Ripon Preview: Little Belter a gem on handicap debut

Little Belter appears to have got in lightly on handicap debut in the 6f nursery at Ripon today (3.05) and looks weighted to take all the beating.

The Tom Dascombe trained colt has only had three starts, and posted a cracking effort on the last of those at Haydock when fourth of 10 to Faydhan.

The son of Dandy Man kept on nicely without being knocked about, and although beaten 9 1/2 lengths the form looks very strong.

The winner, who scored by six lengths, is a very smart sort who is a 10/1 shot with Coral for next year’s 2,000 Guineas and the second and third home – Dutch Connection and Speedy Move – are also useful types who have come out since franked the form.

Dutch Connection has scored on two subsequent starts, including in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York last week, and Speedy move has also won twice and is now rated 83.

That makes Little Belter look potentially thrown in at the weights off an opening handicap mark of just 72 for a handler who has a tremendous strike rate of 33% with his runners at the track in the past 12 months.
In the 1m handicap (4.50), Fazza can take advantage of a drop in class to notch a first success of the season.

The Edwin Tuer trained gelding is a tough sort who enjoyed a good 2013 when winning twice over a mile at Ponteract.

The last of those successes came off a mark of 72 in a class 4 handicap, where Fazza stayed on strongly in the hands of today’s rider Kevin Stott to score with more in hand than the winning margin of 1 3/4 lengths suggests.

The seven-year-old now gets into this lower grade class 5 contest off just 2lb higher, and that gives him major claims on the pick of his form.

The son of Sulamani has been a bit hit and miss this season, but his last five starts have all been in a higher grade.

They include a fifth of 18 to Eurystheus in a class 4 contest at York where Fazza didn’t get the clearest of runs before staying on well to be beaten just 1 1/4 lengths, and a repeat of that effort would be more than good enough to land this contest.

2.00: Zaitsev
2.30: Grand Beauty
3.05: Little Belter (NAP)
3.40: Snap Shots
4.15: Stormardal
4.50: Fazza (NB)
5.20: Mighty Missile