Celestial Choir to dominate


CELESTIAL Choir can come out on top in a fascinating, race for division one of the Jaffa Handicap at Wolverhampton today.

This nine-and-a-half-furlong contest provides a puzzle for all-weather punters, with four of the top five in the weights winners last time out and few of the remainder easily ruled out.

But course winner South Eastern Fred's lack of consistency reduces his appeal, while Raheen and Royal Action face stiff tasks after recent victories in poor maiden company.

And dual Lingfield scorer Queen Of all Birds seems better on equitrack than today's fibresand surface.

No such worries concern Celestial Choir who was successful on the same terrain at Southwell early last year.

The mare went on to even better things last season and put up a smart performance to land a very valuable handicap at York's Ebor meeting in August.

Yet she is still attractively treated on her return to the all-weather today. And she is sure to be straight for her reappearance.

Her trainer Les Eyre is in great form at present and has had Celestial Choir ready to run over hurdles for some time only to be thwarted by the weather.

Golden Hadeer is sure to be a popular choice for the Jericho Handicap, having trotted up by no less than 17 lengths last time out.

But that was in none too competitive a race and the six-year-old faces no easy task against Beaumont who gives him only 13lb.

Beaumont is another to have improved significantly on turf last year when he scored in useful handicap company at Chester and York and he'll have been freshened by a two-month break.

Last Saturday's runner-up? Krystal Max looks weighted to go one place better in the Bailey Claiming Stakes.

And in-form trainer Pat Haslam can scoop both divisions of the Malibu Maiden Stakes with Selberry and Siouxrouge.