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Intrinsic Bond strikes for Great St Wilfrid gold

Sat 13 Aug 2022

Connor Beasley landed his third victory in the £100,000 William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon as he partnered Intrinsic Bond for his old family friend Tracy Waggott.

If a jockey is to earn himself a reputation as something of a specialist in a particular race, it may as well be one worth £100,000.

Beasley’s record, from just eight rides, is all the more remarkable given he has also finished second three times, as well as fourth – on Intrinsic Bond 12 months ago.

His first success came on Nameitwhatyoulike in 2016 for Bryan Smart, he was second on Dakota Gold in 2018 before going one better on the same horse for his boss Michael Dods a year later. He has also been second twice on Dods’ Spinatrix when still an apprentice.

The secret to his success appears to be keeping things very simple. Just like his previous two winners, Beasley was handy from the off and this year he was able to hold off Good Earth by a length with course specialist Mark’s Choice third from 10lb out of the handicap.

“Obviously I love this race, that’s the third time I’ve won it which is great, I’ve just been lucky to get on the right ones on the right day,” said Beasley.

“I was fourth on this lad last year, so we knew he went on the track and he won last time out, so we knew he was coming back to form.

“To be fair I was drawn on the wrong side (six) but I made the decision to go where the pace was. I knew if I went to the far side the race would get away from me.

“He jumped and travelled strong, I was able to take a pull at halfway until we got to the two-pole. Once I asked him, he really stretched out.

“Tracy has done a great job with him, she deserves this, she does a great job with the horses she gets. I’m glad to ride her a decent winner.

“I’ve known her all my life, she used to work with my mum at Norman Mason’s.”

For Waggott, she was celebrating the biggest win of her career.

“I’ve been crying,” she said. “This means a lot, especially for Connor to ride it.

“I knew he had a chance – even though he was up 5lb for Thirsk, he was 6lb lower than when he was fourth last year.

“I remember when Connor used to come in the wagon with me when I was working for Richard Guest. He must have only been about six, so for him to ride me a Great St Wilfrid winner means a lot.”

Prince reigns in Hornblower heat

Prince Of Pillo maintained his unbeaten record in fine style in the William Hill Ripon Hornblower Conditions Stakes.

Trained by Keith Dalgleish, the Prince Of Lir colt had won over six furlongs on his debut at Ayr but had no trouble dropping to the minimum trip on his second outing.

Ben Haslam’s Wen Moon grabbed the rail in attempting to follow up a course-and-distance victory, but Prince Of Pillo was always travelling the better of the two.

New Definition was the one to throw down the last challenge but Callum Rodriguez did not have to get too serious to win by a length and a quarter as the 5-3 joint-favourite.

“I was really really happy with that, he’s taken a massive step forward,” said Rodriguez.

“He’s got so much speed this horse, and he’s done that easily. He was still a bit green in the last furlong as it’s a big crowd, but he’s won it in a half-speed in the end.

“We started him off over six but we weren’t concerned dropping down as he showed so much speed. We thought he’d improve for coming back in trip and he’s shown us exactly that today.”

Mike Prince, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing said: “He has the Listed Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy back at Ripon and the Harry Roseberry Stakes at Ayr at their Western meeting as his options. The former might come a touch too soon, but he’ll go to either. He has plenty of speed for both.”

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