4.55 7f Class 4 Handicap – Theodorico 4/1
There’s not much pace on upfront which is perfect for a usual front runner like Theodorico around a course like Wetherby, he’s only ran once around here in the past where he won well off a 6lb lower mark, all 4 of his wins have been on left handed tracks, taking out straight and right handed tracks gives him a fantastic record of 4 wins from 8 runs on left handed tracks over 7 furlongs. He’s a once rated 91 gelding and has won off a mark of 86 in a good 0-90 race at Thirsk, that was over a year and a half ago, but has only had 10 runs to his name since with long gaps in between runs not really letting him find a rhythm, but still has ran better than the bare form suggests. He returned from a long 238 day break the end of last month in pleasing style in a 0-85, he broke effortlessly well and took up up the running early on, he shaped very well and looked very dangerous, however fitness took its toll and couldn’t keep up when the pace picked up, he did stay on well under a gentle ride to finish just over 2 lengths off the winner, he generously gets a 2lb drop from the handicapper to be 6lbs under last winning mark, he drops into a slightly easier 0-80, he’ll be fitter for the run and returning to a left handed track will be a huge plus for the bang inform yard who don’t travel to Wetherby at all often.
5.10 7f Class 3 Handicap – Strict Tempo 11/4
Trainer Andre Balding is in fine form with his 3yo’s, he’s already built up 8 winners on the turf from 34 tries to add to his 15 winners on the AW from 63 runners, a 24% strike rate. He’s best 3yo today comes from filly Strict Tempo who clearly loves fast ground which she’ll get here. She won a 6f novice at Nottingham in August last year and was unlucky not to double her tally immediately after at Doncaster NTO if it wasn’t for running into trouble, the winner Stay Classy confirmed the form when a strong 2nd in a stronger race NTO off 7lbs more and then won a Group 3 in France. Strict Tempo then took on the Redcar 2 year old trophy where again eye catching in defeat, she blew her chances at the start but showed her class to finish as close as she did. Her pedigree suggests she’ll improve as a 3yo with her half sisters Dancing Star and Foxtrot Lady both improved rapidly as 3 year olds both winning 4 races each and both trained by Andrew Balding. She certainly looks the class act of the race and should go on to to bigger things, however she may need the run against some race fit rivals, but even so, she’s still worth the bet and to add to your trackers for the season ahead.
5.55 6f Class 6 Handicap – Mr Potter 12/1
A big price considering the form his in, I know why the big price because he’s never won on the turf before and his mark of 56 looks a little tough at first glance but there’s when looking further there’s plenty to suggest he can break his duck on his 19th attempt. He started his career on the turf where he built up his bad turf losing sequence, however he did show a liking for turf especially on faster ground, he was very unlucky not to win at least twice in his 3 second places and recorded his career best over 7 furlongs on fast ground at Redcar as a 2 year old off a 65 mark, after the losing sequence he’s done all his running on the AW with a fair record especially on the poly, he’s very headstrong and has been tricky to get right, he blew a lot of his races at the start but always strong in the finish until recently he’s looked a different animal and pinged the start the last 2 races which has left him a comfortable winner in both finishes. Because of his recent starts have given connections a crack at the shortest distance he’s faced in his career and has a nice draw to start, for me I think he’ll go on the turf even if statistics says he won’t and if running anything like his last 2 runs, he’ll prove to be still well in.