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AFRICAN CHEETAH looks the best, if hardly the most fitting, name to follow as Wolverhampton's frost-beating card comes to a close with the Best Odds Handicap (4.25).

Not many trainers can make the boast that they've taken a horse from Mark Johnston's stable and improved it.

But the figures suggest that's exactly what Reg Hollinshead has done after African Cheetah's debut victory for his new connections at Dunstall Park 19 days ago.

A well-backed 7-2 shot for his first start on Polytrack, the three-year-old son of Pivotal came with a sustained run under Adam Kirby, who makes way for Graham Gibbons, to overhaul Ansells Pride and score by neck.

That race was run over Wolverhampton 's extended mile, so the thick end of another furlong, allied with an honest gallop, should see African Cheetah progress again.

In-form Hollinshead and Gibbons can also team up for the 12-furlong handicap (3.55) with ORIENTAL CAVALIER.

The Ishiguru chestnut scored over an extended nine furlongs here last month, performing with credit over the same course and distance on two occasions since.

He has a second stable at a mile and a half this afternoon, and is worth another chance at the trip.

The least experienced of the field for the nursery (3.20) over seven furlongs, WELLMARKED makes plenty of appeal.

A mark of 78 looks fair for his first start in handicaps, but Wellmarked has scope for further improvement on the third outing of his life, and the added furlong won't be a problem.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 26, 2009
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