Anthem National poised to debut for Kirby at Ripon

Phil Kirby’s Anthem National is an intriguing name amongst the 28 entries for the William Hill Great St Wilfrid at Ripon on Saturday.

The four-year-old is a new recruit to Kirby’s North Yorkshire base having joined for 210,000 guineas from Joseph O’Brien earlier this summer and although he failed to find the scoresheet in his five starts in Ireland, the form reads extremely well.

He was last seen finishing a length-and-a-quarter second to Commanche Falls in the Listed Dash Stakes at the Curragh in July and with Michael Dods’ consistent performer going on to give the form a very solid look, there is plenty for Anthem National’s new connections to look forward to.

Kirby said: “I’m looking forward to running him and he will go to either Ripon on Saturday or York the following week, depending on the ground being decent, or maybe both.”

Other sprinters of note in Ripon’s showpiece event include Charlie Hills’ stalwart Equilateral, who has continued to ply his trade at a high level this term, and David O’Meara’s Summerghand, who could make his 82nd career start.

At the other end of the scale, there are 17 two-year-olds entered for the William Hill Ripon Hornblower EBF Novice Stakes over six furlongs.

Molecomb Stakes fourth Baheer could have his sights lowered for the six-furlong contest and is one of three possible runners for Richard Hannon, while Andrew Balding’s Array has bumped into classy operators in his two starts so far and could to make it third time lucky for owners Juddmonte.

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