attracted two of the course's multiple winners in Highland Acclaim and Ashpan Sam.
Highland Acclaim, who has won on the track four times and finished placed on two of the other three occasions, has landed this race for the last two years and bids for his hat-trick off a 2lb lower mark.
Harry Bentley guided him to both victories and although he is at the meeting, David Probert takes the ride having steered the seven-year-old to his latest course win last month.
Highland Acclaim meets the horses that finished second to him in the last two runnings, Handytalk last year and Ashpan Sam who finished a neck down in the race two years ago.
Ashpan Sam, the star of David Drinkwater's stable of six horses, has won on the track three times but has paid only one visit this year when down the field at the Derby meeting.
"He loves Epsom and is in good order at home," said Drinkwater. "I think all five of the field have a chance. I hope the ground is not too soft as he prefers it a little quicker nowadays even though he has form on soft ground."
Dear out to dazzle in Ballinrobe feature
Listen Dear returns to the scene of her debut chase success of two seasons ago at Ballinrobe, when she tackles the feature Hollymount Nursing Home Chase (7.00) over the same 2m1f trip for Willie Mullins, Paul Townend and the Supreme Racing Syndicate.
The 'pocket rocket,' as she's affectionately known, ran a terrific race on her return from a 441-day absence when second in a 2m2f handicap chase at Galway, where she bowled along for much of the race before giving way deep inside the closing stages.
Along with Listen Dear, the race has attracted the high-class Jessica Harrington-trained chasers Don't Touch It and Rock The World, both of whom are owned by JP McManus.
Fruits bidding for sweet revenge at Ballinrobe
Fruits Of Glory has served his time and will be back in action at Ballinrobe when he takes up an engagement in the 2m7f beginners' chase (7.30) for Edward Cawley and Philip Enright.
What was the crime you might ask? Well, the last time he ran at Punchestown back in June, connections of the gelding left the racecourse with a bitter taste in their mouth.
After finishing fifth in a 2m5f beginners' chase, Fruits Of Glory attracted the attention of the race day stewards, who deemed he hadn't given his true running under Chris Timmons back in fifth.
The stewards on the day fined Cawley €3,000, suspended Timmons for 12 days in total and Fruits Of Glory was banned for a further 60 days under the rule 212. The punishments were upheld at an appeals hearing.
In a bid to make up for lost time, Fruits Of Glory, who has won just one of his 28 starts, will be stepping up to 2m7f for the first time and will be attempting to recoup some losses.
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