Free horse racing tips for Ayr and Ripon on Monday

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Sun 3 Jul 2022

It is a low-key Monday after a frenetic weekend but that’s not to say we won’t see a potentially smart horse in action with Dornoch Castle running in the opening novice contest at Ayr.

The Mark and Charlie Johnston-trained two-year-old looked an exciting prospect when making all on his debut at Haydock last month and the runner-up, himself a previous winner who finished eight lengths clear of the rest, quickly resumed winning ways at Beverley on Saturday.

Dornoch Castle holds an entry in the Group One National Stakes, a race his that his sire, Gleneagles, won in 2014. He’s clearly got a long way to go before taking on the best but there was plenty to like about his initial effort.

The Johnstons are having a fruitful time with their juveniles since being able to unleash them over 7f (seven winners over the trip since June 17) and it will be disappointing if the chestnut does not follow up, although that is likely to be reflected by the betting.

I’ve got three small-stakes selections and the last of them is a half-brother to the very same Dornoch Castle. There won’t be any time for a family catch-up as they are running six hours and 200 miles apart.

3.35 Ayr: Throne Hall at 11-4 with bet365

It is surely significant that Hollie Doyle journeys to Ayr for the first time this year for this solitary ride.

The combination have admittedly had little cheer in two previous spins together but Throne Hall was back in the groove, from a sliding mark, when runner-up in the Queen Mother’s Cup at York last time. He repelled all bar Zealandia after being given an attacking ride from the front in that longstanding race for amateurs.

I’m always cautious when it comes to trusting the form of such contests but the time was solid and Throne Hall pulled four lengths clear of the bang-in-form third, Topanticipation, while the fourth, Arctic Fox, has since gone in at fancy odds.

Throne Hall has been nudged up 3lb but the Kingman gelding is still 5lb lower than this time last year. There are others in this line-up who like to bowl along at the head of affairs, notably Golden Flame, so don’t panic if Doyle is content to stalk on this occasion.

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4.10 Ayr: Music Society at 6-1 with bet365

Tim Easterby has already chalked up seven winners this month and Music Society is fancied to go one better than he did in this race last year.

He might well have won 12 months ago but for Black Friday, who he meets again, getting first run. He meets that rival, struggling for form at present, on 4lb better terms with with Sean Kirrane also easing his burden by another 3lb.

Music Society runs off the same mark as when landing the Bronze Cup here in 2019 and confirmed himself in good heart when winning at Catterick on his penultimate start, having previously run well in defeat at Haydock.

You can put a line through the grey’s latest run at Pontefract last time as he had little chance the way the race unfolded after he was held up from an unfavourable draw.

7.45 Ripon: Claim The Crown at 13-2 with bet365 and William Hill

Myristica is predictably a short-priced favourite as she seems to have a soft spot for this track – 1231 on past four visits - and arrives on a roll. However, she has gone up 10lb for her recent wins and it remains to be seen whether the headgear continues to have the desired effect.

At the prices, I’d rather take a punt on the Roger Varian-trained three-year-old Claim The Crown, who drops in class and is upped in trip, plus takes on older, more exposed rivals for the first time.

The pick of his four runs as a two-year-old was when finishing two lengths third to Ancient Rome in Group Three company in France. It didn’t look a deep race at the time but the winner did his but for the form by finishing fourth to Modern Games in this year’s French 2000 Guineas.

Claim The Crown didn’t offer much on his return but ran much better when finishing in mid-division in a hotly contested Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, when travelling well most of the way only to be a bit one-paced at the business end. He’s been dropped 3lb and moving up in trip may well help him, with his breeding pointing to this extra quarter of a mile being no problem.

Varian won with four of his seven runners at Ripon last year (profit of £7.72 to a £1 stake and Claim The Crown is his first runner at the track this campaign.

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