2.55pm Wolverhampton Tips & Betting Preview 27/02/2017

This is a very competitive 5 furlong sprint at Wolverhampton with some interesting sorts lining up, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: EBONY N IVORY is a fair price in this now the blinkers are applied for the first time. He demonstrated he was on a fair mark on his last run and will need to improve again but Hollie Doyle has been in fine form this season and if she can get a handy position out of the gates he could play a big part here. Cultured Knight should be a lot of fun for his connections this year but he may just need this off a long break and is best watched today. Normal Equilibrium was slightly disappointing last time out but Lewis Edmunds is a very positive booking today and is worthy of another chance.

1 CULTURED KNIGHT – Decent sort for Richard Hughes, notching up a win and three placed efforts in 7 starts to date. He won a Chelmsford maiden over 5 furlongs and followed that up with a couple of seconds off marks of 72 and 73 in weaker company than this. He is only 1lb lower than when beaten over 8 lengths at Lingfield off a mark of 77 and although stepping down in grade here, must give plenty of weight to his rivals. He arrives here off a 261 day break and should progress this year but may just need this run off a high enough mark and others make more appeal for a trainer with only 1 win from 12 runners here this year.

2 NORMAL EQUILIBRIUM – Once rated 100, he is certainly not the force of old having slipped through the weights and he failed to capitalise in a similar contest on his last start. He was forced to use up plenty of early speed to get the lead and that ruined his chances with the closers picking him up comfortably in the final furlong. Lewis Edmunds takes the ride today replacing Hollie Doyle, which leaves him on the same mark but it’s hard to be enthusiastic about his chances today with another wide draw in stall 8. He deserves respect in this and Edmunds is a massive positive, but it’s difficult to be that excited with little having changed from his last run.

3 MIRACLE GARDEN – Roy Brotherton’s charge is a dual C&D winner but arrives here in bad form following four defeats, three of them by wide margins. There was plenty of money around for him on his last start (10/1 from 14/1) but he was never involved and looked as if he was still high enough in the weights. This will require a career best performance and his last run is far from inspiring so he’s opposed today for a trainer with a 7% strike rate here.

4 BAHANGO – Scraped home earlier this year off a mark of 68 to win by a nose in a similar contest to this. Patrick Morris made good use of Lewis Edmund’s 7lb claim that day and he ran well again under Nathan Evans in a tougher race than this over the same C&D. He could only finish fourth that day but it was a creditable effort and arrives here fresh off a 31 day break. If he can reproduce his last run he has a good chance today but this C&D winner looks relatively inconsistent and may not be the safest of prospects off a near career high mark.

5 EBONY N IVORY – This lightly-raced son of Equiano has steadily dropped through the weights since winning on debut but showed signs of life when beaten a length at this track on his last start. He led that day and a drop in distance of just under 200 yards today should definitely help his cause having weakened in the finish. Archie Watson puts blinkers on him for the first time today and that should straighten him out and could just bring out some further improvement from the ex-Roger Varian inmate. Hollie Doyle has a 24% strike rate in the last 14 days and loses 2lbs of her claim which does hand an effective rise to her mount and stall 9 is a big negative. However, he has to be respected with improvement expected and could just have something in hand on today’s mark.

6 EMJAYEM – First start for John Holt today following a 67 day break. Hasn’t won since summer 2015 and has slipped down the weights from a high of 80 to today’s mark of 70 which looks relatively fair given he’s only been beaten 4 or so lengths on three of his last four starts off higher marks. He’s a C&D winner and Adam Kirby is a positive booking with the cheekpieces applied for the first time today. His trainer is without a win at Wolverhampton in 28 attempts which is very off-putting but he’s not without a chance and is worth a second look in the betting with improvement a possibility.

7 TEMPLE ROAD – Kept on nicely on his previous start, running on well to finish fourth. He was held up off the pace that day but never looked like winning and he has a significantly worse draw today now in stall 10. He remains on a mark of 68 which looks high enough and this race is even more competitive than his last run. Milton Bradley has no wins from his last 9 runners and his entry looks worth opposing again today.

8 ARCHIE STEVENS – Clare Ellam’s runner has an excellent C&D record with 5 wins to his name but you have to go back all the way to 2015 for his last victory. He ran an excellent race last time out, tracking the early pace before challenging in the final furlong and just being outrun to finish third. That effort followed up two decent runs in much weaker contests and he deserves respect here now with a better draw in stall 5. He’s clearly in good heart but will probably need to find a little more again to win this and others make more appeal.

9 RED STRIPES – One of the most exposed runners in this field, he’s not been beaten far in a string of 5f handicaps but hasn’t managed to get his head in front since December 2015. The handicapper has shown a little mercy and dropped him another 1lb and he is now 3lbs better off with Archie Stevens for a length defeat back in January. He wears a visor today which has helped in the past but it’s unlikely to bring about a big improvement in form in this once 84 rated handicapper.  His general form makes him worthy of a market check but he still looks high enough in the handicap and may just find a few too strong again for a trainer with a 4% strike rate here.

10 POWERFUL DREAM – Steps back up to Class 5 company having finished fourth, beaten 2 lengths in a weaker contest than this over C&D last time out. She retains the cheekpieces here and the booking of Oisin Murphy (21% strike rate in the last 14 days) looks positive for a horse that looks on a workable mark. She’s drawn in stall 11 today which is going to make life very difficult but she has placed off a mark of 69 and now 4lbs lower, could just have a little bit to play with. She’s worthy of respect but others make just a bit more appeal in this contest.

11 CRUISE TOTHELIMIT – Hasn’t won since September 2014 and has an incredibly regressive profile having slipped from a mark of 87 right down to today’s mark of 59. He showed some signs of life in a Class 6 on his last start when beaten a short head having lead most of the way but he’s now back up in grade and races off 2lbs out of the handicap which makes life very tough. He does have an excellent draw in stall 2, but he’s hard to fancy today.

Please Gamble Responsibly.

Please Gamble Responsibly