Berlusca backed at Wolverhampton

  • By: Anita Chambers
  • Last Updated: February 22 2013, 15:40 GMT

Anita Chambers previews all of today's action and fancies Berlusca to win the feature race at Wolverhampton.

David O'Meara: Saddles Berlusca
David O'Meara: Saddles Berlusca

DUNDALK: 6.20 Cookie Crumbles, 6.50 Cash Or Casualty, 7.20 Papaya, 7.50 To Choose, 8.20 Toberton, 8.50 Massabini, 9.20 El Salvador.

LINGFIELD: 1.30 Yourinthewill, 2.00 King Bertie, 2.30 Spin Again, 3.05 Johnny Splash, 3.40 DUBAWI ISLAND (NAP), 4.10 Full Swing, 4.40 Sail Home.

SANDOWN: 1.45 Barenger, 2.20 Keki Buku, 2.55 Shotavodka, 3.25 Fago, 4.00 Leader Of The Gang, 4.30 Minella Theatre, 5.05 Doctor Harper.

WARWICK: 2.10 Broadway Buffalo, 2.40 Crazy Bold, 3.15 Gorgehous Lliege, 3.50 Frisco Depot, 4.20 Cash Injection, 4.50 Flying Award, 5.20 Taradrewe.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.30 Very First Blade, 6.00 Party Palace, 6.30 Deveze, 7.00 Yellow Mountain, 7.30 Hail Promenader, 8.00 Berlusca, 8.30 George Fenton.

DOUBLE: Dubawi Island and Berlusca.

Jumping errors cost Fago dearly at Warwick but there will be long faces in the Ditcheat powerbase of Paul Nicholls if he does not get back on track in the Kilbrittain Castle Novices' Chase at Sandown on Friday.

He looked the likely winner of the Kingmaker Chase on his latest outing but brushed through the second-last and stumbled on landing, leaving Majala to take the Grade Two spoils.

Fago had previously been an impressive winner at Newbury and a slight drop in class here should give his confidence the requisite boost ahead of the Festival.

He faces just two rivals but both were winners last time out and could keep his price relatively reasonable for those that are happy to take short odds.

Tony McCoy's presence on the David Pipe-trained Shotavodka in the Chris Baker's 40th Birthday "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle is highly likely to be significant.

McCoy will forever be remembered for his association with Pipe's father, Martin, and does not get the call from Pond House just for old time's sake.

Useful in bumpers, this seven-year-old made his first start for over a year to run a promising race in a warm heat at Wetherby last month and progressed from that to win well at Taunton.

It will be interesting to see what Frisco Depot can produce in the Budbrooke Chase Handicap at Warwick.

The ex-Irish gelding, now with Charlie Longsdon, was something of a buzz horse before the Hennessy at Newbury but was pulled up and has not run since.

A talented novice in Ireland with Grade Two honours on his CV, Longsdon will be hoping to find out just what he has as he fell on his other start for him at Ascot.

He has a Grand National entry and with just 10st 2lb at Aintree would be no forlorn hope on his best form.

Dubawi Island can make the most of a drop in trip in the Handicap at the Surrey venue.

The four-year-old is related to a couple of decent types in Bushman and Grand Vent but he has failed to emulate those kind of Group-winning heights with just one win in 11 starts to date.

However, James Tate's charge is not without ability and has been largely consistent, placing on many occasions, including two outings already this term.

Third over nine furlongs at Wolverhampton in January was supplemented by a narrow second over a mile at Southwell last week.

He looked a likely winner that day before being caught in the dying strides and that effort seemed to suggest a drop back in trip would be in his favour.

The handicapper has not given him much help in putting him up to a career-high mark of 87, but Dubawi Island would not be winning out of turn here.

Johnny Splash has been holding his own on the winter circuit and can score just his second career win in the Blue Square Bet Handicap.

He opened his account off a moderate mark of 48 last month and while a 9lb hike hardly seemed reasonable, Johnny Splash ran well off his revised rating last time.

Berlusca has made an excellent start for trainer David O'Meara and can maintain his good run in the Exclusive Free Bets At Handicap at Wolverhampton.

The four-year-old was a winner on his debut for O'Meara at this track last month and subsequently followed up back at Dunstall Park just two days later.

Given a short break, Berlusca returned at the start of February when he had to settle for a narrow second at the hands of One Scoop Or Two after edging slightly left in the finish.

The winner is a decent yardstick and Berlusca may still have a trick or two up his sleeve.

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