6.45pm Wolverhampton Tips & Betting Preview 17/02/2017

Eight runners make it a good race for each way backers in the third race of the day at Wolverhampton on Friday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: A mark of 72 is likely to underestimate Dr Richard Newland’s VOSNE ROMANEE on what he’s shown over hurdles last season. A previous winner on the all weather off a mark of 64, he has been in brilliant form over timber since with two wins when last seen, taking his hurdling mark up to 139 to finish the season. If returning fully revved up he should have improved sufficiently to take a race of this nature with the trip unlikely to be a problem and the booking of Graham Lee a plus. Fast Play is likely to be the main danger but does have to contend with a 6lb rise from his latest victory.

1 FAST PLAY – Has been in rude health of late, winning at Lingfield in January (1m 4f, Std) and was a very close third at Wolverhampton two weeks later (1m 4f, Std), running on well. Her latest win over C&D however was the one that catches the eye with a comfortable victory last Saturday, and has been given a 6lb penalty as a consequence. Despite the rise she remains with potential at the age of five and ease of his latest victory suggests more can be expected in time. Paul Mulrennan takes the ride and despite top weight, she looks likely to go very close today and has to be respected.

2 ORATORIO’S JOY – Won a three runner claimer as expected on her penultimate start at Lingfield (1m 5f, Std), but struggled when back in handicaps on her latest start here over C&D when nearly six lengths behind Fast Play and a poor sixth. On that basis she has a lot to find despite the 2lb drop in the weights and will need more if she’s to be taking today’s contest. Possible place contender if back to her best but others make far more convincing claims.

3 VOSNE ROMANEE – Winner off a mark of 64 when last seen on the all weather and was progressing nicely over hurdles since then, winning twice in succession over timber to take his hurdling mark up to 139. On that basis he should have improved sufficiently to overcome a mark of 72 that he has on the flat, which looks likely to underestimate him today with Graham Lee taking the ride. Dr Richard Newland is likely to have him fully fit and he should be tough to beat today with all things considered.

4 SPIRITOFTOMINTOUL – Winner of a C&D handicap off a mark of 75 in February 2016 and is now 4lb below that mark, so is clearly well handicapped at this stage. That however is due to the fact he’s been poor this season, struggling on three runs including at Newcastle on his latest start when well held (2m, Std). Tony Carroll’s yard is in good form at the moment but he doesn’t make much appeal on the back of his recent efforts and places is the best that can be hoped for today.

5 CONSORTIUM – Won this race in 2016 under Adam Kirby off 3lb lower mark than today’s but has only been since twice since, finishing second here over the two mile trip in March and then well beaten as expected in a tough race at Ascot in April over hurdles. Makes stable debut for Imogen Pickard today off the back of a 320 day absence which has to be of concern, but he isn’t necessarily badly treated if returning to form. Possible each way claims if fit but is entitled to need this.

6 YASIR – Best form is over further and was a winner here over the extended two miles in January, thought has struggled off this mark in two subsequent events over the same trip at both here and Kempton. Seems to be in the handicappers grip at this stage and he most likely needs further at this stage in his career. This trip may well find him tapped for speed on the turn from home and although he may be charging home late on, he remains vulnerable for win purposes.

7 HALLSTATT – Eleven year old who has been in decent form this season, posting two good efforts at both here and Newcastle before a win in a C&D claimer in January. Remains on the same mark and retains the assistance of Luke Morris but he’s likely to find this much tougher now back into handicap company, with a mark of 63 now possibly beyond him at this stage of his career. Others have more pressing claims and place claims is the best he can be hoping for today.

8 MARSHALL AID – Hanging badly under pressure when second behind an improver at Lingfield in February (1m 5f, Std) and connections reach for the cheekpieces. The time previous he was well beaten over C&D in January and he remains a maiden after thirteen attempts which has to be of concern. Surely able to overcome a mark of 65 at some stage but needs more conviction in a finish if he’s to be winning today. If the cheekpieces have the desired effect he could have place claims, but remains vulnerable for win purposes.

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