2.25 Wolverhampton – SURREY BLAZE (nap)
The selection, trained by Joseph Tuite, is a son of Thewayyouare who was rushed through maiden/novice company last summer (all over 7f), failing to beat a rival home both on debut at Sandown in August and again at Newbury 16 days later, running very green off the bridle on both occasions. He did at least offer a bit more encouragement at Lingfield three days on from that Newbury run, tracking the leaders until driven along over two furlongs out, switched left and soon soundly held as he came home in tenth behind Radio Source (beaten 16 lengths). It looks significant that he switches to Tapeta for his handicap debut, his sire’s progeny boasting a much healthier strike-rate on artificial surfaces than on turf, with an opening mark of 51 allowing him to start out at this lowly level. The booking of Oisin Murphy suggests that improvement is expected to be both swift and pronounced for the move into this sphere, and, in what looks a winnable race, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this gelding get off the mark.