London – There are big plans afoot for Felix this month and he can stay on course on Monday with victory in the Betway Handicap at Wolverhampton.
Marco Botti’s four-year-old, a course-and-distance winner on Boxing Day, holds a high-profile entry in the Winter Derby at Lingfield.
He has put such lofty targets on the agenda by winning all three starts since being gelded last summer, including both for his current trainer.
Felix has risen more than 7kg in the ratings since September, but still appears to be improving rapidly on the basis of his smart 2000m win over Singing Sheriff at Lingfield last month.
He is back just 100m here, having found this trip and track very much to his liking over Christmas – and there is no reason to expect his latest 2kg rise will halt progress.
Earlier at Dunstall Park, Yellow Tiger can put the cat among the pigeons in the Betway Casino Handicap.
David Loughnane’s new inmate is significantly up in trip on his stable debut.
He has nonetheless hinted more than once that a marathon distance could be his bag – and new connections are wasting no time before finding out.
Yellow Tiger ran up to his best – following his autumn gelding operation – on his final start for Ian Williams just after Christmas, when a slightly one-paced two-length fourth at Lingfield.
He has, of course, incurred no rise for that performance and has therefore been given an opportunity off his current mark to show what he is made of at just his second attempt on Tapeta and first beyond 2400m.
Sound Mixer is still waiting for her maiden success, after five career starts over the past four months.
But there is no doubt she is getting much closer, despite being a narrowly beaten favourite the last twice and is fancied in the Ladbrokes “Play 1-2-Free” On Football Handicap.
William Haggas’ filly, owned by the Queen, moves up 200m for her third handicap and Wolverhampton debut – and there has to be a good chance it will all fall into place this time.
Catterick and Plumpton provide the jumps action, with three worthwhile investments across the card.
Port Of Mars has an obvious opportunity in the opening Racing To School Novices’ Hurdle at the North Yorkshire track.
Olly Murphy’s lightly raced point-to-point winner holds an Albert Bartlett entry on the back of one victory and a runner-up spot from his two outings under Rules.
Up in trip again slightly here, this six-year-old can bag another win before a possible trip to Cheltenham next month.
Temple Man will not be heading in that direction just yet, but could make the winner’s enclosure here in the racingtv.com Handicap Hurdle. Ruth Jefferson’s gelding has clearly not been the easiest to train, with just 11 outings to his name in four seasons.
But he demonstrated his ability with an unlikely success over 3200m at Kelso in December and this move up to more of a stamina test looks very sensible.
David Bridgwater has picked the Crystal Services Commercial And Domestic Cleaning Handicap Chase from Wenceslaus’ two five-day options at Plumpton – and this in-form eight-year-old has fine prospects of completing his hat-trick.
Wenceslaus has looked increasingly progressive of late, is already a three-time course winner and should enjoy testing conditions again. – Press Association
To take a bet go to www.tabonline.co.za or www.bettingworld.co.za