Asadna back on familiar ground in search of big Ripon prize

Asadna returns to the scene of his finest hour searching a first success in Pattern company in the British Stallion Studs EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy Stakes.

The son of Mehmas made a blistering start at the Yorkshire track back in May, romping to a 12-length success that saw him installed as one of the favourites for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Unable to land a telling blow behind River Tiber at the Royal meeting, the youngster was switched from George Boughey to Alice Haynes and following a pleasing first outing for the Cadland Cottage handler when third in Newbury’s Rose Bowl Stakes, Asadna will head up the A1 from Haynes’ Newmarket base to a track and trip he is proven over.

“We’re going back to a track we know he loves and has course form on,” said Haynes.

“It will be good ground, he has a good draw and he’s definitely come on from Newbury and goes there in really good order.

“We have been unfortunate that August has been pretty much a washout in terms of the ground, so hopefully we can plan his campaign after this.”

Ralph Beckett’s regally-bred Frankel colt Task Force created a deep impression at Salisbury on debut and is sure to be of warm order as he is immediately upped in grade, while Matters Most possesses more experience than his stablemate and has won two of his four career starts.

Also taking a step up in class is George Scott’s Seven Questions, who arrives at Ripon in peak condition and attempting to extend a three-race winning run.

He counts a course-and-distance victory as the middle leg of that impressive three-timer and Scott sees this as the perfect spot to test his thriving son of Kodiac at this level.

He said: “It seemed the obvious next step for him having won nicely there over course and distance.

“He’s not a horse who shows a huge amount at home, he seems to save it all for the track. He appears in very good form, he’s well drawn and his jockey Darragh Keenan knows him particularly well.

“It’s a step up in grade for him, but we’re looking forward to seeing how he gets on. He’s a tough tough horse and takes his racing well. He’s also really versatile ground wise and it seems the obvious spot for him. It will be interesting to see if he is capable of taking it in his stride or not.

“The Juddmonte horse (Task Force) has a wonderful pedigree and was very impressive first time out and is probably going to be the one to beat.”

Clive Cox’s Shagraan was a place ahead of Asadna when second in the Rose Bowl Stakes, but finished down the field most recently when dropping back to five furlongs for the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.

He returns to further here, with the field of six rounded off by Richard Fahey’s two-time winner Bombay Bazaar.

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