4.55pm Newcastle Tips & Betting Preview 17/02/2017

A fascinating handicap up the straight mile with plenty of recent C&D form on offer. Read on for our runner by runner preview for the 0-85 plus our expert tip.

IN SUMMARY: Swift Emperor would be very interesting if he is fully wound up on his return to the track after 200 days off but he has to prove his adaptability on sand as well as his fitness. Inaam would have a squeak if his stamina holds out while Byres Road looks likely to run his usual honest race but it is hard to get away from the claims of WORLDS HIS OYSTER. His first run back from a gelding operation was a very fluent success over this C&D. This is probably a quicker than ideal return but connections will be desperate to get him out this fast to keep him at this level before taking on tougher assignments once the turf season begins.

1 WORLDS HIS OYSTER – Had looked progressive in the summer of 2016, especially when fitted with cheek pieces at Haydock. A pair of defeats in Class 2 contests are relatively easy to forgive with a gelding operation in the Autumn reaping dividends when winning easily over this C&D ten days ago. This might come quick enough but it’s understandable that connections want to strike while the iron is hot, especially as they can keep their charge in Class 4 here. Is very much the one to beat.

2 SWIFT EMPEROR – Competitive in better contests than this last Spring but those placed efforts were the peak of his season with his form tailing off. Off the track a little over 200 days and this being his all weather debut are slight concerns but the market should be closely noted for support as he could be very well treated on his first sojourn into a Class 4.

3 HAIL CLODIUS – Tapeta debut but has run well on firm and soft turf as well as Fibresand and Polytrack so he looks really versatile. Claimed out of the Richard Hannon yard last time, he makes his debut for Roger Fell now. A move to a smaller yard can often help with regaining form and he will need to raise his game on his performance at Southwell in January to get competitive here.

4 BYRES ROAD – Has enjoyed success this winter, following a Lingfield win with a pair of places on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton, He was well below par when last seen but that can easily be forgiven as that was his third run in just eight days. The straight mile here is an interesting change but he has an each way chance on the form that he has shown so far in 2017.

5 EASTERN DRAGON – Has taken well to this C&D with a pair of wins in October and January, though at 33/1 and 16/1 they were not of much help to punters. Those have pushed him to a career high mark of 80 from which he found himself no match for Worlds His Oyster 10 days ago. The six pound penalty for that winner may enable him to get closer but it is hard to see him being able to turn the form around.

6 MAIN FACT – All form has been on soft turf, including a win over 1m3f on heavy ground at Maisons Laffitte. Tough to know exactly what he has achieved over there but this trip was no use to him the last twice so he can realistically only be watched on his debut for Diane Sayer having been gelded in the interim.

7 NICHOLAS T – Showed consistent form at a similar level to this in 2016 before signing off with a shocker of a run at Ayr. The very soft ground may not have been to his liking on that occasion and after just nine career runs, there is every chance of more improvement in the tank. This will be his first go on an artificial surface and as a note of caution, his full brother, Thorntoun Care, has had two runs on this Tapeta surface at Newcastle and has shown very little compared to his turf form.

8 INAAM – All three career wins have come on the all weather including on the Tapeta here, but all have been at 7f. He ran respectably at Chelmsford when trying a mile for the first time but that turning track would not be the same stamina test that this is. He would have an each way chance if proving his stamina for this stiffer track but is probably best watched until returning to a furlong shorter.

9 WARFARE – Would win no prizes for consistency and has been winless since scoring at Beverley in July 2015. 2016 was a mixed bag but he started this year with a smart run over this C&D. Very hard to predict whether Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde will turn up on any given day and as such is impossible to recommend.

10 SHAH OF ARMAAN – Broke the duck at the sixth time of asking last time at Wolverhampton but that was not a strong contest. His previous effort in a C&D handicap when well beaten off this same mark would leave him with an awful lot to find unless that win has done the trick with his confidence but the percentage call is to oppose.

11 PICKETT’S CHARGE – It hasn’t taken long for Richard Guest to get to the bottom of this horse who had looked regressive for his previous yard. He followed up a sound second over a quarter of a mile further when dismantling a Class 6 over this C&D with any amount in hand. A five pound rise looks rather lenient on the face of it after that win but the step up from a 0-65 to a 0-85 could be too much for him given that he would likely have plenty more in his favour kept to a lower quality of opposition.

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