2:45 – Ripon – SIS LIVE CLAIMING STAKES (CLASS 5) (3yo+) Good 6f
Five of the seven runners in this year’s renewal of this race have been running in Class 2 and Class 3 Handicaps recently which makes it quite unusual for a claiming race when in most cases horses are dropping down from Class 5 or Class 6. The horses with the higher Official Rating are dropping into a Claimer for a good reason of course as they find it difficult to win off their current marks.
Tajneed is a good case in point. The 9 year old bay gelding has not won a race since August 2010 when he won a Class 2 Handicap off a mark of 97. Until this season his mark has been over 100. He has now been given some respite by the handicapper and his last run was off a rating of 89 with he finished fourth, only 3 ¾ lengths behind the winner in a Class 3 handicap.
His yard have been in dreadful form all season with only 15 winners from 188 runners. However, a chance is taken with Tajneed for a number of reasons. He has some very good course form at Ripon. He has run at the track 8 times and he has won 4 times and finished 2nd once. Three of his course wins have come in Class 2 and Class 3 Handicaps including a win in the Great St Winifred. All four of his course wins have also come over today’s trip of 6 furlongs.
Tajneed also loves some cut in the ground. The official going is Good and he has won three times in Good ground. However, rain is forecast again today and if the rain gets into the ground Tajneed will not be inconvenienced as he has also won in Good to Soft and Heavy ground. He is ridden by Adrian Nicholls and ‘Trotter’ has ridden him 16 times including two wins and three placed efforts.
At nine years old Tajneed is not the force he once was. However, his last run when he finished 4th at Ripon shows that there is still life left in the old boy. If he were running in a handicap today he would be running off second top weight. Instead of his two closest rivals he receives 5lbs off Arganil, when he would only be getting 3lbs and he gets 8lbs off Fathsta when he should be giving him 2lbs. As a confirmed course and distance winner on a very specialist track due to its camber and undulations, Tajneed must have every chance in the terms of this Claimer to win his first race for almost two years.