Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO LOOK PAST ARD; Racing Preview

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO LOOK PAST ARD; Racing Preview

Article excerpt

Byline: NAOMI MATTHEW

ARDMAY should really be winning Ripon's Wilmot-Smith Memorial Handicap (3.30) if he is to justify Royal Ascot aspirations.

The four-year-old holds an early entry for the Hunt Cup and while he may struggle to get in off his current rating of 90, a win here could help him make the line up.

Kevin Ryan's charge looked thoroughly in need of his debut when well beaten behind Dubai Dynamo at Thirsk in April but he turned that form around when consigning his old adversary to fourth last time.

Ardmay had obviously derived plenty of benefit from his Thirsk outing as he took it up with a furlong still to run over a mile at this track before repelling all challengers.

That effort was a career best as he triumphed off a mark 5lb higher than his last winning perch and a further 2lb rise looks reasonable for this event.

The slightly quicker conditions may not be absolutely ideal but he has handled good ground before and can do so again in what is a competitive heat.

Special Meaning was a winner at Leicester last week and makes a swift reappearance under a penalty in the Weatherbys Bank Handicap (3.00).

A half-sister to 1000 Guineas winner Speciosa, Special Meaning finally landed a first success when switched to handicap company after three fruitless efforts in maidens.

She made all in an admittedly modest heat a week ago, but powered home in style by four lengths, looking capable of much more in the process.

Trainer Mark Johnston is a shrewd operator and it is worth noting he would sooner make a quick reappearance than wait for the handicapper to reassess his charge.

Silk Train demonstrated plenty of promise on her racecourse bow and can put the experience to good use in the Racing Welfare Maiden Stakes (8.25) at Yarmouth.

David Simcock's filly was beaten nearly 10 lengths by the wellregarded Riposte over 12 furlongs at Newmarket last month but was noted making significant progress in the closing stages under a sympathetic ride. …

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