4.45 Wolverhampton, Thursday, July 23

wolverhampton racesIn the Hotel & Racing Packages Available Handicap (4.45) at Wolverhampton on Thursday, Ian Williams’ 6-year-old Ferryview Place returns to Tapeta after a fruitless spell on turf and may be able to regain the winning thread.

The Compton Place gelding won over course and distance, in 0-55 company, off his current handicap mark in February and ran his best race on turf for some time when fourth of twelve, beaten 4½ lengths, in a 0-70 amateur riders’ contest over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Newbury two weeks ago. The only horse from that race to have run since, Engai, who finished third, won a similar contest at Beverley last Tuesday, so the form looks even better than it did at the time.

His career record of 4 wins from 39 starts isn’t particularly inspiring, but two of those wins came over course and distance, under Stevie Donohoe, earlier this year, so he has plenty going for him in a race that probably won’t take much winning.

Selection: Wolverhampton 4.45 Ferryview Place to win

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3.00 Chepstow, Thursday, July 16

chepstowIn the ‘Latest Free Bet Offers’ Handicap (3.00) at Chepstow on Thursday, Bonjour Steve has form figures of 22212 at the Welsh track and although stepping up to 0-80 company for just the second time in his career, may be capable of resuming winning ways. The Bahamian Bounty gelding was only headed in the final hundred yards in a 0-75 contest over course and distance last month and can be relied upon to run his race once again.

Richard Price’s 4-year-old has recorded both career wins with “soft” in the going description, but has run well enough on good and good to firm going in the past to suggest that faster underfoot conditions won’t, necessarily, hinder his chances. There is a chance of light rain or drizzle overnight in any case. Promising apprentice Tom Marquand is 1-2 for Richard Price’s yard and 3-9 on the course, so while the 17-year-old is only really starting out on his career, the statistics so far speak in favour of a decent run.

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Selection: Chepstow 3.00 Bonjour Steve to win

2.50 Sandown, Friday, July 3

sandownThe Racing UK Day Pass Dragon Stakes (2.50) at Sandown on Friday features a showdown between Riflescope and Soapy Aitken, who both ran creditably in defeat at Royal Ascot last month.

Riflescope, who’d been well beaten in a conditions race, over 6 furlongs, at Newbury on his previous start, proved something of a revelation at Ascot, staying on to finish fourth, beaten 1½ lengths, behind Waterloo Bridge in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes. Soapy Aitken, on the other hand, headed to Ascot unbeaten after winning a maiden at Leicester and a three-runner conditions race at Windsor (both at odds on), but made further progress when finishing fourth, beaten 2½ lengths, in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.

The time for the Norfolk Stakes was only marginally faster than the Windsor Castle Stakes, so there may be little to choose between two talented colts, who have both demonstrated professionalism, as well as speed, in their short careers. However, preference on this occasion is for Riflescope as an outsider tip, who just about has the edge on the form book. Mark Johnston has done well with his juveniles this season, winning 35-146 (24%), and can chalk up another success.

Selection: Sandown 2.50 Riflescope to win

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