herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Trust Birdman to take flight at Ripon

BIRDMAN can continue his purple patch and bring up a four-timer in the Weatherbys Hamilton Handicap at Ripon.

Formerly trained by David Simcock, David O'Meara appears to have thoroughly rejuvenated the five-year-old this term and Birdman boasts a 100 per cent record for new connections.

Highly tried as a juvenile by Simcock, Birdman went off the boil last term, with an all-weather win in January the highlight of a lacklustre season. However, a switch to O'Meara's Nawton base seems to have worked the oracle for the Danehill Dancer gelding as, with his usual headgear removed, he struck gold off a mark of 70 at Thirsk in April.

Hiked 6lb for that victory, Birdman made short work of his increased burden when triumphing at Doncaster before defying a further 9lb rise to win again at Thirsk at the beginning of May.

The handicapper has taken a dim view of his winning spree, raising him another 6lb, but given Birdman was rated as high as 108 in his pomp, O'Meara could still have a little in the locker to work with.

SECRET LIGHTNING makes swift reappearance in the Follow At RiponRaces On Twitter Handicap and the hint should be taken.

Michael Appleby's charge was beaten just a neck at Hamilton last week but given the third was six lengths adrift, Secret Lightning will surely be due another rise in the near future.

A winner at Thirsk on her penulatimate start, Secret Lightning is clearly no world-beater but should be up to the task here.

PERFECT BOUNTY is the pick in the first division of the Cobb Digital Handicap at Brighton.

She was found thoroughly wanting in maiden company last term but a switch to handicap level seemed to be more up her street and she duly won at the second time of asking in that sphere.

Having started life on a lowly mark of 49, she won off a perch of 50 that day and only just lost out under a 2lb heavier burden next time.

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