Dommersen looks likely to go off as favourite here and an early price of around 2/1 isn’t the most enticing, however he was a ready winner over a shorter trip than today on return from seven months away from the track and this is backed up by the fact that both second and third have gone on to win since. The yard have been in decent form recently and have a 36% winning strike rate over the last twelve months here at Wolves so is worth following here.
Ballard Down comes next in the early markets and although only fourth on re-appearance he won second time out last year and should be expected to improve with race fitness on his side. On form he looks the most likely to challenge the favourite but the yard haven’t had a winner in over twelve months here at Wolves so he is passed over today.
Of the remainder, Jintshi is considered for the Mark Johnston team who have a decent strike rate here, although the previous course and distance winner will need to improve on previous handicap runs, while Pirate’s Treasure is also a previous course and distance winner but looked well held off his current mark when last seen.
Dubai Knights finished strongly when third over the minimum at Doncaster earlier this month so will likely benefit from the extra half furlong for todays’ race, however as none of the field have raced again since and the ones with prior runs under their belt failing to make any significant improvement it is difficult to assess the form of this race.
In contrast, although Vaux could only manage fourth on racecourse debut two opponents from that race have since gone on to win and place respectively in higher grades. Furthermore, there was a lot to like about his turf debut at Ripon recently, in what was only his second career run, where he finished a half length behind the winner but six lengths clear of third. A final pointer is that trainer Ben Haslam has only saddled one flat runner here in the last five years but this was a winner.
I feel that the remainder of the field with racecourse experience will need to improve rapidly to finish ahead of the above named two so the biggest danger could come from the unraced pair of Seebring and Private Matter.
David Brown is another trainer who doesn’t send many runners here to Wetherby yet with one winner from one runner in the last year I am prepared to take a chance on his runner Simply Clever. She has been performing with credit recently having placed in each of her last three runs including one over todays’ trip, form which reads well in the context of this race.
Tricky Dicky won on heavy ground on his penultimate run and followed up with a decent fourth last time out, staying on strongly at the business end, so should benefit from the step back up in trip here. However his last attempt on good ground over a similar trip ended in disappointment so he isn’t one to be overly confident about.
Intalza is the only one of the fourteen-strong field arriving on the back of a win but has been raised 8lbs for a two length victory, is now on a career high mark and has struggled off lower marks than he races off today,
Of the remainder, Miramonte Dancer has improved with each of her five career runs so far and could continue today while Fine Example wasn’t too far away last time out and should benefit from this slightly longer trip, although his yard have struggled to find many winners in recent weeks.
Simply Clever (E/W)