Ripon preview: Eccleston can cash-in on class drop
Eccleston can get back to winning ways after a drop in class when he turns out in the feature 6f handicap on today’s seven-race card at Ripon (15.45).
The David O’Meara trained gelding took advantage of a fall in the weights to land a 15-runner class 3 contest at Haydock four starts back off a mark of 90, and had a couple of this afternoon’s rivals in behind.
Eccleston got put up 3lb for that victory, but has run well in three subsequent starts and shaped as if still in form.
The four-year-old’s last two outings have also been in class 2 company, and Eccleston posted a really solid effort when fifth of 15 to Poyle Vinnie out in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton when last seen in action.
Eccleston has since been dropped another 1lb by the assessor to a mark of 91, and that makes him look well-weighted on his Haydock win now pitched back into class 3 company.
Connections are also now fitting Eccleston with the visor for the first time, and if that has the desired effect he looks weighted to take all the beating for a yard that have a near 20 per cent strike rate at the course in the past 12 months.
Tropical Bachelor has a good record at the track, and looks decent value to further enhance it with victory in the 1m 4f handicap that closes proceedings (17.15).
The Ruth Carr trained gelding has won two of his three starts over course and distance, and in the last of those 14 months ago bolted up by five lengths off a mark of 49.
Although now running off 56, the nine-year-old has been rated as high as 74 in the past and remains well-treated on the pick of his form.
Tropical Bachelor also comes into the contest on the back of two solid efforts, including when beaten just 3/4 of a length into third on his penultimate outing at Doncaster.
That run suggested that his time was near, and Tropical Batchelor will appreciate the drop back down to 1m 4f having has his stamina stretched last time out when a highly creditable fourth over 1m 6f at Redcar.
14.15: Force Awakens
15.15: Cadeau Magnifigue
15.45: Eccleston (NAP)
16.15: Olivia Fallow
16.45: Pecking Order
17.15: Tropical Bachelor (NB)