Chad Yeomans of Betway takes a look through tomorrow's nine race card here at Wolverhampton, which features the Bombardier Lady Wulfruna Stakes (Listed Race) and the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Lincoln Trial Handicap (Class 2).
The opening contest on Saturday’s fantastic eight race card is a 7f handicap for horses rated 0-85.
With the flat turf season just around the corner, a name that plenty of punters will remember, is Kevin Philippart De Foy, who has burst on to the training scene with real purpose. It’s also very much worth noting, that when the money comes for his horses, they’re rarely far away.
Philippart De Foy has recent taken care of Street Kid who was purchased for 17,000 gns at the Tattersalls Autumn Sales having spent his two year old career the care of Jessica Harrington. Street Kid has some very impressive form as a two year old, including a second on his debut to a future Group 2 winner and on his latest start in September, he was only beaten 3 lengths in a sales race. He’s rated 87 for his first run for his new connections, and with his extremely talented rider’s 7lbs claim, he could be giving his Belgian trainer yet another winner on the all-weather this season.
Praise Of Shadows suffered a troubled passage on his first start this season and with a clearer run, he could go close under in-form rider Ben Curtis. Any market support for Invincibly, who is having his first run since being gelded would also be telling.
The Betway Claiming Stakes has attracted a field of just five runners, however, dig a little deeper and you’ll see that this race is a rather tricky puzzle to piece together. On ratings, Requinto Dawn should take all of the beating. However, he’s four pounds higher than his latest winning mark and that includes his rider’s 3lb claim. He has a tough contingency to face that includes last year’s winner Steelriver who is now an 11 year old and clearly not improving.
Slowmo for trainer Antony Brittain, is a very consistent type, but things need to fall right for him. He likes to lead and play “catch me if you catch”, however, he doesn’t often jump well enough from the stalls. He is however very well drawn in stall 1 which would help make the most of grabbing the rail and being difficult to catch.
Lorna Cole also often runs well at Wolverhampton and will appreciate coming back down to five furlongs. She’s nicely weighted and has the experienced Josephine Gordon on her back. She could be the fly in the ointment in this race.
The Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap is 0-80 over an extended 1m1f. While he has more bad days than good days these days, Poetic Force can still be dangerous as he showed over course and distance on his penultimate start, where he was a staying-on third behind a pair of mid 80-rated horses. He also has his riders 5lbs claim, which will be nothing but a help and granted he’s not too slow out from the stalls, can be expected to run a big race for trainer Tony Carroll.
Mabre has been progressive throughout the winter and although he’s been held off this mark on his latest two starts, they’ve been been good performances in defeat and he should be at the thick of it at the end of the race.
As with many of novice races, the market can be and often in, an informative guide. On all known form though, Fiordland the mount of Ryan Moore, looks the one to beat judged on his second a Kempton just over three weeks ago. He was well supported in the market that day and similar support would be telling.
John Gosden saddles the once raced King Leo who went off just 9/2 for a competitive novices’ race at Haydock last season. We haven’t seen him since, which suggests there may have been an issue and a reason for his rather tame debut effort, but he could be better than he showed that day.
Bellissime however, started her career in the Group Two Lowther Stakes and put up a very good performance, staying-on well to finish sixth. She was then turned over at odds-on on her next start but is clearly talented and has Jamie Spencer in the saddle this time.
The Lady Wulfruna Stakes is the feature race on the card. Highland Dress has been the ante post favourite since the market opened earlier in the week and he looks as though he’ll remain at the head of the market, too. Following a quiet spell earlier in the winter, Archie Watson’s horses have turned the tide and are in very good form. Highland Dress was a good winner at Lingfield on his penultimate start before finishing runner up to the very progressive Khuzaam at Chelmsford last time out.
Mums Tipple is interesting too. He ran well on his return this season in the Betway Kachy Stakes at Lingfield. He still needs to improve but this step up in trip to seven furlongs could help.
At a huge price, you can’t discount Belle Anglaise who was a very eye-catching sixth in the Betway Hever Sprint Stakes two weeks ago on her first run back this season. If she comes on from that, she should go very well under Sean Levey.
The Lincoln Trial looks a very competitive renewal, with Richard Hannon holding very strong claims. He saddles Man Of The Night who is yet to fulfil his early promise, but improved without winning last season and on what he has shown so far, there could be mileage in his mark of 97 yet. He’s the mount of the in-form Sean Levey. Hannon also saddles the top highest rated in the race Oh This Is Us who goes well fresh. The eight year old is a very consistent performer at this level and he has the services of Luke Catton who claims 7lb off his back. They could run in to the frame.
Another eight year old who could run well is Zwayyan who is trained by Betway Ambassador Andrew Balding. He’s slowly falling down the weights from the marks of yesteryear, but he’s a talented course and distance winner who should be discounted at your peril. The fantastic Callum Hutchinson, - son of former jump jockey Wayne – claims 7lb off his back, too.
The Betway Handicap is another intriguing puzzle for punters to solve as the six furlong sprint looks wide-open. Summerghand has improved in two starts this season and was only beaten a neck over course and distance last time out. He is the one to beat on recent form for David O’Meara and Adam Kirby.
Repartee could be the naturally most talented horse in the field; however, he’s very lightly raced and may not be the easiest to train. He has won first time out in both of his racing seasons to date and that may be the best time to catch him. Looking through his form, you’ll see he has been highly tried, giving the impression his yard think a lot of him. He was very disappointing and didn’t beat a rival home in his two starts, but if he could put that form behind him, he should go very well at this level.
Lord Rapscallion may also appreciate dropping back in trip on his third start for Stuart Williams.
Alvechurch-based trainer Ian Williams has his streak in glowing form at the moment; he’s currently operating at a 31% strike rate.
He saddles Kangaroo Point, who since being stepped up to two miles has improved hugely and won two races in easy fashion under Richard Kingscote. He’s been put up 6lbs for an easy success at Southwell last Saturday although that doesn’t look like it will stop him from scoring again to complete a hat-trick.
The Rutland Rebel is also seeking a hat-trick following two course wins this calendar and should also go close under Billy Garritty.
The final race on the card is a five furlong dash for horses rated 0-80. Papas Girl who has run well in two starts on the all-weather this season will appreciate the drop back down from six furlongs and any market support from her shrewd yard should be noted.
Four Adaay bolted up 10 days ago and will be very tough to beat if turning up in the same form.
Nelson Gay was highly thought of last season, but it took a while to get his head in front. Market support will be telling for this Richard Hugges trained gelding.