On what is a relatively poor day of racing we hope to find three solid bets to help build the betting bank for Cheltenham. Our first selection, Mukaynis, runs in this class five handicap over five furlongs and is a previous course and distance winner having won here on his last outing in January. He holds a 100% win record here on the tapeta surface and although 5lbs higher for his latest win he looks to be progressing nicely and should be able to bring up the double today.
Pearl Noir is another course and distance winner who arrives on the back of a three length win at Kempton last time out. He is likely to be in the mix again but with only one win from seven here at Wolves and with a 6lbs penalty to carry he is not guaranteed to follow up here.
Malaysian Boleh also has Wolves form to consider but has been racing over seven or eight furlongs recently and takes a big drop in trip today. His only other attempt at five furlongs in the last twelve months was on turf but resulted in a ten length defeat where he finished last of ten.
Our second selection of the day is Dream Child who is likely to go off as a short priced favourite. Despite the likely short odds, he is looking to complete a four timer and boasts a 100% win record over course and distance so is difficult to oppose despite another 6lbs rise. Jockey Kevin Stott has a good record when riding for Charlie Appleby and his 3lb claim helps to negate some of the rise in the weights.
I have personally backed both Maiden Approach and Boonga Roogeta previously but in todays’ race I think it will be difficult for either to get the better of the Dream Child and Hedge End could be the most likely to follow home the favourite following a short break.
Dream Child (WIN)
The final race of the day sees eleven scheduled to go to post and as this is one of the few races to have a field with double figures running I have gone for what I hope is a bit of value, by way of John Potts. The selection won this race last year, notching up a course and distance double in the process, and is now 2lbs below his last winning mark. All eight of his career wins have been here at Wolves and he has finished second over track and trip on nine occasions too.
The obvious danger is Gabrial The Thug who is one of two other course and distance winners in the field (the other being Warden Bond) and is looking for his hat-trick here today. In his current form he is definitely worth considering but what swayed it for me is that he has raced off todays’ mark over track and trip twice last year but could only manage to finish fourth and sixth respectively.
The aforementioned Warden Bond has a 29% win rate here so is another who could get in the mix but would need to bounce back from a poor show at Chelmsford City at the beginning of the month.
John Potts (E/W)