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Lingfield and Wolverhampton previews: Russian Realm ready to rule

David Metcalf | January 22, 2016

Russian Realm weighted to strike at Lingfield

Russian Realm was a big eye-catcher last time out and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 7f handicap on today’s card at Lingfield (15.05).

The gelding was a useful sort in his early days when trained by Sir Michael Stoute, winning twice and finishing a cracking eighth of 27 to Bronze Angel in the 2014 running of the ultra-competitive Balmoral Handicap on Champions’ Day at Ascot off a mark of 95.

Russian Realm then joined David O’Meara, and came good at the fifth time of asking for his new handler when winning a 7f contest at Thirsk six months ago off a mark of 96.

Now in the care of Richard Hughes, the six-year-old is able to race off a reduced rating of 93 having run really well last time out when third to Mythmaker over an inadequate 6f at this venue.

After being held-up and outpaced three from home, Russian Realm stayed on strongly inside the final furlong to be nearest at the finish and beaten just 1 1/2 lengths.

It was an effort which suggested the son of Dansili was coming to the boil, and the step back up to 7f is a sure to suit.

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Russian Realm has won twice and has a strike rate of 28.5 per cent over it, and with Shane Kelly in the saddle looks weighted to take all the beating.

Upavon appeals now dropped back in trip

In the 6f handicap (14.00), Upavon looks decent value to provide in-form trainer Stuart Williams with another winner.

The gelding scored twice over 6f at Chelmsford when trained by David Elsworth, with the last of those successes coming off a mark of 90.

Upavon is now able to race off 2lb lower having shaped well in his last two starts over 1m since joining Williams.

After an eye-catching fifth of 12 to Mindurownbusiness at Chelmsford when blowing the start, Upavon posted a solid effort when fifth of 13 at the same venue last month.

Those runs suggest Upavon is ready to strike, and the six-year-old looks weighted to run a huge race now dropped back down to a trip over which he has notched five of his six career successes.

Lingfield selections

12.50: Jess
13.25: Milrow
14.00: Upavon (NB)
14.30: Shalambar
15.05: Russian Realm (NAP)
15.40: Magic Garden
16.10: Secret Millionaire

Bow can cash-in on class drop at Wolverhampton

Mary Le Bow has a good record at Wolverhampton and can further enhance it with victory in the 1m 4f handicap there today (17.45) now dropped back down in grade.

The Victor Dartnall trained mare has won twice and been placed once in five starts at the venue, and in the last of those successes in November came from off the pace to score going away by 1 1/2 lengths off a mark of 59 in a class 6 contest.

Mary Le Bow backed that up with a solid third in a class 5 contest at this track to the in-form Pactolus off a revised rating of 63, keeping on well to be beaten just 1 3/4 lengths after encountering trouble in running a furlong out.

The five-year-old was also then far from disgraced when fourth in another class 5 contest, again at this venue, before disappointing last time out when only eighth at Lingfield.

Mary Le Bow has since been dropped 1lb to a mark of 62, and now returns to class 6 company for the first time since last victorious.

That gives the daughter of Sir Percy every chance from a handicapping perspective on the pick of her form now returned to the Tapeta surface which clearly suits.

Wolverhampton Races

Another plus is that Mary Le Bow has the services of Callum Shepherd in the saddle who is good value for his 5lb claim, and everything looks in place for a big run.

Mariee can make handicap debut a winning one

Mariee created a good impression when winning on debut and can capitalise on what looks a lenient mark to follow-up in the 7f handicap (18.15).

The Mark Johnston trained filly travelled strongly throughout and only had to be ridden out to readily beat Town’s History by 1 1/2 lengths in a five-runner contest at Chelmsford earlier in the month.

It was a most taking performance and the third home The Commendatore, who was beaten just under four lengths, has come out and won since to be rated 72.

The fourth home Figurante has also gone on to taste success, and that gives the form a strong look and suggests that Mariee has got in lightly off an opening handicap mark of just 74.

Mariee is also entitled to come on a bundle for the experience, and hails from a yard whose runners at the track always command the utmost respect.

Wolverhampton selections

16.35: Point North
17.10: Officer In Command
17.45: Mary Le Bow (NAP)
18.15: Mariee (NB)
18.45: Moonbi Creek
19.15: Bartok

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