With the demise of the meeting at Sandown, the meeting at Wolverhampton takes centre stage today although the cameras have also trudged North to Ayr for three additional races.
Action at Dunstall Park kicks off with the Bombardier Golden Beer Lincoln Trial Handicapat 1.35, which has a field of 12 headed in the market by the Richard Hannon trained Fox Power.
There is little doubt that this 4-y-o possesses the best credentials in the race and looks the one to beat, so we begin by recommending a win bet at 13-8.
If there is a horse to bustle up the fav, it just might be Assimilation, last seen plying its trade in Meydan just 9 days ago. Already twice a course winner and with Luke ‘The Sniper’ Morris booked, a small each way punt is also suggested.
On to the Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Lady Wulfruna Stakes at 2.45, a Listed race with 10 runners.
Our preference for this is the David O’Meara trained Gulliver, which ran a tremendous race to be fourth in a Conditions race at somewhere called Doha two weeks ago, before which this consistent 6-y-o pouched a valuable handicap on the ploughed field aka Southwell off a mark of 104.
Already a previous course winner, this beastie looks a cracking each way bet at 7-1.
Up at Ayr, the Tennent’s Light Handicap Chase at 1.55 opens the proceedings and we think Drumconnor Lad will take this at 5-2.
Last seen winning a 16-runner handicap chase at Leopardstown on Boxing Day, this 10-y-o has every chance of following up under Adrian Heskin and give Adrian Keatley his first winner since moving across the Irish Sea to Yorkshire – assuming, off course, that his gallops are not under six feet of water.
At 2.30 the Heverlee Mares’ Handicap Hurdle takes place and it is high time that Off The Hook got her pretty head in front. Dropping in the ratings, down in class, stable in form and first time cheek-pieces – what’s not to like?
Have a decent each way bet at 4-1.
And finally the Tennent’s Lager Handicap Hurdle at 3.05, which features two ‘class droppers’ in The Con Man and Whoshotthesheriff at the head of the market.
Of the two, we favour The Con Man but take Better Getalong to beat them both. With a course record of 3 from 5 and never out of the first two when ridden by Ryan Day, this 9-y-o is now weighted to strike and is worth a bet at 3-1. We also recommend a RFC with The Con Man, just in case.
Back in three days time, for an in-depth analysis of the AW card at Southwell.
In the meantime, we are off to wash our hands and hum ‘Happy Birthday’.
Fox Power 1.35 Wolverhampton 4pts win @ 13-8
Assimilation 1.35 Wolverhampton 0.50pts e/w @ 12-1 (4 places)
Gulliver 2.45 Wolverhampton 1pt e/w @ 7-1
Drumconnor Lad 1.55 Ayr 2pts win @ 5-2
Off The Hook 2.30 Ayr 1.5pts e/w @ 4-1
Better Getalong 3.05 Ayr 2pts win @ 3-1
Better Getalong/The Con Man 3.05 Ayr 0.50pts RFC