The 5th race of the day at Wolverhampton is a middle distance handicap with seven going to post, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Only beaten by an improver at Newcastle on his latest start, BAMAKO DU CHATELET ran a brilliant race that time around and remains on the same mark. He runs for the inform Ian Williams yard and is perfectly suited by conditions today, so should run a big race under Richard Kingscote. His main danger is likely to be Zabeel Star who should improve for this longer trip and won well on his latest start at Kempton.
1 CHANTECLER – On a decent mark at present, only 2lb higher for his latest placed effort at Bath in August (1m 2f, Good). Has been hurdling the last thrice and posted some decent enough efforts and swiftly returns to the flat, racing on the all weather for the first time since June 2015 where he was a close 5th at Chelmsford off 2lb lower (1m 2f, Std). Conditions are fine today and the yard are in good form with a record of 4-24 in the past two weeks, so should have his role to play and is respected.
2 ZABEEL STAR – Kept on well to win at Kempton in December (1m 2f, Std) and was raised 4lb for that effort. Now goes up in trip which should suit judging on previous efforts and his attractive pedigree, with a mark of 72 looking very manageable. As only a five year old improvement can be expected and has scope for progress so has to be respected in his bid to go back to back for Graeme McPherson and today’s rider Robert Winston.
3 HANDSOME DAN – Winning hurdler who wasn’t disgraced in all weather maidens in early 2016, finishing second twice including over today’s C&D. Mark of 71 doesn’t look particularly harsh and should be able to be competitive off of it, with conditions to suit. He is however an 11 year old and despite being unexposed on the flat, other horses have more room for improvement and he may just be vulnerable if this race turns tactical.
4 COTTESLOE – Hasn’t found his feet for his new yard (Neil Mulholland), finishing 14th of 15 on stable debut at Chelmsford over the mile, and was then all but tailed off at Taunton in December over hurdles. Upped in trip he showed a bit more promise when 6th of 10 over C&D on Boxing Day but still has something to find with the majority of these. Adam Kirby takes the ride and he’s dropped a further 2lb, but a more convincing case can be made for his rivals today.
5 BAMAKO DU CHATELET – All wins have come at Lingfield but wasn’t disgraced on the tapeta on his latest start at Newcastle last week (1m 4f, Std), finishing 2nd to an improving rival and remains on the same mark. That was certainly a promising display and shows that’ll he be suited fine to the Wolverhampton surface, with the Ian Williams yard in great form at present with a record of 5-29 in the past two weeks. He is 6lb higher than for his last All Weather win but is steadily improving and should put up a bold bid to take victory today.
6 MAROC – 10 race maiden who left Paul Cole after finishing 2nd at Lingfield in December, in a selling race (1m 2f, Std). Has joined Nikki Evans with Luke Morris retaining the ride and goes back into handicap company which didn’t have the desired effect on penultimate start when 6th of 8 in a Lingfield handicap over this distance a week before (1m 4f, Std). Others make far more appeal today with him not guaranteed to stay, and is best watched on stable debut.
7 THREEDIAMONDRINGS – Had been running consistently well before finishing a poor last over C&D on Tuesday, albeit hampered. On the same mark today and should run a decent race if back to his best, but others do have more pressing claims and he is not the easiest to win with, with a record of 1-9 to thus far. This hasn’t been a good season so far for Eddie Greatrex on the all weather with only two winners from 37 rides and the Brendan Powell yard are also running cold at present, so he is possibly best left today.