8.30pm Wolverhampton Tips & Betting Preview 23/02/2017

The final race on the card at Wolverhampton is a competitive class 5 sprint over 5f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: A chance is taken on NORMAL EQUILIBRIUM to bounce back to form now dropped into class 5 company for the first time. He hasn’t been beaten far in better races than this and the booking of Paul Hanagan really takes the eye in a winnable race. Invincible Ridge has a similar profile to Ivan Furtado’s runner and he may pose a threat to the selection now dropped in grade but he may not have as much in hand as him, having only won off a high of 81 in recent years. You’re Cool is on an upward curve and is also a threat under the up and coming Lewis Edmunds.

1 NORMAL EQUILIBRIUM – This is his second run for Ivan Furtado having switched yards from Robert Cowell earlier this year. Once rated 100, he is certainly not the force of old having slipped through the weights but his last run showed some promise and with another 3lb drop in the handicap, he is now at his lowest handicap mark of 75 ever. As a result, he gets into a 0-75 contest for the first time here and this is the weakest opposition he has faced since making his debut in 2012. Paul Hanagan is a very positive jockey booking (1 win from 3 rides this year at Wolverhampton) and he could be very well treated today if capturing just a fraction of his old form now dropped into class 5 company.

2 INVINCIBLE RIDGE – The last time Eric Alston’s runner was dropped into class 5 company he won over this C&D. He has run respectably in better company than this and the handicapper may have given him a good chance today. He won a class 4 contest off 81 just last August and now 6lbs lower, could return to form drawn in stall 7. He’s been given a small break of 49 days since his last run and although now 9 years old, could just outclass these now Jason Hart returns to the saddle.

3 MIRACLE GARDEN – Roy Brotherton’s charge is a dual C&D winner but arrives here in bad form following three heavy defeats. He has found life tougher since being upped in grade to class 4 company and hasn’t been able to show the same level of ability since early 2016. He should fare better here now dropped 3lbs to his last winning mark (74) but this is likely to require a career best effort and he’s best watched today for a trainer with only 8 wins from 118 runners at Wolverhampton.

4 KING CRIMSON – He’s shown a fraction of his ability since arriving at John Butler’s yard, beating a measly 6 from a possible 70 opponents over six runs. His mark has dropped 10lbs down to 72 but the form he has shown of late leaves little room to predict any sort of return to the winner’s enclosure. This is probably the right grade for him and as a C&D winner, market support would be very noteworthy but he cannot be recommended on any recent form.

5 COMPTON RIVER – In a fine run of form having won or placed on 8 of his last 10 starts. He’s risen from a basement mark of 51 to today’s mark of 72 and he’s returning off a 63 day break since finishing second over C&D. The form of that run has worked out reasonably well as the winner that day went on to win again and has subsequently ran well off 81 in a class 3. Bryan Smart has been in modest form with one placed horse from his last five runners but his charge has a good chance here if he can progress again from a good draw in stall 2. He is yet to win in class 5 company though and with another 2lb rise to contend with, will need a career best here.

6 WANEEN – Recorded his first career success over C&D back in October of last year when all out to win as the 5/2 joint-favourite. He followed that up with another success in a weaker race but has struggled since having been raised 7lbs. He’s dropped in the weights today but is still 2lbs higher than his last winning mark on his third run for John Butler. He hinted at a small revival on his last run over 6 furlongs at Lingfield under a 7lb claimer, but with a very poor draw in stall 11, is opposed today.

7 YOU’RE COOL – Still looked on a workable mark (69) following a 3/4 length defeat on his last start in this grade. He gets the assistance of the in-form Lewis Edmunds who has a 27% strike rate at Wolverhampton and is excellent value for his 5lb claim. He’s worse off at the weights with a couple of these but he is still only aged 5 and John Balding may just be finding the key to this horse with an apparent improvement in form. He’s drawn nicely in stall 4 and should give another very good account here.

8 ARCHIE STEVENS – Clare Ellam’s runner has an excellent C&D record with 5 wins to his name but you have to go back all the way to 2015 for his last victory. He’s placed twice at Southwell on his last two runs but they have come in claiming and selling races and the form is rather poor. He’s 7lbs better off with You’re Cool for a 1 1/4 length defeat in this grade but he has failed to get his head in front in weaker races than this and stall 9 makes him an unattractive prospect today.

9 ENTERTAINING BEN – Connections picked up this son of Equiano for 12,000GNS at the Tattersalls October sale last year but he is up against it here today. He’s only won once in 14 starts and that came on the turf off a mark of 68 last summer. He was very well beaten on his last start, finishing last of 14 and it may be that he is an inconsistent sort having rarely run two similar races off close handicap marks. Iain Jardine’s runner has poor overall form and there is nothing to suggest a return to form is likely today.

10 TEMPLE ROAD – Just failed to complete a double here under a 6lb penalty when beaten a neck by Dreams of Glory. He’s now 6lbs better off for a 2 length defeat to You’re Cool on his last run with Lewis Edmund’s claim taken into account and he has been given a small break since then. He is going to find this tougher now off 68 in a tougher grade and may find one too good again. Milton Bradley has been in okay form in the last two weeks with two placed runners from his last nine attempts but he has only recorded one win from 35 runners this year.

11 DREAMS OF GLORY – Ron Hodges runner scored over this C&D two starts ago off a mark of 65 when all out to beat Temple Road by a neck . Aged 9, he’s not getting any younger and has failed to win off 68 or higher in over 65 runs to date but he will be more suited to today’s 5 furlongs over the 6 he faced on his last run. He has the plum draw in stall 1 but he will find this tougher and will be up against it with better handicapped rivals in the field.

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