Today’s Preview with James Boyle – 17th October 2014
James Boyle previews some of the Wolverhampton handicaps this evening – you can hear his thoughts, the thoughts of our other analysts and all of the action live through the day via the Listen Live button or on the App (available on Android & Apple devices).
Twelve runners are set to go to post in this 0-65 handicap for apprentice riders only. There aren’t many results that would cause a big surprise, but I would be disappointed if Logans Lad doesn’t go close to winning and he will get an unoriginal nod of approval. Daniel Loughnane’s 4-year-old has nearly a length to make up on Red Cape from their meeting over this C&D a couple of weeks ago but there are reasons to expect that to be turned around. Firstly, he has a much better draw today in stall 5 instead of 11 and, secondly, he’s going to war with a tongue-tie and a visor entrusted rather than just the former as was the case last time out. The lack of the visor – in which he has gained both of his career successes, including one over C&D on this surface – may have been the main reason why he didn’t travel with much zest and it’s likely that he is the sort who is much more comfortable sitting handier. If things pan out to suit a bit more and Eoin Walsh gets the best out of him, I think this is his race to lose. 4/1 is decent.
Another handicap for apprentice riders only and it’s similar in that chances can be given to many. Indastar is a worthy market leader if judged solely on his penultimate start as he bolted up over C&D on that occasion, winning by over 3-lengths despite racing keenly. However, he wasn’t within a million miles of running to the same form when out under a penalty eleven days later (went off at even money) and despite the possibility of his subsequent three-week break rejuvenating him, his new mark has kicked in and it’s 3lbs higher than the one he failed off most recently. As such, the percentage call is to oppose and that comment applies to the in-form Captain Ryan, winner of two of his last three outings, both at Bath. He’s now 9lbs higher than the first of those wins and even though it would be no surprise to see him win, the race he won last time out was poor and the conditions of this are a lot different. The one I do like is Tango Sky, a formerly half-decent sprint handicapper who has dropped a long way in the weights over the past couple of years. He’s debuting for the James Unett yard having been claimed after finishing second at Hamilton last time out and given his previous exploits on polytrack, he’s certainly handicapped to win if taking to the tapeta surface. That’s the unknown, of course, but he shaped as if in good form throughout September and could be revitalized following a change of scenery, so I’ll take the 11/2.
The juveniles are out to play in this 0-85, 5f nursery and many good stables are represented. In all honesty, these are races that I struggle to get to grips with and this one is not a whole pile different! Having said that, it might be worth trying to get Field Game beaten on value grounds as quotes of 7/2 in a race of this nature look tight and I’m not convinced that he’s exactly thrown-in off 85 on what is his handicap debut. That mark is as a result of his 5-length demolition job in a Kempton maiden three weeks ago and I’m not really sure what to make of the form as the even money runner-up didn’t perform to his best and flopped on turf subsequently. The third horse, who was making his debut, has won since and posted a good figure in doing so, but that was on soft ground and he clearly learnt plenty for his first outing. It’s hard to know (if I talk any more, I’ll be even more confused!) but off 85, I shall leave him alone at these prices. Ivors Rebel is another who made a good impression on polytrack last time out but he’s launched up 8lbs, runs on a surface that’s new to him and has to tackle a better class of animal, so doesn’t get the juices flowing much either. Equally Fast, on the other hand, does and from a form point of view you’d have to think that he’s a reasonable bet at 9/2. The reason for that is because he has already got the better of Field Game over C&D when the pair met in a maiden six weeks ago (they were first & second) and William Muir’s charge is 4lbs better off despite winning there by nearly a length. He’s a big sort who is likely to be still learning about the game and although the runner-up has evidently improved since, it’s entirely possible that he has as much left in the locker. Off 81, I don’t think he has been harshly treated at all and if he doesn’t go close, I’d be surprised.
Not a great race grade-wise to close off the card but it’s an interesting one nonetheless, with the market deeming it a battle of the penalties. Three of the top four in the betting are last time out winners who have scored within the last nine days and the other is a nicely-bred, Roger Varian trained All-Weather and handicap debutante who could be anything off an exceptionally low rating. All of those, along with a couple of the others, could be on the shortlist but I’m hopeful of Dazeen continuing to make hay whilst the sun shines and although the market agrees with me, he’s the one to back. The 7-year-old hasn’t stood much racing in recent years for reasons unbeknownst to me, but on his second start of the season and his second for Michael Herrington since leaving Richard Ford, the son of Zafeen bolted up over C&D and landed some strong market support in the process. It was a performance that suggests all of his previous problems were a thing of the past and whilst the bounce factor has to be taken into account with him reappearing just seven days later, he could have plenty more to offer if none the worse for those exertions. Robert Winston retaining the ride is certainly no bad thing and the harder they go in-front, the better.
*All prices quotes are correct at the time of writing/posting (11pm the night before!).
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