4.40pm Newcastle Tips & Betting Preview 03/01/2017

A field of 12 for this 0-80 handicap in the penultimate race at Newcastle today worth £6,469 to the winner. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: Playtothewhistle ran well in to finish runner up in his last three starts for Bryan Smart and could be dangerous on his first start for Michael Appleby today with the yard in such good form. That being said he is coming back from a break of four months and the race fit ROLLER is of more interest today. He was a ready winner on his first start on these shores and has a taking pedigree for races of this nature. He can get the double up probably at the main expense of Inaam who was finishing late over 1m on his last start and will appreciate the drop in trip.

1 Swiss Cross – Been in fine form recently winning four of his last four races all at Lingfield up to 7f. The race appeared to pan out well for him when landing an eleven runner handicap six days ago and now carries a six pound penalty. Yard remain in good form but a 10-y-o now and may be vulnerable to younger legs in a stronger race today.

2 Like No Other – Won over C&D in June against weaker opposition and ran well to finish second of 13 almost three weeks ago at this track. 11lb higher than for that win now and form has been mixed this year. Conditions are ideal for this but will need a career best off his current mark.

3 Dutch Art Dealer – Been in fair form without winning this year and hasn’t won since scoring back to back wins in handicaps up to this level in 2014. Back on the same winning mark now as he was at the start of those wins but been off the track for 179 days since a fifth of 10 at Chepstow (Good) and best watched in a first time visor for his new yard.

4 Merdon Castle – Losing streak stretches thirteen runs back to 2015 and had only one behind at Southwell over 7f two weeks ago in a fourteen runner race. Down in the weights now but still needs to prove it on only his second start at this trip.

5 Fingal’s Cave – Four time winner at this trip when trained Mick Channon and made a pleasing start for this yard when third of 15 at Catterick (Soft) in October. Hasn’t figured in his last three starts and despite being just 2lb below his last winning mark, he looks up against it now given his recent run over C&D nineteen days ago when only ninth of 13.

6 Roller – Rail Link gelding and previously trained in France by Pascal Bary for whom he had two runs. Made his debut for his new yard a winning one when winning a maiden over 1m in good style by two lengths form the well backed favourite. This is tougher but has the scope to progress now handicapping and should make a bold bid to land the double.

7 Inaam – Been in good form this year with three wins from eleven runs including over C&D last month with a few of these in behind and did well to finish third of 8 to the reopposing Tellovoi at Chelmsford twelve days ago. Yard in good form and mark unchanged for that last run. Should get closer to that one now and place claims dropped back to 7f.

8 Tellovoi – Won at Chelmsford twelve days despite starting poorly and hasn’t won back to back races for three years and recent form prior to that win is slightly off putting for all this is weaker than his last race. One to note in the betting.

9 Jacquotte Delahaye – Lightly raced since her last win in August 2015 but patchy form since. Ran two starts ago to finish second at this track but well behind Inaam when fifth of 11 over C&D last month and looks held against some of these rivals today.

10 Jubilee Brig – On a decent mark for this being 2lb lower than for his win at Carlisle (Good) in August but hasn’t been seen to best effect in three runs this year and well behind Inaam over C&D last month. Needs a lot more to get involved.

11 Extortion – Fair efforts in defeat at the start of his career and a winner at Hamilton (Good/Firm) on his fourth start. Has regressed in four starts this year and returning from a lengthy break and one to watch making his Tapeta debut today.

12 Playtothewhistle – Previously with Bryan Smart and been off for 123 days since a good second of 8 in a handicap at Musselburgh (Good/Firm) four months ago. That came after three runner up efforts and has landed back to back wins on the AW at Southwell. 6lb higher mark than for those wins on his Tapeta debut today and solid claims if ready to go after a break with the yard in good form.

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