8.25 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f
The more experienced horses, especially those lto winners, appear to have little scope to improve any further than their current ratings. Therefore this could represent an ideal opportunity for lightly raced Elterwater to open her account.
This is her seasonal reappearance but I expect her to be ready. There is no need to hold back anything and she steps up in trip in line with expectations of what should be her optimum trips.
She showed signs of improvement on Handicap debut when last seen in October when she was also quite well backed. She travelled nicely but didn’t have the pace to match in the closing stages over 7 furlongs.
Elterwater is a full-sister to a smart Aussie performer over 1m to 10f who improved nicely in her days as a 3yo. She looked quite big last year and is possibly one to be most interested in Spring. So her time should be now.
There is no doubt she is expected to improve as she moves up in trip as a daughter of Camelot. Her current 59 rating looks ready to be exploited, although how much she is in hand remains to be seen.
10pts win – Elterwater @ 7/1
8.40 Nottingham: Class 6 Handicap, 6f
Shark Two One is going to be 2lb lower when he races next time, and if things don’t work out here I’d be happy to back him then again. But he may rather be 4lb+ higher next time, in actual fact, because he looks cherry ripe for a big W.
He caught the eye for the first time at Newcastle at the end of last year when he pushed a seriously hot pace and only faded late. The form didn’t amount to much in general, but his individual performance in isolation was strong.
He’s 6lb lower today, back on turf, however, where he’s a better horse. Not only that, his most recent run a fortnight ago proved that the 5-year-old gelding is in superb form right now, and clearly well-handicapped off 63.
He wasn’t advantaged how the race panned out from his draw and caught too far back than ideal. He looked like coming with a proper challenge over 2 furlongs out but multiple avenues to kick on closed subsequently.
He finished better than the bare result suggests and he doesn’t need the additional 2lb help from the handicapper to win. Conditions as well as course and distance won’t be an issue.
10pts win – Shark Two One @ 13/2