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Wolverhampton Preview: Footstepsintherain can shine

Footstepsintherain bounced back to form when runner-up last time out and can take advantage of a fall in the weights to go one better in the 6.30 at Wolverhampton this evening.

The gelding was a dual winner of the all-weather surface earlier in his career when trained by David Lanigan, landing a 7f contest at this track on debut before going on to land a handicap at Kempton in good style off a mark of 79.

Now in the care of David Dennis, the four-year-old has taken time to find his form but signalled that his time was near over course and distance last month when going down by 1 1/4 lengths to Plucky Dip in the hands of 7lb claimer Mikey Ennis.

Footstepsintherain lost vital ground at the start after being slowly away, and in the circumstances ran a cracker to finish so close.

The son of Footstepsinthesand now meets the winner on the same terms, but given how the race panned out is fancied to gain his revenge now partnered by title chasing jockey Richard Hughes for the first time.

Although now also 2lb higher in the weights, Footstepsintherain is still 7lb lower than when last successful and dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form.

If building on his latest effort, he looks the one they all have to beat.

In the 1m 1f handicap (8.00), the Ralph Beckett trained Like a Prayer is weighted to go well in the hands of crack apprentice Cam Hardie.

The gelding shaped with bags of promise when fifth to the now 102-rated Glorious Empire over 6f at Kempton last November, before showing improved form when stepped up to a mile and going handicapping.

After opening his account in good style at Kempton off a mark of 59, Like A Prayer followed up at Lingfield off 65 where he won going away by 1/2 a length and was value for much more than the winning margin.

The three-year-old now gets into this contest off just 2lb higher, having shaped far better than his finishing position suggest in his last two starts.

In the last of those at Kempton, Like A Prayer was then beaten just two lengths when fifth of 10 to Holiday Magic under tender handling.

It was a run which suggested his time was near, and taking Hardie’s 3lb claim into account the son of Compton Place is effectively 1lb lower than when last successful.

Selections:
5.30: Elis Eliz
6.00: Saint Thomas
6.30: Footstepsintherain (NAP)
7.00: Waldnah
7.30: Ghosting
9.00: Like A Prayer (NAP)
8.30: Flipping
9.00: Teide Peak