No past races to look back at ahead of this seven furlong All Weather handicap. However, with just the one last time out winner declared even at the early stage, it makes perfectly good sense to start this race preview with the Richard Fahey trained Inaam. He took a Class 4 handicap here over a mile in February and followed up with a half length win over course and distance from favourite Mutamid in mid-March off a handicap rating four pounds higher. Up another two pounds this afternoon, that may not be enough to stop the four-year-old Camacho gelding from landing his hat-trick here. He is invariably brought with a late run to get to the front close to home, making him tricky to handicap. He looks to have a favourites’ chance this afternoon as well and, with more to come now that he has learned to settle down, he should prove hard to beat today. Having said that, his supporters will be wary that the stable are in poor form with just the three winners from their last 30 runners (10%).
Marjorie Fife looks after Courier and the stable sit proudly on a 100% win record in the last fourteen days thanks to one runner and one winner. As for Courier, he has won three of his 17 starts on turf, but none of 13 on the All Weather. However, he has not performed badly, with a run of places at Kempton, and cannot use that as an excuse today. Although he has not been dropped an ounce for finishing eighteen and half lengths off the pace at York last October, he does go well fresh. With the stable improving he looks to be a decent each way value this afternoon.
Looking for trainers to fear in this sort of contest and David O’Meara springs to mind with his excellent record in handicaps. Although he has a couple in here at the early stage, it seems that Mon Beau Visage is the likely first pick after a win here over course and distance last October. That was off a rating of 75 in a slightly lesser race and he has been beaten three times since. However, he has now come down to a rating of 77 and only needs to find a couple of pounds to get involved on paper at least. Danny Tudhope is likely to be in the saddle which makes for a potent combination that will scare the bookmakers. The yard are yet to really get going this season with just the one winner from 12 runners (8%) in the last two weeks.
Kingsley Klarion is named after the magazine produced by the Mark Johnston stable and could have small each way chances on his best form. He could also be a big price as well with a spot of luck. He has won four of his 13 starts on the All Weather at Chelmsford, Lingfield, Kempton and Wolverhampton and is looking to add Newcastle to that list this afternoon, with P J McDonald booked to ride the four-year-old. Dropped three pounds by the handicapper after finishing eighth over six furlongs last time out, he is heading towards a mark he can win from. The stable is in good form and showing a level stakes profit in the last fourteen days so he could yet challenge for the places at least.
As mentioned elsewhere, Ismail Mohammed is a much improved trainer in recent years. He is ignored by the punting public, yet is more than capable of having winners given horses of the appropriate standard. He has Mutamid in here with every chance. A son of Medicean, he returned to action here over course and distance after a gelding operation to finish a half length second to Inaam on his first race for eight months. He is more than likely to be more race fit this afternoon after such a long absence. Inaam had the benefit of race fitness that day and Mutamid meets his conqueror on one pound better terms today, meaning that it should be close between the pair of them now. The stable are very quiet, with just the one losing runner in the last two weeks. However, it would be wrong to read anything into that and, with William Buick in the saddle, he should put up a very bold showing.