8 runners go to post for the 3rd of the day at Newcastle, a middle distance handicap, see our betting tips and full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Consistency is bound to pay off at some stage for ISHARAH, who has run three solid races in succession, finishing second the last twice. He’s clearly going the right way and should he improve he’ll be a very live chance for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning. His Abdulla Al Mansoori partner Paris Magic may be the main danger as he still has room for improvement and needs to be consdiered.
1 MASTERPAVER – By no means disgraced when finishing 4th at Wolverhampton is a Class 2 race earlier this month (1m 4f, Std) and drops back to Class 4 today. Should go well at this level despite being top weight with Natalie Hambling taking off 7lb, so needs to be respected on his bid to make amends.
2 PARIS MAGIC – Won with lots in hand at here over C&D earlier this month and goes up in grade today in a bid to go back to back. Has been gelded with the blinkers added and should have more to give today for Hugo Palmer, with Josephine Gordon a good jockey booking. Has to be respected.
3 LAC LEMAN – Won a handicap hurdle back at Mussleburgh in January but doesn’t seem to be on a generous mark if judged upon his 2014 flat form, so probably best watched today.
4 HARD TO HANDEL – Soundly beaten back in handicaps for new trainer Clare Ellam on Monday, and its hard to fancy him with his patchy profile.
5 ISHARAH – Finished 2nd the last twice, the latest when no match for the winner here over C&D and is raised 2lb for that effort. Consistent in the main and always seemingly running a good race, he is definitely going the right way and today could be the day everything drops right for him, so has to have a big chance.
6 POLAR FOREST – Won here over 1m 2f back in November and has run with credit the last twice, although his latest effort at Wolverhampton was somewhat underwhelming (1m 1f, Std). Yet to win at the 1m 4f trip however and with his stamina not assured, he may just be fighting for places today.
7 ISLAND FLAME – The step up in trip seems the right move as she found the emphasis on speed too much for her at Lingfield latest (1m 2f, Std), so 1m 4f may well suit her better today. Lightly raced and a previous course winner, she should run a good race under Patrick Mathers and is well worth a crack at this new trip today.
(NON RUNNER) AIRTON – Flashed home late to force a dead heat over C&D last time out, where he found the lack of pace early on against him. That is far from assured today with no real confirmed pace angles but if he does get the pace he wants he’d be impossible to discount.