Thirteen runners line up for today’s feature race at Wolverhampton worth £15,562 to the winner. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Third Time Lucky has good form in warmer handicaps than this year and should go close off the back of his most recent run at Chelmsford. He might have to play second fiddle to MYTHICAL MADNESS who had a couple of these behind when winning on his last start for Brian Ellison and he has moved to a yard who excel with these types from other yards. He looks to have more improvement in him than these and should go well from his good draw. Examiner can chase them home if at his best.
1 Third Time Lucky – Has won five times from 17 runs, but has drawn a blank this calendar year. Good fourth in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in September and close fifth in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions Day. Didn’t have the best draw when only fifth at Chelmsford on AW debut 19 days ago and should come on for that. Player.
2 Solar Deity – Has won four times here including this trip, but is on a losing streak of ten races and the handicapper seems to have his measure at the moment. Well beaten in sixth last time out over 1m and Adam Kirby on board today. Best watched with others seemingly having better credentials on best form.
3 Winterlude – Has won over C&D before, but below form for a while now, including when seventh of ten in a Handicap hurdle on last start at Cartmel. Has been off for 105 days and 10lb higher than last win.
4 Mythical Madness – Previously trained by Brian Ellison with whom he scored a comfortable win here over this trip last month. Good second on first run for new yard a week later in Class 3 Handicap and that is good form in this line-up. Will appreciate the slightly longer trip and, despite a small hike in the weights, is primed for a big run from stall 4 for his in-form yard.
5 Georgian Bay – Losing streak now stretches to 14 and you have to go back to Kempton last year for his last win. That was a better race than this, but he has never won over this far and looked in need of a bit further when only fourth of 14 on latest start at Chelmsford. Career best needed.
6 Examiner – Last win came at Epsom in June and well down the field in 12th on last start at Newbury over 1m2f in October in a 0-105. 1lb higher for Epsom win here and makes Tapeta debut. Has won on the AW before so has an each-way shout.
7 Ready – Front-runner who has won here before when trained by Ivan Furtado. Two lengths behind Mythical Madness two starts ago before joining this yard and looks held with that rival on best form. Only sixth of seven at Lingfield ten days ago and looks up against it off this mark.
8 Afonso De Sousa – Previously trained by Aidan O’Brien for whom he won three races, but on a long losing streak stretching back to 2014 and has changed hands twice since leaving Ireland. This looks a hard race in which to bounce back and can be ruled out with confidence this time.
9 Perfect Cracker – Course specialist with four wins to his name over this trip. Only seventh of nine on latest Handicap start 177 days ago when he faded tamely. Adam Kirby who rode him last time opts to ride Solar Deity and can be ignored in this.
10 Trendsetter – Only a moderate strike rate when trained by John Quinn and won a claiming race at Catterick in October and bought for £16,000 after. Down the field in ninth in a 14 runner Handicap at Doncaster on latest start and will need a career best to notch his first AW win here judged on that.
11 Faithful Creek – Previously trained by Brian Meehan and on a long losing streak going back to 2014. Behind Mythical Madness when fourth here two weeks ago on stable debut and not sure to get closer to that rival here at this trip.
12 Nonios – Has been raised 7lb for winning here 17 days ago over this trip in a 13 runner Handicap and will need another career best off that mark to get involved again here in a much better race.
13 Sennockian Star – Looks vulnerable to an improver given he hasn’t won since 2015 in 27 runs and latest fifth of 13 at Kempton 31 days ago makes his task an even harder one here today, with plenty bringing better form to the table.