Our tipping action begins in the 5.45pm at Wolverhampton this evening, the fourth race on an action packed card, where a field of thirteen just-turned 3yos line up for a lowly 0-60 handicap. Not the easiest of races to kick off the night, but there is one horse there looking like she could prove to be pretty good value…
If she gets home over this trip just shy of ten furlongs, Global Goddess is a danger to all and is priced as such at the moment, just behind unexposed market leader Tabou Beach Boy. But she’s been running over 5, 6 and 7f to date and she is by no means obviously begging for a significant step up in distance. The one I like is GAMBA, trained by Richard Hannon and set to be ridden by Rossa Ryan. This filly ran to an RPR of 69 on her debut when 4th at Ascot back in September, but she is yet to reproduce that level of form on the same trade standard figures. However, she’s caught the eye in recent outings here at Wolverhampton and at Kempton last time out, both in running and with more consistent RPRs of 58 and 57. The handicapper has relented on his early assessment where he assigned the horse a mark of 69, she runs off just 60 today and with a more polished performance, Gamba can be right in the mix at a fair price.
Sir Mark Prescott is a hard man to catch in-form, but 3 of his last 10 runners have won and he does seem to be targeting these mid-winter All-Weather meetings with some of his nicely handicapped horses. One such beast is the 5yo ALABASTER in the 6.15pm handicap over 1m4f, not seen since landing a 1m6f handicap at Chelmsford in the Summer of 2017. This grey son of Archipenko has been gelded since and running off a mark of 87 on his return to the track, he is a dangerous proposition for his admittedly fitter rivals. Alabaster stays 1m6f strongly and is a three time winner at the distance, but he had the speed to win over 1m3f at Kempton, so this step back to 1m4f should be fine.
Another shrewd handler in the training ranks is Simon Crisford and his unexposed HANATI can get the better of an exposed looking Kadiz in the 7.15pm Novice Stakes over the minimum distance of five furlongs. The latter named Richard Hughes trained runner has far more experience and the best level of ability on show, but she has very much had her chances and has proved disappointing on several occasions. With that in mind, the run of Hanati when 2nd at Southwell on her career debut on New Year’s Day, catches the eye as one the daughter of Camacho can build on and go close here. Crisford has been amongst the winners in recent days and boasts an impressive 23% hit rate at the midlands venue.
In the 6.30pm over in Dundalk, Jim Bolger’s Theobald dips back into a conditions race over 1m4f, having been highly tried in Group races last year. In his last two starts, the 4yo has produced Topspeed figures of 86 and 81 in handicap company over this course and distance, running just below form when beaten into 3rd last time out, but still displaying ability that his rivals today will struggle to match. This contest serves as a fast track qualifier for the A/W Championship Finals at Lingfield on Good Friday and Theobald stands out here as a horse that could have a fair say at that level.
The last race at Dundalk is an interesting 7f handicap for 3yos, due off at 8.30pm. Calling Time has looked a lot more like it on her last two starts and is perhaps rightly favourite, but this is a tough assignment back to 7f for a stoutly bred Camelot filly. Burning Lake joined the Levins yard after winning in a modest time at Newcastle in October and makes his stable and Dundalk debut tonight on a career high mark of 60. He could have more to offer, but looks to short at odds of around 4/1.Tigray is interesting on his handicap debut for Joseph O’Brien, following the customary three runs in maidens to get a handy mark. But I think the apparent stable second string – COMMODUS – has good claims here at slightly better odds. She too has a middle-distance pedigree, but her best two runs on the ratings were over 6f and 7f and trip drop to 7f reads well given the horse didn’t look to get home over a mile here last time out. The handicapper has dropped her a very fair 3lb following that disappointment, which gives her every chance if reverting to her best this evening, with Shane Crosse once again taking off a handy 5lb.
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.