A decent card at Wolverhampton to look forward to this evening and the hope is that Magic J (5.00) is more amenable to restraint back down to the minimum trip than was the case at Newmarket on his reappearance. Ed Vaughan’s gelding – 11/4 with Boylesports – has not yet fulfilled the promise he showed at Yarmouth on debut and jumped in the air from the stalls at HQ. The selection has, on paper, a good draw in stall two but he cannot afford to be tardily away from the gates against these experienced sprinters. Oisin Murphy again takes the ride and this really is last chance saloon for the colt who is bred to appreciate the all-weather but has yet to fire on a synthetic surface.
Martyn Meade’s last four runners have finished 1112 and if Gossip (5.30) settles better than she did at Doncaster on ground, arguably, softer than ideal then she can add to that excellent recent record for the Newmarket yard. The filly – 3/1 at bet365 – showed distinct promise when beaten 2L over C&D in a Novice event here back in November and she was well backed for her handicap debut last month. Champion jockey Murphy retains the mount and I hope stall two is lucky for him at Dunstall Park.
Wrath Of Hector (7.30) finished like a train down the centre of the track at Chelmsford on his first start for Mick Appleby and would have won in another couple of strides. Murphy – yes again – takes over in the saddle tonight and, if he can get the lightly raced gelding into a decent early position, I would expect him to be finishing best of all from just a 1lb higher mark and Evens with William Hill is fair.
In the finale Labeeb (9.00) can confirm the promise of his Kempton debut when he finished third under hands and heels for Simon & Ed Crisford. The colt wears a tongue tie and it was reported he had a breathing operation prior to his first start which suggests he is not straightforward, but he was given a tender ride by David Egan at Kempton. I hope that kindness is rewarded. The selection is 13/8 with bet365.
At Bath Rock Of Fame (5.20) can go one better than when runner up at Windsor last week from a 1lb higher mark than she races off this evening. I thought Jack Mitchell removed the hood from his filly too late last week and his mount was slow from the gates. If she breaks on terms, then I think she will be tough to beat. Note she will be racing from a 6lbs higher mark from the weekend. She was put in at 5/2 on Wednesday morning with William Hill but trimmed to 2/1. That still looks a fair price.
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