A field of eight go to post for the third race of the day at Newcastle on Tuesday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Tom’s Rock has a good record in these sort of races and he’s a likely candidate but it’s hard to look past SHARGIAH for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni. He returned this season with a respectable run at Lingfield on the all weather before taking his second career victory when upped to this distance 15 days ago, only being raised 3lb as a result despite him remaining unexposed at the middle distances. Atzeni can extract the best out of him and another victory looks on the cards at the expense of Pushaq, whose latest run received a form boost.
1 SHARGIAH – Lightly raced four year old for Roger Varian who showed good promise as a three year old, winning his third race at Ripon in July when driven right out at the mile trip. He made a respectable return at the same trip when forth at Lingfield in April, with the five runners only separated by around two lengths. He gained his second victory at Windsor on his latest start when upped to 1m 2f, staying on strongly to snatch the race in the closing stages and he’s been raised 3lb as a result. That could be seen as lenient as he’s very much unexposed at this trip and the return to the all weather is unlikely to be an issue. Andrea Atzeni takes the ride and he looks the winner for us.
2 OASIS SPEAR – Won his sole tapeta outing at Wolverhampton in August 2015 off a 3lb lower mark, though he has been solidly out of form since his last win at Windsor off this mark in June 2016. He returned this season when well beaten at Ascot over the mile distance, though he is likely to be much happier back up in trip and he’s been dropped 2lb in the handicap since back down to his last winning mark. He’s unexposed on this surface and the in form David Allan takes the ride, so he certainly has each way claims for Chris Wall.
3 TOM’S ROCK – Two wins from four runs at the 1m 2f trip, winning on his second start this season at Lingfield in clear cut style after being eased down to a comfortable success. He’s been raised 7lb as a result which makes things much tougher but he does remain unexposed as a lightly raced four year old and could have some improvement left in him at this stage of his career. Daniel Muscutt takes the ride and he has to be considered.
4 PUSHAQ – Not sighted on seasonal debut at Leopardstown in April but made amends for that on his second start this season when winning at Wolverhampton in April, with that form receiving a boost when the third came out to win last Friday. Likely more is needed now up in class but he still remains unexposed at this trip on only his third attempt at it, so a 4lb higher mark is unlikely to stop him from a bold follow up bid under Tom Queally.
5 TOP OF THE GLAS – Was in mighty form from June onward on the flat and over hurdles, winning on the level at this trip at Carlisle in July 2016 with a strong late burst. He’s now 4lb below that mark but that is only due to three very poor performances this season on the level for Brian Ellison, last seen well beaten at Thirsk off a 2lb higher mark. He’s starting to look well treated but he’s 0-4 on the all weather and the Ellison yard aren’t firing on all cylinders at present, so he’s likely best watched.
6 MUQARRED – Has been in decent enough form on the fibresand on occasion in recent times, finishing second on his latest start at Southwell in May when keeping on strongly behind a run away winner. He’s now one pound lower but he’s yet to place from four starts on the tapeta surface and the Roger Fell yard aren’t in good form currently, with no winners from their last eighteen. Others make more appeal on balance.
7 BOLLIHOPE – Can boast a good record over C&D, winning over it three starts ago when gunning down the eventual second on the line to take a gutsy victory after being well out the back early on. He remains five pounds higher than that mark after two decent enough performances the last twice, finishing third over C&D again off a one pound lower mark before a pleasing fifth back on the grass at Wetherby eight days ago. A return to Newcastle will once again bring the best out of him and he has brilliant claims once again so has to be respected.
8 GENRES – Won here over the 1m 4f trip back in January off a 9lb lower mark, taking a second victory this season when winning at Hamilton two weeks ago in a game performance. He’s been raised 3lb as a result and the drop back in trip is certainly a concern here, as he is unlikely to have the tactical speed needed to win at this trip nowadays. Joe Fanning takes the ride and although that does bode well as he was on him last time, others make more appeal.