McEntee confident The Blue Dog can do it again
THE soaking winter may not be cheering everybody but Phil McEntee is not complaining as he sends out The Blue Dog on a mission to complete a rapid four-timer at Wolverhampton on Monday that he expects to be successful.
The seven-year-old has thrived in the mild weather and seeks a fourth win in 17 days under 7lb claimer Joe Doyle.
McEntee said: "She has been an absolute revelation this year. We've had a very warm winter and she has come to hand earlier and looks fantastic. Joe is a tidy rider and the pair have gelled. He switches her off and gets her settled.
"She had a good long break in the summer and when she came back she handicapped herself over the first few runs. She was chucked in for the second of her wins and although she won only by a short head last time at Wolverhampton, the form looks solid.
"The first three races were part of the plan, but this one was also in the back of our minds. It doesn't look the strongest race and we're very hopeful she'll make it a four-timer."
McEntee added: "She's a really big strong filly and is flying at home. If she wins this we'll look at a £12,000 race at Lingfield on Saturday."
Alan Swinbank tries Painted Tail on the all-weather for the first time in two years, but fears The Blue Dog in the 1m4f fillies' handicap at 5.10pm.
He said: "We're running because she wants decent ground and can't get it at the moment. She ran over hurdles over Christmas but didn't perform well.
"That was her first run since June, when she came to win the race at Ayr but threw her head in the air. She has not been the easiest to train and isn't straightforward.
"She's won at Wolverhampton before, but this isn't an easy contest and The Blue Dog will take a bit of beating."
William Jarvis is more hopeful about the chances of Persian Patriot, who landed a maiden easily at Southwell this month and has her first taste of Wolverhampton.
He said: "It was a very poor race she won at Southwell and her starting price reflected that, but she has been fairly consistent and I fancy her to go close.
"The Blue Dog has done well but has gone up a lot in the handicap and in the end that stops most horses."
Doldrums, a half-sister to a Grade 1 winner in the US, has been living up to her name lately after a debut win here in November and drops in class on her second attempt at a mile and a half for trainer Mark Johnston.
Pointers courtesy of Raceform Interactive