Wigham hoping Heaven can pull off Ripon raid

BACCARAT - Ripon 17-8-13

Baccarat prevails from Spinatrix in a thrilling finish to last year’s race

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)  

NOT since 2009 has the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes been won by a trainer outside of Yorkshire, but Michael Wigham will bid to thwart the home team’s stranglehold over the sprint when dispatching Fairway To Heaven from his Newmarket base on Saturday afternoon.

The lightly raced five-year-old, who is 7lb higher for a one-length success at Windsor in June, will have to defy a mark of 96 if he is to land Ripon’s annual dash, but his trainer is confident of a bold showing with the ground unlikely to be a problem.

Wigham said: “You never think it’s fair when they go up [for winning at Windsor], but he still has room to progress off his mark.

“He goes through softer ground better than some of the others – it can just give you an edge on the fast-ground horses. We go there quite confident that we have our conditions and I think he’ll run a big race.”

David Nicholls is enjoying a resurgent summer in the sprint handicaps he has done so well in, and relies on Kimberella, partnered by son Adrian, in a bid to win the race for the third time.

The four-year-old has been heavily supported in the ante-post betting, but the trainer said: “He’s been part of a gamble in the build up to the race, but I’ve no idea what that’s about.

“He’s straightforward to ride, he’s got form on every ground and we think he’s got a chance.”

Having landed the spoils last summer, Richard Fahey is four-handed is his quest for a repeat success, with Tatlisu arguably the pick of his quartet, although Tony Hamilton has opted to ride Majestic Moon.

Richard Whitaker is another with experience of landing the £70,000 pot, and he will saddle course-and-distance winner Pipers Note in an attempt to replicate the 2010 success of Damika.

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