A nine runner fillies’ handicap is on the agenda for the fourth race of the day at Wolverhampton, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: With form figures of 1122231, HIGH ON LIGHT is certainly a consistent sort and won on her first start for David Barron at Newcastle in December. A 5lb rise doesn’t look enough to stop this likeable four year old with more improvement likely and Sam James retaining the ride. She can repel a likely running on Celestial Bay, who won the race last year and is on the very same mark again for this year’s renewal.
1 ORATORIO’S JOY – Had it all her own way when winning a three runner Lingfield claimer two weeks ago, though it was a decent performance and she remains on the same mark today. She is very unlikely to have the same luxury today however from stall 6 with a bigger field, though she is a past C&D winner. Likely to have place claims if running well again off this mark which she has won off twice in the past and deserves a second look.
2 INCLUDED – Back from a year and three month break with a well beaten tenth of eleven at Lingfield earlier this month at odds of 66/1 on her first start for David Dennis. Only raced five times and likely to win races of this kind in the future, but others have more pressing claims for today and a mark of 75 does seem a tad harsh. Likely best watched on her second start after a break.
3 CELESTIAL BAY – Won this race last year and has been slowly getting better this winter, and despite finishing fourth of five at Lingfield on his latest start she certainly wasn’t disgraced as she wasn’t beaten far (1m 4f, Std to Slw). On the same mark as when winning the race last year and all signs point to a good run for the Sylvester Kirk trained eight year old with Adam Kirby taking the ride, so has to be respected.
4 HIGH ON LIGHT – Joined on the line when dead-heating at Newcastle in December (1m 4f, Std) on stable debut for David Barron, and has been raised 5lb for that effort. Form figures since July read 1122231 which show’s you how consistent this four year old is and she’s likely capable of better yet despite being on a career high mark. Sam James takes the ride again so all signs point to a good run and it’d be a huge surprise to see her not challenging for the win today.
5 FAST PLAY – Ran a great race to win at Lingfield on her latest start (1m 4f, Std) and now has form figures of 121 over this sort of trip with the blinkers worn. Richard Hughes’ yard is in brilliant form at present with a record of 3-8 in the past two weeks and Shane Kelly is also riding brilliantly with a record of 4-17. Only 1lb above her highest winning mark and entitled to go well again as a lightly raced five year old and has to be respected.
6 HEARTSTONE – Has finished second the last twice since joining the David Evans yard, the latest of which when running on well at Lingfield two weeks ago beating Celestial Bay (1m 4f, Std to Slw). Up another 3lb as a consequence and record stands at 0-12, but she is effective here and its impossible to discount her in this mood. Has to be considered and is likely to be running on into the placings come the finish, though others seem more likely for win purposes.
7 FAVOURITE GIRL – Front runner who is 1-12 on the all weather and it didn’t look like that was going to be changing any time soon when a well beaten fourth over C&D earlier this month. Will be able to grab the lead from stall 5 if breaking well enough but its never easy to make all here and she’s still 3lb above her last winning mark. Doesn’t strike as a likely type and probably best left alone today for Michael Appleby and Alistair Rawlinson who claims 3lb.
8 SHADOW SPIRIT – Does have form on this surface but her latest fifth over C&D on Boxing Day is certainly modest and remains a maiden after fourteen races. That certainly tempers enthusiasm and you’d possibly like her mark of 70 to come down further before she can be considered for win purposes. Has the plum draw in stall 1 buts still makes limited appeal against most of these and despite Iain Jardine having two winners recently, she’s passed over today.
9 DARK AMBER – Poor strike rate at 3-41 but has been running well recently without managing to win, running on well at Lingfield two weeks ago (1m 2f, Std) and this extra distance is likely to help her today. Entitled to go well again off only a 1lb higher mark for Brendan Powell with Josephine Gordon taking the ride but her last win came in August 2015 at Goodwood which makes it harder to fancy her. 11lb below that mark today but has an even worse strike rate of 0-5 on the all weather and look consigned to minor honours only today.