Former Talksport presenter Charlie McCann marks your card for Wolves, Kempton and Southwell and also looks to Sunday too.
The Big Freeze prevents any turf racing today but the all-weather keeps the show on the road with scheduled meetings on polytrack at Wolverhampton and Kempton and on the fibresand at Southwell,
Empress Charlotte (4.40) hasn’t had much luck in her two handicaps starts (lost a shoe and forced wide from a poor draw) to date but she remains open to considerable improvement and can land the finale at the hastily arranged fixture at Kempton. She was well supported at Wolverhampton last time behind a well-handicapped Newmarket rival and the money can be recouped this afternoon.
School For Scandal (12.50 Southwell) looks sure to appreciate the step up in trip to a mile having got going too late behind Rutland Boy at Kempton last Saturday. It is interesting that connections opt for an inexperienced 7lb claimer rather than Greg Fairley, who often rides for the yard and is at the track, but the hope is the son of Pivotal can make it third time lucky.
Cosimo De Medici (3.25) won his sole start on fibresand at the beginning of the year and he can maintain his 100% record on the surface in the Southwell finale for Hughie Morrison whose yard have had three seconds and a third from their last four runners. He stays further than the 11f of today’s trip, but looks sure to be ridden prominently in a race where there are a number of potential front-runners.
Ana Emarati (5.50) is a well-bred newcomer from the Ed Dunlop yard who have their share of winners at Wolverhampton. The colt wouldn’t have to be anything out of the ordinary to make a winning debut and, whilst his draw is anything but ideal, he must be given the nod especially if the market speaks in his favour.
I was at snowy Lingfield on Tuesday where Brabazon (7.50) turned the amateur riders’ race into a procession for his rookie Irish trainer. Backed from 50/1 in the morning into 11/4 he won as he liked by 10 lengths. Returning from an 892-day lay-off he was produced as fit as a fiddle by his trainer who had already landed a number of gambles in the Irish point-to-point scene. As long as he doesn’t “bounce” (runs poorly on his second start after a long absence) he must take the beating; he goes well in the snow so you know he handles the possible blizzard at Wolverhampton this evening!!
Exeter are optimistic of racing on turf tomorrow where Royal Charm (1.20) can maintain his unbeaten record over fences for Paul Nicholls. Daryl Jacob takes the ride (note AP McCoy is at the meeting but overlooked) and he won’t have things all his own way as the lightly-raced Tarablaze is considered potentially top class by Philip Hobbs. The selection must give 5lbs to Tarablaze but Royal Charm jumped brilliantly when scoring here last month and ought to have too much pace for the Hobbs’ runner at this trip.
If Warwick races on Sunday Arnold Layne (2.40) looks sure to go close at a track where he has such a good record. He was different class to this lot at his best and he showed enough at Leicester last time to suggest his winning days are not yet over. Andrew Thornton gets on very well with the front-running grey and he merits nap material.
David Pipe’s Mr Bennett (2.10) must overcome another long layoff in the maiden hurdle, but this dual winning point-to-pointer has already shown in his two runs over rules that he possesses enough ability to make his mark over hurdles before progressing to the larger obstacles.