Seven runners go to post for this fascinating Newcastle racecourse maiden over the mile on the All-Weather. Read on for our expert runner by runner guide and tip for the race.
IN SUMMARY: Tom Queally takes the ride on Singapore Sling who has the best form in the book judged on his two Windsor efforts. With so many question marks about the majority of the runners in the field, it could pay to back the unknown quantity in the field, JOHN MILTON. He was extremely well thought of as a yearling and was purchased for £200,000 by John Ferguson as a consequence. He was sold to his current stable for a fraction of that but he should be able to pick up a race of this nature comfortably if any of that ability remains in tact.
1 Persian Steel – Four year old Lucarno gelding trained by the form Brian Ellison who has a 29% win strike rate in the past 14 days. He was very well supported on debut in a Catterick bumper, going off the 9/4 favourite but he could only muster up a tame effort in 7th place. Beat 29 lengths in another bumper at Southwell since and has a lot to prove dropping back in trip switching to the All-Weather.
2 John Milton – Extremely interesting runner. Purchased for £200,000 by John Ferguson so was clearly held in high regard as a yearling. For whatever reason things did not work out and he was subsequently sold to Karen McLintock for just £9,000. He is bred to appreciate this surface and even if he isn’t the horse Ferguson thought he would be, this is an extremely weak affair and it would be no surprise if he was too good for his rivals on debut. He certainly looks far too big a price at 12/1 to ignore. Graham Lee has a terrific return at the track so it is a good jockey booking.
3 Psychology – Shamardal gelding who was well beat at 100/1 on his flat debut over a mile and a half here at Newcastle last time out, beat a total of 58 lengths. Beat 98 and 82 lengths in two bumpers previously so clearly has very limited ability. Easily dismissed on this occasion.
4 Roller – Three year old gelding by Rail Link having his first run for the Mick Easterby stable since moving to the UK from France. He finished second to a horse called Dalshand on debut at Saint-Cloud over a mile and that horse went on to finish 5th in Listed company so that form looks very decent in a weak race of this nature. Tailed off at Deauville when last seen but he is in shrewd hands now and any market confidence would be extremely significant.
5 Samphire Coast – Derek Shaw trained gelding by Fastnet Rock who has shown limited ability on his two starts to date, although he improved a good deal to only get beat six lengths at Southwell last time out. If he can improve on that effort, he could be a fly in the ointment at a massive price and the step up in trip could be a major help.
6 Singapore Sling – Solid favourite in the betting and probably deservedly so if pedigree is anything to go by being well bred by Paco Boy. He was pulled up in a two mile hurdle at Warwick earlier this month but posted two solid efforts on the flat at Windsor in June and October, form that sticks out strongly in this contest. If he can transform those efforts to the All-Weather he is bound to prove difficult to beat but he looks far too short a price to be getting involved. James Fanshawe is 6/17 on the tapeta here at Newcastle which is an impressive return. Deserved favourite but too many question marks to tip with confidence.
7 Gloryette – Three year old filly who hasn’t cut the mustard in handicap company and she now drops back into maiden company in a bid to get off the mark. Receives her filly allowance which is five pounds and that could make all the difference in a race of this nature. However, she is yet to place from her nine starts and although this is her easiest assignment to date she looks a quirky horse with limited ability.