Race of The Day Monday August 06
15:306 furlongs (1200m)

Armstrong Memorial Handicap


  • Current Favourite  Pipers Note
  • Current Odds 5/2
Race Analysis Runners 7 Going Good (Good to Soft in places) Distance 6 furlongs (1200m)

Race Overview

A Class 3 six furlong handicap worth £18,000 in total prize money and open to three year olds and upwards rated between 76-95, this contest on the undulating straight course and this fine North Yorkshire venue has attracted some interesting contenders, a number of whom are likely to return to the same course and distance for the valuable Great St Wilfrid Handicap scheduled in just a couple of weeks’ time.

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Jockey James Sullivan returns to winners enclosure

Favourite Pipers Note

Ruth Carr’s admirable eight-year-old, ridden by James Sullivan (pictured), bids for an eighth course victory and will be a very popular choice with punters following his emotional success over course and distance last time out in the race named in memory of the trainer’s grandfather, David Chapman.

Champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa

Other Contenders

Sheepscar Lad, the mount of Silvestre de Sousa (pictured) went very close at Pontefract last time and has the champion jockey on board now, Nameitwhatyoulike and Bossipop are both previous course and distance winners, while Big Les and Rosina both shaped well when placed last time out.

Race Analysis

This is a good race for Monday afternoon and there is little doubt that Ruth Carr’s Pipers Note will be at the forefront of most calculations given his well documented love affair for ‘The Garden Racecourse’. He goes for his eighth course win having bounced back to form in taking advantage of a handicap mark that had dropped 8lb since the start of the campaign, winning last time out in similar grade by three-quarters-of-a-length from Reputation. He’s back up 5lb now but still remains competitively weighted and looks sure to go very close again under James Sullivan.

Very narrow preference however is for SHEEPSCAR LAD who hails from the bang in-form yard of Nigel Tinkler, who sent out a double at Newmarket on Saturday. Although all his five career successes have come over five furlongs, this four-year-old Arcano gelding has twice been beaten on the nod at Pontefract (including last time out), over the very stiff six furlongs so there really isn’t much doubt that he stays this trip. He runs off the same mark at at Pontefract last week and the booking of champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa in place of his usual apprentice rider, suggests that connections of Sheepscar Lad really mean business.

Bryan Smart’s Nameitwhatyoulike has been a fine handicapper in his day and won the Great St Wilfrid Stakes over course and distance back in August 2016 (see below).

That’s not his only won here and his course record reads two wins and six places from 11 starts. The nine-year-old has been lightly raced this season as he doesn’t handle fast ground and this will be just his third outing of the year. He failed to stay the seven furlongs when given a spin at Haydock recently but should be sharper now and could go well.

Bossipop is another who needs give underfoot and he is an infrequent winner, although he did score over course and distance in heavy ground a few seasons ago. He has fallen to an attractive handicap mark if recovering his old form, but it may be later in the campaign on soft ground that he takes advantage of his current rating.

Big Les has had just two runs this year, winning at Hamilton first time out over this trip then finishing a creditable third at Ayr in June on fastish ground. It looks like Karen McLintock has been patient and waited for a sounder surface and this progressive three-year-old is not without a chance, while Ann Duffield’s mare Rosina is running herself into form but all her wins have come at five furlongs and she may well run out of puff here at the business end of the contest.

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Betting.net Selection

Sheepscar Lad
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Betting.net Danger

Pipers Note

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.