Alan Thomson hopes to dish out six of the best on the all-weather racing action on Wednesday.
THERE are several tempting all-weather midweek bets, headed by THAT IS THE SPIRIT (3.35) at Wolverhampton.
Mick Appleby brings him back off a 151-day break and the nine-year-old is capable of outclassing his rivals if fully tuned up. That Is The Spirit was a 101-rated horse a couple of seasons ago and can exploit his current 80 rating. He didn't handle soft ground on his last outing at Doncaster but had shown a liking for an artificial surface when scoring on stable debut at Chelmsford City. Market leader Ghaith was undeniably impressive when winning on debut for David Loughnane (formerly with Hugo Palmer) but the assessor has reacted with an 11lb rise.
PURDEY'S GIFT (4.10), campaigned mostly at 1m 4f, has been running as if a step up in trip would suit and Andrew Balding takes the bull by the horns in this two-mile handicap. His Lingfield third to Kyllachy Gala 13 days ago was another solid effort, with the son of Camelot doing his best work at the finish. Purdey's Gift won here over 12 furlongs off a 4lb lower mark in October and William Carver takes off 3lb.
Earlier on the card, GOLD BROCADE (1.55) will be carrying a decent each-way punt in the 6f handicap. The Appleby yard will have been happy enough with a 2lb rise for beating Take The Nector at Lingfield 13 days ago and the ex-Irish filly had earlier put down a marker at Newcastle, running third on her stable debut.
There are three bets at Southwell to add to the portfolio. LADYLEYS BELUGA (6.20) made her debut at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day and Karl Burke must have encouraged by her third to It'smabirthday and the 89-rated Get Boosting. Her sire Showcasing has a good record on Fibresand, so there is every chance she will adapt to this deeper surface. East Of Eden is the one to beat.
Robyn Brisland continues to prosper at his local track and ATALANTA QUEEN (4.20) is too big a price at 10-1 in this basement Class 7 handicap. She managed only seventh to Break The Silence on her return to action following 57 days off but there is every chance she will strip sharper. Atalanta Queen beat consistent Break The Silence at level weights here in October and her second to Jazz Hands was another rock-solid run in this grade. Likely favourite Sea Of Cool did the business here three days ago and is clearly in top form for John Ryan. He could be a fast-improving three-year-old but Atalanta Queen is a knocking each-way alternative.
ELIXSOFT (4.50) ran Robero close over course and distance at the end of December and third horse Forsetic won next time out. The mare is good value at 7-2.
10:45 Stratford - Race: 1
11:00 Wincanton - Race: 1
11:15 Stratford - Race: 2