Paul Callaghan’s Wolverhampton Tips – Saturday 13th February
Former jockey turned broadcaster Paul Callaghan Saturday’s racing at Wolverhampton.
4.44 Wolverhampton. (Handicap) (Division 1) (Class 6) (4yo+ 0-60) over 1m142y.
You always have to be a little cautious in these type of events, that there is not something generally unexposed and ready to run up a sequence of victories. That being said, these are often quite fascinating and fun trying to solve and this race is no different.
Street Poet is interesting, if putting his best foot forward from stall number 5. However, his last victory came at Wolverhampton over 7 furlongs in July of last year. That was off a handicap mark of 65, and he just lasted home.
In my opinion, his last two runs haven’t suggested a return to the winner’s enclosure was imminent. I am a big fan of his trainer, Michael Herrington, who does pretty good with the annunciation he is provided with.
Seaforth is a horse I have invested in successfully in the past, but he is a hold up performer who needs a good fast pace to aim at. This is his first run since last September so I would imagine he will be needing this outing.
A quick turn out for Broken Rifle, under a penalty following his success at Wolverhampton on Monday catches the attention and he could be the way to play here. You can sense there’s a “but” coming!
But…I’m going to side with the Kevin Frost trained Steal The Scene, ridden by Rossa Ryan. He was a gallant fourth on his latest outing over course and distance from a wide draw. He was rushed up on the outside and used a lot of energy in doing so. He was still there inside the final furlong and was only beaten around a length by the winner.
He doesn’t have to make the running and the draw has been a lot kinder to him here, being drawn in stall number 1.
Steal The Scene is running off a handicap mark of 60; he’s won off 62 in the past and ought to be in the mix once again.
5.45 Wolverhampton. Handicap (Class 5) (4yo+ 0-75) over 7f36y.
I’m all over the Richard Hannon trained filly, Arafi, under jockey Sean Leavy.
It took her seven attempts to get her head in front but once she has, she’s gone in again and I think she can complete the hat-trick. She won well on the turf at Salisbury last August and had Late Arrival behind her in third.
Late Arrival has an all-weather rating of 86 – the highest rating in this race is 77. Arafi was given break following that succes, and made a winning return in a fillies handicap at Kempton last Saturday.
She came from off the pace, so I’d imagine from stall 5, she’ll sit a little closer to the pace and hopefully (in an ideal world) kick on from the home turn. I think Arafi could end up with a rating in the 100’s, time will tell but she could be quite smart.
6.45 Wolverhampton. Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Class 5) (3yo) over 1m4f.
Shenu gets my vote in this one. The son of 2015 US Triple Crown and Grand Slam hero, American Pharoah, made his debut over the stiff 1 mile at Newcastle, just over 2 weeks ago, and finished a strong third against two more experienced rivals.
Callum Shepherd done the steering on debut and had to work in pulling the David Simcock trained colt up after they had crossed the finish line. Jamie Spencer takes over here and I think Shenu can go two better than his racecourse debut, in what could be a tricky betting heat.
8.15 Wolverhampton. (Handicap) (Class 5) (4yo+ 0-70) over 1m4f51y.
A tricky handicap brings the curtain down at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening.
Greengage bids to shorten the journey back up north for her trainer, Tristan Davidson. She’s won on two of her last three starts but could well be in the grip of the handicapper, running off a rating of 70. She has never won off anything higher than 64.
Dream Magic is worth a mention, coming into this on the back of a course and distance success and I also like By Jove who has been running with credit of late and bagged himself a course and distance win, three starts ago back in January.
It is the Samuel Drinkwater trained Flight Command who gets the verdict under the excellent George Rooke, who claims a valuable 3lbs off 8st 13lbs. A horse that connections are still finding their feet with, having bought him from the Michael O’Callaghan stable at the Autumn sales in Newmarket last year. He cut little ice on stable and UK debut, pulling up in a juvenile hurdle at Wetherby last December.
Flight Command was re-routed to the flat, finishing a respectable fifth at Wolverhampton over two furlongs shorter in early January. He didn’t seem to handle the deeper surface at Southwell, despite running well for a long way, on his next start, finishing fifth of six runners.
On his last start, he shaped with plenty of promise finishing second, behind the Richard Fahey trained G For Gabrial over course and distance, on the 31st of January.
This is only his tenth career start, so there should be more to come.
Connections have found a nice opportunity for the son of War Command to get his head in front for the first time, since winning at Gowran Park last October.
It promises to be a competitive evening’s action on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton. Best of luck if you’re playing and as always, enjoy!