With a plethora of top action to choose from on a busy Boxing Day, Alan Thomson takes a close look at a barnstorming handicap at Wolverhampton, live on Sky Sports Racing.

Wolverhampton has the Flat action all to itself on Boxing Day and today’s featured event is the Scu Selects Expert Tips By Betuk Handicap (4.10), a Class 2 contest worth £10,308 to the winner.


The Tapeta surface was harrowed a little bit deeper during the recent cold snap but it should be riding perfect for this seven-race card. Leading Wolverhampton jockey Jack Mitchell boasts a 25 per cent strike-rate and has picked up a good mount in Greatgadian. Trainer Mick Appleby has also enjoyed a successful year at Dunstall Park (20 winners) and his representative Baldomero is expected to be bang there at the finish.


Greatgadian (stall 1)

A dual Chelmsford City winner in April and May, Greatgadian twice finished runner-up at Ascot in late summer. Roger Varian’s gelding was off the track 89 days before posting a fourth to Makinmedoit at Lingfield at the end of November, going off 11/4 favourite. Has a little bit of ground to make up on runner-up Via Serendipity but that pipe-opener would have blown away any cobwebs.

Greatgadian (left) gives chase to Nankeen at Windsor
Greatgadian (left) gives chase to Nankeen at Windsor

Via Serendipity (2)

Finished ahead of Greatgadian at Lingfield last time and was stopped in his tracks in the straight when managing only seventh spot in the event won by Chichester at Chelmsford City in early November. Can give Rob Hornby a good spin.

Chichester (3)

Bounced back to form when well-backed at Southwell in October, finishing with a late rattle into second spot, and duly stepped up another notch when scoring at Chelmsford City 11 days later. Not so good at Lingfield last time when never able to strike a blow following a sloppy start but probably remains in form.

Chichester finished a close-up third in a Listed event at Kempton back in March when racing off a 7lb higher perch, so is well enough treated. Keith Dalgleish saddled a welcome winner at Wolverhampton earlier this week.

Baldomero (4)

Has gone nine races without success since denying United Front at Kempton in March but ran a belter in the Lincoln Trial over course and distance 10 days later. Booted clear over a furlong out, he looked all over the winner that day until nabbed by Notre Belle Bete.

Mick Appleby trains the gelding for bang-in-form owners The Horse Watchers and although operating off a 5lb higher mark than Kempton, Baldomero may strip sharper for his second to Excel Power at Chelmsford City earlier this month, his first start in 71 days, when sent off 9/4 favourite.

Civil Law (5)

Roger Teal’s gelding has enjoyed an outstanding year here at Dunstall Park, recording three victories and a close second from four visits. Cieren Fallon forced the grey’s neck in front of Diamond Ranger here 37 days ago and the assessor hasn’t been over-critical now racing off a 3lb higher rating. Diamond Ranger went down by a head when sent off market leader at Southwell on Thursday, so the form looks quite solid.

Society Red (6)

Didn’t show much on his re-appearance behind Chichester at Chelmsford City but wasn’t beaten too far by Civil Law over course and distance next time when operating from a very wide draw. Richard Fahey’s gelding, a Ripon winner this summer, had beaten Civil Law here in February and races off the same mark. Capable of outrunning his odds.

Ghasham (7)

Won at Cork for Joseph O’Brien but finished tailed off (66/1) at Pontefract on his first start for Ian Williams in October. Has a bit on his plate.


BALDOMERO appeared to have his rivals cooked when kicked clear over a furlong out in the Lincoln Trial here last March but was collared in the dying strides. Mick Appleby saddled last year’s winner Alexander James, so it’s reasonable to assume this contest has been on his radar for several weeks.

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