In-form sprinters Venturous and Tone The Barone head a competitive field for the feature Betway Handicap (7.15pm, 5f) at Wolverhampton on Saturday, February 13.
Venturous (David Barron/David Probert) has revived his career in recent months with four wins from five starts and looked in rude health when motoring to victory in a Fast-Track Qualifier at Newcastle on January 12.
Tone The Barone (Stuart Williams/Marco Ghiani (3)) registered a three-timer at Chelmsford City in the first half of last year and, following a successful campaign on turf, extended his unbeaten record on the All-Weather to four in a class two handicap at the same track on January 22.
The five-year-old’s official BHA rating of 94 is 26lb higher than it was at the start of 2020, with the son of Lope De Vega supplementing his All-Weather exploits with a pair of handicap wins at Ascot during the turf season.
Trainer Stuart Williams said today: “I am very happy with Tone The Barone. He has done well since his last race and it is nice to reunite him with Marco Ghiani, who has obviously been in great form.
“This horse has been a late developer really. He is a big horse and his strength just wasn’t matching his frame when he was a two and three-year-old. Now he has caught up, he has progressed really well.”
Williams also saddles 10-time All-Weather scorer Royal Birth (Richard Kingscote), who turns out quickly after finishing ninth in the Listed Betway Kachy Stakes at Lingfield Park on February 6.
The trainer added: “Royal Birth has come out of the Kachy Stakes in great form. The horse has plenty of form at Wolverhampton and Richard Kingscote knows him well.
“It is all about getting the run of the race in these five-furlong races and, if he got the run of the race, I could see him winning.”
The opposition also includes Lord Riddiford (John Quinn/Jason Hart) and Lihou (David Evans/George Rooke (3)), who both have winning form at Wolverhampton this season.
Fellow course and distance scorer Lomu (David Loughnane/PJ McDonald) and Nigel Nott (Mick Appleby/Jane Elliott) complete the field.