A night of all weather action at Newcastle kicks off with a nine runner handicap, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This isn’t the strongest of handicaps and A BOY NAMED SUE looks likely to take advantage for Peter Niven. He would have perhaps finished much closer than he did on his comeback run over C&D last month if he’d have settled better early on and can be forgiven his latest effort as going down in trip certainly didn’t help. He’s off a low mark today and can take advantage with Nathan Evans taking off a useful 3lb at the expense of the twenty-two race maiden Newmarket Warrior, who looks once against destined for minor honours.
1 MY MATADOR – Made a pleasing debut for the Victor Dartnall yard when second at Lingfield in December (1m 4f, Std) but didn’t back that up when well beaten at Kempton in January (1m 4f, Std to Slw). Goes down in trip in a bid to revive but on previous evidence that seems unlikely to suit, with this the first time he’s gone this far back in trip since May 2014. Place claims if he does have the speed for this trip but there has to be a suspicion he wont have.
2 NEWMARKET WARRIOR – Has a tendency to race keenly and did so when a close fourth over C&D on his latest start, not beaten far and remains on the same mark for today’s run. Clearly capable off this mark and if settling better would have to be given leading claims for Iain Jardine, though it’s very off putting that the yard has drawn twenty four blanks in the past two weeks and this six year old is now zero for twenty-two under rules. Definite place claims but looks likely to find one too good.
3 SPACE WAR – Very hit and miss horse who will either give his all or nothing at all and nothing in-between. Although a good second at Wolverhampton in December (6f, Std), only beaten a short head, he’s been well beaten the last twice. He’d possibly have finished closer last time out at Southwell when upped to the mile if he’d not been in such a poor position early. Can’t be completely dismissed under a seven pound claimer but others do make more appeal with all things considered.
4 CHISWICK BEY – Ran a good race to finish third at over C&D two weeks ago when running on late and remains on the same mark today which is 2lb below his last winning mark. Experienced 7lb claimer Natalie Hambiling takes the ride for the in form Richard Fahey and he looks likely to run another good race, though he doesn’t have the best draw in stall 7. Has to be considered one of the main contenders and is respected as such.
5 CHECK ‘EM TUESDAY – Won at Kempton back in October (1m Std to Slw) but has struggled off her revised mark since, well beaten on the two races that proceeded it. She did show some signs off life when fifth at Kempton over the same C&D last time out but never looked to be threatening and was lowered two pounds as a result. This looks arguably more competitive than that race and possible she’ll need the handicapped to keep relenting if she’s to return to the winners enclosure. Place claims at best but remains vulnerable for win purposes.
6 SCANNERMANDANGO – Has shown little promise in three runs for Jim Goldie and makes her handicap debut today with Lewis Edmunds taking the ride. Impossible to recommend as she has shown almost nothing of note and caution is advised, though watching the market as always will be crucial with such handicap debutantes.
7 A BOY NAMED SUE – Showed promise on multiple occasions in 2016 and made a good comeback this season when fourth over C&D in two weeks ago, running on well but perhaps suffering from the fact he was keen early. He wasn’t so good last time out here over the seven furlong trip where he could never get involved, and likely will take huge benefit from going back up in trip. Nathan Evans takes off a useful 3lb and off this basement mark, he may well be able to capitalise on this weak looking contest for Peter Niven.
8 SANDSTREAM – Showed some positive signs on his latest start when third here over the seven furlong trip two weeks ago, running on well but never able to threaten (7f, Std). He failed to settle that day and will need to do so if he wants to see out this longer trip, though Luke Morris is an eye catching jockey booking. Off a very low weight in not the strongest of contests and may well have place claims if managing to settle better, with trainer Lucy Waggott’s yard having a few winners in recent weeks.
9 IVY MATILDA – Has been well beaten at odds of 33/1, 150/1, 250/1, 100/1 and 100/1 on all of her starts thus far under rules. Over the seven furlong trip here last time out she was beaten to the tune of around eleven lengths and looks likely to struggle again for trainer Colin Teague, unless the step up in trip brings a huge jolt of progress for this four year old. Can’t be considered.