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    Another Eureka slot filled Another Eureka slot filled

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    TAKING on the best young pacers in the land won’t be the biggest challenge Australian Pacing Gold purchase Ripp has faced through his short... Another Eureka slot filled

    TAKING on the best young pacers in the land won’t be the biggest challenge Australian Pacing Gold purchase Ripp has faced through his short career.

    Leviathan owner Wayne Loader confirmed the four-year-old, which he owns, will fill his slot in the $2.1m TAB Eureka where he will compete against the likes of Leap To Fame and Catch A Wave at Club Menangle on September 2.

    Ripp will be an outsider in such elite company, but the powerful gelding is getting used to adversity.

    As a two-year-old Ripp badly damaged a tendon which sidelined him for almost a year.

    Then just as he was his got his mojo and feature race-winning form back, Ripp broke the split bone in a hind leg in a paddock mishap last April.

    “For a young horse, he’s had his challenges,” Loader said. “But through it all, he’s been a great patient and hopefully he gets the chance to build on the success he’s already had from here.”

    It’s no surprise Loader has locked-in Ripp for his “Western Jewel” slot in the TAB Eureka, but the son of Somebeachsomewhere had to “tick some boxes” first.

    “He needed surgery to tidy up the split bone and we need to make sure he got through it without infection and would be ready in time,” Loader said.

    “We got two trials into him and that first-up run at Menangle the other night, so he’s done enough to lock it away now.”

    Ripp resumed in the Alf Phillis Free-For-All at Menangle last Saturday where he worked home solidly for fifth, beaten six metres behind Stingray Tara in a 1:51.4 over a mile.

    “We’d much rather have gone to a lower key race at Bathurst, but the race didn’t stand-up. When we had to go to Menangle, the free-for-all was the only race he could run in,” Loader explained.

    “We thought he ran well. He probably got tired a bit, but only in the last 40 or 50m which was pretty good after what he’s been through.

    “We’ll run him again over the longer trip at Menangle this week and get one more run into him, either next week or the one after, before the Eureka.”

    Ripp is already a dual Group One winner, but it was his effort to run second in last season’s Victoria Derby which turned most heads.

    That’s the night Ripp came from a long way back in the filed to ne seven metres away from Leap To Fame.

    “That’s the run we all look back on for inspiration,” Loader said. “It showed what he’s capable of at his best.

    “And it was a relief that night because he’s a big horse and he’d had a bad experience a few months earlier around the small track at Redcliffe in the Derby. It set him off a bit and he was getting too keen in his races after it.”

    Ripp, trained by Bernie Hewitt, has raced 24 times for eight wins, five placings and banked $211,856.

    He gives New South Wales its second “home town” confirmed starter in the TAB Eureka. The other is Jarrod Alchin’s My Ultimate Ronnie, which will run in the Soho Standardbreds slot for Robert Watson.

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