NORTH Yorkshire trainer James Bethell, aiming to strike while the iron is hot, is on the trail of the feature race at Ripon this afternoon with Penhill, who won as recently as Thirsk on Tuesday night.

The well-grown gelding did not need to exert himself to win that three-runner contest in clear-cut style and Bethell has been tempted to saddle him again in today's £25,000 Ripon Bell-Ringer Handicap, which highlights the opening day of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival.

Bethell believes that Penhill is a progressive performer. He has won two of his five starts this season and has finished in the frame on two other occasions in hot handicaps at York.

There is every chance that we have yet to see the best of the three-year-old, who is napped to oblige again under PJ McDonald in today's valuable showpiece.

Micky Hammond, Bethell's Middleham neighbour, also has good prospects of getting on the Ripon score-sheet with Only Orsenfoolsies - another McDonald mount - in the Yorkshire Racing Summer Festival Handicap.

Narrowly beaten at York on his penultimate outing, Only Orsenfoolsies made no mistake at Pontefract last time. He has been raised only 4lb for that success and looks sure to be competitive again this afternoon.

Space War may prove the answer to the VW Van Centre (West Yorkshire) Handicap.

The Mick Easterby-trained gelding won at Thirsk two outings ago and was far from disgraced on his latest outing at Beverley, where he finished a close-up sixth to Jacbequick from an unfavourable outside draw. Space War can bounce back here in the hands of Graham Gibbons.

Also worth noting are David Barron's speedily-bred newcomer Handsome Dude (2.35) and the useful Calm Attitude (4.20), who should appreciate the return to a mile and a quarter.

A first prize of £125,000 in up for grabs at Newbury in the Weatherbys Super Sprint and Richard Fahey, who won last year's race with Penaphobia, is heading south with all guns blazing as he attempts an encore.

The Malton trainer, pictured, runs five juveniles in this five-furlong dash and the lightly-weighted Realtra is fancied to be the pick.

A Newmarket winner in May before finishing a close-up second in a Listed race at Naas, Realtra has leading prospects in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.

John Quinn is another North Yorkshire trainer well represented in this richly-endowed race, in which prize money goes to the first six home. Quinn saddles Harry's Dancer, a runaway winner at Thirsk on her debut and a respectable eighth in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

David O'Meara switches That Is The Spirit to sprinting in the Al Basti Equiworld Hackwood Stakes.

Beaten only once in four starts this season - in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last month - That Is The Spirit deserves a crack at this furlong shorter trip and and is a fascinating runner in this Group 3 contest. Danny Tudhope rides.

Al Kazeem returns to action in the Doom Bar Stakes, which should be comfortably within his compass if he is anything like the horse he was in the first half of last season.

He went to stud afterwards, but complications saw him returned to training earlier this year. A proven Group One winner, he is the class horse in this Listed event.


Ripon today

2.00 Wink Oliver, 2.35 Handsome Dude, 3.10 Space War, 3.45 Penhill (NAP), 4.20 Calm Attitude, 4.55 Only Orsenfoolsies, 5.25 Traditionelle.

Newbury today

1.35 Saab Almanal, 2.05 Enraptured, 2.40 Al Kazeem, 3.15 That Is The Spirit, 3.50 Realtra, 4.25 Time Test, 5.00 Number One London.

Today's other meetings

Cartmel, Haydock, Lingfield, Market Rasen and Newmarket.

Tomorrow's meetings

Newton Abbott, Redcar and Stratford.