The Lady Wulfruna Stakes (14:50 Wolverhampton Sat 12th March) is a Listed race run over 7-furlongs and, though this year’s race will be the 15th renewal, it has now been encompassed into the All-Weather Championships as a Fast-Track Qualifier.
However, as there’s a first prize of over £28,000, this race is well worth winning in it’s own right and it has attracted the last two winners in Chookie Royale and Sovereign Debt, with the latter bidding to follow in the footsteps of Border Music and Dunelight by winning back-to-back renewals.
8 runners are set to go to post for this year’s contest – so let’s take a look.
Carried 9-3 when recording the fastest ever winning time last year, but has to shoulder a 5lb penalty this year because of his group-3 win in Ireland at the end of last season. That’s not insurmountable though as he also won another listed race under a penalty afterwards. More worrying is a wider draw this year, and the lack of a recent run, but neither might stop him if he’s been primed for today.
Interesting as his trainer has won this race with a similar type before, but has up to 8lb to find with some, and appeared not to stay 7-furlongs on his only attempt.
The 2014 winner could only manage second behind Sovereign Debt last year, despite looking a certainty when he kicked several lengths clear off the final bend. He may have gone too soon, and the 5lb he gets off Sovereign Debt should make it close between them. Also has an excellent record at Wolverhampton with 6 wins from 10 runs, and is nicely drawn in stall 3, but has competition for the lead.
Finished 4th last year but, though he’s 5lb better off with the winner, he was closest at the finish and never looked like winning. Not improved in the interim.
This course and distance winner is interesting on his handicap win in Ireland off a mark of 105, and is officially best in at the weights on a mark of 111. He’s also ideally drawn in stall 1 for a horse who loves to lead, but the worry is his lack of a recent run as all his wins have come 2-3 weeks after another run.
Won on his all-weather debut last week off a mark of 102, and could find the improvement required to play a part. Another who likes to front run.
His recent handicap wins have worked out well, with the placed horses going on to win, and his trainer remains very much in form. Wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if he won as he’s fit and well, though Lingfield appears to suit him better.
Genuine sort who isn’t usually good enough in this sort of contest, and his mark of 97 suggests he shouldn’t beat a few of these.
Chookie Royale and Kelinni are very much respected but, as both they and Mister Universe like to blaze a trail, this may well fall into the hands of Sovereign Debt who came late and fast last year and was going away at the end.
Sovereign Debt @ 7/2 Various Bookmakers