Race five at Newcastle on Tuesday is a mile handicap, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Eastern Dragon has been in fine form the past few months and is likely to run well again, but does have another 4lb penalty to contend with which shifts the advantage to Mark Johnston’s MARIEE. She had been off since June before putting in a fine display to finish third at Kempton two weeks ago and can race off the same mark again today. She was entitled to need that first run and should strip much fitter today and can repel the challenge of her rivals today.
1 WORLDS HIS OYSTER – Usual cheekpieces are missing today which is an immediate concern and he was last seen when well beaten at Haydock in September (1m, Good). Only raced once on the all weather when beaten heavily at Kempton in September 2015 (7f, Std to Slw) which doesn’t bode well either. Has the form to be competitive but the 136 day break is a concern and others do seem likelier with the fitness edge taken into account.
2 MARIEE – Had showed consistently good form in 2016 and returned this season with a good third at Kempton in January, keeping on well (1m Std). Likely to come on leaps and bounds from that run and she still has room for improvement as a lightly raced four year old which makes her very interesting. Looks to be the likeliest type for Mark Johnston with conditions to suit and Joe Fanning taking the ride so has to be respected on her bid to make it three wins from six on the artificial surfaces.
3 EASTERN DRAGON – Has been running well since transferred to the all weather and with the cheekpieces on he found a bit more to win over C&D on his latest start in January. Raised 4lb but remains of interest if continuing to improve, though this is now a career high mark for Iain Jardine’s seven year old. Callum Rodriguez claims a useful 7lb but may be vulnerable for win purposes off a mark this high and possible that only minor honours await him.
4 DUSKY DAWN – Ran a great race to finish a neck second at Southwell on his penultimate start (1m, Std), but was nowhere near that standard well beaten over C&D in January. Interesting that both her efforts here have been poor, which does temper enthusiasm and with how inconsistent she is, she rates as a risky proposition. Not sure she’s suited by the fibresand surface and others to make more appeal today, and it may be worth airing on the side of caution.
5 KING OF DREAMS – Tried in the cheekpieces/blinkers the last twice and has been well beaten on both occasions, not seen since August when well beaten at Goodwood (1m 4f, Std). Drop back in trip makes sense after those two dismal efforts, but he will need to return to near her best if he’s to overcome a mark of 77 after a break of 164 days. David Simcock’s yard has had a few winners of late and could be a place contender if back at his best now down in class, but others seem more likely for win purposes.
6 RAVENHOE – Prominent/Front runner who isn’t the most consistent, though he wasn’t necessarily disgraced when a front running second at Wolverhampton in January, only beaten a head on the post (1m 1f, Std). Not so good the last time when not allowed to lead at Chelmsford in January after a 3lb rise, though if breaking well enough he’ll be able to get to the rail from Stall 4. 0-12 on the All Weather though and 6lb above his last winning mark overall, so it’s hard to give him any more than place claims today.
7 WEATHER FRONT – Finished a good third behind Eastern Dragon over C&D in October which was a good effort, but has been in no such form since then. All over C&D, he’s been well beaten on three occasions and he was never out of the rear when last when last seen in November. Still above his last winning mark and clearly not in any sort of mood for racing at present, and that alone is enough to discount him today.
8 KIWI BAY – Won a C&D claimer in August off a 8lb higher mark but has been no such form since then, and has been well beaten on four occasions over C&D since. Very hard to make a case for him on that evidence and its unlikely any improvement will be forthcoming a the age of 12. Likely best to avoid today.