Friday Racing Tips: Heart is the one to follow at Wolverhampton

 | January 19 | 

3 mins read

Wolverhampton Racecourse

The weather has put paid to Friday’s National Hunt fixtures which leaves three all-weather meetings across Britain and Ireland.

Wolverhampton is the first meeting to kick off, before Newcastle and Dundalk get going in the late afternoon to take us through to the evening.

Amongst our strongest fancies on Friday is one runner for Mark Loughnane at Wolverhampton and the horse will be looking to improve its already impressive course record.

Friday Racing Tips

  • 13.40 Wolverhampton - Palace Boy @ 15/8
  • 14.15 Wolverhampton - Follow Your Heart @ 3/1
  • 15.25 Wolverhampton - Catrake Force @ 14/1

13.40 Wolverhampton - Palace Boy @ 15/8

PALACE BOY could be one to watch at Wolverhampton, as Ralph Smith’s seven-year-old was a very impressive winner upon his return to the Flat over course and distance last time out.

This son of Nathaniel was a competitive hurdler for Fergal O’Brien and finished second in a Listed race in that sphere. He was also deemed good enough to line up in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Making his debut for his new connections last month, he absolutely bolted up to win by six lengths, after a significant absence of 288 days. Smith’s gelding was a winner over 1m3f in Germany, before coming to Britain and thriving over 1m6f last time out.

Once he made his move in the final couple of furlongs, the result never looked in doubt and he eased clear of his rivals in impressive style.

That performance hasn’t been missed by the handicapper however and a 10lb hike in the weights certainly isn’t insignificant.

The rise is pretty fair on the visual evidence, but there could be still more to come. He’s one to keep on side for the time being.

Palace Boy to win 13.40 Wolverhampton at 15-8

14.15 Wolverhampton - Follow Your Heart @ 3/1

A horse with an excellent record at Wolverhampton, Mark Loughnane’s FOLLOW YOUR HEART should go close once again at his favourite track.

The Estidhkaar gelding won over course and distance last month, one of four wins at the Midlands track (4-9). Three of those victories have come over 7f and he appears to be a specialist over both course and distance.

Loughnane’s six-year-old was a good fourth at Southwell last time out, where he was only beaten by a length. He started gaining ground in the final couple of furlongs and kept on well, despite hanging to the left, and may well have finished even closer if not for that.

A very narrow second over course and distance on his penultimate start, a return to this track is definitely in his favour. The handicapper has left his mark alone since his latest run and he should be bang in the mix once again.

David Probert is on board and he’s been operating at a very healthy strike-rate of 23 per cent in the last fortnight.

Follow Your Heart to win 14.15 Wolverhampton at 3-1

15.25 Wolverhampton - Catrake Force @ 14/1

Grant Tuer’s filly CATRAKE FORCE is yet to get off the mark in three starts so far, but the switch to handicaps should encourage plenty of improvement.

It would be no surprise to see her get much closer in this handicap for fillies and mares.

The daughter of Unfortunately finished second by two-and-a-quarter-lengths on debut in a course and distance maiden back in November. The winner of that race is now rated 75 and that bodes well for Catrake Force as she makes her handicap debut off a mark of 60.

Grant Tuer’s four-year-old was no match for her conqueror that day, but she displayed plenty of promise. Her two subsequent starts were a little underwhelming, but we should begin to see her true ability from now on.

This is quite an open-looking handicap and she can use her unexposed profile to spring a surprise.

Catrake Force to win the 15.25 Wolverhampton at 14-1

Check out the rest of our Horse Racing Tips here.

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