Wolverhampton Preview: The Firm holds solid claims
The Firm can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 1m 1f handicap at Wolverhampton today (4.05) now refitted with the cheek pieces.
The gelding landed back-to-back contest at Dundalk at the beginning of last year when trained in Ireland by Kevin Prendergast, with the last of those successes coming off a mark of 65.
The six-year-old then joined the shrewd Mark Lougnane and ran well on several occasions last season for his new handler to make the frame off higher marks.
The Firm also ran well over course and distance five starts back when staying on strongly to finish fourth of 12 to Polar Forest off 66 and is now able to race off a career-low rating of just 60.
That is 5lb lower than when the son of Acclamation was last successful and gives The Firm major claims from a handicapping perspective.
It’s also interesting that connections are now refitting The Firm with the cheekpieces, as he has run well in them in the past, and the booking of Luke Morris to do the steering catches the eye and suggests a big run is expected.
Telegraph signalled that his time was near when finishing third over course and distance last time out and looks the one they all have to beat in the 7f handicap (2.55).
The David Evans trained gelding returned to form when keeping on really well to be beaten just 1/2 a length behind Sakhee’s Rose and is able to race off an unchanged mark of 57.
That is the same rating as when the four-year-old was last successful, and Telegraph also has a further 7lb taken off his back thanks to the claim of promising apprentice Harry Burns.
It makes the son of Bushranger look very well-treated in a weak looking class 6 contest lacking any real strength in depth, and from a good draw in stall 1 this looks a glorious opportunity for Telegraph to get back into the winners’ enclosure.
2.20: First Rebellion
2.55: Telegraph (NB)
3.30: Beat Goes On
4.05: The Firm (NAP)
4.35: Celestine Abbey