Our racing expert marks your card for Monday's all-weather action at Wolverhampton.
Just the four runners for the 5f handicap and it looks between the two course and distance winners in Desert Doctor and BIG TIME MAYBE, with the latter preferred. Tom Dascombe’s three-year-old is chasing a hat-trick having added to his easy Kempton success when making all here last time. While he’s since gone up a further 7lb, that rise looks justified as he could have been called the winner a long way out, such was the power with which he travelled, and the winning time was comparatively the fastest on the card.
Desert Doctor’s winning time here nine days ago was slower in comparison and he went off at odds-on in what was effectively a match against his one serious rival. At least he didn’t flash his tail on that occasion, as he had done in his previous races, and he is clearly going the right way. However, that comment also applies to the selection and with the stable going great guns – three winners from just six runners in the last fortnight, including one at 25/1 – I’m prepared to trust in his fitness after a near three-month break. Indeed, he might be better for it.
ARGENT KNIGHT just gets into the 1m6f handicap off top weight having been dropped to a mark of 75 since he last ran on the all-weather and he might be able to take advantage of this drop in class with Timmy Murphy booked. He certainly won’t lack for fitness having had a couple of spins over hurdles this winter, albeit he was well beaten on both occasions, and we know he acts on this Tapeta surface as he was a taking winner on his last visit here in April 2016 off the same mark as today’s. That was over an extended 2m so I’d expect Murphy to give him a positive ride from the front and he’ll take some catching in that instance.
Nicola Currie is riding out of her skin right now and her 5lb claim is like gold dust, so the fact her name appears next to BOSTONIAN in the 1m4f handicap is a big plus for the eight-year-old’s chances. He’s still a maiden, admittedly, but he’s lightly-raced for his age and showed he had a small contest in him when finishing runner-up at Yarmouth in June off the same mark as today’s. He’s had just the one start since, that coming at Southwell 19 days ago, when racing handily until getting tired and fading into seventh, and he should be all the better for that first run in 204 days. Getting weight from all of today’s rivals, he’s got to be worth a small nibble at decent odds.
Wolverhampton 5.20, Big Time Maybe @ 13/8 with bet365
Wolverhampton 5.50, Argent Knight @ 25/1 with William Hill
Wolverhampton 6.20, Bostonian @ 20/1 with bet365
All odds were correct at time of posting.