A field of eleven go to post for the fifth race of the day at Wolverhampton on Friday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Boychick and Victor’s Bet are both ones to consider but it’s hard to get away from the four year old LUGANO for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris. He won his only handicap so far at Newcastle back in October despite looking green when asked for his effort, so there is likely much more to come from him this season. He’s been hiked up nine pounds as a result but that looks unlikely to stop him and he can take this field apart with contempt on his way to better things.
1 LUGANO – Four year old for Sir Mark Prescott who showed some promise in maidens before winning on handicap debut at Newcastle in October when upped markedly in trip to this distance. He was outpaced and looked green when asked for an effort but he rallied well to lead close home, a brilliant performance in the circumstances. He should be more straightforward this time and if he learns to settle he should have a better finishing effort, with a 9lb rise unlikely to stop him in this. He’s a very interesting contender and needs to be respected under Luke Morris.
2 FAST PLAY – Won over C&D on his stable debut for Conor Dore back in February but he has been well held since off higher marks, with his latest run at Kempton another disappointing performance. He is now however back onto his that mark he won off in February and the last two runs were likely over trips he didn’t appreciate, so this should be another good opportunity for him to hit the frame under Martin Lane. Market support would be interesting and he’s one to consider.
3 SAILORS WARN – Better known for his hurdling exploits as he makes his stable debut for Ian Williams today off a much reduced mark on the level. He was performing well over hurdles before his switch to this yard and although he was disappointing on his only flat start in 2016, he won off a 3lb higher mark in the past so he has races in him off a mark of 69 with George Wood taking off a further 5lb. Williams has a 25% strike rate from his last twenty runners which adds further intrigue to the ten year old’s chances and any market support should be noted.
4 BOYCHICK – Has been in blistering form of late for Ed Walker with form figures of 2311122 on the all weather and he only found another in form rival too much when finishing second at Kempton two weeks ago. He remains on the same mark for this and goes up slightly in trip which should suit on the evidence of his previous runs, with the in form Richard Kingscote likely to get the best out of him. Hard to see him not going well and he’s another to consider.
5 KARAM ALBAARI – Nine year old for John Jenkins who is currently on a fair mark with him only a pound above his last winning one, but he hasn’t been giving the impression he was close to the boil of late. His latest run on the all weather was a respectable fourth but he never looked likely to win and he was decidedly poor on the turf when last seen, always behind and never in the picture. Possible each way contender back on the synthetics but he’s vulnerable for win purposes with all things considered.
6 POUR L’AMOUR – Won over C&D on his penultimate start when dead heating on the line for Daniel Loughnane with a return to the turf not in his favour when she was well beaten at Newbury three weeks ago. She will be much happier back on the synthetic surfaces and although she’s 3lb higher than that latest win, she is still relatively unexposed and improvement would be no surprise. She should be competitive under Dane O’Neill and has to be considered.
7 STAR GLITTER – Has finished fourth on all his starts for David O’Meara on the turf, running well enough on two of those occasions without looking anywhere near well treated. Connections now reach for headgear in a bid to perk him up and the switch to the all weather shouldn’t be an issue as he ran well enough at Dundalk on his second career start. He is still lightly raced and he’s certainly a place contender if the headgear does perk him up, but others seemingly have far more going for them.
8 VICTOR’S BET – Has won his last two starts on the all weather for Ralph Smith, winning comfortably at Kempton last week in an apprentice race and he is unpenalised for that smooth success. 5lb claimer Megan Nicholls retains the ride and she has a 33% strike rate from her last nine runners, so she is good value for her claim. This is tougher than his previous assignment but he certainly has each way claims if in the same form again.
9 HUSSAR BALLAD – Eight year old for the out of form Antony Brittain yard who has been running well enough of late without inspiring much confidence that a win was coming soon. He has finished third the last twice for connections, with his latest third at Newcastle a good effort behind a clear cut winner. He is down a pound in the handicap with Cam Hardie taking the ride but he’s likely vulnerable in up in class to some well treated/in form horses.
10 YASIR – Twelve time winner in a long eighty-seven race career but Conor Dore’s nine year old hasn’t been running to his best of late, well beaten on his last two runs for connections and he does have something to prove now. Conditions today will suit and he stays this distance strongly, but he’d likely want further and will need a strong pace to aim at if he’s to be soaring home under Katherine Glenister, who is claiming seven pounds. Possible each way contender if they do go off at a strong clip but he’s likely to be unable to challenge.
11 CALLAGHAN – Maiden over both codes for Tom Gretton and it’s not hard to see past him considering he was tailed off yesterday at Ripon. The in form Hollie Doyle is booked to ride and although that is a boost to his claims, it’s hard to see him taking this after what he showed yesterday, which was very little. Others make far more appeal.