3.15 Doncaster: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 4f
The November Handicap, one final big one in the soon to be closed chapter that was the 2018 flat season.
It feels like nearly everything Charlie Appleby touches turns to gold these days. Can he wrap up this superb week for him with a success here? I certainly think so! His inmate Wolf Country comes here relatively fresh compared to most others after a recent pleasing return to the track.
That was last month at Goodwood in a competitive race – the form has already started to work out well. Wolf Country was a fine runner-up, leading for most parts of the race. It has to be said he was advantaged by the fact that a he wasn’t hampered by a fallen horse behind him. Most of the field was. So the performance is to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Still, he travelled well, set a good pace and looked comfortable in atrocious conditions, leaving his only other UK start in 2018 well behind, when he last of 15 at Newmarket in May.
His only other piece of form this year came at Meydan. A fine 4th place finish in a pretty strong handicap – he was leading until 300m out against Group class performers.
Things haven’t quite gone the way conditions would surely have hoped for Wolf Country. A Listed winner at three, a creditable and not far beaten 5th in the Dante – he is a talented lad and since being gelded those two of three runs have been very promising.
A mark off 98 gives him a fair chance here today – he could be a better than that. The soft ground conditions are certainly a positive. The wide draw not necessarily for a front-runner. Regardless, I have him down as the favourite here if he can improve from his recent comeback run.
10pts win – Wolf Country @ 8.8/1 MB