Ripon Preview: Thunder handicapped to strike
Ripon stage a competitive six-race card this evening, and Rumble Of Thunder looks potentially thrown-in at the weights in the 2m handicap that closes proceedings (9.10).
The Phil Kirby trained gelding has been in great form over hurdles since the turn of the year, winning twice and finishing runner-up on three occasions.
The last of those successes came in a decent handicap at Aintree last month, and Rumble Of Thunder is now rated 134 over the obstacles.
It’s therefore no surprise that connections are now seeking to take advantage of the eight-year-old’s 63lb lower rating on the level.
If translating the progress that he has shown over hurdles back to the flat, then Rumble Of Thunder would be the proverbial handicap “good thing”.
With conditions fine and Russ Kennemore in the saddle, this looks a golden opportunity for Rumble Of Thunder to notch his second success on the flat.
Trainer Kevin Ryan is enjoying a terrific season, and Derbyshire looks capable of providing him with another winner in the 1m handicap (7.10).
The son of Green Tune was sent off at short prices on all his three runs as a juvenile, and shaped with promise on each occasion despite failing to trouble the judge.
Derbyshire is clearly well thought of, has since been gelded, and should be up to winning races of this nature from an opening handicap mark of just 64.
In the feature 6f handicap (8.10), Watchable looks a worthy favourite to defy top weight now eased in grade.
The David O’Meara trained gelding has only had three starts, and after winning in good style on the second of those at Ayr ran a stormer on his handicap debut last time out at Goodwood when finishing third to Intrinsic in a class 2 contest.
Watchable kept on really strongly to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, and the winner looks a pattern race performer in the making.
It was a cracking effort considering Watchable was attempting to give Intrinsic 6lb, and the son of Pivotal now gets into this lower grade class 3 affair of the same handicap mark of 95.
7.10: Derbyshire (NB)
7.40: Rural Celebration
8.40: Empress Ali
9.10: Rumble of Thunder (NAP)