Ayr and Wolverhampton previews: Diamond ready to sparkle
David Metcalf | February 29, 2016
Diamond D’amour an Ayr gem
Diamond D’amour looks decent value to take advantage of a drop in the weights and score an overdue success in the 3m handicap hurdle on today’s card at Ayr (14.40).
The George Bewley trained gelding is a dual winner over hurdles, with his last success coming at Carlisle back in March 2012 off a mark of 116.
Diamond D’amour was then off the track for nearly three years with injury, and has had just eights starts since returning to action.
The 10-year-old has run well to make the frame on three occasions and shaped particularly nicely on seasonal reappearance when second of 11 to Mac N Cheese in a class 4 contest at Wetherby off 105.
Diamond D’amour is now able to race in this lower grade class 5 affair off just 100, a massive 16lb lower than when last victorious and a career-low rating.
It gives the son of Danehill Dancer outstanding claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form, especially with regular ride Jonathon Bewley taking off another 5lb with his claim.
Diamond D’amour also has underfoot conditions to suit, and everything looks in place for him to get back on the winning trail.
Caledonia weighted to open account
Caledonia has shaped well in three starts this season and look weighted to open his account over the obstacles in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle (15.15).
The gelding, who is trained locally by Jim Goldie, was a smart bumper performer and ran a blinder on return to action when runner-up to Calivigny over 2m 4f at this venue.
Caledonia stuck to the task well to be beaten just 2 1/4 lengths and now meets the winner on 13lb better terms.
The nine-year-old also finished 12 lengths in front of the fourth home Takingrisks, and is now 5lb better of with that rival.
Caledonia was then unlucky not to score at the track when 10 lengths clear at the last only to stumble and fall on the landing side, and also ran well over course and distance last time out when runner-up to Yes Tom.
Those efforts suggest that a mark of 117 is exploitable, and granted a clear round Caledonia looks the one to beat.
13.40: Fairytale Theatre
14.40: Diamond D’amour (NAP)
15.15: Caledonia (NB)
15.50: Willie Hall
16.20: Kilbree Chief
16.50: Grays Choice
Bravo Zolo can zoom to success at Wolverhampton
Bravo Zolo was a big eye-catcher last time out and looks a worthy favourite to land the 1m 1f feature handicap on today’s card at Wolverhampton (16.00).
The Jeremy Noseda trained gelding has won three of his five starts on synthetic surfaces, and his sole previous visit to the track resulted in an impressive two length success.
Bravo Zolo has also run very well to make the frame in his last two starts, and got no luck in-running when third to Lunar Deity at Lingfield earlier in the month.
After being held-up at the rear in a slowly run race, the four-year-old found himself short of room when making a move two from home before keeping on nicely to be nearest at the finish and beaten just a length.
It was an excellent effort given how the race panned out, and Bravo Zolo should now be spot on to do himself justice.
Although now 1lb higher in the weights, the son Rip Van Winkle remains relatively unexposed and has a progressive profile which suggests he needs keeping onside.
Mutafaakir handicapped to strike
Mutafaakir has been given a big chance by the assessor and looks the answer to the 5f handicap (14.20).
The Ruth Carr trained gelding is on a long losing run having not scored since landing a competitive 10-runner contest at Nottingham back in September 2014 off a mark of 79.
Mutafaakir went on to finish a solid second at the same venue off 85, and is now able to race off just 72.
That is the lowest rating the seven-year-old has raced off in two and a half years and gives the son of Oasis Dream major claims at the weights.
Mutaffakir has also won fresh in the past so fitness is unlikely to be an issue on his first run for 143 days, and from a good draw in stall two everything looks in place for a big run.
13.50: La Asomada
14.20: Mutafaakir (NB)
14.50: Rhythm And Blues
15.25: Sandy Cove
16.00: Bravo Zolo (NAP)