Wednesday 24 April 2013

2:25 Wolverhampton (25th April) Free Horse Racing Tips

An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f 20y. Five runners: three colts, two fillies, one with race experience. Two horses make most appeal in this contest. David Griffiths has a few juveniles in training but generally they are limited. However, Lilo Lil, a daughter of Captain Gerrard who cost £2,000, seemingly ran a blinder on her second start after finishing tailed-off on debut. It proves the point that horses can be transformed from that initial start. She ran much better at Redcar just over a week ago when backed from 40/1 - 33/1. Considering she was carrying two pounds over weight that was a gritty display. After showing good pace I had expected her to drop out of contention but none of it - she battled. The winner won a shade comfortably and has been spoken with enthusiasm by trainer Michael Dods. With a couple of outsiders filling the frame it could be poor race. There are pointers to form but even restricted races can prove quality events and only time will tell if this form is strong or weak. As with most small trainers, I tend to be cautious especially at restricted odds, although I like her attitude.

For many, Lady Frances will be a straightforward selection. She may well lead the way. This home bred daughter of Exceed And Excel is out of a talented mare. In fact, she won a Listed race on debut - exceptionally difficult - and Group 3 race second start. On the last of her fourth start, she finished second at Group 1. That bloodline suggests this bay filly could be quite classy. The only negative is that the mare won over a mile at two so the stallion will need to impart his speed. As readers will know, I am indifferent about Mark Johnston's two-year-old debutantes. They are either easy winners or poor losers. Inexperience on a turning course can to costly and sometimes makes life a hard task. It will be interesting to see how the two favourites fare in the betting. As a general guide, the shorter the price the more optimistic I would be about Lady Frances.

Of the others, Caesars Gift was entered to run the other day but withdrawn. I'm a big fan of Derek Shaw and Brian Johnson [owner] has a few decent horses in his care. This son of Holy Roman Emperor was quite an expensive yearling purchase at 38,000gns. The trouble is that the majority of their juveniles need the run. I can see this youngster going well second start but the poor strike is a negative.

Will To Survive has also been entered to run but makes his debut today. Richard Guest doesn't feature the best win rate with his juveniles on their racecourse bow. In general, I wouldn't give them much hope unless seriously backed. This gelding has been entered for a Selling race which doesn't bring confidence. Not a horse I would bet.

Prixmiester is a home bred son of Piccolo out of a sprinting mare who went well on debut, then won second start [trained by Derek Shaw]. James Unett is a trainer who often slips under the radar and in recent years has done well at this course. 

Conclusion: A tricky race in ways ways. With so few runners there may not be much value on offer and each horse has question marks. Lilo Lil sets the standard and should make her experience count from a low draw. She didn't lack for pace last time and if the debutantes are ring rusty they could be beaten in strides. The downside is trying to assess the merit of that form. It was a sizable field which suggests it was a fair effort but by race type this is a step up in class. Lady Frances is bred to be a talent and Mark Johnston has been in decent form with his juveniles this season. If she has ability she will win. However, the mare was bred for a trip which does bring slight concerns. Caesars Gift is best watched. Will To Survive has a stiff task and will most likely be outpaced. Prixmiester could be a surprise package if available at speculative odds but whether I would be brave enough to bet is another thing. Which ever horse is favourite - that's my pick.

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