Our resident tipster is hoping these two runners can get the punting week off to a flyer!
Marco Botti has his team in fine form and his CRAZY CHIC looks worth an interest when he appears at Wolverhampton this evening.
The four-year-old has not been seen out since finishing a disappointing eighth at Windsor in October, but he is best judged on his previous two runs. First time out he was a ready winner of a Doncaster maiden over 6f from the well-backed and more experienced Tap Your Toes, and he followed that up by finishing third to the useful Major Jack on his handicap debut at Kempton. That latter effort can be upgraded further as he ended up racing wide for half the race and was finishing best of all over the extended 6f trip.
That strongly suggests he will have no problem with today’s 7f and given his breeding – he’s out of a 1m1f-winning half-sister to 7f Group 1 winner Field Of Hope – he should absolutely relish it. Obviously, we are trusting in his fitness but the fact he won first time up last season is encouraging in that respect and his trainer is sounding reasonably confident about his chances.
He said: “He’s in good form.he hasn’t run for a while but he’s done well at home and I think he’s fit. He handles the surface, although he doesn’t have the best draw [stall eight]. We are claiming 3lb off him and I like his chances.”
If further encouragement for a bet was needed it can gleaned from Botti’s record at the track with 81 of his 361 runners (22%) obliging in the last five seasons, for a healthy £1 level-stakes profit of £26.26.
The other horse worth backing is Alan Swinbank’s LIGHT OF ASIA, who can show the benefit of his season-opener by landing the 1m3f handicap at Windsor this evening. Gelded since the end of the 2014 season, the selection travelled well for a long way on his seasonal reappearance at Catterick 19 days ago until lack of fitness told. With that run under his belt, he should be ready to take advantage of what looks a lenient handicap mark of 72, which is just 2lb higher than the one he won off at Haydock last September, when beating 15 rivals.
Windsor doesn’t suit every horse so the fact he finished an excellent second here last June dispels any worries on that score, and this looks a good piece of placement by his trainer who is always to be respected when he travels south from his North Yorkshire base. The fact Light Of Asia is his only runner and he’s gone to the trouble of booking the criminally under-used Kieren Fallon are further pointers to a big run, and it will be disappointing if he can’t beat eight rivals, the majority of which have question marks over them.