All-Weather Championships: Tom Lee's Blog & Tips For Wolverhampton

The All-Weather - a vital supply chain in the ongoing daily battle between bookies and punters, with the almost tidal push and pull, ebb and flow of the struggle between the odds compilers and those informed observers who seek to outwit them, fuelled by a non-stop current of racing, even when the conditions would otherwise prompt the 'Closed' sign on the majority of shop doors...

Plenty of 'P's' can be used to sum it all up, with the words 'plentiful', 'prolific' and 'punting' to the fore.

Never before have punters had it so good, with wall to wall choice and layers such as Unibet delving ever deeper to conjure up specials and concessions to keep their audience on their toes.

Plentiful offers and a great choice of races to bet on, in pretty much every season mother nature can throw at us, punting on numerous markets and a whole spectrum of quality, with the introduction of the All-Weather Championships meaning the calibre of horse performing in the sphere has rocketed skyward, and prolific performers who are busy bagging winners like they're going out of fashion...

The last seven days have seen numerous examples, with a welcome double for jockey Adam Kirby at Wolverhampton on Monday afternoon.

He set the ball rolling aboard Neil Mulholland's victorious 13/2 shot Sharp Sword in the mile and a half maiden, completing a 23/1 double when the Dave Evan's-trained Telegraph made sure he was essential reading in the lucky last, justifying favouritism at 'top of the head' 9/4. 

Lingfield Races : News Photo

Only 24 hours later and fellow pilot Andrew Mullen went one better, teaming up with his chief source of rides, 'The King Of Southwell' aka Mick Appleby, to fire in a fantastic 269/1 treble at the Nottinghamshire track.

The dynamic duo kicked off with Shirocco mare Katie Gale at 7/2 in the staying handicap, following up with 14/1 outsider Khajaaly (who beat odds on stablemate Westminster) in the seven furlong handicap, before 3/1 Carlanda rounded things off for them in the concluding mile and a half race.

Not too many Southwell all-weather fixtures go by without Appleby having at least one winner, and followers of his local stable will have been raising a glass to 'The King' on Tuesday night. 

On the subject of trebles, it was a different kind of 'three and easy' for jockey George Baker on Wednesday, as he was rewarded for his industry and work ethic with three winners, but at two different venues. 

One of the tallest men in the weighing room, Baker's agent booked him six rides on the day, with three at Lingfield Park in the afternoon followed by a quick hop around the M25 for the same volume at Kempton Park in the evening.

He wasn't hanging about either, driving home impressive debutant Star Asset for Michael Wigham in the maiden at odds of 5/1, before adding the 1m 2f handicap on 9/2 chance Loraine for globetrotting trainer Jamie Osborne later in the afternoon.

Time to relax and enjoy a job well done? Not a bit of it, as he hot-footed it towards the well known Sunbury track for their floodlit evening fixture, getting his just deserts when 9/2 Skidby Mill for the Epsom stable of Laura Mongan gave him a superb 180/1 hat-trick. 

Wolverhampton Races : News Photo

For the record he also finished second on two of his mounts, so not quite a magnificent seven but not far off a famous five!

However, if 'P' really is for prolific then perhaps Friday was the day eagle-eyed followers should have settled down to swot up on the form, as Godolphin's Gold Trail recorded his third win on the bounce (all in the space of 36 days), driven home under the Wolverhampton floodlights to defy Love U Whatever by a neck in the hands of Kevin Stott. 

The four-year-old Teofilo colt looks a likely sort for the big finals day at Lingfield Park on April 3rd. 

On the same evening card jockey Pat Cosgrave did his bit to keep favourite backers in beer money, notching a double aboard the Dr Richard Newland-trained 8/11 market leader Vosne Romanee, before a quick change of silks gave him a rapid fire two-timer as George Baker's Harry Hurricane obliged at 7/4 jf half an hour later, providing him with a 7/2 roll up.

Enjoying an even more productive spell was weighing room colleague Shane Gray, who took the match ball home from Friday afternoon's Lingfield fixture, after booting home a 116/1 treble!

All the more noteworthy was the fact he notched the hat-trick inside the first four races on the card, on his only three mounts of the day, and for the different stables.

Not a bad day's work!

He kicked off with a strike aboard 3/1 Malaysian Boleh (Simon Dow) in the claimer, before adding to his tally with well backed Hills And Dales (for Charlie Appleby) at 5/4 in the Unibet-sponsored maiden.  

Not content with that haul, he then showed great patience with a skilful waiting ride aboard Kevin Ryan's Realize in the seven furlong apprentice race, getting him home by half a length at a juicy 12/1.

If that was the week that just happened, then what about the one stretching out in front of us?

As is tradition for this column we try and kick off the week with a winner on the all-weather, and this afternoon's sport comes from Wolverhampton, where they stage an eight race jamboree. 

Race five is yet another example of the quality flooding into the all-weather scene, with trainers understandably keen to target the £45,000 Class 2 Daily Enhanced "Magic Multiples" At Unibet Handicap.

Topped by 99-rated Masamah a field of 11 are declared, and what is certain to be a fast and furious affair over the minimum distance has thrown up an open betting heat. 

Some of these aren't guaranteed to relish a drop in distance, but that's not an accusation that can be levelled at Tim Easterby's Mappin Time, who scored at this venue over today's trip last April.

In the first two on eight of his 13 all-weather starts this horse will improve for his creditable comeback run in January, when making his first start for five months he stayed on powerfully to take fourth at Chelmsford.

Fitter for that and untouched by the handicapper he looks of definite interest at double figure odds each way.

Wolverhampton Races : News Photo

An hour and a half later another enticing each way play comes in the seven furlong handicap at 5.40pm, where the return from a 101-day absence could be the right time to catch Michael Herrington's Dazeen.

A ready course and distance scorer here in October, this Zafeen gelding went off the boil after that, but back from a break seems to be the right time to have an interest given that his last win came after six months off the track. 

A mark of 64 ought to be okay in light of the fact he has a turf win off 75 on his CV, and in a tricky heat he could be the value in the hands of Tom Eaves.

Good luck!


Monday's best bets at Wolverhampton:

4.10 - Daily Enhanced "Magic Multiples" At Unibet Handicap - 7 Mappin Time (each way) 

5.40 - Ladbrokes Handicap - 8 Dazeen (each way)