Surfing The Sand

Our All-Weather specialist Simon Mapletoft previews three races at Wolverhampton on Saturday night – all live on Sky Sports Racing – and reveals four more Eyecatchers for your tracker.

  • Thursday 26 November
  • Blog
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CHARMING KID is on a dangerous mark and can overcome a wide draw to win the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap (4.00) at Wolverhampton on Saturday.

Dean Ivory’s sprinter emerged from a long break to post a highly encouraging performance over 5f at Chelmsford City on 12th November.

Travelling prominently, he went down fighting to Tony Carroll’s progressive three-year-old Pop Dancer, who paid the form quite a compliment when making the frame in a Class 2 handicap at Wolverhampton earlier this week.

Group placed as a juvenile, Charming Kid may have the most to fear from David Evans’ gelding Heer We Go Again, who did well to hold on for third after chasing front-running winner Araifjan over 6f at this track last Sunday. Best at this trip, he is drawn to go forward in stall four.


GABRIAL THE DEVIL has plenty going for him in Wolverhampton’s feature race on Saturday night, the 7f Bombardier ‘March To Your Own Drum’ Handicap (7.00).

Richard Fahey’s gelding returns to the All-Weather just 1lb higher than when successful over 6f around Chester in September and is ideally drawn to stalk the pace in stall three.

The son of Epaulette showed his quality by beating tough handicappers like Bossipop, Venturous and Brian The Snail that day and can be forgiven his no-show in bad ground at Doncaster earlier this month.

Though he has never won over this trip, Gabrial The Devil has run well on both visits to Dunstall Park and has also proven his aptitude for a tight, turning track by winning twice over 6f at Chester and making the frame over 7f and 7.5f there.

An obvious danger is David Simcock’s three-year-old Rovaniemi, who may just be sharper for his comeback fourth over this trip at Chelmsford City and remains unexposed on synthetics. A strong traveller who is normally held up, he will need plenty of luck from a poor draw in stall 10, however.


Mark Johnston’s LEOPARDO can win for the second time in three starts when he makes his handicap debut in the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Nursery Handicap (5.00) at Wolverhampton on Saturday.

A debut winner at Newcastle, this US-bred colt was denied in the dying strides in a warm conditions event over 10f at Chelmsford City last time, finishing third in a three-way photo behind the promising Irish Legend.

An opening rating of 87 looks fair and he can give weight away over this extended 1m with Franny Norton again in the saddle.

John Gosden’s Godolphin-owned Little Kitten put a poor run in testing ground behind her when finishing third over 1m on her handicap debut at Kempton last time but doesn’t appear to have a great deal of room for manoeuvre off a revised mark of 80.

More interesting is Alan King’s Oceanline, who came from a long way back to be fourth in a 7f maiden at this track two weeks ago and should relish the step up in trip.



Despite being sent off favourite for a 6f Wolverhampton nursery on Tuesday, Marco Botti’s colt couldn’t quite get the job done but ran on strongly from a wide position and looks more than capable of gaining quick compensation off a mark in the mid-70s. He has now posted two good efforts over this trip on the Tapeta track.


Marco Botti also introduced this son of Gleneagles at Wolverhampton last weekend. He was friendless in the market but an eye-catcher in the preliminaries so it was no surprise to see him run on from a hopeless position to be third behind a Godolphin hot pot and another rival with form and experience. It transpired that he lost a fore shoe in the run.


Mark Johnston’s imposing colt drew my eye in the parade ring at Newcastle last week and, whilst we may not see a great deal of him this winter, he looks a nice middle-distance prospect for the spring. Green and clueless in the early stages of a 10f maiden, this well-related son of Galileo ran on with promise to be second to a red hot favourite and will come on a ton for this.


Hot favourite Legion Of Honour brought Pattern-class form to the table so Kevin Ryan’s newcomer deserves considerable recognition for finishing little more than two lengths behind him in a 7f novice stakes at Newcastle last week. This brother to Ryan’s smart filly Ashadihan overcame a slow start to stay on with purpose and will be unlucky to bump into a rival of that calibre next time.


John Gosden is accustomed to unleashing future champions on the All-Weather and got the bookmakers excited when Uncle Bryn maintained his unbeaten record in a 9.5f novice stakes at Wolverhampton on Tuesday in a fast time. Quotes as low as 20-1 for next year’s Derby were quickly on offer and this handsome son of Sea The Stars will be one to look forward to come the spring. The Dante at York in May looks an obvious target.

Godolphin enjoyed a productive few days at Wolverhampton with three winning newcomers.Mawenzi, a big scopey filly, dominated an 8.5f fillies’ novice last Saturday before Al Waqidi followed suit in a maiden over the same trip for Mawenzi’s trainer Charlie Appleby 24 hours later. Saeed Bin Suroor wasn’t to be out-done, sending the powerfully built filly Silent Escape to the track to usurp an odds-on favourite in a 7f novice on Tuesday, despite looking in need of further. It was jockey Hector Crouch’s 31st winner for the trainer.

The latest Fast Track Qualifier took place in France on Wednesday but the tussle for a place in the Easter Classic wouldn’t have given key contender Dubai Warrior’s trainer John Gosden a sleepless night. Sky Power got up in a bunch finish to win Deauville’s 9.5f feature, beating 89-rated British raider Winter Reprise by a short neck.

Veteran trainer Les Eyre has a potential star on his hands in juvenile sprinter Bedford Flyer, who streaked home in a 5f Lingfield nursery on Wednesday in track record time. Despite shouldering a welter burden of 10st 3lb, he overcame a wide draw to make every yard of the running for Lewis Edmunds. Previously successful over the stiff 5f at Newcastle, he promises to get and extra furlong and if so, could be a live contender for the 3YO Final.

Surfing The Sand

Wolverhampton 16:00, 28 November 2020

Wolverhampton 17:00, 28 November 2020

Wolverhampton 19:00, 28 November 2020

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