All-weather expert Jamie Maynard previews the pick of the action at Wolverhampton tonight, where Richard Kingscote may be among the winners.
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5.45 Wolverhampton preview
The opening race here this evening has produced a healthy looking field with 13 going before the judge. It’s unlikely that Krazy Paving will be turned out after a close second at Lingfield yesterday but if he is then he’s sure to be involved off the same mark whilst stablemate Napping has shown enough in a couple of handicaps when with Anabel Murphy and has now switched yards to son Olly.
Dream Ally thrives over this trip and has three course wins to his name but a horse that looks dangerously handicapped at present is the six-year old BILLYOAKES. He won off a pound higher mark over this trip in December and has posted some creditable efforts since from his revised rating of 61. He’s been eased 2lb for a fifth placed finish just over a week ago which means he’s running off a 20lb lower mark than his highest winning mark so is handicapped to go well.
His penultimate outing was his best effort since that last success where a couple of things went against him that day and if running to that level again here I can see Charlie Wallis’ gelding going close in the hands of William Carson.
7.15 Wolverhampton preview
Although there are only the five runners in this five-furlong sprint it looks on paper like it’s going to be a very competitive heat which is definitely going to be truly run with all five runners known to be prominent racers - none of whom can be ruled out completely.
Angel Of The South showed nice early speed at Chelmsford last time out when winning but was well held off this mark in his second handicap start so will need to find a bit more here. Midsummer Knight continues to be the bridesmaid having finished second six times from nine career starts but now makes handicap debut on the back of both a gelding and wind operation so may be worth a market check.
Joegogo has solid course form but may be a tad high in the weights now and Branscombe has a lengthy absence to overcome but top-weight BIG TIME MAYBE brings the best form to the table having already won in this grade pretty cosily back in October.
This gelding may have needed his reappearance run here a month ago but still shaped well for a long way before perhaps fading through lack of match fitness and should be cherry ripe for this. He’s a dual winner over this distance on the synthetics and Richard Kingscote (on board for both victories in October) returns to the saddle for his boss Tom Dascombe. They can make the trip down from Cheshire worthwhile.
8.15 Wolverhampton preview
Top-weight Derek Duval went close from this mark at Kempton at the start of the month and he’s been eased in grade so can play a role as his two previous runs here at Dunstall Park have resulted in a first and third-placed finish. Critical Thinking was a winner over track and trip the last day but this is a stronger race and having been drawn the widest along with a 4lb rise he may be worth opposing today.
STEAL THE SCENE was a solid third against an improver in identical conditions here on Tuesday and it’s interesting to see connections running him again in a short space of time which would suggest that he’s got another good run in him. He’s yet to taste success for Kevin Frost but is unexposed over this longer trip and has now been narrowly denied three times from this mark of 67 (13lb lower than his best winning mark). Today may be the day that this six-year old adds to the three victories he managed when trained by Richard Hannon having been handed a better drawn.
Posted at 1000 GMT on 24/02/18.