Our first selection runs in the 19:20, a Class 4 handicap for 2 year olds over the extended 5 furlongs.
Field Game is the pick here. Winning very well last time, he had seemed rather un-genuine on his previous starts. Looking laboured before finishing well on both his second and third starts the booking of Robert Havlin further enforces the opinion a more forceful ride is required for Hughie Morrison’s Challenger as he is frequently used for John Gosden’s less straightforward charges. The added tongue tie looks to have aided this colt and if given an easy lead, as when bolting up by 5 lengths last time, he will surely take all the beating once again.
Expensive Date is a filly who despite being highly consistent should find one or two too good. She certainly requires respect in this class, and should be considered for a place at least.
Effusive has been competing at a group level lately and this steep drop in class could easily see her return to winning ways and is rated as the main danger.
Field Game (WIN)
Our second pick contests the open looking 20:20, an extended 7 furlong Nursery.
Gavarnie Encore is towards the front end of the market. A surprise winner last time out when defying odds of 33/1 under today’s rider David Probert, that win came at Kempton in a race that lacked depth and where both market leaders were found wanting. The form looks questionable and he looks to have it all to prove.
Wink Oliver finished way back when finishing behind Gavarnie Encore, but has run well here before and should not be discounted with Graham Gibbons assistance. Any market interest would be worth noting.
Finton Friend will need to improve for the step up in trip. Being by fast Company that is highly likely and he should find his way into the money here.
My selection here is Piccadillo for trainer Daniel Kubler and ridden by Robert Winston, Showing a good level of improvement last time when aided by first time blinkers Piccadillo has performed best when running from the front and, as such, the run of the race didn’t look to suit when trying this track two runs ago. Wolverhampton can be a hard track on which to peg leaders back and Robert Winston is a good judge of pace. If ridden as enterprisingly as when running at Kempton last time, he should be able to kick for home and repel his challengers late on.
Our final selection runs in the final race of the day. Once again we tackle the extended 7 furlongs, this time with the older horses.
Dazeen gets the vote here. Winner last time out when having his first start after a 5 month absence, the switch to Tapeta for his first win in over 3 years looked to me to indicate a resurgence when able to take advantage of a heavily reduced all weather mark. Turned out quickly here under a 6lb penalty he looks to have a good chance to gain back to back wins for the second time in his career.
Robert Winston is 2-8 for the yard and the owners are no strangers to the winner’s enclosure at Dunstall Park, having shown a 22% strike rate at the track in the last 5 years.
Diamonds a Dancing looks to make it 3 wins from his last 3 starts. Still relatively unexposed Brian Gubby’s charge has forged a formidable partnership with jockey Franny Norton. A revelation since today’s headgear combination was added on the first of hid two wins he is thrown in here in similar circumstances to Dazeen, looking to defy the extra 6lb before reassessment by the handicapper. He will not go down without a fight.
Roger Varian saddles Humour. The market will be informative as far as his chances go, but on handicap debut he could well have the last laugh.
by Gary Morland