6:00 Wolverhampton (16th July) Free Horse Racing Tips

Ring Betty, Quick.
An A.B.F Maiden Auction Stakes over 5f 216y.

The majority of the field have raced with three debutantes.

Backers of Therapeutic will probably need to have the Betty Ford Clinic on speed dial for a session of Deep Sleep Therapy if Scott Dixon's bay filly doesn't - finally - gain success. This daughter of Milk It Mick showed a fair level of form in her first two starts but the last two efforts have left many scratching their heads. Fancied to go well, she was beaten by a better horse at Musselburgh, tiring after a full-on attack to win, where this home bred finished fourth. Well backed at Catterick, De Sousa made a bold effort to lead all the way in testing conditions but clearly went a stride too fast. The testing ground on both recent starts may have not been ideal and connection try the all-weather and step up in distance. It would be no surprise to see her held up with a view to finishing the race although if taking a front-running approach De Sousa will need to have learned a valuable lesson. At her best, this April foal must have strong claims but there is a slight concern that these recent failures are due to regression which would ring alarm bells. She looks the type to win or fail miserably. 

Capo Rosso is another runner who in ways has flattered to deceive. This son of Red Clubs has shown glimmers of ability although always hanging on the tail of fair types which may be slightly misleading. He showed good pace at Haydock but was brushed aside in ready fashion by three capable juveniles who would have probably scooted clear if they had pressed any buttons. In what looks to be a pretty moderate affair it wouldn't be wise to consider he cannot win but a tricky one to assess.

Branson is a good-looking son of Mujadil costing £20,000 at the yearling sales. Hannon stated that this was a lazy type so perhaps it wasn't too surprising he showed a slothful attitude at Salisbury when, seemingly, second string. This March foal ran much better at Windsor when held up off the pace if not a little outpaced. The winner - Front Page News - is a fair juvenile but the form of those behind has been knocked. It will be interesting to see if Branson has the pace to hold his position. With experience that may be the case but I would have concerns on this turning track where speed can be a positive.

To put it bluntly, the rest of the form horses look moderate and would need to improve. 

Of the debutantes, Bear Totem hails from the Jo Hughes stable, who rarely miss a trick. This son of Kodiac was a breeze-up purchase at 4,500 euros. This bay has been entered to run at plating class which doesn't inspire confidence although the classy All Fur Coat was similarly entered at such a level so it pays to be open minded about these matters, if not careful. The betting is key. If backed, it would be a positive but confidence would need to be strong to take a punt.

Cerys has breeding to appreciate a stiffer test of stamina. Derek Haydn Jones features a poor strike rate with his debutantes. He often has big-priced winners on their second start and best watched today.

Living The Life is trained by Jamie Osborne, who is one of my favourite trainers. Owner, Michael Buckley, had a decent juvenile with Brian Meehan in the shape of Gerfalcon but a wide draw and Osborne's poor strike rate with horses making their racecourse bow suggests a watching brief. If backed, it would bring more confidence.

Conclusion: A difficult race to call. Therapeutic is the focus of my attention but a puzzle. At best, I would consider this filly a great each way selection after those first two efforts. Starbotton won well at Musselburgh, where Dixon's youngster tired in the closing stages after desperately trying to catch Bethell's winner and paid the price. There was an excuse for that performance and there could well be a reason for an even greater failure at Catterick. Without question, De Sousa went much too fast that day. However, this juvenile has faced some hard races which may have taken their toll. Two-year-olds can sour quickly and you have to balance the good with the bad to approximate fears she has regressed. That would mean she has little chance here. These variables have to be taken into account and reason why I would need a fair price to be tempted to an each way wager. On balance, I would have a small bet. In truth, a straight win may be best because this will probably be an easy win or hopeless failure. Capo Rosso is difficult to assess but must have place claims. Branson could be the dark horse because he is a good-looking sort but will need to sit handy. If outpaced it would be a concern. I'd give Therapeutic one more chance. (''Hi, this is the Betty Ford Clinic, how can I help you?'') 



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