WITH course conditions paramount at this stage of the season, the number of entries Wheatland has received for Saturday afternoon’s Chaddesley Corbett meeting is an indication of a good racing surface.
Bridgnorth trainer Phil Rowley has his string in fine form and Namako is capable of getting the stable off the mark in the 2-1/2 mile Restricted.
That will be no easy task if Jack Barber’s horsebox travels up from the trainers Dorset base with Black Valentine, Innocent Girl or The Happy Chappy aboard.
Gustave Mahler shaped well earlier in the season but has been pulled up twice recently so the jury remains out on his future potential.
Temple Grandin represents the Rowley stable in the Mixed Open and it will take a good one to beat him and that could come in the shape of opposition from the West Country in the Will Biddick ridden and Jack Barber trained Queens Bay.
Minella Friend and the Rowley trained One More Tune will also make their presence felt, while What a Bluff and Awesome George have the look of potential race winners. The latter is unbeaten this season but his only defeat in his last eight outings came at this course last May so he would not be one to take at short odds.
Numerous riders are still in with a chance of becoming the Areas Leading Lady Rider, including Lilly Pinchin who is due to ride Allerton in the Novices Race. He bounced back to form with a hard fought victory at Upper Sapey recently and something similar may be required on this occasion.
Be Definite would be a big danger but he has several engagements over the weekend, while Uppertown Hawk won at Bitterley and a repeat performance may be necessary to land this contest. Emma Yardley and Kilmacallogue Bay were just beaten by Allerton on their last outing but could get their revenge.
Jacks Ranger showed a bit of form in Ireland and finished second on his English debut at Bitterley. The 7-year-old likes to make the running and is likely to do so in the Maiden but he has the habit of running wide on the bends and that is a trend that needs ironing out if he is too succeed.
This course should play to his strengths and if Mark Wilesmith can poach a couple of lengths down the back straight the opposition may well struggle in the home straight.
Shantara does not appear that often but puts in a good performance when she does so those prepared to take a chance on her fitness may be well rewarded.
Four-year-olds are favoured by the conditions in 2-1/2 mile Maiden races as they receive a lot of weight from their older rivals, so this has to be in favour of Amzac Magic and Tangley who represent the all-conquering Barber/Biddick partnership – if the horses have any ability they will find it.
James Ridley’s Hurricane Hunter did not make much of a show on his racecourse debut, but some horses benefit from the experience – time will tell if he falls into this category.