Spirit to drum up sup­port at Wolver­hamp­ton

The Citizen (KZN) - - Racing Express - Lon­don

– That Is The Spirit looks to be run­ning into form ahead of the Bom­bardier ''March To Your Own Drum'' Hand­i­cap to­day at Wolver­hamp­ton.

Now a nine-year-old, That Is The Spirit prob­a­bly holds few se­crets and is un­doubt­edly some way be­low the form that saw him strike in Listed com­pany in both 2014 and 2015.

How­ever, he re­mains a use­ful tool for Michael Ap­pleby in just this sort of event and with two re­cent runs un­der his belt, That Is The Spirit is now fir­ing on all cylin­ders.

He re­turned from a 151-day break last month, record­ing a close-up fifth at the first time of ask­ing be­fore step­ping up again a week later to fin­ish a nar­row sec­ond at Kemp­ton.

That Is The Spirit lines up off a mark of 79 here, his low­est perch since he won on his de­but for Ap­pleby last June and should be right in the mix again.

Ky­bosh can make it a dou­ble for the Ap­pleby team in the Heed Your Hunch At Bet­way Hand­i­cap.

He is still a maiden af­ter 11 races but has been a model of con­sis­tency this win­ter with­out ac­tu­ally hav­ing the cards fall in his favour.

Four thirds in six starts shows Ky­bosh is ca­pa­ble, al­beit at a lowly level, and his cur­rent mark of 49 does not look be­yond him.

Never Dark has hit the bar on each of his two starts to date, but should at least be well aware of what is re­quired in the Bet­way Maiden Stakes.

Hail­ing from a smart sprint fam­ily, Never Dark shaped with prom­ise on his first spin at Kemp­ton be­fore slightly dis­ap­point­ing when only sec­ond as an odds-on favourite last month.

He came up against what ap­peared to be a smart ri­val on that oc­ca­sion, so he is not one to give up on yet.

Lion Tower made it sec­ond time lucky when switched to the Fi­bre­sand and he can fol­low up in the Lad­brokes Home Of The Odds Boost Novice Stakes back at South­well.

Trained by Mark John­ston, this colt has a strong Aus­tralian pedi­gree and he showed some abil­ity on his de­but, de­spite even­tu­ally fin­ish­ing eighth of 10 run­ners at Wolver­hamp­ton last month.

Sent to South­well just nine days later, Lion Tower showed the ben­e­fit of that run as he stayed on strongly over 1200m to win a maiden event with a bit still in hand.

He will have to step up again to con­cede weight all around here, but Lion Tower looks up to the task.

Sur Mer fin­ished sec­ond to Lion Tower in the afore­men­tioned South­well race and can en­joy her own mo­ment in the spotlight in the Bet­way Novice Stakes.

She was keep­ing on nicely that day while never look­ing like trou­bling the win­ner and clearly has some prom­ise as the penny did not re­ally drop un­til the clos­ing stages.

Drop­ping back to 1000m here, she should be much sharper.

Glory Of Paris has turned in de­cent ef­forts on both his pre­vi­ous trips to South­well and is one to watch in the Bom­bardier Golden Beer Hand­i­cap.

Paint The Dream ran a fine race in de­feat at Chel­tenham on New Year's Day and should ap­pre­ci­ate eas­ier com­pany in the Rowles Fine Art Be­gin­ners' Chase at Lud­low.

He chased home Mid­night Shadow in the Grade 2 Dip­per Novices' Chase, al­though both horses ob­vi­ously ben­e­fited from Champ's de­par­ture at the penul­ti­mate ob­sta­cle.

Paint The Dream gave it a good go at the fin­ish though, push­ing Mid­night Shadow all the way to the line and with that one sub­se­quently plac­ing in Grade 1 com­pany, his form looks strong. – Press As­so­ci­a­tion

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