REPUTATION (3.15, Ripon)
Reputation won in commanding fashion over course and distance (Ripon, 6f) on his first start for Ruth Carr, who again worked her magic and improved a seemingly exposed horse. The 6yo gelding recorded an RPR of 103 there, with a very tidy Topspeed rating of 93 in a quality handicap performance.
He failed to win in five starts after Ripon, but was pitched in the deep end and didn’t run too badly in defeat. His penultimate and third-last outings, when second behind Land of Legends at Newmarket and fourth at Haydock over a mile, produced Racing Post Ratings of 103 and 100 respectively, confirming that Reputation is an improved performer this season.
Last time in the International Stakes at Ascot, he reared badly as the stalls opened and never recovered. His track position was all wrong and, although his light did go out rather tamely, on balance it is a run best ignored. The Great St Wilfrid, back at the scene of his early-season win and back over six furlongs, is an ideal platform for him to bounce back to form. His mark has slipped down to a workable 96 and in the 25/1 - 33/1 range, he is my pick in a typically open heat.
Other Value Prices for Saturday…
JUAN ELCANO (1.50 Newbury)
Winner Mystery Power failed to give a boost to the Superlative Stakes form in the Champagne Stakes won by Pinatubo, but Kevin Ryan’s Juan Elcano can show that Newmarket Group 2 was a quality juvenile contest, as the clock suggests. Juan Elcano - a handsome Frankel chestnut - travelled sweetly and stayed on strongly to the line, with the front pair pulling well clear in a good time.
Juan Elcano has one or two conceivable dangers, but he should win and could go off at odds-on come Saturday. Current odds of 6/4 represent fair value.
SIR RON PRIESTLEY (2.25 Newbury)
Salouen is the quality act here and a worthy favourite, but there is no guarantee he will see out this longer trip. Morando is inconsistent and difficult to rely upon, while Twilight Payment may or may not take the trip over.
You’d imagine Mark Johnston will run this 3yo and, if he does, odds of 4/1 to 5/1 at the time of writing would look generous as Sir Ron Priestley is in the form of his life, clearly progressive and receives lumps of weight from his older rivals.
This horse is all about stamina and a win here would take him one step closer toward a serious crack at the St Leger.
Best Bets on Saturday
REPUTATION (3.15 Ripon) 33/1 Ladbrokes
JUAN ELCANO (1.50 Newbury) 6/4 William Hill
SIR RON PRIESTLEY (2.25 Newbury) 5/1 bet365
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