The first of three selections from tonight's all-weather action at Wolverhampton sees me make a less than outrageous claim that Sea Formula looks the likeliest winner. The William Haggas trained three year old returned to action after a 71 day lay off and produced an encouraging second placed finish at Southwell. She takes a step up in trip and the two and a half extra furlongs should be a massive boost to her chances of shaking off her maiden tag. Beautifully bred, hails from a top class yard who are in form and has a promising young jockey who takes weight off her back it's hard to see anything but a Sea Formula victory.
Honourable mentions go to both Already Gone and Lightening Gesture who weren't far away in their most recent performances and look the most likely to follow the selection home.
SEA FORMULA (WIN)
A third over course and distance here at Dundalk last time out should stand five year old Tooreen Angel in good stead for another solid performance at this venue once again. Now residing off a 3lb lower mark than when successful at Dundalk back in March she should go close and I'd be shocked to see her outside of the top four.
Fellow course and distance winner Kingslayer showed drastic improvement to finish with his head in front last time. Isn't one for racking up a succession of wins so is more likely to play second fiddle to some of his rivals.
Although she's a maiden after seven races I think Mads Black Eights might be drastically overpriced. Two very encouraging efforts to finish second and fourth in her last two starts over course and distance has shown she's improved for a change of yards and I'd urge punters to keep an eye on her especially if she attracts market support.
TOOREEN ANGEL (E/W)
This seven furlong contest looks ultra-competitive and I find myself siding with another Dundalk course and distance winner. I'm hoping that one of the oldest horses in the line-up can turn back the clock and finish with their head in front. Well Suited has failed to enter the winners enclosure in his last thirteen starts but as such now has half a stone less weight to carry than when claiming his last victory. A fourth over course and distance last time out shows he still holds plenty of ability and now looks primed for another bold showing.
Current market leader Crystal Dawn found herself filling the runners up spot last time out and this change in trip should see her to better effect. With the same promising amateur jockey booked for the ride as last time it'd be foolish to rule her out.
Of the remainder, at bigger prices both Tresorier and Twilight Man look best of the rest.
WELL SUITED (E/W)
Golden Force hasn't won in over a year but based on his last effort here at Wolverhampton should be close to finally putting that long losing streak to bed. Despite his lack of success the six year old has gone close on several occassions producing four placed finishes in the past twelve months. All four of those performances came off either the same or higher mark than he's currently on and I'm hoping that this smaller field should ensure he's more likely to see the race run to suit.
Obviously with the likes of Tadleel and fellow course winner Full Intention in the mix it's not going to be easy for Charlie Fellowes runner but this looks a prime opportunity for Golden Force to return to winning ways.
GOLDEN FORCE (WIN)
The final race on the card over in Ireland sees a hatful of sprinters enter the stalls and once more I opt for a runner who's been successful over the course and distance. The James McAuley trained Beleagurement went off as short as 7/2 last week but was woefully disappointing, some may say too bad to be true. Prior to that lacklustre performance however he'd been ultra-consistent finishing in the top four in four of his five prior starts. With wins off ratings of 61 and 68 a race at this level should be well within his grasps as connections hope he can atone for his last performance.
Teddy Boy went very close here on his previous run and despite never tasting victory on an artificial surface could go similarly close once more.
Youngster Pandemic Princess has run very well in her last three performances and with a healthy weight for age allowance looks a very big threat to our selection.
Although Noirvento has finished closer to last than first in her last six runs if she's anything near her best then she could cause a shock. I'm a huge admirer or trainer Tracey Collins, especially with her runners here at Dundalk. A decent jockey in Gavin Ryan is booked for the ride and may be an alternative for punters looking to take an each way punt.
The sixth and final selection is set to run in the last race at Wolves and as seems to be the running theme another former course and distance winner looks to be the way to go. That being said with more than half of the field having such an achievement in their resume it doesn't narrow it down all that much.
Although Q Twenty Boy went on a fantastic run of form that saw him either win or place in 7 of 9 races dating from July to early December the handicapper looks to have taken a strangle hold of him and based on his most recent effort may need further improvement to win off this mark. He might be the favourite but he's worth taking on.
I'd be more inclined to worry about Sir Hector who, despite having more weight to carry than when last successful has won off marks higher than this in the past. An intriguing jockey booking in Marco Ghiani also peaks the interest and he shouldn't be far away.
Despite being on a massive 33 race losing streak I find myself siding with Qaaraat. The seven year old is making what will be his 108th racecourse appearance. A massive achievement by any horse and I hope it can be a winning one. His last victory came exactly a year ago today and I'm praying it's a good omen. He's weighted to go close, has a decent drawn and a competent rider who takes weight off his back, if all eight run then a top three finish looks a strong possibility.
written by Rory Paddock