Timeform Radio Tip: Smalljohn set for big run

Rory's best bets come in the last 2 races at Dunstall Park
Rory's best bets come in the last 2 races at Dunstall Park

Rory Delargy is on tipping duty on Friday, and is rooting for a course specialist at Wolverhampton.

"Smalljohn would prefer an uncontested lead, but his strength has always been an ability to quicken the pace at halfway, and the onus is on Graham Lee to ration out his speed more effectively than he's been able to of late. There are plenty of potential spoilers, but a double figure price about this well-handicapped sort is too good to ignore."

On a difficult day for tipping, with too many of the interesting races at Newbury and Doncaster containing unknown quantities, the bet of the day goes in a handicap full of exposed performers at Wolverhampton. Smalljohn has no secrets from either punters or the handicapper, but he's a straightforward course specialist who wears his heart on his sleeve and will attempt to make all in the 18:25 for an eighth win at Dunstall Park. The 7-y-o hasn't been at his very best in three runs over track and trip this autumn, but has been edging back to form incrementally, and has been given a chance by the assessor.

On his latest start, he was hassled for the lead before keeping on at the one pace behind Jay Bee Blue, and a repeat of that effort on the figures would put him in the firing line. His best efforts last year suggest that he's still able to taken another step forward, and his last 2 wins here came from higher marks. Smalljohn would prefer an uncontested lead, but his strength has always been an ability to quicken the pace at halfway, and the onus is on Graham Lee to ration out his speed more effectively than he's been able to of late. There are plenty of potential spoilers, but a double figure price about this well-handicapped sort is too good to ignore.  

Another horse who has fallen back to a winning mark is Shawkantango (18:55) who is now 1 lb lower than when winning over this course and distance last spring. He's spent most of this year in the doldrums, but hinted at a revival when fifth in a big field at Nottingham early this month. He's a lazy sort, which is usually the death knell of a sprinter, but tonight's race looks set to be a burn-up, and the current surface at Wolverhampton has been favouring closers. With a wide draw a positive given his quirks, Shawkantango may well benefit from a pace collapse, and he's more than capable of a whirlwind finish when on song. Best as an in-running trade given those proclivities (he's traded twice his pre-race price in the run for both C&D wins), he still makes plenty of appeal at current odds. 

Recommendations:

Both at Wolverhampton

Back Smalljohn @ 10.09/1 in the 18:25 (NAP)

Back Shawkantango @ 11.521/2 in the 18:55

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