Connor Beasley is searching for a fourth win since 2016 when he takes the ride on Richard Fahey’s Monsieur Kodi in Ripon’s £100,000 William Hill Great St Wilfrid on Saturday
As well as his three victories, on Nameitwhatyoulike (2016), Dakota Gold (2019) and Intrinsic Bond last year, Beasley has also finished second and fourth in the intervening period so it is no surprise he has ended up on one of the favourites this time around.
Adding to his quirky record in what is one of the most competitive sprint handicaps of the season is that all his victories have been for different trainers in Bryan Smart, Michael Dods and Tracy Waggott respectively so the fact this year he rides for Fahey bodes well for those who like coincidences.
Monsieur Kodi arrives in great form having won the Stewards’ Cup consolation race at Goodwood and with rain forecast overnight his draw in stall two might not be the worst place to be.
“I’ve won it a few times and been placed a couple of times so it’s been a good race to me,” said Beasley.
“Obviously I’ve been fortunate to be on the right horse but I’m looking forward to it again.
“I don’t ride that often for Richard Fahey but I have had a few winners for him and the horse is obviously in good form having won the Stewards’ Cup consolation at Goodwood.
“When I got the phone call to ask if I was available to ride him I was very pleased.
“We’re drawn low and that can sometimes help on soft ground. Obviously it was heavy at Goodwood when he won last time so the more rain the better for him.
“While it might not be ideal being drawn across there, there’s no sort of bias as such. It’s a fairytale if you get drawn on the stands rail but he’s got plenty of pace and if a few come my way hopefully he runs a good race.”
David O’Meara is the most successful trainer in the race in modern times with three victories to his name courtesy of dual winner Pepper Lane (2011 and 2012) and Out Do (2014) and this year he relies on Summerghand.
The veteran nine-year-old was second to Dakota Gold in 2019 and finished fourth last season off a mark of 98 before going on to win at York’s Ebor meeting and the Ayr Gold Cup. He is rated 1lb lower this year.
He was due to run in the Stewards’ Cup, which took place in a deluge, but was withdrawn at the start.
“He obviously played up in the stalls at Goodwood and he’s had a stalls test since. He’s in good form and we’re looking forward to running him. He’s been a brilliant horse,” said O’Meara.
Live In The Moment sports a visor for the first time and has the assistance of promising apprentice Mia Nicholls for Alice Haynes.
“There’s a big one in him one day and he’s in great order,” said Haynes.
“Confidence-wise, the apprentice (Shariq Mohd) did exactly what I asked him to do at Goodwood (behind Monsieur Kodi, fourth) and went up that left-hand side, and maybe in the horse’s head he might think he has won, if that makes sense.
“He’s relatively well drawn (13) and we’re claiming off him again. I think he runs well for apprentices as he can half ride a race himself without a jockey interfering.
“He’s in good order and I look forward to going there on Saturday.”
Lakota Blue is drawn next to Monsieur Kodi in stall one but his trainer Nigel Tinkler explained the famous Ripon ridges are not as severe on that side of the track.
“Ripon has undulations but he’s drawn on the far side in one and the undulations aren’t actually quite as bad over there as they are on the stands side,” he told Sky Sports Racing.
“He got a bit checked in running at Goodwood otherwise he might nearly have won. He must have a good chance, he’s got the three-year-old allowance so we’re hoping for a good run.”