5.00pm Newcastle Tips & Betting Preview 21/12/2016

Fourteen line up for the finale at Newcastle and this looks another competitive race to close things out. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: A few with chances in this, none more so than KODIMOOR. He has shown good improvement on his last two starts with a short break in between and he comes into this with good momentum. He could be hard to beat from a good draw. Roy’s Legacy and Novabridge can also play a part and can run the selection close.

1 Lotara – Sole career win came over C&D in September on her first start for the yard since leaving Michael Appleby. Disappointing in three starts since including two at this course up to 7f but looked more like herself in this grade on last start. Drawn poorly on the inside and may have to settle for minor money today.

2 Big Amigo – Without a win since scoring on his second start at Wolverhampton in February over 6f. Patchy form of late and only fifth of 14 at Southwell over the minimum trip. Has dropped in the weights but others have better form for win purposes.

3 Lady Joanna Vassa – Fair strike rate this year with three wins from 15 runs. Landed her first AW win over C&D last month, staying on well to win by half a length. Drawn slightly better today and only 2lb higher for that win. No reason to think she can’t get involved again but she will probably need a career-best to take this against the boys.

4 Windforpower – Hasn’t won over 5f on the AW for three years and recent runs this Autumn have been mixed. Not beaten far last month over C&D and has won from a similar mark before. Bit more needed in this though against some stronger rivals for all that he is drawn high in stall 13. Cheekpieces on.

5 Novabridge – Good strike rate this year with two wins from three runs and showed good improvement on his runner up finish here last month to just prevail over C&D eleven days ago. Should go from the front again with blinkers on again and only up 3lb for his latest win. Needs a market check.

6 Roy’s Legacy – Won over C&D in June, the third win of a hat-trick over 5f at this level. Has struggled on the AW on his last two starts but has the pilot from those wins Charlie Bennett back on board today and he can go well off this weight with his promising conditional taking off a further 5lb.

7 Slim Chance – Hasn’t won in twenty seven runs since getting up to win by two lengths at Hamilton (Good) two years ago, the second of a double at the track. Hasn’t run too badly on his last AW starts on this course including a close fourth last time month behind Lady Johanna Vassa but up against speedy types and looks held on recent form.

8 Fuel Injection – Landed a similar 5f handicap at Catterick (Good) in May and only one career win on the AW at Southwell. Only seventh of 12 last month over C&D on his second start after a four month break. Good draw in stall 10 with plenty of winners coming from this berth over 5f but has pace either side of him and easy to rule out today. Cheekpieces on again.

9 Kodimoor – Still a maiden after seventeen runs but has shown much improved form on his last three runs, finishing runner up twice. Good second after starting slowly in a strongly run race last time out at Wolverhampton and that was promising returning after a 52 day break. Should be more competitive today if breaking quickly and has a handy draw in stall 11. Big player.

10 Artic Lynx – Last win came at Chelmsford last April and has been regressive on the AW since. Only seventh over C&D eleven days ago behind Novabridge and likely to be a big price for this despite basement mark and cheekpieces.

11 Very First Blade – Won three times this year the latest coming at Catterick two months ago. First start at this course was uninspiring following that when only seventh of 13 over today’s trip 43 days ago and connections reach for cheekpieces again. Can be ruled out for win purposes today.

12 AJ Cook – Poor strike rate with only two wins form 45 runs including from a similar mark. Fourth behind Novabridge eleven days ago and likely to find a few too good again.

13 Cerulean Silk – Been off the track since a below par fifth of 14 at Wolverhampton three months ago. Still a maiden after fifteen runs and best watched for now despite the yard having a few winners recently.

14 Whispering Wolf – Only one career win so far and that came at Ripon (Good/Firm) over 6f. Has only run well twice on the AW in the last six months and has a good draw to work with here. Others have much better chances on bare form.

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