Shouldvebeenaring To Star At Wolverhampton Today

Wolverhampton first off at 16h40

Gr1 performer Shouldvebeenaring makes his first appearance of 2024 in the seven-furlong Listed BetMGM Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton today.

After finishing second in last season’s 3-Year-Old Final at Newcastle, the dual Listed winner competed four times at the highest level, most notably going down by a neck to Regional in the Sprint Cup at Haydock Park.

All Weather Championships (Pic – Wolverhampton Racecourse)

The son of Havana Grey followed that up with another excellent effort in the Gr1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in October, when he was beaten less than two lengths in third.

Trainer Richard Hannon is also represented by 2021 winner Mums Tipple, who looked unlucky as he met trouble in running at Lingfield Park’s AWC Trials Day last week.

Doctor Khan Junior steps up to Listed level for Geoff Oldroyd having reeled off four straight victories on the all-weather this winter, including two dominant displays over the course and distance.

Oldroyd told Sky Sports Racing: “Doctor Khan Junior is very well and has trained well. We have kept him fresh. He has progressed this year and, even though this is a step up in class, we are hoping for a good run.

“He had one or two niggling injuries as a youngster, and we decided to turn him away for eight months to allow him to mature. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, and the Muharaars seem to improve with age.

“The main thing is that he loves Wolverhampton and seems to come alive around there. He has won from the front and off the pace. As long as they go quick enough, you can take a lead, but if they are not going his gallop, you need to make it as he can settle better in front.

“There won’t be any prisoners taken on Saturday, as he is up in grade and they don’t hang about. A lot of the opposition have been running over six furlongs, so it will be interesting to see what happens.”

Doctor Khan Junior could complete a notable week for Oldroyd and owner-breeder Bond Thoroughbred Limited, after his unbeaten half-brother Pocklington brushed aside Gr2 Coventry Stakes runner-up Army Ethos at Newcastle last Sunday.

The trainer added: “Pocklington is a lovely horse. He is quite a late developer. We did not push him as a two-year-old, even though we could have run him, but we did not feel we had to. There is a lot more to come from him and he is not the finished article by any means.

“The Commonwealth Cup is the target, but there are not many races for him in between. There is the Commonwealth Cup Trial and the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock. He would need a bit of time between races, so we may have to wait, although I don’t think he necessarily has to have a run between now and Royal Ascot.

“After his first serious piece of work, I told Charlie Bond that I think he is better than his mother Ladies Are Forever. It is just nice to have something like this to train and look after.”

William Haggas’ Nine Tenths is the only filly in the lineup as she looks to build on two runner-up finishes, including behind Dear My Friend in the Listed BetMGM Tandridge Stakes at Lingfield Park.

Misty Grey and Intervention, who have won nine times at Wolverhampton between them, complete the field for Tom Dascombe and Mick Appleby.

Irish raider Final Voyage takes aim at another valuable all-weather prize as he features among 11 runners in the BetMGM Lincoln Trial Handicap over an extended mile.

Johnny Murtagh’s six-year-old, who plundered the All Weather Vase Mile Handicap at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, arrives on the back of a handicap success at Dundalk on February 23.

Murtagh said: “Final Voyage came out of his last race really well. He likes the all-weather and this looks a nice race to go for. If he was to win, he might be able to sneak into the Mile race on Finals Day.

“The extended mile is my only concern. Initially, I felt he was a seven-furlong horse, but he is much more settled this year. Wolverhampton is a tight track, whereas Dundalk has a long straight and he got the mile well there last time, so that gives him a chance of getting the trip.

“William Buick’s agent Tony Hind phoned me after he saw the entries and was keen for him to ride the horse. William has not ridden a winner for me yet, so it would be nice to do that on Saturday.”

The opposition includes the in-form King’s Code (David Evans), who has landed handicaps at Kempton Park and Southwell in recent weeks, and lightly raced four-year-old Smoky Mountain (Charlie Fellowes). Kingdom Come (Clive Cox) makes a quick return after finishing third behind Dear My Friend at Lingfield Park last week.

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