Tip of the day: High Hopes
Ben Linfoot hopes today's conditions can bring the best out of a Kevin Ryan-trained mare down at Epsom.
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Plenty of horse racing folk are creatures of habit and Kevin Ryan certainly strikes me as one such trainer.
He excels with his runners at Hamilton and at York's Ebor Festival - further evidence of the latter came last week when he won the first and last race of the meeting with plenty of good runs in between.
Today he runs grand mare Hopes N Dreams at Epsom in a race she won last year and it's reasonable to expect an improved performance on her last couple of runs based on some vital factors.
Firstly she excels in small fields. On her last six runs in single-figure fields she has won, making all on every single occasion including in this race a year ago.
Secondly her below-par runs in big fields have seen her drop to an attractive handicap mark. She rose to a rating of 99 last October, but is now 10lb below that mark and just 2lb higher than when winning last year's race.
Thirdly she has run well in heavy ground and won on soft ground at Nottingham and fourthly she is a decent price. With five non-runners at the time of writing (0945BST) she is a 6/1 chance and that is more than fair.
A first-time tongue-tie is also applied and she has reacted well to headgear in the past when winning twice at Hamilton in a hood last summer.
On a trappy day's racing with the weather causing plenty of trainers to withdraw their runners, she looks the best bet. To have a bet on the John Akehurst Handicap click on the link.