Our racing expert marks your card for Wednesday's action.
With today’s jumps meetings at the mercy of the weather, it’s the all-weather fare at Wolverhampton that provides today’s selections.
First up is the Hugo Palmer-trained TEMERAIRE, who is taken to get us off to a flyer in the opening 6f median auction stakes. The daughter of Mount Nelson was campaigned over further when trained in France and managed a couple of second-placed efforts, but she must have been showing her new trainer plenty of speed at home as she’s been running over 6f/7f this winter and to good effect.
After winning a Lingfield maiden without breaking sweat on her British debut back in November, she had to settle for second spot behind an unexposed sort when returned to that track for her first crack at handicap rivals. She ran from the front on both occasions but those tactics were overdone at Kempton on her most recent outing when, having gone too hard too early, she understandably faded close home to finish a well beaten ninth.
We can safely put a line through that effort then and now reunited with Josephine Gordon, who rode her into second two starts back and has a 22% strike rate on the stable runners, she must take all the beating against today’s opposition, the best of whom may be Wediddodontwe. He ran an encouraging third over 7f here after a 17-month lay off, but as that was just nine days ago he’s a candidate for the bounce factor, and has to concede the selection 5lb besides.
The feature 7f handicap has attracted a big field of 12 and several can be fancies, but I’ve had David O’Meara’s EXCHEQUER in my tracker since he finished third over track and trip in December when he might have won but for getting stopped in his run at a vital stage. He’s continued to run well since without winning and only found the well backed Sword Exceed less than a length too good at Lingfield on his most recent outing, with a big gap back back to the third. The handicapper has bumped him up just 1lb for that effort and he’s still 5lb lower than when last successful, so he really ought to be thereabouts with a little luck in running, which he’s due.
The other two selections have more to prove in terms of fitness as they have absences to overcome, so a market check is advised before going in.
NOW CHILDREN is making his first start for Clive Cox in the extended 1m1f handicap following a 508-day lay off, but he won twice from three starts as a juvenile when with Iain Jardine, who rated him highly and went as far as saying “he could be as good as I’ve ever trained.” Off what could be a generous mark of 87 and with Adam Kirby booked, the now four-year-old could well start making up for lost time with a win here.
KING CRIMSON has a 297-day absence to overcome as well as top weight in the closing 5f handicap. However, he’s become very well handicapped after losing his way last winter/spring and is now 13lb lower than when winning over course and distance. Formerly with Mick Channon, who once described him as “the quickest horse we have had”, he can surely win more races for John Butler and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he bounced out under Adam Kirby to make all.
All odds were correct at time of posting.