The opening all-aged handicap on Newcastle’s card is an interesting one, containing a number of in-form animals who can have claims made for them. See our full race preview and our betting tips below.
IN SUMMARY: The pace scenario of this race isn’t the easiest to get to grips with and could help or hinder many of the individual runners, but we’re happy to take a chance on ARAMIST at nice odds following a decent run in a small-field over C&D. Taking on extra rivals will help him to get cover and he also drops down in grade. Dubawi Fifty should have more to offer in these staying handicaps and can run well, whilst Aldreth looks certain to be in there pitching for the places at worst.
1 ZAKATAL – In good form when last seen in June, finishing 5th over 2m at Kempton but only beaten a couple of lengths. Since moved yards and debuts for the in-form Rebecca Menzies. Impossible to rule out given last year’s progression on artificial surfaces but entitled to need run after 170 days off.
2 GRAND MEISTER – All-Weather winner at Wolverhampton last winter and went close off today’s mark at Chelmsford in February. Bombed out on return over C&D 18 days ago but could improve fitness-wise, that being his first outing since June. Lots to be taken on trust, though, and has too much to prove.
3 ARAMIST – Previously very progressive, peaking at a mark of 95 in 2015 and now down to 79. Obviously well-handicapped if bouncing back to his best and didn’t run badly in a higher grade over C&D last time. Should be staying on well at the end of this contest, assuming the race-pace is strong enough, and has to be on the shortlist as a value play.
4 MISTER BOB – In the form of his life in late summer, winning 3 of his last 4 outings over 2m on the All-Weather between July & September. Has to prove that he remains in the same order after nearly 3 months off the track and with a new career-high mark. Impossible to rule out, of course, but could be vulnerable now more than ever.
5 ALDRETH – No question marks over recent consistency, finishing 2nd on each of his last 3 outings, including by a head over C&D. Gone up 8lbs in that time, however, and returns to his previous highest rating. Bumped into a live 3-year-old last time and doesn’t face a horse of that potential now, so is another of some interest.
6 SIREN’S COVE – Exposed 4-year-old filly but has been given chances by the handicapper and yet to take advantage. Hasn’t run too badly in three outings since joining Kenneth Slack from Richard Fahey’s yard but steps up to this trip for the first time and that does leave her with a few questions to answer.
7 DUBAWI FIFTY – Well-bred 3-year-old who only had one run with James Tate but has presumably been easier to train with Karen McLintock, running four times at this track since October. Showed ability each time but never better than when stepped up to this trip 17 days ago, bolting away from the others off 73. 6lbs higher now but still worthy of respect.
8 CAVALIERI – Infrequent winner the majority of his career, winning 2 of his first 37 starts in all codes. However, seems to have turned a corner in scoring the last twice on the All-Weather, including over C&D, and now steps back up in grade for the first time in a long time. Impossible to rule out but may be short enough in the betting at this level.
9 STAMFORD RAFFLES – More unexposed than most, being a 3-year-old with just 8 career outings under his belt. 2-5 on artificial surfaces and defeated Aldreth by a head over C&D last month. Not so good last time when nearly 5-lengths behind the same rival at Chelmsford and needs to prove that he hasn’t lost the edge he had previously.
myracing Forecast Prices: Dubai Fifty (5/2), Aldreth (4/1), Mister Bob (11/2), Cavalieri (6/1), Aramist (7/1), Stamford Raffles (10/1), Siren’s Cove (16/1), Zakatal (20/1), Grand Meister (20/1).