Our resident all weather expert, Jamie Maynard, is backing Celtic Artisan to again go well for Oisin Murphy when the pair team up at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
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A cracking looking handicap over five furlongs spearheads this evening’s card and it’ll be a case of blink and you’ll miss it with some smart sprinters in the line-up.
Boom The Groom is lurking on a previous winning mark and has gone close the last twice. He’s a dual course winner and despite stepping up a grade he’s sure to have a say as he excels over the minimum trip.
Atletico surely enters calculations on an unchanged mark for a neck second last time and won on his only previous visit here, though has yet to get his head in front in this grade. Kimberella won a listed race in August over six furlongs and has three distance wins to his name. He went down by the narrowest of margins last Saturday and had ROYAL BIRTH five lengths behind but it’s the Stuart Williams charge who I’m keen on to reverse those placings at bigger odds.
This seven-year old had a horrible beginning to that race having reared in the stalls, losing a couple of lengths in the process, so did well to finish just under five lengths off the winner. He’s dropped back down to his preferred trip, over which he’s won seven times and the return to Wolverhampton’s Tapeta is a positive having only finished out of the places here once in six visits (winning once).
He’s got the lowest draw which isn’t always a good thing here in a sprint but he clearly has a liking for the track and Aaron Jones is able to claim 3lb again now back in a handicap. I can see this gelding running a solid race and with no trouble in running could reward punters at nice odds.
A tricky handicap in the finale and the one in form at present is Mark Johnston’s Ravenhoe, who won over track and trip a week ago before just failing to land a course double on Wednesday. He’s turned out quickly again so connections must feel he’s got another win in him and 7lb claimer Oliver Stammers maintains the ride.
Bell Heather is eased in grade and her last success came over a furlong shorter in this company from a 1lb lower mark so has claims but the one who I’m hoping who will bounce back from an eight-length defeat last time is the seven-year-old CELTIC ARTISAN.
The trip was probably on the sharp side for him that day and now stepped up a couple of furlongs a better showing can be made as he stays further and the winner of that race went in again on Thursday. He’s a dual course winner and the booking of Oisin Murphy is worth noting as he’s struck up a good partnership with this horse in the past with form figures showing 0-1-1-1-3.
Murphy clearly gets a good tune out of this gelding and a repeat of his penultimate effort will surely see him go very close especially as he’s sitting on a dangerous mark, one 6lb lower than when winning under similar conditions here back in March of last year.
Posted at 2135 GMT on 09/02/18.