Wolverhampton preview: Course specialist Berlusca weighted to strike
David Metcalf | December 30, 2015
Berlusca has a tremendous record at Wolverhampton, so can take advantage of a drop in the weights to further enhance it with victory in the 1m 1f handicap on today’s twilight card at the Midlands venue (19.10).
The David O’Meara trained gelding is a six-time winner at the track, and three of those successes have come over this evening’s trip.
In the last of those back in January, Berlusca dead-heated off a mark of 82 before being awarded the race outright after a stewards’ inquiry.
Since then Berlusca has posted some really solid efforts, including when finishing a two length runner-up at Haydock off 84 and a fine sixth of of 17 to Barreesh in a competitive contest at York.
Berlusca a proven performer
The six-year-old also ran very well over course and distance when third of 13 to the well-treated Aleator four starts back off 83, and is now able to race off 80.
That is 2lb lower than when last successful, and gives Berlusca major claims from a handicapping perspective.
It’s also interesting that Berlusca now gets the professional services of Pat Cosgrave in the saddle for the first time, having been partnered by an inexperienced 7lb claimer in six of his last seven starts.
His booking suggests connections mean business, and from a good draw in stall five everything looks in place for a huge run.
Punters that are First to Rebellion may be better off
In the 6f handicap (17.10), First Rebellion looks decent value to score an overdue success.
The Tony Carroll trained gelding is a two-time winner the the track, and has also run well to make the frame on six occasions at it.
In the last of those successes back in February, the six-year-old ran on strongly to get up close home and beat Rat Catcher by a neck off a mark of 55.
First Rebellion got put up to a rating of 61 for that victory, but has gradually eased back down the weights and is now able to race off just 53.
That makes the son of Cockney Rebel well-treated on the pick of his form, and First Rebellion comes into the contest in good form having run well to make the frame in three of his last four starts.
16.40: Charlie Lad
17.10: First Rebellion (NB)
17.40: Rip Van Suzy
19.10: Berlusca (NAP)
19.40: Bionic Indian