This is a tricky handicap over 7 furlongs, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: There are a few with chances in this and the Stuart Williams trained REVEL can come out on top. He’s shown plenty of progression since his gelding operation and although he has a 7lb penalty to contend with, he remains in Class 5 company and he could make it a double today. Mia Cara has been in good recent form and should put in a good showing again whilst Bazwind deserves a market check.
1 REVEL – Decent type for Stuart Williams that has improved having been gelded in November. He’s been sent off the 2/1 and 13/8 favourite on his last two starts and he got the job done at Kempton in January over a mile. The second and fourth have been beaten since and he’s been handed a 7lb rise which is going to make life much tougher although he remains in Class 5 company. Needs considering with more improvement to come but this will require a career best.
2 JUSTICE FREDERICK – Interesting horse having spent time with Joseph and Aidan O’Brien and he was beaten in a listed race at Ascot behind Churchill. His form tailed off badly towards the end of last year having failed to beat a rival home and connections have gelded him during his long layoff. He returns here off a 160-day break and obviously has potential but he’s not straightforward and may be best watched here.
3 TOR – Failed to build on his maiden success at the end of October with two heavy defeats in handicap company. He was gelded over the winter and he has been beaten 14 lengths over C&D having been sent off 66/1 last time out. He should strip fitter now having been given a couple of weeks off but his handicap mark still looks on the high side and he’s probably best watched with turf handicaps in mind.
4 DARK DESTROYER – Helmet Colt who got off the mark at Kempton in early January following a second over 6 furlongs prior to that. He’s left on a mark of 75 following his handicap win and that leaves him on good terms here with more progress to come off just his sixth career start. His trainer has a rather low 10% strike rate here at Wolverhampton and this does look slightly stronger than his Kempton win but he should be thereabouts again off what is clearly a workable mark.
5 SIDEWINDER – Finished behind Gilgamesh on his last start which was something of a surprise having been sent off 16/1. He has shown some consistent form over the winter including over C&D and the handicapper has been fair and left him on a mark of 72. He’ll be competitive again in this and has a very good draw in stall 1 but the handicapper doesn’t seem to be losing much sleep over this one and he could just find a couple better treated again in this.
6 HIDDEN STASH – Entitled to be fitter and sharper today following a return from a break a few weeks ago over shorter. There was plenty of money around for him that day but he had no chance with a runaway winner and should find this slightly easier off 2lbs lower with that run under his belt. He’s got a draw in stall 8 which isn’t ideal and there is a question mark regarding this trip given he’s won over shorter. One to keep an eye on in the betting but he may be better over 6 furlongs and when seen back on the turf.
7 MIA CARA – 2 wins from 12 starts that both came in a lower grade than this and she remains 3lbs higher than her last winning mark. She did well to finish second to a well-handicapped rival at Newcastle last time out having never been able to land a blow on the winner and that confirmed her to be in a good vein of form and this mark is probably still workable for a yard that are operating at a 13% strike rate. Has a chance on paper, but there are probably a couple better handicapped than her.
8 LIGHTOLLER – Mick Channon’s stable has been very quiet of late and his runner here returns off a lengthy 226-day break. He’s an exposed son of Harbour Watch and finished second over the minimum trip on two occasions on the turf back in August. It’s a slight concern he’s been off the track since then but the handicapper has put him down 1lb in the handicap and there has been money about for him in handicaps. One to keep an eye on in the betting.
9 BAZWIND – Second runner in the race for David Evans and he’s one of the most exposed runners with 15 starts to his name. He drops down in trip to 7 furlongs having won by a neck over 1 mile 1/2 a furlong at Wolverhampton off a mark of 63 and the handicapper has raised him 3lbs for that effort which will make life tougher although he has won off this mark before. The drop back in trip raises question marks but Sean Levey retains the ride and he has been in good form of late. Interesting.
10 NAUPAKA – Without success in six starts and drops down to 7 furlongs for the first time today. He’s dropped from a mark of 71 to 65 and hasn’t shown much in his recent starts to suggest he’s chucked in off this mark. He may be seen to better effect when dropped down into 0-65 company and is best watched today for a trainer with an 11% strike rate here.