An open looking handicap with a few horses capable of making their presence felt in this last at Wolverhampton today. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: My Bubba showed the switch of yards did the trick when scoring on his third start at Kempton last month and his entitled to respect in this with a good claimer aboard. Jazri can get into the mix after a promising run last time out and won’t be far away but they may struggle to see off HOLD FIRM. He clearly likes it here and is on a good mark for this following his promising run at Lingfield last time out. He should be tough to beat.
1 Nouvelle Ere – Hasn’t won for over a year since causing an upset in a better race over 1m2f at Kempton by a neck when 25/1. Off the track for 169 days but well below form in four runs before that. Has a 3lb lower mark than his last win and best watched on reappearance.
2 Hold Firm – Won over C&D early last year and only two wins in twenty runs since. Tends to run quite well here with three runners up finishes up to 1m1f since that last win. Fair form in last two runs including a good fourth in a Class 6 apprentice handicap at Lingfield fifteen days ago. He should be able to get involved from a decent mark of 55 and hopes will be high his turn is around the corner. Player.
3 Never To Be – Previously with Jim Boyle and hasn’t really been seen to best effect in seven runs for the yard. Was a big price of 50/1 on his last start at Bath (Good) 71 days ago over 1m3f in blinkers but did run quite well when second over C&D in January. Has a visor on for this and down in trip. Can get into it on best form and worth a market check.
4 Playful Dude – Previously trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam and remains a maiden after six runs. Hasn’t made much improvement in two runs so far for this yard and only sixth of 7 in a seller at Leicester (Good) on his last start. Connections try a hood for this and it will need to have a big effect if he is to get involved in this.
5 Bromance – Has run well on his last two starts at Newcastle over 1m (behind recent winner Lozah) and wouldn’t need to improve much on that to figure here. Still a maiden after nine runs however and might have to settle for minor money again in this.
6 Jazri – Won on this track last June over slightly further and has won five times at this level in handicaps. Last win came at Chelmsford a year ago and now 7lb lower for that in this. Showed signs of encouragement when fourth of 13 in a handicap at Chelmsford last week and needs monitoring in the betting with further improvement to come. Solid claims.
7 Santadelacruze – Fair form recently and benefited from being held up on his last start when three lengths behind the re-opposing My Bubba at Kempton last month. Makes Tapeta debut in this race and capable of improving against that rival but only one win in 39 runs and will probably find one or two far too strong again today.
8 My Bubba – Previously trained by Michael Blanshard and left behind a couple of mediocre efforts on first start for the yard to win from the back at Kempton last month by half a length. Only gone up 5lb for that win and still on a lowly mark for this. Retains the tongue tie he wore last time but cheekpieces off for this. Solid claims again with promising conditional taking off 7lb.
9 Pipers Piping – Course specialist with eight wins the last being in June last Summer. Hasn’t run well on this course since runner up over 7f in March. Poor in five runs since including two over C&D and been off for 160 days. Easy to overlook today.
10 Star Links – 10-y-o who has six wins over C&D when trained by Sylvester Kirk. Finished eighth of 14 in a minor event at Dundalk fifteen days ago and vulnerable to younger legs in this given he hasn’t won on this new surface.
11 Ede’s The Business – Still a maiden after fourteen flat runs and hasn’t fared much better on his last three starts over hurdles. Switches back to the flat today and hard to fancy for the win given she has only been placed once.
12 Castlerea Tess – Sole career win came on the turf at Redcar (Good/Firm) in June. Never run beyond 7f and step up in trip not sure to suit. Only mid-division on her last two AW starts and will likely be a big price for this.
13 Pivotal Dream – Still a maiden after twenty-five starts and fair fifth of 10 over slightly further at this track six days ago. Has run well here on a couple of occasions but poor strike rate is off putting to think he can get his head in front today.