Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy: Shouldvebeenaring delivers for couple who chose horse over engagement ring

Shouldvebeenaring made it three wins on the bounce as he graduated to Listed level in the British Stallion Studs EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy Stakes.

A winner at the Yorkshire track on his penultimate start, the Havana Grey colt landed a big sales prize at York on his latest start, prompting trainer Richard Hannon and owners Middleham Park Racing to raise his sights in this six-furlong contest.

Partnered by Sean Levey, Shouldvebeenaring loomed upsides Bolt Action with a couple of furlongs to run and while the second rallied gamely in the shadow of the post, the 3/1 winner was just too good, triumphing by a neck.

Al Karrar, runner-up in the Richmond Stakes, was the 11/8 favourite but lost all chance at the start, breaking slowly before taking a keen a hold down the middle of the track and dropping away at the finish as his early exertions told.

Hannon is now eyeing a step up in class and trip for the winner’s next outing.

Shouldvebeenaring and Washington Heights cross the winning line together at York

He said: “I’m delighted with that. He could be a very good horse and he has just got better and better.

“It was quite a quick turnaround from the York race, but he handled it well. He was a little bit inconvenienced early on in the race and I think he will improve for going seven furlongs as well.

Sean Levey rode the Middleham Park colours to victory on Shouldvebeenaring at Ripon
Sean Levey rode the Middleham Park colours to victory on Shouldvebeenaring at Ripon

“I nearly put him in a couple of races this morning, but we’ll be very happy to sit on him and take our time.

“He has been a pleasure – and I have got a little piece of him myself, which makes a difference!”

He added: “I think we might well go seven furlongs with him next time. He has won that quite well and that was quite a competitive race.

“He is a very nice horse going forward, so he we’ll see him up in class and probably over seven next time.”

‘We’ve got the ring, marriage could be next!’

The talented two-year-old owes his name to co-owners Chris Thomson and Liz Watson, who opted to buy their shares in the horse rather than buy an engagement ring.

Thankfully, the couple’s decision paid off and they spent their winnings from the York success on the missing jewellery.

Thomson told Sky Sports Racing: “If it had turned out to be a bit of a rubbish horse then that would have been on me! Fortunately, he’s absolutely amazing.”

Watson added: “If Shouldvebeenaring keeps winning then, you never know, we might actually be able to get married!”

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