THORNABY GREEN can be a strong fancy to finally end his winless drought, while Bailieborough and Machinate are others with chances at this level. It has been a while since Thornaby Green last won a race - in fact the economy was on the up, Woolworths were still in business and excitement was building for the opening of the new all weather track at Great Leighs. And Dean Heslop was still a 7lb claimer. Seventeen months on and a subsequent string of near misses aboard Thornaby Green, means Heslop is still able to claim 5lb; which can only be a help in a closely knit handicap like this. The former graduate of the Northern Racing College has been back amongst the winners of late and, as he knows the selection inside out, there are plenty of reasons to give the partnership another throw of the dice today. Bailieborough won over course and distance last month and continues to run with enthusiasm despite his advancing years. He is likely to track our hope from the next box along in the stalls and will be waiting to pounce if he falters near the finish. Wolverhampton has been the scene of four of Machinate's five career wins; so he cannot be discounted at his favourite venue. Recent form suggests he needs luck on his side, though. Others to note include: the lightly raced Doctor Delta, who will sport a visor for the first time, while Red Current has hinted at a revival lately and is no forlorn hope for a place in the frame. However, Thornaby Green has the strongest claims on the pick of his efforts and is expected to be very hard to beat if he can maintain his effort to the line this afternoon.
Top Jaro (FR) 20-1 (8-9) Led, headed over 4f out, soon ridden and beaten, 6th of 10, 12l behind Hurricane Coast (8-9) at Southwell 1m app hcp (6) fbs.
Machinate (USA) 8-1 (9-3) Held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, switched right over 1f out, one pace inside final furlong, 4th of 13, 6l behind Moment of Clarity (9-1) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp (6) pol in Dec.
Bailieborough (IRE) 9-2 (8-11) Slowly into stride, soon in touch, lost place over 3f out, headway over 1f out, never nearer, 5th of 10, 4l behind Lopinot (8-12) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Thornaby Green 7-2fav (8-9) Mid-division, headway 3f out, soon ridden, one paced, 3rd of 13, 5l behind Mrs Bun (9-0) at Southwell 1m hcp (6) fbs.
Red Current 11-2 (8-4) Chased leader, driven to lead over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, soon one pace, 4th of 11, 4l behind General Feeling (9-4) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Almahaza (IRE) 7-1 (8-5) Behind, headway 6f out, chased leaders 2f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 3rd of 13, 4l behind Rigat (9-0) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp (6) pol in Dec '07.
Victory Spirit 6-1 (9-0) Not much room after start, held up, ridden and headway over 2f out, soon weakened, 10th of 13, 17l behind Giddywell (8-9) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-50 (6) pol.
Ardent Prince 50-1 (8-11) Led, headed over 2f out, soon weakened, 9th of 13, 12l behind Ahlawy (9-0) at W'hampton 1m 1f sll (6) pol.
Anduril 22-1 (8-9) Held up mid-division, one pace from over 1f out, 5th of 12, 2 1/2l behind Joe Jo Star (8-10) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-50 (6) pol.
Winged Farasi 6-1 (10-6) Slowly into stride, in rear, never nearer, 8th of 13, 22l behind Vogarth (10-9) at Southwell 1m amt hcp (6) fbs in Nov.
Doctor Delta 25-1 (8-5) Mid-division, ridden halfway, driven and one pace final furlong, 4th of 10, 7l behind Hurricane Coast (8-9) at Southwell 1m app hcp (6) fbs.
Desert Lover (IRE) 7-1 (9-0) Soon towards rear, effort over 1f out, no impression, 8th of 12, 7l behind Stargazy (8-7) at W'hampton 7f app stk (7) pol.
Crosby Jemma 16-1 (7-13) Always in the rear, 10th of 13, 7l behind Wahoo Sam (8-8) at Bath 1m hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Jun.