Molecomb Stakes runner-up Life Of Riley steps up to six furlongs for the first time in the British Stallion Studs EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy, 2018 Stakes on Monday.
Trained by Karl Burke for the Ontoawinner syndicate, the son of Showcasing already has a crucial course win to his name given Ripon’s idiosyncrasies.
Second at Listed level at Sandown on his penultimate start, he came home with a rare rattle at Goodwood in the Group Three and drops down to Listed class while stepping up in trip in North Yorkshire.
Simon Bridge of Ontoawinner said: “We’d been thinking of stepping him up in trip for a while but when the Molecomb came along it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
“We’re not concerned by a bit of rain, but he wouldn’t want too much, and he looks to be taking the best form into the race.
“He doesn’t have a great draw (stall three), though, and you’d have to be a little bit worried that Mr (John) Gosden is sending one (Kessaar) as he doesn’t send many to Ripon.
“I was up at Karl’s when he did a pleasing bit of work on Friday, he’s bounced out of that and we’d have to be very hopeful.
“Ripon is a very undulating track and having already won there it has to be a big plus.
“He’s got entries in the Middle Park and the Mill Reef and that gives you an indication of what Karl thinks of him.”
Neverland Rock and Barbill bring the highest official ratings into the race, while Sunsprite arrives on a four-timer but steps up markedly in class.
Kessaar, a 10-length winner at Windsor last time out, and Sporting Chance add further strength in depth.