Steve Hughes waits for the evening All Weather card at Wolverhampton for both selections on Thursday.
With a general lack of runners at the jumping fixtures in Britain it looks worth holding out until the evening where there are plenty of competitive handicaps, albeit at a lowly level at Wolverhampton. Both selections come from the Polytrack card featuring two course specialists.
Wolverhampton 7.30: Mr Red Clubs
Mr Red Clubs promised much during the All Weather season two winters ago when landing a four-timer, including three wins here at Dunstall Park. However it took him twenty more goes to win again until storming back to form at his favourite track here last time. He looks worth following again over the same course and distance.
There were three factors that could be argued brought about that recovery. He seemed to act well in first time cheek-pieces that day and the headgear is employed again today. His course record was already excellent so his form at the track now reads 11141, that fourth being one of his best efforts during that losing run over an inadequate 7f.
Perhaps the biggest factor is his recent switch to ace trainer Michael Appleby who looks once again to be bringing out the best in a horse that has been struggling with other stables. Only 4lbs higher for his convincing win last time, this does represent a step up in grade from 0-70 to 0-85. However there are not a huge number of in-form rivals and having won off as high as 78 in the past, a current rating of 70 should not be of great concern.
Wolverhampton 8.30: Fleetwoodsands
I tipped up Fleetwoodsands a couple of weeks ago for a similarly weak 7f race here, only for him to be taken out of the race on the day. However I see no reason to desert him today in what, if anything, looks an even weaker affair.
The first six wins of this gelding’s career all came at Wolverhampton, four of them over this 7f distance. He has spent most of his recent seasons with Milton Bradley, but has moved down the road to David Evans recently and on recent evidence he looks to be about to peak having returned from a nine month absence from the track in January.
He has a tendency to pull hard which means he will always be vulnerable at distances of a mile and beyond, but there is sufficient pace over 7f for him to conserve his stamina. It was over that distance when he managed a third place at Kempton last month, but again he pulled too hard when only fifth over a mile there last time. His current mark of 48 is very fair having won off as high as 69 in 2011, and this is the lowest of all low grade races.
1pt win – Mr Red Clubs – 7.30 Wolverhampton (4/1 general)
1pt win – Fleetwoodsands – 8.30 Wolverhampton (6/1 Bet365)