Our racing expert marks your card for Thursday's action, with a trio of Wolverhampton runners catching his eye.
I’m prepared to give Andrew Balding’s PAPA STOUR another chance when he runs in the opening 7f handicap as he was on the wrong end of a track bias when a well beaten favourite at Newcastle last time. The first three home on that occasion were drawn 12, 14 and 11 and the selection, who was drawn one and moved well towards the far side of the track, looked all at sea as the tempo got serious on the stands’ side. Clearly better was expected of the lightly-raced son of Scat Daddy and having also given the impression he didn’t quite see out the stiff mile last time, he won’t mind dropping back a furlong here. The booking Oisin Murphy, who is riding out of his skin right now with five winners to show from his 17 rides in the last fortnight, clinches the bet.
PULSATING has been running better than ever since being switched to Archie Watson and the upwardly mobile trainer looks to have found her a winning opportunity in this afternoon’s 6f handicap. Having spent most of her career rated in the 60s, she looked thrown in off a mark of 48 on her stable debut at Chelmsford in early December and while she found one too good on that occasion, she duly came good over this course and distance on her next outing. She could only finish fourth after a poor start on her follow up bid back at Chelmsford, with the stiffer Polytrack at the Essex venue not really suiting her come-from-behind running style either, and still well treated on a mark of 56 she can make it win number four at Wolverhampton.
James Tate’s INFLUENT shouldn’t be far away in the 1m1f handicap having finished third (of 13) in a decent handicap over track and trip last month. That was her best effort in three starts since winning a mile maiden at Kempton in August, with the step up in trip on her first try on Tapeta clearly suiting her. That she stays well is no real surprise as her half-sister Cape Castle won up to 1m6f on the all-weather and there ought to be more to come from her given she has had just five starts. A pair of first-time cheek-pieces may also help eek out a little more improvement and Luke Morris should be able to make the most of what looks a decent draw in stall three.
All odds were correct at time of posting.