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Today on Sky Sports Racing: Tim Easterby sends Ripon winner Gibside back to Yorkshire track for Directors Cup

Gibside and King Eagle among main contenders for Directors Cup at Ripon on Monday; Charlie Hills' exciting two-year-old Mutaany hoping to get off the mark at Wolverhampton; watch Windsor, Ripon and Wolverhampton live on Sky Sports Racing

Tim Easterby
Image: Tim Easterby sends Gibside back to Ripon on Monday

The new week kicks off in style on Sky Sports Racing with three big meetings from Wolverhampton, Windsor and Ripon.

Ripon 7.45 - Handicap debutant King Eagle takes on Gibside

Course and distance winner Gibside could well be the one the beat of the five going to post for the Ripon Races Directors Cup Handicap (7.45pm) at Ripon on Monday.

Tim Easterby's gelding has taken advantage of some lenient handicap marks to put in some good performances for connections including victory here on his penultimate start.

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The three-year-old son of Time Test tried his hand at class four level at York next, doing well to finish fourth.

His main rival on paper looks to be Michael Bell's King Eagle, a half-brother to useful handicapper Magical Morning.

He had shown very little in his first two starts but a wind operation seemed to make all the difference when running well on his most recent start at Chelmsford, finishing fifth.

His dam is an Oaks winner so this step up in trip to a mile-and-a-half on handicap debut should help.

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The Keith Dalgleish-trained Belle Of Annandale is winless in 10 starts but has showed plenty of promise over the mile-and-a-half trip, twice finding just one too good at Thirsk.

Ripon
Image: Ripon hosts a six-race card on Monday, all live on Sky Sports Racing

Windsor 7.05 - Gaius looks to end frustrating run

Gaius has frustrated connections in nine career starts and the Havana Gold three-year-old remains a maiden despite running with credit and finishing inside the first three in his last six starts.

Richard Hannon's colt was touched off by a nose last time and will be hoping to break his duck in the Racing League On Sky Sports Racing Handicap (7.05).

Hoping to extend Gaius' winless run will be Tartan Chief. Paul & Oliver Cole's colt is already a two-time winner including a win at Windsor last season.

He has been pitched into two decent handicaps so far this season and has not been able to land a blow but now drops into calmer water, which could make all the difference.

Wolverhampton 2.45 - Hills saddles exciting Mutaany

Marbaan and Jamie Spencer pounce late to win the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood
Image: Mutaany finished behind subsequent Vintage Stakes winner Marbaan (pictured, yellow) on his last start

Trainer Charlie Hills will hope exciting two-year-old Mutaany can record his first victory in the Follow AtTheRaces On Twitter EBF Novice Stakes at Wolverhampton.

The son of Invincible Spirit, the mount of Jim Crowley for owners Shadwell, has been off the track for two months after finding just Marbaan too good on his most recent start at Nottingham.

The winner that day has gone on to establish himself as a potential star, winning twice more at Salisbury and in the Group Two Vintage Stakes at the Goodwood Festival.

On a simple line through that form, Mutaany should be hard to beat, but faces a number of promising juveniles from top yards.

Those include George Boughey's Forceful Speed, who makes his debut for the new yard having run twice at the Curragh when in the care of Adrian Murray.

Richard Hannon two-year-olds are always worth a second look and Starnberg brings a solid level of form after finishing third and second in his first two starts.

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