The come down to Earth is a lofty one for the horse racing fan this week, with a very quiet schedule following the Christmas period not providing much inspiration. But if the racing calendar has any pillars of consistent solidarity, Wolverhampton and Dundalk on a Friday night are certainly a part of the brickwork.
Wolverhampton – 4.35pm
In Wolverhampton’s second race at 4.35pm, 90 rated turf performer Tor must have a fair theoretical chance of running well on an All-Weather rating of 70, as he tackles this Class 5 handicap contest over 1m4f. I do find a lot of horses find it hard to match their turf ability on the artificial surfaces though (been lured in a few times!) and Tor could be just that sort. It could pay to side with a more proven horse for the task at hand, which is why David Loughnane’s IFTIRAAQ catches the eye after a breathing operation, on the back of a solid run over the course and distance on the 1st of December. He was able to dictate there and may have been flattered a tad, but he certainly has a good chance in this company, if Edward Greatrex can secure an advantageously prominent early position from stall nine.
Wolverhampton – 6.15pm
Peachy Carnahen should go well in the 7f handicap at 6.15pm, if turning out quickly after finishing 3rd here under a penalty on Wednesday, but the step up to 7f could find him out. Viola park arrives in good form but has been beaten twice here recently from similar handicap marks, so I’ll take a chance on the Kevin Frost trained SHAMLAN. This 7yo ran well over 7f at Chester last June and again here after a break in November, but the majority of his runs of late have been over a mile. What he could really do with here is a strong pace to aim at and so long as he doesn’t leave himself too much to do, he should run a very sound race under Jack Michell.
Wolverhampton – 6.45pm
The last pick at Wolverhampton is a fairly straightforward one to make. FREEDOM AND WHEAT scored handsomely at Lingfield last week and is very well handicapped under a 6lb penalty on Friday with that recent win firmly in mind. Brendan Powell’s 3yo is improving at just the right time and he can prove just a bit too good for Beryl The Petal, a horse stepping back in trip with a decent chance in the 6.45pm.
Dundalk – 8.30pm
Over in Dundalk, EVERY BREATH can resume winning ways in the 8.30pm handicap over ten furlongs, the second of two divisions of the race. 7lb conditional rider Gavin Ryan has struck up a good partnership with this just turned 4yo in recent months. The pair teamed up to score here in mid-November and improved on that when 2nd over the same course and distance a fortnight later. The step up to 12f didn’t quite go to plan the last day, with the filly finishing 5th, but the still ran to an RPR well into the 60s. Her handicap mark has taken a fair hike since that win earlier in the Winter, but she finds herself in an open but ultimately winnable affair here and the drop back in trip can prove a telling factor.
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.