More than eight and a half thousand on offer to the winner of this mile handicap, one of three valuable races at Wolverhampton on Monday afternoon. Read on for our runner by runner race preview as well as our expert tip.
IN SUMMARY: Byres Road has been in good form in recent starts, he is respected up in class over a C&D that clearly suits. Dutch Uncle is likely to be thereabouts once again as long as the first time headgear has a positive effect down in trip. He is looking increasingly difficult to win with however so the vote goes to the consistent MYTHICAL MADNESS. David O’Meara has got the best out of him since picking him up from Brian Ellison in a claimer and the drop both down in trip and class can see him back in front.
1 MYTHICAL MADNESS – It’s already been an excellent winter campaign for the ex Godolphin 320K purchase. He has not been suited by the way the race has been run the last twice but the drop back in trip can prove key. While there is no obvious front runner here, London, Ready and Byres Road all like to race close to the pace so they can ensure it’s a truly run contest. This is a slight drop in class and he can reward connections placement.
2 SUPERSTA – Massive improver over the last fifteen months, climbing from a basement mark of 60 up to the mid 90’s. A pair of wins on the Tapeta here including one over this trip mean there are no doubts over this test suiting. He is yet to reach those heights this all weather campaign while front running last time didn’t look to suit. He won off this mark last May but doesn’t looked like striking again quite yet.
3 PERFECT CRACKER – Well beaten on his return, he stepped forward on that when runner up last time out. A multiple winner over a furlong further here, the step down in trip for the first time since June 2013 when last at Leicester is a question mark. He is a pound below his latest winning mark but the nine year old is probably more of a place prospect than a likely winner.
4 LACAN – A winner off four pounds higher in May 2015, he is well handicapped on the pick of his form. His three runs for his current yard including a pair on the ice at St Moritz are well below his best and with no great record fresh he is best avoided this afternoon.
5 TRENDSETTER – Only the one start on the all weather when well beaten behind Mythical Madness in December. His turf form has all been over much further, including three of the four over 14f. Still four pounds above his most recent winning handicap mark, he is going to need something considerably more to get involved at the business end over such a sharp test.
6 READY – Just 1/13 when running at Class 3 level or above and that was a win off a mark of 72 back in November 2012. He has shown next to nothing since leaving the Ivan Furtado yard and looks to have a lot on his plate to get competitive here unless gifted an easy time of things on the front end.
7 DUTCH UNCLE – Arguably the pick of his form came over C&D in December 2014 when runner up to Jack Hobbs over C&D. His sole win on artificial surfaces came the run after over an extra furlong here so the Tapeta surface clearly suits him. Sent off favourite in the opening handicap on Derby Day, he has generally been disappointing since. He probably should have won at Lingfield last time when hanging under pressure and going down by a nose. The first time visor might help him stay straighter on this occasion but the step down in trip is a slight doubt.
8 LONDON – Cost 300,000 as a foal but has done little to suggest that was money well spent. His sole win came on the sand at Dundalk before running well on the Polytrack at Lingfield last time. That was a solid run, given a strong ride from the front by Adam Kirby but this is a tougher assignment and he will need to up his game considerably to get his head in front.
9 BYRES ROAD – Took full advantage of a drop to Class 5 when successful at Lingfield on New Year’s Eve. He backed that up with a smart runner up effort over C&D on Saturday night off this mark. This is a quick turnaround and a rise in class but it is always folly to dismiss anything from the Mark Johnston yard and he is still lightly raced enough to be open to some improvement.